Hands-on Gear Review

NEMO Rave 15 Review

Top Pick Award
Price:  $300 List | $299.95 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Warm, comfortable, lots of features
Cons:  Heavy, expensive
Bottom line:  This warm and comfortable bag has lots of features but it is on the heavy and expensive side.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
EN Comfort Rating (F):  14.7 (not EN Rated)
Women specific features:  210 grams more down fill for same temp rating as men's
Total Weight (oz):  48 oz
Manufacturer:   NEMO

Our Verdict

The Rave is a comfortable, feature-filled product from NEMO. We like its soft liner materials and lofty down filling. It kept us warm on cool nights, and the "spoon" shaped design is roomy for side and stomach sleepers who feel constricted in a traditional "mummy" bag. We were disappointed in how much this bag weighs for a down filled bag, and think it is on the expensive side for what it is.

Updated Color for 2018
The Rave now comes in the Jade/Sea Glass color combo shown above, but the technical features of the bag remain the same as the turquoise and pink version we tested.



RELATED REVIEW: Best Sleeping Bags for Women


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jessica Haist

Last Updated:
Wednesday
October 18, 2017

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Although we can't exactly give it rave reviews in all metrics, the Rave is very comfortable, warm, and chock full of features.

Performance Comparison


We gave the Rave high marks in the comfort, warmth and features department because it is jam-packed in those areas; however, it lost points for weight and packed size.

Author Jessica Haist settling in for the night in the NEMO Rave.
Author Jessica Haist settling in for the night in the NEMO Rave.

Warmth


The Rave is a cozy, lofty down bag. It has 18 ounces of 650 down fill, a whopping 7.5 ounces more down than the men's version of this bag the Disco.


It is rated (although not EN tested) to 14.7 F. We don't think that it would be comfortable down to this temperature, it is closer to the Marmot Angel Fire in warmth which is rated at 21.6.

Wrestling with the NEMO Rave's "smother flap".
Wrestling with the NEMO Rave's "smother flap".

The problem with NEMO's "spoon" shape design is that it is super roomy, which is great for comfort, but allows for "dead air" to hang around; this design is also found in the NEMO Celesta. The dead air will need to be warmed up and maintained by your body heat, versus a traditional mummy style bag like the REI Joule that tapers and minimizes space for dead air. The Rave has a "blanket fold" instead of a traditional baffle to minimize warm air from escaping through the neck hole and can be pulled out for better venting. However, we find that the blanket fold is more like a "smother flap" and often woke up with it flapping in our faces - instead of remaining tucked in or folded back.

Weight


The Rave weighs in at 48 ounces, which is the heaviest down filled bag in this review, followed by the Big Agnes Roxy Ann at 44 ounces. Usually one of the main advantages of a down bag is they are lighter weight, which is not the case for the Rave. The Rab Neutrino 400 is the lightest bag in this review and wins our Editors' Choice Award.


Comfort


It seems like NEMO's main focus is in this department.


The Rave is a comfortable bag, with the "spoon" shape for ease of movement, soft liner materials and other features meant to enhance the comfort of this bag. And it works. The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed is another exceptionally comfortable bag, as is the Roxy Ann. If you don't want to sacrifice comfort for weight, check out the REI Joule and Neutrino.

The NEMO Rave comes with a stuff sack but can be compressed down much smaller than seen here if necessary.
The NEMO Rave comes with a stuff sack but can be compressed down much smaller than seen here if necessary.

Packed Size


The stuff sack that the Rave comes with is not exceptionally small.


However, if you have a smaller stuff sack or compression sack, the Rave will get smaller than its current stuff sack. Because of the extra features like the "Thermo Gills", this bag will not pack down as small as some others.

You can vent the Rave by opening these "gills". We're not sure how effective they are  but they look interesting.
You can vent the Rave by opening these "gills". We're not sure how effective they are, but they look interesting.

Features


The Rave has lots of features which you can be the judge of if they're valuable or not. We tend towards the no-frills high-quality material, lightweight bags like the Rab Neutrino 400 and the Mountain Hardwear Heratio, but if you're looking for extra bells and whistles, the Rave has them.


We've already mentioned the interesting "blanket fold" that replaces a chin baffle. If you want more venting without getting a draft, NEMO has introduced "Thermo Gills", strange zippered vents you can open without exposing the inside of the bag to drafts from outside. Our favorite feature is the pillow sleeve. It's convenient to stuff some clothes in there and have an instant pillow. The Rave also has a small stash pocket for items like headlamps. The Celesta also has all the same features as the Rave, minus the gills.

The NEMO Rave has a small stash pocket on the outside that is hard to see when zipped up.
The NEMO Rave has a small stash pocket on the outside that is hard to see when zipped up.

Best Application


We would take the Rave on short backpacking trips in cool climates, but would not recommend it for longer self-supported trips due to its weight.

We like NEMO Rave's pillow sleeve.
We like NEMO Rave's pillow sleeve.

Value


We don't think that the Rave is a great value at $300 retail - unless you're a side sleeper. We would instead choose the REI Joule, as it has more, higher quality down fill and is much lighter - for the same price. Or the Angel Fire, which also lighter and cheaper.

Conclusion


The Rave is a comfortable bag that comes with lots of bells and whistles. If you're looking for a warm product that has lots of room for your legs, this may be it. However, we think you'll find better value elsewhere, as there are lighter, cheaper options in this review.

The NEMO Rave with its "Blanket Fold" out.
The NEMO Rave with its "Blanket Fold" out.

Jessica Haist

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: October 18, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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