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Backpacker Magazine – January 2011

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

Light, roomy, compressible, and perfect for weekends

by: Tyler Bounds

L.L. Bean Katahdin 35°F (Courtesy Photo)
L.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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READERS COMMENTS

Kevin N.
Mar 16, 2011

Infinity is very different from other PL insulations. It is a continuous filament, like Climashield. Loft retention should be excellent.

Eric B.
Feb 15, 2011

Primaloft heh? Hmmm... Let's see just how long it keeps its loft after repeated compressions until it becomes mere "Prima" and no loft.

Personally I'd rather have Climashield or Softie Snugpak proprietary synthetic insulation for their loft retention over time.

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