Gear Review: NEMO Riff 15 Women’s Sleeping Bag
NEMO’s newest sleeping bag is the Riff Down Sleeping Bag. This bag is designed with side sleepers in mind, because it has more room around the elbows and knees. It’s also made with responsibly sourced down, durable water resistant fabric, and thermo gills that help with ventilation.
The quality of this bag is similar to that of other NEMO products—every part of the bag is made to last. From slip-proof zippers to ripstop fabric, the Riff Down Sleeping Bag is a solid choice.
I tested this bag while I was trekking in the Everest region of Nepal for three weeks. Backpacking is a little different in this area—I didn’t spend many nights in my tent, but was inside a lodge that had no heating system.
There is a community fireplace in the common room, but individual dorms come with no heating whatsoever. It was so cold that it was common my water bottles would freeze inside of the lodges. I have thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, and I was definitely colder inside the lodges of Nepal.
The NEMO 15-degree Riff Women’s Sleeping Bag kept me warm every night. Although as soon as I got out of my sleeping bag I felt I was in the Arctic, I was cozy and comfortable inside.
NEMO Riff 15 Sleeping Bag Basic Specs
Weight: 2 pounds, 15 ounces
Length (regular): 73 inches; I am about 5 feet 6 inches and I fit just fine
Warmth Rating: 15°F/-9°C
Compressed Volume: 9.5 inches
Fill: 800-fill responsibly sourced down
Shell: 20 D nylon ripstop w/DWR
Liner: 30 D nylon taffeta w/DWR
NEMO Riff 15-Degree Sleeping Bag Features
Spoon Shape: One of my favorite things about this sleeping bag is the excess room it provides in the knee and elbow area. It helps accommodate a spoon-sleeping shape, which I tend to sleep in often. The excess space doesn’t leave me feeling constricted, as other mummy bags do.
Thermo Gills: The gills of this bag, located in the front center of the bag, help to regulate temperature throughout the night and provide ventilation.
Internal Gear Storage: The Riff comes with internal storage for all of your electronics. This was especially helpful for me, as I tested the bag when I was in Nepal, where it was very cold. I slept with my cords, camera battery, water filter, and external battery. The front of the bag has a small storage pocket.
Blanket Fold: The blanket fold was a big win for me with this bag. Whenever I’m at home, I always snuggle up to a blanket at night and wrap it near my head, kind of like a pillow. I’d never had this luxury with a sleeping bag, until trying out the NEMO Riff. If you know what I’m talking about, you’ll love this feature. It’s also an added benefit, because if it’s SUPER cold outside, you can use the blanket fold to cover the gap between the hood of the bag and your face.
Waterproof Breathable Foot Box: There is added warmth around the foot box, and a waterproof material that will help prevent condensation in very cold temperatures.
Responsibility Sourced Down: All of the down this sleeping bag is filled with 100% responsibly sourced down. Yay for the animals!
Comfort and Sizing
The NEMO Riff 15-degree women’s seeping bag was incredibly comfortable. I am a side sleeper, which is really who this bag is designed for, because it has extra space around the elbows and knees. You don’t feel too cocooned in this bag, as you can feel in other mummy bags. The blanket fold at the top of the bag was also especially comfortable, and provided a layer of warmth for the part of my face that is exposed between the hood and the top of the bag. I was frequently sleeping at 17,000 feet or higher and in lodges that don’t have heat. I was never cold in this bag.
I am about 5 foot 6 inches. I debated whether I should get the long or the regular length; I went with the regular length, and I don’t regret it. I had no issues fitting into the bag and never thought it felt short.
Durability and Water Resistance
The Riff 15-degree women’s sleeping bag is no exception to NEMO’s line of quality sleeping bags. Everything about the bag is made with attention to detail. The zipper is strong and durable, and doesn’t get caught on the bag. The shell and lining of the bag are made with ripstop nylon, a durable fabric that will prevent from shredding over time. The stuff sack sold with the bag is a compression sack, which will help protect your bag from other gear in your pack.
Both the foot box, lining fabric, and shell fabric are made with durable water repellent nylon. This makes the bag water resistant to small spills or to mild rain. The foot box is stitched together with the most water resistant fabric of the three segments, for increased durability.
When to Get a 15-Degree Bag
A 15-degree bag is a safe choice for any of America’s long trails or for general backpacking. This temperature rating will keep you warm, but shouldn’t make you overheat. I took this bag with me to Nepal, where temperatures reached 10 F and lower, and I was comfortable in this bag.
Things I Liked
There were a few favorite things I had about this bag, but the one of my top faves was definitely that it was just plain comfortable and warm. When it boils down to it, I think these are two main factors hikers are looking for in a solid sleeping bag. In addition, I really liked the gear storage options inside the bag. Because I tested this bag in extremely cold weather, having gear storage was a huge plus for me, as I slept with my battery pack, camera battery, and phone.
Another great thing about this bag is the zippers. I’ve tried other sleeping bags where the zippers tend to get stuck and it’s such an annoyance. These zippers are SOLID.
The last thing I’ll touch on is the extra space around the knees and elbows. If you’re a side sleeper, this should be your go-to. It was made for you.
Things That Could be Improved
I think the only complaint I’d have about this bag is that it isn’t your lightest option for a 15-degree bag. BUT I do feel like it comes at a comparable weight to other 15-degree bags, and it comes with many more bells and whistles. Plus NEMO is such an awesome brand with a lifetime warranty. It’s worth the extra ounces, in my opinion.
Comparable 15-Degree Bags
Weight: 1 pound, 15 ounces
Fill: 850 + fill down
Weight: 2 pounds, 4 ounces
Fill: 850 + fill down
Weight: 2 pounds, 1 ounce
Fill: 800+ fill down
NEMO has a wide range of sleeping bags that come in different degree ratings and weights. Check them out here.
I would recommend the Riff for anyone looking for a solid sleeping bag with awesome features. The Riff won’t leave you cold in the middle of the night, or make you feel like you’re suffocated while switching sleeping positions in the middle of the night. It sells at an awesome price point, and it will last you ages.
This item was donated for purpose of review
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.