The budget price of the The North Face Gold Kazoo doesn’t mean there’s a lack of features or performance. The bag lofts (fluffs up) very well when unpacked and it has trapezoidal baffles to help stabilise the down fill. Unusually the bag also has Climashield synthetic insulation pads on the base where your body comes into contact with your sleep mat; these are compression-resistant to minimise cold spots. There’s a full-length two-way zip with a large internal baffle and anti-snag taping with an external Velcro tab. The hood is well-sized and cinches right in with a drawcord for great protection and also to seal in the heat as there is no shoulder baffle. There’s an internal pocket and external hanging loops. The fit is a good compromise between comfort and maximum insulation. The cut is the tapered mummy shape common throughout the test, but on the Gold Kazoo there is room enough to stretch out your elbows a little and maybe even stick a knee out sideways as well. The foot box follows suit, and is well-shaped and roomy without creating unwanted dead air spots. It’s supplied with a compression sack and storage sack.
Weight (bag only) 878g
Size (length x shoulder width x foot width) 200x46x75cm
Packed size 20x20cm
Outer fabric 22D nylon ripstop
Inner fabric 30D nylon taffeta
Insulation 650+ Hungarian grey goose down
Construction trapezoidal baffles
Comfort temperature rating +2 deg C
Lower comfort limit -4 deg C
Extreme temperature rating -21 deg C
The North Face’s Gold Kazoo is the heaviest bag in the test at 878g; but it’s also the warmest at -4 deg C and it carries the lowest price tag, making it a great all-rounder. Remarkably, it won the ‘Best Value’ and the ‘Best in Test’ awards.
Review by Peter Macfarlane
First published in Trail magazine June 2012