Therm-A-Rest Parsec Sleeping Bag And Neoair Topo Luxe Pad Review

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The Therm-A-Rest Parsec sleeping bag and Neoair Topo Luxe pad are a dynamic duo made for the great outdoors. Both are made to keep you warm, and are compact enough to carry on backpacking adventures. I have numerous camping trips planned this year, so these will come in handy. A few backcountry as well as car camping adventures which will be a great use for the Therm-A-Rest Parsec and Neoair Topo Luxe. I’m excited to see how they will perform.

Therm-A-Rest Parsec™ 20F/-6C Sleeping Bag and Neoair Topo Luxe

First, let’s take a look at the Therm-A-Rest Parsec 20F/-6C which is an 800 Fill Goose Nikwax Hydrophobic Down sleeping bag that simply looks the part. Warmth and comfort combines to make for a good nights rest out while camping. Car camping is certainly an option, but this sleeping bag packs up nice and tight to be enjoyed on any extended backpacking trip. The included stuff sack is great for stowing the Parsec Sleeping bag, but the key inclusion is the compression sack. Here I can create a super tight small roll to attach to my backpack.

The shell and liner are made of a soft, lightweight, durable, and 100% recycled nylon. You do have to be careful when setting up camp in a more rugged setting. If you use it in conjunction with the Neoair Tope Luxe pad without getting to close to sharp rocks or shrubs, all will be fine.

The YKK zipper on the Therm-A-Rest Parsec is accessible from the inside and out. The plastic cover over the zipper is quite interesting. It protects the zipper but also prevents the inner and outer layers of the sleeping bag from getting caught. Quite genius, I must say! In addition, there is a ¾ inch strip on the inside which is an added layer for the actual zipper to smoothly close without any snags whatsoever. Getting that zipper stuck in that fine material is not something I want to be dealing with in the middle of the night. This is definitely a plus.

Therm-A-Rest has come up with a thing called the SynergyLink connectors. It’s really a simple strap system that allows the sleeping bag to wrap around the pad. In turn, it means that you stay put on top of your mattress throughout the night. In addition, the thermal qualities are kept high as the pad and mattress create this warm bubble. On the one hand, the sliding around is minimized especially when sleeping on terrain that has a slight slope to it (which always seems to be a thing for me when I find a spot for the night). On the other hand, maneuverability is a little constricted, and any kind of rolling around or midnight movement is kept to a minimum. I will have to continue to play with that to see if this is a feature I will utilize going forward. It’s one of those things that is there if you need it, but fine to do without as well.

A simple loop system connects to the plastic hooks.

Zoned insulation maximizes warmth and trims weight by allocating down to where you need it and cutting it from where you don’t. The photo below shows the 5″ zones as well as the form fitting nature to provide efficient heat distribution.

The Therm-a-rest Parsec has toe foot warmer pockets. Yes, yes, yes! A very unique and fun feature that adds an additional layer of down to keep those toes nice and toasty. In theory, its a small fabric insert that provides a separation for each foot creating that additional pocket for individual warmth.

The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) is a certification system that ensures that down and feathers are tracked from farm to final product. This third party independent system is there to follow animal welfare requirements, and makes for a sustainable product.

Technical Specifications

  • Size: Packed volume of 4.5 liters/273 cubic inches (for a Size Regular)
  • Short:  1 lb. 9 oz. (720 g) which fits a person up to 5 ft 6 in.
  • Regular:1 lb. 12 oz. (805 g) which fits a person up to 6 ft.
  • Long: 1 lb. 15 oz. (890 g) which fits a person up to 6 ft 6 in.
  • Insulation: 800 fill Goose Nikwax Hydrophobic Down.
  • Recommended Temperatures:
  • Comfort Range is 32F / 0 Celsius
  • Transition Range is 20F / -6 Celsius
  • Risk Range is -9F / -23 Celsius

The Therm-A-Rest Parsec™ 20F/-6C Sleeping Bag Out In the Wild

We had a car camping trip lined up which presented a perfect opportunity to put this sleeping bag and pad to the test. Our first night is spent in the back of the 4Runner at an old mining site and trailhead for one of Colorado’s 14-ers, San Luis Peak. Temperatures dip below freezing as we are slightly above 10,000 feet.

Sleeping in a form fitting mummy bag is normally not something I would choose as an ideal form of comfort. I do tend to move a bit, spread out, as well as tuck the knees. This is camping, so some sacrifices have to be made. Hence, this isn’t really an option, but I was surprisingly comfortable in my position. Tossing and turning is usually a thing for me, but having several positions to change it up made the night go by quite smoothly. I usually don’t sleep super well camping, but for a variety of reasons I got good sleeping blocks in. Of course, the middle of the night bathroom break did mess that up. So be it.

The Therm-A-Rest Parsec sleeping bag is comfortable. I can’t stress that enough. It envelops me like a cozy blanket. The panels are stitched in about 5” sections, and walk their way horizontally up from the toes to the head. I feel like they are individual insulation pockets that each have their purpose to keep a component of my body warm.

There is a split compartment at the bottom to give the feet that extra bit of warmth. The extremities, especially the toes, are the first to go. I’m not sure if I was aware of where my feet where in the middle of the night, but I had to take my socks off at some point, because they were too hot.

Final Thoughts On The Therm-A-Rest Parsec

This sleeping bag is warm, comfortable, technologically savvy, and environmentally friendly. I slept in it with temperatures down around the freezing point. At no time, did I experience anything but warmth. The Therm-A-Rest Parsec accompanied me on several wonderful adventures, and with the included compression sack, the sleeping bag also accompanies me on backpack excursions. I was able to sleep well no matter the place. For more information and purchase, please visit Therm-A-Rest

The Neoair Topo Luxe Sleeping Pad

Initially, blowing up the Neo Range has a bit of a learning curve as well as a patience curve. The pump sack is an ideal method to go on a back packing trip, while not needing to carry a pump. One might think that simply using your breath is a perfectly fine way to get air into the bag. And I hear you on that, especially if it is a thinner pad. This is a legitimate and thicker sleeping option. 4” is a world of difference to keep the hips, shoulders, head, and legs to not actually touch the ground. This is a game changer for me. I am not necessarily young, so these old bones need that little extra padding.

First, I attach the air bag to the Neo pad. It’s a tight fit, but with some extra oomph, it makes a solid connection. The next step is to simply open it up to let air in. Blow into it to add that extra bit of air. Initially, I was waving it around to get it to open up, but that’s really not necessary. Lastly, cinch the top, and either roll it down, or squeeze the air down into the pad.

I quickly realized that a bag full of air was probably the equivalent of 10 breaths coming out of my lungs. Hence, I was a quick believer that this the way to go. Especially since I figured it took a good twenty bags full of air to get the pad completely filled up. That number has gone down with time, as I have the subtle nuances to be more efficient with the blowing up process. I went pretty full initially to see what that would feel like. The second night, I started to let out little bits of air to find the perfect sleep number for me.

The Topo Luxe packs down quite small before inflating it back up for plush support and warmth thanks to the Triangular Core Matrix. There are TwinLock valves with two dedicated openings for lightning-fast inflation or deflation. And of course, they are appropriately named “IN” and “OUT”.

Technical Specifications

  • Next-Level Comfort: Four inches (10 cm) of stable loft make the Topo Luxe the thickest NeoAir ever.
  • Stable Warmth: Patented Triangular Core Matrix™ utilizes two stacked layers of triangular baffles to create a stable surface while minimizing heat loss.
  • Compact: Insulated without the use of bulky fill materials to pack small.
  • TwinLock™ Valve: Utilizing two one-way valves, one for inflation and one for deflation, the TwinLock valve system makes setting up and breaking camp a breeze.
  • Multiple Sizes: Offering a range of sizes, including a spacious regular wide, allows you to pick a size that best suits your adventure needs.
  • Pump sack, stuff sack and repair kit included.
  • MSRP: Varies by size

Click HERE more information on the NeoAir topo Luxe

Last Comforting Thoughts On The Therm-A-Rest Parsec And NeoAir Topo Luxe

The Therm-A-Rest Parsec sleeping bag combined with the Neoair Topo Luxe are your perfect sleeping companions while out exploring and adventuring. The comfort and warmth are a nice way to spend a night under the stars. I like the special thought that’s been giving to each and every detail. Tried and proven, and I’d say they are a valuable addition to my camping arsenal. For more info on these and other Therm-A-Rest products, visit www.thermarest.com or www.rei.com.

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.
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