Mountain Hardwear Laminina Z Flame
|Weight||3 lb 7 oz||3 lb 11 oz|
|EN lower limit||
10 deg F
|EN comfort limit||
21 deg F
Thermal.Q synthetic fibers
2 lb 9 oz
|Fits up to||66 in||72 in|
If you can afford just one bag, and need a bag that…
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by Mountain Hardwear for testing and review)
If you can afford just one bag, and need a bag that "does most" — consider the Lamina/Lamina Z Flame. While this bag is not for gram-weenies, it is a great mid-range, mid-cost bag that hits a really great sweet spot for wet and 3-season use. This bag also has among the most features, lowest cost, and warmth rating in its class.
- Good rating on temps
- Smaller foot box keeps feet warm
- Highly water repellant
- Zipper snags/hangs up
- Have to hold the bag taut to run zipper
- Shoulder girth is too roomy for medium/small build
- Heavy when compared to down
- Bulky, compared to down
The unisex version of the Lamina Z Flame bag is rated down to 22 degrees Fahrenheit for the EN lower limit and 32 degrees Fahrenheit for the EN comfort limit. It weighs 2 lb 11 oz in a regular length..
The women's Lamina (or Laminina) Z Flame is rated down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit for the EN lower limit and 21 degrees Fahrenheit for the EN comfort limit. It weighs 3 lb 7 oz in a regular length.
I used the women's version for several 25 degree nights, and found that I was plenty warm clad in my Capilene thermals and wool socks while using the bag.
Because the bag is welded, and has very few seams, the construction does not create cold seeps. I was surprised, and very pleased, at how warm this bag kept me.
In a very wet weekend outing, I used it in about 35 degree overnight temps during an absolute deluge. The humidity was 100%, with mist swirling around. Everything got damp just by virtue of being unpacked in the tent.
Temp Rating and Comfort
I was really concerned about how the bag was going to handle the humidity. I was the only one of us who was warm enough all night. I slept like the dead because the synthetic fill handled the moisture so well. My daughter and friend used their down bags, and wound up using their bag liners. I was cozy, except for the odd times that the draft let cold air in, as noted below.
In another outing, the ambient temperature probably only dropped to the upper 40’s, but a weather front moving in was blowing with gusts pushing easily 30 miles per hour. The wind chill finally moved us away from the fire, where it became too uncomfortable to sit and enjoy the evening to our bags. The moment I hit the bag, I was instantly warmer.
While I never noted any cold spots in the bag, what I was not necessarily a fan of was the hood. Of all of the features of the bag, it was one I liked the least. The mummy falls down more like like lips in a straight line across the face.
The slit design felt like it allowed more air down into the bag, even with the draft gasket. While it will close more into the traditional “O,” I never really felt like the hood cinched down as well as I would have liked.
The other issue with a draft came from how roomy the shoulders were. The bag measures 60 inches around the shoulders. I found that to be too spacious because it didn't stop the draft. I found that there was a learning curve to figure out how to stop the bit of breeze that wanted to seep in.
I was quite impressed at how warm and comfortable the bag was, overall. The taffeta was very soft against my skin. The taffeta never snagged or rubbed over rough skin.
Immediately, it was obvious that the bag was roomy. I can see this bag easily fitting a much larger framed person than I. I was afraid that I wouldn’t like the small foot box, but I honestly never noticed it, because the foot box is exactly that—a box. The bag maintains a "space" around the feet, so the whole foot box warms up, and stays warm. The space doesn't allow the cold to seep through.
My son really liked the bag overall, except that while the bag measured 6' on the outside, he did not fit well with the hood over his head. This might be a sticking point for taller women.
However, overall, I liked how truly cozy this bag was.
The hood was the feature that I liked the least. To get it to fit down correctly, the bag needed to come far down over my eyes. It was rather obnoxious to try to see out of the bag, and I am not a fan of how the hood fits in general. The hood is not a deal breaker, since I do not use the hood a lot unless it is really cold out, anyway.
The bag uses a ¾ zip. With the roomy upper portion of the bag, I never even really thought about the entry/exit, which tells me it is easy to use. My only caveat is the zipper likes to catch on the draft collar.
The DWR Nylon
The outer nylon is treated so it is DWR. On the weekend of the downpour, water couldn’t help but get everywhere. The sleeping bag just shucked off the water that inadvertently got into the tent. The water quickly evaporated. What was really impressive is that with all of the water and moisture, the sleeping bag never felt clammy or moist. Even as I got warm, the bag never felt tacky or humid. I was very comfortable as the bag breathed. (see video below for a sample of DWR)
True to the nature of synthetic bags, they really do not compress nearly as well as a down bag of comparable warmth.
I found this bag packs down to about the size of my bear can.
In fact, I worked really hard to squish the bag down enough both in the compression sack and backpack, where I literally stuck my foot into my backpack to get the bag to lie sideways in my 60L Klymit bag. It fit better mid bag, but since it does take up so much room in my pack, I wanted it at the bottom.
To the point it does not squish, the bag does loft back up right away. A good shaking out, and letting sit a bit before bed, and the I cannot even see that the bag had been compressed.
One gripe I do have with the bag is I have had the zipper get caught in the draft collar occasionally, and I have to pull the zipper tight to get it to move, especially in the middle of the zipper. Other than that, the bag bags the sleeper comfortably and cozily.
The bag has very few bells and whistles, which I kind of like. I find the less gizmos, the less to go wrong.
But the bag does offer a double end ¾ length zipper, and a gear pocket near the shoulder for those night time fingertip needs.
It also features the outer shell DWR, which in my experience of dealing with lots of wet gear on a wet weekend worked perfectly.
A generous hosing shows the quality of DWR
Testing and Use
I haven’t had a chance to use the bag as hard as I would have liked, so with the amount of use I have given it so far, the bag looks brand new. I cannot even see where I have snagged the fabric near the zipper. The sewing and fabric appear live up to Mountain Hardwear’s reputation of durable gear.
I used the bag for at least two weeks during the coldest part of our winter, where temps dipped down into the low to mid 20’s. I never felt cold in the bag at those temps. I slept with a long sleeved shirt and bottoms, and typically with light socks on.
I also used the bag on a weekend outing near Mt. Rainier in an absolute downpour; it rained nearly an inch that weekend with temps hitting about 35° at night. The floor of the tent drew water, and while I had a vapor barrier down inside the tent, the humidity was very high; all our gear had that limp, wet quality. But I slept toasty warm in the bag, while my daughter was *not* quite warm in her old down bag.
In another trip in early May, I took a weekender to Leavenworth, up the Icicle Creek Canyon. The nighttime temps only dropped to the mid-40’s, but the wind was very heavy, especially the second night as a front was blowing in. I never felt the wind through the bag.
Bits and Pieces:
On an outing to Mt. Rainier this winter, I stopped by an outfitting store to nose around not far from the park entrance. This store outfits people more typically who need to gear up, sometimes from the ground up to hike the trails or climb the peak.
I mention this because one of the three sleeping bags they offer in their arsenal is a Mountain Hardwear Lamina. While it was the men's bag, I found their choice very telling. The offer only mid high to high end gear that is reliable. The fact that it was one of their choices spoke volumes about what this bag can offer.
Additionally, generally I like the bag. It's a warm, comfy, solid piece that represents well in its class. It is no ultra-light bag, so for me it is too big/heavy for general backpacking for me. But, for wet situations, shoulder season or early winter, or good all-around needs, this bag must be considered.