Sierra Designs Zissou 15 ReviewAugust 16, 2012
- Waterproofed feathers keep bag lofty even wet.
- Mammoth draft guards at the zipper and neck.
- Chunky (in a good way) zipper is easy to handle and runs smooth.
- Well priced.
Sierra Designs’ much-hyped DRIDOWN technology makes its debut with the Zissou bag and the Eleanor for women. It withstands moisture many times longer than un-treated down, lofts higher even when soaked, and comes at a good price for an innovative product.
We simultaneously misted the Zissou and a separate standard 600-fill down bag by the same company for 10 minutes with a garden hose, checking each bag at ten second intervals to assess loft and insulation. The standard 600-fill bag’s loft collapsed at about a minute of soaking, losing any noticeable insulating qualities.
The Zissou was still lofting impressively, and continued to do so under another five minutes of soaking. At six minutes, the Zissou began to show sign of compromise, and at seven minutes its ability to insulate was questionable. It’s loft was still considerably higher, however than the standard down bag. Drying times were better for the Zissou as well.
The first of a coming wave of hydrophobic down-insulated products, the Zissou is a fine start. A hydrophobic polymer coating is applied to each individual down plume to keep them from clumping together when wet. The fabrics are pretty standard 30-denier nylon. The weight is right on track with comparable bags, so the coating apparently doesn’t add much weight.
Large, plump draft guards combine with solid baffle construction to convey a sense of impenetrability. A heavy gauge zipper won’t frustrate those of us with fat, clumsy fingers. The drawcords are functional but not a standout feature. Good fitting hood and an ergonomic footbox round out a solid mid-range mummy bag.