A Better Night's Sleep With New NEMO Sleeping Bags

May 8, 2012
Outside Magazine

Rhode Island School of Design student Cam Brensinger came up with the idea for NEMO (New England Mountain Equipment) and his college senior project, high on the flanks of New Hampshire's Mount Washington. One weekend Cam went camping and got caught in gale force winds.

Cam recalls: “I was up all night inventing new bivy designs, thinking about how to use my Thermarest to make a cube over my head so I could breathe. That was when I figured out where NEMO should start—it was the seed of the inflatable tent.”

NEMO launched in 2002. Since then it has earned an ISPO Brand New Award for its inflatable tent, and it has been featured many times in the pages of Outside magazine, as well as Time and Popular Science.

“When we started NEMO 10 years ago, we had a vision of integrating overnight gear into one seamless sleep system,” Cam says. “We established our own equation for performance. Not just fast and light, but durable, comfortable and a pleasure to use.”

Now, after years of development, hundreds of nights of testing, and more than 300 design revisions, here’s what they came up with:

For Backpackers: NEMO’s Spoon Shape three-season backpacking bags (Rhythm, Harmony, Nocturne, Rhapsody) are wide in the shoulders, tapered in the hips and flared at the thighs so your knees have room to bend. A blanket-like flap tucks around your face and neck—like pulling up the covers—and a waterproof/breathable footbox protects against condensation. Men’s and women’s with synthetic or waterproof down insulation, $230-$420

For couples: The Tango Duo 30 is a camping comforter built for two. Mate it with NEMO’s Cosmo or Tuo sleeping pads (it’s only a top cover, not a bag) and you’ve got yourself a full-sized backcountry bed. $450

For the casual camper: The Muse Duvet ($250) is a 700-fill down comforter that converts to a roomy sleeping bag when slipped into the fleecy, wicking Muse Cover. Don’t want to buy the duvet? Use your own from home inside the cover instead. $130

For the Car Camper: NEMO’s Strato Loft 25 is a 700-fill bag with a stretchy sleeve on the back to hold a sleeping pad (try NEMO’s Cosmo). Roll the pad with the sleeve when you pack up in the morning for quick and easy unrolling later, even if all you need is a nap. The bag has a roomy cut, an insulated hood, stretch stitching, and side zippers that let you fold back the covers. And, if you’re napping with that special someone, dual zippers on the Loft let it easily mate to another Strato. $370

For the Ultralight Camper: 850 down baffled into silky nylon forms the technical quilt NEMO calls the Siren. Deep side flanges, lightweight tie-down loops and a collar snap offer tuckable, secure, draft protection on teeth-chattering nights. A fully-insulated stretch footbox keeps the pad aligned and your feet warm. Pair it with NEMO’s Zor sleeping pad for a sleep system that’s under 2 lbs. $350

For the mountaineer: High Altitude and Extreme Conditions call for a really warm bag. Nemo's Canon has 850 fill to keep climbers protected in the harshest conditions. The bag is designed to put a pocket of warm air in front of your face with an easy-access center zip and frost-shedding waterproof breathable fabrics to help make sub-zero temps a bit more tolerable. The overstuffed head is contoured like a parka. Price TBD

Preorder any items now for September 2012 delivery, ecept the Canon, which will be available January 2013; nemosleepingbags.com.

--Berne Broudy

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