I recently had the chance to use a couple of new products from Klymit and I have to say I was suitably impressed with both. I have done reviews on Klymit products in past and was impressed with their product’s strength and durability as well as their comfort in real world applications and these new products definitely live up to their predecessors.
Like all Klymit bags, the KSB 35 Sleeping Bag features a durable water-resistant coating on the nylon outer fabric and has 650 fill power white duck down for warmth. It’s also chocked full of the innovations and conveniences that make Klymit bags so camper friendly. The bag comes with two stuff sacks for transport and storage, a heavy duty two-way no-snag zipper that allows you to unzip the foot of the bag for ventilation or to stand up in the bag, interior stash pockets for small items you want to keep close at hand and adjustable length locks that allow the user to shorten the bag up to 15 inches for a more custom fit.
As the name indicates, this bag is rated for 35 degrees making it a perfect three-season bag, but in my experience, you could probably count on this bag to keep you relatively comfortable if the temps dropped below its 35-degree rating. This is a comfortable and lightweight bag that performs above expectation. Packed into its stuff sack it is a small package for the backpacker and only adds a bit more than a pound to your pack. The KSB 35 is durable and dependable comfort in a lightweight package.
The sleeping pad Klymit sent to test along with the KSB 35 is the Armored V. While all of the Klymit sleeping pads are tough and durable, (I have witnessed kids using them as bouncing mats at the Klymit booth at the SCI Convention with no damage) I was intrigued by what I thought was essentially an up-armored version of the Luxe V I had tested some time ago. The Armored V is definitely a different beast. It’s just as comfortable but is substantially tougher than the standard sleeping pad.
Like the Static and Luxe V pads, the Armored V provides comfort for side sleepers as well as back sleepers. The pad keeps you and your bag off the ground and eliminates most pressure points side sleepers experience at the hips and shoulders. Where the Armored V departs is on a couple of significant areas. First, when inflated, the Armored V exhibits integrated side rails that keep your body and bag centered in the middle of the pad, even when tossing and turning during the night. The underside of the pad features what feels like a rubberized coating that Klymit calls Super Fabric scales. The pattern is designed to provide protection from sharp objects and prevent slashes, punctures and abrasions and still be flexible enough to easily roll up and pack away.
I tested the Armored V in the Arizona desert and brought my dogs along to help. Those of you who may not be familiar with the deserts of southern Arizona, suffice it to say the environment is best summed by with the observation that everything will either bite, stab or stick you. Sharp rocks, thorny mesquite branches and abrasive ground has been the demise of some of the toughest boots and equipment made.
I inflated the pad (fully inflated in less than 15 breaths by the way) and laid it on the rockiest area I could find. With the dogs and me aboard, there were no punctures. While I could feel the rocks through the pad, in a pinch I think I could have spent a night there and still sleep. I then moved it to an area with a variety of smallish twigs from some neighboring mesquites and palo verdes and found no punctures. It struck me that the pad would hold up well if one decided to build a bed of evergreen boughs and then put the pad and sleeping bag on top of that for more insulation and have a pretty fine night’s sleep. Finally, I let the dogs walk all over the bare sleeping side of the pad. As anyone who has taken their dogs camping knows, once they are in the tent, nothing is out of bounds while they walk around looking for the best spot to lie down.
My dogs are no different and after about 15 minutes of having them tramp all over the Armored V, they had left only some small surface scratches and dirt on the pad. No punctures, no deep scratches and no loss of air. The pad was just as comfortable as when I initially inflated it. Now I’m not saying you should lay this pad out on a bed of cactus needles for the night, but if there did happen to be some less than smooth objects in your designated sleep area, I’m pretty sure the Armored V would handle it.
The Armored V is the perfect mate for the KSB 35, or any of the Klymit bags and rolls into a small package that is sure to be a boon to backpackers.