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REI Co-op Trailmade Sleeping Bag Review: A Tailored-Fit Slumber Made for All Sizes

The REI Co-op’s Trailmade collection has made a name for itself in budget and beginner-friendly products. And, with more sizes than ever before, the Trailmade Sleeping Bag is made to fit pretty much anyone.

REI Co-op Trailmade Sleeping Bag Hero(Photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)
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Lonely ain’t easy. Lonely ain’t kind. But lonely won’t leave me. She’s a good friend of mind.” At around midnight in a hot tent that was struggling to hold tight to 20 degrees, I found myself swapping “lonely” for “cold” while parodying those lyrics. Fortunately, I had two friends with me: the cold and REI’s Trailmade 20 Sleeping Bag.

The first is an old friend. Despite coming from Creole stock, Great Lakes winters have made me Minnesota levels of cold-tolerant. The second is a newcomer. REI’s Trailmade products, like its Trailmade 60, have quickly become my recommendation for newer backpackers, especially those looking for inclusive sizing.

For sleeping bags, however, my usual advice for newcomers has been to catch a Kelty Down Cosmic 20 on sale. But those are only available in your standard short, regular, and long sizes. For folks who are looking for a perfect fit right out of the stuff sack, the six different sizes of the Trailmade make an alluring option that I wanted to put to the test.

Thus, I dreamed up a true challenge for the Trailmade: I’d torture test one perfectly sized for me through wide-ranging temps. The other would get used by exactly the Trailmade target audience: the coldest sleeper I know. Cover all the bases, and really get to know whether this budget bag has what it takes.

In short: The REI Co-op’s Trailmade bag delivers big on value, sizing inclusivity, and moisture-resistant insulation that lives up to comfort temp rating. While the synthetic insulation has some heft, the bag boasts more size than weight. The generous zippers offer plenty of ventilation options, at the expense of some snags. However, for all the bag’s budget-friendliness, new hikers looking entirely to the Trailmade collection for their sleep system have a few things to keep in mind.

To compare the Trailmade to the coziest camping sleeping bags on the market today, check out GearJunkie’s Best Camping Sleeping Bag guide.

REI Co-op Trailmade 20


  • Shell Fabric Recycled polyester
  • Packed Volume 14.4 L
  • Weight 3 lbs., 4.6 oz.
  • Insulation Recycled polyester
  • EN Temperature Rating (lower limit) 21°F (ISO-rated)
  • Comfort Temperature Rating 31°F (ISO-rated)


  • Available in six different length and width combinations
  • Interior stash pocket
  • Recycled fill and shell materials
  • Vaulted footbox


  • Limited temperature-ratings available
  • Bulkier synthetic insulation
(Photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

REI Co-op Trailmade 20 Sleeping Bag: Review

So Who’s Trailmade?

The Trailmade Collection is all about sizing inclusivity, budget-friendliness, and an aim focused on fresh blood. Simply being an REI Co-op product gives the line a leg up on two of those. REI attracts all types and experience levels. Combine that with a low cost, and it’s not hard for the collection to be approachable.

The Trailmade’s sizing plays into that approachability as well. Fitting sleeping bags isn’t an exact science, but too tight a bag and you’ll feel cramped. Too large a bag and you lose heat. The Trailmade salves all this by being available in six different size combinations: short, short wide, regular, regular wide, long, and long wide.

Simply having multiple versions of the Trailmade sleeping bag hanging on so many shelves across the country is bound to make the Trailmade an easier and more approachable buy for many.

(Photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

Getting Sized Up

Case in point: My partner, walking into an REI store at 5’ 8”, was able to try on several and quickly settle on a regular. I, on the other hand, getting one online, found the jump from regular to wide to be a big one.

The Trailmade offers those two widths. Offering 70 inches of girth at the shoulder and 66 at the waist, the wide abruptly goes from a mummy cut to a profile more akin to an uninflated balloon.

The upside: The wide will accommodate a wide range of people. However, for those with broad shoulders but a relatively straight waist, it might be a bit roomy in the torso — taking a hit in insulation. As someone built like a flea market cage fighter, I found that the Trailmade felt palace-levels of roomy around my torso.

Fortunately, even for those who do have to buy online, REI makes returns easy enough that very few will have trouble getting the fit of their bag dialed in. Between this and a $100 price tag, the sleeping bag squarely hits the Trailmade collection’s mark.

Carry, Compress, and Comfort

(Photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

There’s no two ways about it: The Trailmade bags, especially the wide, are big when compressed. The regular squeezes into a 14.4L stuff sack, while the wide I used took up nearly 17 L of space. This puts it squarely in the “just forget the stuff sack” category.

It’s also relatively heavy, with the regular length and width weighing in at around 3.3 pounds, and the regular wide I tested clocking in at almost 3.6 pounds.

That weight doesn’t come without some added comforts, however. I noticed the extra insulation and space in the footbox right off the bat.

For people looking for the most efficient, light, and warmest foot fit, the Trailmade isn’t it. But for those who like a little extra room, occasionally end up fetal, or prefer enough space in the footbox to shove a sweater, liner, or even a hot bottle down by their feet — the Trailmade offers plenty.

It might be a tight fit getting in and out of most sleeping bag compartments, and it comes in a bit heavy. However, the Trailmade isn’t much larger or heavier than its synthetic peers. It’s generous with its fill. And while the recycled poly insulation isn’t the most compressible (I managed to get mine into a 15L Hyperlite Pod), it offered a noticeable amount of extra cushion for my back.

Slick Slides and Snags

(Photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

The Trailmade comes in either left or right-side access, with top and bottom zippers. The topmost of the YKK zippers features a large snag guard. In practice, the snag guards worked well for both the regular and wide. However, it would occasionally get hung up where the tight mummy cut transitions into the widened torso.

The bottom zip was a little touchier. Occasionally it would lock up, but it never took more than a few seconds to unsnag. Neither I nor my partner — someone who considers 78-80 degrees to be a reasonable sleeping temperature — ever felt a draft coming through the zipper.

Where I did have some drafty dilemmas was with the hood. The draft collar and extra baffling around the face hole kept it to a minimum. I could compensate for this by cinching the hood and collar tighter. However, REI opts for a dual-cord system: a shock cord for the hood cinch and a flattened, paracord-like sleeve for the collar.

It took a decent bit of force and time to get the hood adjusted — especially with the wide. With more fabric to cinch, I found myself wishing for non-stretch cordage with both cords, instead of the elastic cable.

Cold Comfort

(Photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

I was reminded of the advantages of synthetic insulation, and why I usually recommended it for my partner, when I woke up to find her buried inside the bag. Despite breathing a veritable wetland into the confines of her bag, she still felt reasonably cozy through a night in the mid-30s. I had expected the Trailmade to handle the moisture well, and it proved itself again on my next cold-weather outing.

Climbing into the bag in a too-large hot tent, with a too-small stove, I opted to test the Trailmade on a snowy 10-below night. Tossing in a fleece liner, I settled in for a long night. In the coldest stretches, when the fire died and the tent dropped to around 10 degrees, my torso was still warm, sleeping in a light sweater.

The Trailmade’s lower limit is capped at 21 degrees Fahrenheit, and its comfort rating is listed at 31. Keeping my torso warm at 10 degrees with a wider option than ideal for my body, a liner that adds 10-15 degrees of warmth at most, and a light fleece sweater for sleeping puts it, to my mind, right on the money. This was a true torture test, but it proves one thing: those survival ratings are no joke.

REI Co-op Trailmade Sleeping Bag Open
(Photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

Over two more nights of hot tent testing, my massive shelter froze during day trips and thawed with a fire. Letting the fire die and tent drop, the condensation that formed on the outside of the Trailmade was notable — but it never penetrated deep enough for my torso to notice. During milder, regular tent and hammock camping trips hovering around freezing, the Trailmade kept me positively toasty.

And what of the cold sleeper, you ask? Throughout the few nights in the mid-30s when her face was not summoning the Everglades into a sack, her verdict was, “It’s warm.”

Trailmade Bundle Testing

Our torsos were toasty. Our feet were another story at times — with the matching pad, at least. According to REI, the regular-length bags should accommodate anyone up to 6 feet. Close to that myself, I’d peg it as an inch or two conservative. What REI doesn’t list is the bag’s overall length, which clocks in at around 78 inches for a regular.

REI offers a Trailmade bundle: tent, sleeping pad, and matching bag. Three big ticket items for $379 is a hell of a value for new backpackers. In the interest of testing the bag the same way many people are bound to buy it, we paired the bag and pad for a few nights.

We both woke up with ice cubes for feet. The Trailmade pad isn’t exceptionally short. At 72 inches, the regular pad is pretty standard length. It also boasts a 5.5 R-value. However, pairing a 1.5-inch pad with a bag that is at least 6 inches long left our feet frigid on the coldest nights — especially one night when the pad slowly deflated.

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Despite only being an inch longer, and having a lesser 4.2 R-value, we both found the Trailmade much more comfortable and our feet warmer with REI’s slightly pricier Air Rail Pad. Its raised edges kept us in place more, and had a bit more length and loft to elevate our feet.

Ideally, REI’s bundle would allow you to pair their short and regular bags with longer pads. Still, there are plenty of workarounds.

Placing a section of foam sleeping pad under the foot end of the Trailmade pad kept us snug as a bug, and only weighed a few ounces. For those who can buy the collection separately, opting for a longer pad makes for one capable and budget-friendly sleep system. And campers who don’t spend much time sleeping in below-freezing weather likely won’t have much in the way of cold-footed issues with the Trailmade’s length at all.

REI Co-op Trailmade 20: Bang for Your Buck Conclusions

REI Co-op Trailmade Sleeping Bag — Comparison
(Photo/Ian Graber-Stiehl)

I found myself stacking the Trailmade up against my old standby, the Kelty Cosmic Down 20. The Kelty was ever so slightly warmer, lighter, with a better draft collar, and easier-to-adjust hood. Ditto for the synthetic version of the Cosmic. The zippers on the two were about the same. The torsos were equally warm. The Trailmade, however, was roomier, fits a wider array of people, and had more fun colors.

Then I pulled my phone out of the Trailmade’s conveniently placed zippered chest pocket to check prices. Around $60 more for a down Cosmic, if you could find it. About the same price for a synthetic Cosmic and the Trailmade.

I’d pass not too far from an REI on the way back in the morning. If I were taking a friend who was new to the trail, they could try on and choose from a veritable matrix of options: right zip, left zip, three different lengths, two widths, and two different color schemes. If they needed to, they could walk out with all Trailmade items (tent, sleeping bag, pad, and a 60L pack) fitted and ready to go for around $560, and have a solid base for their new backpacking loadout.

The Trailmade sleeping bag might not replace the Cosmic as my go-to loaner, but for backpackers looking to get another bag on a budget, or get started without much experience in fitting — it’s certainly my new go-to recommendation. It’s approachable price-wise, does exactly what it claims, and, with a modicum of forethought, will have most anyone sleeping soundly.

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Ian Graber-Stiehl

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