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Nemo Equipment is an award-winning, independent outdoor equipment designer dedicated to improving individual adventure experiences and creating innovative solutions to sustainability issues in the outdoor industry’s gear production. As a part of these efforts, Nemo recently introduced the first fully recyclable sleeping bag: the Nemo Forte Endless Promise.
The Nemo Forte sleeping bag is a long-standing staple as a synthetic sleeping bag and has long been my go-to for a myriad of adventures outdoors. So, it’s safe to say that I was incredibly excited to see that the sleeping bag I’ve relied on for years just became more sustainable.
Since I’ve used the old version of the Nemo Forte for countless expeditions, so I am well-versed in the quality and limits of this bag. While testing the Nemo Forte Endless Promise, it was exciting to compare and contrast some of the other features that changed during Nemo’s transition to a fully recyclable bag. Since this bag is a recent release, I only had a chance to test it in fair weather, with the coldest night being around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I spent eight nights using this bag over the couple of months I’ve had it, primarily camping in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, along with some testing near Glacier National Park in Montana. Now that I’ve gotten a feel for the bag and what it offers, here’s my review of the new Nemo Forte Endless Promise sleeping bag, including what I like and don’t like.
Nemo Forte Endless Promise Overview and Specifications
Specs (Women’s Regular 35F / 2C)
- Weight: 2 lb 10 oz
- Packed Size: 16.0 x 9.0 in
- ISO Comfort: 32F / 0C
- Insulation: Synthetic
- Shell Fabric: 30D 100% Recycled Polyester, Bluesign Approved Ripstop
- Lining Fabric: 20D 100% Recycled Polyester Taffeta
The Nemo Forte Endless Promise is a redesign of Nemo’s top-selling 3-season Spoon shape synthetic sleeping bag. What makes it 100% recyclable is that it’s made from a mono-polymer, meaning one type of fabric material instead of a blend. The bag liner is made from recycled materials, and the shell is made of Bluesign-approved fabric. The Zerofiber PCR insulation is made from post-consumer recycled materials and packs down small for a synthetic bag while maintaining loft and warmth, even when wet.
|– Made from recycled and bluesign-approved materials
– 100% recyclable
– Nemo’s Lifetime Warranty
– Classic spoon design perfect for side sleepers
– Thermo gills for optimal temperature control
– Draft collar for comfort on cold nights
– Functional and durable zipper
– Continues to insulate even when wet
– Materials are durable and easy to clean
|– Large pack size
– Heavier than down insulation
– Synthetic materials shed microplastics
– Thermo gill zippers are prone to
snagging on fabric
Although Nemo prioritized circular product design with this bag, they also care about functionality, which is why they carried over the classic Spoon shape. It offers more room than a standard mummy bag in the shoulders and knees and is a game-changer for anyone who’s a side sleeper or who moves a lot in their sleep.
The earlier renditions of the Forte sleeping bags are all equipped with thermo gills, which are vents on the front to help with temperature control and ventilation. The Endless Promise has an updated thermo gill vent feature with multiple zipper systems inside and outside to improve the bag’s temperature range and fine-tune it to your comfort.
Another feature of the Forte that carries over to the Endless Promise design is the draft collar or, as they call it, the Oversized Blanket Fold. The draft collar is especially useful in colder weather to improve comfort at low temperatures without feeling wholly enclosed in a cinched-down hood. Within the hood, there’s also an integrated pillow pocket designed to fit the Nemo Fillo Pillow perfectly. Even when I haven’t packed their pillow, I use the pocket to stuff extra clothes or jacket as a makeshift pillow.
Finally, the full-length, double-slider YKK zipper is easy to use, doesn’t snag the fabric, and is designed with a zipper plow to make it easy to get in and out of the bag (even if you’re half asleep).
What I Like About the Nemo Forte Endless Promise
There’s a lot to love about the Nemo Forte Endless Promise sleeping bag design. It’s easy to pack and fits in most backpacking packs quite easily. It comes with a stuff sack and a storage bag to help maintain the insulation’s loft when not in use. The materials themselves are incredibly comfortable in both cold and warm weather conditions. On warmer nights, I enjoyed the option to open any of the thermo gills, and if I left the bag unzipped when I fell asleep, it was easy to adjust at night without having to turn on a light or even put on my glasses to find the zipper.
As someone who sleeps on their side or stomach while camping, the classic spoon design of their bags is ideal. I don’t mind the tighter fit of a mummy sleeping bag, but I find those bags feel restrictive and move with me when I try to roll over. With the wider shoulder and knee sections of the Nemo Forte, I can toss and turn without disrupting the positioning of my bag as much.
This bag’s hood and draft collar may be my favorite things. The hood is wide and has a pillow sleeve that fits the Nemo Fillo Pillow. The pillow sleeve has saved my pillow from getting lost in the night while I move in my sleep, providing a more comfortable sleep experience overall. Since the hood is wider, I feel more comfortable and less constricted. When it is cold, and I want better heat retention, the draft collar offers a way to maintain an open feel while containing my body heat effectively.
The fact that this bag utilizes synthetic insulation could be a pro or a con depending on the consumer. Synthetic insulation is a vegan alternative to down and it continues to insulate even if it gets wet, often making it a safer option in colder climates. It is also an easier material to keep clean and maintain, as down is more prone to developing cold spots over time.
Depending on your style of camping and the time of year you sleep outside, you can get 20F and 35F in both men’s and women’s bag designs. The men’s and women’s designs have a few differences, including the heights they accommodate and the comfort ratings. Women tend to sleep colder than men, meaning their bags require slightly more insulation than men’s to keep them comfortable as they sleep at night.
The Forte Men’s and Women’s 20F/35F series is the first in the Nemo Endless Promise line-up, which they plan to expand in 2024 to include other products like a sleeping pad and backpacking chair. Integrating its Endless Promise design throughout its product catalog represents a step toward’s reaching its goal to cut emissions in half by 2030. What I love most about the initiative is that it shows that a company can take responsibility for a product’s entire life cycle while still creating products consumers know, love, and trust.
What I Don’t Like About the Nemo Forte Endless Promise
I am a huge fan of this sleeping bag but objectively, no product is perfect. The thermo gills are an ingenious design feature that I use often, but they have one major flaw: The zippers get stuck on the fabric a lot and I’ve found it difficult not to snag or rip the material. I’m unsure how to remedy this issue, but it’s frustrating if and when the fabric is lodged in the zipper.
The only other qualm that you may have with this bag is that it is kind of heavy and doesn’t pack down all that small. For a synthetic insulated bag, I think it packs down quite well and is worth the weight because of its functionality. However, if down insulation is your preference, I recommend looking at the Nemo Disco Down sleeping bag instead.
The last thing that I don’t love about this bag is that it is fully synthetic, which means it forever sheds microplastics. The good news is that this bag can—and hopefully will—stay out of the landfill forever to uphold Nemo’s Endless Promise.
Q: Is the Nemo compression sack waterproof?
No, the provided Nemo stuff sack is not entirely waterproof. Most sleeping bag compression sacks have some water resistance but are not waterproof.
Q: Does the Nemo Forte come with a compression sack?
Yes, all the Nemo sleeping bags come with a compression sack to pack them down small while backpacking along with a storage bag to hang. It is not recommended to keep your sleeping bag in the stuff sack all the time. Storing the bag in the provided storage bag can help prevent the insulation from lumping, causing cold spots.
Q: Which Nemo sleeping bags zip together?
Most of the Nemo Spoon design sleeping bags zip together if one is a men’s and the other is a women’s bag design. Since the men’s and women’s sleeping bags have the zipper on opposite sides, according to Nemo, the Riff, Disco, and Forte can be interchangeably combined. Still, the Tempo and Kayu only zip together with bags of the same type and opposite gender.
Nemo Forte Endless Promise Sleeping Bag: Final Thoughts
A synthetic sleeping bag for backpacking or camping may not be for everyone because of the weight and pack size, but for many hikers, the pros far outweigh the cons. While synthetic materials are not the most environmentally friendly because they shed microplastics throughout their life and don’t biodegrade, Nemo Equipment has proven to the outdoor industry that companies can close the production loop and the brand is now one step closer to creating a circular production model with their products. I can’t wait to see their upcoming innovations as they push gear production to a more sustainable future.
If and when the new line of Nemo Forte bags reaches their end of life, you can send them directly to Nemo for resale or recycling. You’ll receive a Nemo gift card for the resale value or a $20 gift card as a thank you for recycling the materials. To achieve the textile recycling required for this initiative, Nemo partnered with Unifi, which turns the Forte fabric into Repreve polyester yarns, allowing each Endless Promise bag to live on as a new item.
Read Nemo Equipment’s 2022 Sustainability Report for a more detailed look into its current and upcoming sustainability efforts.
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