If you are looking for a really light weight sleeping bag for really cold conditions, then the Taurus Sleeping Bag is for you. We have made it super light with a lot of fill to optimize it for those looking for the most warmth for the weight.
Our Taurus VRB™ (patent pending) version that uses a combined vapor-radiation barrier inner lining to reduce heat loss even further, lowering the comfort range by as much as 15° F for the same down thickness/loft.
This bag does not have a hood. We make an optional hood for use with this bag. You may ask why not have a hood on a cold weather bag? If you sleep on your side part of the time you know that a fixed hood presents a problem. You risk breathing inside that bag and introducing even more moisture into the insulation. With the Taurus you simply put on the hood and draw the bag up snug around the hood. This way the hood moves with you when you turn from side to side and the bag remains in a fixed position. It really works. It is a much better solution than rolling the bag to keep the opening aligned with your face. A down hood is recommended for cold weather. Most hats do not provide the thickness of insulation required for sleeping in cold environments. Note that the hood thickness should be close to that of the sleeping bag insulation thickness/loft.
Materials & Construction
Fabrics: The outer shell of our standard Taurus Bag is made using 10D nylon taffeta, a super light, tightly woven strong fabric. It has been specially treated during the manufacturing process to make it downproof and water repellant (DWR finish). The 10D fabric weighs approximately 0.7 ounces per yard. In the chin area we have used a strip of silnylon to keep the bag from getting wet from breath condensation. Any condensation that sticks to the silnylon even if it freezes, which will happen at very low temperatures, can be easily brushed off since it can not penetrated the fabric.
The Taurus VRB™ variation uses aluminized Dyneema®* as an inner lining material. Since the Dyneema®* is a reinforced polymer film laminate, it not only functions as an inner lining holding the insulation in place, but also as a vapor barrier. The Dyneema®* that we have incorporated is also aluminized which lowers its emissivity also making it a radiation barrier, thus the VRB™ (vapor-radiation barrier) designation.
Vapor barriers reduce heat loss by evaporation, as a consequence, the air within the barrier will have a higher moisture level content (higher humidity). For more information on using vapor barriers we suggest that you consult one of the more knowledgeable articles on the subject by Andrew Skurka, https://andrewskurka.com/vapor-barrier-liners-theory-application/.
For a technical discussion on how heat loss by evaporation and radiation is mitigated by using vapor and radiation barriers consult our section on technology (here).
Down: Our insulating material is super lofting, highly compressible 900 fill power HyperDRY™** water-resistant, RDS (Responsible Down Standard) certified goose down. We overfill the Taurus by 80% which adds some weight and cost, but in the long run it produces a better bag since the down does not shift in the tubes and always produces the maximum design loft.
Zipper: To maintain the light weight objective the zipper is a 56 inch, number 3, YKK®*** coil zipper. We back the zipper with our full thickness, no-draft flap.
Side Block Baffle: The side block baffle is located on the side opposite the zipper and is used to keep the down from shifting from top to bottom and vise versa. This baffle also shortens the effective length of the tubes further eliminating down shift. We put 60% of the down in the top of the bag to put the insulation where it is most effective.
Differential Construction: We use differential construction in all of our down quilts and bags. This means that the outer fabric has a greater girth than the inner. Imagine a smaller circle drawn inside a larger circle. This construction allows the down to loft even when you push out from the inside. In a quilt or bag that is not differentially cut, it is easy to compress the down to a minimal thickness by pushing from the inside. This design feature takes more materials and more time to make, but it results in a superior product.
Other Materials: It should be noted that we also use nylon thread, nylon baffle materials and nylon draw cords.
We take pride in using the best materials and carefully crafting a product that will last for many, many years.
Sizes & Temperature Ratings
Widths: The Taurus has an inner circumference of 64 inches. To ensure a proper fit please go to our Taurus Sleeping Bag Sizing page to double check.
Lengths: The Gemini comes in two different lengths, regular, that fits individuals up to 6’ feet, and long that fits individuals up to 6 feet 5 inches in height. Longer or shorter versions can be made on special order. Contact us for a quote.
VRB™ Temperature Rating: For any given insulation thickness, the use of the VRB™ lining will lower the comfort range of a sleeping bag by as much as 15° F. The same temperature range could be achieved by making the bag thicker (more down) but the VRB™ is a lighter weight solution.
* Dyneema is a registered trademark of DSM
**HyperDRY® is a registered trademark of Allied Feather& Down
*** YKK® is a registered trademark of the YKK Corporation