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REI Polar Pod 25 Review

REI Polar Pod 25
Photo: Max Neale
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Price:  $90 List
Pros:  Inexpensive, comfortable, puffy draft tube.
Cons:  Heavy, bulky, not warm
Manufacturer:   REI
By Chris McNamara and Max Neale  ⋅  May 18, 2015
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  • Warmth - 35% 6
  • Comfort - 25% 5
  • Features - 25% 7
  • Packed Size - 15% 6

Our Verdict

Discontinued Product
The REI Polar Pod 25 was discontinued in 2015. For the latest models, check out our always up-to-date Backpacking Sleeping Bag review.

The REI Polar Pod 25 is a comfortable budget sleeping bag for summer car camping. It uses lower quality synthetic insulation and heavy shell fabrics. The bag weighs a 3.75 lbs, which makes it suitable for car camping and infrequent backpacking. Despite the 33 ounces of fill, we found the Polar Pod to be warm down to the low 40s.

Our Analysis and Test Results

New Version of the Polar Pod vs. The Older Version

The Polar Pod is a 3-season bag that has received an upgrade since we last reviewed it. With an updated design, the Polar Pod has a new look, and includes a roomy, rounded shape, and a hood that is big enough to fit a small pillow. The two-way zip allows you to fully open the bag and use it as a blanket and you can unzip it at the bottom for ventilation. The Polar Pod is filled with synthetic insulation and has draw cords that can be used to adjust the hood and neck. A draft collar is used to seal in warmth, while an inner pocket is included for storage, and the polyester shell has a water-repellent shell. The bag is available in right-side zipper only and comes with a stuff sack and storage bag.

Below you will find a side-by-side comparison, with the latest version of the Polar Pod on the left and the older version on the right.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Hands-On Review


The REI Polar Pod 25 is a comfortable summer weight sleeping bag. It has several potentially useful features including an internal zipper pocket and pillow pocket, and we're fond of its puffy draft tube- the largest of any synthetic bag tested here. Synthetic insulation gives this bag the edge over down in wet conditions.


The Polar Pod 25 is relatively inexpensive, heavy, bulky, and - depending on what you're wearing - warm to the low forties. We recommend this bag for warmer weather car camping and general use. While you could use this bag on shorter warm weather backcountry trips, we recommend investing in a backpacking sleeping bag if you regularly hike to camp. If you're planning to stick to car camping, many rectangular bags offer similar warmth and more comfort.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale