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Mont-bell UL SS #3
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Sean Monahan
(Zvolen) - F

Locale: CA Central Valley
Mont-bell UL SS #3 on 08/03/2013 19:11:46 MDT Print View

I am looking for a new sleeping bag in the 30 degree range and wanted some opinions on the Mont-Bell UL SS, I like the fact that it can stretch and has room considering I am a pretty restless sleeper. Anyone have comments or first hand experience that can chime in?

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
#3 on 08/03/2013 20:13:25 MDT Print View

I have one. I have used it a couple times. Its mostly for my son to use.
No complaints. I have not used it when pushed to its limits. My son has, but was in a 2P tent that added a few degrees, but had no complaint.

It did seem to take on an "odor" more rapidly that my WM bag. It currently needs a wash, its been used about 20-25 nights, some of them warm enough to be a bit sweaty.

It was what made me notice that the 800 fill doesnt appear to lose loft as easily with humidity as 900 does.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Mont-bell UL SS #3 on 08/03/2013 20:21:53 MDT Print View

"Mont-Bell UL SS"


SuperStretch

or

SuperSpiral



SuperStretch preceded SuperSpiral and was only made for a couple of years.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Re: Mont-bell UL SS #3 on 08/03/2013 20:43:50 MDT Print View

The naming on the bags is pretty confusing. I have an U. L. Super Spiral Down Hugger #3. This means it has high grade down (U. L. = 800) spiral cut as well as the stretchy thread. I think it works great. A spiral cut makes a lot of sense. The stretchy thread works really well, and sets it apart from other great bags (FF, Marmot, WM, etc.).

Rodney Mruk
(rodney_mruk) - M

Locale: Northeast Oregon
Montbell Sprial Down #3 on 08/03/2013 20:49:50 MDT Print View

I have the Montbell Sprial Down #3 which is very similar to the Super Spiral. I love it. It is main bag. Being a big guy, I especially like the stretching ability. It also stays close to the body thereby eliminating air pockets. The nylon material is excellent in its water repelling.

One caveat, if you look closely at the specs, the #3 is rated a 40 degree bag with 30 degree as the limit. I have used it below 30 degrees and been comfortable. But I learned the hard way what clothing I need to wear.

I have used mine at least 100 nights with no loss of down, smell or wear. Well, my hiking partner, my yellow lab named Hunter, tore a hole in it using it as a play toy. He heard about my feelings and has never done that again! I still love him though.

Good luck in your choice,
Rodney

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F
Mont-bell UL SS #3 on 08/03/2013 22:02:03 MDT Print View

I have owned several of their bags and all have been good to go at the advertised rating for me.

I had a #5 that had no zipper baffle so a cold spot down the side which drove me nuts.
The #3 has an insulated zipper baffle.

The best one of the bunch IMO, which is not made any more, was the #2 SS UL.
It was rated to 25dF and a good bit lighter than the #1 but had a neck baffle and it was warmer than the #3 and a lot of it due to the neck baffle.

Good bags though and very comfortable.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Mont-bell UL SS #3 on 08/04/2013 15:56:26 MDT Print View

I purchased one a month or so ago. I love mine and plan on buying one for every family member. I haven't used it below 40* yet. I'm 6'3" with broad shoulders and fit comfortably in this sleeping bag.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
runs a bit chilly in the mountains on 08/04/2013 18:43:00 MDT Print View

I used to use one, found it to be a bit chilly in the mountains, usually I had to wear my down jacket at night, and once in a while my down pants. I've switched to an EE Rev X 30 degree quilt with overstuff, and have been much warmer. The dimensions of the bag were comfortable, especially since I am a stomach sleeper who tends to have 1 leg bent out to the side, or to be a restless sleeper squirming around.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: runs a bit chilly in the mountains on 08/04/2013 19:36:57 MDT Print View

keep in mind 2 things

- the old ones were not EN rated ... once the en-rated them they added a bit more fill
- women generally need a 10F or so "warmer" bag than men ... assuming you are going off the mens rating "lower limit"

;)

Sean Monahan
(Zvolen) - F

Locale: CA Central Valley
Mont-bell UL SS #3 on 08/05/2013 12:45:41 MDT Print View

Thanks for all of the responses guy, I am not too worried about the temp rating I am usually a warm sleeper and won't be using it much into the shoulder season however when I do I will take the appropriate clothing and I am happy doing that.

I have thought about getting a quilt, just not sure I can make that jump yet.

Now to hopefully find a deal on the bag.

robert mckay
(rahstin) - F

Locale: The Great Land
Cold on 08/08/2013 00:43:03 MDT Print View

6'2"
Broad shoulders
Comfy and all, but certainly not a 30 degree bag.
I needed a lot of clothes to make it work around 40 degrees. I am a cold, restless side sleeper, and a quilt convert. Take the leap. Its way worth it :)

Robert Atwood
(Courtright) - F

Locale: Sierras
Mont-Bell Bags on 08/08/2013 13:19:33 MDT Print View

I have the UL Super Spiral #3 and the #5. I've found both to be fairly accurate as far as temps go and my wife has been happy as well and she's a cold sleeper. They're also extremely comfortable for big guys like me who toss and turn a lot.

Sean Monahan
(Zvolen) - F

Locale: CA Central Valley
Mont-bell UL SS #3 on 08/08/2013 14:30:50 MDT Print View

Okay, Im sold. I am not too worried about temp ratings as I won't be crazy weather. This will be a 3 season bag for the Sierra, I am more worried about comfort and it sounds as if its exactly what I imagined. Thanks -- still looking for a deal if anyone knows of any

Ryan P. Murphy
(rmurphy) - M

Locale: Colorado
ul spiral down #3 and washing on 08/08/2013 18:17:42 MDT Print View

I have the UL sprial down #3 from a few years ago (bought in January 2010). Has the same spiral baffles as the super spiral but without the elastication (some stretch from the bias cut and spiral baffles but less than the super spiral). I have well over 300 nights in the #3 plus I have probably 200 nights in a SS -20 expedition bag. I actually prefer the little bit of stretch from the spiral down over the extra crazy stretch from the super spiral. My older #3 does not have a zipper draft tube, simply an uninsulated fabric draft blocker. I find it comfortable down to about 35-40* with thin long sleeve layers. I think the Montbell bags are probably the best value on the market for quality down bags.

One issue I've had, and I wonder if anyone else has had, was with washing the bag with the spiral baffles. I have washed down sleeping bags and jackets around two dozen times without any issues. When I washed the spiral down bag I found the down clumped up MUCH more from the spiral baffles. The ends of the spiral baffles form acute angles which create nice tight little pockets for the down to clump into. When drying the bag I did the usual fluffing and I was never fully able to break up all the clumps because they had been so compressed and twisted around each other in the tight angle of the baffle ends. It was so bad that a few weeks after I washed it I sent it out to Montbell for an unrelated baffle seam repair and they recommended I wash it, obviously thinking the clumping was from body oils. I have never had this problem with any other down bag with more conventional 90* baffle ends. It was enough of an issue that I will not wash the expedition bag myself and will pay to have it professionally cleaned. Has anyone else experienced this issue? I still love the bag and use it regularly but it is a little less warm due to the clumping.

Brian Reyman
(breyman) - M

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Love My Montbell ULSS #1 on 08/08/2013 20:56:43 MDT Print View

I haven't had the washing issues you've seen, although I tend to hand-wash my sleeping bags.

Another general #1 to the Montbell bags. High quality and a ridiculous amount of room. I recently purchased a WM Alpinlite and compared it directly to my UL SS#1 just to see if I wanted to switch. While I would give a slight edge in quality to WM (I prefer their fabric and zipper) but the room in the Montbell just can't be beat. Stretches when you need it and pulls in when you don't. I often use quilts, but when I switch to bags for various reasons, it's ALWAYS a Montbell bag.

Get one. You'll never regret it.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Re: ul spiral down #3 and washing on 08/09/2013 07:14:53 MDT Print View

Ryan I have washed a montbell bag to find tubes that seem less full when finished. If I recall correctly MB has what's called flow gate construction. I personally think it has something to do with this. I think there is a baffle between the top and bottom tubes at the side opposite the zipper that somehow limits flow from top to bottom. In some tubes it seems like the down gets stuck here its also like the down migrates from the top to the bottom or vise versa like you can shake most open tube bags to get the down distributed but it won't come back and you get a less filled tube. I have a love / hate relationship with montbell and their bags. MB's customer service is excellent for some and absolutely sucks for others. My warranty experience with them was horrible I got my way but what a battle. After trying a different brand I bought another UL spiral 3 one of the new en rated bags they now have a much improved draft tube more down and so far pretty evenly distibuted. We will see how it goes.