Warbonnet Outdoors 3 Season Insulation System

Posted: September 10, 2011 in Gear Reviews

What… 2 kick ass blogs in less than 4 days??? Holla at your boy!

The monkey, the monkey, the monkey’s on fire…. we don’t need no water let that monkey fur burn!!!!

OK here’s a run down of my 3 season sleep system and the testing that it’s been through to get the all important WATER MONKEY APPROVED Status Son:

Specifications from Warbonnet Outdoors website:

3 Season Mamba Top Quilt (Regular):
Fits up to 5’10” individuals
48” Wide
2” Baffles
Fill is 850 grade down
Rated to 20*F
Total weight with stuff sack is 19oz

3 Season Yeti:
46” Long
40” Wide
1.5” Baffles
Fill is 850 grade down
Rated to 30*F
Total weight with stuff sack is 11.5oz (My version is prior to Brandon adding 1 more ounce to the yeti thereby increasing the weight to 12.5oz and rating to 20*F)

Quick input on the reviewer and testing conditions:
Before I get into the review I figured I would give a little input into the tester/reviewer. First of all I’m basically a cool sleeper which means mainly the lows on the bag ratings are usually accurate if not add about 5 degrees for me to be comfortable. My sleeping style is basically a side sleeper or stomach sleeper in a bed but in a hammock I am very content on my back and I do not move around that much at all in the hammock. Once I find a good position I’m in lock down mode.

One could easily do a review of these items individually but to be honest these items were created to be fitted together as a complete sleep system so my review will be geared in that direction. I’ve tested this system in lows from 27*F to 68*F over a span of 12 days throughout 2010 and 2011. A minimum of 2 nights in a row with a maximum of 4 nights in a row. Tested in rainy conditions, misty conditions, muggy conditions, windy conditions and the very elusive perfect conditions. All sleeping was done in either base layers (spring, fall) or underwear and synthetic shirt (summer)

First Impressions:
When the Yeti and Mamba arrived I was very impressed with the construction of the items. Stitching is very well put together, material feels solid and the weight is very close to the website (Mamba 19.4oz and Yeti 11.6oz).

Mamba TQ – Foot box is sewn shut and covers from my feet to the middle of my calves. There is tie out which extends the foot box another foot which covers just a bit passed my knees. There is also a tie out at the top so that the top quilt can enclose around your neck and shock cord with one cord lock to create a complete closed environment. This seems to be the most recent version of the mamba. Prior versions had a button snap at the head area which ALWAYS un-snapped when in the hammock (this happened with my winter version which had that button snap design). The tie outs eliminates that problem. Also, previous models had 2 cord locks on either side. I prefer 2 cord locks as the 1 cord lock provides one long strand of shock cord dangling which can be annoying but nothing that takes away from the experience.

Yeti UQ – This is a 2/3 under quilt which covers from the shoulders to the back of the knees. Being short has its advantages in this time as the yeti covers from my neck to almost down my calves when laying in the hammock. Some complain of the yeti falling off the shoulder when laying at an angle with the foot box but I have not had that problem due to my size and sleeping nature. A pad is required for your legs and it is up to you as to what kind of pad you can take with you. I chose the Gossamer Gear 1/8” thinlight pad which has worked out well. When the lows hit the low 30’s I chose the 1/4″ version of the thinlight pad. Set up is a breeze as a white dot is an indicator that this should be placed in the head area. The Yeti is placed on a shock cord channel which allows the user to maneuver the under quilt while still in the hammock instead of leaving the hammock to re-set up the suspension as in the jacks r better under quilt suspensions.

Combined TQ & UQ – well as expected this system was designed for the blackbird hammock and they fit perfectly. The yeti hugs perfectly against the hammock with little play time with the suspension and the mamba (when the head tie is utilized) curves around your body and locks with the yeti to seal in much needed warmth.

Compressibility – quite honestly the smallest bag and under insulation I have ever owned. In the stuff sack you can still compress the bags even smaller if needed to create more room for your gear. I was always used to having my sleep gear take up most of the pack but now that is no longer an issue.

Time Tested review from Spring, Summer and Fall of 2010 and Spring 2011:
I don’t get out much but when I do I tend to stay out for a few days at a time. Also, I don’t like to be held back by seasons or the weather so this system was tested in various conditions.

In wet conditions the nylon used to construct this sleep system did a great job of resisting and repelling splash from the tarp or blown rain and resisted much of the misty foggy conditions as well. Also these items dried fast either on the trail using sunlight or at home being hung up for about 45 minutes. These items were never soaked through but again they were never outright exposed to heavy rains or being submerged in a river/lake.

In hot muggy conditions these items are too hot. Any lows in 65*F or above becomes a bit uncomfortable. First off you WILL throw off your mamba and not use it above those temps. Also, you will get some back sweat in the beginning of trying to get some rest. Moving the yeti above your head to “vent” does help somewhat but you are still going to be a bit warm. Unfortunately, at those temps for me, I still needed some bottom insulation and not using the yeti proved unwise.

In cold windy conditions this system proved exceptional down to the stated rating of 30*F. At 27*F the yeti began to fail and I started getting CBS (Cold Back Syndrome) but not enough to keep me awake. Just enough to know it was happening. As long as forecasts are stated with lows of 30*F I will continue to keep this system knowing that a few degrees below that mark will still keep me warm and fairly comfortable. The mamba at 27*F was perfectly fine and I believe it could go down to 20*F as stated.

Perfect conditions – anywhere between 40*F to 55*F with clear skies and a small breeze are the perfect conditions for me to be using this system. I get my best sleeps in around these temperatures.

Pros:

System is extremely packable
Weight of the total system is shy under 2 lbs
Quick drying with mist and minor splash
Agrees with the vendor’s rating at a comfortable level
Smooth fabric which feels good against the skin
Length for the regular mamba was a great fit for a short stocky person like myself

Cons:

Yeti above 65*F this system does not vent well
Mamba above 65*F you won’t use it as the closed footbox design does not vent your feet
Wished a summer version was available for the TQ and UQ
You need additional insulation for your legs

Overall I give this sleep system the following ratings:

Weight – 10/10

Compressibility – 10/10

Comfort ability/Insulation – 8/10 (summer temps were the factor) Because of this rating I ended up obtaining a 40*F rated quilt from another vendor which was custom designed for my specs.

And now your Water Monkey Moment of Zen:

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Comments
  1. Pat Combee says:

    Nice review.
    I dig the header, water monkey all good.

  2. You’ve got great insights about three seasons tent, keep up the good work!

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