Although we can't exactly give it rave reviews in all metrics, the Rave is very comfortable, warm, and chock full of features. We gave it high marks in the comfort, warmth and features department because it is jam-packed in all those metrics; however, it lost points for weight and packed size.
Author Jessica Haist settling in for the night in the NEMO Rave.
The Rave is a cozy, lofty down bag. It has 18 ounces of 650 down fill. It is rated (although not EN tested) to 14.7 F. We don't think that it would be comfortable down to this temperature but is closer to being rated at 21.6.
Wrestling with the NEMO Rave's "smother flap".
The problem with Rave's "spoon" shape design is that it's super roomy, which is great for comfort but allows for "dead air" to hang around. The dead air cools and keeps the body cooler. 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.
The Rave weighs in at 48 ounces, which is quite heavy for a down filled bag. Usually one of the main advantages of a down bag is they are lighter weight, which is not the case for the Rave.
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 NEMO Rave comes with a stuff sack but can be compressed down much smaller than seen here if necessary.
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.
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 them, but if you're looking for extra bells and whistles, the Rave has them all.
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 NEMO Rave has a small stash pocket on the outside that is hard to see when zipped up.
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. It's a comfortable option for car campers, especially for side sleepers.
We like NEMO Rave's pillow sleeve.
We don't think that the Rave is a great value at $300 retail. It's expensive and doesn't offer the same performance features as other less expensive options.
The NEMO Rave with its "Blanket Fold" out.
The Nemo Rave 15 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.