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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > GoLite Adrenaline 0 bag > Test Report by Gail Staisil

GoLite Adrenaline 0
Sleeping Bag

Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Page Contents:

Initial Report:

January 20, 2009

Tester Information

Gail Staisil
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Shoulder Girth: 41 in (104 cm)
Hip Girth: 37 in (94 cm)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last 18 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Canada. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

Product Information

Model Adrenaline 0 (Women's Regular)
Pertex, nylon and polyester
800-fill goose down
Tested Size
Women's Regular (also available in Women's Short as well as three Men's sizes)
Manufacturer  Weight 2 lb 10 oz (1.19 kg) - Regular size
Tested Weight 
2 lb 12.6 oz (1.26 kg) With stuff sack 2 lb 13.5 oz (1.29 kg)
Model Year 2008
MSRP $400 US


Initial Impressions and Product Description 
GoLite Adrenaline 0 Sleeping Bag
The GoLite Adrenaline 0 Sleeping Bag arrived in fine condition without any noticeable defects. It looks much like it did on the company's website. I was however surprised that both the opening in the hood for my face and the hood itself seemed incredibly small. Many of my sleeping bags have rather large hoods that have to be cinched quite a bit with drawcords to compress the extra space.

The contoured hood on the Adrenaline actually is a design that fits closely to the head much like a hat would. The "SkullGlove" eliminates a lot of the extra bulk and allows a snug fit.
The bag came with a breathable cotton storage sack and a 0.9 oz (25.5 g) SilLite stuff sack for travel. The latter measures approx 16 in (40.5 cm) in length and 7.5 in (19 cm) in width when stuffed with the sleeping bag.

The Adrenaline 0 Sleeping Bag is one several sleeping bags classified in the ultralight category by the manufacturer. That series of sleeping bags are trimmer in design, weigh less overall and feature center half zippers. According to the manufacturer the Adrenaline 0 is made for winter fast packing and alpinism.

Trying it Out
Entire zipper opening shown from waist to base of hood

I couldn't wait to crawl into the sleeping bag to see if it was roomy enough. The gender-specific size Women's Regular was touted to have a trim mummy-style fit designed for users up to 6 ft (1.83 m) and girths up to 54 in (137 cm). I am 5 ft  9 in (1.75 m) tall with a shoulder girth of 41 in (104 cm) and it seems to fit perfectly both in length and circumference.

Although the bag is a trim fit it actually is not the narrowest bag I've ever used. To my benefit the hood of the sleeping bag fits nicely as well. The bag was easy to crawl into through the center opening (zipper opening shown in picture at left). The Adrenaline 0 features a half zipper placed in the center of the sleeping bag rather than the more traditional side zip. The 26 in (66 cm) length of zipper features a handy pull made with a long loop of fabric. The zipper area features both outside and inside draft tubes.


The shell of the Andrenaline 0 is mostly fabricated with 20-denier mini-ripstop nylon with a water resistant finish (DWR). The foot and head zones of the sleeping bag feature waterproof and breathable Pertex Endurance AridZone fabric in an attractive contrasting color. As stated these waterproof areas are placed at crucial areas in the sleeping bag that most likely would be exposed to condensation by contact with tent walls or the ends of a bivy. The inside of the bag feels very soft and cozy. The black silky lining material is a 22-denier micro fiber polyester. All of the seams and finish work are very nicely done.


The bag is insulated with 800-fill goose down. The down is distributed into compartments with 6 in (15 cm) baffles. The shell is differentially cut. The bottom section of the front of the bag is designed with horizontal baffle chambers and the top of the bag (front) features vertical baffles. The baffles on the back of the bag are all sewn horizontally. As suggested by the manufacturer this distribution optimizes warmth.

More Features
Hood detail shows opening for person's face
As aforementioned the hood of the sleeping bag is of a skullcap design. The baffled hood has a drawcord to cinch down the circumference a bit. The hood features a draft tube around the edge of the opening for my face. This is certainly a feature I haven't seen before. In addition, right inside the bag is located a 5 in (12.7 cm) wide insulated neck collar that can be secured with a hook and loop closure. The top circumference of it can be cinched with an elastic drawcord.

Also notable are the two hang loops that are attached to the bag that are provided for drying or storing. One is placed at the lower end of the outside of the bag and the other is placed inside the foot of the bag for reverse drying.

The only adornments on the bag are an embroidered "GoLite" logo on the lower side of the bag and a sewn tag on the top side of the bag. The latter details information about the bag including the model, rating and insulation. I find this to be very handy as some sleeping bags that I've had in the past had me guessing years later as to their exact qualities. 

So far, I am very pleased with the qualities of the GoLite Adrenaline 0 Sleeping Bag. I'm looking forward to the next four months of testing it in winter and early spring conditions that should bring a wide variety of temperatures, precipitation and humidity.

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Field Report:

March 14, 2009

Locations and Conditions

During the Field Test Period, I have slept in the GoLite Adrenaline 0 Sleeping Bag for a total of eleven nights. I have used it during two different four-day backcountry sledge trips, plus a four-day sledge-in rustic cabin trip and a three-day sledge-in rustic cabin trip.

Locations ranged from and included frozen Lake Superior to snow covered conifer and deciduous forest communities with many rock outcroppings.
Elevation ranged from 600 ft (183 m) to approximately 1200 ft (366 m). Temperatures experienced ranged from -15 F to 41 F (-26 C to 5 C)

Early February Backpacking/Sledge Trip:

Location: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Type of Trip: Ungroomed trail and bushwhack
Distance: 18 mi (29 km)
Length of Trip:
4 days/3 nights
Sledge Weight: 45 lb (20 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, light snow and partly sunny 
0.12 in (0.30 cm)
Temperature Range: 20 F (-7 C) to 41 F (5 C)

Mid-February Sledge/Rustic Cabin Trip:

Location: Hiawatha National Forest - Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Type of Trip: Deep snow-covered old two-tracks and hiking trails
Distance: 11 mi (18 km)
Length of Trip:
4 days/3 nights
Sledge Weight: 45 lb (20 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, heavy snow flurries and partly sunny 
0.34 in (0.86 cm)
Temperature Range: -1 (-18 C) to 20 F (-7 C)

Early March Backpacking/Sledge Trip:

Location: Lake Superior (frozen-over) and Grand Island - Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Type of Trip: Frozen lake travel by ski and snowshoe, bushwhack and island trails
Distance: 21 mi (34 km)
Length of Trip:
4 days/3 nights
Sledge Weight: 45 lb (20 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, partially sunny, windy
Trace of new snow
Temperature Range: -15 F (-26 C) to 32 F (0 C) 

March Sledge/Rustic Cabin Trip:

Location: Hiawatha National Forest - Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Type of Trip: Snow-covered old two-tracks and hiking trails
Distance: 9 mi (14.5 km)
Length of Trip:
3 days/2 nights
Sledge Weight: 40 lb (18 kg) 
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, rain, light snow flurries, partly sunny
0.49  in (1.24 cm)
Temperature Range: 2 F (-19 C) to 36 F (-17 C to 2 C)

Performance in the Field

First Backcountry Sledge Trip
Pictured Rocks Chapel Basin Area
During the first trip of the field test period I slept in the Adrenaline 0 for three nights in the backcountry of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Conditions for this trip started with unseasonably high temperatures so there was much humidity as well as moisture-laden snow cover. I snowshoed and pulled a sledge to a new site each night in the backcountry where my shelter for this trip was a roomy four-season tent that I occupied solo. The tent has plenty of vents and I vented it each night so that there would be more air flow. The temps did fall below freezing each night.

For this trip I used the Pacific Outdoor Company Hyper High Mt Mat and a three-quarter Z-rest for insulation purposes under the Adrenaline 0. During the first night I chose to sleep in the Adrenaline 0 with the hood underneath my head as it was most likely just hovering around freezing (32 F/ 0 C) and snowing and I thought I would get too warm with the hood in place. This left the bulk of the sleeping bag cinched snuggly around my neck and I kept quite toasty despite the damp conditions. I am a cold sleeper by nature so the Adrenaline 0 was perfect for these conditions.

During the second and third nights of that trip the temps dipped to around 20 F (-7 C) so I decided to wear the hood over my light synthetic-stretch hat. I like how the hood fits without having to do any excessive adjustment. The fit of the hood is snug almost like wearing a hat and it doesn't hinder my movement in any way. Inside the roomy sleeping bag I wore long wool underwear, a light fleece top and bottom. I was very content.

Center Zip

I am very keen on the center zipper feature of the Adrenaline 0. It's so easy to enter and exit the bag without having to reach across the bag to find the zipper. It became very important during the middle of one night when I heard footsteps on the crunchy surface of the snow. Next thing I knew something was rubbing up against the side of my tent. Since I was situated on a ridge above a river I had earlier realized that deer might make their way to the partially open river to drink. I quickly unzipped the bag and stuck my head out the open vestibule and sure enough it was a deer so I could relax once more. Based on past history I probably would have still been fumbling for the zipper in my usual side-zippered sleeping bag.

More Trips

My next trip involved sleeping in a rustic log cabin that I hiked into by snowshoes and sledge. Although I had a bit of a fire going during some of the daytime hours I let the fire expire each of the three nights and the cabin temperature went down to about 40 F (4 C) or less. I felt very comfortable in the bag not using the hood and having it partially unzipped.

Frigid Cold Nights During March Sledge Trip
Tester skiiing and pulling sledge on Lake Superior along cliffs
 My early March four-day sledge trip located on frozen Lake Superior and a nearby island took place in much colder temperatures. I again slept in a four-season tent with the same two sleeping pads underneath me. One was the POE Hyper High Mt Mat and the other was the three-quarter length Z-rest which was primarily under my legs. The tent was located on top of snow-covered ice.

As aforementioned I am a cold sleeper. I normally carry a sleeping bag that is rated 20 degrees colder than air temperature. With the anticipated lows being way below zero (-18 C) I brought along a lightweight rectangular MEC (Mountain Equipment Company) overbag to use if necessary with the Adrenaline 0. However, I decided that I would forgo using the overbag unless it was absolutely necessary the first night.

I snuggled into the Adrenaline 0 wearing long underwear, fleece pants and a light down jacket. I secured the fitted hood to eliminate any air space. Although I was cold throughout the first night (expectedly so since it got down to -15 F (-26 C) I decided to go for the long haul without the overbag which was sitting in a stuff sack next to me. Since I was just cold and not worse than that I made it through the night. The next night was also below zero (-9 F/-23 C). I decided to use the overbag this time and I was definitely more content and slept well.
The last night of this trip was approximately -6 F (-21 C) and I was very warm wearing all of the above items mentioned from the first night plus the overbag.

The final trip of the field test period was also to a rustic cabin in the backcountry where I spent two nights. Again the nights were 40 F (4 C) or less and the bag was used partially unzipped with my head out of the skullcap hood.

Condensation and
Temperature RatingThe Adrenaline 0 inside my tent on Lake Superior

Each night during the first trip I had a bit of frozen frost on the topside of the sleeping bag in the foot area. It brushed off without incident. There was also a bit of frost on the chest area where my breath probably froze on the surface. On the much colder backcountry trip I didn't notice any frost on the bag other than a small amount on the chest area again where my breath froze a bit.

I feel that the rating of the bag is very true to specs if not warmer as compared to similar-rated bags I have used in the past. Even though I used the bag in much colder conditions than it is rated it was still "warmer" than I expected it to be. I primarily base this on the fact that I was able to ride out the -15 F (-26 F) night without any extra protection. Based on experience I simply couldn't have done this with many other bags that I have used.


I have used the stuff sack that came with the Adrenaline 0 to
pack it in for all of the above trips and it has been easy to stuff even in frigid temps. It has been carried in my sledge taking up little space on all my winter trips. In the long term period I will be using a backpack to carry my gear so I will certainly report on that in the future.

Care and Durability

I haven't felt that it was necessary to wash the bag yet.  When I return from each trip I remove the bag from the stuff sack, then let it air and finally store it in the cotton bag that was provided by the manufacturer. The only concern I have at this point is the fact that there always is an array of down on my wool underwear or fleece pants when I exit the bag. Upon checking several times I can't locate where they are coming from so maybe they were just left from the manufacturing process. I will monitor this more in the long term period.

Conclusion For Field Test Period
Working the pack ice on Lake Superior
So far, after spending six nights in the outdoors plus an extra five nights in a cold rustic log cabin I'm very pleased with the performance of the GoLite Adrenaline 0 Sleeping Bag. It seems rather true to its temperature rating and I absolutely love the center zip. Being a side sleeper the zipper stays centered over my chest and I don't rotate it out of position. The skullcap-design hood is also a great bonus since most air spaces are all ready eliminated and I normally don't have to cinch it down further unless I am getting cold. The draft collar is also easy to adjust and the center hook and loop adjustment is easily fastened when needed.

In the long term testing period I excitedly look forward to trying the Adrenaline 0 with a center-zip bivy that
I own. I will also look at using the Adrenaline 0 in warmer temperatures than experienced in the field test period. Again being a cold sleeper I don't anticipate that the weather will prove unduly warm for me with the rating of the Adrenaline 0 but I shall find out for certain. Explore how I did by checking back in two months.


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Long Term Report:

May 13, 2009

Locations and Conditions

During the Long Term Period, I have slept in the GoLite Adrenaline 0 Sleeping Bag for an additional total of six nights. I have used it during a two-day backpack trip (1 night), a three-day backpack trip (3 nights) and another two-day backpack trip (2 nights).  

Locations ranged from and included glacial-carved terrain to conifer and deciduous forest communities with many rock outcroppings.
Trail conditions were everything from melting snow cover to mud and lichen-covered earth. Elevation ranged from 600 ft (183 m) to approximately 1300 ft (400 m). Temperatures experienced ranged from a low of 25 F (-4 C) to a high of 68 F (20 C). However most temperatures hovered in the mid-40 F (around 7 C) range.

Early April Backpacking Trip:

Location: Kettle Moraine State Forest - Ice Age Trail - Wisconsin
Type of Trip: Trail along eskers, moraines, kettles and kames (remnant features left behind by glaciers)
Distance: 18 mi (29 km)
Length of Trip:
2 days/1 night
Pack Weight: 30 lb (14 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, windy, sleet
0.18 in/0.46 cm (snow/sleet)
Temperature Range: 33 F (1 C) to 45 F (7 C)

Late April Backpacking Trip:

Location: North Country Trail - Wisconsin
Type of Trip: Mostly trail
Distance: 18 mi (29 km)
Length of Trip:
3 days/3 nights
Pack Weight: 27.5 lb (12.47 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, sleet, hail storm, rain, sunny
0.37 in (0.94 cm)
Temperature Range: 33 F (1 C) to 68 F (20 C)

May Backpacking Trip:

Location: Fox River Pathway - Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Type of Trip: Trail 
Distance: 17.5 mi (28 km)
Length of Trip:
2 days/2 nights
Pack Weight: 28 lb (13 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Mostly sunny
Temperature Range: 25 F (-4 C) to  51 F (11 C)

Performance in the Field

Backpacking Usage during the Long Term Period

During my early April trip on the Ice Age Trail in central Wisconsin I chose to use my tarp and bivy combination for my shelter needs. I was really excited about pairing up my bivy (Integral Designs Penguin) with the Adrenaline O as they both possess a center zip. I must admit I quickly found it to be the most absolutely perfect combination. No more fussing during the night trying to see out of a side-zip bivy after rotation (that would involve unzipping my sleeping bag to change the opening). The bivy and sleeping bag rotated perfectly with me as I turned to the opposite side during the night several times. Because I didn't have to unzip the Adrenaline I didn't lose any precious body heat during the process.

The weather during this trip was unseasonably cool and very windy. During the night there was a combination of sleet and light snow with a low temperature about 33 F (1 C). I had set up my tarp on an exposed ridge outside of the shelter (that I was required to have a permit for) but I stayed perfectly warm even though I slept in only light trail clothes. As a cold sleeper the Adrenaline 0 perfectly accommodated my needs.

For this trip I used a three-quarter length Prolite 3 Pad and a Z-rest (also three-quarter length). I had the two pads shingled to give maximum thickness under the core area of my body. The pads were placed over a small piece of Neat Sheet (synthetic fabric water-repellent ground cover) over the forest floor of decaying leaves.
Skullcap hood design on tester getting ready for a quiet night on the Fox River Pathway
The next trip took place in Northern Wisconsin for three nights. The nights varied in temperature with the first being the warmest at about 50 F (10 C). The next two nights were much cooler at temps around freezing (32 F/0 C).

I again used the same combination of pads underneath the Adrenaline which was encased in a bivy. This trip had a great deal of humidity and very wet conditions including a hail storm. Although the Adrenaline 0 was fully protected from the moisture by the use of my center-zip bivy and the overhead tarp the humid conditions did not seem to affect the performance of the Adrenaline.

The last trip took place in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for two nights. Even though the calender says that it is May, the nights were at below freezing temperatures with the coldest night being 25 F (-4 C). I again used the bivy with the Adrenaline 0 (and the same pads). The trip conditions were very dry and I slept very contently in the warmth of the Adrenaline (picture at left).

Only One Nitpick

The only minor annoyance I have noticed throughout the testing period is that when I unzip the Adrenaline 0, the zipper inadvertently picks up some of the soft fabric from either the overlying draft tube or the underlying draft tube. I find this does not happen if I use one hand to make sure the draft tubes are out of the way when I open or close the zipper. Although I have been able to pull out the fabric that gets stuck in the zipper it might be better to have the draft tubes fabricated with some stiffer fabric.

GoLite has somewhat addressed the potential of this happening by the use of an area of grosgrain ribbon on either side of the underside of the zipper and a slightly stiffened area with multiple rows of stitching on the underside of the overlying draft tube. Although this has most likely prevented some potential zipper snags from the fabric in the immediate area of the zipper, I believe it would be a benefit for the grosgrain ribbon areas to extend the width of the draft tube or the materials used in this area should have more structure to them. Currently the zipper snags on the very soft material of the draft tubes that are beyond the current reinforcements.


Overall, I have been highly pleased with the performance of the Adrenaline 0 Sleeping Bag during the entire testing period. It has been subject to extensive testing. It has been used during seventeen nights in a variety of conditions including temps from -15 F (-26 C) to 50 F (10 C). Being a cold sleeper it was not too warm even at the higher temperatures although I did not wear the hood on the few warm nights that occurred. The Adrenaline 0 seems very true-to-temperature largely based on the performance of it during very frigid conditions in the field test period.
Adrenaline 0 encased in center-zip bivy
In addition, I can't relate enough great things about the center-zip application and the overall shape of the sleeping bag including its skullcap. The fact that the sleeping bag is so easy to exit and enter with little fuss truly brings me smiles. Again I like the skullcap design as it eliminates the issue of a sleeping bag's hood not turning with me. The sleeping bag has seen many usage applications including it being used inside of a tent (6 nights) and inside of a bivy (6 nights). I have also used it on top of a bunk in a rustic chilly cabin (5 nights).

The sleeping bag was carried in my sledge during the winter months and in my backpack during the early spring outings. It was easy to store in the sledge and to place at the bottom of my backpack in the latter scenario. I packed it in a GoLite Pinnacle Backpack on two spring trips and the Osprey Aura 65 Backpack on the last trip. The latter has a sleeping bag compartment. Even though the Adrenaline 0 is a winter bag it did not fill the entire compartment. That really shows how small it actually packs!

There hasn't been any noticeable change in the loft of the bag even though it was packed and unpacked repeatedly. The loft hasn't shifted and it seems to be as evenly distributed as when I obtained the sleeping bag. The zipper remains in working order and I haven't noticed any other issues such as separated threads. There has been very little leakage of down during the final period so I speculate that earlier instances of it were due to stray pieces of down being left in the bag during the manufacturing process.
I haven't noticed that the bag picked up excessive moisture during any of my trips and it certainly was often exposed to very high humidity and wet conditions. I haven't felt the need to wash the sleeping bag as I slept in the bag fully clothed during all the trips.

Based on the exceptional performance of the Adrenaline 0 after many trips with multiple consecutive days in the field, I fully intend to continue using the sleeping bag during many of my trips in the cool-to-cold seasons of the year (much of the year here).


  • Roomy enough to wear extra clothes
  • Very little condensation
  • Center zip allows easy access
  • Temperature rating seems accurate
  • Some times the zipper gets snagged on adjoining fabric (draft tube)
Tester Remarks 

Thanks to GoLite and BackpackGearTest for this neat opportunity to test the Adrenaline 0 Sleeping Bag. This report concludes the test series. 

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