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The North Face Gold Kazoo

rated 3.5 of 5 stars

The Gold Kazoo has been discontinued. It was replaced by The North Face Gold Kazoo Eco.

photo: The North Face Gold Kazoo 3-season down sleeping bag

Comically misrepresented by TNF as to how warm it is.

Pros

  • Well made
  • Quality materials

Cons

  • You WILL be cold in this bag. I call it my COLD Kazoo.

Let me just say, I like TNF products generally. I have had four sleeping bags by them.  This one is a complete, total, abysmal failure.

I have the slightly older model (the orange one with yellow inside). It's rated at COMFORT down to 30 degrees, and this is almost criminal to say. This bag only has 11 ounces of 650 down in it. There is no way that is going to keep a person warm down to 30 degreesF. NO WAY.

And guess what? This bag doesn't even have baffles. It's sewn through. The sections are huge and there is a ton of room for the down to simply migrate to the edges and leave tons of cold spots everywhere.

This is NOT a three-season bag. It's a one-season bag—summer. I have used it, I have tried different things, like base layers etc. If you plan to use this bag below 50, you will need some base layers or you are going to be cold.

Tip: Ignore the manufacturers' ratings and look at the amount of FILL. 

Experience

I have owned this bag for 6 years or so. I backpack with it in the southern Appalachians.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $240

Super impressed with the sleeping bag. Keeps me warm at night on those chili 20° nights. Super lightweight, very impressed. This sleeping bag has a few cool features: a little pocket next to your head and it has plenty of room in the toes.

I am 6 foot 2 and this bag fits me very well. I do not feel uncomfortable inside it. I feel nice and toasty. It does take a little while to warm up, but once you get it warm it will keep you toasty all night long. Sometimes I have to unzip and let some air in, but I'd rather be warm than cold. This thing is superlight, only 2 pounds, which is nice for keeping the weight down on my pack.

Pros

  • Superlight
  • Very durable material
  • Keeps me toasty at night

Cons

  • Needs a zipper at the feet to let air in

I was super impressed with this sleeping bag. The Gold Kazoo is a great piece to my collection. It's superlight and keeps me toasty at night. I am 6 foot 2 and this bag keeps me plenty warm.

I like the cool glow-in-the-dark zipper and the little pocket to store things. It compresses down into a small ball which is nice to fit in my pack. This sleeping bag is only 2 pounds.

It's very toasty at night. It does take a while to heat up, but once it's warm sometimes I have to unzip a little bit, but I would rather be warm than cold. I also use a Thermarest to keep me off the ground, for this also helps on cold 20° nights on the Appalachian Trail.

All in all, this is a great bag for someone trying to go light. The price is also reasonable. Good luck out there and I hope this review helps.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $170

This is a good, all-around, bag for three-season use.

Pros

  • Very light
  • Very compressible
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Tight for "big" people

I bought this bag instead of the Blue Kazoo as I already had a 20 degree bag. When I got it and saw how light it was, I was skeptical that it would keep me warm. Recently I was able to get into cold weather to test the bag out (17 degrees outside, 24 degrees inside).  The bag was more than adequately warm down to 30 degrees, and only below 25 degrees did I feel like I would need to add some sleeping clothes.  This is pretty good as most manufacturers seem to exaggerate their minimum temperatures!

As an added feature, the inside of the bag is very comfortable — almost cozy.  As I sleep on my side, I was impressed with how easy it was to change sides — the inside was slippery enough to let me turn over yet keep the bottom of the bag on the pad.  While many demean the small inside pocket as useless, I found it helpful in keeping my watch and flashlight ready without having to open the bag.

On the downside, it can be a little claustrophobic for the larger sleeper (like me), but it still had enough room for me, my next day's pants and shirt, and a water bottle.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone that wants a light bag, but still wants to make sure they have enough overkill for those unexpected cold snaps at early or late season.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: I think it was a bit below $200

Overall this bag has the most bang for your buck in this price range that you can get. It is very warm, I have slept in 30 degree weather with 20 MPH winds, and have stayed toasty and felt no wind.

Pros

  • Lofty
  • Very compressible (size of a cantaloupe)
  • Soft and comfortable

Cons

  • Loses down at first
  • Not for the claustrophobic

It is an ergonomically designed mummy bag, so there isn't much space to move around, which took some getting used to at first. The inner fabric is so soft and smooth, it is incredibly comfortable and I feel that i could sustain much colder temperatures in this bag and still be comfortable. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $240

Lightweight and compact, but is nowhere as warm as it claims to be. I get cold outside of the summer months.

Pros

  • Light
  • Compact

Cons

  • It's cold.
  • Misleading on the limit levels written on the sleeping bag

I'm 33 and male and I find this thing cold in anything but summer. I usually have to wear a bunch of other layers and sleep in my down jacket as well if I want to use it in autumn (and I mean mid autumn).

I am pretty tall and skinny and not the most cold resistant, but the adverstised temperatures for me are bogus. When I use it out in the wilds somewhere I am always lying awake and cold somewhere, cursing the manufacturers and fantasizing about leaving a bad review.

On the plus side, it is super compact and lightweight and stuffs down to really small and compact… and some nights it has managed to hold the heat when I finally shivered myself warm.

Source: bought it new

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Specs

Regular Long
Price MSRP: $109.00
Historic Range: $139.98-$250.00
Reviewers Paid: $170.00-$240.00
Weight 1 lb 12 oz / 790 g 1 lb 13 oz / 824 g
Stuff Sack 8 x 13 in / 20.3 x 33 cm
Temp Rating 35°F / 2°C
Liner 20D Nylon Taffeta
Shell 20D Nylon Ripstop With Non-PFC Durable Water-Repellent (Non-PFC DWR) Finish
Insulation 700-Fill ProDown

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