The REI Igneo is our OutdoorGearLab Best Buy Award winner. It's easily on the lighter and more compressible end of the spectrum, yet in many cases, it's $100-$300 less than comparably performing bags. Performance wise, it is within 4-6 ounces and a few cubic inches of compressed volume of our Editors' Choice and Top Picks - for significantly less money.
We thought the Igneo offered excellent performance overall for its price, however, it was one of the least warm 25° F bags we tested. That said, it was a slight difference and we did think this bag was still warmer than nearly all the 30° F bags.
The REI Igneo is slightly warmer than most 30°F bags we reviewed, but slightly less warm than most of the 25° F bags we tested. The Igneo is rated to 25°F and uses 10 ounces of water-resistant 700+ fill-power duck down for insulation, which felt more comparable to most 30° F bags and in our real-world testing. We found that this contender was a touch on the cold side of 25° F bags we tested. In a direct side-by-side comparison, our testing determined that the Kelty Cosmic Down and The North Face Cat's Meow were warmer.
The Igneo 25 is our Best Buy winner because we feel it offers the most value for your dollar. At $270 this bag performs comparably to many bags that are $200 or dollars more, and is only a few ounces heavier and a 10-15% less compressible.
The Igneo also certainly isn't quite as warm as the comparably rated Sea to Summit Spark III (25°F) which features four ounces more of higher quality down and a tighter fit. It's nowhere as close to the warmth that the Western Mountaineering UltraLite (20°F) offers, which features six more ounces of slightly higher quality down (16 ounces of 850+ fill goose down). Its hood is well-designed, offering comfort and performance that resulted in an adequate job of maintaining heat. Our testers found this bag's dimensions stuck a good balance between comfort and thermal efficiency.
While we didn't think this bag was as warm as other 25° models, we did feel it sported a fairly thermally efficient cut, but it wasn't so tight that we couldn't add layers to extend this bag's range. Our testers also appreciated the thin but effective draft collar.
The Igneo weighs in at a very respectable 1 lb 10 oz, which is lighter-than-average for its temperature rating (among overall options on the market).
When you compare the Igneo to other bags in its price range, it is a pretty clear cut winner. The Igneo is over a pound lighter than the Kelty Cosmic Down (2 lbs 13 oz), half of a pound lighter than the The North Face Cat's Meow (2 lbs 5 oz), and the same as the Western Mountaineering UltraLite; however, the UltraLite is still noticeably warmer. The 700 fill-power down Igneo uses mid-range quality of down, but features a light, down proof, high-quality shell fabric that feels nice against our skin.
At 1 lbs 10 oz, the Igneo is certainly lighter than average and is FAR lighter than most other bags in its price range. It is even within 4-5 ounces of the lightest models in our review, which are often at least $130-$200 more expensive.
This contender packs down smaller than average and offers one of the better-packed sizes among 25F bags in our review. However, it doesn't pack down quite as small as its closest competitor, the Western Mountaineering Ultralite, Marmot Phase 20, or the Sea to Summit Spark III. It does, however, pack down much smaller than bags that aren't quite as warm, like the Mountain Hardwear Hyperlamina Spark 35 or the Kelty Cosmic Down 20.
It comes with an included stuff sack that is fairly lightweight but isn't particularly effective at minimizing the packed volume. In fact, with an aftermarket compression sack, we felt we could compress this bag to nearly half the volume versus using the included stuff sack.
The Igneo 25 is reasonably compressible. It's shown here in its included stuff sack along with two average sized stakes and a medium sized base layer. While its included stuff sack is fairly light, it doesn't do a very good job at minimizing the Igneo's compressed size. We found that with an aftermarket compression sack this bag could be made roughly 30-40% smaller than its packed volume with its included stuff sack.
Comfort, Spaciousness, and Fit
This bag features a 60-inch wide shoulder girth and 55-inch hip girth. This is middle of the road to slightly on the more slender side, but hardly extreme. All of our testers noticed that this contender felt average around the torso and slightly tighter around the legs (when compared to other models). Folks who like to move around a lot or sleep on their tummy stand a higher chance of finding this bag to be too tight fitting. While it offered more space than the Sea to Summit Spark III or the Western Mountaineering Ultralite, it felt pretty comparable, though a little smaller, to the Marmot Phase.
For those looking for a roomier backpacking bag, the Igneo was not as spacious as the Western Mountaineering MegaLite, which offered a noticeably increased amount of room to wiggle our legs around in. The Igneo's dimensions provided average wiggle room and we were comfortable without being too loose or inefficient warmth-wise.
The Igneo 25 dimensions are fairly average among more performance-oriented sleeping bags. Slightly narrower than the Western Mountaineering Megalite or Cats Meow, roughly equal to the Marmot Phase, and wider than the Western Mountaineering UltraLite or the Sea to Summit Spark III.
This bag is pretty dang versatile, as it's light and compressible enough for most backpacking and mountaineering uses. While its fit is average to slightly on the snug side, it is still a decent option for most backpackers or those using it for car camping. The full-length zipper helps keep it comfortable on warmer nights and its torso/shoulder area is big enough to accommodate extra layers for a person of almost any size.
Features and Design
This contender uses water-resistant down that is created by blending a polymer-coated down-fill. During OutdoorGearLab's spray bottle test, REI's polymer treated down appeared to absorb slightly less water than an untreated similar fill-power sample; this light amount of moisture dried roughly 25% faster.
We also performed a "full soaking test" and noticed a less visible difference between the two. In our review teams real-world testing (where we never actually completely soaked the bag, just condensation, etc.), we noticed even less of a difference. We think that REI's (and other) polymer-coated down is marginally more water resistant and potentially offers slightly quicker drying times, but not by a considerable amount.
While small, we loved the Igneo's zipper because it snagged the least of any model in the review.
The nylon shell of the Igneo appeared to be one of the more durable options we tested and we think that over time, minimal down will escape. An added bonus is that we found that the Igneo's side-zipper got caught or snagged the least of any model we tested (something you notice even more during a sleeping bag review).
We think this bag is extremely versatile, particularity when you compare it to other models in its price range. It's light and compact enough for extended backpacking trips and carry-over style alpine routes, but still warm enough for late spring ski tours. We also think that its dimensions are just comfortable enough that it can pull double duty for occasional car camping trips as well.
The Igneo is a pretty solid all-around bag. It's light enough for most backpacking trips from overnight, to multi-week adventures and is comfortable enough for occasional car camping. It's warm and packable enough for spring and summer mountaineering trips; we'd even consider taking this bag on multiday spring ski touring trips.
The Igneo is our OutdoorGearLab Best Buy winner for overall value because it packs in the best performance for the best price. While it isn't quite as light or as compact as our top-scoring models, it's close, and is $130-$200 less in price.
The Igneo is an above-average sleeping bag at below average price. While bags that cost $100-$200 more do often provide a higher level of performance, they often do not provide double the performance, with several top-notch options being only 4-6 ounces lighter and 10-15% more packable. When you compare this bag to other models in the $200-$300 range, we think the Igneo is pretty tough to beat.
The Igneo brings a fantastic value to the table. It scores well across the board and offers solid performance at a low price.