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Gear Reviews

Zero Impact Challenge: The North Face Green Kazoo 15

How do you replace a legend? Cut its footprint without cutting warmth.

New for 2009, this replacement for the venerable Blue Kazoo features 600-fill down, a 100-percent recycled lining, and a Pertex shell made from post-industrial/post-consumer waste that generates 77 percent less greenhouse gas than virgin material. TNF told us it decided to use virgin material for baffling, cord locks, and cord, plus nylon zipper pulls, to keep the price down, and because the carbon impact of greening those parts is small. All of the scrap from this bag is reused, so it generates zero waste. TNF ships the Green Kazoo’s components and the assembled bag by boat and train, which are up to 66 percent more efficient than trucks. At home, it derives 25 percent of warehouse and office power from solar panels, and offsets all other energy use.

Testers raved about the bag’s warmth and space. The cut is roomy in the chest and hood, yet the temperature rating is conservative. Credit an overstuffed draft tube and collar. $279; 3 lbs.; thenorthface.com

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