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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > GoLite Adrenaline 0 bag > Test Report by Andrew Henrichs
GoLite Men's Adrenaline 0° Sleeping Bag
Test Series by Andy Henrichs
May 24, 2009
The GoLite Men's Adrenaline 0° F sleeping bag is an 800-fill bag that, according to the GoLite website, is designed for "frigid weather overnights." According to the manufacturer, the bag features waterproof Pertex Endurance Arid Zones at both the foot and head of the bag. These Arid Zones are black. The rest of the bag is a semi-translucent orange color and is constructed with 20 denier mini ripstop nylon with DWR. This orange material is thin enough to make out the general shape of the down insulation. The black liner is 22 denier micro fiber polyester fiber. The bag has a half-length center zipper. The zipper is positioned right over the chest and runs from the hood to waist-level. The zipper features an interior and exterior insulated draft tube. The lower half of the bag features 6 in (15 cm) wide horizontal baffles. The upper half of the bag features 6 in (15 cm) wide vertical baffles. The hood of the sleeping bag features an insulated draft tube as well as an insulated neck collar. This collar secures with a hook-and-loop closure.
The hood features two cinch cords to tighten the face opening. These are located on each side of the bottom of the hood opening. The neck collar also has a cinch cord, located on the bottom left of the collar. Near the left side of the hood, there is a patch with the GoLite logo as well as information about the bag. There is also a GoLite logo embroidered near the foot of the bag. Also near the foot of the bag is a small Pertex Endurance tag, a hang loop, and some consumer information tags. These consumer information tags contain information about the construction of the bag as well as storage and cleaning instructions. According to the tag, the bag should be stored hung or flat. Washing directions are: "attach all velcro closures, front load machine, wash cold water, gentle cycle mild soap, rinse thoroughly. Tumble dry no heat. Do Not Dry Clean. Do not Iron. Do Not Bleach."
The GoLite Adrenaline Sleeping Bag is a very nice looking bag. It has a relatively narrow cut, but I don't feel cramped when inside it. There even appears to be adequate room for some extra clothes or a water bottle at night, although I haven't tested this. Even with the half center zipper, it's pretty easy to get into and out of the bag. Once inside the bag, I was very surprised by how small the hood opening was when fully zipped. There is just enough room for my mouth and nose; I really can't see out of the bag. This is before I even tightened the cinch cords around the hood. This seems like it will be thermally efficient, but I'm interested to find out how practical this is. When zipped up, it took me some time to blindly secure the neck collar. Once secured, it was easy to find the cinch cord and snug it up around my neck. I had to pull up a lot of cord before I felt like it was getting too tight around my neck. The collar seemed to secure around my neck well before this point, so I shouldn't feel like I'm choking myself when cinching it up.
The bag comes with a cotton storage sack as well as a stuff sack. I was very impressed with how well the bag fits into the stuff sack; it is not a struggle to get the last little bit of the sleeping bag into the stuff sack. Once stuffed, the stuff sack isn't packed tight; it remains squishy, which should help to eliminate dead space when packing my backpack. I love how easily it fits into my medium-sized backpack. I was anxious to see how much space it took up and was pleasantly surprised at how small it packed down.
The first time I used this sleeping bag was at an elevation of approximately 10,200 ft (3,100 m). The second time was at an elevation of slightly over 11,300 ft (3,400 m). Both nights were spent alone inside a 4-season tent. The overnight low on the first night was approximately 5° F (-15° C). The overnight low on the second night was approximately 15° F (-9° C).
I'm rather pleased with the Golite Adrenaline Sleeping Bag so far. The fit of the bag seems just about perfect for me. While it is snug, there is still room for a water bottle, my ski boot liners, and a few extra layers. While this amount of gear does necessitate extra time for organization and positioning, it is important that I keep these items warm, dry, and easily accessible while I'm winter camping. When I first zipped myself up in the bag, I was surprised to find that the face opening was very small and exposed only my nose and mouth. I wasn't sure that I would like this feature, but so far, I really do. It helps to trap in more heat by minimizing any exposed skin and also helps to block out that early morning light, allowing me to get more sleep.
Based on my first two nights spent in the bag, I feel as though it is rated accurately. On the night that got down to 15° F (-9° C), I felt quite warm. I slept in only a baselayer and light fleece hat. On the night that got down to 5° F (-15° C) I was comfortable, but not excessively warm. Once the sleeping bag warmed up, I stripped down to my baselayers, hat, and midweight fleece top. I eventually woke up in the middle of the night feeling slightly chilled. I rummaged around, found my down jacket, pulled it over my torso, and quickly fell back to sleep. In the morning, I think I discovered the reason I got so chilled. The moisture from my breath had wet out the outer shell of the sleeping bag from just below my mouth to the top of my chest. The down itself did not appear to be wet, but the moisture on the shell seemed to be enough to make a difference. I did not experience this issue during the warmer night, although there was little breeze and therefore little ventilation in the tent on the colder night.
The Pertex Endurance fabric worked wonderfully. Both the head and foot of the bag remained totally dry, even when I would brush up against the walls of my tent. Given the issues I experienced with condensation, I think it would be beneficial to extend the Pertex Endurance shell a few inches down towards the chest. A rectangular section directly below the face opening on either side of the zipper could also minimize the vulnerability of this area to condensation from breathing.
As I stated in my Initial Report, the stuff sack is perfectly sized. It packs the sleeping bag down to a very manageable and reasonable size without requiring the user to spend hours wrestling with the bag. The reasonable size of this stuffed sleeping bag makes my life so much easier when it comes to packing my backpack. This has always been a struggle on winter trips. Now, I'm able to use a smaller, lighter backpack when I go winter camping.
Pros (so far):
Cons (so far):
I was able to use the GoLite Adrenaline Sleeping Bag seven additional times during the Long Term Report phase. Two of these nights were spent in essentially the same location; an easily accessible trailhead near Hoosier Pass, Colorado. The elevation at this trailhead is approximately 10,500 ft (3,200 m). During the first night here, temperatures hovered around 20° F (-7° C). The second night here featured low temperatures around 30° F (-1° C). Both of these nights were spent in a single-wall 4-season tent. One night was spent in a clearing near Monarch Pass, Colorado at an elevation of 11,100 ft (3,400 m). I constructed and slept inside an igloo this night. While temperatures outside the igloo dropped to 15° F (-9° C), the temperature inside stayed steady at 35° F (2° C). One night was spent near Elevenmile Canyon in central Colorado at an elevation of approximately 8000 ft (2400 m). The temperature fell to approximately 10° F (-12° C). I spent this night sleeping under a tarp. The final three nights of testing took place during a river trip in southeastern Utah. I spent all three of these nights sleeping under the stars with no shelter. The first night of the river trip was cool, with temperatures dropping to approximately 25° F (-4°C). The final two nights were much more mild with temperatures dropping to approximately 35° F (2° C).
I have been very happy with the GoLite Adrenaline Sleeping Bag. It continued to serve me well during these additional nights. While I never spent the night in temperatures at the rated limit of the bag, I have been close and I do feel that the rating is fairly accurate. Based on my experiences, I would not want to take this bag out in temperatures below 0° F (-18° C) without a bivy sack, extra clothes, or some other type of additional insulation. The coldest night I spent out had a low of 10° F (-12° C) and my feet were slightly cold for a portion of the night. I ended up putting on too many layers to warm up and ended up sweating a bit. After I took off these extra layers, the sweat added to condensation from my breathing on the chest of my bag. This ended up chilling me slightly just before dawn. I feel as though I could have prevented this by being more active before I went to bed to raise my body temperature and make the additional layers unnecessary. Unfortunately, I was not able to test this. As for the upper temperature limit of the bag, it seems to be around 35° F (2° C). At this temperature, I found that I could sleep but that I was very warm, slept with the zipper unzipped, and wished that I could vent the foot of the bag.
This bag seems to be cut a little more slim than I would prefer in a winter bag. I like to bring a few extra clothes, a water bottle, and my ski boot liners into my bag at night to keep them warm for the morning. With all of these items in the bag it seemed a little cramped. It doesn't help that my boot liners are men's size 14 US (48.5 Euro). These end up taking up a huge amount of space!
I really like the Pertex material at the head and foot. As I mentioned in the Field Conditions section of this report, I spent one night in an igloo I constructed. It ended up being a little too small for me and my head and feet were constantly in contact with the walls of the igloo. Despite this, the head and foot of my bag stayed dry all night. The same can't be said for the chest of my bag. As I mentioned in the Field Report, I awoke to condensation on the chest of my bag nearly every night. While the condensation only wet the shell, it seemed to be enough to chill me.
When first using this bag, I was skeptical of the half-length zipper. I like having the ability to fully vent my bag when necessary. Much to my surprise, I didn't miss a full zipper that much. While there were a couple of times it would have been nice to fully vent the bag, it was never absolutely necessary. As expected, I missed a full-zip more while sleeping in warmer temperatures. I was amazed at how well I could regulate my temperature in the bag simply by slipping the hood off of my head.
The packability of the GoLite Adrenaline is great. I am very happy with how small it compresses and with the amount of room it takes up in my pack. It makes packing for winter backpacking much more simple. The bag has also proven to be quite durable. Despite numerous stuffing and unstuffing into the stuff sack, dragging items over the shell, and rubbing against the inside of an igloo the bag looks like new. I cannot find any abrasions, pulled threads, or split seams.
The GoLite Adrenaline has proved to be a worthy winter sleeping bag. It seems to be rated accurately, features durable construction, and packs small enough to easily pack into a backpack. Where there are a few drawbacks to this bag, it will be my bag of choice for future winter backpacking trips.
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