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Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 Down Sleeping Bag--How Many Seasons?
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Mark Ryan
(Sixguns01)

Locale: Somewhere. Probably lost.
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 Down Sleeping Bag--How Many Seasons? on 06/21/2010 17:23:48 MDT Print View

Looking for a new sleeping bag and thinking aboout the Phantom 32. I see listings stating it is only a 2-season bag. I have used 32's before. Is there anything different about this bag that makes it a 2-Season bag?

Anyone use for 3-Seasons?

Thanks

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 Down Sleeping Bag--How Many Seasons? on 06/21/2010 17:28:05 MDT Print View

It all depends on where you hike. There are places colder than 32F at night even in the height of summer. Then, here in sunny southern Cal -- a 32F bag is plenty for three seasons. Use the bag's warmth ratings only as a rough guide to help you gauge your needs.

I've read good things about the MH Phantom 32 -- but I'll defer specifics to actual owners...

Edited by ben2world on 06/21/2010 17:30:18 MDT.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Add clothes on 06/21/2010 17:38:13 MDT Print View

The rating is personal, depending on location and how sensitive you are to cold.

You can wear clothing layers with a puffy vest to extend the temp rating well below freezing.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
We Both Have a MH Phatom 32 on 06/21/2010 18:04:50 MDT Print View

My GF and I started off with REI Clearance gear. She got the NF Cat's Meow +20 and I got the REI Nooksack UL +35.

Well after getting those we learned that she is a VERY warm sleeper and I'm a pretty average to a little bit on the cold side.

I would freeze my butt off in the Nooksack at 35 degrees wearing layers I would typically be wearing while hiking/in camp. (4am was always cold) At the time we would sleep on POE Peak Oyl pads (which by the way are one of the worst products I’ve ever owned I bought them for 25 bucks at REI and still returned them).

As for the nights, she would sleep in her Cat's Meow unzipped and stay pretty toasty at around 38 degree nights and I would be maxing out the warmth of the Nooksack. By this I mean I'm sleeping in thermals with mummy hood synched up wearing a hat. I quickly realized the Nooksack is a true 50 degree bag.

Well we both made the switch to MH Phantom 32s mostly because of weight savings but also because of comfort. Over Memorial Day Weekend we camped in the Olympic National Forest with very high humidity and overnight lows in the high 30s. I was perfectly warm in a wick away shirt boxer-briefs and a pair of hiking socks. She slept in her shorts and shirt no socks. We both used the NeoAir and had one of the best night’s sleep in the outdoors to date.

It’s a great bag and I would say the rating is pretty much on. For me I know if I were wearing a hat and a down jacket with some thermal pants I can easily take it down in to the high teens. If you’re worried about the taking it further down. Get the MH 15 for a few extra ounces you won’t ever have to worry about it.

Great bags and I love the size they compress to.

Edited by Vertigo on 06/21/2010 18:09:27 MDT.

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
Phantom on 06/21/2010 18:10:41 MDT Print View

I was just looking at the exact bag today at REI. I have a Lamina 35 from MH and love it so I figured the MH Phantom would be a good choice for a down bag. From what I saw, there isn't very much loft to the Phantom and it makes me wonder if it's even close to a 32 degree bag and now I'm having second thoughts on buying it. If I'm going to spend $305 on a bag, I would expect it to actually work down or near the temp rating.

Well according to an actual owner, it might be a 32 degree bag. Maybe I will buy it then.

Edited to mention that I shouldn't judge a book, or sleeping bag, by it's cover. :)

Edited by DirtbagLiving on 06/21/2010 18:12:55 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Phantom on 06/21/2010 18:55:43 MDT Print View

I have a two-year-old Phantom 32. As long as it is stored properly, it is about a 32-degree F bag. I had to pay $125 for it at an REI sale back then.

--B.G.--

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Re: Phantom on 06/21/2010 19:18:06 MDT Print View

Rich,

I'm not sure I'd spring the $305 for a MH. At that money you're getting REALLY close to a WM Summerlite, or a FF Merlin (within $10) The Merlin looks pretty good, with and extra 2.5oz of down over the Summerlite, for the same overall weight as the Phantom. Mmm, toasty.

And you could save $80 by going with the Montbell? If You're seriously in the market for a 30 degree bag, it's probably worth the $25 for BPL membership to get the SOTM report. It'll likely save you the cost straight up!

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Why Pay Full Price? on 06/21/2010 19:28:19 MDT Print View

We got my girlfriend's bag at the outlet WITH an additional 20% off promo.
http://www.rei.com/product/802630

So it cost $170 bucks.

Even at full price you're getting 20% back as a dividend or just wait for a sale.

Also, what you can do is buy an item and keep an eye out on it and if they have a sale I go in and get an adjustment.

I heart REI.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Why Pay Full Price? on 06/21/2010 19:31:36 MDT Print View

The ONLY time I pay full price at REI is with a big-ticket item that I am unsure about. You can almost always find the same thing cheaper (sometimes significantly) elsewhere. I view the incremental amount as "insurance preimium". Buy insurance only when you think you might need it.

And yes, I like REI too.

Edited by ben2world on 06/21/2010 19:32:14 MDT.

Grant Farago
(GreatHairyBeast) - F

Locale: Universe B
MH phantom 32 on 06/21/2010 19:32:47 MDT Print View

I was able to pick up one of these for $116 at the the Campsaver anniversary sale a few weeks back. I haven't had the opportunity to use it at all so far much less use it in near freezing temperatures. Of course that will not stop me from baseless speculation...

Visually comparing it to my Western Mountaineering Megalite (rated at 30), it definitely has noticeably less loft. I bought the MH bag for my girlfriend (a cold sleeper) and she has commented numerous times that my bag looks much warmer. A not-so-subtle hint by her but also an accurate observation.

That said, WM bags are generally thought to be conservative in rating and I'm comparing it to a slightly higher rated bag temperature-wise. My guess is that the MH Phantom bag will be rated pretty accurately. Most of the user reviews I've found online are positive and also suggest this is the case.

The bag is also pretty wide so most would have no problem wearing extra layers if needed.

It looks to me like an excellent value if you can find a good deal on one online. If you are considering paying the retail price of around $300, you are likely better off going with something like a WM Summerlite which is just slightly more. Although deals are scarce on WM bags, Moosejaw often has double reward point offers ( got about $70 worth back when I bought mine) and is eligible for 10% cashback through Bing.

Edited by GreatHairyBeast on 06/21/2010 19:48:21 MDT.

Nick Badyrka
(oldcrank) - F

Locale: Northwest
MH Phantom 32 on 06/21/2010 19:34:41 MDT Print View

I have one that I used on the JMT last year. It snowed on our first day out and we had at least two other freezing nights. I was plenty warm enough on the cold nights when I slept with my clothes on and perfect on all the other nights. We liked to sleep as high as possible. I think I am an average sleeper temp. wise I would call it a 2+ season bag. I get MH at a good discount so it is an obvious option for me.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
MH Phantom 32 on 06/21/2010 19:37:44 MDT Print View

The bag has a spot on rating verified by independent EN testing:

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Product.aspx?top=2038&prod=3971&cat=2102&viewAll=False

It is definitely a 3 season bag.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
2 Seaon... Well Not Here on 06/21/2010 19:40:45 MDT Print View

I'd say in the PNW this is a pretty straight forward 4 season bag. The only exception is if you're planning on spending a week up at Camp Muir in the winter or something... Otherwise for 95% of your camping in the PNW this will work out just fine with a down jacket combo.

Colin Matthews
(litebrite) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
my $0.02 on 06/21/2010 19:42:30 MDT Print View

I'd agree that this bag could work for a lot of people as a 3-season bag, but it depends on a lot of factors such as your sleeping mat, you, where you live, etc.
For me, in the Canadian rockies, a -9 (15 f) bag constitutes 3-seasons, not a 0 bag. If you're a bit uncomfortable, I'd recommend going with the Phanton 15 instead. One of the plus-sides of down is its ability to regulate itself and provide comfort in temperatures a big warmer than what the bag was designed for.
Cheers,

Colin

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Phantom 32 on 06/21/2010 19:49:01 MDT Print View

Hey Colin - I guess I will have to sell my Marmot Hydrogen since I might freeze.
(we have the same backyard)

; )

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
Phantom vs Montbell vs Western Mountaineering vs Feathered Friends. Call me crazy but.... on 06/21/2010 20:42:50 MDT Print View

Rod,

The reason why I was looking at the Phantom is because I have been using the MH Lamina 35 and I love it. I figured if I like my synthetic MH bag, why not get a down bag by MH. I've been looking at comparison's since you mentioned the WM and Montbell.

MH - 1 lb 7 oz, fill weight 11oz $305
Montbell UL SS 3 - 1 lb 8 oz, fill weight 11oz $299
WM Summerlite - 1 lb 5 oz, fill weight 10oz $330
FF Merlin - 1 lb 9 oz, fill weight 11.5oz $329

To me, they all seem like the same bag. Well except that MH is a "mainstream brand". I live in Denver so I could easily get to Boulder to the Montbell store to get the UL if I wanted. And I might actually go check them out. The WM and FF I would have to order which pretty much puts them out of the equation because I don't deal with online ordering when it comes to sleeping bags, shoes, and up until now packs (I'm going to give ULA a try). The MH is right here in Denver at REI. Best part about that...if I hate it, which most likely won't be the case I can just take it back.

Edited the weights of the bags.

Edited by DirtbagLiving on 06/21/2010 20:57:46 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Phantom vs Montbell vs Western Mountaineering vs Feathered Friends. Call me crazy but.... on 06/21/2010 20:51:39 MDT Print View

I doubt very seriously that the Feathered Friends Merlin is as light as that. 1.9 oz?

Also, my Phantom 32 weighs 1.44 lb.

--B.G.--

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Phantom vs Montbell vs Western Mountaineering vs Feathered Friends. Call me crazy but.... on 06/21/2010 20:55:06 MDT Print View

I'm just going off what the website says. And I typed the weight wrong for the FF. It's 1 lb 9 oz. And for the Phantom, I need a long.

Edited by DirtbagLiving on 06/21/2010 20:56:27 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Phantom vs Montbell vs Western Mountaineering vs Feathered Friends. Call me crazy but.... on 06/21/2010 20:56:34 MDT Print View

I still don't believe that a Feathered Friends Merlin is as light as that. 1.9 ounces? Really?

--B.G.--

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: Phantom vs Montbell vs Western Mountaineering vs Feathered Friends. Call me crazy but.... on 06/21/2010 20:58:42 MDT Print View

Typo. I fixed it. 1 lb 9 oz.