Crux Torpedo 700

I’m doing some shelter testing in the new year, and as some of that will be tarps I though it would be a good idea to look at sleeping bags that would suit the exposure to the wet that is going to be unavoidable. So after a quick look around I had a very shortlist of models, and in for test is Crux’s Torpedo 700.

It’s a down bag, but it’s waterproof. Oh there’s been endless debate about that, but I’ll having nothing to add until I’ve spend a few night in the Torpedo. The spec and the fit it all I have to go on right now.
I’ve got a medium with a left zip, and at a baw hair under six foot, it’s a nice snug fit on me. It’s plush feeling too, nice thick baffles all around you and the light nylon lining fabric is lovely against the skin. The other fabric that shrouds the outside is 2-layer eVent, as we all know the most breathable membrane out there. It’s doesn’t affect the feel of the bag, there’s no cardboard box feeling at all, it’s still nicely pliable. It’ll affect the pack size of course, but I won’t need a bivy bag or sleeping bag cover when I’m tarping (snow-holing, igloo camping?), so it’s not an issue.
There’s 700g of 850+ fill down in there, and they giving a, EN13537 temperature rating of  -4°C comfort and -11°C limit. For that amount of down in there, I can’t help but feel that’s a high sounding, but I’ll find out how it feels in the minus figures shortly.
The baffles change form all over the bag, a lot of thought’s gone into this. Vertical over the chest, V-shaped at the side, horizontal and slant-box elsewhere, and unusually for me a big fat shoulder baffle.
The zip’s a water resistant RiRi, I love these, big fat teeth, and feel like they’re proud to be zips. They work well too, and are easier to operate than the more familiar YKK hidden-tooth types.
The detailing includes  a footbox with that toe thing where the top is longer that the bottom for folk who lie on their backs. It’s nicely done, I’ll have to try and sleep on my back to try it out. There’s a velcro tab at the top of the zip to keep it secure and a drawcord on the neck baffle with a captured cord-lock.

I know I got the Torpedo in for a reason, but it’s actually a very nice bag in itself, well-shaped with a great hood and it feels warm, so it’ll get used as change from the regular once I know just how warm it is. The outer doesn’t compress the down, it’s been too well put together for that, how it’ll fare with wear and tear, time will tell.
The black with red lining looks like my old leather jacket from my younger days you know. Nice.
More soon.

19 thoughts on “Crux Torpedo 700

  1. For some reason I had thought they’d be a better quality of down. Seems a shame to go to the bother of using eVent and a decent zip, then not sticking another £50 or so on for 750 or even 800 down.

  2. Hi there, first time on the board. Hit by the flu, so sorry for any typos and generally hazy writing.
    BTW love the blog. I have used the crux 700 extensively, back when they came out about 2 winters ago (for the record, bought in a store here in denmark, no affiliation with crux). I have used the Torpedo 700 for several ice climbing trips into the backcountry in Norway for up to 10 days’ duration. I have on these trips been completely self-sustained and away from any drying rooms etc, and went climbing all day every day, so needed a warm, dry bag. The shelter was the BD Firstlight singlewall. Temps were generally low (including a trip of 7 days solely below -20 degrees celcius and no sun on route or camp), and on another trip the temperature inversion during the night flushed warm air through the tent coating absolutely everything in ice, as the moisture rapid-froze. I have cooked in the tent on these trips in snowstorms, as there is no vestibule in the tent. Again exposing the down to a lot of moisture. The setup was a single layer of merino wool (200 weight Icebreaker), thick, dry socks and beanie. I put a pee bottle and my double-boot liners in to dry in the sack. Camping was on either the frozen river beds or in the snow, with a 9mm EVA mat underneath (much too little, I know – I would genereally melt down into the snow quite a bit, and always a singlewall tent. There was a lot of priority of weight on these trips. I rate the crux torpedo 700 the best sleeping bag I have ever used, full stop. Even beating a western mountainering apache, various tnf and ajungilak winter synthetics, a wiggys superlight and thick klattermusen brage. The outer is very robust and sheds all moisture encountered in a snow trench, singlewall tent or snow hole. The down QUALITY and the chambers made for a surprisingly warm sleep. Again, I have personally used this on a 9mm mat camping on snow in -30 degrees (celcius) and had a full night’s rest (and I am not a warm sleeper), but would of course not recommend this as a general rule. kind regards, henrik

  3. Hi Henrik!

    Thanks for checking in with that info, that’s great to know. The temperature ratings looked too low, so I’ll head out with a little more confidence now.
    Sleeping on snow is always a dilemma, you can lose so much heat upwards as well as into the ground. Last winter I used a Thermarest Neoair with a short foam pad under my torso and it worked well, the snow melt under vme that you mention was greatly reduced.
    Sounds like some awesome trips you’ve been on. Cheers!

    Chewy, I think Henrik’s answered some questions there :o)

  4. There’s been a few posts on UKClimbing about the Torpedo – seems like the perfect alpine bag if you don’t want the weight of synthetic and great for a planned bivy up high. I use a PHD Drishelled synthetic overbag on my Minim 300 usually in winter which weighs about the same as the Crux but obviously has more flexibility but isn’t waterproof. http://www.andy-kirkpatrick.com/articles/view/double_up is a good read on the subject. Personally, I’ve had problems with condensation when using a less than roomy bivy sack over the 300, in winter the two bag and two fill system works well for me – it would be nice to hear how Crux have got round that problem with the Torpedo. Is it just that eVent is more breathable than Goretex?
    It really does sound the perfect bag so far…

  5. Hope my previous post helped answer some questions. Forgot to mention that when in supercold temperatures (below -30) I would use all the tricks I knew; I always carry a thick das-type jacket, which would be thrown on top of the torso section and light up the stove once in a while to increase the warmth in the tent. I would do this also in case of high humidity, to drive the moisture out of the tent. It uses a bit of gas, but I would carry a fair amount of gas on these trips in case of extra cold or an accident (I used a MSR Reactor). With non-waterproof sleeping bags I have always zipped my shell jacket around the botttom end of the sleeping bag to protect it from the moist tent fabric, but not with the crux. For prolonged use in cold as this, then a 900-weight sleeping bag and 14mm foam is the only sensible choice, my system was based on warmer temperatures than actually encountered.
    Second, I found the Crux to perform better/with less faff than the two-bag system I used previously (Rab Quantum 200 + TNF Orion). With regards to E-vent vs. Goretex, I don’t feel the difference has as much to do with the breathability rate of the fabrics as the different types of transport. Goretex (and the inherent PU protection layer) condenses moisture on the inside of the fabric before it is eventually transported through the fabric. In insulated garments and sleeping bags this means a lot, since the insulation will also block the body heat which normally drives the moisture transport, thereby slowing this down considerably. The condensed moisture in turn runs the risk of getting cooled enough as to remain stuck within the bag/garment as ice or very cold water. My personal experience is, that a Event shell directly on top of the insulation is at least as effective in moisture transport as Epic, and much more waterproof. But of course with a slight weight penalty and more costly. All in all a definite upgrade over a goretex bivy in my honest opinion.
    Kind regards,
    Henrik

  6. Oops. The above came out wrong. I meant at temps between -20 and -30 . This is at the extreme end. You cannot push such a system løser than this in most cases. Sorry henrik

  7. I looked at buying one for bikepacking, went with a GoLite quilt and the Laser Comp in the end. One of the drivers was the issue of washing the bag, Event likes to be clean, and washing down in a quality soap, yet retreating the DWR of the shell seemed extra hassle to me.

  8. Just a few points on this, which relate to all such products. Amt performance material including down needs to nr kept reasonably clean to perform well. For event – and Windstopper/Dryloft which Also lacks the pu protective layer, the risk is primarily of contamination from the INSIDE (sweat) . The down or fiberfill will protect the exposed membrane from both contamination and abrasion. All down and fibrefill bags need to be washed once flat, which anyone can easily do if one tumbles it sufficiently on a low setting (even I can do it). The reactivation of the dwr can be down with an iron set on low and perhaps a spray proofer every once in a while. Even with high ude these could go general Sears between treatments. revery once in a while. Even with active

  9. Good stuff folks.

    The insulation boosting and waterproofing tricks are familair Henrik, when I used to use much lighter bags I was always using jackets or sleeping with my feet in my rucksack. I like my current simplicity!

    Gore’s PU coating is a current topic, their new Active Shell fabric doesn’t have it. I’ve seen some samples and it’s frighteningly light, some more on that soon.

    Washing? Now that’s the thing that’s been on my mind, but having looked at the bag and had another think, the down’s going to catch all the crap before it gets the eVent. So masybe bag washing will be no more frequent than it is now?

    I was going to be in the bag tomorrow night, but now it looks like I’m going to do proper work. Harrumph.

  10. This is written on my phone sø Sorry for the typos. Summa summarum the treatment of event is to stop wetout is severe conditions not likely found in a tent. A sleeping bag shell is michael less exposed to either smog or sweat than a jacket. Therefore washing is as often (or less as hot cups of fruit soup or stove fuel will not grease the down as easily in tent living.) Also cleaning is not difficult. These concepts are valid for all such bags and garments regardless of manufacturer or construction specifics. A bivy holds many pros and cons but for other reasons – it is måde to be a sole means of protection, hence the hood and high abrasion resistance. Kind regards henrik

  11. I had a very damp night in a bivy bag earlier in the year, so it’ll be interesting to see how this goes. I’m as eager to see how it pereforms as sleeping bag, oddly the eVent shell seems like a separtae issue I’ll have to look at.
    Hopefully I’ll get some sort of point of reference on the bag soon!

  12. Pingback: PTC* » (The return of…) Kit that broke, kit that didnae, and other stuff before I forget.

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