An all-around sleeping bag is a very personal piece of outdoor gear. It needs to hug the body in the right ways while still letting it shift with even the wildest dreams.
A multipurpose mummy bag should protect from frigid temperatures and evening degree swings while not creating a heat box that’s useless outside alpine environments. It ought to be lightweight. It shouldn’t add unnecessary girth to the pack. And it should never disproportionally sacrifice warmth for weight reduction.
Therm-a-Rest tried to balance all of these issues in its new-for-2018 Parsec 20F/-6C sleeping bag. The Seattle-based brand says this versatile 20-degree-rated bag might be its most effective and well-rounded sleep system to date.
Kyle Thackray, Therm-a-Rest product manager, admitted if he had to choose just one bag, this would be it.
“It’s a great bag any time it needs to be carried in a pack. But it’s roomy and comfortable enough that I don’t mind using it in the back of my truck in the ski resort parking lot either,” he said.
His team examined the Parsec’s fit from head to toe, “creating enough room to move comfortably inside the bag – but nothing more – all of which leads to a more thermally efficient sleeping bag,” he said.
Part of Therm-a-Rest’s Fast & Light sleeping bag series, the Parsec quickly reminds even serious mountain athletes that faster speeds and better output demand recovery time. We call it rest. Giving up a good night’s sleep to save a few ounces of pack weight might not be worth the trade-off the next day.
Therm-a-Rest dialed in the details on comfort for this sound-sleeping sack.
“The first thing you notice when you get in the Parsec is the fit,” said Thackray. “Katie, our sleeping bag designer, came from the apparel industry and is an expert on fit. The bags are super roomy for a lightweight mummy bag, but not so roomy that they’re inefficient.”
Three sizes – small, regular, long – and a toe box tilted for the natural angle of a relaxed foot allow for an even more customized fit. Additionally, a slick design feature called differential cut allows the down fill to loft more completely and reduce cold spots. Cozy.
But the Parsec can still compress with the best of ultralight three-season bags. With a compression sack, this 800-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down sleeping bag shrinks to 10-by-15 inches and purportedly dries three times as fast as untreated down.
Just remember not to store your precious Pasec in the stuff sack. That’s a no-no. Use Therm-a-Rest’s roomy storage sack to let your bag breathe between adventures to last many seasons in the wild.
But even if you try the Parsec and don’t think it lives up expectations, you’re in luck. It’s guaranteed. Therm-a-Rest’s Better Sleep Guarantee states that if you are not completely satisfied with your bag or quilt you can “return it within three months with the original receipt of purchase and we will give you a full refund – no questions asked.”
Gotta love any brand that stands behind its products like that.