Feb 1, 2002
Outside Magazine

The North Face Flight (synthetic)
At a scant two pounds, one ounce, the Flight ($150) won't unbalance a weekend backpack load, and at this price it won't unbalance your budget either. Fifteen ounces of Polarguard Delta insulation—the lightest Polarguard to date, and exclusive to TNF until this spring—gives the Flight a 35-degree rating, sufficient for most warm-weather trips if you don't mind wearing a hat and a heavy fleece on colder nights. The feel of the Delta insulation is more, well, downlike than any synthetic we've tried before: It's soft and drapes loosely around the body, without the squirmy, clumpy feel of earlier polyesters. With 62 inches of shoulder room and 40 inches at the foot, it's big enough for restless sleepers, who'll also appreciate the pillow pocket in the hood.

Western Mountaineering Apache Super DL (down) Western Mountaineering offers you a choice of three lengths, several shell-material options, and extra stuffing where you need it (cold feet? no problem), and then sews it all together in California with a fussy English tailor's attention to detail. With its 750-fill down fully fluffed, the Apache ($420) seems ready to levitate off your sleeping pad. It weighs just two pounds, six ounces, yet boasts a 15-degree rating—warm enough to shrug off an unexpected cold snap. The company doesn't scrimp on features to attain that impressive lightweight but warm mark: The bag has a full-length zipper, a (somewhat tight) hood, and decent, if not commodious, shoulder and foot room (59 and 38 inches). The shell is Gore Dryloft, a laminated fabric that keeps condensation away from those precious feathers. Skip the Dryloft and you'll save $135.

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