ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood Review
Cons: Large packed size, heavier than many bags, not water-resistant
Manufacturer: ALPS OutdoorZ
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ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood
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|Pros||Warm, large, rugged, comfortable, built to last||Very warm, well-crafted, tons of features, soft and cozy, adjusts well to different temperature ranges||Lighter and more compact than two bags, packs up easily, customizable warmth levels||True all-purpose bag, rare-to-find down-filled rectangle bag, warm, lightweight||Surprisingly warm, inexpensive, interior pocket, patented zipper system reduces zipper snags|
|Cons||Large packed size, heavier than many bags, not water-resistant||Grabby liner, may be confining to larger body types||Extra blanket feature may be annoying to some||More expensive than synthetic bags, loses all insulation when wet||Small, catchy/scratchy interior lining|
|Bottom Line||The cotton canvas shell and flannel liner stuffed with synthetic insulation give this bag a soft, weighted, and cozy warm feel||This bag is warm, soft, and has lots of features and configuration options to adapt to varying climates||This is a great option for snuggling up with your partner in the outdoors||Down-filled and rectangular, this is a rare bag and we love it||Warm, comfortable, and great for kids or adults, this bag's price tag makes camping outdoors an affordable affair|
|Rating Categories||ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood||TETON Sports Polara...||Kelty Tru.Comfort 2...||Kelty Galactic 30||Coleman Brazos|
|Packed Size (10%)|
|Specs||ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood||TETON Sports Polara...||Kelty Tru.Comfort 2...||Kelty Galactic 30||Coleman Brazos|
|Claimed Temperature Rating||-10 F||0 F||20 F||30 F||20 F|
|Measured Weight||11.7 lbs.||8.3 lbs.||8.8 lbs.||2.1 lbs. (long)||4.1 lbs.|
|Draft Tube||Full length||Full length||None||Full length||Full length|
|Shell Material||Canvas||Taffeta||75D 210T High Filament Poly Taffeta||50D Downproof Polyester Taffeta||Polyester|
|Lining Material||100% cotton||Inner bag: 100% Brushed Poly Flannel
Outer bag: PolarLite Fleece
|75D 210T Poly Taffeta||50D Downproof Polyester Taffeta||Tricot knit|
|Insulation||TechLoft||SuperLoft Elite Hollow Fiber||Cloudloft Insulation||600 Fill Dridown||Polyester|
|Measured Size L x W||38" x 80"||82" X 36"||90" X 60"||73" X 34"||75" X 33"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Cinched into place with three nylon buckled straps, the Redwood rolls up full-width, like an old bedroll you might see on the back of a pack horse. This distinct shape, combined with the bag's thick canvas exterior and over-stuffed design, resembles something an old cowboy might prop his head against while he lowers his hat and catches a snooze on the trail. The only potential drawback we feel this bag has is its incredible warmth. While most adventurists will love the added warmth, those who camp in warmer climates, heated RVs or trailers may find the Redwood to be too warm.
Our first hands-on overnight experience with the Redwood was on a chilly 25-degree night. The Redwood's thick, warm, and weighty design kept us comfortable all night. The only temperature rating for this bag is -10 Fahrenheit. Caveat: Alps Outdoorz doesn't provide information regarding which rating this is (i.e., comfort limit, lower limit, or extreme limit), but we expect -10 F must be an Extreme Limit. This bag is one of the warmest we tested, but we would not want to be sleeping in this model below 0 F. We are confident when using this bag below freezing, but not single digits and below.
One of our controlled warmth tests involves using a laser thermometer to record interior warmth readings. As expected, the Redwood led the pack with some of the warmest readings among all bags tested. Our real-world use backed up these thermometer readings. For a camping sleeping bag, this model is one of the warmest options we tested in this category. This bag beefs up its insulation by being thick and heavy. Like a thick blanket, it covers the contours of our bodies to keep us cozy and warm.
Not only is this bag warm, but the natural cotton flannel liner is also much more temperate than silky synthetic materials used on other bags. This allows for an even fabric temperature with virtually no cold spots. While the majority of sleeping bags employ a single draft tube that runs the full length of the zipper, the Redwood comes with two, thick, full-length draft tubes placed on both sides of the zipper, which traps warm air and reduces heat loss.
Additionally, this bag uses a two-layer, off-set stitching pattern that keeps its unique denier-based Techloft Insulation firmly in place and reduces heat loss. From hunting pack trips to a weekend at your favorite lake or campsite, when temps drop, this bag has your back.
There are several ways to define comfort, and the Redwood checks every box that exists. It's crammed to the hilt with Techloft Insulation, making it cushy enough to make a bed right on the ground if you had to. A super soft, cotton flannel interior boasts a traditional plaid print and is soft enough to fool you into thinking you were in your own bed.
One of our favorite features is the Redwood's over-sized 38 X 80 rectangular design, which provides plenty of wiggle room without a lot of excess air space to heat. Finally, the cherry on top is this bag's heavy-duty cotton canvas exterior shell. Becoming rarer on today's market, this time-tested material adds a weighty component that gives this bag one of it's greatest X-factors.
When you slip inside, the heavy canvas softly collapses down on you. It naturally tucks you in as it presses against your body, folding around every individual curve. Some bags on the market use polyester-based canvas materials that simply aren't as soft, heavy, comforting, or conforming.
Its basic old school design results in lower scores for the Redwood in our features category. We looked at several areas in our features test. From zipper function to warranty, we want to discover what each bag has to offer.
One of the drawbacks of the Redwood is its laundry requirements, which state hand-washing and line-drying or air-drying in a commercial dryer. Hand-washing a bag of this size will certainly be a task. Another drawback is its inherent lack of water-resistance. Unlike with synthetic materials, water-repellent spray treatments don't work as well on cotton.
Additionally, cotton tends to absorb and hold moisture. Although a rare occasion, if this bag were exposed to large amounts of water, it would act more like a sponge and would take a large amount of time to dry. On the positive side, the Redwood comes with a lifetime warranty, a hefty velcro zipper closure, a heavy-duty zipper, and a top drawstring to help keep warm air trapped during colder nights.
At the risk of being on repeat, this bag's most outstanding features are its lush, cotton fabrics, over-stuffed design, exceptional craftsmanship, and off-set stitching. Many of these features are more felt than seen, but they greatly add to a very pleasant sleeping experience in the outdoors. A rugged canvas exterior and full-length zipper allow this bag to open up fully to become a perfect ground cover for a picnic in the park or outdoor concert.
Its natural earth-tone colors do a nice job of hiding grass stains or dirt. Additionally, zipping two Redwoods together creates one of the warmest, coziest double bags on the market. Finally, the Redwood's full-width roll and stow design is legit. It's simple, easy, and just looks the way a standout sleeping bag should.
There's no ignoring the elephant in the room: The Redwood's packed size is huge. This beast rolls up full-width, ending in a tight 14-inch tall by 38-inch wide bundle. We think it's the largest packed size we ever seen. However, it's light enough that moving it from car to camp is still a non-issue. Campers with extremely limited car space or home storage may want to pass on this bag — but they probably won't.
This sleeping bag does not have a stuff sack. While that saves the common annoyance of trying to jam a huge sleeping bag into a small sack and is one less thing to lose, it also means that it isn't protected when being stored. An easy storing solution to keep dust (and maybe rodents) off your stored bag is to wrap it in a large garbage bag when not in use.
The Redwood has a higher price tag than several other bags we tested, but we feel it's worth it for those seeking the best for car camping. It breezed through our warmth and comfort testing which account for the lion share of our scoring. In addition to its value on paper, this bag has an "it factor" that simply sets it apart. It's rugged, well-crafted, unique, and traditional.
We love the ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood. Cotton flannel interior and a thick canvas exterior, mixed with modern polyester insulation, combine to make this bag a pleasure to sleep in, roll up, or lounge on. It may be too toasty for warmer climates or heated RVs. Otherwise it's ideal for staying warm and comfortable on outdoor car camping adventures.
— Jason Wanlass
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