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EMS Boreal 20

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: EMS Boreal 20 3-season synthetic sleeping bag
Version reviewed: Long

When deciding on a new bag my main criterion were temp rating based on actual reviews, compressed size, and weight. The Primaloft Infinity allows this bag to compress pretty small for a 20 degree in the non compression (but fleece lined)sack supplied.

Other pros of this bag are the chin level interior pocket, perfect for stowing a small flashlight or midnight snack. Full length draft tube and neck collars proved very efficient in my most recent overnight where temps fell to 30 degrees. I (6'1" 185 Lbs) really enjoy the conservative cut of this bag which still affords enough room for arm movements (zipping up was a snap) but still gives me the cozy snug feeling, and presumably saves a bit of weight as well.

Cons would include the zipper. It seems a bit catchy in places and upon full zip, rests undesirably on top of the face hole. The fleece lined stuff sack is difficult to stuff the bag into (but makes a really nice pillow when turned inside out however) and also should be a compression style.

Overall I would recommend this bag to anyone who doesn't mind a snugger fitting bag (and would also suggest getting the long cut if you are over 6 feet for the extra foot room), the quality is excellent and I look very much forward to using this bag at its limit for many years to come.

Design: Mummy
Fill: Primaloft Infinity
Temperature Rating: 20F
Weight: About 3 Lbs.
Price Paid: $135

She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid.
Good workhorse bag.


  • Durable
  • On par with temp rating


  • Somewhat bulky

This was one of my first serious pieces of real camping gear as I graduated from car camping with a rectangular bag into backpacking. I'm very happy with it and think that it was a good choice.

I chose it because 20 degrees seemed like a good rating for 3-season use, and it came in a "Long" size which fits me at 6'4" with length to spare. It's synthetic, which is cheaper than down and slightly less susceptible to moisture.  

I've only ever slept in it down to around 40 degrees, but I was comfortable in just shorts and a T-shirt at that temperature. 

Great all-around sleeping bag. It's served me well through many trips by now.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130

This is a great bag. Now that Polarguard has given in to its legal arguments, EMS and others are allowed to use Polarguard 3D in their bags. This design outperforms most others -- especially in the $130 range.

It has only the amount of bells and whistles that a bag needs: a full length draft collar down the zipper, a draft collar under the hood, and a no-catch zipper. (fyi... a draft collar is a tube of the insulation meant to keep the cold out of an open space, and a no-catch zipper is a thick layer of nylon next to the zipper so that the light, thin nylon of the bag doesn't get caught in it and rip). The stuff sac is fleece-lined so that you can flip it inside-out to make a pillow.

The 20 degrees is an honest 20, and it's not overwhelming in the warmer temps. Light as can be and certainly well-built. I've been around the block and I know quality when I see it... This is quality. Perfect score.

Design: Mummy
Fill: Polarguard 3D
Temperature Rating: 20
Weight: under 3 lbs
Price Paid: $130

The quality of the bag is great, but I was disappointed in the temperature rating. The temperature was in the upper 30s, and I still had to put on sweatpants, a T-shirt, and a sweatshirt. I was still a little cool even with that.

Design: mummy
Fill: Polarguard 3D
Temperature Rating: 20
Weight: 3
Price Paid: $109

A very warm sleeping bag, very packable. Filled with Primaloft Infinity, which is very packable and waterproof (actually waterproof when rain got through).

Design: mummy
Fill: Primaloft Infinity
Temperature Rating: 20 degrees farenheight
Weight: 1 lb. 10 oz.
Price Paid: $140

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