Home / backpacking-quilt-reviews / NEMO Siren Down Ultralight Quilt Review

NEMO Siren Down Ultralight Quilt Review

manufactured by :
Philip Werner
Version:
1
Price:
360.95

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On May 25, 2016
Last modified:September 18, 2016

Summary:

The NEMO Siren Down Quilt is an ultralight bed-style camping and backpacking quilt that only weighs 19 ounces and is insulated with 850 fill power down. With a temperature of 30 degrees, it includes a basic strap and neck closure system that makes it comfortable for use in cold weather, but which can also be discarded in warmer temperatures if you want to use it more like a blanket or comforter.

The Nemo Siren is a 30 degrees bed-style backpacking quilt insulated with 850 fill power down that only weighs 19 ounces.
The Nemo Siren is a 30 degrees bed-style backpacking quilt insulated with 850 fill power down that only weighs 19 ounces.

If you find a mummy sleeping bag to constricting to sleep with on backpacking or camping trips, a hoodless quilt can be a more comfortable and lighter weight sleep insulation option. Quilts insulate the top of your body at night, while you’re sleeping pad insulates the bottom. They’re very similar to sleeping with a blanket, making it easier for side sleepers or people who toss and turn at night to get a good nights sleep.

There are basically two types of quilts available today: bed style quilts that slide over a sleeping pad and wrap around its sides and ultralight-style quilts that rest on top of your sleeping pad and attach to it using some kind of strap system. Bed style quilts are better for casual camping in warm weather while ultralight quilts tend to be lighter weight, have higher quality insulation, and are better for cooler weather when you need to trap more body heat.

While you can loosely drape the NEMO Siren Quilt like a comforter, it also comes with a simple strapping system if you want to tightly couple it with a sleeping pad in cooler weather
While you can loosely drape the NEMO Siren Quilt like a comforter, it also comes with a simple strapping system if you want to tightly couple it with a sleeping pad in cooler weather.

The NEMO Siren Down Quilt ($369.95) straddles these two quilt categories because it only weighs 19 ounces and is filled with 10 ounces of high compressible 850 fill power down like an ultralight backpacking quilt, but drapes around a sleeping pad more like a bed-style quilt. Rated at 30 degrees, I can vouch for its warmth, having taken it down as low as 29 degrees on backpacking trips.

The NEMO Siren Quilt is desigend to be used with a sleeping pad which slips between the quilt and the simple draw-string strap system.
The NEMO Siren Quilt is designed to be used with a sleeping pad which slips into the quilt’s footbox and is held in place using a simple draw-cord strap system.

Backless, the Siren is designed to be used with a sleeping pad that provides insulation against the ground. The sleeping pad slips into the quilt’s footbox and is held in position under your quilt using an optional draw-string strapping system. There are also snaps along the top of the quilt than can join under your sleeping pad to cinch the quilt closed around your neck and shoulders to trap more heat. These are very effective in cold weather.

The Siren (shown upside down) has two snaps that secure under your sleeping pad and two cinch cords to draw the top of the quilt closed over your shoulders in order to trap more heat.
The Siren (shown upside down) has two snaps that secure under your sleeping pad and two cinch cords to draw the top of the quilt closed over your shoulders in order to trap more heat.

If you prefer, you can drape the quilt over yourself like a comforter without the draw-string. This is good in warmer weather when cold drafts are less of an issue or if you want a looser fit.

When you use the draw-string strapping system and neck snaps, the sides of the quilt overlap the sides of your pad and fold under it. This can limit the height and width of the sleeping pad you can use the quilt with, because it pulls the quilt around you more tightly, potentially compressing the down above you and reducing its loft and warmth.

In testing the Siren, I found that it works best with a thin self-inflating sleeping pad like a Therm-a-Rest Prolite or an EvoLite and not a thicker, inflatable Therm-a-Rest XTherm or Exped Downmat. With a shoulder width of 52″, the Siren is a bit on the narrow side for a bed-style quilt intended for ground use, so test your sleeping pad with the draw-string and neck snap system before you try to take it down to 30 degrees in colder weather. A thicker sleeping pad might still work fine for you if you have a smaller stature than me: I recommend you experiment with different pad thicknesses to figure out what works best.

The NEMO Siren has little plastic clips sewn into the side of the quilt which secure the draw-string in place.
The NEMO Siren has little plastic clips sewn into the side of the quilt which secure the draw-string in place.

If you don’t want to use the draw string, it is connected to the quilt using small plastic loops and easy to remove. The plastic loops are very unobtrusive and you can’t feel them, even if you use the Siren without the draw-string as a top quilt in a hammock.

The Siren uses a box baffle construction that eliminates cold spots by keeping the down in place
The Siren uses a box baffle construction that eliminates cold spots by keeping the down in place.

The Siren is sewn with a box baffle construction that keeps the 850 down fill power insulation in place and prevents it from shifting and creating cold spots. The foot box is also filled with down, except on the bottom, where it’s filled with Primaloft. There’s no point in putting 850 fill power down on the bottom since it would be compressed and not insulate.

The exterior of the Siren is made with a 10D Nylon Ripstop w/ DWR to help prevent moisture from compromising the down fill. The interior is also lined with a very and comfortable and soft 10 Nylon Ripstop Mini-ripstop. 

The Siren's footbox is large enough to fit a 25 inch wide sleeping pad
The Siren’s footbox is large enough to fit a 25 inch wide sleeping pad

Recommendation

The NEMO Siren Down Quilt is an ultralight backpacking quilt that only weighs 19 ounces and is insulated with 850 fill power down. With a temperature of 30 degrees, it includes a basic strap and neck closure system that makes it comfortable for use in cold weather, but which can also be discarded in warmer temperatures if you want to use it more like a blanket or comforter.

While expensive, the Siren is an excellent down quilt. However, sizing can be an issue if you have an above-average built or want to use a thick inflatable sleeping pad. If you intend to buy the Siren for cooler temperatures, test it out to make sure that the down insulation isn’t being compressed and losing loft because it’s wrapped around you too tightly. If you can’t snap the top of the quilt closed underneath your sleeping pad, it means that the quilt is too tight and it won’t fit your cold weather needs.

Product Specifications

  • Down fill power: 850
  • Loft: 2″
  • Fill weight: 10 ounces
  • Total weight: 19 ounces
  • Width: 53″ (52″ on the SectionHiker tape measure)
  • Foot box width: 25″ foot box width
  • Length: 66″ (fits a person up to 6′)
  • Stuff sack volume: 5L

For complete specification, visit NEMO’s web site. 

Disclosure: NEMO provided Philip Werner with a sample Siren Down Quilt for this review.This post contains affiliate links.

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14 comments

  1. I use a xtherm short look like the foot box isn’t long enough to come up to the pad.

  2. nice write up, I’ve been curious about these. I just pulled the trigger on an enlightened equipment quilt but it’s nice to see more companies producing reasonably light quilt options. Smart to use some synthetic underneath too. I use the mats that you recommend people not use here so I’m glad I chose the EE after all :)

    • This quilt is a good compromise to buy if you don’t want to wait 16 weeks (enlightened equipments current production backlog) for a custom quilt.

      • Ha! Agreed. The wait is nuts. But I take my outdoor stuff seriously. I’m planning a year ahead on a huge trip so the wait is no big deal at all when it comes to deciding factors.

        Additionally it has an extra 10 degrees of warmth, 900 fill and pretty much exactly the same weight for the $$. The 30 degree option would have cost $305, and it weighs 15.7 oz at 900 fill. To some that’s more than worth the wait in both $$ savings and weight savings.

        That beings said I think most people would balk at that and want instant gratification. Which is why the resale value on cottage gesr is abnormally high. So great.

  3. I’ve really been researching getting a quilt recently. This looks like a pretty good offering from Nemo although I think I would need something wider. I was wondering, in general, if you think the higher fill downs (800,850,900,950)are worth the extra money? And do you consider waterproof down a must have option?

    • I don’t think waterproof down is that important in a 3 season bags or quilts. But it’s almost impossible to avoid these days, since just about everyone has adopted it. Different people have different views about higher fill power down. While it is lighter weight, it also tends to be more expensive. It really depends if weight reduction is your top priority. I’m more interested in saving money personally, and carrying a few more ounces is a trade-off I’m willing to make. I just bring one less snickers bar on my trips to counter the weight increase.

      • I really like the idea of my bag/quilt taking up LESS SPACE in my pack because weight really isn’t that much of a factor at this point. That said, I was thinking the same thing with regard to down fill, it looks like switching from 800 to 950 down fill saves you about 2.5 ounces but at a cost of $180. I’m not that much of a gram weenie to splurge like that. I guess if I used it 100 nights per year it might be worth it… but for 30 nights a year I’m not so sure.

      • Thanks for the redirect, I must have missed that post.

        As for your choice of a 30 degree quilt… Is that your “go to” 3 season rating? I live in Georgia but I find I do most of my hiking where nightime temps range from 30 to 40ish. I have always used a 20 degree sleeping bag in my hammock along with a 20 underquilt. I love the underquilt and it probably does 70% of the insulating in my system. I really only use the 20 degree bag because I already had it from my ground dwelling days. I’ve cut plenty of weight over the years and I’ve even started adding back luxuries… Honestly, at this point, I’m interested in less bulk. I know it’s very subjective, but would you recommend the 30 degree quilt (or maybe even the 40) for my style of hiking?

      • It really depends on the expected weather conditions…if I had to choose one it would probably be the 2o but it’s because I hike early in spring and late in fall when I need the warmth. It’s suboptimal in high summer. You’d be better off using a synthetic tech blanket from Thermarest.

  4. Less Snickers are u mad !!!!!!

  5. I have to say, for ground dwellers, a thick insulated pad like Big Agnes Q Core (R value 5), with or without a closed cell silvered foam Z-pad, is very helpful in staying warm.

  6. Since you mention stature, what is yours?

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