The North Face Foxfire
Fill: 770 fill down
Temperature Rating: 5 F
Weight: approx 3.2
Price Paid: $199 on sale
This bag has been average in performance. There are several design features which bother me, and which I set forth here. The zippers snags. This could be avoided by adding tape along the edges as does Western Mountaineering. The bag is very snug. I am not a big guy- 5'8" 165, and the bag is ok if I am lying down at "attention" ohterwise there is little wiggle room. I am aware of trade offs for insulation and weight.
The problem is the bag is not comfortable when you must be zipped in it, and thus sleep suffers. Another problem is due to the close design, when you sleep in different positions, the insulation may become pulled to the point that there is no insulating effect, for example at your hips and knees. I feel that the rating is optimistic as well, having used it in warmer weather (20 F) in a tent, and still feeling a bit chilly. Good points are lofting and liner fabric, dark color (helps drying in the sun, as does the micro fiber- a mixed blessing as it allows moisture to exit as easily as it enters as opposed to Gore Dry loft which is a superior shedder of moisture, but, also retards disapation of internal moisture. North Face disapoints with it value for cost, but its products are dependable, but not cutting edge in design. there are better bags for the price. I have a Western Mountaineering bag which outperforms my TNF bags handsdown.
Fill: 700 fill down
Temperature Rating: +5 F (-15 C)
Weight: 3lbs 3oz (?)
Price Paid: $375 (canadian)
This a good bag. The radial baffle system is as good as anything else I've tried (though not necessarily better), it lofts well, it's durable and the microfiber shell sheds moisture well. The weight is fine, and the temperature rating seems accurate (for me anyways); I've yet to do it all the way up, even on some milder winter trips. One irritating thing though, is the zipper. It doesn't ride cleanly and often gets caught on the draft tubes. This warms you up from the physical effort you expend trying to get the thing done up, but makes for mighty tired arms and nocturnal frustrations when nature calls in the wee hours. It needs some improvement here. All 'round though, no huge problems. It's comfy.
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