This svelte, lightweight product is the lightest of Nemo's line, but not as light or comfortable as other products in this review.
The NEMO Aya is a great choice for backpacking in the mountains.
The snug, tapered fit of this bag helps it be as warm as it can be. With its 19 ounces of high loft, 800 fill power down insulation, the Aya is a warm sleeping bag and will keep you cozy on cool summer nights in the alpine. NEMO rates this bag to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, although when compared to others in this rating range we'd probably call it somewhere closer to 20F. Still, the tapered hood design and draft collar along with its snug fit help keep all that warm air inside the bag.
The NEMO Aya is very warm because it is so form fitting and eliminates room for cold air.
NEMO uses "Thermo Gills" that are supposed to help vent when you're getting warm, without letting cold drafts in. We didn't find that they affected our temperature very much when open or closed, and feel like they are potentially a weight-adding gimmick.
We stayed warm on cool evenings in the NEMO Aya.
We commend NEMO for making a lightweight sleeping bag, although it is not "ultralight." Weighing in right at 2 pounds, it is on the lighter side of all the products we tested. We appreciate the high fill power down and lightweight materials. Other NEMO products we've reviewed have been up to a whole pound heavier than the Aya and have had a lot more features we found unnecessary.
Two of our lighter additions this round, the Sea to Summit Flame and the Nemo Aya. Both products are focused on weight savings.
NEMO seems to take the shape and fit of its bags from one extreme to the other. In comparison to other "Spoon shaped" bags in their product line, the Aya is not as comfortable and seems much more restrictive than other mummy shaped bags in this review. It has a snug fit all around, tapers in at the neck to isolate your head, helping to prevent drafts. It is very warm but also feels very claustrophobic. The regular size, which the manufacturer recommends for up to 5'6, felt very restrictive for our 5'5 tester and was very snug in length, shoulder and leg girth. If you're near the cusp of the regular size, we'd recommend sizing up - or going with a different bag.
His and her NEMO bags, one with gills open and one with gills closed.
The Aya is very compressible and comes with a great compression sack. Packability is one area in which the Aya exceeds. The Aya is right behind its competitors at the top for being the most compressible!
We like the Aya's included compression sack which makes the bag pack down very small.
As we mentioned before, NEMO likes adding in bells and whistles to their products, which generally add unwanted ounces. The main additional feature the Aya has are the Thermo Gills, which we found relatively unremarkable. We did notice that the tiny zippers do catch when trying to do the gills up, and compared to other bag zippers with anti-catch pulls, the Aya's zipper seems cheap and catches a lot.
We like the Aya's small stash pocket for essential items.
The Aya has NEMO's "gills" that ares supposed to help ventilate your bag without letting in drafts. We are skeptical about how well they work and did not notice much of a difference.
The Aya retails at the higher end of the pack. We think this is a decent value if the bag is the right fit for you. It has high-quality materials and is relatively light.
Chelsea in her NEMO Aya, waiting for the snow to warm up on a backpacking trip in the alpine.
The Aya is a good all-around bag for someone looking to go light on their backpack trip. It is a very snug fit mummy-style bag, and we'd recommend trying it out before committing. We appreciate the quality materials and thought put into the design of the Aya, and think it's a decent value.