A great lightweight and super packable sleeping system for backpacking, fastpacking and bikepacking in warmer conditions.
- Only suitable for warm weather
Therm-A-Rest Vesper 32: first impressions
Made for backpacking and bike packing, the Therm-A-Rest Vesper 32 thermally efficient quilt uses box-baffled construction, so it’s like a sleeping bag without a full enclosure, and you can stick your feet out the bottom when they get too warm. (For alternatives see: Types of sleeping bag: which shape is best for you?
The resulting product provides almost as much warmth as a sleeping bag, for less weight. The quilt’s snap neck closure, perimeter side baffles and insulated footbox (where you can tuck your feet away) keep the warmth-to-weight ratio high for back country adventures. That’s why we’ve named it one of The best sleeping bags for comfortable nights in camp or on expedition in the mountains.
So does the 900-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down (humanely harvested), which stays drier and maintains loft 60 times longer than untreated down. Mesh walls in the bag maximize loft and minimize cold spots. And, to keep drafts out, the bag connects to a Therm-A-Rest mattress with the brand’s Synergy Link connectors. (See also: Sleeping bag temperature ranges explained.)
• RRP: Regular $329 (US) / £285 (UK) Long $349 (US) / £305 (UK)
• Weight: Regular 425g / 15 oz Long 490g / 1lb 1oz
• Style: Quilt
• Length: Regular 191cm / 6ft 3in Long 201cm / 6ft 7in
• Max user height: Regular 183cm / 6ft; Long 198cm / 6ft 6in
• Packsize: 13 x 15cm / 5 x 6in
• Fill: RDS-certified 900 Fill Goose Nikwax Hydrophobic Down
• Comfort: 5°C / 41°F
• Limit: 0°C / 32°F
• Compatibility: Perfect for fastpacking, bikepacking and ultralight expeditions in warmer months
In the field
When I’m trying to save every ounce I can, this quilt is the cover I immediately reach for. Though it’s effectively a sleeping bag without the bottom, it’s nearly as warm as a regular sleeping bag thanks to side baffles and the way it nearly wraps underneath me. But on warm nights, the bottomless design made it a lot easier for me to vent by sticking a foot out.
When I’m cold, my feet tuck into the baffled footbox, and I am able to roll myself up in this delicious down cover or to link the back straight to my sleeping bag to retain maximum warmth.
But it’s when I pack up this bag that I appreciate it the most. For bikepacking and backpacking, the Vesper takes up a fraction of the space and added only a portion of the weight of most sleeping bags. That means I can move faster, which ultimately gets me to my destination sooner and/or less tired.
I wasn’t sure if a quilt would be the right sleeping system for me. But after a handful of nights pulling this quilt out of a bicycle seat bag on a trip through the country of Jordan, I was sold.
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