M Therm-a-Rest Haven Down Top Bag Review
by Rick Dreher
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Viewed from most angles, the Haven is a typical mummy bag, sans zipper. Flip the Haven over, however, and you're greeted by an elastic-edged opening that to me looks like a plant's stoma as viewed through a botany class microscope. This partial underside puts the Haven in the top-bag category, but the design seems unique (because it has a hood and doesn't open flat, the Haven is not a quilt). The opening extends from about the shoulders to mid-thigh and, as noted, is stretchy. Rather than use a fabric sleeve to attach a pad or mattress, the Haven has two straps that attach to strap loops at each end of the opening. Each 1-inch strap has an adjustable snap buckle closure and can be removed in seconds if not needed.
The full hood has a simple drawstring perimeter closure with thin cord and a tiny cord lock. A small snap-closure pocket, just below the hood opening to the right, is big enough for a watch, small flashlight, etc., but not glasses. With no zipper, there's no draft tube, nor is there a draft collar.
Haven specs list 11.6 oz (332 g) of 700 cubic inch goose down fill for the size long, 20 denier nylon ripstop shell with DWR finish and 30 denier calendared nylon taffeta lining. Heavier than some makers' 10 denier and 15 denier shells, the Haven shell is also less delicate. Therm-a-Rest calls the fabric's gray color "pewter" but in reality it's a lot darker than, well, pewter. Call it "ouzel" and know that with this bag you'll be able to blend invisibly with basalt should you so choose. While perhaps lacking a positive colorful impact on campsite cheer, it's hard to imagine a more dirt-concealing color.
The down chambers are fully baffled including side baffles, so there's no shifting the down between top and bottom to respond to the temperature (not too relevant in a top bag). The elastic around the bottom opening stretches wide, affording considerable mid-bag expandability.
The Haven's materials and design place it in the mid-grade down bag category, which the price basically reflects.
- Design & Materials
- Fitting a Pad
- Room and Comfort
- Fill and Temperature Rating
- Sleeping in the Haven
- Fabrics & Wear Performance
- Market Comparisons
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