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Hands-on Gear Review
Nemo Equipment Tango Solo Review
Cons: Heavy, poor warmth-to-weight ratio, low fill power down by ultralight standards
The Nemo Equipment Tango Solo is one of the more innovative sleeping bags produced by a large manufacturer. It is a very roomy closed footbox quilt that mates up perfectly with a large sleeping pad. A warm detachable hood and a fold-in neck blanket are very comfortable features. However, compared to the other quilts and bags we tested in our ultralight sleeping bag review, it is simply too heavy to score well. Additionally, it is not as warm relative to the weight as other competitors.
Our Editors' Choice winner for ultralight sleeping bags is the Katabatic Gear Palisade 30. It is also a closed footbox quilt, but was the warmest bag we tested and a full 10 ounces lighter than the Tango Solo. If you're seeking the absolute best warmth-to-weight ratio in an ultralight sleeping bag, the Palisade is it. But it is quite expensive. Ultralight backpackers on a budget will find great value in our Best Buy Winner, the Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20, which is also a top scorer with a more affordable price tag.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Nemo Equipment Tango Solo earned top scores for comfort and features, but was the heaviest ultralight bag we tested. While it is a very roomy and comfortable to sleep in, it delivers the lowest warmth-to-weight ratio in our selection of ultralight sleeping bags.
Nemo describes this as a 30 degree bag and we found that it kept us warm enough on a night when it got just cold enough to frost. But we were wearing base layers and an insulated jacket. The Nemo's large dimensions earned it higher points in comfort, but contributed negatively to its warmth-to-weight ratio. The removable hood is an interesting feature, but without a cinch cord to snug it up, we still wanted to wear a hat or hood to bed.
Weight & Packed Size
The Tango Solo tipped our scale at 28.5 ounces, twice as heavy as the lightest ultralight products we tested, and a full 10 ounces heavier than the highest scoring ultralight bags — which we found warmer. The included stuff sack weighs 1.5 ounces and is large: 9 x 14 inches. We should mention here that Nemo isn't trying to compete with the lightest products we tested; it uses the heaviest shell fabric and least lofty down of the products tested. This bag would have a competitive weight compared to traditional backpacking sleeping bags.
We did not find this quilt as versatile as we hoped it would be. The large size does makes it easy to wear a lot of warm clothes to bed to add warmth, and it is simple enough that it provides some ventilation in hot weather.
Comfort is where this quilt really shines. It is so roomy inside you can sleep in nearly any position you want. The large blanket baffle that you can tuck in at the neck to seal in more warmth is very comfortable as well.
This comforter style quilt does not have a zipper, and it will perform the best with a full length 25" pad. Two pad options are available from Nemo, plus dedicated slip covers for them, but other pads will work as well. At the foot, the pad is captured in a sleeve sewn to the bottom of the bag. At hip level, two D-rings sewn into either side of the bag provide the ability to add DIY pad retainer cords or bungees. There are also two D-rings sewn into the sides of the bag at the face opening to add pad retainers as well. We feel these would be better positioned further down from the top of the bag.
According to Nemo: The Tango Solo works with any 20 or 25 inch pad, but is simply magical with our Cosmo Insulated Lite or Astro Insulated Lite pads combined with the appropriate Slipcover.
The most notable feature of the Tango is a removable hood that attaches to the top of the bag with a snap on each side. The hood has two hang loops sewn into the top. The foot box also has two hang loops sewn in to the water resistant fabric (they are bright orange). Notable here is that neither the top of the bag or the hood have cinch cords. Adjustability would be a good addition to the hood.
We recommend the Nemo Equipment Tango Solo, paired with a large 25 inch sleeping pad for larger backpackers and those folks who prioritize roominess and comfort over light weight. This bag's weight means it will not appeal to most experienced ultralight backpackers, but the weight is competitive compared to traditional backpacking sleeping bags.
The Tango's design is quite similar to the Big Agnes Pitchpine UL 45, which won a Top Pick for Summer Use. Big Agnes uses lighter and higher quality materials to keep the weight of the roomy and comfortable Pitchpine acceptable to ultralight-minded backpackers.
With a price tag of $300, the Tango Solo is relatively affordable compared to not only ultralight models, but the bags in our backpacking sleeping bag review as well.
The Nemo Equipment Tango Solo is an innovative design within the mainstream sleeping bag market, but it is not compelling compared to the cutting edge bags and quilts in our ultralight review.
Tango Duo Slim and Tango Duo 30
— Brandon Lampley
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