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Backpacker Magazine – April 2009

Zero Impact Challenge: Sierra Designs Verde 20

No bag in this challenge incorporated more recycled components.

by: Berne Broudy

Sierra Designs Verde 20 (
Sierra Designs Verde 20 (

Sierra Designs reduced greenhouse gases for this synthetic-fill mummy by using 100-percent recycled materials for the insulation, shell, liner, thread, cords, and webbing. Only the elastic binder, the odor-fighting Cocona fibers in the liner, and 50 percent of the zipper are not recycled. The company also recently turned one of its factories–already carbon-neutral thanks to wind and methane power–into a zero-waste facility, and it reclaims all scrap for use as carpet padding. Add to that an array of green practices, like 100 percent recycled shipping materials and hangtags.

The form-fitting Verde features a snug hood, contoured shoulders that taper at the neck like a jacket, and stretch baffling. Testers loved the stretch, which allowed them to move around but didn't create heat-sucking dead space. The knit Cocona liner warms up fast and feels almost like flannel sheets, and footbox zips add welcome venting. Downside: The elastic baffles and foot vent add weight and carbon cost, canceling the carbon savings of the half-length zipper and making this a rather heavy bag. $219/$199; 3 lbs. 7 oz.;

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