Therm-a-Rest Parsec Sleeping Bag Review 0

Bthe ackpacking season doesn’t have to end when the first snowfall hits the ground. Whether you’re looking to head out for a few days of snowy hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or ski touring, having a sleeping bag that keeps you warm and dry is essential to ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip.

The Therm-a-Rest Parsec 0 is the go-to sleeping bag for winter adventurers. It checks all the boxes, with highly compressible Nikwax 800 fill hydrophobic down that absorbs 90% less water and dries 3x faster than its untreated counterpart, SynergyLink Connectors sleeping pad straps and a polyester-lined foot pocket. down that holds your feet. comfortable all night.

Therm-a-Rest Parsec 0 at a glance

  • MSRP: $529 (regular length)
  • Mass: 2 lb 6 oz (regular length)
  • Material: Hydrophobic down certified to the Responsible Down Standard + 20 denier recycled nylon shell
  • Lower limit tested: 0°F / -18°C
  • Comfort rating tested: 14°F / -10°C
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Charging power: 800 fill power Nikwax hydrophobic down

Intended use

The Parsec is designed for winter hiking in the coldest weather. With the hydrophobic down bag, the Parsec performs extremely well in wet and snowy conditions.

Circumstances of the examination

The Parsec has been tested and reviewed on winter hikes and campsites in western Colorado and eastern Utah. Nighttime temperatures ranged from 0°F (with negative wind chills) up to 20°F. The reviewer tested a regular length bag and is a 5’2 female, however, she probably could have gotten away with the “short” length.

Features of Therm-a-Rest Parsec 0

  • Recycled lining and shell
  • Nikwax 800-fill hydrophobic down
  • Toe-asis™ foot warmer pocket
  • Zipped outer pocket
  • Anti-heat collars
  • Draught
  • SynergyLink™ Sleeping Pad Connectors


Choose a sleeping bag

While sleeping bags can come with an endless array of bells and whistles, arguably the most important feature to consider when choosing a bag is the temperature rating. This task, however, has a little more to do than just paying attention to the name of the bag.

How temperature ratings are determined: Sleeping bag temperature ratings are tested using an industry standard test to ensure ratings are consistent across brands and models. Most sleeping bag manufacturers send their sleeping bags to an independent test lab that uses the EN (European Standard) or ISO (International Organization for Standardization) test method to determine both the comfort limits and the bottoms of sleeping bags. After all the tests are completed, the bag is given two different ratings, the comfort rating and the lower limit rating.

  • Comfort temperature tested: The tested comfort rating indicates the temperature at which a hiker sleeping on the cold side would feel comfortable in the pack.
  • Lower limit tested: The lower limit is the temperature at which a warm sleeper will still feel comfortable in the bag. This number is almost always lower than the comfort rating.

It is important to note that men’s and women’s bags are rated differently. Since a woman’s body is naturally colder, sleeping bags designed for women will always use the comfort temperature rating in the product name. On the other hand, men tend to sleep warm and sleeping bags designed for men will always use the lower limit in the product name. Unisex sleeping bags can vary in how they are named, but in the case of the Parsec, the bag uses the men’s naming convention and is marketed below its lower limit.

Temperature ratings are estimates: Lab testing is designed to give as accurate an estimate as possible for the average user, but because each person’s body is different, their level of comfort in each bag will vary. During lab testing, the sleeping bag is laid on a sleeping pad and a test dummy is dressed in base layers inside the bag. Although this method ensures that all bags are tested in exactly the same way, it cannot be accurate for all usage situations (such as differences in sleeping pads, equipment, clothing, types of body, health, etc.). That being said, use sleeping bag temperature ratings as a tool to give you an accurate estimate of bag performance, but expect not to treat these numbers as gospel and that there are slight differences in the performance of a bag in the field.

SynergyLink™ Sleeping Pad Connectors

Therm-a-Rest Parsec 0 Benefits

Mad heat: Being a hiker who is literally always cold, I was excited – but not optimistic – to try this pack. I was sure all the features would be great and the quality would be amazing, but I had serious doubts that a sleeping bag would keep me comfortably warm during the winter months. I’m pleasantly surprised to report that I woke up after a 0 degree night (with negative wind chills) and slept warm all night. Full disclosure, I used a 15 degree sleeping bag liner in addition to the bag on this occasion, but nonetheless, I was blown away by how warm this bag was. There wasn’t a single night I used this bag that I woke up cold, and I’m thrilled with how comfortable it kept me throughout the testing period.

There are a few factors that help the bag keep you warm all night long, including 800 fill power down and a game-changing, heat-retaining draft color known as the Toe-asis™ Foot Warmer Pocket (which is an insulation pocket that helps warm cold feet inside the ergonomic foot box). Additionally, the bag uses heat-mapped zone insulation which maximizes warmth by using intentionally placed insulation in areas where hikers frequently need extra warmth, while reducing insulation where it is not as well. necessary. This not only helps keep your body warm in key places, but significantly reduces the weight of the bag, while allowing it to be packed smaller in a stuff sack.

Keep gadgets warm: As a commercial photographer by trade, keeping my camera batteries warm to extend their life is always a priority for me when traveling in the backcountry. The external zippered pocket kept my batteries and phone warm through multiple nights in single digit temperatures, and I was able to wake up and photograph the sunrise without skipping a beat – or missing my alarm due to a dead phone.

The perfect companion to a sleeping pad: Experienced backpackers know that along with a top quality sleeping bag, a properly used sleeping pad is one of the best ways to stay warm all night long. The Parsec has two SynergyLink™ connection straps that prevent your sleeping bag from slipping while you sleep. This allows you to take advantage of the extra warmth provided by your sleeping pad while remaining comfortable and tidy, even if you toss and turn. If you want to keep things as light as possible, the straps are easily removable.

Therm-a-Rest Parsec 0

Anti-heat collars + external zipped pocket

Therm-a-Rest Parsec 0 The inconvenients

Could it be the perfect bag? I’ve racked my brains trying to find a cunt out of this bag, and I haven’t found one yet. I’m seriously blown away by how warm and cozy it kept me, without making me feel confined or claustrophobic. One thing to note is that although I have used this bag on multiple trips totaling around nine freezing nights, the long term durability of the bag is yet to be determined. All signs point to it not being a problem, but I don’t have first-hand experience outside of my nights in the bag.

For those new to winter camping, it should be noted that while this bag may feel heavy compared to summer models, the 2lb 6oz weight is extremely light for a 0°F bag. winter bags also tend not to be as small, so don’t let those two features deter you from this killer sleeping bag.

Overall value

I can’t say enough good things about this bag. Between keeping my often cold self warm on some of my coldest trips of the year and the extra touches and features that have been added to the bag’s design, I’m blown away by how practical it is for adventurers by cold weather. The bag really opens a lot of doors in keeping hikers warm throughout the night, which translates to a better night’s sleep and more miles the next day. I’m already planning cold weather trips for next winter, and you bet this bag is the first thing I marked on my packing list. While a price tag of $529 is no small buy, the bag is quite affordable compared to similar models featured below. If you’re planning on doing frequent winter travel – be it hiking, car camping, or anything in between – this bag is definitely worth the investment and will pay for itself in how much you can enjoy each experience in. staying warm and well rested.

Buy Parsec Therm-a-Rest

Comparable sleeping bags

parsec therm-a-rest

*The Therm-a-Rest Parsec 0 was given for review purposes.

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