Nemo Disco 30 Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Nemo Disco is one of the most comfortable sleeping bags on the market and a notable for tummy, side, and high knee sleepers. Its unique shape and roomy dimensions allowed for the most unencumbered movement of its occupants lower extremities and the most overall bed-like feel. We also loved that the Disco still checks in at a relatively respectable weight, is reasonably packable, and still lived up to its 30°F temperature rating; something other roomy bags often fall short on.
The Disco 30 is a 30° F degree bag that features 15 ounces of water-resistant 650+ fill power down. When compared to other similarly rated bags, we found this amount of fill insulated the bag nicely and was average among 30° F models. Compared to our Editors' Choice Western Mountaineering MegaLite, which uses two ounces less (13 oz), but which down is higher quality and subsequently offers a greater fill power (850+), the Disco 30 was close, but overall wasn't quite as warm feeling. With that said, compared to many other 30F bags we tested, the Disco was average if not occasionally on the warmer side of its temperature rating, making it an ideal option for folks who run a little cold, or who were debating between a 25°, or 30° F sleeping bag.
On colder nights, our testers loved the oversized draft collar, which not only did a superb job of keeping the warm air in and the cold air out but also offered an excellent "snuggly" feeling. We'd compare this feeling to tucking yourself into an actual bed. Some of our testers were concerned that they wouldn't like the feeling of the draft collar near their neck, but after using it, nearly all of our testers commented that they barely noticed it and bet that it helped improve warmth.
For those considering mega comfy models, it is worth noting that all of our testers found that the 30 degree Disco was mildly warmer than the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700 35 degree (as to be expected) and we felt that it was more than the 5°F might imply.
Comfort is why you buy this bag; for the side, tummy, and high knee sleepers there is no other model with as roomy dimensions in its foot and hip area. Providing a different feel than the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700, the Disco 30 is a semi-rectangular model with dimensions of 64"-60"-64", which is by far the widest of any model in the hip and feet areas and was the consensus favorite among our testers for tummy and side sleepers.
The Disco was the easiest to toss and turn around in. Its oversized external draft collar (which Nemo calls their Blanket Fold) also adds to the coziness and bed-like feel of this bag. However, for true bed-feeling bliss, we liked the design of the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700 better, as its upper area almost operated more like a comforter rather than a sleeping bag. However, from the waist down, the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700 felt like a pretty traditional sleeping bag with reasonably average dimensions (the only notable feature was a hole to pop your feet through).
The super wide dimensions are just big enough for most folks to feel like they have a little more room to get into the position that would most commonly sleep in at home. Basically, this bag is just plain awesome for folks who want a little more room, or just appreciate feeling a bit more room around their body.
At 2 lbs 4 oz, the Nemo Disco is slightly heavier than average for a 30°F bag. The Disco is aimed at being comfortable and spacious while still being light enough to take backpacking. Compared to other 30°F models we tested, the Western Mountaineering MegaLite, The North Face Hyper Cat, Patagonia 850 Down 30, and Marmot Phase models were all noticeably lighter (20-25% less weight). Its closest competition for comfort, the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700 3-Season, is slightly lighter at 1 lbs 15 oz. However, the Disco was far lighter than the Kelty Cosmic Down (3 lbs).
The Disco 30 uses 30-denier ripstop nylon which is a little heavier than average and offers the advantage of being a little more durable. Comparably, the Mountain Hardwear Phantom Spark (1 lb 6 oz) and the Marmot Phase 30 both use a 10D shell, while the Western Mountaineering uses 12D. In addition to the shell material, both the Disco's large cut and its 650+ fill-power down insulation are the primary reasons it's a little more than half a pound heavier than the more performance oriented 30F options in our review. Generally speaking, the lighter options use 800-850 fill-power down for insulation.
Of all the bags we tested, the Disco 30 had the loosest included stuff sack. This meant while it was easy to pack, the bag didn't allow us to do an exceptional job of compressing it or minimizing the bag's overall packed size. When we used an aftermarket compression sack, the Disco easily packed down over a third smaller.
Despite the Disco's roomy dimensions, it only packed down slightly larger than average among similarly rated bags on the market. It's roughly 1/3 bigger than the Western Mountaineering MegaLite, Mountain Hardwear Ph8, Marmot Phase models, or Patagonia 850 Down 30. That said, it is pretty similar in size to the Kelty Cosmic Down 20.
We were surprised by how versatile the notable pick for comfort truly was. Despite its spacious dimensions, it's still lightweight and is packable enough for most three-season backpacking trips, but also cozy enough for car camping. Its full-length zipper allows for decent ventilation on hot summer nights, as do the Thermo Gills, which allow excess heat to disperse comfortably. The Disco also offers PLENTY of shoulder (and leg) room to add layers for occasional cold-weather use.
Features & Design
What truly makes this competitor unique is its spoon-shaped design and wider-than-average dimensions (which Nemo calls the Spoon). The spoon shape gives a huge amount of legroom and freedom of movement, while the shape of the baffles and the slight taper in the middle allow the user to sleep with an upper leg close or straight out to the side. Fortunately, you also won't have to deal with too much extra space, which might create cold spots.
A cool and notable feature is the external fabric on the lower portion of this bag is constructed of waterproof materials, with breathability in mind. This means the foot box of the bag is well protected from tent condensation, helping to keep the user's feet warmer and drier. Adding to the comfort level of the Disco 30's design, this model features a built-in pillow pocket and a small zippered pocket (which is perfect for a watch). These features, coupled with a blanket-like draft tube, tuck around the user's shoulders and neck quite nicely. One tester commented that it felt as though he was "getting tucked in" and even our neck sensitive testers weren't bothered by the draft tube.
In an attempt to make this model more versatile, Nemo included two vents on the torso area of the bag, which they call Thermo Gills. These zippered vents can be left open or entirely closed in an attempt to allow its user to vent body heat without letting cold drafts in. Keeping cold drafts out can be challenging to accomplish on cold nights by just opening up the main zipper (which often lets too much cold air in).
The Disco uses treated down; Nemo claims the Nikwax Hydrophobic Down absorbs 30% less moisture and dries 60% faster than comparable untreated down. During OutdoorGearLab's spray bottle test, Nemo's treated down did appear to absorb slightly less water. With this level of moisture, the bag dried roughly 25% faster. In our "full soaking tests," we noticed a less visible difference.
In our real-world testing, where we never actually wholly soaked the bag, we saw even less of a difference. We think that Nemo's (and other) water-resistant down is slightly more water-resistant when compared to original down and offers a marginally higher level of drying time, though it is minimal.
This notable winner is simply the best for side sleepers or other folks who like to sleep with their legs bent or to the side. Backcountry enthusiasts rejoice, as you'll have more leg room. The Disco 30 is plenty comfortable enough for car camping and shorter trips; at 2 pounds 4 ounces, it's still light enough for longer, more extended outings.
This bag is a pretty solid value. At $260, it's still $150 less than many other performance-oriented bags like the $400 Marmot Phase 30, Mountain Hardwear Phantom Spark 28, or Western Mountaineering SummerLite, and it offers decent performance characteristics. The models above are all over half a pound lighter, pack down significantly smaller, feel slightly warmer (in real-world testing, other than the Marmot Phase 30), but none are nearly as comfortable. Our Editors' Choice, the Western Mountaineering MegaLite is close to the Disco in comfort and remains significantly lighter and more packable at $450, it's nearly $200 more.
The Nemo Disco 30 offers comfort for folks who like to sleep on their tummy, their sides, with bent knees, or simply don't like to feel the constraints of a traditional mummy bag. This model is about as un-mummy-bag feeling as you can get while remaining light enough to take backpacking. Debating between this or the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700 3-Season? They certainly aren't incredibly similar feeling, despite both being very comfort oriented. The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700 3-Season feels more like you're wrapped in a down comforter but doesn't have nearly as much leg room. The Disco feels more like a roomy sleeping bag that still happens to be respectably light and packable. The Disco 30 is also noticeably warmer than the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700 3-Season 35F model.
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