Just spent my first night in the CTC XL. I had set it up in my living room to see how it all went together and was immediately impressed by the outstanding design and workmanship and general engineering of the thing. It's INCREDIBLY well made and everything fits together perfectly. It's very solid and constructed of high quality materials. The provided instructions were clear and complete. Working by myself, at what would be considered a slow pace, I had the thing up and ready to go in about 7 minutes. I imagine that in a hurry it could be up in under 5. It easily fit my full-size sleeping bag and the cot was very comfy when I laid on it. A home run! So last night I set it up outside in the yard and after a roaring fire I turned in for the night. first bit of advice: SET UP THE BEDDING BEFORE IT'S DARK! It was a little hard getting everything where I wanted it in the dark (I didn't want my flashlight to attract bugs into the tent.) It was also a little hard to do while INSIDE the tent. So the best thing is to arrange everything BEFORE you get in, then literally unzip, get in, zip closed and lie down. Unless you're a kid, you're not going to be spending a lot of time in there except sleeping. The one issue I have with this tent is AIRFLOW. It was very still last night, almost no breeze, and with the front door (flap) closed there was very little airflow even though I had the two top/side windows fully open. All it needs is a large window on the other side and the design would be PERFECT. I actually slept with the door OPEN to get some air into the tent until later at night when I closed it. I'm sensitive to heat (prefer cold) and though I was eventually fine it was kind of warm for my taste. Ambient temps at the time were in the low 70s. The cot is VERY comfortable. No complaints! It's also sturdy as hell. I'm 5'11" and well over 200 pounds and it didn't flinch under my weight. It does need to be on a perfectly LEVEL surface - keep that in mind. Entry/Exit is VERY easy, you open the door, throw your feet out, and boom! You're up and out. It sits a little high, maybe 6" less would be better, but it's fine. I did not use the under-cot storage mesh, need to figure out how that works, especially from within the cot, if that's possible (like for placing your shoes in as you get into the tent.) The interior storage pockets could be a little bit bigger. Not a major problem. Overall I rate this thing a 9.9 out of 10. Very happy with it. I'm sure I'll be using it a long time. And for $130 shipped, it's really a steal! Hope this helps, -kj-
We were heading up the far North of Maine during the first week of October for some tent camping and I decided it was time to replace the two 15 year old bags we had been using. We zipped hem together as most people do. I wanted something that would be comfortable down to 25 degrees, not too heavy, had a rip-stop exterior instead of cloth and used modern insulators and fabrics. This Grizzly looked like a good choice so I took it with us. I wasn't disappointed. First of all it's a stuff bag. You easily can stuff it into the sack it's designed to fit. That sack, btw, is quite interesting. You have to see it to understand. But it really does the job so unpacking and packing this bag is a lot easier than having to unzip and roll up traditional bags. Then comes the way the bag is designed. First of all the zippers are gorgeous. Just nice and big and clunky so you won't damage them. Second is the 'seal' at the zippered sides. There are two "tubes" within the interior fabric that come together when the bag is zipped up that keep cold air from invading your bag as you move around. Very neat idea. Third is the large strip of Velcro at the very top. How many times has your bag unzipped at night as you move around? With this Velcro strip, that can't happen. Finally there is a nice extension on the bottom for your pillow and head AND there's a draw-string hidden in the top of the bag so you can actually pull the top of the bag up tight if you want around your necks, sealing in the body warmth all that much better. This bag isn't a heavy duty affair but quite light and the interior fabric is really cozy. It's instantly comfortable. I have it a "good' rating overall because I supposed there are even better bags out there but for a lot more money than this one. The Grizzly is pretty nice and performed well as the temps dropped into the low 30s on the island. I'd buy it again and would recommend it to my fellow campers.
i am 6'2" and weigh 260lbs. first off, this is not a expensive top quality bag... it is pretty cheaply made, but with proper care it should last a few seasons....it is pretty light weight and very roomy considering how much it does weigh. its "survival" rated at 20 degrees so don't expect to be warm without some layers of clothes. i just used it on a overnight backpacking trip and we saw temperatures in the mid 30's. i was just warm with a layer of long underwear top and bottoms and a nice pair of wool socks as well as a wool hat. i was on the sand using a thermarest as well as a tent footprint. i am also in general a pretty warm sleeper. somebody that is more cold prone might need to layer up better for these temps, which can become a burden when packing a heavy backpack...overall it is going to work fine for now, and its fine for the price, but in the future i will be looking into spending a bit more to get something a little bit more quality...
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