This bag has the cost savings of synthetic without the characteristic bulk (it packs to basketball-size). That’s because the short-staple Thermic Micro insulation has excellent compressibility for a synthetic fill. And the shell has welded (not sewn) seams, which both reduces material and maximizes the insulation’s efficiency by stabilizing it.
The ripstop nylon shell proved durable enough to be used on rough ground around a campfire, and even when damp, the bag didn’t lose loft or warmth. The cut offers plenty of roll-around and layering room (it’s the most spacious bag in Hardwear’s Lamina collection), but that also proved a liability. After some harsh Alaska bivy nights, the crew deemed the temp rating about 10 degrees optimistic, because of the roomy cut, the lack of a draft collar, and a hood that doesn’t quite cinch tight enough in frigid temps. (But the price is right even for a 10°F bag.)
n milder conditions on a late-spring trip in Alaska’s Brooks Range, testers were thankful for the venting options: a full-length side zipper and a separate footbox zipper. $195; 4 lbs.; 0°F