MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review

MontBell’s body-hugging stretch technology is lightweight and adds warmth, yet the bag extends to accommodate a wide range of sizes, shapes, and sleeping positions.

Recommended

Overall Rating: Recommended

The MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 is a solid contender in a rather crowded field of ultralight 30 F (-1 C) sleeping bags. It stands out for its variable girth feature, superb shell fabric, nearly snagless zipper, easy to operate hood closure, and low weight. I could not find any flaws, but a bump up in down quality to 850+ fill-power would add an extra measure of warmth to its list of outstanding qualities.

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by Will Rietveld |

Introduction

MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review - 1
The MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 weighs 21 ounces (595 g) for size Regular and has more stretch than the UL Spiral Down Hugger #3.

Introduced in 2009, MontBell’s Spiral technology is an alternative way to create a stretchy sleeping bag and save some weight to boot. The Spiral technology is best described in their own words: “By integrating a woven fabric ‘cut on the bias’ and orienting the fabric’s warp and weft threads at 45 degrees to major seam lines, the sleeping bag becomes more fluid or elastic in nature. Additionally, ‘spring like’ crimped fibers are used in the weave of the fabric to capitalize on their inherent stretch properties.” Rather than the traditional horizontal or vertical orientation of the down tubes, they are oriented on a 45 degree angle and appear to spiral around the sleeping bag.

For 2010, MontBell has extended their Spiral Stretch technology to their entire line of sleeping bags. Thus the former “UL Super Stretch Down Hugger #3” is now the “UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3.” That’s a mouthful, but it is descriptive. Whereas the previously reviewed MontBell UL Spiral Down Hugger #3 uses only the Spiral Stretch technology, the MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 (reviewed here) is a combination of the new Spiral Stretch technology plus the original Super Stretch technology (elastic stitching in the seams to create small "gathers" in the quilting), which allows the bag to contract and expand even more. So what are the differences between these two bags, and are these differences meaningful for backpacking?

Description

The Spiral Down Hugger and Super Spiral Down Hugger share MontBell’s new 12 denier Ballistic Airlight sleeping bag fabric. Switching from 15 to 12 denier fabric plus spiral construction reduces the weight of a sleeping bag by about 2 ounces (57 g). In the Super Spiral series, that weight is added back due to the elastic stitching and slightly different bag lengths.

The common features of Spiral Down Hugger #3 and Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 are: 10 ounces (283 g) of 800 fill power down, 30 F (-1 C) temperature rating, spiral construction, 12 denier Ballistic Airlight nylon shell with Polkatex DWR, sculptured hood, and YKK #5 CN auto-locking zipper. The Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 no longer has a footbox drawcord to snug the bag around the feet, or shorten the bag.

The following table summarizes the differences between the two bags for size Regular.

  UL Spiral Down Hugger #3 UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3
Weight 19 oz (539 g) 21 oz (595 g)
Zipper Length 59 in (150 cm) 67 in (170 cm)
Shoulder Girth Range 57-68 in (145-173 cm) 53-75 in (135-191 cm)
Bag Lengths Regular fits to 5 feet 10 inches (178 cm), Long fits to 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm) Regular fits to 6 feet (183 cm), Long fits to 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm)
Cost US$249 US$279

MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review - 2
MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3.

MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review - 4
The purpose of MontBell’s stretch system is to gently draw the bag around the sleeper, which increases warmth by eliminating excess volume inside the bag. The left photo shows the bag’s shell relaxed, and the right photo shows the same area extended. The stretch system allows the bag to accommodate people of different sizes and shapes and provide freedom of movement.

I have always been impressed with MontBell’s Ballistic Airlight nylon shell fabrics and Polkatex DWR finish, but the new 12 denier shell on the Spiral Down Hugger is truly remarkable. It’s the softest sleeping bag fabric I have seen, and it sheds water like a duck’s back.

MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review - 3
The Super Spiral Down Hugger’s hood (left) covers the face very well and draws easily via a simple braided cord and cordlock. On the inside, the bag has a thinly insulated flap that covers the zipper (right), rather than a puffy down-filled draft tube. The zipper has inside and outside pulls, and there is a Velcro tab at the top of the zipper to secure it.

Performance

MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review - 5
I tested the Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 on seven backpacking trips, with nighttime temperatures ranging from 25 to 52 F (-4 to 11 C) in various shelters, like the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo 1 shown.

MontBell has revised bag sizing in the Super Spiral series to conform with most other manufacturers; size Regular now fits to 6 feet (183c m) and size Long fits to 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm). I tested a size Regular and found it perfect for my 6-foot/170-pound (183 cm/77 kg) frame. There is all the room you could ever want inside to wear extra clothing to extend the bag’s warmth.

The Super Spiral Down Hugger (and the Spiral Down Hugger) has a simple and lightweight zipper track (see photo above) that works. I experienced very few instances of zipper snagging in my testing. Rather than a puffy down filled draft tube along the zipper, MontBell uses a thinly insulated flap, much like the storm flap on a jacket. Although I did not feel any drafts or cold spots along the zipper, it quite likely does not insulate as well a down-filled draft tube.

I measured the bag’s average double-layer loft at 4.4 inches (11.2 cm), which gives a single-layer loft of 2.2 inches (5.6 cm). From our table of estimated temperature ratings based on measured loft (read our Backpacking Light Position Statement on Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings), 2.2 inches (5.6 cm) of single-layer loft translates to about a 20 F (-7 C) rating, so the Spiral Down Hugger #3 appears to be conservatively rated (please take the time to read the referenced article and note that sleeping bag warmth depends on a number of factors).

The Spiral Down Hugger #3, is not the loftiest bag around with a 30-32 F (-1 to 0 C) temperature rating (see comparison table below). I found its warmth to be “average.” In my field testing, my methodology was to wear my basic sleepwear (dry wool socks plus microfleece top, bottom, and cap) inside the bag initially, then add insulated clothing later in the night if I got cold, noting the time and temperature when I got chilly. On nights when the temperature dropped down to freezing just before sunrise, I started getting chilly around 4:00 a.m. when the temperature was around 35 F (2 C). After donning my insulated clothing (or better yet putting it on the evening before), I was able to stay warm in the Spiral Down Hugger down to 25 F (-4 C).

MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review - 6
I tested the bag’s water repellency by placing a puddle of water on the bag and checking for leakage after an hour. Not a drop soaked through, and after removing the water, there was no evidence of a puddle being there. This was verified in my field tests, where the bag did not absorb any water when I brushed against wet tent walls, and contacted a wet tent floor in another case.

MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review - 7
The stuff sack provided is tapered and has two drawcords to stuff the bag down to bread loaf size. It’s simply too tight. In my opinion, the two drawcord design is overkill, extra weight, and overstuffing may damage the down over time. I prefer a stuff sack that does not overstuff a down bag, although it takes up a little more room in my pack.

Comparisons

The following table compares the MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 with some popular 30-32 F (-1 to 0 C) rated ultralight mummy style down sleeping bags. All of the bags have baffled construction, and the data are manufacturer specifications for a size Regular bag.

Manufacturer Model Temperature Rating F ( C) Single Layer Loft in (cm) Weight of Down oz (g) Fill Power Total Weight oz (g) Cost US$
MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 30 (-1) 2.2 (5.6) 10 (283) 800 21 (595) 279
MontBell UL Spiral Down Hugger #3 30 (-1) 1.9 (4.8) 10 (283) 800 19 (539) 249
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 32 (0) 2.0 (5.1) 10 (283) 800 22 (624) 290
Western Mountaineering SummerLite 32 (0) 2.0 (5.1) 10 (283) 850+ 19 (539) 315
Marmot Hydrogen 30 (-1) 2.5 (6.4) 10 (283) 850+ 25 (709) 319
The North Face Beeline 30 (-1) 2.4 (6.1) 10 (283) 850+ 22 (624) 279
Sierra Designs Nitro 30 30 (-1) 3.0 (7.6) 12 (340) 800 26 (737) 289

By the numbers, the MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger compares favorably with other bags in terms of down quality, fill weight, loft, weight, and cost.

Assessment

I really like the Super Spiral Down Hugger’s soft lightweight shell fabric, fit/roominess, non-snagging zipper, hood, and low weight. It’s an excellent choice for an ultralight 30 F (-1 C) rated sleeping bag. It is not quite as warm as the Marmot Hydrogen and Sierra Designs Nitro 30, but it is not as heavy either. I have not personally tested the Western Mountaineering SummerLite, so I can’t comment on how well it compares in warmth.

The MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 stands out for its variable girth feature, superb shell fabric, nearly snagless zipper, easy to operate hood closure, and exceptionally light weight. This bag “hugs” your body as claimed, yet it easily expands as needed to accommodate different size people, varying amounts of clothing worn inside the bag, and different sleeping positions. Although the bag’s warmth is only average among its peers, that is not a particular problem for me since I typically wear my camp clothes (wool socks, insulated jacket and pants, fleece cap) in my sleeping bag anyway. The colder it gets, the more clothing I put on, so I typically have no problem staying warm down in a 30 F (-1 C) rated sleeping bag down into the mid 20s F (-7 to -1 C).

How does the Super Spiral compare with the Spiral Down Hugger? It provides a wider range of shoulder and hip stretch and has a longer zipper. The sizing for sizes Regular and Long are slightly different. Since I am a slender person, I would personally opt for the Spiral Down Hugger and save US$30 and 2 ounces (57 g). However, the Super Spiral Down Hugger would be a better choice for a larger person.

Specifications and Features

Manufacturer MontBell (www.montbell.us/)
Year/Model 2010 UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3
Style Hooded mummy bag with full-length zipper
What’s Included Sleeping bag, stuff sack, cotton storage bag
Fill 800 fill-power down
10 oz (283 g) size Regular
11 oz (312 g) size Long
Construction Multi-Tube Construction with Flow Gate technology, 5.5 in (14 cm) baffles
Measured Loft 4.4 in (11.2 cm) average double-layer loft
Manufacturer Specification: “about 4 inches (10 cm)”
Manufacturer Claimed Temperature Rating 30 F (-1 C)
Stuffed Size 5.5 x 11 in (14 x 28 cm)
Weight Size Regular tested
Measured Weight: 1 lb 5.1 oz (598 g)
Manufacturer Specification: 1 lb 5 oz (595 g)
Sizes Regular fits to 6 ft (183 cm)
Long fits to 6 ft 6 in (198 cm)
Fabrics Shell and lining are 12d Ballistic Airlight nylon 0.86 oz/yd2 (29 g/m2) with Polkatex DWR. Fibers are solid core.
Features Spiral stretch system, three-quarter-length two-way auto-locking zipper with inside and outside pulls, draft flap on inside of zipper, Velcro tab at top of zipper, sculptured hood, braided drawcord and cordlock closure on hood, tapered stuff sack with two drawcords, heat transfer logos
MSRP Regular US$279
Long US$299

Disclosure: The manufacturer provided this product to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge, and it is owned by the author/BPL. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to review this product to the manufacturer under the terms of this agreement.


Citation

"MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review," by Will Rietveld. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/montbell_ul_super_spiral_down_hugger_3_bag_review.html, 2010-11-30 00:00:00-07.

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Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review


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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review on 11/30/2010 13:53:37 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review on 11/30/2010 14:17:00 MST Print View

Yet another great review! A friend of mine sure loves his.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
20F on 12/01/2010 02:44:20 MST Print View

that would be absolutely wonderful ... but 20F ????

note that the valandre mirage ha 2.6 in of measured loft by BPL .... which according to the chart would give 10F ... yet we know that the mirage is en-lower limit comfort rated to -1C or 30F ...

id love to know if anyone has taken this MB to 20F without resorting to additional insulating jackets ... and be comfortable ...

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/01/2010 03:09:15 MST.

David Booth
(davidbooth) - M

Locale: Australia
MontBell UL SS D Hugger #3 S. Bag Review on 12/01/2010 03:24:19 MST Print View

Great review Will, however I must take you to task. When will BPL admit the optimistic ratings of Sleeping bags in the US market? You say Montbell rate their bags "conservatively" at -1 C compared with the BPL loft estimate rating of -7C for 2.2 inches loft. You then say you needed extra clothing at below
+ 2 degrees. Not to mention you were already wearing a micro fleece etc. That is a whopping 9 degrees C difference to the BPL rating. So the Montbell rating is not conservative compared to real life, it is in fact optimistic by at least 3 degrees C.
If I buy a 30 degree bag I dont expect to wear extra clothing to achieve that rating. The testing done for the european EN standard does not assume extra clothing and quotes a range of temperatures. It seems Marmot now adheres to this standard. I think all your reviews should state the EN standard for each bag and criticise manufacturers who dont provide this rating. This is the only way the consumer will ever get a true comparison.
We dont want to know what extreme lower survival temperature clothed with your down jacket and booties. We want to find out which bag reaches its rated temperature honestly.
I have reached the stage where I do not believe the US sleeping bag ratings except those who are willing to measure the bags against the EN standard.

Also how can a bag 10oz of 800 down have the same rating as one with 10oz of 850plus down? I think the answer is that some manufacturers have real (or truly conservative) ratings and others are merely unmeasured claims.

The Montbell bag would probably rate only average (as you said) in this group of sleeping bags when rated under the EN system. However it may well also be an above average sleeping bag in terms of value for money and for comfort. Thanks again Will.

David Lisak
(davelisak)

Locale: Grand Canyon hiker
Montbell Spiral bag rating on 12/01/2010 05:38:57 MST Print View

I've used the MB Spiral (long) on several spring and late fall trips into the Grand Canyon, with night time temps dropping no further than the low 40's. I am a midrange sleeper in terms of warmth. Used to be a warm sleeper, am less so as I age.
I've found that once the temp gets down to mid-40s I start thinking about adding layers when using the MB bag. By the low 40s I have added my MB down liner jacket. That makes me a trifle too warm, but I would otherwise be too cold.
I personally don't mind this. I always carry the liner jacket, so it doesn't cost me to have to wear it. However, I have to agree that the 30 degree rating of this bag is very optimistic. I too assume that if a bag is rated at 30 degrees, that means that one can sleep comfortably at that temp without adding extra layers of down.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: MontBell UL SS D Hugger #3 S. Bag Review on 12/01/2010 07:37:23 MST Print View

I'm not an EN standard buff, but in response to David's post:

>The testing done for the european EN standard does not assume extra clothing and quotes a range of temperatures.

This quote is taken from Marmot's website regarding the testing standards:

"For the EN test, a copper mannequin named Charlie is fitted with 20 sensors and a clothing layer (top, bottom, and socks) that provide a consistent thermal value."

>You say Montbell rate their bags "conservatively" at -1 C compared with the BPL loft estimate rating of -7C for 2.2 inches loft.

Keyword: "estimate." Simply measuring loft is not always conclusive, especially when you're dealing with construction techniques that you see in the Montbellbags which differ from standard sleeping bags.


>Also how can a bag 10oz of 800 down have the same rating as one with 10oz of 850plus down?

Yes, this seems odd. However, I again believe it has to do with the stretch system.

Even the EN standards won't be "spot on" for some people. Those tests yield the current best way to consistently measure a bag's warmth, but due to the incredible variation between individuals and the weather conditions they encounter, it's simply impossible to test a bag in a lab and say with 100% certainty it will be warm enough for everyone in any condition down to its rated degree.

I've experienced being cold on one night and warm on another in the same sleeping bag, and in almost identical conditions.

Edited by T.L. on 12/01/2010 07:41:29 MST.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
800 fp? on 12/01/2010 08:31:22 MST Print View

If Montbell is using the EN_13537 standard then they are also likely using European measurments for fill power. This means that 800 is about the same as 850+ in US terms.

The EN ratings are normally done with some sort of clothing on.

Quoted from http://www.prima-outdoor.com/european-standard/
"Temperature model (dummy)
Temperature model in sleeping bag must occupy such inner volume in sleeping bag that is typical for adult lying on back. Dummy must be 1.5 to 2 m high and its surface must be 1.5 to 2 m2.

During the test, dummy is dressed in two-piece clothing with specific thermal insulation of material Rct = 0.049 m2K/W ± 10 % and in socks getting to knees with specific thermal insulation of material Rct = 0.054 m2K/W ± 10 %. Face of dummy is covered with face-mask.

Let’s assume that tested subject can perfectly take advantage of sleeping bag by adjusting its position and minimizing thermal loss, that he knows limiting factors of sleeping bag against that he can protect himself. "
end quote

So, it can be argued that the numbers are optomistic, since this is a fairly good base/sleeping layer.

I also stumbled across this. Makes for interesting reading...
http://www.snowfox.ru/images/stories/sleep%2520well_pt1_e.pdf
jdm

Elliott Hollander
(elliotth27) - M

Locale: Georgia
Re: 20F on 12/01/2010 08:55:12 MST Print View

In response to eric's question, I own this bag and have used it in temps down to 21F. I definitely needed extra insulating clothing inside the bag at that temperature to stay warm (down pants, down socks, patagonia nano top). With this setup I was a touch too warm at 21F, and slightly adjusting the zipper/draw cord helped. That said, I have also been way too hot (sweating!) wearing insulating clothing in this bag at 30F. Overall I love the bag for it's lower wieght and soft material.

Edit: NOTE: I have the Spiral Down Hugger #3, not the SUPER Spiral version - though as Will points out the only difference is zipper length and girth.

Edited by elliotth27 on 12/01/2010 08:57:04 MST.

Douglas Ray
(dirtbagclimber)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Difference in Loft? on 12/01/2010 10:19:11 MST Print View

I am intrigued by the difference in loft between this bag and the Spiral stretch bag. Does anyone want to speculate as to how this bag with the same amount of down has 2.2in of loft vs. 1.9 for the lighter bag?

I think the length difference could be a deciding factor for some. I am 5'11'' and would be not quite ideal for the lighter bag unless I went to the long size. The "super spiral stretch" in regular is the same weight as the "spiral stretch" in long, so it might be a better choice for some people.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 on 12/01/2010 12:44:36 MST Print View

Great review! Back in the '70s, when I first got into backpacking, I bought a Sierra Designs Cirrus sleeping bag. I have always found it to be very restrictive but that was the way all the mummy bags were. I'm a side sleeper and I move around when I sleep, so I never got a good night's sleep in my SD bag. When MontBell came out with their super stretch bags, I was so relieved! At last, I will be able to get a comfortable sleeping bag that will enable me to get a good night's sleep!

As soon as I've finished saving up the money, I will be getting one of these bags.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Lofting and difference in down on 12/01/2010 13:12:33 MST Print View

There are small differences in down feathers. For example, Eider is considered best and rates a full 900, BUT it only lofts to 800. It is just a better insulator than goose down. Down feathers among species will vary. Average age of the bird. Average weight, amount of fat in the diet, average years temperature, etc. These all effect the down for that year. Usually not that much, but, if you are looking at 700-750 fill down (EN measurements,) you can notice it. This is about 80 points or so. Soo, if one large batch is labled at 750, it can actually be between 670 and 800 (the max by european measurements.) Fill and loft make up the largest part of a bags warmth, but there are other things going on.

For example(not the only one): Oils in the feathers can vary, causing an ounce of 750 fill to be warmer than an ounce of 800 outside of a lab. The 800 cluster looses too much because it is too fragile to suport itself with humid air. An oilier cluster in the 750 does not degrade in the same humidity. (Just one example, the next batch may be different.) Soo, depending on where you hike, you might be better off with a so-called lower fill number. The smart camper knows the difference.

There are simply too many variables to say anything about two individual bags that differ by .3" of loft. Well within expected variability simply due to storage differences. Maybe one bag was under the other, as an example.

BTW, I have an older UL Super Stretch Down Hugger 0. I find that the length is very generous for me at 5'9". Warmth is good to 10F (the coldest I have had it out to.)It is rated to 6'.

But, I believe the author should check with MontBell before saying an "850+" fill upgrade would be good. It may not be possible if they are using the Euro system, as I think they are. It will just encourage them to start playing games with advertising numbers again. Other than that, a really good review.

F. Thomas Matica
(ftm1776) - F

Locale: Vancouver, WA
MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 on 12/02/2010 14:09:50 MST Print View

Down bags are know for their longevity if properly cared for.
I'm wondering about the elastic/stretchy cords or material in this and other bags of this type. This "bungy" element would seem to have a limited life, maybe also limiting the life of the bag. Could it dry(or otherwise)rot and then not perform sooner than the down or fabric? Is that an issue even if it does??? I don't know. Comments?????

Edited by ftm1776 on 12/03/2010 20:38:09 MST.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 on 12/03/2010 02:27:16 MST Print View

Thomas
Good Question. I have the same concerns. With my main concern being the internal friction between the threads and the shell fabric opening seam holes, leaking water & down.

I believe it will take longer than the 4 years I have had one to find out...everything seems solid as of this morning...I just checked...

Kathy
Yeah, me too. This bag easily does it for my bad disks and constant tossing and turning.Plenty of room. BTW-You can slip a 60"-70" sleeping pad inside, giving you some extra room. Check out the widths:
From the Montbell site:
Inside Shoulder Girth: 53”~75”
Inside Knee Girth: 44”~62”
I won't say what it does to lofting at max width, though. But a standard 20" leaves *some* room.

LOTS of ROOM...

Edited by jamesdmarco on 12/03/2010 03:46:22 MST.

folec r
(folecr) - M
noisy fabric? on 12/03/2010 14:19:56 MST Print View

I've used mine for spring/summer trips and have been comfortable in it down to the mid 30's. I used the Big Agnes insulated air mat which might be why the temperature rating worked for me.

The fabric of my bag makes this horrendous crinkling noise! When I'm inside the bag and move around, it almost feels like I'm inside a bag of potato chips. The noise was loud enough that I actually woke up a couple times just because of it.

Perhaps this is to do with the fact that I used it on the Big Agnes mat? Maybe others are using it with softer faced mats like the Z-Lite? I don't know.

Great bag for spring/summer weather. Except for that noise.

Edited by folecr on 12/03/2010 14:24:10 MST.

F. Thomas Matica
(ftm1776) - F

Locale: Vancouver, WA
MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review on 12/03/2010 20:39:49 MST Print View

Addendum: I wonder if these bags do, indeed, have some form of elastic or does the stretch come from just the angled bias of the fabric????? Does anyone know???? If so, then the issue of drying or rotting stretch elements would not be. Comments, if any????

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Elastic on 12/04/2010 19:44:08 MST Print View

According to one review, maybe it was on the MontBell web site(?), yes.

I believe it is elasic monofiliment, not rubber. (My wife has had it in her beading supplies for a bit more than ten years. The neclace she made is still in good shape.) But, I am a little reluctant to take mine apart to confirm this.
jdm

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: MontBell Ultra Light Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Sleeping Bag Review on 12/06/2010 15:50:56 MST Print View

Hi Thomas! About ten years age I acquired the original UL SS Down Hugger #5. It's stuffed with 725 fill power gray goose down, weighs 1 lb 2 oz, and MB lists a usable temperture rating of 35.5 to 52F. All four seasons have seen this bag in use, albeit in winter I have to add insulating layers, including a z-rest on top of my neoair pad, which allowed me to be comfortable to about 27F. The main reason it's so versatile is that this particular bag has no zipper! This innovative feature allows the elastic to snug-up all artound one's body with no heat loss due to convection through a zipper. It's just too bad that MB dropped this feature IMHO.

Anyway, to answer your question, after all these years and nights out in all sorts of weather, the elastic has not shown one iota of degradation. In fact, it will probably outlast me!

John Devitt
(cabana) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Elastic on 12/21/2010 13:59:20 MST Print View

I was worried about about the long term relilability of the elastic. I own a 1 generation #2 UL SS with 725fp. The elastic still works great. As far as the temp rating, I found it to be off. I am a cold sleeper and have the same results in my WM bags. I just account for this buy using a bag that will keep warm in the temp range I need it for. I had the box baffles removed and more 800 fp added to the bag. I now I a really comfortable bag with continous baffles and 7' double layer loft that weighs 2lb 7oz. This works for me, and the unexpected weather the mountains can throw at me. Thanks for the great review!

Regards,
John

Ginger Allman
(gindavall) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Great for larger people on 03/29/2011 19:18:41 MDT Print View

I have the Super Spiral Down Hugger #0 and I love it beyond measure. I am a large woman with bust and hip measurements of 48". I'm 5'7" tall. A regular mummy bag was far too restrictive and became stretched tight over my hips if I laid on my side. Most bags literally were like a mummy wrapping on me!

But this bag has incredible stretch. I never feel restricted and I can even sit up cross legged while zipped up cozily in my bag. I sit up in my bag to drink my coffee. Recently I spent a rainy cold day in the tent, propped up in my thermarest chair, cozy warm in my bag.

You'd think this means there is extra air space in the bag. Quite the contrary. The soft fabric falls gently around your body, closing up any air gaps and making a soft warm cocoon.

I can't speak for the temp ratings on either bag, as I've not even come close to 0 degrees with mine. But I can speak about the sizing. An if you're plus sized, then Montbell's Super Spiral series is one of the few options out there for you. This bag truly gives the stretch and room that large people need.

I like it so much, in fact that I am looking to get another one (either the #3 or #5) as a spring/fall/cold summer nights bag. Anyone have any input on either of those?

Edited by gindavall on 03/29/2011 19:21:57 MDT.

Eric Osburn
(osb40000) - MLife
Long term durability on 03/20/2014 09:59:00 MDT Print View

Any more long term comments on the durability of the stretch material?

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Backpacking-Sleeping-Bag-Reviews/Montbell-Ultralight-Super-Spiral-Down-Hugger-1

Outdoor gear lab mentioned that their bag started puking down after a season of heavy use. Has anyone else had similar issues?