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The North Face Nebula

rated 4.50 of 5 stars

The Nebula has been discontinued. It last appeared in The North Face's 2011 product line. If you're looking for something new, check out the best 3-season down sleeping bags for 2023.

photo: The North Face Nebula 3-season down sleeping bag
Version reviewed: Long

Top performance 3+ season bag that's a lightweight, durable product — as expected from TNF.


  • Warm night's sleep over full rated temperatures
  • Durable, water repellant externally
  • Light weight


  • A little tight around the shoulders
  • Compression sack could be lighter

I have had TNF sleeping bags on my trips for 30 years, and my purchase of the Nebula was specifically to meet a need for a late winter camping trip. I sleep cold typically, but even at 18 degrees in the early morning, the Nebula was a cocoon against the cold and I slept soundly, with no cold spots.

I'm 5'11" 195 lbs and I bought the Long. I had enough room for my boots at the bottom of the bag, but the bag is a bit snug at the shoulders once I'm inside and everything zipped and cinched shut for the night. Getting out of the bag requires that you remember to uncinch the draft collar then unzipping the side. I think that the glow in the dark side pulls sound useful, but they really aren't since you have to unzip the bag by feel anyways.

I pack the bag in an ultralight stuff sack since the one that comes with it is pretty beefy. When unpacking, the bag lofts up right away after a good shake. The bag is well made and all seems are tight. This bag is so durable and water repellant that after a 40 degree tentless night under the stars turned into a night under a light mist then snow — enough to permeate most bags and potentially cause a hypothermia situation — I was snug and completely dry inside this down bag. I shook the bag in the morning and all of the beads of water on the surface of the fabric just flew off.

I gave it 4.5 stars because of the snugness around the shoulders for me and the compression sack seems to be made very heavy for trail use. I bought the bag new because of an incredible online deal I found. The price and my past experience with TNF were the deciding factors.


Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $265

I think TNF hit a homerun when they came out with this bag. But surprisingly few people seem to have it. This bag weighs in about 3lbs 1oz. Has 800 fill down, and my favorite feature of all is the HyVent waterproof shell. This bag is my go to bag year round.

At a rated 15F I think that this is a very conservative rating. I have been quite toasty in this bag down to 5F. On warmer nights I just open up the bag and lay on it for a little more cushion, or I might use it as a quilt. During the extreme winter months I carry a Thermarest Reactor liner with this bag and I have been comfortable down to -10 which is about as cold as it gets here in the Northeast.

The waterproof shell is very nice, and has always kept my bag dry. Whether it was an accidental creek dunking to sleeping in an open face shelter during a driving rain, I have also come through it dry. The water just beads up on the shell. A good shake of the bag in the morning and it's good to go again.

This is a great bag if you want a very comfortable, well designed, 3+ season, waterproof bag. I highly recommend this bag to anyone. I gave 4.5 due to the compression sack that comes with the bag leaves a little to be desired. I bought a S2S compression dry bag for it.

Design: mummy
Fill: 800 fill down
Temperature Rating: 15F
Weight: 3 lbs 1 oz
Price Paid: $319?

I have enjoyed this bag very much. The first place I went with it was Mt. Rogers VA in January. We experienced every type of weather from sunny to rain to sleet and finally snow. We slept in an open front shelter the second night and when I woke up my GPS thermometer was reading about 25F. Needless to say I was nice and toasty despite being in a rather open shelter.

The next trip was to Stone Mountain NC in November during a cold snap. When we checked the temp in the morning it was reading 17F after the sun came up. That night I was slightly cool in the bag but that was on the very bottom edge of its rating so I have no beef. Plus my brother-in-law and I were in a 4 person tent that was extremely drafty. In a proper tent I don't believe I would have been cold at all.

Final analysis:

Loft is fantastic, this is a very "fluffy" bag. I do keep it hung in a closet for storage so as not to compromise this in the future.

The taped zipper area is very nice and almost eliminates any chance of snagging.

Very slim fit. If you like to move around and put your knees up in the air and stuff this is not the bag for you.

Packability is great this bag comes with a very substantial compression sack that makes it very compact. I could fit my tent and the sleeping bag in the bottom compartment of my Osprey Aether 70.

The waterproof feature is nice and I opted for it "just in case" and thankfully have not had to test it.

The bag snugs down to the face nicely the only thing that would improve this feature would be a true shoulder baffle. All it has is a sort of "collar" that wraps around the neck not a cinch cord.

The lining material is absolutely plush!

Finally, it is very true to its temp. rating. If you expect to be in many situations where it will be below 15F go ahead and get a 0F bag.

Design: mummy
Fill: 800 fill down
Temperature Rating: 15F

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Regular Long
Price MSRP: $369.00
Historic Range: $183.98-$389.00
Reviewers Paid: $265.00-$319.00
Temp Rating 15° F / - 10° C 15° F / - 10° C
Total Weight 2 lb 11 oz / 1238 g 2 lb 14 oz / 1310g
Fill Weight 1 lb 2 oz / 520 g 1 lb 3 oz / 543 g
Max User Height 6 ft 0 in / 183 cm 6 ft 6 in / 198 cm
Shoulder Circumference 62 in / 157 cm 64 in / 162 cm
Hip Circumference 58 in / 147 cm 60 in / 152 cm
Foot Circumference 40 in / 102 cm 40 / 102 cm
Stuffsack Size 8 in x 17 in / 20 cm X 43 cm 8 in x 17 in / 20 cm X 43 cm
Fabric Shadowlite™ HyVent™ Shadowlite™ HyVent™
Price $369.00 USD $389.00 USD
Price Historic Range: $199.96-$389.00

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