Gear Review: Therma-a-Rest Haven Top Bag

With just 700-fill-down, a warmth-trapping hood, a radical, weight-saving design and no zipper-- or pad straps--that's innovation.

Most Innovative |Top Warmth to Weight| Most Verstile | Warmest

Most Innovative

This is one of the lightest three-season bags we’ve tested this year. The trick? The Haven has no zipper or even pad straps, just 700-fill-down, a warmth-trapping hood, and a radical, weight-saving design. The shape is tapered and trim—best for skinny folks and still sleepers. And you get in and out of the bag through an elasticized, three-foot-diameter hole in the back; testers’ reactions ranged from “easy and intuitive” to “claustrophobically frustrating.”

Here’s how it works: You shimmy in through the hole, then push your head into the hood; crash on top of your pad, or slip a tapered mattress inside. “It fits over the pad like a hair net,” says one tester, “so it takes some practice. But once you get the hang of it, the Haven is like your own personal cocoon—snug and warm.” (It’s rated 20°F, but consider it a 30°F bag.) Dax, who packed it on the Colorado Trail, loved the compressibility. “The bag and pad combo fit nicely in the bottom of my pack,” he reports. Downside: There’s no venting, and midnight exits are a thrash-fest. $250; 1 lb. 10 oz.; 2 sizes; cascadedesigns.com.