We know we have a winner when our veterans want to hang on to a bag for “a little more testing.” After we pried it away, one said: “Never, in 30 years of backpacking, has something that packs so small kept me so warm.” The rating is spot-on: After a 12°F night in Wyoming’s Wind River Range, our tester was the only person in his group not complaining of being cold. The 850-fill down is supremely lofty and the draft collar feels as warm and silky as mink, yet the Z10 packs to cantaloupe size.
Waterproof/breathable fabric on the hood and footbox repelled condensation in Vermont’s Green Mountains. Elsewhere, the Pertex Quantum GL nylon breathes well enough that testers never felt sticky, even on 50°F nights (when the two-way zipper enhanced ventilation). The hood fits better than most, clinging snugly to one side-sleeper’s head as he tossed and turned. And the cut is surprisingly unrestrictive: One thrasher (who typically uses a rectangular bag for freedom of movement) reports. “It never felt confining.” Testers’ only wish? A stash pocket for storing small items. $420; 2 lbs. 3 oz.; 10°F; golite.com
Ideal for backpackers that want to extend their mountain trips into early spring and late fall.
Available in NanoSphere by Schoeller and in Pertex Endurance
Sewn in Seattle, WA USA