Review: Nemo Riff 30 Endless Promise Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Bag
Nemo Riff 30 Endless Promise
$360, 1 lb. 15 oz./879g (men’s regular)
Sizes: men’s and women’s regular and long

Nemo’s Riff down sleeping bags have long carved out a unique space among high-end backpacking bags with their spoon shape and comfortable dimensions, as well as the zippered “thermo gills” on the chest area for adjusting the bag’s degree of warmth to vent on mild nights or batten down the hatches on chilly nights. Spending eight nights in the 2024 update, the Riff 30 Endless Promise, in Glacier National Park in September and in southern Utah in early October, I found that Nemo maintained or improved on the Riff’s exclusive features—while making the bags fully recyclable.

I slept quite comfortably and stayed perfectly warm in the men’s Riff 30 Endless Promise for six nights in Glacier in September, with lows from around 50° to the upper 30s Fahrenheit, and for two clear nights in the high 40s on the Boulder Mail Trail-Death Hollow-Escalante River Loop in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in early October.

A new addition to Nemo’s line of Endless Promise products, the 2024 Riff bags are 100 percent recyclable at the end of their life: Every Endless Promise product is designed to be repaired, resold, and ultimately recycled to keep them out of landfills. Each carries a QR code and customers receive a pre-paid shipping label and a $20 Nemo gift card for returning a product to be recycled into new fabrics or insulation.

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The Nemo Riff 30 Endless Promise sleeping bag.
The Nemo Riff 30 Endless Promise sleeping bag.

Stuffed with 10 ounces/295 grams of PFAS-free, RDS-certified, 800-fill duck down, the Riff 30 has good warmth for its weight, carrying a comfort rating of 40° F/4° C, a limit rating of 29° F/-2° C, and an extreme rating of -1° F/-18° C. Baffles are aligned vertically over the torso for comfort and horizontally below the waist to prevent down migration.

The hydrophobic down repels moisture, meaning it still traps heat efficiently when wet—the traditional weakness of standard down—and dries faster. It will not, of course, keep you as warm when damp or wet as when dry; think of it as allowing you to get through a night that may feel somewhere between uncomfortable and miserable. Better to keep your bag dry.

Assisting in that goal, the Riff bags have a somewhat rare feature I’ve long thought should be an automatic addition to all high-end bags, especially down models: Reinforced hood and footbox fabric treated with PFAS-free waterproofing to prevent tent condensation from penetrating the shell and getting the down wet—and it’s the head and footbox, of course, that are most likely to get damp with condensation from brushing against tent walls.

Available in men’s and women’s regular and long models rated to 30 and 15 degrees, the Riff still has the key features that set it apart from other sleeping bags. The spoon-shaped cut balances thermal and weight efficiency with extra space at the elbows and knees—particularly nice for side sleepers like me.

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The Nemo Riff 30 Endless Promise with the thermo gills unzipped.
The Nemo Riff 30 Endless Promise with the thermo gills unzipped.

And the brand’s signature thermo gills, parallel zippers over your torso that open to a narrow panel of solid, uninsulated fabric, allow venting without exposing you directly to cold air. In the 2024 Riff update, Nemo added interior zippers to both gills (which previously just had the exterior zippers), creating another level of venting that’s actually useful: I sleep warmly, so on nights around 50° F, I could open all four zippers on the two gills and effectively create a bag equal to one rated perhaps 10 degrees higher than the Riff 30.

With its warmth and my comfort range (and perhaps wearing an extra layer top and bottom), I can also use this bag in temperatures slightly below its rating, meaning the gills give me a bag I could use on about 80 percent of my backcountry nights.

In both the men’s and women’s Riff 30 regular, the girth measures a comfortable 60 inches/152 centimeters at the shoulders, tapers to 53 inches/135 centimeters at the hips, and 57 inches/145 centimeters at the feet, creating a roomier bed than you’ll get in some significantly lighter bags with the same temp rating. (Those measurements increase by one to two inches in the long bags.)

Nemo reduced those girth measures by one to two inches in the men’s models compared with the previous generation of the Riff (which I reviewed), presumably for the achieved benefit of shaving a few ounces from it. At five feet, eight inches and 153 pounds, I find the men’s regular (fits people up to six feet/183 centimeters) spacious without being so voluminous that it compromises thermal efficiency: I have space to pull on my pants inside the bag on chilly mornings, which I like.

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Nemo Riff 30 Endless Promise sleeping bag footbox.
The Nemo Riff 30 Endless Promise sleeping bag footbox.

I also like the redesigned, fat draft collar—what Nemo calls its Blanket Fold—both for when I zip the bag up completely, because of how that flap thoroughly seals out cold air and seals in body heat, and when I leave the bag partly open at the top because I can use it sort of like a blanket to cover my shoulders or throw it off as desired. That’s particularly nice for a side sleeper like me, as is the tiny cord for cinching the hood tighter, with a small barrel knot as a grip rather than an obnoxious plastic tab tapping my cheek while sleeping.

The warm, adjustable hood closes neatly to a small blowhole and readily loosens, but the cord doesn’t slip when you want it to remain closed up. An integrated pillow pocket can be stuffed with clothing or a Nemo Fillo pillow. All zippers run smoothly with no annoying tendency to snag.

And count me as a fan of the Riff’s compression stuff sack and the very cool (these things excite me), rectangular, zippered storage sack, which makes storing it among other gear noticeably easier.

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At 31 ounces/879 grams (on my scale for the men’s Riff 30 regular; Nemo gives a weight of 1 lb. 14 oz./845g), with a packed size of 10.5×7.5 inches/26×19 centimeters/four liters in volume, the Riff is certainly competitively light and packable—but still not among the most ultralight or compact down sleeping bags (when comparing identical temperature ratings). Yes, those bags achieve lower weights and better packability through higher rated down and/or a tighter fit (and often carry a higher price). Weight, packability, and price versus a roomier fit are essentially the tradeoffs between the Riff and the best ultralight bags.

The lightweight, 100 percent recycled, polyester ripstop shell and lining fabric offers the amount of durability that will prevent tears or punctures with reasonable care when using it.

The Nemo Riff 15 ($400, 2 lbs. 7 oz./1.12 kg regular), in men’s and women’s models, provides added warmth for shoulder seasons or people who tend to sleep cold.

The Verdict

For backpacking, the updated-for-2024 Nemo Riff 30 Endless Promise and Riff 15 Endless Promise bags still deliver a level of comfort that rises above many competitors while remaining lightweight and packable—and they are now fully recyclable, an important step toward preserving the places we like to sleep outside that we should all embrace and encourage through our choices as consumers.


You can support my work on this blog, at no cost to you, by clicking any of these affiliate links to purchase a men’s Nemo Riff 30 or Riff 15 Endless Promise sleeping bag at, a women’s Nemo Riff 30 or Riff 15 Endless Promise sleeping bag at, or a men’s or women’s Riff 30 or Riff 15 Endless Promise sleeping bag at or

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See all reviews of sleeping bags and backpacking gear at The Big Outside and my articles “Pro Tips for Buying Sleeping Bags” and “10 Pro Tips: Staying Warm in a Sleeping Bag.”

And don’t miss my popular reviews of “25 Essential Backpacking Gear Accessories” and “The Best Backpacking Gear” of the year.

NOTE: I tested gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See the Gear Reviews page at The Big Outside for categorized menus of all reviews and expert buying tips.

—Michael Lanza


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