Gear Reviews

Therm-a-Rest Ventra Down Comforter

An ultralight summer sleeping bag that sleeps warm.

Brand: Therm-a-Rest

Model: Ventra Down Comforter





Your summer destinations tend toward the high, cold, and wet, but you still want an ultralight summer sack? This is your bag. “Even on damp, near-freezing nights, I found myself stripping down to a T-shirt and boxers after only a few minutes,” says our warm-sleeping, 6’1” Alaskan tester, who used the 800-fill down Somnus for four soggy nights while humping up Anderson Pass in Denali National Park.

He raved about the Pertex Quantum shell, which repels light rain and mist while maintaining superior breathability. “I climbed in soaked and woke up just barely damp—a huge accomplishment in Alaska,” he says. Also welcome: A half-length center zip made venting and midnight escapes a breeze, and vertical torso baffles prevented down from shifting on side-sleepers. And our plus-size testers loved the dimensions: The shoulder area is wider than average (66 inches) and roomy enough to fit a football player, but the lower bag tapers quickly so it warmed up fast for narrower testers, too.

The roomy hood offers good coverage even for melon heads, and cinches down to a circular face opening that doesn’t gap. A zippered pocket at the foot of the bag holds a hot water bottle or chemical packs, but testers were split on the utility. “I prefer my hot water bottle inside my bag, where I can shift it around to where it’s most needed,” says one tester. “I don’t like things floating around my bag, so I loved parking my bottle in this pocket,” says another. The long size (good for guys up to 6’6”) crunches down to volleyball proportions in the included compression stuffsack. $269; 1 lb. 7 oz.; 30°F
This 40 degree F rated comforter is filled with premium 650-fill European down for comfort and warmth and offers the freedom to move that traditional mummy bags don’t. The comforter can snap to any Therm-a-Rest mattress with a simple Mattress Snap Kit or the recently-introduced Fitted Sheet that snaps onto the mattress itself, providing next-to-skin comfort. The comforter features dual-draft collars that weigh down the sides, keeping the blanket wrapped around the body, plus a footbox that keeps feet easily tucked in while moving during sleep. It is also versatile enough to be used on its own by the campfire, in a backpacking hostel or on a plane. (Mattress Snap Kit and Fitted Sheet sold separately.) Available in two sizes (regular and large) and two colors (chili pepper and canary yellow).