Some outdoor gear is made for serious expeditions, hiking serious distances and being very, very, serious explorers. Poler isn’t one of these outdoor companies and the Reversible Napsack is definitely not a serious piece of gear.
Poler has been around for about a decade and, after a short hiatus, they’re back with their own brand of fun and practical #campvibes. The Reversible Napsack is one of their flagship products and, in my opinion, encapsulates everything that Poler is about.
I received the Reversible Napsack right at the tail end of winter and initially, I wasn’t sure whether it’d get used. 5 minutes later my wife walked in from the home office, spotted the napsack, slipped it on, sighed in warm satisfaction and disappeared again. Since then I’ve barely got a look in, but I managed to snag it a couple of times and here are my thoughts.
Lounging around camp in your sleeping bag is one of camping’s great pleasures. Getting out of your sleeping bag to go to the loo, sucks. Here’s where the napsack earns its money.
Its greatest strength lies in its multifunctionality. Thanks to the drawstring bottom, it’s super easy to transition from sleeping bag, to poncho, and back again. I don’t want to tell you how to suck eggs, but to briefly explain how the drawstring works. First you undo it to release your feet. Then you reach down inside the bag and pull the bottom up to your waist. Finally you cinch the bottom around your waist and let the bag hang naturally. Et voila!
Once you’ve cinched the napsack around your waist, you can unzip your arms and gain full movement – as the napsack’s reversible, you can undo the arm holes from inside and outside. In addition to the arm holes, there’s a decent length zipper on the front of the bag, a handy chest pocket (on both inner and outer – it’s reversible remember) and well-placed hand pockets. There’s also an oversized hood to keep your noggin cosy while in sleeping bag mode, or when mooching around camp.
Lots of camp gear gets left in the shed for 90% of its life. Unless you’re on an extended holiday, it’s unlikely that your sleeping bag comes out of the closet between trips. The napsack however, has barely seen the inside of its stuff sack since entering our lives.
As I mentioned in the intro, my wife has been caught wearing the napsack during most of winter in our home office. Once your arms are free, it’s kind of like wearing a puffy vest, except this puffer extends down to your knees, or feet, and keeps your whole body warm. It still kinda looks like you’re rocking a sleeping bag, but that hasn’t stopped my wife from wearing it during the odd zoom meeting.
Alongside being used as home office workwear, we’ve had this napsack out for lounging around at the coast house, lounging around camp, and our six-year-old has also claimed it as his own sleeping bag – both at home and when actually camping.
I’ve called this category comfort, rather than warmth, as the Poler napsack is very much a summer-weight sleeping bag, and therefore isn’t designed to keep you warm and toasty out camping year-round. Unless you live in Tropical North Queensland.
The Soft Ripstop Nylon Exterior delivers real high on the comfort stakes and feels pretty lux against the skin. It’s also less rustly than some puffer jackets. Thermastuff synthetic insulation definitely keeps you cosy, but you’re definitely going to want to layer up underneath if the mercury starts to dip too low.
If I’m being super picky, the cinched bottom, when sleep mode is engaged, does feel a little strange against the feet, but not enough to ruin your night. The napsack is nice and roomy when you’re sleeping, there’s no mummy shape here, and the arm holes are really generously sized giving excellent range of movement.
If you’re chasing a sleeping bag that’s ultralight and super warm, this bag definitely won’t be your cup of tea. But if you’re looking to increase your camp vibes with a bag you can stay in all day, then the napsack will definitely be up your alley.
Sticking your feet out of the bottom of your sleeping isn’t anything new, but Poler have made it easy, seamless and hella stylish with their use of an incredibly low-tech solution. The simple and humble drawcord. If you’re anything like me, and my little family, you won’t be buying the napsack just for camping trips and it’ll get used at home way more than the rest of your camp gear. The fact that I’ve hardly got the chance to use it myself is testament to how rad this piece of gear is. So rad that I’m gonna have to get another one just to be in with a chance of using it myself.
So what’s missing? As lovers of the outdoors, the only aspect of the napsack that we’re not vibing on is the lack of recycled or sustainable materials. Our world is a beautiful place and the best way to keep the campvibes coming is by looking after it in every way we can. We’d love to see Poler getting a bit more green to compliment the rad gear and good vibes they’re already delivering.
Mattie was provided the Poler Reversible Napsack for review purposes and got to keep it. The views are entirely his own.