exped-waterbloc-pro-5-review-dirtbagdreams.com

ProView – Exped Waterbloc Pro -5

I love adventures!  I love those dark alpine start mornings. I love the glory of standing on top of a mountain after a long sufferfest to the summit.  I love those sunset scrambles down the trail back to the tent.  You know what else I love?…sleep.  Yeah, I see some heads nodding in agreement.  Sleep is a beautiful thing.  And I always thought that some of my best nights of sleep were in my old sleeping bag…that was until I got the Exped Waterbloc -7C sleeping bag.  I have discovered the beautiful concept of having the comfort of my favorite down comforter at home under the stars, in the tent, and on mountain summits, beaches, and couches.  The Exped Waterbloc sleeping bag is not only the most comfortable, snuggly sleeping bag I have ever owned, but it is also a beast in the elements.  It’s fully waterproof and extremely durable! Finally a sleeping bag, I don’t have to worry about getting wet, or leaking down feathers everywhere — a sleeping bag I can rely on to keep me warm, dry, comfortable, AND ensure a great night’s sleep every time, so I can get out there and enjoy those adventures more. 

Exped Waterbloc Pro -5

Product Description: Thanks to EXPED's new patented seam-welding technology, the one-of-a-kind Waterbloc sleeping bags are now 1/3 lighter and more durable than before. In fact, Waterbloc Pro -5 is the lightest water-repellent in the world!

Offer price: MSRP: $649.00 - $699.00

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

I would honestly give this sleeping bag a 5-star rating.  It is a beautifully designed sleeping bag, incredibly comfortable, and performs in conditions where the waterproof function is necessary.  Not only is it durable, warm, and soft, but it is RDS Certified and made with “environmentally sound, non-bioaccumulative treatment based on organic components free of PFC, PFOA, and PFOS.”  Exped is an amazing company that prides itself in making superior and environmentally friendly products. I not only recommend this sleeping bag, but I recommend other EXPED products knowing how well they are made and how much the company loves the earth.

Overall
5

Pros

  • Functional features
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Warm
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • Shell fabric needs to be retreated with waterproofing products after extended use
  • Size reviewed: Medium
  • Shoulder width: 79 cm / 31.1 in
  • Foot width: 50 cm / 19.6 in
  • Sleeping bag length: 205 cm / 6.7 ft
  • Weight: 1150 g / 40.5 oz
  • Tested: September/October 2019

As a professional in the outdoors, while I’m working (and playing), I spend a majority of my time doing life with a backpack on.  I’ve spent more than 300 days camping, backpacking, and hiking over the years with students and on personal trips.  As soon as I received the Exped Waterbloc sleeping bag, I was wishing that I had it before guiding over the summer, as it would have served me well on all the backpacking and overnight raft trips I led, in addition to the multi day Grand Teton climb we did.  After my summer of guiding teens all over Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, I had some time to crank out some personal adventures to put the Exped Waterbloc bag to the test.  I spent 15 hours sleeping on the summit of one of my favorite 14ers in Colorado enduring high winds and frigid temps.  I went on a couple backpacking trips in Colorado and Utah putting the Exped Waterbloc to the test through various conditions.  I traveled with the sleeping bag to California where I was able to see how it did on the beach in wet and humid environments.  I recently moved to Utah and have been couch surfing for the past month until my lease starts. I have been sleeping with the Exped every night and once I move into my house I may never go back to sleeping with my regular comforter. In the near future, I am planning to use this sleeping bag on winter camping/ski touring trips, Yurt trips, and more mountain expeditions.  I am super stoked to have a bomber sleeping bag to add to my system- one that is reliable and will not hold me back from getting after big and rad adventures.

Fit/Comfort 

The best and most accurate way to describe this sleeping bag is comfortable. It is truly one of the most snuggly sleeping bags I have ever slept in.  It compresses down so small, but when you pull it out of the stuff sack the bag fills out and gets extremely fluffy.  There is an extra layer of material around the neck area of the sleeping bag that makes it extra comfortable and similar to snuggling into a down comforter.  Exped’s sleeping bag fabrics are manufactured in Taiwan and Korea and maintain the highest certifications necessary for next to skin applications.  Meaning that their fabrics were made to be next to your skin for the most comfortable and luxurious sleeping experience.  I have a medium-size which fits me being a 5’10” female, but my dad also tried out the sleeping bag and fit pretty well for being a 6’1” male. 

Look/Style

I got Exped’s Waterbloc sleeping bag in a green color that is a really pretty natural green color.  The sleeping bag looks really sleek because it is finished with a shell fabric that has hydrophobic properties.  I’m not sure if it is offered in other colors, but Exped offers their bag in four lengths and a fit that allows more space and comfort.

exped-waterbloc-pro-5-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Features

The amount of features this bag has is one of the main reasons I gave it a perfect score!

Let’s start with the glow in the dark zipper attachment. No more fumbling around to find your sleeping bag zipper in the middle of the night when you need to get out of your tent to go to the bathroom.  There is also a small zippered pouch on the inside of the sleeping bag just big enough for a phone and chapstick.  It kept my phone warm all night so I did not have to worry about it losing battery. 

The most impressive feature and the selling point of the sleeping bag is the fact that it is constructed with full wind and waterproof shell fabric.  I slept on top of a 14,000 ft mountain in Colorado and on the beach in California and the Exped Waterbloc bag blocked the wind and repelled sand, water, and humidity like a champ. 

exped-waterbloc-pro-5-review-dirtbagdreams.com

The fully taped seams prevent the bag from losing precious, insulating down feathers increasing the life-span and durability.  It is also constructed with 20 D Ripstop nylon fabric which has high tear and abrasion resistance.  This is a necessary feature if you camp with dogs or sleep under the stars without a tent exposing you to rocks and sticks.  The foot box has a “3D anatomically shaped foot box that improves insulation and keeps feet warm.”  This feature truly works- no one likes cold toes when they’re trying to sleep. 

My feet really stayed toasty all night long!  My favorite feature by far is the added material around the neck part of the sleeping bag.  This extra material snaps across the zippered side really snuggling you in the bag and adding extra comfort all night.  There is also a synch cord feature around the neck area and mummy hood of the sleeping bag for those extra cold nights.  This really increases insulation and blocks cold air from sneaking into your bag causing you to shiver.  That has been a huge problem for me in the past with my old sleeping bags- it would often take me a while to get warm at night and I would frequently feel cold air creep into the bag from the face opening giving me chills.  I was so surprised by how fast I was able to feel warm in the Exped Waterbloc bag, and I felt like precious warmth was sustained all night and didn’t escape.  

Weight/Packability

One of the aspects that stood out to me the most when I first received this sleeping bag is how light weight it is.  When it is in the mesh storage bag it does not look like it will compress down very much, but I was surprised at the packability.  The roll top stuff sack that it comes with compresses the bag as small as my own personal compression stuff sack, which is was also surprised by.  I can get the sleeping bag to pack down to the size of a small watermelon.  I have been on a couple backpacking trips with it in Colorado and Utah and traveled with it in my carry on to California.  It is small and light enough for both backpacking and traveling.

exped-waterbloc-pro-5-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Function/Performance

The waterproof nature of this bag is truly phenomenal.  It not only repels water, but also dirt, sand, humidity, condensation, and wind.  I was warm and protected from the elements when sleeping at 14,000 ft on top of Mt. Belford in Colorado.  When tent camping in California, I woke up with condensation dripping on my sleeping bag.  I could see the actual water drops beading up on the bag and not saturating it.  In the past, condensation has been such a problem with my old down sleeping bags. It’s always annoying when you’re backpacking and your bag gets wet, because then you have to pack it wet then try to dry it out once you get to your next campsite.  The 20-degree rating is pretty accurate as well.  I was able to stay toasty warm all night without a liner! That’s pretty impressive considering I slept on top of a mountain in Colorado in September with below freezing temps and winds. 

Durability/Construction

The Exped Waterbloc sleeping bag is constructed with 20 D Ripstop Nylon fabric making it highly resistant to abrasion and tearing.  This feature was perfect when camping with my friend’s dog.  She snuggled in the bag with me and I did not have to worry that her paws were going to rip the fabric.  The fully taped seams are so perfectly designed to keep the elements OUT and all the insulating down feathers IN.  With my old sleeping bag, I would wake up in a snow globe of down feathers floating around the tent.  I have put this sleeping bag through the wringer the past few months and have not seen a single feather leak.  I can already tell that this bag is going to last me for way longer than my last sleeping bag did — it has only been two years and my old bag is already at the end of its life.

Friendliness to the Earth

I was pleasantly surprised to learn about how environmentally friendly the Exped company is!  They source their down from Ukraine and Russia making it high quality and all their down products are RDS Certified and made with “environmentally sound, non-bioaccumulative treatment based on organic components free of PFC, PFOA, and PFOS.”  All the down-free Exped products are vegan and down is the only animal sourced material that Exped uses and it maintains the highest standards and is traceable to its origin.  Exped also strives to prevent waste when producing their fabrics and only consume 20 L of water in production compared to 2750 L of water that would be consumed if cotton were used.  Exped as a company “is a member of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) and is also involved in projects supporting people in need. Exped Switzerland and its subsidiary in the USA are both socially responsible employers that live up to their equal-rights and environmental responsibilities. Be it CO2-neutral shipping, sustainable energy, compatibility of work and family, organic and fair-trade coffee, or the choice of commuting method.” (Exped.com).

This sleeping bag is perfect for any outdoor excursion, but especially in conditions where you may encounter snow, rain, wind, condensation, humidity, sand, and dirt.  The selling point for this bag is the waterproof nature and the freedom it gives you to not rely on a bivy when in alpine environments.  This sleeping bag truly lives up to that capability and is able to withstand all elements. 

There were no jokes and gimicks here- the EXPED waterbloc -7 sleeping bag fully met the product description I read online. Before receiving the bag the EXPED website mentioned its durable, lightweight, and waterproof fabric with fully taped seams.  The tapered shape of the bag toward the footbox allowed for enough room for my shoulders and for my feet to stay “nice and cozy” just like EXPED promised.  The wide range of features make it versatile for adventures big and small, travels far and wide, and for epic and everyday use.

The EXPED MegaMat Lite sleeping pad pairs well with this waterbloc sleeping bag, making for an incredibly luxurious and comfortable sleeping experience in the outdoors.  I also see myself using my Sea to Summit sleeping bag liner for winter camping excursions where I may need extra warmth.

Before You Buy:

If you’re considering buying this product know that the waterproof fabric feature is not only necessary if you find yourself in humid environments, sleeping without a tent, or camping in harsh conditions; it is also great for normal tent camping and backpacking where condensation is almost always present.  While this feature makes the sleeping bag a little pricey, it is worth it to me due to the number of times I’ve been in situations that left my old down sleeping bag wet.  Some say that synthetic bags are better than down due to their fast drying feature, but in my opinion, nothing compares to the insulative power and compressibility of down.  With that in mind, down does not dry as fast or keep you warm when it is wet, so taking extra precautions, and getting a waterproof bag will be worth it in the long run.

exped-waterbloc-pro-5-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Final Word

I truly love all of the extensive features of this bag: the glow in the dark zippers, mummy hood synch system, internal zippered pocket, and waterproof fabric.  My favorite feature by far is the extra material around the neck making the bag cozier and sustaining the down insulation by trapping cold air out and keeping the warm air in.  The fabric is so comfortable to the skin and the down expands making the bag so warm and fluffy.

I really can’t think of any negative qualities of this bag.  The only downside is that you have to retreat the waterproof shell fabric after extended use to extend the life of the bag, but this is typical for any waterproof product you may own.

I would honestly give this sleeping bag a 5-star rating.  It is a beautifully designed sleeping bag, incredibly comfortable, and performs in conditions where the waterproof function is necessary.  Not only is it durable, warm, and soft, but it is RDS Certified and made with “environmentally sound, non-bioaccumulative treatment based on organic components free of PFC, PFOA, and PFOS.”  Exped is an amazing company that prides itself in making superior and environmentally friendly products. I not only recommend this sleeping bag, but I recommend other EXPED products knowing how well they are made and how much the company loves the earth.

Shop the Exped Waterbloc Pro -5 on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
Bethany Stivers
Gearhead ::

Bethany has been working as an outdoor educator/trip leader for two years since graduating from CSU in 2017.  Bethany’s passion for experiential learning was sparked after she embarked on a 30-day NOLS outdoor educator course in the Wind River Range in Wyoming after she graduated college.  Since then her outdoor job pursuits have taken her to California, Wyoming, Tanzania/Mount Kilimanjaro, Hong Kong, Montana, Idaho, and Colorado.  She is now living in Park City, Utah with her friends where she works for backcountry.com as a Gearhead and snowboards every chance she can get. You can connect with her on instagram at @adventuresof_b.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *