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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2011

Gear Review: REI Radiant 0 Sleeping Bag

Winter camping becomes budget friendly with this 0° bag.

by: Ben Fullerton

REI Radiant 0 (BP Photo Department)
REI Radiant 0 (BP Photo Department)

[ killer deal]
Yes, you can go winter camping without breaking your gear budget. For temps above 0°F—typical of many moderate winter destinations—this bag delivers reliable warmth for the price of a three-season bag. The 650-fill down Radiant is a tad heavy and bulky compared to more expensive models, but that didn’t bother our cold-sleeping tester. She wouldn’t part with it on a chillier-than-expected, six-day trip through Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park, even when offered an ultralight 15°F substitute.

She cherished the warmth, as well as the roomy cut (62-inch girth), which accommodated the extra layers she always wears to bed. The 360-degree insulated neck gaiter provides a total heat seal, and the voluminous hood converts to a plush pillow when stuffed with a puffy jacket. Plus, the construction and 40-denier ripstop nylon shell are bomber: When temps dipped into the low teens, our human Popsicle dragged the Radiant all over camp, from sandstone slabs for dinner to the tent and then back for early-morning coffee. $249; 3 lbs. 13 oz.; 0°F

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