NEMO unfurls its first recyclable sleeping bag

NEMO has updated its already popular Spoon-shaped Forte sleeping bag to be more environmentally friendly.
A person shakes out a sleeping bag in the mountains
The updated NEMO Forte is highly packable and retains warmth even when wet. NEMO

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Outdoor gear has historically not been very friendly to the environment that it encourages you to go and enjoy. But outdoor gear maker NEMO aims to change that and has announced its first-ever fully recyclable sleeping bag. The company wanted to get a more eco-friendly bag to consumers faster, so it opted to redesign its already popular three-season Spoon shaped bag instead of creating something entirely new. The bag also is the first in NEMO’s Endless Promise series, which Nemo says is a step toward its goal of cutting emissions intensity in half by 2030. We love to see companies making tangible moves to be more environmentally responsible and have high hopes for this bag.

NEMO Forte

NEMO Forte sleeping bag

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The redesigned Forte is now made using a single material family and is 100% recyclable. It is made up of a recycled liner, bluesign-approved shell fabric, and Zerofiber PCR insulation, which is made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials. As is typically the benefit of synthetic insulation, it maintains loft and warmth even when wet. And it packs down small to save space. 

The new Forte gets NEMO’s Classic Spoon shape, providing extra room at the shoulders and knees for side sleepers. It also features upgraded Thermo Gill vents with a multistage zipper system to expand the usable temperature range of the bag and overall improve comfort. Hot sleepers and warm-weather campers can rejoice about better temperature control. When the weather is cold, the Blanket Fold draft collar will help to keep out cold air. An integrated pillow pocket will keep your pillow in the right place while you sleep. The full-length double slider YKK zipper makes it easy to get in and out. And it can be zipped together with a sleeping bag with a zipper on the opposite side to create a double sleeping bag.

The Forte is available in men’s and women’s versions in two different lengths and either 20- or 35-degree temperature ratings. Pricing ranges from $179.95 to $239.95, depending on what length and temperature rating you go with. They are available now on NEMO’s website and will be available for purchase at retailers worldwide in June 2023. We suspect this will likely be our favorite sustainable sleeping bag, and we’re eager to test it as we refresh our coverage of camping essentials. 

Endless Promise program details

With the launch of the NEMO Forte, the company is also announcing its newest sustainability program. The Endless Promise product line aims to take “responsibility for the entire life cycle of each product.” That starts with reducing resource consumption and ends with keeping gear out of landfills. As a result, products in this series are specifically designed to be repairable, resellable, and recyclable. 

And NEMO plans to incentivize people to take part in this program. When you are done with a new Forte sleeping bag, you can send it back to NEMO for either resale or recycling. If the bag is in good enough condition to be reused, you will receive a NEMO gift card for the resale value of the bag. If the bag instead needs to be recycled, a $20 NEMO gift card will be sent as a thank you for recycling. For bags that go the recycled route, NEMO partnered up with Unifi, a textile recycler, to turn Forte bags into Repreve polyester yarns so that they can live on.

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Abby Ferguson

PopPhoto Associate Editor of Gear & Reviews

Abby Ferguson is the Associate Editor for Gear and Reviews at PopPhoto, joining the team in 2022. She has been involved with the photography industry in various capacities since her undergraduate training at the University of Kentucky, with work ranging from client photography to program development and management of the photo department at Evolve, a vacation rental company. Education within the photography sphere has always been a big focus for Abby. She strives to help new and experienced photographers alike better understand the technology and techniques necessary to succeed within the medium.