Cozy Nights: L.L. Bean Katahdin 20 Bag
Published on 06/19/2012
By Madison Kahn
Never sleep cold again with the L.L. Bean Katahdin 20 sleeping bag. After a few tweaks here and there, L.L Bean has finally found the perfect balance of fit, comfort and insulation. Our testers took the Katahdin 20 north of Taos to the Rio Grand on a rafting trip where night temperatures ranged from mid-30s to 40s. After just one night with the Katahdin, they decided their bag search was over; L.L. Bean had won.
The Katahdin fits 6’ and under, with the Extra Long option of 6’6”. No need to worry about space with this bag: even bigger guys who tried out the regular size were surprised by the amount of room they had to stretch out. If you’re a squirmer—or just permanently claustrophobic—then this bag is for you (the zipper allows you to open it blanket-style if you really need it). Added bonus: the new hood design places the head hole right over the mouth, rather than the nose, putting less pressure on the eyes.
With a DWR-coated nylon shell fabric, the Katahdin is perfect for dewy mornings. Though it might feel damp on the outside, you’ll never be wet inside. And it doesn’t stop there. If you plunge in after a rainstorm, soaked with wet clothes, everything will be completely dry by the morning. The bag is insulated with PrimaLoft Synergy, which provides loftier, softer, more breathable insulation. Furthermore, it’s constructed with shingle layers that trap pockets of warm air and eliminate cold spots. Though ideal for colder climates, the bag’s 35-denier polyester lining performs on warmer nights as well, never leaving you sticky or sweaty.
Weighing just over 3 pounds, this bag is ideal for river trips, camping, and moderate backpacking trips. It would’ve been nice to have a compression sack, as its stuff sack is about a third too big. If you try hard enough, though, you can choke up the bag to get a smaller, more manageable parcel to stuff into the bottom of your pack.
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