Gear Review: REI Igneo Sleeping Bag
Three-Season Sleeping Bag
REI Igneo (19° F)
$329, $339 long, 1 lbs. 15 oz. (reg)
Sizes: regular and long
Sleeping bags have seen a lot of impressive advances recently, including water-resistant down feathers. But many of those advances jack up the price of high-end bags, while inexpensive models tend too often to be heavy, bulky, and not as well constructed. The Igneo and women’s Joule ($360 regular, $380 long, 22° F) stake out the middle ground with a good price for this quality and low weight, and offer protection from moisture with a waterproof-breathable coating on the ripstop nylon shell fabric.
I slept numerous nights in the Igneo from Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park in March to Washington’s stormy and chilly Olympic Mountains in September and the inside of Baldy Knoll yurt at 8,800 feet in the Tetons in late winter, and found the bag comfortable and warm enough in temperatures down to around 30° F—the only times I pulled the hood on—and as high as 50° F, when I vented by opening the two-way zipper. My wife, who gets cold very easily, found the bag comfortable during three nights at Idaho’s City of Rocks, when the temps ranged from the 30s to around 50 and 30-40 mph winds rattled the tent. That’s pretty good warmth for a sub-two-pound down bag. The Igneo carries an EN “comfort” rating (the lowest temp at which women are expected to be comfortable in the bag) of 30° F, a “lower limit” rating (considered comfortable for many men) of 19° F, and extreme (survival) rating of -13° F.
The 800-fill down packs plenty of warmth, but also packs into an 8×17-inch stuff sack. The bag sports some high-end details, too, like a generous neck yoke to keep out drafts, a fat, contoured hood that forms a clean closure around your head, a zippered outside pocket for a watch or light, and a thick zipper guard to prevent snagging. I also like a bag that doesn’t feel like a straitjacket in order to shave a few ounces, and the mummy-style Igneo has good moving-around space. All in all, you get a whole lot of value for the money.
NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See all of my reviews by clicking on the Gear Reviews category at left or in the main menu.