Feathered Friends Snowbunting EX 0 review

 In gear review

Searching for a lighter but yet warmer sleeping bag than my Vaude Ice Peak Extreme 220, I spend quite a lot of time studying products from various brands and reading comparison reviews. In the end I chose Snowbunting EX 0 from US brand Feathered Friends.

Overview

Feathered Friends Snowbunting

Manufacturer's data

  • Mummy shape (average width) with #5 YKK two-way zipper with locking sliders
  • Temperature rating: -17.7°C (0°F)
  • Shell fabric: Pertex® Shield EX waterproof/breathable
  • Lining fabric: Pertex® 30 denier nylon taffeta
  • Fill down: 754g (L size) of 850+ goose down
  • Permanent collar with EX facing to prevent breath condensation from entering the bag
  • Continuous baffles let you position the down where you need it
  • 3D contoured hood wraps a layer of insulation around your head
  • Generous draft tube prevents cold air from seeping past the zipper
  • Overlapping dual-webbing zip guard guides the fabric away from the zipper and eliminates the need for a stiff or heavy fabric layer that can interfere with the draft tube seal
  • Dimensions (shoulders/hips/feet) : 152 x 142 x 97 cm (61/56/38″)
  • Longueur (L size) : 198 cm (6’6″)
  • Packed size: 19 x 35.5 cm (7.5″ x 14″), 17 liters
  • Weight (L size): 1355 g
  • with storage and compression

Advantages/Drawbacks

  • 850+ goose down
  • Weight/warmth ratio
  • Waterproof shell fabric
  • Simple but efficient design
  • Available only by ordering online from the manufacturer
  • The compression bag which is not a compression bag
  • The hood a bit too small

Opinion

After spending a lot of time comparing different products of specialized brands like Valandré and RAB or from more generic brands, I chose the Snowbunting EX 0 from Feathered Friends. Why?

As I couldn’t compare myself side-by-side fabrics quality and some other manufacturer’s data, I limited myself to 3 criteria to choose a lighter and warmer sleeping: weight, goose down and temperature rating. And of course the price. To get the best warmth/weight ratio, I concentrated my research on sleeping bags with at least 850+ goose down which, just by this criteria, eliminated a lot of products and brands.

After, by comparing the total weight, temperature rating and price, I chose the Snowbunting EX 0. Price is still high, but for this type of down quality I find it reasonable if not cheaper than some similar products from other brands. Regarding temperature, Feathered Friends does not get its sleeping bag certified with the EN 13537 norm. Even if it’s clear that such norm only measure on a mannequin the performance of the product in the lab test environment which have little relation with real life conditions (these tests do not take into account humidity, ground protection, fit…), it is additional information to compare product side by side. You’ll have to do without this information. For me, I have to say that the announced temperature rating is correct.

Regarding the size and fit, note that there are two other sizes: the Ibis EX 0 (163/147/102 cm, 64/58/40″) if you are stronger and the women Murre EX 0 with wider hips and narrower shoulders (137/142/97 cm, 54/58/38″). It allows to find the sleeping bag that fits you the most, hence ensure warmer nights.

Even if I won’t take the risk to sleep outside without an additional waterproof bivy sac unless forced to, the waterproof shell fabric is another strong point of this sleeping bag. It will allow your bag to stay dry, hence warm despite condensation humidity in the tent.

In the end I used this sleeping bag for alpinism, snowshoe treks and ice climbing trips for one and a half winter season and was never disappointed nor cold. I have never felt cold compare to my previous Vaude sleeping bag and saved about 400g. It is one of the best gear I bought and a purchase that I have never regret. To the point that I am considering buying their “Hummingbird UL 20” to replace with one sleeping bag both my summer ultra light and 3 seasons sleeping bags.

On the negative side, there’s not much to say. Just details. The hood is a bit too small but I never suffered from it. The bag is sold with a compression bag which is totally useless. You’ll have to buy your own if you want to be able to put something else in your backpack than the sleeping bag. Finally, you won’t find it in retail store and will have to order it online. If ordering from abroad, you’ll have to pay import tax and be patient.

If you are looking for another more detailed review you can check Outdoor gear lab very detailed review which influenced my choice too.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Vern

    Hi, I can’t seem to find how small this thing compresses. Do you have an approximate compression size?

  • Matthieu

    It’s written in the manufacturer’s data: “packed size: 19 x 35.5 cm (7.5″ x 14″), 17 liters”
    I’m using my Vaude Ice Peak Extreme 220 compression bag which is 14L. It’s OK but it doesn’t fit in very well. 15L compression bag might be better.
    As a comparison, for my Feathered Friends Hummingbird UL 20, I’m using a 10L compression bag and it fits in well but very tight.

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