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Backpacker Magazine – April 2008
The year's best packs, boots, tents, jackets, and sleeping bags. Period. Plus, a never-die headlamp, a life-saving beacon, a back-saving ultralight chair, and more innovative, trail-tested gear.
GoLite Adrenaline Bags
These sacks are warm like the Grand Canyon is big: You gotta experience it to understand it.
There are plenty of comfortable, compressible, lightweight sleeping bags out there. But there's only one test that really matters: Can the bag nail all three of those criteria and keep you warm right down to the bottom of its temperature rating? Our testers pushed the limits of all three of the Adrenaline bags–from open-air bivies in Capitol Reef National Park to bone-chilling nights at 14,500 feet in Nepal–and even the cold-sleepers on staff reported blissful warmth.
For weight, the 800-fill down Adrenaline bags compete with anything on the market, and even the 0°F model packs down to soccer-ball size. Waterproof/breathable Pertex Endurance fabric in the head and foot ends keep you from soaking up tent-wall condensation, a smart design that repels moisture at the most vulnerable areas while leaving the bag's midsection lighter and more breathable–and the price in check. While the hood is perfectly shaped and easy to adjust, Adrenaline bags are narrowly cut, which annoyed some of our staff thrashers. (After a series of sub-freezing nights, however, one critic changed her tune: "I'll trade a little wiggle room for this bag's toastiness any day," she said.) The half-length center zip caused the only real controversy. Most testers loved it because you could keep the bag almost entirely zipped while sitting up and sipping coffee. Plus, for side-sleepers and rollers, there are no zipper ridges to avoid. Dissenters were warm sleepers who wanted a full side-zip for venting on mild nights. Ultimately, warmth carried the day. The Adrenaline comes in three models: 0°F ($400, 2 lbs. 12 oz.); 20°F ($325, 1 lb. 13 oz.); and 40°F ($250, 1 lb. 4 oz.). Each model is available in two men's and two women's sizes. Weights are for men's regular. (888) 546-5483; golite.com.