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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.
Terra Nova Laser 300 Elite (BP Photo Department)

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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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