NEMO Nocturne 30

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   0
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Side sleepers, rejoice! Nemo’s Spoon Shape sleeping bags mimic your body’s curves for greater comfort and warmth on the trail. The spoon-shaped Nocturne 30 is wider at the shoulders, tapered at the hips, and wider again at the knees for greater movement and flexing in any position all night.

Filled with 700 power down, the Nocturne 30 (-1°C) weighs 2 pounds (907 g). If things get wet, DownTek nanotechnology will help keep you warm. 

Insotect Flow vertical baffles and gates keep down insulation from migrating and help prevent cold spots, though you can redistribute down up and down if you like. Underneath there’s 10 percent less fill.

The Nocturne 30 sleeping bag features a fully insulated Blanket Fold to hold in warmth, pillow pocket, zippered pocket for your watch, 15D nylon ripstop shell fabric with DWR, 30D nylon mini ripstop lining, and waterproof/breathable footbox.

Specs

Temp Rating 30°F / -1°C
Fill 700 fill power down with DownTek nanotechnology
Minimum Weight 2 lb 0 oz / 907 g
Packed Size 13.5 x 8.5 / 34 x 22 cm

Reviews

8

The Nocturne 30 is good for lightweight backpacking…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (sample provided by NEMO for testing and review)

Summary

The Nocturne 30 is good for lightweight backpacking in temperatures near or at its stated rating and in wet climates. I’m a warm sleeper and I would take this bag down to its lower range with no fear. I found the footbox to have cold spots in certain scenarios and I think it needs some work (either in baffling design or materials: I’m not sure what the fix should be), but it is not a deal breaker for a shorter person like me (5'7").

Pros

  • True to temperature rating (this is a very warm bag)
  • Very light weight
  • Water resistant
  • Shape is really nice for those that flop around at night.

Cons

  • Footbox is prone to cold spots if you press your feet into it too much (as is all down when compressed, but this is something more than that)
  • Slight vapor barrier effect (mostly noticeable if you are already wet when getting in)
  • Zipper is hard to put back together if you completely unzip and separate the bottom stop
  • Exterior fabric is so smooth it tends to slide a bit more than other bags I’ve used

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Living Room Demonstration for clarity — field photos below

About me and my backpacking trips: I live in Knoxville, Tenn., USA and 99 percent of my trips are in the Southern Appalachian ranges. I usually go for short two-day two-night trips, year round. As it turns out I got to take this bag on a bit longer trip.

If you require further veracity regarding me, you can register at Trailspace and see a list of the last two years of my posted trip reports in my user profile using this link.

Testing Notes:

This initial review is based on my experiences over six backing trips covering 12 nights and about 195 miles of backpacking in the Southern Appalachians.

All ambient temperature measurements were done with the Ambient Weather model WS-108 Keychain Altimeter, Barometer, Thermometer & Compass.

Good info for a sleeping bag review: I’m a warm sleeper.

About the Nocturne 30:

The NEMO Nocturne 30 is rated for use in temperatures down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, is spoon shaped (for side sleepers), has a waterproof breathable footbox, is stuffed with 700 fill duck down, has specialized baffling designed to prevent cold spots, and uses a fairly new technology called DownTek. The primary feature of DownTek is its ability for down to maintain its insulating properties even when wet.

I tested a 2012 limited edition sample of the Nocturne. NEMO's full line of sleeping bags, its first ever, will be available in 2013.

For the manufacturer's product page, use this link.

To see a neat video of DownTek use this link.

Initial Impressions:

The Nocturne bag I received weighed 2.1 lbs (NEMO publishes a weight of 2 lb 0 oz), although it feels lighter than that when handling it. The stitching and fabric construction are of very high quality.

The exterior material (15 denier down-proof ripstop nylon with a DWR treatment) has an incredibly smooth texture. Combined with the remarkable lightweight, diagonal Insotect baffles, and spoon shape profile, it created a high “coolness” factor.

Of course the “proof is in the pudding” as they say.

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Out of the box

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Spread out on the floor after opening

Features:

Spoon Shape: I really enjoyed the roominess of the Nocturne bag, thanks to the spoon shape profile. The spoon shape worked well for me. It's wider at the shoulders, tapers down to the hips, and then widens out, letting you bend, shift, or flop around.

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On my side—notice the girth of the lower section; this works for floppers.

Hood: The drawcord on the hood works OK, but is not great. I found it a little hard to adjust, even without gloves on, but it was not a big problem. The hood is quite roomy, which is good for stuffing it with extra clothes to use as a pillow.


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Drawcord adjustment for hood

Zipper: I had some issues with the two-way zipper after separating the bottom stop; it was hard to reattach after I completely unzipped the bag one night. NEMO walked me through the function of a two-way zipper and I was able to reattach the bottom stop albeit with no small effort.

However, the travel motion of the YKK zipper was excellent. It worked well with few snags and very well compared to others I’ve used.


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Demonstrating one way to use a two-way zipper: you can open it up to let your feet breathe.

**Loft / DownTek / Moisture:

The loft of the bag was very good. I usually hike long days with the bag as compressed as it can be in the bottom of the pack; the Nocturne puffed up nicely every time.

The exterior fabrics (15 denier nylon with DWR on the exterior) seemed to be quite moisture resistant, and that fact also caused me some confusion about the effectiveness of the DownTek treatment on the 700 fill down (DownTek nanotechnology claims to make down clusters and feathers more water repellent and thus insulate better when wet):

I’m honestly not sure what to say about the DownTek treatment: We are supposed to test the equipment as we normally would use it. Well, I normally am very careful to keep my down items dry. I went a little outside my usual practices to test this bag, but never actually soaked the bag intentionally and slept in it.

I did get the bag quite wet from external condensation and body sweat and rain; it never lost loft or felt less insulating so maybe it does work as advertised.

Perhaps I’ll take the opportunity to soak the bag and get in it, but until then I can’t really confirm or deny the efficacy of the manufacturer's claims. Based on my experiences thus far, I tend to think DownTek works as stated, but have no real verification. 

Blanket Fold: I liked NEMO's Blank Fold feature and thought it added a bit of coziness to the bag. The Blanket Fold is a fully insulated flap of fabric at the top of the bag, that tucks in to stop drafts and trap body warmth.


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Blanket Fold lowered


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Blanket Fold raised

 

Field Use Log:

My first trip with the NEMO Nocturne 30 was in the Smokies at campsite 50. The nighttime temperatures only reached about 52 degrees. I could not even drape the Nocturne over me without getting too hot. In fact I slept on top of the bag in a short sleeve shirt and synthetic briefs (and on top of my NeoAir All Season pad) and was still a little too warm for comfort as it seemed to really reflect my body heat back at me in a “heat field”:

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Smokies Campsite 50 — 52 degrees was too hot

The second trip was in the Mt. Rogers area of Virginia. The temperatures reached 42 degrees Fahrenheit (at last measurement). That night provided more useful experience on two fronts:

Apparently I had completely unzipped the bag on the first night's use (separating the bottom stop). Well, at bedtime (well past dark) I could not get the zipper to reattach. I spent that night holding the bag together in a stiff wind while sleeping under a tarp.

I thought the product was damaged and later contacted NEMO for advice; they walked me through the function of a two-way zipper and I was able to reattach the bottom stop albeit with no small effort.

I don’t like the bottom stop on the YKK zipper they have chosen and don’t consider it a precision mechanism. However, I do like the travel motion of the slider: it works very well compared to others I’ve used.

The second experience from that night was that I awoke to find that the exterior fabric of the bag was extremely wet from condensation. I never noticed a loss of warmth; that could be because of DownTek or it could be that the water didn’t penetrate the exterior fabric. Hmm….

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Mt. Rogers — NEMO bag is under tarp

The third trip was quite interesting and offered even more insight into the product but I didn’t intend to uncover it this way:

I had wanted to do something ostentatious and try to spend the night on the roof of the Mt. Sterling Fire Tower in the Smokies. (Trip Report is here). I didn’t make it through the night, but I did experience incredibly strong winds on the roof of that tower. I didn’t have a means of measuring the wind speed, but they were strong enough to actually lift my body partially off the tower when the wind got under my sleeping pad.

Well, the wind sheared right through that sleeping bag (not a knock on it, it doesn’t claim to be windproof) but the wind really cut through the foot box. So much so that it drew my attention to it for the remainder of the testing. NEMO says the footbox is designed to be waterproof breathable to protect against tent wall condensation.

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Firetower — 60 feet high and at 5,902 feet


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On top of the tower—what a night!

The fourth trip was a cowboy camp in the Smokies at campsite 18. I slept under the stars (intentionally with rain in the forecast) but it never rained, of course. LOL, I made some effort to get the bag wet in a normal scenario…

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Cowboy camp at Smokies site 18

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Downside of Cowboy camp at site 18 :)

The fifth trip was a 90-mile section of the Appalachian Trail, which I traversed in five nights. On that trip I encountered various situations; one of which was getting sweaty from overexerting but then stopping in a windy/cold location and having to get in my bag before chilling.

I noticed that it took far longer to get dry than what I’m used to. It was as if the bag didn't breathe much at all. The best practice is to get dry before getting in the bag, but sometimes you have to jump in or risk hypothermia.

On two other warmer nights I noticed feeling more moist than usual and concluded that not as much vapor escapes the bag as does my other bags. In fairness, I’m a sweaty dude and in dry cold weather it’s not an issue.

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Airing out the bag at Bald Mountain Shelter

The sixth trip was to the Smokies in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to play in the snow. This proved to be a really great bottom end test. This was my only use of the bag in a tent. I measured a temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit inside the tent (last measurement before going to sleep) and slept on my usual NeoAir All Season pad while wearing a 150 weight merino wool short sleeve shirt and synthetic briefs. I was toasty warm. I confirmed my earlier observation of cold spots if you pressed too hard into the footbox at certain angles.

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Snow camp at Smokies site 27—tent perspective

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Bedding down at 35 degrees Fahrenheit

Conclusion:

I think the NEMO Nocturne 30 is good for lightweight backpackers who use it in temperatures near or at the stated rating and in wet climates (NEMO will also offer a Nocturne 15). I found it true to its temperature rating and as a warm sleeper, I would take this bag down to its lower range with no fear.

Though the waterproof-breathable footbox had cold spots in certain scenarios, it was not a deal breaker for a shorter person like me. While the zipper caused some difficulty and I noticed a slight vapor barrier effect, the bag's Spoon Shape is really nice for those that flop around at night, and the bag was quite light. 

Rick-Pittsburgh

Very nice review. Good job.


2 years ago
Rick-Pittsburgh

Oh, btw... How big was our 8 legged buddy there?


2 years ago
rob5073

Good review


2 years ago
Patman

Thanks guys. Rick, that fishing spider was about four inches across the leg span. He didn’t bother me but was very close that night!


2 years ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for testing and reviewing this bag, Patman. Nice spider! I'd be interested in hearing your experiences when the bag gets increasingly wet from rain or snow too.


2 years ago
Seth Levy TRAILSPACE STAFF

Great review! I'm getting dizzy just thinking about that fire tower!


2 years ago

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

Nemo's 700 fill down Spoon Shape backpacking bags give you extra space where it matters most. Wide in the shoulders, the bag tapers down to the hips then gently flairs back out to allow room for your knees to naturally bend and shift throughout the night. This innovative bag profile offers restorative sleeping comfort while maintaining thermal efficiency and low weight. Details like the tuckable Blanket Fold and a waterproof-breathable footbox elevate comfort and protection for adventures near or far.

- CampSaver.com

Breaking the mold of sleeping bag shapes, the NEMO Nocturne 30 sleeping bag brings up the notion that maybe mummies didn't sleep all that comfortably. NEMO finds a middle ground for the living.

- REI

The NEMO Nocturne 30 Sleeping Bag is designed to bring the comforts of home out with you in the backcountry. New Spoon(TM) Shape is designed to allow room for your knees to bend and shift throughout the night. The summerweight Nocture 30's innovative Spoon profile offers true sleeping comfort to side and stomach sleepers without compromising thermal efficiency or heavy pack weight. New Spoon(TM) Shape offers is wide in the elbows, tapered at the hips and gently flares back out to allow room for your knees to naturally bend and shift throughout the night Tuckable Blanket Fold(TM) mimics your comforter at home, your nose will be toasty warm without messing with cinches and closures in the middle of the night DownTek(TM) nanotechnology helps down feathers repel moisture for increased loft and better warmth in damp or humid conditions Smooth left-handed zipper for easy entry and exit Zippered watch or headlamp pocket for your alarm and lighting essentials Insulating down flap prevents warm air from escaping through the zipper Fully adjustable contoured hood cinches closed to keep you warm Pillow Pocket allows you to stuff your down coat under the hood for an instant pillow that doesn't migrate Waterproof/Breathable footbox ensures that brushing against damp tent walls won't compromise your down Includes roll-top compression stuff sack and cotton storage bag

- OMCgear

NEMO Nocturne 30 Spoon Shape Down Sleeping BagTake the amazing NEMO Nocturne 30 Spoon Shape Down Sleeping Bag on your next camping trip with your friends and family. This NEMO sleeping bag comes in a spoon shape that brings a new level of comfort to the backcountry. Thanks to the blanket fold feature, this sleeping bag is very easy to pack when you are done using it. Since this sleeping bag has a waterproof and breathable footbox, it will keep your feet dry from moisture of rainy weather. The NEMO sleeping bag has lining fabric that makes this product smooth and soft to use. This product includes a box quilt that encloses the feet and lower legs keeping you warm and comfortable. The sleeping bag has dual fill power that makes this product very relaxing to use. Wake up relaxed and rested with the NEMO Nocturne 30 Spoon Shape Down Sleeping Bag.

- SunnySports

The Nemo Nocturne 30 Long is a down mummy bag with a technologically advanced, ideal shape. Nemo's all new Spoon Shape bag profile follows your body's contours to maximize comfort and warmth. 700 fill power down with DownTek nanotechnology to keep your insulation dry even in the presence of moisture. Insotect Flow Vertical baffling prevents cold spots from occurring due to sideways migration of down. Insotect Flow Gates prevent the downwards movement of insulation, while still allowing for intentional redistribution of down. Ultra lightweight, down-proof ripstop nylon shell fabric. Fully insulated Blanket Fold tucks in to trap body warmth. Pillow pocket with sleeve opening. Waterproof breathable footbox protects against tent wall condensation. 10% less fill on underside of bag to minimize weight, add sleep comfort and versatility. Zippered watch pocket| The Nemo Nocturne 30 sleeping bag is from the Nemo Spoon Shape bag line, winner of 2012 Outside Gear of the Show award. Temperature Rating: 30F / -1C. Fill Type: 700 Fill Power Down with DownTek nanotechnology. Fill Weight: 16 oz / 450 g. Minimum Weight: 2 lbs, 2 oz / 964 g. Shape: Spoon. Capacity: 1P. Fits Up To: 78 in / 198 cm. Shoulder Girth: 66 in / 168 cm. Hip Girth: 60 in / 152 cm. Knee Girth: 70 in / 178 cm. Packed Size: 14.5 x 8.5 in / 37 x 22 cm. Compressed Volume: 5.4 L. Zipper Location: Left. Shell Fabric: 15D Nylon Ripstop + DWR. Footbox Fabric: 15D OSMO DT W/B + DWR. Lining Fabric: 30D Nylon Taffeta + DWR. Color: Aluminum/Clover

- Tahoe Mountain Sports