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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2011

Gear Review: Terra Nova Laser 300 Elite Sleeping Bag

The Laser weighs a scant 12 ounces and packs down to the size of a grapefruit, yet it's warm right down to its temp rating.

by: Ben Fullerton

Terra Nova Laser 300 Elite (BP Photo Department)
Terra Nova Laser 300 Elite (BP Photo Department)

When extreme minimalism meets mild weather, a sleeping bag can look mighty extravagant. Enter the Laser: It’s so light and compressible you never need to justify packing it, says a tester who used it all summer in central Texas. The Laser weighs a scant 12 ounces and packs down to the size of a grapefruit, yet it’s warm right down to its (modest) temp rating. “I was toasty at 50°F, even when I was sleeping under the stars,” says our tester. Terra Nova achieves the Kleenex-category design by using primo 900-fill down (hence the price) and stripping away every nonessential feature.

Example: There’s no zipper, so you have to shimmy inside, but one tester looked on the bright side: “No zipper means no drafts and no snags!” One key feature is preserved: A shallow hood cinches snugly around the face with a drawcord, providing a warm boost on chilly nights. And the bag’s trim geometry insulates hyper-efficiently, but check fit before buying: Broad-shouldered folks might feel squeezed. The 15-denier, DWR-treated* ripstop nylon shell is wispy, says one tester, “but I was careful with it and encountered no problems.” $270; 12 oz.; 50°F

*DWR Stands for "durable water repellent," a chemical treatment that greatly increases a fabric's water resistance, but eventually wears off (DWR is often rated for 50 to 100 wash cycles)

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Jan 14, 2012

Snug like a bug! And light to carry! <a href="">Google</a>

Jul 19, 2011

I've found the best summer bag is a lightweight gore-Tex bivy. I use an army surplus acu-bivy. It weighs 1lb 6oz, is 100% waterproof, and provides enough warmth to be comfortable (for me) down to 55. I can go lower with a midweight baselayer on inside the bivy. I forgo a tent and a sleeping bag with this in the summer for bombproof ultralight protection. Doubles as a great pack cover in the rain!


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