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June 2017 Issue
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The North Face Gold Kazoo

The North Face Gold Kazoo



Our Rating:

The three-season Gold Kazoo is designed specifically for humid climates, being stuffed with water resistant and quick-drying ProDown insulation, which holds its form when damp.

The bag comes in a nifty compression sack, squatter than the traditional design and a more convenient shape to stow in your pack.

With a comfort rating of 1˚C and weighing 908g, it’s one of the lightest in its category. It achieves this weight through use of a thin nylon outer and inner, reducing the number of baffles and using a three-quarter length zip.

The zip feels well made and comes with a glow-in-the-dark toggle. A down draft tube runs parallel to the zip, adding to the comfort of the bag, but with the drawback of occasionally snagging.

The 650-fill ProDown is comfortable without being lavish. I spent a night on the Tararua tops in low single-digit temperatures and was a fraction on the cold side, though I used the bag without a liner and was wearing only underwear. The hood and neck baffle cinch nice and tight above shoulder height, and the bag instantly feels warmer with drafts shut out.

My overall impression of the Gold Kazoo is positive. With a retail price of $500, it represents good value for money. I tend to prefer more solidly built gear, but as always, the clincher with down sleeping bags is how well you take care of them. Water-resistant insulation may help prolong the life of ‘mistreated’ down sleeping bags, but they haven’t been on the market long enough to prove their worth.