The North Face Inferno 0 Review
Cons: Zipper catches, cinch strap loosens easily
Manufacturer: The North Face
Compare to Similar Products
The North Face Inferno 0
$589.95 at Backcountry
|$805 List||$650 List||$600 List|
$412.39 at REI
$315.00 at REI
|Pros||Very warm, comfortable, and lightweight||Warm, awesome comfort, great warmth to weight ratio||One of the warmest bags in the test, lightweight, compression sack included||Comfortable, spacious, lightweight, elasticized baffles allow you to sit cross legged||DWR shell fabric, glow in the dark zipper, large draft tube, inexpensive|
|Cons||Zipper catches, cinch strap loosens easily||Expensive||Lack of hydrophobic down, missing top hood cinch, snug fit not everyone's favorite||Significantly less warm than similarly rated bag, enormous footbox, vents||Heavy, static drawstring around the face|
|Bottom Line||A lofty, very comfortable sleeping bag that is amazingly warm, lightweight, and has an effective, minimalist design||For temps down to zero degrees, you can't beat this lightweight but very warm bag||A truly supreme sleeping bag that stands out for impressive weight savings without missing out on warmth||This comfort-focused bag has a wide, roomy cut and vents for temperature control||An inexpensive bag that offers excellent warmth and weather resistance, albeit heavier than most in our fleet|
|Rating Categories||The North Face Infe...||Western Mountaineer...||Mountain Hardwear P...||NEMO Sonic 0||Mountain Hardwear B...|
|Packed Size (15%)|
|Weather Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||The North Face Infe...||Western Mountaineer...||Mountain Hardwear P...||NEMO Sonic 0||Mountain Hardwear B...|
|Measured Weight (size Regular)||2.68 lbs||2.85 lbs||2.68 lbs||2.95 lbs||3.13 lbs|
|Fill Weight||30.0 oz||29.6 oz||24.0 oz||35.0 oz|
|Type of Down Fill||Down RDS Certified||Goose Down||Goose Down RDS Cert/Fluorine Free||Down RDS Certified||Down|
|Material Weight (excludes down filling)||15.7 oz||13.3 oz||23.3 oz||15.1 oz|
|Foot Girth||44"||41"||Not listed||53"||Not listed|
|Shell Material||15D recycled nylon, 30D nylon taffeta||MicroLite XP||10D Nylon Ghost ripstop, DWR finish||20D nylon ripstop, DWR treatment||20-Denier ripstop nylon|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Remember that feeling of comfort when you were a kid, and your mom or dad threw a cozy blanket over you? The Inferno feels almost indescribably similar. As you pull the zipper closed, the lofty down and soft material settle around your body, enveloping you into a deep slumber. Lightweight, well-designed, and quite warm, you won't hesitate to sleep in the cold with this bag. In fact, you might not even want to get out!
There's nothing like snuggling into a warm sleeping bag in cold weather, but only if the bag is warm enough. Fortunately, the Inferno 0 lives up to its name. Within minutes of getting inside, the down settles close to your body and quickly traps the heat you generate. It is no secret that sleeping bags that are too roomy just don't retain heat well. Since this bag is just snug enough, but not too snug, it allows you to roll around inside while efficiently maintaining your warmth.
How does the Inferno 0 fit like a glove? Well, you can easily see the contoured shape of this mummy bag. Large, soft baffles around the face help to seal the hood opening. A single cinch cord on the outside opposite the zipper adjusts the size of the hood's opening, keeping the cold air out. The spring-loaded drawcord retention device could be a bit beefier since the cinch loosens pretty easily. The side zipper is just the right length and an interior baffle covers the inside of the zipper, effectively keeping drafts of cold air out. The foot box was quite roomy and felt a bit cooler than the rest of this toasty bag, allowing space for additional layers, but if your feet get cold easily while you sleep, down booties or some warm wool socks might not be a bad addition.
At 2 pounds, 11 ounces, you might find yourself impressed with how warm and lightweight the Inferno is. Simplicity in design usually shaves weight, and this sleeping bag is slim. The side zipper is just long enough to easily get into and out of, while a single cinch cord minimizes excessive weight-adding features. The lofty down, on the other hand, is plentiful, adding weight where it matters most.
While it always feels good to crawl into a warm sleeping bag in cold weather, we instantly noticed how soft and comfortable it was inside of the Inferno. As soon as you pull up the zipper, you feel the lofty down settling around your body. Seconds later, you begin to warm up and relax. This bag fit like a glove. It's designed to create warmth quickly by minimizing air space without feeling too tight.
Baffles of down feathers surround the neck and forehead, and the sole cinch strap is located on the outside of the hood so it doesn't get in your face while sleeping. There is a small gap in the neck baffle to access the right-side zipper, which allows a tiny bit of air to get in. This could have been easily remedied by overlapping the baffle by a few inches. With a simple, elegant solution, The North Face added three bungee cords on the underside to secure your sleeping pad. We really liked this feature, which kept us from slipping and sliding around, especially for those of us who roll around while we sleep.
We liked the compression sack that comes with the Inferno, but it could certainly be smaller. Even though it is fairly easy to initially stuff into its compression sack, it compresses too much like pizza dough, and you end up with a wide circumference when finished. A narrower diameter and overall smaller size would greatly improve the packed size.
Not only is the Inferno lightweight and toasty warm, but it also resisted the most precipitation during our most recent testing. Shedding snow like an A-frame log cabin, it also blocked the wind really well on a windy Wyoming day with a winter storm rolling over the mountains.
Here's the best part, though. After multiple submersions in the bathtub, it was still bone dry inside. And just to make sure, we proceeded to pour 10 cups of water directly over the zipper to no avail. Not a drop inside. You're probably not going to jump into a body of water with this bag, but it's nice to know you could!
The Inferno comes with some nice, albeit simple features. An interior zippered pocket located right above your chest has ample room for your phone and keeps the battery warm. We thought the pocket's location above the chest might be bothersome, but surprisingly, it wasn't. A simple cinch strap is located on the outside of the hood on the left side, so it is easily accessible yet doesn't get in your face. Some people might not like the dinky cinch strap since the toggle is very small and loosens pretty easily. However, those who feel a bit claustrophobic in sleeping bags might like that when you push on the hood's opening, the cinch strap loosens, allowing more air in quickly if they start to overheat.
The side zipper is just the right length, but it was a bit sticky, so you'll need to be patient while zipping and unzipping. Time will tell how durable this small zipper really is. Perhaps a slightly larger zipper would run more smoothly and add some durability.
Should You Buy The North Face Inferno 0?
If you're looking for a sleeping bag under 3 pounds that will keep you cozy and warm above 0 degrees Fahrenheit, this might be the bag for you. Snug but not too tight, we recommend the Inferno to those who don't need too much extra room in the torso, keeping in mind that our product tester is 5'10" with big shoulders and really enjoyed the perfect fit.
What Other Winter Sleeping Bags Should You Consider?
Our favorite bag of the bunch is the Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF for its warmth, compressibility, low weight, and high level of comfort. Another high-quality, snug-fitting winter bag with an awesome compression sack is the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0. And for a more affordable but still worthy winter bag, check out the Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 0.
— Brian Smith
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