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Cascade Designs Therm-A-Nest

rated 4.0 of 5 stars

This tragically discontinued "kid'tainer" is one of the most ingenious sleep systems ever invented for lightweight tent camping.


  • Lightweight
  • Convenient
  • Comfortable


  • No longer available
  • Only 40°F rated
  • Requires mattress for lower insulation

Manufactured in 1993, this 1 lb. 9 oz. sleep system by the makers of Therm-a-Rest is a great option for parents who want to backpack with their little ones.

The upper portion is basically a sleeping bag. The sheet-like lower portion forms a pocket for your 3/4 Therm-a-Rest mattress (not included). It is 34"x60" which fits a child up to 54" (about 10 yrs. old, 70 lbs.).

I used this backpacking with my 18 mo. son. I had him in a front carrier and all of our gear in my backpack. I couldn't have a better setup. He stayed comfortable and the usual tossing and turning failed to separate the bag and mattress.

Not a double sleeping bag. For one child (or short person) but can be used with coupler so your little one stays close.

Source: bought it new

When my SO began backpacking last year, we elected not to purchase a sleeping bag for her. Instead we went with the Cascade Designs Therm-A-Nest system.

Basically, the system consists of a big pouch that holds two Therm-A Rest mattresses side-by-side onto which zips an opened up Cascade Designs sleeping bag.

The system is compatible with a number of Therm-A-Rest pads (we use a full-length and 3/4 length pad) and a number of different sleeping bags. We purchased a semi-rectangular bag that is rated to +20°F. We actually used it on a 5°F trip, although we needed a wool liner blanket to stay warm. We've since purchased the 0°F bag which we'll try this winter. The pouch contains no insulation so the only insulation under you is afforded by the mattresses.

It is not a cheap system when you add up the cost of the two pads (but we already had them and would have needed them anyway), the pouch and the compatible sleeping bag. But, it does have a couple of advantages. One is the obvious advantage of sharing a single sleeping bag. The other is that we only need carry one bag between the two of us. Saves weight overall.

I'd be interested in the experiences of anyone else who has tried this system.

Design: Semi-rectangular
Fill: synthetic
Temperature Rating: 20 F
Price Paid: ~$120

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Price Reviewers Paid: $120.00
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