Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) Polar Pod 25F
Think outside the bag with this minimalist blanket from Brooks-Range.
Brand: Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
Model: Polar Pod 25F
On moderate summer nights, a blanket is all you want—and that’s precisely what the zipperless Cloak offers, but with smart, camping-specific features. The rectangular, 850-fill down quilt simply drapes around the sleeper (a weightier draft tube along the perimeter creates a “tucked-in” feel, but this is still an ultralight model for serious ounce-cutters). A sleeve at the bottom mates with a sleeping pad to keep feet covered and prevent the Cloak from drifting away. “It feels comfy and unrestrictive, like a bed rather than a sleeping bag,” says one tester, who pulled the cover to her chin on chilly nights, or tossed it aside to cool down—just like at home.
And it’s a smart choice for condensation-prone ultralight shelters, thanks to a DWR treatment on the 15-denier nylon shell and water-repellent down (from DownTek; see Shop Smart, opposite) that maintains loft through extended humidity. Bonus: The blanket style is more versatile than a sack-style mummy bag. Testers wrapped themselves in its warmth when sitting in camp and after a running race, when the Cloak minimized post-exertion chills. The premium down and minimalist design make it tiny when packed (the size of a liter bottle). But it’s not for big guys: Our broad-chested tester found it too narrow to seal out drafts (it stopped short of covering his back and chest when he slept on his side). $299; 1 lb.; 30°F; brooks-range.com