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Zero Impact Challenge: GoLite Starlite 20

Recycled materials and fewer trucking miles trim carbon weight.
Gear Guide 09 Zero Impact GoLite Starlite 445x260 GoLite Starlite 20 (www.sethhughes.com)

A concept bag that GoLite plans to introduce as part of a larger green line in 2010, this polyester-fill mummy mostly uses recycled materials, which helped keep its emissions among the lowest in this challenge. Its shell, lining, insulation, drawcord, and zipper tape are all 100 percent recycled polyesters, and 99.5 percent of the bag is recyclable. It’s partially made from recycled reclaimed factory scrap, which is more energy-efficient than reprocessing the milk jugs you put in curbside bins. GoLite also lowers its emissions by asking its suppliers–the companies that make the fabrics, zippers, and hardware–to ship parts all together to the assembly point, saving the carbon cost of multiple trips. The company has offset energy use at its office in Boulder since 2006, and is working to create a polyester recycling depot and take-back program for worn-out gear.

Testers gave the Starlite high marks for comfort, thanks to its silky fabrics and spacious cut, which is roomy enough for the Maytaggers among us. We also appreciated the designers’ efforts to pare this bag down to the essentials: a single drawcord, a 60-inch zip, and a modest draft tube. Our only complaints: The hood doesn’t cinch down easily, and the shell picks up dirt and pine needles due to static cling. $200 (projected); 2 lbs. 12 oz.; golite.com

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