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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 Sleeping Bag Review on 11/10/2009 15:24:35 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 Sleeping Bag Review

christopher shive
(cms432)

Locale: Along the AT in PA
Zipper Length on 11/10/2009 19:35:14 MST Print View

Regarding zipper length. I think I would be most content with a 3/4 length zipper that stops at about the knee or a little higher. Enough of a zipper to open the bag up like a quilt and allow for easy entry/exit. My Mont-Bell super stretch zips down to mid-shin level, and I never feel the need to completely unzip the bag.

chris

Matthew Dunn
(Boddunn) - F

Locale: Kirby Muxloe
Cumulus 200 on 11/11/2009 03:27:04 MST Print View

I've got a Cumulus 200 bag and I'm pretty impressed, no hard figures but I've had it down to around 0 degrees (30F) and it's preformed pretty well, mine weighs 550 grams including the stuff sack (not the 495 advertised) and it cost me £165 (about $270 at present exchange rates); definitely worth considering.
As for the zip, it's full length but I agree a 3/4 length would be better to save weight and make it easier to stay covered when using it in summer.
Here's a link.

Johnathan White
(johnatha1) - F

Locale: PNW
Re:Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 Sleeping Bag Review on 11/11/2009 09:02:06 MST Print View

Great write-up Will!

One thing I would love to see though is the comparison grid you have, but with the girth of the bags included.

I.e. a 62" bag with 10oz of 850+ down vs. a 57" with 10oz of 850+ down will obviously have different loft depths.

Alan Little
(AlanL) - F

Locale: Bavarian & Austrian Alps
Re: Zipper Length on 11/11/2009 09:20:13 MST Print View

I often find it comfortable in not too cold conditions to sleep with my torso zipped up but my feet sticking out.

I'm currently on the lookout for a new down bag, and find that the Valandre Mirage looks impressive in many ways, but the 3/4 zip is a concern for my sweaty toes.

Maybe I'm just weird. Should I perhaps be looking at using a quilt upside down?

Edited by AlanL on 11/11/2009 09:20:55 MST.

Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
"Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 Sleeping Bag Review" on 11/11/2009 09:46:10 MST Print View

Great review
I was already thinking of getting this bag to outrank my DIY down quilt. This is lighter (my quilt is about 28 oz and very warm), and I already bring primaloft clothing. I've also been moving away from the quilt idea in my thinking, as it is less thermally efficient with drafts and all, and a mummy bag can still be used as a quilt anyway.
Thanks.

Don Root
(doninmarin) - F
Good review on 11/11/2009 09:55:23 MST Print View

I have this bag and used it for the first time on an 18-day trip in the Sierras last summer. The zipper is definitely a drag, and the stuff sack was so obviously ridiculous I replaced it before going on the trip. I also agree that 850+ fill down would be better--the insulation seemed a little wimpy, even for a 32 bag. Better to save weight with a down quilt, I'd say. I got this bag on sale, and for the sale price, I guess it's OK. But if I were buying today I'd keep looking. Gotta be something better out there.

aarn tate
(aarndesign) - MLife
full length zipper on Phantom 32 on 11/11/2009 10:22:48 MST Print View

Either a 3/4 length or a full length zipper that is available in left and right versions (so 2 bags can be zipped together) is essential for me to sleep ultralight with my partner. I also need zip compatability with other bags in the same manufacturers range so i can zip a warmer bag with a cooler bag as my partner needs more insulation than me. Using a 2 bags together saves weight as we can use lighter bags.

Aarn Tate

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Zipper Length on 11/11/2009 11:22:06 MST Print View

"Maybe I'm just weird. Should I perhaps be looking at using a quilt upside down?"

LOL.

Zipper length will always be controversial. Some tough folks Like Glen Van Peski can cope without any zip! I am OK with a half zip, and two half-zip bags mated together works well for us too, bit I prefer full length. Of course some folks get offended at the presence of any zips (ie quilters). I too like to have my feet hanging out while the rest of me is covered, and a full length zip (or quilt) is essential for this (as is NOT zipping together with someone else).

Anyway, from where I'm sitting the MH bag doesn't look very tempting. In fact, not even a little tempting!

Christopher Kuzmich
(obchristo2) - F
Zipper length on 11/11/2009 13:05:57 MST Print View

I often sleep with a foot sticking out from my covers at home, and do the same while camping. The ability to drape the bag as a quilt, let a foot out, or zip fully up is essential for me.

For me, a full length zipper is non-negotiable. Same with a full length pad.

Sleep your own sleep!

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Zipper Length on 11/11/2009 13:07:17 MST Print View

I have both the old -no zipper- and the new -half zipper- NF Beeline bags. I actually prefer the no-zip version. The zipper on the newer -half zip- version is too short to be of much use.

Edit: I don't consider myself "Tough like Glen Van Peski"

Edited by redleader on 11/11/2009 13:08:36 MST.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Zipper Length on 11/11/2009 13:32:02 MST Print View

"I don't consider myself "Tough like Glen Van Peski""

Good point. How could anyone that carries something called a "LUXURYLITE" be a tough guy, though I'm sure Glen enjoys his little luxuries as much as anyone else.

Perhaps I should have called him "really dedicated to pushing the boundaries of SUL" rather than "tough guy"?

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
zipper on 11/11/2009 14:13:33 MST Print View

They must have changed the zipper guard design when they went to a full length zipper because it looks nothing like the one on my Phantom 0 with a 3/4 zipper. I have had no trouble with snags, though I will admit, that the design isn't as good as the one on my Western Mountaineering Bags.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
BaH! HUMBUG! on 11/12/2009 00:20:50 MST Print View

I owned a Phantom 32 and realized, without trying it out, that it sorely lacked loft. Others, after trying it, felt the same and posted their complaints on various sites.

I returned it to REI and bought a WM Megalite by mail order. Never been happier with a bag. I've had it down to 25 F. in the high Sierras with poly long johns and was fine. I seriously doubt the Phantom 32 would have kept me warm in those temps. I think the Phantom is misnamed.
42 F. maybe but 32 F., nope, not unless Mt'n. Hardware has greatly increaseed the fill.

Eric

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: BaH! HUMBUG! on 11/12/2009 10:41:51 MST Print View

Well, according to Will, it has 2 inches of single layer loft which should indeed make it warm down to freezing. Maybe you have an older model, or MH has some quality assurance issues?

Interesting observation on the Beeline!

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I don't doubt the loft... on 11/12/2009 14:02:14 MST Print View

My Phantom 0 has the advertised 7.5" of loft, I would assume that all of the Phantom series bags would be as advertised as well, but I could be wrong.

I also noticed that it is rated at EN 13537 standards at 38* for the average woman, and 29* for the average man, which seem to indicate that it does indeed have 4" of double sided loft. For comparison, the Marmot Hydrogen rated at 39* for the average woman, and 30* for the average man. It probably has similar loft, but didn't preform quite as well due to its larger girth (62" vs 60").

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Relative Loft ALWAYS Determines the Comparative Warmth on 11/12/2009 15:11:27 MST Print View

Bradford,

Your post was a nice job of adding some objective science to a largely subjective frequent-forum-topic. The Marmot Hydrogen has 1/2" higher loft than the MH Phantom 32 and yet the lab measurements show the Hydrogen has less thermal resistance.

Is there anyone who no longer believes the often repeated axiom, "The Relative Loft ALWAYS Determines the Comparative Warmth"?

Loft

Edited by richard295 on 11/12/2009 17:10:10 MST.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Relative Loft ALWAYS Determines the Comparative Warmth on 11/12/2009 15:41:20 MST Print View

"Is there anyone who no longer believes their often repeated axiom, "The Relative Loft ALWAYS Determines the Comparative Warmth"?"

I believe it...All else being equal...

Problem is that all else is seldom equal.

Jim

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Loft and other considerations on 11/12/2009 16:09:07 MST Print View

I tried one UL sleeping bag and found out very quickly that the air permiability of the fabric made a big difference-- the cold wind went through it like a screen door. If the loft isn't there, you're gonna get cold and if the loft IS there, you need a resonable seal to keep the cold air out and the heat in.

I wonder about the relative density of the lofted material and how much it controls heat transfer. For example, a denser material may slow air currents and pumping from the sleeper's movements, where a light fluffy material might allow more air movement, taking heat with it or moving colder outer air to the inner warm layers, etc. Just impressions and thinking out load on my part.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Re: Loft and other considerations on 11/12/2009 16:25:09 MST Print View

"I tried one UL sleeping bag and found out very quickly that the air permiability of the fabric made a big difference-- the cold wind went through it like a screen door. If the loft isn't there, you're gonna get cold and if the loft IS there, you need a resonable seal to keep the cold air out and the heat in."

You ought to try hammocking. If you aren't able to make something yourself, you are forced to freeze with the commercially available underquilts. Plain old ripstop nylon does nothing more than just hold some down in place, when it's not leaking it out.