Sierra Designs Verde 20 Sleeping Bag

Sacks of All Trades

    Photo: Terry Heffernan

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1. It's partly recycled, yes. But the Verde won this year's award because of how it performed in the field. It's all about the fill: The Verde's insulation (Climashield Green) is "continuous filament," meaning it won't clump or shift—and create cold spots—as old-school synthetics do.

2. The insulation and shell fabric are spun from recycled soda-pop bottles.The liner fabric consists of coconut husk and recy-cled plastic. The drawstring cordlock is made out of recycled, reground plastic. The only things that aren't? The zippers and velcro, for durability reasons.

3. The Verde is lined with Cocona, a yarn made with activated carbon fibers from coconut shells, which can be used to weave fabric from recycled products and excels at wicking away moisture and fighting odor. It works. "The bag feels drier and fresher than others," remarked one tester.

4. There's a chest pocket, removable leashes to keep you from sliding off your pad in the middle of the night, and a pillow sleeve. The downside is that all those features—and the bulkier insulation—add up. The Verde is nearly a pound heavier than other 20-degree synthetic bags.

5. An efficient, athletic cut and ergonomically tailored footbox and hood reduce the need to heat up the dead air spaces. The women's version, the Déjà Vu (as in, these materials have already been seen once before), is cut fuller in the hips and has more insulation in the footbox.

3.6 lbs; $180 sierradesigns.com

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