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  1. #1
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    Default Help needed to ID Older REI Sleeping Bag

    Hey Hikers... I have an older, circa 1990's (+ or -) REI sleeping bag that I know nothing about. It is a heavy (4 lbs, + or -) down bag with hood. The colors are purple on top and black on the bottom. The inside is black. There is a red, heavy-duty zipper guard 'ribbon' running the length of the zipper and also attached to the purple, substantial draft tube. The zipper length is 3/4-ish. A unique feature of this bag is that there is also a substantial, U-shaped neck draft tube that is attached to the top of the bag, so that it hangs down. It resembles 2 triangular shaped pockets that hang down around the neck area. There is a smallish REI label on the foot box and a washing instructions label just on the inside of the bag. Nothing else. This bag has a TON of loft.

    I spoke with REI. No idea... Any thoughts? Thanks much!
    When you get to those unexpected situations in life where it’s difficult to figure something out, just ask yourself, “What would MacGyver do?”
    See ya!
    Rickles McPickles

  2. #2
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    There are mid-70s REI catalogs online. You might try finding newer copies online.
    Who did you talk to at REI? Educated guess: REI headquarters in Kent, WA might have older documentation.
    Try asking the folks who maintain this gear history site:
    http://www.oregonphotos.com/Backpack...volution1.html
    Good luck! My 1970s REI sleeping bag and mid 90s tent and pack are on the Internet.
    Wayne

  3. #3
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    One more place to look:
    http://www.outdoorinov8.com/reiimages.html
    Wayne

  4. #4
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    Default More info about the bag.

    Thanks very much Wayne. Interestingly, I asked the REI rep if there was any information online... Old catalogues, etc, that I could research. I was told, "No." hmmmm

    I took a brief tour of your suggested and interesting websites but didn't see the bag pictured. I'm watching eBay, too. You never know what might turn up there.

    However, I have a bit more information about the bag. Even tho it was not dirty and had no odor, I took it to the local laundromat, put it in the big front loader and started the cycle. I could see the bag through the window. During the "soak" cycle, the water looked like it was not penetrating the material. It literally looked like water rolling off a duck's back. I added the down wash and watched it continue through the cycles. However, the down wash clouded the water so I couldn't see much through the window.

    After the rinse and spin, I pulled the bag out of the washer. It looked nothing like the other down sleeping bags I've washed. I actually think the water did not penetrate the material. The loft was still amazing. I put the bag in my home dryer and ran the low cycle, 25 minutes, three times. The bag was almost completely dry. I've waited hours, used tennis balls, etc when drying my other bags. Not this bag. It didn't look like a wet rat. There were no clumps of down. Only a few feathers poking out at several seams. There were no real wet places except inside the foot box which, when after turning it inside out, was dry in no time.

    I'm wondering now, if this bag is actually some kind of sub-zero , expedition bag?? Seeing as how the Midwest is headed back into sub-zero temps this week, maybe I'll pitch my tent in the back yard and test this bag for myself
    Naaaaa!
    Thanks again.
    When you get to those unexpected situations in life where it’s difficult to figure something out, just ask yourself, “What would MacGyver do?”
    See ya!
    Rickles McPickles

  5. #5
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Waterproof breathable shells became popular in the 90s, maybe earlier. I spent night before last in my 1994 Western Mountaineering Antelope Super Dryloft bag. I wish East Texas got cold. The Antelope is heavier than current similar bags. I still love my Antelope!
    Get outside!
    Wayne

  6. #6
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Google has archived years of Backpacker Magazine. The Annual Gear issue lists virtually every piece of gear offered for sale. REI sleeping bags would be listed. Reviews are in the back issues as well.
    Good luck!
    Wayne

  7. #7
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Weigh your bag, measure it, then look at the Gear Issues, usually March of each year. REI Sleeping Bags.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=_d..._issues_anchor

    Cheers!
    Wayne
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  8. #8
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    Thanks, Wayne. This may take a while. I have to locate a reliable scale. And, now that I'm sure the amazing amount of down is dry, I'm going to climb into it to see if it fits. I'm a tad over 6'2" and love cookies (ahem...). I'm WAY more comfortable in a bag with a 64" shoulder girth. If nothing else, I can always use it like a comforter when I'm van camping.

    You've provided me with excellent research opportunities and I am grateful. If I ever ID the bag, I'll drop a note back here.

    Thanks again,

    Rick
    When you get to those unexpected situations in life where it’s difficult to figure something out, just ask yourself, “What would MacGyver do?”
    See ya!
    Rickles McPickles

  9. #9
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    If the shell is WPB fabric, you may have a Down Time DryLoft. It was sold in 2 or 3 different temperature ratings. Look at the REI bags in the Backpacker Gear Guides in 1995, 1996 or 1997.
    I hope this helps.
    Wayne

  10. #10
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    The '97 and '98 Gear Guides you suggested have given me good leads. I need a scale!

    Thanks again, Wayne.
    When you get to those unexpected situations in life where it’s difficult to figure something out, just ask yourself, “What would MacGyver do?”
    See ya!
    Rickles McPickles

  11. #11
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    OK, Wayne... I've had some time to investigate the your recommendation re: the Backpacker magazine Gear Guides. Those, plus my recent road trip to Colorado, paid off.

    I'm fairly certain the bag is an REI DryLoft Down Time. The temp rating is a bit confusing, tho, because of the draft collar.

    In 1997, the insulated draft collar specs are identical for the 10 degree and the -5 degree bags. (The collar has two triangular shaped insulated 'pockets' that effectively hang down around the neck.)

    Interestingly, in 1998, the insulated draft collar was eliminated from the 10 degree bag.

    Both bags have the differentiated drawcords to cinch the hood or shoulders/neck tighter. One cord is flat, the other is round.

    I spent 2 nights sleeping in my van during my recent trip to Colorado. The outside overnight low temps were 9 and 14 degrees. I'm not sure what the temp was inside the van, but my water bottle froze! However, I was comfortable in the bag, both nights.

    Additionally, the weights listed in the Gear Guides are for regular length bags. This one is most certainly a 'long.'

    So, my conclusions are that the bag is a '97, 10 or -5 degree bag, or a '98, -5 degree bag.

    The only thing that bothers me a bit is that on my 'people' scale, the bag weighs in at just over 4 lbs. If true, that would most certainly make it a -25 degree bag. But I just don't think it is. Some day, I'll find a more accurate scale and see if that sheds additional light.

    Meanwhile, thanks very much, Wayne, for the assistance. The Backpacker magazine link was the key.

    Rick
    When you get to those unexpected situations in life where it’s difficult to figure something out, just ask yourself, “What would MacGyver do?”
    See ya!
    Rickles McPickles

  12. #12
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Great detective work Rick!
    As for the weight: My 1994 Western Mountaineering Antelope Super DryLoft bag is almost a pound heavier than all of the weights stated in the Backpacker Gear Guides during the life of the DryLoft shell bags. The weight stated is equal to the micro-fiber version of the same period. Dryloft is a good shell product but it was terribly heavy. If I had a digital scale at the time I would have returned it.
    I think you’ve narrowed the bag down to the right model.
    Wayne

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