By Benjamin Orkin
After spending over 120 nights in Sea to Summit's Talus TS II Sleeping Bag in a wide range of conditions–from the shores of the Arctic Ocean to summits in the North Cascades to the rivers of Idaho–it has proven itself as a truly versatile bag. Weighing in at just 2.5 pounds and compressing down to a compact 7.1 liters, this has become my go-to bag for summer and shoulder season trips. The 14-degree EN rating is accurate and the water-repellant outer fabric helped keep the bag dry through days of torrential downpour and humidity on the Olympic Peninsula, and the occasional spilled beverage.
I found the two-way zipper a real treat as it almost never snagged and I wasn't afraid to make little adjustments throughout the night to stay comfortable in the bag. The hood and draft color on the sleeping bag are very warm and comfortable, but it was a little awkward to actually get the hood over my head when lying on my back and I'm only 5'11. Once over my head, the bag stayed there and the zipper stayed close all night thanks to a Velcro and button system. The zipper draft tube helped keep out cold breezes but I thought it could be a bit thicker. The Talus TS II also uses 750+ ULTRA-DryDown which helps make the down more water resistant and retain heat better in humid/wet climates. On trips where weight and space aren't an issue, I used the mummy liner to help keep the bag clean and add a little warmth and almost always used the Sea to Summit eVent Compression DrySack to help keep the bag dry when packed away.
–Ben Orkin tested this and other items on a 90-day canoe trip in Canada’s Northwest Territories last summer. Read more about the gear that got them through the 1,300-mile expedition.