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Gear Review: L.L. Bean Katahdin 35°F Sleeping Bag

Light, roomy, compressible, and perfect for weekends
Jan 2011 Gear LL Bean Katahdin 35 445x260L.L. Bean Katahdin 35°F (Courtesy Photo)

This bargain-priced bag kept me toasty on many weekend jaunts around Mt. Rainier, when nighttime lows dipped right down to the sack’s 35°F rating. Insulated with shingled batts (they are slightly overlapped to prevent cold spots) of synthetic PrimaLoft Infinity, the Katahdin even managed to warm me up fast when I plunged in with wet clothes after a full day of rain. And by morning, everything was totally dry.

On an earlier (mid-July) trip in Klamath National Forest, I was pleasantly surprised at the bag’s versatility: Temperatures never dropped below 70°F at night, but the soft, 35-denier polyester lining never felt sticky on my bare skin, the DWR-coated nylon shell fabric was very breathable, and the full-length zipper let me open it blanket-style. The cut is plenty roomy for squirmers, with a hood that opens wide for more airflow, or cinches down to trap heat (though the cords are annoyingly long).

Warning: Cold sleepers might bemoan the lack of a draft collar and zipper draft tube. Bottom line: For the milder side of three-season temps, this bag is plenty light and compressible (bread-loaf size) for weekend use. $119; 2 lbs. (reg.); 2 sizes; llbean.com.

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