In the realm of outdoor exploration, a good night’s sleep is the cornerstone of a successful hunt. And that was prominent on our most recent adventure that involved cold and wet days hunting, with temperatures dropping well below zero overnight—I couldn’t think of a better time to test out the new Bushbuck Sierra 650 Sleeping Bag, a recent addition to the Sierra sleeping bag range. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the standout features, downfalls, technology, and real-world benefits that make the Sierra 650 a standout option for hunters, hikers, and campers in New Zealand (possibly even our backpacking samba hunters in the Victoria high country).
Let’s start with the Pros;
Optimal Thermal Efficiency and Comfort:
The Sierra sleeping bag range is engineered to prioritize optimal thermal efficiency and superior comfort. The Bushbuck Sierra 650 embraces these principles with finesse, promising an unparalleled warmth-to-weight ratio that is essential for thriving in the great outdoors. Its lightweight design makes it a prime choice for hunters, hikers, and campers who demand excellence from their gear. And this was certainly the case on our hunt, as I’m a guy who hates sleeping in clothes—so sleeping in a couple of thermals isn’t an option for me. I want the bag to live up to its comfort rating. And for hunting in New Zealand, a comfort rating of around -5 is actually perfect. The only times I’ve needed a bag with a comfort rating of -10 or below is when I’m on a ski touring mission in August. Most of our hunts really don’t get that cold. And if they do, I always have my Bloodline sleeping bag liner.
Key Features That Make a Difference:
Custom Mummy Shape: The Bushbuck Sierra 650 boasts a meticulously crafted custom mummy shape, optimizing heat retention and minimizing unnecessary bulk. This design ensures that your body is cocooned in warmth and comfort throughout the night. Even where your feet lay, they’ve angled the bottom of the bag so your feet can rest in their natural position while shaving some more bulk from the bag.
Convenient Center Zip: Easy access is a paramount consideration, especially on a cold winter’s night when your bladder is knocking at the end of your knob and you know you have to get up and answer the call—the last thing you can be bothered with is fighting to find your zipper. The center zip of the Sierra 650 provides seamless entry and exit, eliminating nighttime struggles and enabling quick exits for those early morning starts.
Passive Neck Baffle: The passive neck baffle feature is damn snug. This added layer of warmth ensures that chilly drafts are kept at bay, so you can enjoy uninterrupted sleep no matter the weather.
Premium Materials for Longevity: Disclaimer—I have only used this bag a few times, but the line of materials used screams that the Bushbuck Sierra 650 is built to last. Crafted from durable nylon fabric treated with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) for water resistance, it’s ready to handle the beating being kicked out of it. The utilization of 800-fill power, hydrophobic, 90/10 RDS-certified goose down guarantees both warmth and ethical sourcing.
Unveiling the Sierra 650’s Specifications:
With a comfort rating of -4°C and an extreme rating of -29°C, the Bushbuck Sierra 650 Sleeping Bag is engineered for three-to-four season use. Weighing a mere 1.16kg, it’s a testament to lightweight portability without compromising on performance.
The Down Side of the Bushbuck Sierra:
For some people, this will actually be a Pro, and for others, a Con. But the bag is slightly (seriously only slightly) restricting when trying to move in it. But the Pro to this is that’s what makes it more packable compared to my One Planet Winter Lite which, when packed down and compressed, is still noticeably larger than the Sierra.
This might just be my new winter sleeping bag for missions where I’m really conscious about packability—I’m talking about filming trips where I can’t sacrifice an extra lens in exchange for leaving a clothing layer at home. The size and materials used on this bag are a massive drawcard for most hunters, and to really seal the deal, the price of this bag is $699 if you’re a Bushbuck Club Member.