Therm-a-Rest Vesper 32 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Super lightweight, water-resistant down, nice fabric.
Cons: Could use a second attachment strap, snap sometimes comes undone.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
In general, we like the Vesper. The construction is well thought out, and we liked the hydrophobic down. Make no mistake, though, this is an ultralight quilt, and we had to plan accordingly for a clothing system to match. Nine ounces of down isn't a lot for a 32-degree bag, and while it is distributed smartly, there are warmer quilts in the review.
For what it is, the Vesper 32 ain't bad when it comes to warmth. It's certainly not as warm as similar quilts we tested, but it does well with the nine ounces of down it has. On the inside of the Vesper 32 is a small tag listing the "comfort" and "limit" ratings, as per the EN ratings. Many manufacturers list their bags as the "limit" rating being the primary rating to pay attention to, whereas most users think in terms of "comfort". Going off this understanding, we think the Vesper 32 would more accurately list its comfort rating at 41 degrees.
The down is thicker in the top of the quilt and a bit thinner on the sides so as to insulate where heat is lost the most. Between the differential down and the pad attachment, it actually makes a passable seal between the pad and quilt, unless you flop around a lot at night. With a second pad attachment strap, the seal would be a touch better and warmer.
At 15 ounces, the Vesper 32 is one of the lighter bags in the review. Most of the weight is also in the down fill, which is 9 out of the fifteen ounces, which means there isn't a lot of excessive fabric. It also packs down pretty small, and for the packing-obsessed ultralight hikers who want overnights with a daypack, you could probably get there with the Vesper.
For how light this thing is, it's quite comfy. The 10D nylon fabric is plenty soft, and the slipperiness of it doesn't catch on fleece clothing. The Synergylink Connector strap and the snap at the collar are both low profile enough that we didn't notice when we were laying on them. We wished the foot box was a bit wider, but it was satisfactorily deep so our feet didn't slide out when rolling around at night.
The Vesper does well but not in a ton of situations. It's really more of a summer quilt, where the nights won't dip down below about 40°. We wouldn't be too thrilled about taking this out for nights around freezing, although you could probably make it work if motivated. However, this probably wouldn't be our first choice for a trip with really variable conditions or longer trips like a through hike.
The Vesper 32 is a mixed bag when it comes to features. The pad attachment system was easy to use, but it would have been better if it came with two Synergylink Connectors, as there are two places to attach them. They also can't be cinched for chillier nights. Also, the snap on the back of the collar came undone occasionally during the night.
The draft collar and drawstring work pretty well and stayed put all night, and the hydrophobic down is a nice touch. We liked that it came with a compression stuff sack, but it felt really flimsy and we could hear the stitching pop a bit when we tightened it down.
The price is midrange in the review. For its price, it's a pretty good deal for the weight savings, at the cost of some warmth. We think it's hard to beat the two Best Buy Award winners Hammock Gear Burrow Econ and the Enlightened Equipment Revelation for value, but if weight savings is an absolute must, the Vesper might be worth looking into.
There's a lot of good things about the Therm-a-Rest Vesper 32. It's really light, and we liked the differential fill with hydrophobic down. We wish it was a little warmer (or better labeled), and a few minor design tweaks would have raised the score. Still, if your main concern is weight and you're looking for a summer quilt, the Vesper is a pretty good option.
— Ethan Newman