While sitting around a fire at your favorite campground, have you ever had that urge to really test yourself in the backcountry? Do you have a child who is preparing for their first Boy Scout over-nighter in the mountains and you're trying to find ways to save some money on gear? The REI Siesta 30 may be your answer. It's the lightest bag we tested and could be argued to have the most design features of all the bags we looked at. The Siesta is a perfect warmer-weather bag that could easily be shoved into a compression sack or the bag compartment of most backpacks. While heavier than many backcountry bags, the Siesta is still light enough to allow you use it on a multi-day, summer backpacking trip. Of all the traditional, rectangle designs we studied, the Siesta is the perfect multi-purpose bag.
REI Siesta 30 Review
Cons: Relatively small, doesn't stand up to colder weather
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Features and quality pretty much sum up the Siesta 30. Chock full of lots of bells and whistles, this bag has its own special niche — it can be used just about anywhere. We really loved the versatility of this bag. Although not the best bag for any one type of camping, in the same breath, we feel it has the ability to be useful in almost any camping environment. Here's what we found out.
Scoring a respectable 7 out of 10 for warmth, the Siesta 30 landed right in the middle of the pack. It's for sure not the best insulator of all the bags we tested, but if used in its listed temperature range, this bag performs quite well and as intended.
Its polyester synthetic fill kept us warm down to about 30 degrees, which is the bag's rating. We even tested it down to below 20 degrees, wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, and felt warm enough to barely get through the night. Its offset quilt construction prevents cold spots and stabilizes the insulation. If warmth is a top priority, we would recommend the warmest in our fleet, the Teton Sports Polara 3-in-1 and Slumberjack Country Squire 0.
Weighing in as the lightest, and only 30-degree bag we tested, the Siesta doesn't boast much in terms of thick and juicy insulation. It, therefore, earned a 5 out 10 score for comfort — one of our lowest scores, beating out only the Coleman Brazos for comfort.
Although we found the bag's polyester taffeta fabric to be very soft and pleasing, the bag's overall size and lack of natural bulkiness were the reason it landed it near the bottom of our comfort scoreboard. The same contenders that scored toward the top for warmth were also repeat high scorers in the comfort metric.
Next to the Slumberjack Country Squire 0, the Siesta 30 really set the bar in our features category, scoring a 7 out of 10. It's very water-resistant, has excellent draft tube design, and employs a very creative dual- sided top zipper, which allows the user to fold down the front of the bag like bed covers.
It also boasts an adjustable, baffled, top opening, a spacious interior storage pocket, quality zipper pull tabs, and an adjustable stuff sack that can expand and serve as a larger storage bag when your bag is not in use or be used as a modified compression sack if you're looking to save space. We really loved all of the options that REI packed into this bag.
If a sleeping bag could have multiple personalities, the Siesta 30 fits the diagnosis. (We'll explain in a just a minute). This bag really shone when it came to packed size, scoring a 10 out of 10. It has one of the smallest packed size of any of the bags we tested, and probably many of the ones we didn't. Additionally, the bag easily stuffs into its oversized stuff sack, a feature we feel is a very important part of packed size.
Now for the multiple personalities part… this bag just doesn't know who it wants to be. Is it a traditional rectangle bag? Is it a tent bag? Sleepover bag? Travel bag? Light-weight car camping bag or heavier-weight backpacking bag? We could never really figure it out either, part of what makes it so versatile.
We're not sure. It's not absolutely perfect for any specific type of camping. And yet at the same time, it could be used in just about any camp setting — that's what we love so much about it. It's kind of a jack-of-all-trades bag in our opinion. It's limitations: its not all that big or warm below 30 or 40 degree nights. Other than that, who knows, with a little bit of imagination, it could probably double as a golf bag, a camp towel or even Santa's toy bag (shrug).
When we consider its versatility, combined with its price tag, the Siesta 30 is a great value. It isn't the warmest, the comfiest, the largest or the cheapest, but it's definitely the most versatile. Keep in mind that The North Face Dolomite 20 offers roughly the same versatility, but with fewer features and a little more weight.
We love this bag. It's kind of like your best friend, who's just happy to be with you no matter where you're going. If you're looking for a good, all-purpose, dual-purpose, multi-purpose bag, this is your ticket.
This bag is 66 inches wide and comes in three lengths: short (66 inches), regular (72 inches), and long (78 inches).
— Jason Wanlass