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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > GoLite Adrenaline 20 Sleeping Bag > Test Report by Kathryn Doiron

GoLite Adrenaline Women's 20F sleeping bag

Test series by Kathryn Doiron
Initial Report: Feb 18 2008

Field Report: May 6 2008

Long Term Report: Jul 1 2008

Image of Adrenaline bag

Personal Information:
Name: Kathryn Doiron
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 8" (1.7 m)
Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)
Email: kdoiron 'at' gmail 'dot' com
Location: Washington DC, USA

Brief Background: I started backpacking and hiking seriously almost four years ago. Most of my miles have been logged in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I have recently finished 1200+ miles (2000+ km) of the Appalachian Trail. My style is to be as light as possible while not spending a fortune. My pack weight tends to hover around 25 lbs (11 kg) with two days of food and 16 oz (0.5 L) of water. I have recently started getting into winter hiking, snowshoeing and kayaking.

Product Information:

Manufacturer: GoLite
MSRP: US$325
Material: 800-fill down, Pertex and nylon
Weight (as stated): 1 lb 12 oz (820 g)
Weight (measured): 1 lb 14 oz (858.4 g) (stuff sack: 0.7 oz, 20.9 g)
Sizes available: Womens: Regular and Short, Men's: Regular and Long
Size received: Women's regular
Colour available: Cornflower/Shapphire
Manufacturers temperature rating: 20 F (-7 C)

Initial Report:
February 18th 2008

The GoLite Adrenaline bag that I received was the women's regular. I was a little leery of choosing a women's specific bag as they are generally only designed for women less than 5 ft 8 in. (1.73 m). As that is my height, I was afraid of getting a bag that would be too short to be comfortable in. This bag is different. The height limit for the regular is 6 ft (1.83 m) which satisfies my space requirements. This bag is a little different from most mummy bags. The zipper is located down the chest rather than on the side. While this means not having to produce two different bags for the market, it also means no zipping bags together. The zipper top has a flap chin guard and comes down to about the top of the thighs. The zipper does not unzip completely, so hopefully no fussing about in the dark. The bag is made with two different exterior fabrics. The hood and foot box are made withPertex while the rest of the bag is made with nylon. The bag is a pleasing shade of blue with the Pertex in a slightly darker shade making it stand out a little. The interior is black and feels like the exterior nylon only a little softer, like it has been brushed.

Close up of the chin zipper guard and hood toggles Length of the zipper

Upon first inspection, the face opening looks very small but the bag seems plenty long enough for my 5 ft 8 in. (1.73 m). Once I am in the bag, all zipped up, I find that I have plenty of foot room at the bottom and while the face opening does seem rather tight, there is enough for my face to stick out. The hood encloses my head such that my mouth and eyes are contained by the opening but everything else is tucked inside the sleeping bag. The material is soft and feels nice against my skin. When I pulled the bag up so my feet were all the way into the foot box, I could feel a seam with my feet. Nothing too abrasive but it was initially noticeable. The zipper was easy to zip up. On one side of the zipper is the draft tube and on both sides is a strip of webbing to protect the delicate material. The non-draft tube side has a wider piece. The material of the sleeping bag does feel quite delicate. I can also just make out the filling through the material.

Pencil to give idea of face opening Fabric tag on the sleeping bag

The sleeping bag did not come with any pad locks that I noticed, but it did have hanging loops for storing the bag. GoLite also provided a cotton storage sack, which is where the bag will be stored between trips, and a nylon stuff sack. The bag stuffs nicely into the nylon sack and once stuffed, there is a one-handed closure. When I stuffed the sleeping bag into the stuff sack initially, I found it easy to grab the cord for the stuff sack and pull it tight while keeping the sleeping bag contained inside the sack. In order to do this, the toggle is attached to the side of the stuff sack by a small webbing loop.

My test plan over the next couple of months will be to use the sleeping bag on all overnight trips. I will be using it either with a POEInsul-Mat rated for cold weather or with a POE Insul -Mat for summer weather. I might also try using it in a hammock once summer comes around. I will be evaluating how well it keeps me warm, especially my feet. I am a cold sleeper so I will be interested in seeing how low I can take this bag and still stay warm. The zipper is in an interesting location and I will evaluate how helpful it is in that location to enter and exit the sleeping bag. I will also evaluate how well it works for me being a stomach sleeper to have the zipper underneath me. I am quite interested in the woman-specific nature of the bag having never used one before. I will also be keeping an eye out for loose feathers and down each time I use the bag. I anticipate using this bag on a trip to BigSchloss in Virgina in two weeks as well as on several kayaking camping trips spaced out in March and May.

Field Report:
May 6th 2008

I have taken this bag out on at least three trips now for a total of 7 nights use. Two of which were multi-night car camping trips and the other trip was a backpacking trip. The backpacking trip was a quick hike in trip to test how well the bag would work in cold weather. The night time low was close to 30 F (-2 C). I was using an insulatedInsul -Mat under my sleeping bag. When I first hopped into the sleeping bag I was wearing thermal underwear and a thermal top. I had just walked around the campsite to warm up a little but cooled off when I had to remove boots and outer clothes. Once in the bag and all zipped up I continued to feel cold for at least 30 minutes, mostly it was my backside even though I was laying on my side or stomach. So I pulled on my outer clothes, and added another mat underneath the sleeping bag. I was nice and toasty after that. I didn't feel overly hot.

The next trip was to South Carolina in April. This was a 3 night trip and the weather was fairly constant each day and night. The weather was fantastic during the day but dropped to about 50 F (10 C) at night, the last night felt colder as it was pouring rain. I was again using the insulatedInsul -Mat and I was wearing flannel bed clothes. I didn't zip the sleeping bag all the way up and I found I was mostly warm through the night. I did eventually pull the bag around me early in the morning to keep warm. I also crashed in a house for a 4th night.

The last trip out was another car camping trip with similar overnight lows of 50 F (10 C). This was a 2 night trip and again I was using the insulatedInsul -Mat. It rained the second night out causing the temperatures to drop. I didn't feel the need to fully zip up the zipper but again in the morning I was pulling the bag tighter to me to stay warm.

Overall the bag is a great fit to my 5 ft 8 in. height (1.73 m). If I push my feet all the way down into the bag, the hood is just above my head. I find that the opening for the face is quite small. Once I have my head lined up properly and I am zipped up and cinched down, the hood seems to just expose my nose and barely my mouth. This is nice for keeping in the warmth but a little restrictive. If I don't cinch the hood too tight the opening is slightly more generous. At night once I am settled into the bag on my stomach, the hood is around the back of my head, by morning after tossing and turning, the hood is more to one side. The bag is a little tight width wise to slip my arm comfortably down to my side. Once it is by my side it is fine, but bending it to go down is a little tight. The sleeping bag fits very nicely in the provided stuff sack. I also like the fact that the stuff sack had a nice grab loop on the bottom. This makes it easy and fast to pull out the sleeping bag. The hand-free tightening feature is great as I can hold the stuffed sleeping bag down with one hand and tighten up the stuff sack with the other.

The tent I was in had a condensation issue and the Pertex hood and foot box came in handy. While the outside of the sleeping bag had some drops of moisture on it, the inside was still dry. I did get dripped on at mid-chest, if I was quick I could brush off the drop but it would soak into the sleeping bag if left for more than a few seconds. I have been nice and warm at 50 F (10 C) but I was more chilled at 30 F (-2 C). I typically am a cold sleeper so this didn't surprise me too much. I didn't have a chance to test the bag at any temperatures in between. This spring went from cold to warm in the blink of an eye.

So far, I have to say that I like the Pertex hood and foot box, the stuff sack and the soft feel of the material inside the sleeping bag. I don't really like the tightness and how small the face opening is though.

Long Term Report:
July 1st 2008

I have taken the Adrenaline sleeping bag out on two more multi-night trips totalling 4 nights. This bag has been used a total of 11 nights in the great outdoors and two nights inside. The first trip was down in the George Washington National forest at about 1100 ft (335 m), over a two night, three day trip. Temperatures were about 80-85 F (27-29 C) during the day and dropped down to about 50-55 F (10-13 C) overnight. I found the temperatures cold enough that I zipped up the bag most of the way. I didn't feel the need to tighten the bag around my face which did lead to a little bit of fighting with the bag to ensure my face stayed lined up with the face opening. I tend to sleep on my side or stomach and have to remember to roll the bag with me when I roll.

The next trip was another two night trip at about 1500 ft (457 m), with temperatures around 80-85 F (27-29 C) during the day and dropping only to 70 F (21 C) over night. With the warmer weather I tend to leave the bag about half way unzipped and wear just under clothes. The bag lining feels nice against my skin and I find it doesn't stick to me when I get a little too hot. The bag did seem to be close to its upper limit at 70 F (21 C) for me. I did unzip the zipper all the way to get maximum air flow and venting but found there is only so much a front half zipper can deal with. I wasn't so uncomfortably hot that I had to get out of the bag but had the temperature been any higher, I might have found myself climbing out of the bag.

While I found this bag to be very comfortable once I have settled into a comfortable sleeping position, I sometimes find the bag a little restrictive around the chest area when pushing an arm down my side to get into said position. While the hood opening is a little smaller then I expected, and smaller still when the draw cord is tightened, I found it worked fine when I stayed on my back. If I started tossing and turning a lot during the night, it didn't quite stay lined up with my face. The draw cord tightened easily although loosening was definitely a two hand job. I found the half front zip was the most unusual part of the bag. I had hoped it would be useful, but I found it was not as useful as I had hoped. If it had been a little longer, it would have made getting into the sleeping bag easier as I could then part the sides and scoot my feet down before zipping up. I found this didn't work. I had also tried to use it as a quilt and unzip it all the way and drape it around my shoulders but again, I found the zipper was not quite long enough for that purpose. Basically the zipper didn't function any better or worse then a side zipper. When I laid down on my stomach I could sometimes feel the coolness of the zipper.

All in all, I found the bag a pleasure to use. The material was soft and the down was nice and puffy. I really liked the Pertex covering the hood and foot areas as I did end up getting a large amount of condensation in my tent one night and would have had wet ends on the bag. I really liked the fact thatGoLite seems to understand that women are not all short. The regular (and largest) size of this bag was more then generous enough to accommodate my 5'8" (1.73 m) height. I had plenty of wiggle room for my feet and even had room to push my pants down to the bottom. The stuff sack gave the bag a very good amount of compression to the point that I didn't feel the need to try to compress it any more. The grab loop on the bottom of the stuff sack is also well placed and the one handed draw closure it great.


    - Generous amount of space for my height
    - Soft feel of the materials against my skin
    - Pertex hood and foot box are well thought out, as is the stuff sack


    - Front zip is nice but could stand to be longer
    - Bag is a little restrictive in the chest area

This concludes my long term report on the GoLite Adrenaline 20F women's sleeping bag. Thank you for following this test series, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have had fun testing this bag.

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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > GoLite Adrenaline 20 Sleeping Bag > Test Report by Kathryn Doiron

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