Gear Review: REI Polar Pod +10 Sleeping Bag

A budget-friendly shoulder-season bag

[bargain warmth]

Looking to press into the shoulder seasons without breaking the budget? Try this value bag, which kept testers warm from Alaska to Colorado. “The full draft collar effectively sealed in heat without being restrictive, and the loft was especially plush for a synthetic bag,” says one. Credit the shingled layers of fluffy, continuous filament, hollow-core polyester fill, which eliminate the cold spots that sometimes plague even down bags. The relaxed mummy cut allowed space for extra clothes or cold-sensitive items.

Moisture didn’t faze the insulation. Even after the bag was soaked from sitting in a puddle that had formed in the corner of a tent, our tester reported staying plenty warm in the near freezing temps. In milder conditions, the 3/4-length zipper allowed sufficient ventilation for comfort at 45°F, boosting versatility. Downside? This is the heaviest bag in our lineup (a typical tradeoff for a synthetic), and it’s bulky. You’ll want to invest in a good compression sack. $119; 5 lbs. 5 oz.; reg. and long; rei.com