We think any product with a toe-asis deserves some kind of award—but that's not all. The Oberon is light, well designed and even features a funky colour. Definitely one of the best 4-season bags we've come across. Well done Therm-a-Rest!
The Backcountry Skiing Canada Team.
Therm-a-rest is waaaaay more than a maker of fine mattresses—as our reviews of other items from them attest. Their Oberon winter sleeping bag is one in a long line of Therm-a-rest product options. Most recently, we spent six weeks in the Therm-a-rest Tranquility 6 tent. If you want to see other reviews on their kit, check out: the Vela Double Blanket or the Antares Sleeping Bag.
The Therm-a-rest Oberon pleased us with its combo of creature comforts and high-performance. Click on the arrow on the right side of the orange bar below and read the full review.
Here it is below in all its glory. Serious lofting action and a funky faded colour scheme are what strikes you first.
Here's a little video from the Therm-a-rest folks that talks about what the Oberon can do for you. And how it does it.
Like most all sleeping bags from Therm-a-rest, the Oberon features these SynergyLink connectors—see the tie-in loops at left and the "strapping" at right. With this system, the bag stays put on the mattress. It seems like a really good and simple idea, and it is.
Here's a view of the SynergyLink system in action. Note that the bag has less down on the bottom because the insulative properties of a good mattress—like the Therm-a-rest Neo Air— make much of underside insulation unnecessary.
Here's the nitty gritty in terms of how warm it'll keep you. All the good bags these days seem to have this rating system. In essence, it admits that the "comfort range" of the Oberon is 14°F or -10°C. If the mercury drops to -40°C/F, you're going to be in trouble.
The toe-box is ginormous and features something called the Toe-asis. Essentially a bonus little down "cubby" in which to tuck your tootsies for added warmth.
Beware the Oberon pupa. Ensconced in 800-fill down (and likely sampling the Toe-asis).
Here's one spot (above and below) in the Kootenays were the Oberon came in handy. The flue on the wood stove was malfunctioning so it got really cold in the middle of the night. No problem with El Oberon.
We've tested the Oberon on cold, shoulder-season paddling adventures, hut- and tent-based ski touring adventures, and sleep-in-the-garage-in-the-middle-of-winter adventures (don't ask). The Oberon has delivered comfort and joy in all situations.
I find that I get really twisted up in many sleeping bags. I'm not an overly active sleeper but I find that many mummies have me in knots by 4 a.m. The Oberon has been designed as a comfy mummy. Hip and shoulder girth (at 58 and 165cms, respectively) give you room to move. The Synergylink program adds to your comfort. SynergyLink's key benefit is that, by attaching the bag and the mattress, you can move independently—thereby avoiding the 4 a.m. pretzel phenomena. This is particularly appreciated in a smaller context, like a two-person tent.
Being just slightly over a kilo for a winter bag can make a big difference on the uptrack. You can't tear a heavy bag in half and share the weight with your trip partner—what you have is what you carry. The light weight is part of the "zoned insulation" approach. Why have insulation where you don't need it? Smart.
I also really appreciate the little features like the heat-trapping draft collars, the cinchable hood, and the outside zip pocket. It's like the Therm-a-rest designers have created a bag with many creature comforts, while not sacrificing on the performance. Double double.
Only downside... and I am a little ambivalent on this: the colour might bring on an acid flashback in some people. I like it (in the same way I do shag carpet).
Price: $710 CAD / $580 US (long)
Temperature rating: -18ºC / 0ºF
Weight: 1.19kg / 2.65lbs
Fill Weight: 840g / 29.7oz
Compressed size:25X43cm / 10X17"
Insulation: 800 Fill Goose Nikwax Hydrophobic Down RDS
Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in below and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation. You'll need to login or register before you can comment but it only takes a few seconds, then you're good to go.