Terra Firma Adventures

REI Nodder Kids Sleeping Bag

Kristopher Artz August,2012 2 Comments

When I began to research online sleeping bags for my toddler, I found it pretty difficult to find one that was not Hello Kitty, or Thomas The Train and had a temperature rating that I was comfortable with for spring and fall camping.

The problem with even a standard kids sized bag is they still have so much extra room in them that I don’t feel a 2-3 year old’s small body can effectively heat all of that additional airspace within the bag and keep them warm enough when the temperature gets into the low 40′s to upper 30′s. I did find a decently rated bag designed specifically for toddlers, but the nearly $100 price tag and knowing she would outgrow it in about 2 years turned me off to it. I continued to look and what do you know…  good old REI had a bag that seemed almost too good to be true.  The Nodder from REI retails for $89.50 and is rated to +25 degrees.

Full length REI Nodder Sleeping bag with adult length Thermarest mat  below for scale

For me the temperature rating is right where I wanted it to be, and the price is great for what you get.  The biggest thing that sold me was the stuff sack that is attached to the bottom of the bag allows you to stuff the excess length of bag into it and cinch it off, allowing you to adjust it to the correct length as your child grows. This is great because it addresses my 2 biggest concerns. Too large of a bag and a bag my daughter was going to outgrow too quickly.

As you can see, the excess bag is stuffed into the sack to reduce the volume of the bag

This bag is not what many people may think of as a “kids sleeping bag”. The exterior is made of Ripstop nylon fabric, and is water resistant. The lining inside the bag is made of nylon taffeta and is very soft. The loft is a synthetic polyester insulation, which is great because even if the bag gets wet or damp, it will still retain much of it’s warmth. It has side zips on both the left and right sides which makes it easier to help my daughter get in and out of the bag, regardless of which side of me she’s sleeping on. The hood is adjustable…with a little effort, but really helps keep my daughter from sliding up and out of the bag. The velcro straps on each side really do reduce the opening size of the bag, but almost too much. We rarely fasten them or if we do, we only do one side.

Lily gets so excited when she gets into her sleeping bag

There is a pocket in the hood for a pillow or stuffing some clothes in to make a pillow. This is a feature I wish was included in my bag.

See the pillow pocket?

Of course the bag comes with it’s own stuff sack , it’s attached at the bottom, but the overall bag does not compress to an extremely small size.

Bag in stuff sack

The bag did not come with a larger storage sack which was a little disappointing. I ended up having to purchase a mesh drawstring bag from REI for about $15 to store it in. Although the storage sack is not a compression sort of sack, I think it does compress the bag too much to store it for any length of time which may damage the loft. I prefer to keep any sleeping bag in a larger, breathable mesh bag  and I think the $15 will help extend the life of the loft and sleeping bag.

Bag in mesh storage sack for long term storage.

So, if you are looking for a sleeping bag for a toddler or young child, and want to invest in one that is comfortable, durable and will grow with them, I cannot recommend this bag highly enough. REI makes a high quality product for a very reasonable price, and it comes with their 100% satisfaction guarantee so, if your not happy with it for any reason they will exchange it or refund your money. If your an REI member you will also get your 10% dividend back for purchasing this product. If your interested, please click on my affiliate link in the right sidebar and enjoy the fun and excitement that goes along with any kids first (or new) sleeping bag!

Disclosure: I own this product and purchased it using my own funds.

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  1. Jeff Valliere April,2014 at

    I just happened upon your review while researching kid’s bags and agree with you on all points. I just picked up two of these yesterday at REI for my 3 year old twin daughters, as we prepare for our first car camping trip next month. I am hoping they are warm, as even summer camping in the mountains of Colorado can be around freezing typically, though I guess we can add a folded out additional bag if need be. Great review, thanks!

  2. Peter Runrig June,2015 at

    The 2015 model of the Nodder no longer contains the pillow pocket in the hood, despite what the REI website says. I guess it was removed for safety reasons as some kids may have ended up with their head inside the pocket by accident….

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