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Hands-on Gear Review

Nemo Equipment Tango Solo Review

Price:   $300 List | $202.46 at Backcountry
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Pros:  Very roomy and comfortable, modular removable hood, great for larger backpackers
Cons:  Heavy, poor warmth-to-weight ratio, low fill power down by ultralight standards
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Nemo Equipment

Our Verdict

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

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Style Nominal Rating Weight (bag only)
84
$460
Editors' Choice Award
Quilt - Closed Foot 30F 18.8 oz
81
$375
Hoodless Mummy 20F 17.2 oz
75
$250
Best Buy Award
Quilt - Fully Opening 20F 21.9 oz
74
$309
Top Pick Award
Mummy - 3/4 Length 45F/25F 13.9 oz
71
$350
Top Pick Award
Quilt - Closed Foot 45F 20.5 oz
70
$219
Quilt - Fully Opening 40F 14.8 oz
70
$390
Hooded Mummy 32F 18.3 oz
70
$339
Quilt - Fully Opening 40F 18.7 oz
65
$480
Hooded Mummy 32F 16 oz
64
$300
Quilt - Closed Foot 30F 28.5 oz

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Brandon Lampley
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday
November 1, 2015

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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.

Performance Comparison


We tested all the bags in our ultralight review paired with a 20" wide lightweight air pad  but the Tango Solo would mate much better with a 25". It is a roomy  comfort-oriented product and too heavy to score well compared to the best ultralight sleeping bags.
We tested all the bags in our ultralight review paired with a 20" wide lightweight air pad, but the Tango Solo would mate much better with a 25". It is a roomy, comfort-oriented product and too heavy to score well compared to the best ultralight sleeping bags.

Warmth


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 is the heaviest product we tested in our ultralight review. While it shares design elements with some very light bags  the very large dimensions lead to a heavy weight. However  it is very comfortable and light compared to traditional backpacking sleeping bags.
The Tango Solo is the heaviest product we tested in our ultralight review. While it shares design elements with some very light bags, the very large dimensions lead to a heavy weight. However, it is very comfortable and light compared to traditional backpacking sleeping bags.

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.

Versatility


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


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.

Features


A detachable hood and a blanket-style baffle to tuck in at your neck (rather than a cord to cinch it up) are notable features of this bag. Water resistant fabric at the foot is also a great feature.
A detachable hood and a blanket-style baffle to tuck in at your neck (rather than a cord to cinch it up) are notable features of this bag. Water resistant fabric at the foot is also a great feature.

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.

Best Applications


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

The Tango Solo's dimension are as large as the X-Wide version of many ultralight manufacturers' sleeping bags. Paired with a wide 25" pad  it would be a good choice for large folks building a light weight backpacking kit.
The Tango Solo's dimension are as large as the X-Wide version of many ultralight manufacturers' sleeping bags. Paired with a wide 25" pad, it would be a good choice for large folks building a light weight backpacking kit.

Other Versions


Tango Duo Slim and Tango Duo 30
Nemo Equipment Tango Duo
  • Cost - $350-$400
  • Two person version of this bag
  • Backless design saves weight
  • Pair with sleeping pads and pad covers to fill in back
  • Super roomy for two
Brandon Lampley

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: April 29, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)

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Apr 29, 2016 - 06:16pm
 
langleybackcountry · Skier · Seattle
I wanted to call attention to a detail in the review that was completely overlooked. The main knock is that it is heavy for the warmth rating. But most of the bags and quilts it is being compared to here are hoodless. The hood on the Tango Solo is removable. On my digital shipping scale the hood is about 5.5 oz. If you remove the hood you have a 30 degree quilt at a little under 1lb 8oz, which still isn't the lightest, but definitely makes it competitive, especially at its price ($300 list) and comfort (extra width) and some nice features (the waterproof breathable foot box shell), the option to put a hood on, the easy-to-use pad sleeve, etc.

The caveat, and the reason I haven't rated it, is that I haven't used it in the backcountry yet to find out whether the temp rating holds up.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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