View Full Version : Anyone have experience w/ REI sleeping bags

Big Dawg
11-04-2005, 13:24
I'm considering the "REI Nooksack UL +10 Sleeping Bag - Long",---I'm 6'5"----, & wondered how the REI bags hold up & if they're true to their temp.rating? I have a NF Flight +35 bag-----good for late spring, summer, early fall, but want a winter bag preferably down to 0, but doesn't weigh a ton. It seems all the synthetic bags (no , I don't want down,,, allergic to down) that go down to 0 to +10 are in the 3 to 4 lb range. Any other suggestions besides the REI bag are welcomed. Thanks!!

11-05-2005, 09:29
My wife uses an REI sub-kilo down bag and is NOT pleased with it. It's rated at 20 deg, but for her 30 would be more like it (she sleeps cold). If you have the opportunity to get to one of their stores I'd try the Nooksack out first. That 59 inch shoulder girth is going to be a bit on the tight side. You're not going to be able to move in the bag much at all. Depending on your sleeping style it may be uncomfortable. And finally, while my wife's bag is down and you're looking at a synthetic, she has lost a lot of loft in her bag which perhaps speaks towards the quality of the materials they use for their gear?

11-05-2005, 11:01
It depends on the bag. The best down that REI uses is 600 fill. So, you could probably go lighter with another brand. At the same time though, their sleeping bags are not bad for the money. As far as the way they are rated is concerned, that depends as much on the person as it does the bag rating.

11-05-2005, 14:25
I own 3 REI bags (have had them both since about 2001) and all have held up well. I have the 10 degree down, the 20 degree down and the 45 - 50 degree synthetic "Travel Sack" for summer hiking.

I used the 20 and 45 degree bags on my thru in 2003. They reeked when I got home and I have since washed them. Used a front loading commercial machine and a product called "Down Wash" from Nikwax. In the dryer cycle I loaded the hopper with about a dozen tennis balls which brought the loft back into the bags.

I've used both bags since washing and can't tell that I've lost any of the rating ...although I'm sure there's feel some loss.

Hope that helps ...


11-05-2005, 14:53
I used the Women's +15 Shasta and the +35 Nooksack for my thruhike. Both did well, although the ratings seemed a bit optimistic. Overall I was happy with them, especially the Shasta whose generous hiproom fit better and even let me pull my knees up to my chest inside the bag for warmth on especially cold nights.

If I had money to burn and were to do it again I'd choose high end down bags to save weight, but the REI synthetic bags gave good value for the money. Just take the ratings with a grain of salt!

Another tip: the Shasta in particular was very noticably warmer zipped tight with the hood and draft collar drawn fully shut and just a little hole to breath through. A Balaclava hood worn at night inproved things even more. Also sleeping on a drafty slatted shelter floor worsened things. So it is not just the bag but how it is used and what it is placed on matter as well. On cold nights in shelters I eventually would lay down my folded tent, space blanket, self-inflating mattress and then my bag.

11-05-2005, 16:47
My brother used the REI Travel Down bag as his "summer bag" and loved it.

11-05-2005, 18:21
I agree with the comments about the SubKilo--I think part of the reason the rating is optimistic, is because the cut is so skimpy...it has a pretty good amount of loft, but when you zip in, you're pressing out against the lining, and end up with 2 layers of nylon between you and the cold. My Montbell #3 superstretch, which is rated for 32 deg., is actually warmer than the "20" subkilo. I put in a TNF bag expander in the Subkilo, which solved the problem of the compressed fill...but bumped the weight up to nearly 3 lbs...a 3 lb 20 bag is not much of a bargain. But I think the quality of the Subkilo is fine....it uses 700+ down, unlike the 600 in other REI bags...so if you are real thin, and sleep like King Tut, no elbows pressing out, you will probably like it and do fine. And of course REI is very nice to deal with, never a beef about returning something. Bill