Choosing a sleeping bag is part art, part guess, part knowledge. We at the Highland Hiker would like to help you find the sleeping bag that is best suited for your needs. The North Face® sleeping bags are high quality, durable, and loved by many of our area campers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Below you will find detailed information about the inner makings of The North Face® sleeping bags carried at the Highland Hiker.
The Overlapping Shingle Construction used in our synthetic sleeping bags evenly distributes insulation for consistent and comfortable warmth. Similar to the shingles on the roof of a house, we overlay our insulation panels rather than placing them side-by-side. This overlapping construction provides uniform loft, prevents insulation from moving and alleviates cold spot formation.
A revolutionary new synthetic utilized by The North Face®, Climashield™ Neo is the first-ever commercially-available, dual-density fill. That means it utilizes two deniers of fiber in one continuous filament. Larger fibers maintain loft and compaction resiliency, while the smaller fibers have a softer feel and the best heat-trapping characteristics.
Neo’s resiliency sets a new benchmark for the outdoor industry. One test consisted of completely compressing the Neo fill in a lab through 100,000 cycles. In the end, it regained 78 percent of original loft, substantially more than any previous synthetic fill used by The North Face®.
Tests show that Neo also outperforms other synthetic fills in moisture categories. Each fiber is coated with a heat-activated finish that is exceptionally water repellent. As indicated by a low Evaporative Resistance rating, Neo filament is less inclined to absorb water and actually facilitates vapor transportation away from the sleeper and out through the shell fabric.
High loft Climashield™ HL is an ideal insulation for sleeping bags. Offering high thermal efficiency, durability and water resistance in a high loft material, continuous filament Climashield™ HL provides unparalleled warmth and comfort.
The North Face® presents another groundbreaking innovation; Climashield™ Prism is Neo’s genetic cousin and exhibits many of the same ultra-high performance qualities that make it the new top choice of synthetic fill for our bags. In rigorous tests against other synthetic fills such as Polarguard® Delta, fills were wetted and then the wattage necessary to maintain temperature was measured. Results showed that Prism required less wattage (i.e. energy) than any other fill, meaning that bags with Prism will maintain their temperature more easily when wet. Overall, Prism loses 15 percent less heat when wet. Further, deflection tests proved Prism to be softer to the touch, and pack-and-unpack tests showed it to be significantly more resilient.
Answering the rising demand for fast and light gear, The North Face's RD&D team set out to make the most adaptable, packable and lightweight gear for our new Flight Series™. Developed for multisport athletes, the Flight Series ™ features ultralight, multi-purpose apparel, equipment and footwear. This athlete-tested performance collection is designed for done-in-a-day and weekend adventures when fast and light packing is paramount.
No longer are feet relegated to being cold and cramped. The new vaulted footbox provides sufficient spacke to allow the feet to flex and move naturally. This eliminates dead air space and keeps feet warmer and more comfortable.
The North Face® Flight Series™ bags, both down and synthetic, are designed and built around the concept of moving fast and light. Ever concious of weight and performance, The North Face® now utilizes proprietary HelioLite™ and HelioLite™ HD Fabric as the top shell fabric in its Flight Series™ bags. Innovative HelioLite™ is the best of all possible worlds: It's ultralight and downproof, provides an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio and is lighter and more compressible than other available fabrics. HelioLite™ is used in the superlight synthetic bags, insulated with warm and compressible PrimaLoft® insulation, while HelioLite™ HD is the shell of choice for Fligt Series ™ down and Polarguard® bags. Whichever bag you choose, Flight Series™ bags are now lighter and stronger.
Featured in the Propel sleeping bag, Weld-It construction is a unique technology designed to increase warmth and efficiency. By welding an insulation panel into the bag we eliminate insulation stitch lines - areas of heat loss in standard stitched-across areas of construction. One layer of Polarguard™ Delta synthetic insulation is welded into the Propel to provide efficient and uniform loft in this extremely lightweight sleeping bag.
Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating System
When it comes to sleeping bag comfort, the consumer is often left in the dark, or worse—the cold, when it comes to temperature or thermal comfort ratings. Each manufacturer is free to interpret the various studies and test results as they see fit, and rely on any number of assumptions in arriving at their stated ratings. Stated ratings might indicate the bag’s ideal comfort temperature, its lower comfort limit, or even its survival limit. For the consumer, the ratings produce inconsistency and confusion at the retail level. The bottom line: the current ratings do not accurately predict the all-important thermal comfort range for the average outdoor user.
Thermal testing relies on heated mannequins to measure a sleeping bag’s thermal insulation. The results of these tests provide a bag’s CLO value (its thermal insulation value). The problem, however, came with translating that CLO value into a meaningful thermal comfort rating for the consumer. Both the military and a number of universities have supported theories that attempt to correlate CLO value and thermal comfort, with widely varying results. More recently, the European Union established a standard for sleeping bags that dictates specific comfort levels. While this standard is indeed a positive step, it remains clear that a single reliable thermal comfort rating standard for sleeping bags is still very much in order.
The North Face®, working in conjunction with the Institute for Environmental Research (IER) at Kansas State University (KSU), as well as with other industry brands and retailers, set out to develop a real-world thermal comfort rating system, based on the experiences of ordinary human subjects. The IER conducted an in-depth study* of 60 ordinary men and women, sleeping in various sleeping bags in a temperaturecontrolled chamber. The study validated the KSU Heat Loss Model for thermal comfort of sleeping bags for the average outdoor user.
In a second study,** the KSU IER looked more closely at the variety of factors that affect a sleeping bag’s insulation value including sleeping pad and clothing. Based on the conclusions of that study, The North Face® has adopted a rating system that takes into account the entire sleep system and considers the total thermal value of the various components in assigning a temperature rating to each sleeping bag. Validated by the average outdoor user and based on real world experiences, this system provides consumers with real world information to guide them in their choice of sleeping bag.