REI Co-op Magma 15 & 30 Sleeping Bag Review

IMG_20190712_121741-01-1500x843.jpeg
 

The REI Co-op Magma 15 and Magma 30 sleeping bags are some of our favorite in terms of quality for money. These bags are ultralight, ultra comfy, and much easier on your wallet than most bags with similar specs. Last season’s Magma bags made our top picks list, and these new bags are also at the very top of our 10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags and Quilts list. The Magma comes in men’s (15 & 30), women’s (15 & 30), and the even lighter Magma Trail Quilt (see our full review here).

QUICK SPECS

Magma 15 (men’s/women’s)

  • MSRP (regular size): $369

  • EN Comfort rating: 28°F/ 17°F

  • Weight (reg.): 1 lb. 12.2 oz./ 2 lb. 4 oz.

  • Fill: 850-fill-power goose down

  • Length (reg.): 72 in./ 66 in.

  • Shoulder Girth: 63 in./ 60 in.

  • Other available sizes: long

  • Model Tested: Women’s Regular Magma 15

Magma 30 (men’s/women’s)

  • MSRP (regular size): $319

  • EN Comfort rating: 39°F/ 29°F

  • Weight (reg.): 1 lb. 3.8 oz./ 1 lb. 6.5 oz.

  • Fill: 850-fill-power goose down

  • Length (reg.): 72 in./ 66 in.

  • Shoulder Girth (reg.): 63 in./ 60 in.

  • Other available sizes: long

  • Model Tested: Women’s Regular Magma 30

Magma 30 Photo Gallery

Pros

Affordable - We know what you’re thinking - over $300 for a sleeping bag is pretty expensive. And we agree that it’s a lot of money, however, when you look at bags like the Therm-a-Rest Hyperion or the Western Mountaineering Alpinlite which offer similar specs but have much higher MSRPs, the Magma is actually pretty hard to beat. High-quality down sleeping bags are well worth it in our opinion, but they do tend to be pricey. The Magma is our top pick for all-around sleeping bag value. 

Warm - The Magma bags are well designed for maintaining heat. The hood has two drawcords for a snug fit around your head and a draft collar around your neck helps keep warm air trapped in the bag. The footbox on the magma bags is actually foot-shaped and features a down filled baffle in the toe box to keep your tootsies toasty. These bags are a true mummy shape with a nice fit that eliminates dead space your body has to heat up before the bag can do its job.

Ultralight - Thanks to the 850-fill-power goose down inside these bags, the magma line is incredibly lightweight. They don’t have a lot of showy features and they have a trim fit making them lighter than most bags in their EN comfort rating category.

Small packed size - Again due to that 850-fill-power goose down, the Magma bags pack down very small. The 15 degree bags pack down to about 5- 7 L. and the 30 degree bags pack down to about 2.5- 3.5 L. We like using Hyperlite Mountain Gear Stuff Sacks for packing small sleeping bags like these, because they’re waterproof and the shape works better than a compression sack inside of a packed pack.

No snag zipper - The zipper on the Magma line is very wide and butterfly shaped. When you zip it, fabric is directed away from the teeth and does not snag easily. The only time we had a small issue with the zipper snagging is down by the footbox where there are two layers of fabric by the zipper track, but it’s easy to gently pull the fabric free. Overall, the zipper is excellent. 

IMG_20190712_115211-01-1500x843.jpeg

CONS

Thin material - The lining material on the Magma bags is 15-denier ripstop nylon and the outer shell is down-proof Pertex. Pertex is generally very high quality and durable material, but the nylon lining does feel a little thin on these sleeping bags. That said, the fabric also feels very comfortable against the skin and if you take good care of these bags we expect them to last for a very long time. 

Pretty snug fit -  It seems like lately there has been an uptick in sleeping bags moving away from the true mummy design in favor of a more roomy semi-rectangular shape (like that of the Sea to Summit Trek Tk II 18) or NEMO’s popular spoon shape bags (see the NEMO Disco 15). The Magma bags have a pretty snug fitting mummy shape that may not appeal to side-sleepers, tosser-turners, or those who don’t like feeling confined.

Comfort in a sleeping bag is very important, but we tend not to be the biggest fans of the roomier bags for a few reasons. More space means more fabric and down, so bags with more wiggle room tend to be much heavier and don’t pack down nearly as small. It’s also harder to warm up a bag with more space in it, which reduces heat efficiency.

Overall, we think the Magma is a good balance between fit, warmth, weight, and packability, but if you hate mummy bags, you probably won’t love the Magma either. If you’re looking for a roomier sleep system that doesn’t skimp on warmth we recommend checking out the REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt.

No stash pocket - Nowadays, some cold weather bags include a zipper pocket for stashing electronics or water filters to prevent them from freezing. The Magma bags don’t have any such pocket. This is certainly not a deal breaker, but it’s a lot more convenient to store your things in a pocket rather than having them roll around loose in the bag with you.

IMG_20190712_121656-01-1500x843.jpeg

BOTTOM LINE

We love how light and packable these bags are and highly recommend them for those looking to go ultralight on a budget. So which bag should you choose? If most of your trips are during warm summer months and more mild shoulder seasons, the Magma 30 is perfect for you (if you do mostly warm camping, but also take a couple of sub-freezing trips a year, try adding a liner to the Magma 30 to stretch the temperature rating). If you want a bag that will keep you warm down into the 20s for high altitude and sub-freezing trips, the Magma 15 is your bag. 

The Magma sleeping bags are our top pick for all-around value and can also be found alongside some other great options on our list of the 10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags and Quilts.

MORE INFORMATION

A good night’s sleep is really important in the backcountry, and we hope this review helps you get some rest out there. If you like this review, you’ll probably like this other popular CleverHiker content.

 


Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a modest commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations.