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The North Face Propel

in Sleeping Bags - Mummy & Other

Average Rating
4.60 / 5 (5 reviews)


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Johnathan White
( johnatha1 )

Locale:
PNW
The North Face Propel on 11/20/2006 13:17:22 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

The Propel I am reviewing is a '06 regular size, zipperless, Polarguard Delta filled sleeping bag with a zippered foot box vent(with a FAT draft tube behind the zipper). It weighed in at 20.4oz.
It seems that there are a few people interested in how this bag performed.
The night time temperatures came down to 35. There were local 35 MPH wind gusts coming from the east. I was camped below tree line at 3900 feet to help with the prevailing winds. I had my Propel in a REI Minimalist bivy sack, no ground cloth, in a Six Moon Designs Gatewood cape. I wore Coolmax bottom and top base layers, a 200 wt. fleece pullover, a lightweight skull cap, and my wool lightweight hiking socks.
When I first went to sleep I was hot, most likely from the exertion of the trip. As the night wore on I was comfortable. Towards 3:00 AM I was starting to feel just a little chilly. I blame that on the temperature dropping as much as my metabolism slowing thought the night. Everything on me that was sweaty when I hit the sack was dry by morning with no loft degradation. This bag as a total of 2” of loft.
I really had only two issues with the bag. First, the hood fit well enough but since it is zipperless, it has a HUGE draw cord outside the circumference of the hood. There is another (same kind) draw cord for the lower portion of the hood below the chin. I got these confused and had to fumble a couple times to get the fit right and the amount of draw cord that is in the bag with you is excessive if not justifiable. The second issue I had was since there is only 1” of single layer loft, when I slept on my side, the top point of my hip had a cold spot that I could feel quite well. On my back, I had no cold spots at all.
I would probably rate this bag a true 45-50 degree bag which is not bad for a synthetic 20oz bag. At first glance the thing is so flat looking (I have all Marmot 900 down bags) my wife was worried I would freeze for sure.
I have no idea how small it will pack as I usually pack in a loose, oversized stuff sack.

Edited by johnatha1 on 07/24/2007 10:58:11 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Rei Stuff Sack priced at: $5.23 - $11.50
Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape priced at: $134.95
The North Face Lightweight Hiking Socks - Women's priced at: $16.00
The North Face Propel - Men's priced at: $14.99 - $25.00
Shop Coolmax, Delta, Marmot, Propel products at GearBuyer
Ian Schumann
( freeradical )

Locale:
Central TX
North Face Propel on 11/24/2006 21:19:57 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I just used the TNF Propel in the White Mountain Wilderness of New Mexico, although it looks to be a different version than that tested in the previous review. My Propel has but one easily-identified draw cord and no foot vent. At first glance the thing appears to be quite lofty compared to another entry in its class--the Marmot Pounder. Of course, relative loft isn't much of an objective measure. I used this bag well below its temp rating of 40 degrees. The most notable night of my trip was at 11000 feet, where my thermometer recorded an overnight low of 22 F. The night was warm and comfortable for me, but you must take this with a grain of salt because I was well-prepared for the cold. Outside the bag I used a Thermo-Lite bivy, inside I had a MLD body bag liner. On my body I had soft shell pants, two base layer shirts and a hoodless synthetic high loft jacket, two pairs of socks and a soft shell skull cap. I went to sleep with much of this apparel relatively wet from perspiration, and in the morning these were all quite dry. The bag weighs very little and compresses excellently, as expected. I stretched the temp rating using a solid arsenal of clothing and sleeping gear, and it performed just as desired, therefore I think it merits a 5 out of 5.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
The North Face Propel - Men's priced at: $14.99 - $25.00
White Mountain First - Women's priced at: $35.99
Shop Marmot, Propel products at GearBuyer
Nat Lim
( LithiumMetalman )

Locale:
Cesspool Central!
not bad at all! on 08/23/2007 01:44:46 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have always been a fan of zipperless sleeping bags, having owned an old Sierra designs moonlight which was fantastic until I regretfully sold it, I was definitley in the market looking for another zipperless sleeping bag.

Thus, the TNF propel 05' model (no zippered foot) was definitely the answer I needed for a lightweight no fuss sleeping bag for warm weather climbing trips and backpacking trips.

As in terms of warmth the rating of the bag of 40F could be accurate if one was a very warm sleeper. I consider myself a 'normal sleeper', and 45F-50F rating seems to be a bit more reasonable. (sleeping in shorts)

However, when supplemented with a bivy , thermals, wool socks, a warm jacket and beanie, the sack has been taken down to the low 40's with relative comfort.

The beauty of this bag that sold me was the simplicity, the welded insulation ( almost no cold spots), and color (dark grey).

The only quibble I have, is the bag is tad large, better suited for someone closer to 6 feet tall and on of a slightly larger build. Nonetheless, the bag can be maniulated to fit comfortably, and has been a fantastic bag overall.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: The North Face Propel - Men's priced at: $14.99 - $25.00
Shop Sierra Designs products at GearBuyer
Sebastian Ventris
( sabme - M )

Locale:
SW UK
need warmer on 08/29/2007 14:12:47 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I have the 05 version white-ish, now yellow-ish after my girlfriend washed it.

It's seen a hell of a lot of use, not sure if it's lost some loft over time but I don't consider it warm enough even for summer (british) camping any more, not unless you wear a lot of clothing.

I didn't mind the roomyness as it makes it a good bag to put another bag inside for winter camping. And considering it's a closed bad it allows you to move about to cool off, not that I camp anywhere too hot these days.

I has done well for me though.

Ryan Luke
( rluke )

Locale:
Atlanta (missing CA)
Good Synthetic Summer Bag on 01/30/2008 09:58:21 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I purchased this bag on sale from REI Outlet becuase I wanted a syntehtic summer bag. I am also a warm sleeper, so I appreciated the footbox vent. I liked the zipperless design because I move and kick a lot in my sleep.

I immediately pushed this bag past the limit of it's temp rating during an early season trip in the Sierras. Nighttime temps dipped below 25 degrees. I did wake up cold each night, but I was able to adjust my layering in order to stay warm. When it REALLY felt cold, I was able to cinch up the hood and hunker down to keep warm.

The bag worked great on a later season trip in the Sierras. I was warm and comfortable for six nights when temperatures were in the mid to high 30's.

Edited by rluke on 01/30/2008 09:59:53 MST.

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