The North Face touts the Blue Kazoo as one of its best-selling bags and it’s no surprise: this 1159g, DWR-treated, three-season down sleeping bag is pretty hard to go past for Kiwi conditions.
At first glance this bag looks a well put together item. It’s got an internal pocket for your alarm, or to stash a pair of earplugs to ward off those pesky snoring tent mates, and the genius idea of glow-in-the-dark zipper pull.
Behind the taffeta lining, it’s packed with some fairly nifty technologies. The fill is 650 loft power ProDown, a goose down that’s treated to be highly water resistant (if TNF’s Youtube videos are to be believed, you can dunk it underwater and it’ll still fluff up like cotton candy) combined with ‘Climashield Prism’, which insulates even when compressed, in the high pressure areas under the head, torso and feet.
TNF claims its comfort rating keeps you toasty down to -3°C, I didn’t get a chance to push it to anywhere near its limits with plus-ten degree nights around Lake Wakatipu being about the coldest of it. But given the ease with which the Blue Kazoo coped with those nights I’d be confident that it’ll cope with pretty much any conditions you’ll find below the tree line in Aotearoa… and a fair bit in the mountains too.
I only had one sticking point with the Blue Kazoo: a stiff bit of Velcro on the hood closure, which inevitably attaches itself to your beard like an octopus tentacle in the middle of the night. Despite this minor design slip-up, the Blue Kazoo is still a good deal at $520.