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ProView – Exped Waterbloc Pro -15

A well-built sleeping bag that will keep you comfortable throughout the night is absolutely essential for any camping trip. The brand new Exped Waterbloc -16°C is a sleeping bag that will keep you warm and dry in just about any type of weather. I recently got the chance to give this sleeping bag a test on a few different camping trips in Colorado.

Exped Waterbloc Pro -15

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: $749.00 - $799.00

  • Quality
    (4)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (4)

Summary

The Exped Waterbloc -16°C is a bag that sets out to combine a water-resistant shelter with a warm sleeping bag. All in all, this sleeping bag accomplishes that better than any bag I’ve ever owned. Despite some chilly toes and a poorly designed stuff sack, the Exped Waterbloc -16°C is a well-built, water-resistant, low-profile sleeping bag. The highly adjustable face opening and fully taped seams mean this sleeping bag can be used as a free-standing sleeping bag and shelter even in adverse conditions. 

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Fully taped seams
  • Adjustability

Cons

  • Foot warmth
  • Stuff sack design

The Exped Waterbloc -16°C is a sleeping bag that seeks to bridge the gap between a waterproof bivy bag and a traditional sleeping bag. Made of Pertex Quantum Pro fabric, Exped claims that the Waterbloc -16°C can be used “in harsh and humid weather without a bivy bag,” and that this bag can be relied on “under all circumstances”. Keeping the Waterbloc’s temperature rating of -16°C/5°F in mind, I wanted to put these claims to the test. I decided a weekend trip to a trailhead in the Colorado Front Range would be a great place to start. The drizzly forecast and overnight temperatures dipping into the high 20s discouraged other campers, but it was just the forecast I was looking for to properly test my new Exped Waterbloc -16°C. I used my normal closed-cell foam sleeping pad, but otherwise used no shelter or waterproofing system. Overnight I awoke to a light rain striking my face. I used the excellent cinching system on the head of the Exped Waterbloc to reduce the facial opening to a hole just big enough for my nose to breathe in and out of, and fell right back asleep. In the early morning light I eagerly examined the Waterbloc in search of water saturation. Though the trees were dripping from the night’s rain, all water that landed on the Exped Waterbloc -16°C simply beaded up and dripped right off the edges.

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Warmth

Though the sleeping bag had done an excellent job keeping me dry, I did notice that my feet had been chilly for much of the night. I generally have poor circulation in my hands and feet, but I would still expect a -16°C/5°F sleeping bag to keep my circulation-deprived extremities warm in temperatures well above the bag’s limits.

Waterproofing

Before I packed up my delightfully simple camp and headed back to my car, I put the waterproofing to an extreme test and stood in a nearby stream. After five minutes in the frigid stream, the only water that had entered the interior of the sleeping bag had done so through the zipper. The outer fabric on the Exped Waterbloc -16°C wasn’t even saturated! 

Style

The Exped Waterbloc -16°C lends itself to simple campsites: no need for a tent, hammock, or even bivy bag. The Waterbloc allows you to travel with a small footprint and low visual impact. As such, I love the color choice for the Exped Waterbloc. The forest-green color allows you to perfectly blend in with the damp, mossy forests the Exped Waterbloc -16°C was designed to excel in. 

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Earth Friendly

Another low-impact quality of the Exped Waterbloc -16°C is that it is constructed with responsibly-sourced down, certified by Responsible Down Standard (RDS). RDS seeks incentivize the use of responsibly-sourced down and to ensure that the animals that supply down are not subjected to unnecessary harm.

Room for Improvement

The main shortfall of the Exped Waterbloc -16°C is the stuff sack design. The stuff sack is a roll-top style bag that does not allow you to properly compress the sleeping bag for packability. Thankfully you can easily buy a compression sack at your local outdoor retailer, or even forego the stuff sack altogether and stuff your sleeping bag directly into your backpack. Though a small shortfall, I would expect a sleeping bag at this price point to have a compression sack included. 

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The Final Word

The Exped Waterbloc -16°C is a bag that sets out to combine a water-resistant shelter with a warm sleeping bag. All in all, this sleeping bag accomplishes that better than any bag I’ve ever owned. Despite some chilly toes and a poorly designed stuff sack, the Exped Waterbloc -16°C is a well-built, water-resistant, low-profile sleeping bag. The highly adjustable face opening and fully taped seams mean this sleeping bag can be used as a free-standing sleeping bag and shelter even in adverse conditions. 

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About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
sam-kilburn
Sam Kilburn
Ranger-Naturalist :: Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks

Sam has spent his entire adult career working on public lands throughout the United States. Starting at age eighteen Sam began an early career as a trail builder for the Forest Service, Appalachian Mountain Club, and the City of Boulder. Sam now works as a Ranger-Naturalist for Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. During his winter’s, Sam has worked as an ice climbing guide and hut caretaker, but he has recently found a home as a ski patroller. When not working as a ranger, Sam can be found building furniture in his woodshop, volunteering with the local fire department, or playing ultimate frisbee.

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