ProView – Therm-a-rest Oberon 0 Sleeping Bag

A warm, dry, and light sleeping bag might be the most essential piece of gear when you are winter camping. I recently put the Therm-a-Rest Oberon 0°F winter sleeping bag to the test, as I camped in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in snow, rain, and everything in between.

I wanted to be sure to test Therm-a-Rest’s Oberon 0°F in conditions close to zero. On an early December weekend in New Hampshire, a friend and I loaded up our backpacks and set off to spend two nights in the White Mountain National Forest. We were camping underneath the rainfly of my winter tent. It was a high of 20°F that day, and it was forecasted to dip to 4°F at night. Our second night was only slightly warmer, with a temperature of 10°F. With temperatures like this, I knew I was pushing the limits of the Oberon. Despite being so close to the temperature limit of the sleeping bag, I was warm, comfortable, and dry all night long. For my second test, I wanted to put the 800-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down to the test. Fortunately, or perhaps, unfortunately, there has been no shortage of cold rain lately in New England. On one such rainy weekend, I once again went out to spend two nights in the Oberon, this time in a bivy sack in the Green Mountains of Vermont. The mercury did not dip that low, only to 35°F, but these weather conditions allowed for me to put the Nikwax Hydrophobic Down to the test. Once again, Therm-a-Rest’s Oberon thoroughly impressed me. Despite plenty of condensation on the inside of my bivy sack, the Oberon continued to insulate and the inside stayed dry.

Therm-a-rest Oberon 0 Sleeping Bag

Product Description: For those that take their adventures into the heart of winter or into colder climates, the Oberon provides the crucial protection you need. We engineered the Oberon to protect athletes from extreme conditions during extreme pursuits, meticulously designing every gram to add warmth and security for the user. Certified by the Responsible Down Standard, the bag's 800-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down™ repels moisture and stays warm in damp conditions. Get better rest while keeping the cold at bay with the Oberon. Storage sack and compression stuff sack included.

Price: MSRP: $469.95 - $509.95

  • Comfort
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Style
    (5)

Summary

All in all, the Oberon is my new go-to sleeping bag for winter excursions. This sleeping bag does it all. It compresses well and is extremely lightweight, while still being incredibly warm. The SynergyLink Connectors ensure that you won’t slide off your sleeping pad in the middle of the night, and the Toe-asis Foot Warmer Pocket keeps your toes warm all night long. The only area for improvement with the Oberon, isn’t actually about the Oberon itself. The compression sack could be made smaller so that it will compress the sleeping bag further. Overall, the Oberon scores 5/5 in my book. It’s an excellent sleeping bag, nice work Therm-a-Rest!

Overall
5

Pros

  • Toe-asis foot warmer pocket
  • SynergyLink Connectors

Cons

  • The included compression sack is too big

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Fit/Comfort

The Oberon’s fit was spot-on. I am 6’2” and 180 pounds, and the long fit me really well. One thing about the fit that I loved was the cinchable hood. I have used several winter sleeping bags that claimed to have cinchable hoods but never actually cinched as tight as I wanted them to, resulting in my face being extremely cold at night. The Oberon has a hood that will cinch down to the size of a quarter – the best I’ve ever seen.

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Look/Style

I like to think that I choose my gear based on functionality and not on looks, but let’s face it: looks matter. In this category, like so many others, the Oberon excels. The oranges and yellows are bright and attractive, but not overbearing to my eye. The colors constantly fade into one another, which is a look I really enjoy.

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Features

The Oberon has two unique features that I absolutely love, and have never found on another sleeping bag. The first is the Toe-asis Foot Warmer Pocket. I am someone who suffers from consistently cold toes, and this feature was a lifesaver on those cold winter nights. Therm-a-Rest created a foot box at the base of the Oberon so that there is warm down insulation on both sides of your feet, and not just at the base. In addition, Therm-a-Rest has added additional down at the very bottom of the sleeping bag to increase warmth in the foot box. The second feature of the Oberon that I loved was the SynergyLink Connectors. These are small, lightweight, elastic straps that connect your sleeping pad with your sleeping bag. They hook onto the bottom of the Oberon and wrap around any size or shape of sleeping pad. I tested the SynergyLink Connectors with my Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol and they worked together seamlessly. The SynergyLink Connectors are incredibly small and lightweight and easily fit in the small pocket built into the Oberon’s external zip pocket.

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thermarest-oberon-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Weight/Packability

The Oberon is unbelievably lightweight, coming in at only two pounds, ten ounces. The regular and small weigh three and six ounces less than the long, respectively. I have had summer sleeping bags that weigh twice as much as the Oberon. Once again, the Therm-a-Rest Oberon impresses. The 800-fill down and included compression sack ensure that the Oberon will pack down to something not much larger than a baseball cap. The one small downside to this sleeping bag is that the included compression sack does not compress the bag far enough. Even at maximum compression, the included compression sack does not compress the Oberon as far as some of my other compression sacks.

thermarest-oberon-review-dirtbagdreams.com

 

thermarest-oberon-review-dirtbagdreams.com

The Final Word

All in all, the Oberon is my new go-to sleeping bag for winter excursions. This sleeping bag does it all. It compresses well and is extremely lightweight, while still being incredibly warm. The SynergyLink Connectors ensure that you won’t slide off your sleeping pad in the middle of the night, and the Toe-asis Foot Warmer Pocket keeps your toes warm all night long. The only area for improvement with the Oberon, isn’t actually about the Oberon itself. The compression sack could be made smaller so that it will compress the sleeping bag further. Overall, the Oberon scores 5/5 in my book. It’s an excellent sleeping bag, nice work Therm-a-Rest!     

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Sam has spent his entire adult career working on trails throughout the United States. Starting at age eighteen with the US Forest Service in California, Sam transitioned back east to work for the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Professional Trail Crew. After four years with the AMC Trail Crew, Sam moved back west to work for the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Trail Crew. During his winter’s, Sam has worked as an ice climbing guide and hut caretaker, but he has recently found a home as a ski patroller. When not rolling rocks around the woods, Sam can be found building furniture in his woodshop, volunteering with the local fire department, or hiking in the woods with his partner.

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