Columbia Reactor 15 ReviewAugust 17, 2012
- Metallic microdots lining the interior reflect heat and bring it up to body temperature in rapid fashion.
- Generous dimensions.
- Exterior fabric constructed of Omni-Shield repels moisture.
- Synthetic insulation still warms when wet.
- Microdots have a clammy, space blanket feel.
- Heavy (3.5 lbs).
- Low compressibility.
Like a space blanket, the Reactor 15 is designed to heat up quickly. It works. It’s generous dimensions, price-point synthetic fill and heavy duty materials make this a heavy bag though. For a higher-end Omni-Heat experience, check out the 800-fill down Moonstone.
After squeezing into some of the more performance-based sleeping bags, our testers felt positively liberated to spread out in the double-wide Reactor. Combine all this with an off-set sewn quilting of Omni-Shield fabric to protect against tent condensation and the Reactor starts to take on the look of a formidable car camping companion.
Synthetic insulation is generally a bit heavier, less compressible, and packs down over time in a way that down doesn’t, but has the distinct advantage of still insulating even when wet. It’s also generally less expensive. To keep the Reactor inexpensive, the fabrics are of a heavier, though durable material.
The Omni-Heat metallic microdots lining the interior of the Reactor help get the bag up to body temperature in record time. Women testers particularly loved the bag for that. Plus, if you can manufacture a reason to bring it out of the tent, the shiny interior is a guaranteed conversation starter. Additional amenities include an adjustable face gasket and neck collar as well as a beefy draft tube guarding the full-length zipper. One downside: the space blanket performance unfortunately comes with a space blanket feel.