Archambaults Angle: Finding Nemo (sleeping bags)

Nemo’s 2016 Sleeping Bag and Pad Line-up
Nemo has updated their line of sleeping bags and pads for 2016, and the new inventory has just arrived.  There are some new names in the line-up and some improved versions of older models.  If you are not familiar with Nemo, they are a small, enthusiast run company based in New Hampshire that produces amazing camping gear for not just the usual hiking crowd, but also adventure motorcyclists and overlanders.  I have been personally using the (now discontinued) Nemo Rhythm spoon-shaped sleeping bag and Nemo Fillo pillow for the last three years, in the next month I should pass 100 nights using them.  Nemo has something for every type of camper including super-compact, light-weight set-ups, and bulkier systems providing bed-like luxury.

Nemo Bags

Fast and Light
For the minimalist the Nemo Nocturne 15, spoon shaped sleeping bag is my recommendation.  Nemo’s spoon shape sleeping bags are really the best of both worlds. They feature the compact warmth of a mummy style bag with the comfort and room of a traditional rectangular bag.  Rather than simply tapering down from the shoulders to the footbox, the Nocturne flairs out around the elbows and knees.  This allows many more sleeping positions than a normal mummy bag. With my spoon shaped bag I have slept on my side or with my legs spread out comfortably.  There is even room to sit cross legged in the bag, which is handy when you are still finishing up the planning for the next day’s riding in the comfort of the tent.  The Nocturne also has Nemo’s blanket fold-tuckable flap. It can be stuffed inside the bag to keep out the drafts out on cold nights, or left out on warmer nights.


New for this year, the waterproof nylon fabric has been beefed up a little throughout, and is now available in a sharp looking red and dark grey color scheme.  The down is also slightly heavier than the last version.  Most noticeably, will be the slight reduction in the knee flairing, it is now the same width as the shoulder. I’m sure this will help when warming the bag up on cold nights.  Rated for temperatures down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit this will really cover most motorcycle camping expeditions.  The standard version fits people up to 6’ tall, and the tall version up to 6’6”.

Roll Nocturne

For a sleeping pad the Nemo Astro Insulated pairs well with the Nocturne.  Packing down to approximately the size of a Nalgene water bottle it does not take up much more room than a traditional thin sleeping pad.  When inflated it is a plush 2-1/2” thick, and the down fill really does a great job keep the cold at bay.

More Comfort, Without the Bulk
Most of us are riding larger adventure motorcycles, and a few extra liters of space or pounds of weight are not a huge deal.  I doubt many of us are in the “super light-weight, cut the handle off of the toothbrush to save a few grams” camp.  We now get into the lighter-weight rectangular Nemo sleeping bags: the Strato Loft and Mezzo Loft.

Both of these sleeping bags share the same features, other than the fill type and pack size.  Nemo keeps the weight down by not insulating the bottom of the sleeping bag, and providing a pouch for an insulated Cosmo ground pad.  This means, without the redundant bottom insulation, a rectangular sleeping bag can pack down to almost the same size as the more traditional Nocturne.  Nemo kept a mummy style hood, even though it is not a mummy bag.  With dual zippers the sleeping bag can be easily entered with just about any tent or bivy set-up.  The dual zippers also allow the sleeping bag to be mated with a second sleeping bag if you want to cozy up with a friend, but still need a bag for solo trips.  These sleeping bags also have Nemo’s blanket fold-tuckable flap, and are almost a foot wider than the Nocturne (the luxury model is even wider!) providing plenty of room to roll around.

Strato A

New for this year the shoulder opening as slightly narrowed, now the sleeping bag is truly a rectangle.  As with the Nocturne, the waterproof nylon fabric in the footbox and lining is a little tougher than the last version.  The colors have remained the same, but have a new pattern.  The Strato Loft is down filled and rated to temperatures down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and can accommodate up to a 6’4” tall occupant.  The Mezzo Loft is filled with Nemo’s synthetic Stratofiber insulation and is rated to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.  Two lengths are available, the standard for those up to 6’4” and a luxury that is good for those up to 6’8”.

Strato Loft
Mezzo Loft

These sleeping bags are designed to pair with Nemo’s Cosmo Insulated line of pads (standard or XL for the luxury).  These fit perfectly into the pocket on the bottom of the sleeping bag, making it almost impossible to roll off the pad during the night.  Down filled and 3” thick they keep the cold and roughness of the ground from making it to the sleeper.  The Cosmo also features an integrated foot pump, making inflating a quick task that will not leave you breathless.


The Ultimate in Comfort
Both the Concerto and Symphony are new this year.  Like with the Strato Loft and Mezzo Loft (above), they are essentially the same sleeping bag. The Concerto uses down and the Symphony uses Stratofiber.  Nemo not only added the insulation back to the bottom of the sleeping bag, but also provides a zip-out sheet inside for that total at-home feel.  This does mean that the packed size is approximately 50% larger than the Strato Loft or Mezzo Loft.  If you have the space to spare, and want the ultimate in comfort this is the sleeping bag for you.  There is the blanket fold-tuckable flap, dual zippers, and a pocket for a Cosmo sleeping pad.  The Concerto is down filled and rated to temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and can accommodate up to a 6’4” tall occupant.  The Symphony is filled with Nemo’s synthetic Stratofiber insulation and is rated to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.  Two lengths are available, the standard for those up to 6’4” and a luxury that is good for those up to 6’8”.


Final Thoughts
I tried to cover the highlights of Nemo’s new sleeping bags, I know I missed many of the awesome features carried over from the older models.  Having spent years using my Nemo sleeping bag I can assure you that you will find all sorts of neat little features that remind you that the designer spent many nights camping.  Little pockets on the inside for your watch or flashlight, a place to stuff a down jacket to make a pillow, and waterproof footboxes are just some example that I have found.  If your sleeping bag is starting to get a little ratty, or just isn’t working for you anymore these are some great options to check out.  Good luck out there, have fun, and godspeed!


About the author: Eric is an incurable motorcycle nut.  He’s owned and wrenched on everything from vintage scooters and vintage motocross bikes to modern machines, and now spends much of his time riding and talking about adventure motorcycles.  If you have called the Touratech store in Seattle or called the offices, chances are you’ve talked to Eric.  Eric came in second place in the adventure class at the Stumpjumper Desert 100 Race in 2014, and recently finished the 2015 race in eighth place in the same class.  He is a key part of the Touratech race team, and when he’s not racing a local hare-scramble or vintage motocross race, or working on motorcycles in his garage, he can be found roaming the Cascade mountains on his KTM 950 Adventure looking for new routes for the annual Touratech Rally.

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