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PHD Minim 400 Sleeping Bag Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
PHD Minim 400 Sleeping Bag Review on 02/09/2010 14:43:05 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

PHD Minim 400 Sleeping Bag Review

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re :PHD Minim 400 Sleeping Bag Review on 02/09/2010 15:05:00 MST Print View

Nice review. Just a couple of details. When comparing down fill, European manufacturers usually use the Lorch test, which gives a reading approx 4% less than the US system. So a fill power of 800 from PHD equates to a fill power of 832 using the US system.
Also, the VAT charge that US customers can deduct is 15%, not $15, so that would be a saving of $57.30 on the $382 purchase price.

Pieter Kaufman
(Pieter) - F
Re: Re :PHD Minim 400 Sleeping Bag Review on 02/09/2010 16:29:09 MST Print View

Mike, VAT in the UK is currently 17.5%, and that's in line with my memory of VAT refunds I got on items purchased in the UK over the years. If I'm correct, then that brings the cost down slightly more for US buyers.

To anyone in the US purchasing goods overseas, it's useful to check on tax refund policies. With certain rules or restrictions, it's available in a number of countries around the world on items for export.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: PHD Minim 400 Sleeping Bag Review on 02/09/2010 16:29:22 MST Print View

The part that is most impressive of about the bag is the percentage of the total weight that is insulation - 400 of the 680 grams - 58.8 percent. I don't know if this is a common stat, but my gut says that 50 percent is a good benchmark to shoot for.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re :PHD Minim 400 Sleeping Bag Review on 02/09/2010 16:36:09 MST Print View

You're correct Pieter. I forgot they just raised it again. (It was reduced to 15% for a year to help the economy :)

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
VAT on 02/09/2010 17:10:14 MST Print View

Those VAT numbers are corrected. Thanks guys!

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
VAT computation on 02/09/2010 19:45:10 MST Print View

BTW, I believe that the cost after VAT reduction is computed most easily by dividing the VAT-included price by 1.175. That is, the amount saved, the VAT, is 17.5% of the price before VAT is added. (Which is different from taking 17.5% of the English, VAT-included price.) PHD does that automatically for you on their website as you check out, though first you need to register so that the checkout program knows you're from the US.

John Davis
(Bukidnon) - F
PHD Minim 400 Sleeping Bag Review on 02/10/2010 10:21:59 MST Print View

Can I just add that I find zipless bags more comfortable than zipped. If it's really hot, I put the bag across my torso, leaving my legs uninsulated. But mostly, it's just nicer to have no stiff areas in a bag. The drape is closer and there is nothing to end up lying on.

Since going zipless, I have acquired an insulated jacket to supplement the bag. This system is more versatile than buying a zipped bag rated for low temperatures and having no jacket.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Down on 02/10/2010 18:37:54 MST Print View

Something seems a bit strange to me. It seems surprising that having 400g (14.1 oz) of 800fp down only results in a single layer loft of 2.6". How is it that the GoLite Adrenaline bag manages to accomplish virtually the same loft (2.5") with significantly less down (10.1oz)? Except for the Feathered Friends bag, all the other bags being compared to the Minim 400 have significantly higher loft:down ratios. The North Face Beeline and Marmot Hydrogen are two other examples of bags that accomplish similar loft with significantly less down.

It kinda makes me wonder if the down is really 800 fp. If the down was lower grade (ie. 700fp) that would explain a lot. It would explain how 58% of the bags weight is in the down and it would explain why over 14oz of down only results in 2.6" of single layer loft. Then again, I could be totally on the wrong track and the real explanation could lie in something else like the cut of the bag.

Edited by dandydan on 02/10/2010 18:40:53 MST.

Ruan Kendall
(Ruan) - MLife

Locale: UK
Re: Down on 02/11/2010 04:49:01 MST Print View

I'd be very surprised if PHD were supplying a lower grade of down whilst advertising (and charging for!) a higher grade. They've got an excellent reputation, and go into detail about their down testing methodology on their website (

I'd be more suspicious of the average loft measurements for the various bags, myself. Its a very tricky number to pin down reliably.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

FP on 02/11/2010 18:20:10 MST Print View

You're right that the fill power is not the most likely explanation. The difficulty in measuring loft, baffle design, or the cut of the bag all seem like more plausible explanations.

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Responses to Minim 400 Comments on 02/17/2010 08:18:39 MST Print View

Hi all. Some of you commented that the bag's loft was less than expected. That is probably due to the bag's girth; note that this is a wider bag (Size Standard: Shoulder/hip/foot: 67/58/39 in (170/148/98 cm), probably to facilitate sliding in and out.

Also, thanks for straightening out the VAT issue; that's something we're not familiar with.

Happy hiking,