Campers and backpackers need plenty of rest when they’re outdoors. Getting quality sleep is very important when you need to gather strength to go mountaineering or trekking the next day. Outdoorsmen know that sleeping bags are essential to rest and relaxation in the wilderness. This is why they are picky when choosing the kind of bag to bring with them.
Fussy campers will feel like they’re sleeping on air with the Nemo Salsa Sleeping Bag. It is lightweight, making it a perfect companion for backpacking and camping in low temperatures.
- 30D Nylon Micro Taffeta (Shell)
- Spoon shape is wider at the knees and elbows for side sleeping.
- Premium features like the stretch stitching, FlowGates, and high quality fabrics set Salsa apart.
- 650FP DownTek water repellent down repels water while maintaining its loftand insulation value, even in the wettest conditions.
- Included Accessories: Drawstring Stuff Sack
The most common sleeping bag style is rectangular. This traditional shape is popular because it can accommodate people who like to toss and turn in their sleep. Side sleepers and stomach sleepers also favor this shape because it is easy to switch from one position to another.
However, rectangular sleeping bags can be drafty when used in low temperature conditions. This is why mummy shaped sleeping bags are common for low temperature camping since they retain heat better than traditional bags.
But did you know that there’s another sleeping bag shape that’s good also good for side sleepers? The spoon-shaped Salsa sleeping bag is wide at the knees and elbows making it a good choice for side sleepers. This 30D sleeping bag uses Nemo’s unique shape for adjustable comfort and weight savings. This product is rated for 3-season camping and is filled with water resistant 650-fill down.
The DWR (durable water repellant) fabric of the sleeping bag keeps away cold and moisture. Nemo uses DownTek nanotechnology, a process where each plume of down is treated so that it repels moisture while maintaining loft and insulation. The DownTek technology also helps to protect against mildew, bacteria and odor.
The unique spoon-shaped design gives you space where it matters the most. This sleeping bag is cut wide at the shoulders, tapering at the hips for comfort and warmth and ends up flared at the knees so that you can bend and shift positions comfortably.
Another smart feature of the Salsa is the blanket fold design. It mimics beddings you have at home so that it can be tucked around your face on cold nights or let it lie flat when not needed. The Salsa features a contoured side-zipper to keep cold air from coming inside the bag and a draw cord around the face so that it can be tightened or loosened as needed.
The product looks like a standard sleeping bag at first glance. However, it is designed not only with tummy and side sleepers in mind but for backpackers looking to save weight too. It comes with its own stuff sack for packability and easy traveling. It is also a lightweight sleeping bag weighing in at 2 lbs 1 oz. The product is rated for 1 person use.
Design and Durability
For the Salsa, Nemo is using 30-denier nylon taffeta for the lining and 30-denier ripstop nylon for the shell. It also features premium stretch stitching. The Salsa is actually a bit heavier compared to other lightweight sleeping bags that use 10D or 12D ripstop nylon to save weight. However, the 30D ripstop nylon and taffeta are actually stronger so the Salsa does not feel fragile to the touch. See promotional video below.
Aside from this, Nemo also used DownTek technology that adds to the durability of camping gear. This technology dries 60% faster than untreated down preserving the filling inside your sleeping bag longer. This technology makes the Salsa a durable, waterproof, bacteria-free and odor-free sleeping bag.
The design of the Salsa has side and tummy sleepers in mind. The spoon shape is bigger and wider than most mummy shaped sleeping bags so it is less constricting allowing people to toss and turn more easily in their sleep. A regular Salsa has a width of 62 inches at the top, 58 inches at the waist and 62 inches on the knees. This design makes it roomier than most mummy-shaped sleeping bags.
This product is one of the most comfortable in the market. The wide dimensions on the shoulders and knees make it hard to believe that it is not a traditionally shaped sleeping bag. The Salsa is ideal for people who want to sleep on their sides with their knees bent or closer to their chest. This is also a good choice for people who simply want more room.
The Salsa is also very warm 30F degree bag with 650-fill power down. It is an ideal choice for people who are debating whether to get a 20°, 25°, or 30° F sleeping bag. It also features a draft collar which keeps the warm air in and cold air out. The sleeping bag gives you a snugly feeling like you’re tucked in at home in your beddings.
The taffeta nylon is also very soft and cool to the skin making this sleeping bag a good choice for those who want comfort and warmth.
Weight and Packed Size
Nemo has rated the Salsa as a lightweight sleeping bag. Weighing in at 2 lbs 1 oz, the Salsa is average for a 30-degree sleeping bag. However, it is still lighter than other sleeping bags like the Kelty Cosmic Down.
The weight is mostly due to Nemo’s use of 30D ripstop nylon for its shell which is heavier than most but also more durable. The 650 down-fill also adds weight so the Salsa is at around half a pound heavier than some of the lightest 30F sleeping bags in the market.
The Salsa has a very loose stuff sack. When packed down, the stuff sack is as tall as a 2 1-liter Nalgene water bottle stacked on top of each other. However, there is still a lot of room inside meaning the stuff sack is not doing a great job compressing the sleeping bag into a smaller size.
For those who want to pack it smaller, buy an after- market compression sack to make it a third smaller than the original stuff sack. This compression makes it easier to stuff away and make room inside your backpack.
The DWR feature of the product makes it good at resisting cold temperature, water and moisture. This feature of the sleeping bag makes it great to use in wet conditions as it does not compromise warmth and comfort of the user. The technology repels water while maintaining loft and insulation, keeping you warm inside despite the wetness or cold temperature. DownTek absorbs 30% less moisture and dries off 60% faster than standard sleeping bags.
Aside from the spoon-shaped design, the stretchy stitching allows users to sleep with an upper leg close or straight out to the side. This versatility in sleeping positions makes it a comfortable sleeping bag because frequent tossers won’t feel constricted while sleeping. Other wonderful features include pillow pocket and a small zippered pocket for your watch or other small items.
There is also a blanket-like draft tube that you can tuck around your shoulders and neck for extra warmth. You can let this feature lie flat when not in use. Aside from the stuff sack, there is also a large cotton storage bag so the whole bag, including the stuff sack can be stored and protected from dust when not in use.
Value for Money
The Salsa is reasonably priced at approximately $220 depending on retailer as it is a lightweight 30F 650 down-filled sleeping bag. The spoon-design is also more comfortable compared to other sleeping bags with side and tummy sleepers liking the spaciousness. The stretchy stitching allows you to bring your knees up higher, so if it’s freedom of movement you’re looking for, the Salsa is a good choice.
The product is also water, bacteria, mildew and odor repellent; softening the blow of the price especially for first-time sleeping bag buyers. Nemo constructed this sleeping bag using lightweight durable materials so it should last long with proper care and maintenance. Considering that it is also a 3-season tent that uses lightweight durable fabric, this product offers good value.
It is not the most lightweight but it is still a good option for backpackers looking for a 3-season lightweight sleeping bag. This is a good choice for people who toss around all night and can be used not only for outdoor activities but for travelling and home sleepovers too.
The Nemo Salsa Sleeping Bag is a good sleeping bag but it is not the only product in its class. Learning about other sleeping bags will help you make a well-informed decision.
Nemo Salsa Competitors
The Salsa has other rivals that are similar in construction and pricing. They also have many of the same features which also make them good choices for a 3-season sleeping bag.
Here are other sleeping bags to consider.
The Nemo Symphony Synthetic Sleeping Bag 25F has a silky interior with generous wiggle room. It has all the basic ingredients for a comfortable bed. The Symphony features soft sheets, a cozy comforter and room to stretch and try out different sleeping positions.
It is heavier than the Salsa because it uses 40D nylon ripstop w/ DWR. However, it is also water resistant, with a grab-and-go style that can be incorporated with most 25-inch sleeping pads.
The Symphony has a rectangular cut that features stretch construction that can retain warmth without compromising spaciousness. The soft sheet and internal comforter can be peeled back so that you and have a bed-like experience outdoors. The sleeve accepts 25 – 30 inch-wide sleeping pads that can stay with the sleeping bag even when it’s stored, so you’re always ready to go.
Nemo uses stratofiber synthetic fibers for the Symphony’s fill. The bag also features left and right zippers so that you can go in and out of your bag easily. It is heavier than the Salsa and is rated for 25 °F weather. This product is priced at approximately $259.95 – $279.95.
The Sierra Designs DriDown 600-Fill Sleeping Bag costs approximately $211.95 – $359.95. It features an integrated comforter and zipper-less design for lightweight comfort outdoors. You can confidently use this sleeping bag for spring through fall camping. Since there are no zippers, you simply climb into the bag through the opening on top.
For cold weather, use the integrated comforter to seal in heat and keep out the cold. When it’s warm, flip comforter outside and it will be out of your way.
The Backcountry features a 600-fill-power DriDown designed to resist low temperatures and moisture. Sierra Designs uses a proprietary process that treats each duck down plume with a molecular-level polymer so that it repels water. According to Sierra Designs, their duck down insulation stays dry 10 times longer while retaining 170% more loft when exposed to moisture.
The exterior of the Backcountry uses ripstop polyester so that it can endure frequent outdoor use. However, the polyester taffeta lining of the sleeping bag makes it comfortable to sleep on. The fabric feels silky soft and breathable. Like the Salsa, it comes with a stuff sack and storage sack.
This sleeping bag offers bed-like accommodations, excellent temperature control options, unencumbered upper body movement. It is a good choice for a mummy-shaped sleeping bag. However, this bag is not very compressible.
The Mountain Hardwear Spark 35 Sleeping Bag is one of the lightest and most compressible sleeping bags out there. it is even smaller and more compact when packed compared to other down sleeping bags. In fact, many users are surprised to see how small it is and even more so when they learn that it is made with synthetic insulation.
The HyperLamina uses synthetic insulation called ThermalQ with a 60 gram layer. The insulation is made by Mountain Hardware and is one of their lightest and most compressible fabrics. It is rated for 35°F camping.
The low weight is due to their use of a 22D nylon shell, half-zipper length and synthetic fill. Weighing in at 1 pound 12 ounces, it is an ultralight synthetic sleeping bag and is a good option for multi-day trips. Given that it is a synthetic bag, it is a good option for wet weather camping
The packed size of this product is smaller and lighter than the Salsa giving you more room in your pack. The HyperLamina is comfortable with fairly spacious dimensions. However, stomach and side sleepers will find the adequate roominess a bit constricting. Despite the synthetic fiber, the sleeping bag does not have cold spots and has the ability to keep you fairly warm.
Aside from backpacking, it is a good option for car camping in wet and dry weather. The half-zipper can be irritating but it provides adequate ventilation in warm weather. The bag is priced more affordably at approximately $190, making it a good investment for novice backpackers and campers. It is super lightweight compressible but not very durable. It will lose around 20% of its warmth at the 5-year mark.
As a sleeping bag, the Nemo Salsa is a very comfortable 3-season sleeping bags. The bag is designed to make it appealing to people who sleep on their sides and stomachs or like to move around a lot. The over-sized draft collar is a welcome feature during cold nights and offers a nice snuggly feeling. It is not a true ultralightweight bag, but it is a good option for backpacks looking for an easy and affordable way to reduce the weight of their gear.
The 30-denier ripstop nylon is certainly heavier and thicker compared to the 10D of other ultralightweight sleeping bags but it is also more durable. The fabric does not feel flimsy and delicate to the touch. The interior taffeta lining is also silky soft and cool to the touch. The 650+ fill-power down can keep you cool and warm for summer to fall camping.
Other great feature includes drawstring cord that you can cinch open and close depending on how warm you want to be. There is also a small inner pocket to store your watch and other small items. The Salsa is a good choice for people who want space to move around.
This product is good all around sleeping bag. Here are its pros and cons:
- Spoon shape design for side sleepers and stomach sleepers
- Above average packability
- Stuff sack did not really compress the sleeping bag into a very small size
This sleeping bag is a bit on the expensive side but it is a good option for those who want the freedom to move around a lot when sleeping. To pack it down to a small size, you need to buy a third-party compression stuff sack to make the sleeping bag more compact. The treated down is waterproof so it can be used in wet weather.
Nemo Salsa Sleeping Bag
- Design and Durability
- Weight and Packed Size
- Water Resistance
- Unique Features
- Value for Money
- Best Application
The Salsa is roomy and a good option for side and stomach sleepers. It is fairly lightweight, making it a good option as a backpacking sleeping bag. It is made with study fabric but despite this, the sleeping bag is comfortable and feels soft inside. The sleeping bag has a bed-like feeling so you feel warm and tucked in during cold nights, un-cinch the drawstring collar on arm nights and use like a normal sleeping bag.
The top selling point of this product is the roominess it provides. Mummy shaped sleeping bags taper down at the bottom and the narrow width can make it hard to move around or change positions. But the Salsa is different. It is flared at the knees so you can bring it up closer to your chest when you sleep on your side or make it easy for you to flip over sleep on your stomach.
At 2 pounds 1 ounce, the Salsa is not only ideal for car camping trips but for extended backpacking excursions too. It is generous on the shoulder and leg area so that you don’t feel restricted. Buy an after-sales stuff sack so that you can compress it down to a smaller size to save on space in your backpack. This product can last a long time with proper care and maintenance.