If you’re looking for a fart sack that comfortably handles -10F this is a great if expensive choice. The problem is that vendors such as REI frequently list its extreme rating, -22F, as its comfort rating. Unless you are an extremely warm sleeper or an ultralight fanatic who likes to wear your down parka inside your bag at night to shave ounces, do not plan on using this bag at -22F.
The bag is not the problem, the problem is that it is common in the United States to use comfort ratings and in Europe to use extreme ratings. The Valandre web site clearly states that -22F is the extreme rating. I have used this bag in the minus twenty range and it is true I did not die, but neither did I sleep well. Caveat Emptor.
3 responses to “Valandre Freja sleeping bag”
While your comment is correct for many European bags, I had occasion to contact Valandre about this issue. Their claim is that the temperature they use as the lower limit in their literature is not the minimum specified in the European spec EN 13537 [as “Lower extreme temperature where the risk of health damage by hypothermia occurs (related to standard woman
and the standard conditions of use”] but is rather more a consensus figure based on user and tester experience. A bag that’s absolutely comfortable at -10 will have an extreme rating considerably lower under this definition than -22. I haven’t yet had occasion to put this to the test, but hope to once winter actually arrives in the NE.
In 2005 Valandre changed the material that they use, so the current Freja bag is different from this reviewed version. The reviewed bag is a “red” Freja with a Pertex shell. Pertex closed down and Valandre found a new material which had the same qualities in the new Japanese “Asahi Kasei” material. The colors are also different and the Freja is now produced in Kaki green.
The new weight for a size “medium” is 1544g total weight with 950g down filling, with Pertex the total weight was 1530g for the same amount of down.
Regardless of any type of temperature rating, both systems are very subjective. Alpinists using any cold temperature bags have a general knowing of how they sleep ( cold / warm / hot ), and that is also entirely related to how the day went; hydration, nutrition intake, physical output, anxiety, or altitude. This is best bag for total Alpinist utility that is in the line, and usuing a down jacket if needed, at lower temperatures and higher altitudes, is what Alpinists do if they have to, as they leave their Sponge Bob pajamas back at home, and they are already carrying a down jacket—why duplicate/overlap the usuage of gear in these types of conditions.