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Thread: review: kifaru g2 woobie.

  1. #1
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    review: kifaru g2 woobie.


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    it's basically kifaru's take on the usgi poncho liner, using high-tech materials such as climashield. for more info, kifaru woobie product page, climashield.com. there's also the doobie - basically uses 4 oz of the climashield insulation (woobie uses 2 oz.). here's kifaru's in-action pics so i didn't bother to take my own:






    i was using it every night about two weeks ago testing it when the night time highs were into the 50's. the high tonight (pretty much all week) is 70's now so it's time to stop using it and write up my opinion of it.

    in summary: i think it's just as warm (if not warmer!) than the wool blankets i compared it to (more details on that later). i don't have any scientific equipment to actually test the insulative capability of climashield but i asked another person to use it and she agreed it's definitely warm/er. i think the feeling of being warmer is because it drapes so easily against the skin (thus minimizing air pockets) and so it warms up almost immediately. in my own testing, it only took about a minute after i covered myself from head to toe to peel it off down to mid-chest and expose my feet to feel comfortable. the wool blankets took a full 15 min before i felt the need to peel it down and even then i only peeled off about shoulder-level to feel the same comfort as the woobie...so yeah, giving the benefit of the doubt to the wool blankets, i'd say the woobie is at least as warm.

    ...the woobie wins hands down in terms of feel though. the rhinoskin shell literally feels like silk to me. blindfolded, i can't tell which one is the woobie and which is a 100% silk tie. i'll actually e-mail kifaru to see if i can buy just the rhinoskin without any climashield at all. even in the summer i can't sleep without a blanket on, no matter how hot it is...just something about covering my skin/body that makes me feel "secure". yeah, i know...here comes the teasing look into the "dear penthouse" archives, i think i got published more on kifaru's rhinoskin here: http://www.kifaru.net/regrhinoskin.htm.

    you can stop reading here but if you're curious, i'll go into insane details here like i usualy do in my reviews here's the climashield tag:






    the climashield insulation is sandwiched between kifaru's own rhinoskin o.d. green shell on one side and a foliage green shell on the other (it looks silvery in pics especially with the flash on). also a stuff sack that's sewn-in is included so you won't misplace it.




    it's very easy to stuff it in the included stuff sack, unlike most sleeping bags i've tried (that's a 32 oz bottle for size comparison). it's because it's way more compressible than that to begin with.




    the kifaru stuff sack is 11"x18" but i have an 8"x11" stuff sack and the woobie fits in there easily too. if i use two hands to compress it down i can actually compress it down to about half that size still! okay, it's insanely compressible. any thin materials will do that but how warm is it? that's why i have two military surplus wool blankets to compare it to.




    here's a swedish military surplus 100% wool blanket folded down several times to approximate the height of the stuffed woobie.




    the angle is funky here but the woobie is edge to edge with the blanket - same height but the wool blanket is 4 times as wide. that's as small as i can fold the wool blanket by the way.




    the 2nd wool blanket i'm using for comparison is a russian military surplus 80% wool blend (bottom one). the russian blanket is noticeably thicker and rougher feeling than the swedish one as a side note.




    after i pull the woobie out of the stuff sack the thing i noticed immediately is how fluffy it gets right away despite being compressed as far as i can with two hands.




    it's like one of those inflatable sleeping pads - it just sucks air. kifaru says that shell is waterproof but i have yet to test it while raining. probably highly unlikely this will see rain since i always bring a tarp even on day hikes.




    another angle, top to bottom: russian blanket, swedish blanket, and the woobie.


  2. #2
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    the woobie weighs in at 1.5 lbs and both wool blankets weigh 5 lbs by the way. the woobie has 4 gutted paracord loops on the short side and 5 on the long side for a total of 14 loops - this lets you tie the ends together for a makeshift sleeping bag. check out the crazy stitching on those loops! typical over-built quality from this company...and it's real deal 100% made in the u.s.a. (berry amendment compliant!).




    aside from the hefty price tag, those loops is (or should it be "are"?) my only complaint. if you look closely, the singed ends are pretty sharp/pointy. it's not like the typical rounded mushroom shape of a paracord end burned with a lighter. depending on which side i happen to have against my skin (look at my dear penthouse reference above - i sometimes sleep full commando ) when i toss and turn in the middle of the night that sharp end almost feels like a needle prick when it brushes against my skin.




    the stuff sack is also made of rhinoskin but in coyote brown.




    semi-transparent but tough. i snipped off a tiny piece from the excess material well past the stitching and i tried to rip it to shreds using pliers but couldn't rip them apart...sweetness.




    closer look at the gutted paracord and cord lock of the stuff sack...i warned you i was going into insane details!




    another size reference, this time with kifaru's hybrid top zip long pocket (see my kifaru g2 zxr backpack review for more details: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...-zxr-backpack.).




    fits inside it just fine.




    here it is "docked" on the zxr.




    with a thermarest prolite plus large on another docked long pocket, i have my backpack's main compartment completely empty.




    ...for what? so i can carry a lot more booze and knives obviously! it's just how i roll






    like all my reviews, i don't work or get freebies from these companies. i paid for them full retail with my own hard-earned money. i'm just sharing to you guys the stuff i found while testing/using them. if you work or have pull with any of these companies, by all means feel free to send booze or hookers my way - my review can be bought (not that i think anyone actually listens to them)
    Last edited by JV3; 06-01-2011 at 01:11 AM.

  3. #3
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    placeholder for comments i'd like to add (if any) after using it for awhile.

  4. #4
    Excellent review!

    Did Kifaru recently increase the price of this product? I remember it being lower, but I have not looked at it for at least six months, either.

  5. #5
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    They raised the price a bit when they switched over to their Gen 2 designs. I think that was over a year ago, though. The G2 woobie is slightly larger than the G1 as well.
    Troy

  6. #6
    It looks to be an awesome piece of gear. $137.00 is pushing the envelope...really pushing it. One of the greatest pieces of gear ever made, in my opinion, was the USGI Poncho Liner. You can get about six of them for the cost of this, not that you would carry six but I'm trying to wrap my head around one of these being six times better.

    If you have the money to spend, this piece of gear would probably be a very, very good choice indeed.

  7. #7
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    I'd say the woobie is three times better than the thinsulate poncho liner I used to have. The woobie was warmer, packed better and simply wrapped around me better. Sadly, I don't have my woobie any more. I sold it when I thought I'd try something different (which failed). Unfortunately, my woobie is now in an unmarked shipping container off the coast of Gibraltar. Lost forever.

    Those were rough times for me. Seriously.
    Troy

  8. #8
    Outstanding Review and photos

    Thanks for taking the time to post this!!!!!
    Siegle Knife Expert----
    If you have one you want to buy,sell or trade--contact me

  9. #9
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    Great review; I have a Gen1 and love it. I have a mini compression bag and it can be compressed to a size just larger than a Nalgene 32oz bottle. Very comfortable and insulating. I do have the Thinsulate poncho liner and it doesn't really compare...if I hadn't used or like my Woobie as much, I would really be skeptical at the price of the Gen2. If I had to get a new one, I wouldn't hesitate...it's a good piece of gear if you're looking for something to fill that niche.

    ROCK6

  10. #10
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    I have wanted one of those for a long time, wish I would have got one before the price went up, but it still looks to be worth it. I can't stand most sleeping bags, I move around too much when I sleep and I feel too constricted in them. I wind up carrying one wool and one polyester blanket but they weigh a ton and take up too much room.
    /Users/tnc4evr/Desktop/thumbnail.aspx.jpg

  11. #11
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    I decided on a Climashield quilt to occasionally combine with my 40 degree bag instead of getting a more expensive bag, but had actually thought about one of these. May still get a woobie someday. Looks like it'd be great for using in a hammock, too. My poncho liner gets used around the house, even slept with on top of the bed all the time. That woobie might be too much for that(?).
    Thanks for another great review/pics

    Quote Originally Posted by JV3 View Post
    i'll actually e-mail kifaru to see if i can buy just the rhinoskin without any climashield at all. even in the summer i can't sleep without a blanket on, no matter how hot it is...just something about covering my skin/body that makes me feel "secure". yeah, i know...here comes the teasing
    No! You don't really think we'd do you like that around here?





  12. #12
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    Thanks for the fine review. I've got my eye on that Woobie. Right now all I have is a zero degree bag, it's way too warm for this time of year. I've got to get something else.

  13. #13
    It's a hunnert degrees with high humidity today, anything is too damned warm today!

    At least they made it right. I have a Snugpak Merlin and a Therm-a-Rest Pad, so, this looks like it would round that set out quite well.

  14. #14
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    thanks, guys! glad you find the review helpful.


    Quote Originally Posted by Don Rearic View Post
    It looks to be an awesome piece of gear. $137.00 is pushing the envelope...really pushing it. One of the greatest pieces of gear ever made, in my opinion, was the USGI Poncho Liner. You can get about six of them for the cost of this, not that you would carry six but I'm trying to wrap my head around one of these being six times better.

    If you have the money to spend, this piece of gear would probably be a very, very good choice indeed.
    i had a usgi poncho liner on order and was going to include it in this test but the site was taking forever to ship it (i was waiting for 2+ weeks but the site said it was in-stock). i ended up canceling it since it's already way too hot by the time they told me it'll ship...i hate that bait-and-wait tactic.


    Quote Originally Posted by Troy H View Post
    I'd say the woobie is three times better than the thinsulate poncho liner I used to have. The woobie was warmer, packed better and simply wrapped around me better. Sadly, I don't have my woobie any more. I sold it when I thought I'd try something different (which failed). Unfortunately, my woobie is now in an unmarked shipping container off the coast of Gibraltar. Lost forever.

    Those were rough times for me. Seriously.
    thanks for the info! i won't order a poncho liner this fall then since the woobie is warmer.


    Quote Originally Posted by ROCK6 View Post
    Great review; I have a Gen1 and love it. I have a mini compression bag and it can be compressed to a size just larger than a Nalgene 32oz bottle. Very comfortable and insulating. I do have the Thinsulate poncho liner and it doesn't really compare...if I hadn't used or like my Woobie as much, I would really be skeptical at the price of the Gen2. If I had to get a new one, I wouldn't hesitate...it's a good piece of gear if you're looking for something to fill that niche.

    ROCK6
    thanks for the info. you guys saved me from hunting down a real usgi poncho liner. i'll skip buying one then.


    Quote Originally Posted by tknife View Post
    I have wanted one of those for a long time, wish I would have got one before the price went up, but it still looks to be worth it. I can't stand most sleeping bags, I move around too much when I sleep and I feel too constricted in them. I wind up carrying one wool and one polyester blanket but they weigh a ton and take up too much room.
    they made it larger than the gen 1 so really you're getting the same $/material. that's how i look at it so i won't feel as bad yup, i toss and turn a lot too that's why i skipped getting a 50 deg sleeping bag.


    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    I decided on a Climashield quilt to occasionally combine with my 40 degree bag instead of getting a more expensive bag, but had actually thought about one of these. May still get a woobie someday. Looks like it'd be great for using in a hammock, too. My poncho liner gets used around the house, even slept with on top of the bed all the time. That woobie might be too much for that(?).
    Thanks for another great review/pics


    No! You don't really think we'd do you like that around here?




    haha! i saw that linus pic coming from a mile away. sure, you can use it as a bed sheet. the thing is the material feels very slippery so unless you have the corners tucked in if you move around chances are high it won't be under you for long. once or twice where i woke up in the middle of the night because i felt too chilly only to look at half the woobie hanging off the bed already.

  15. #15
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    I just want to say your reviews are great and much appreciated! I esp. like the Kifaru ones.

  16. #16
    His reviews are great!

  17. #17
    nice review

    they say “Imitation is the most serious form of flattery” I decided I'm going to make one of my own, I sourced 2.5 oz climashield at thruhiker (they also have 5 oz, but I want this small/compact as possible), I found some very light od green ripstop (1.1) oz as well

    I think may have even found someone that actually sew the darn thing together

  18. #18
    Awesome reviews! Thank you for your commitment! Say does anyone know how the Wiggy's poncho liner compares to the Kifaru?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quirt View Post
    Awesome reviews! Thank you for your commitment! Say does anyone know how the Wiggy's poncho liner compares to the Kifaru?
    I'm not sure if Wiggy's new ponchos are the same, but I have one of their older ones and it's more like a quilt. It doesn't compact as well, but is warm and comfortable. The outer material on mine is more cloth-like and not the slicker nylon. I think their news ones are better, but I have no experience; regardless, Wiggy makes good products.

    ROCK6

  20. #20
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    I didnt like my Kifaru Woobie. Not because of anything quality wise. It was tops, as is all of Kifarus wares.

    Heres why...

    1)Material. Its durable. No doubt. However, I HATED the feel of it. Felt like a slippery trash bag of sorts to me, and it was noisy.

    2) this is gonna sound strange.....Warmth. Its too warm. Preferance of course, but my GI woobie is the right level of warmth for an outing where Id use just a poncho liner. So yes it is warmer, but for me, it was too warm and ended up getting kicked off more times then not. Too expensive for a piece of kit that ends up balled up at my feet.

    Now, I will say that they are bomber. Really durable kit. So is my GI woobie. Still goin strong almost 10 years after it was issued to me. I really like the paracord loops. I bet the Kifaru woobie would make one hell of an underquilt for a Hammock. In that price range it is waaay affordable in comparison to the underquilts available.

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