Therm-a-rest to enter sleeping bag category, debuting five new products

After setting the standards in sleeping pads for 40 years, Therm-a-Rest will tackle the other half of the equation— sleeping bags. SNEWS has the exclusive first-look at the product introduction.


After setting the standards in sleeping pads for 40 years, Therm-a-Rest will tackle the other half of the equation— sleeping bags.

The brand, part of the Cascade Designs family, is introducing five new sleeping bags for spring/summer 2013, which it will exhibit at upcoming shows, including Grassroots Alliance and Outdoor Retailer. The company previously introduced a small line of alpine blankets, but this will be its first bags.

“We can deliver a better way to sleep if we consider the complete system,” Therm-a-rest Vice President Doug Jacot told SNEWS in an exclusive first-look interview. The bags come with attachments to sync them with almost any sleeping pad, not just those of Therm-a-rest — although company officials are considering whether they might market some bag/pad promotions.

Two loop band attachments on the underside of the sleeping bags (photo, right) stretch to fit and hold in place any pad up to 25 inches wide. With the patent-pending connection, there are no length limitations to pad one uses, plus it can be positioned anywhere vertically, depending on user preference and if they have a pillow or not.

Therm-a-rest joins a growing amount of manufacturers like Nemo and Exped following the footsteps of Big Agnes, which has championed the sleep system approach of connecting the bag to the pad.

“Not only does it provide more comfort, keeping users from sliding off their pads, it increases thermal efficiency and cuts down on weight,” said Mona West, Sleep & Shelter Division Marketing Director at Therm-a-rest. With the connected pad providing much of the thermal insulation underneath, brands can cut down bag insulation on that side.

Therm-a-rest also wanted to provide more room in the sleeping bag for users to move around, since connecting a pad can sometimes create more constriction. The new bags have extra space in the shoulders and torso versus a normal mummy bag.

“We found that 70 percent of people are side sleepers,” West said. “So a large majority of people don’t want to be stuck in a mummy bag on their back with their hands down the sides.”

Therm-a-rest’s three new goose down and two synthetic fill bags, named after celestial objects, include the:

  • Altair, a zero-degree, 750-plus goose down filled bag at 2 pounds, 7 ounces.
  • Antares, a 20-degree, 750-plus goose down filled bag at 1 pound, 7 ounces. (MSRP $350)
  • Navis, a 25-45 degree, 750-plus goose down filled bag, at 1 pound, 5 ounces, meant to be paired with a down jacket for the lower rating.
  • Centari, a 0-degree, synthetic filled bag at 3 pounds, 15 ounces.
  • Saros, a 20-degree, synthetic filled bag, at 2 pounds, 15 ounces.

Designers chose 750-plus fill power down because it was the right balance of light weight and compressibility versus value in the face of soaring goose down prices, Jacot said.

The down bags, feature 30-denier nylon linings, while the synthetic bags feature a mix of 30- and 50-denier polyester linings. All five bags feature a draft collar, draw cord closure, exterior stash pocket and compartmental stuff sack.

While Therm-a-rest is targeting the bags for spring/summer 2013, the company plans for them to be available a little earlier in January 2013.

–David Clucas