The North Face Blue Kazoo ReviewMay 13, 2014
- Moderately priced
- Great hood design
- Poor compressibility
- Heaviest in the class
The North Face Blue Kazoo has been available for decades, and the newly updated version continues to uphold the bag’s reputation as a dependable, comfortable backcounty bed suitable for general backpacking. The somewhat generous cut and fit of the bag provides adequate room for overnight movement, but that cut, combined with the heavier 650-fill down, drives up the weight of the bag a bit.
An updated version of a classic 3-season down bag designed for general purpose backpacking.
The 650-fill and the generous sizing add up to a bulky package. When full stuffed and compressed, the bag fills a 9- by 17-inch sack, making it the largest of our packed bags.
Warmth to Weight
Though rated to 15ºF, we found the comfortable limit to be the mid- to high-20s, in part because there was some excess space inside which, though great for mobility and comfort, draws off heat. The 650-fill down provides good insulation, but also drives up weight. The result is a relatively modest warmth-to-weight ratio that calls well short of most of the other bags in the class.
The broad hood and generous cut in the upper bag meant that even with my somewhat broad 46-inch chest I could easy twist from my back to my side without feeling constrained by the bag. The foot section also proved roomy and comfortable. The taper in the knees was a little more snug, but not constrictively so.
We found we frequently caught shell material in the zipper especially when zipping the bag up. But that was the only cause of concern in terms of durability.
Though the bag utilizes a less expensive 650-fill down, the price remains near the $300 range, where dwell other bags sporting 800-fill.