User Review: The North Face Women's Cat's Meow
Fill: Polarguard Delta
Temperature Rating: 20
Weight: 2 lb 10 oz (nominal); 2 lb 12 oz (weighed by me)
Price Paid: $119 US
I bought this as a replacement for my old Kelty summer bag that is not keeping me warm anymore. I have been using mummy bags for 30 years and have never been unhappy with one before.
I immediately took this bag out on a high-altitude June trip in Colorado to hike some snowy 14,000+ -foot peaks. Temps were below freezing every night, but the Cat's Meow was warm enough to make me sweat and yet compressible enough to pack easily in the morning. Polarguard Delta is awesome.
Supposedly this bag was designed for women, but it's pretty obvious to me that the kind of woman the designers have in mind who sleeps flat on her back all night long without ever moving a muscle (like if she were in a coma). Compared with my previous mummy bags, this one is just very uncomfortable for a sleeper who tosses and turns and who likes to sleep on one side and then the other. The main problem is that the lower part of the bag is overly narrow and twists uncomfortably at the slightest movement. I also found that the hood part of the bag was cumbersome and got in the way when I tried to sleep (I prefer to wear a hat to bed rather than encase my head in a hood).
North Face's guideline is that the "regular" size women's bag will fit up to a height of 5'6". I'm a little less than that and would recommend a "long" for anyone taller than about 5'4". If I lie down full length with my head in the hood, it seems like the bag is not long enough.
1. Comes with a cute zippered pocket at the top of the main zipper. Why? I do not know. I would not put anything hard in there lest it poke me while sleeping, and I would not put anything delicate there because I would smash it while sleeping.
2. Comes with a pointless "handwarmer" pocket inside. Don't they know that the warmest place for your hands inside your sleeping bag is next to your skin, not in some separate pocket?
3. Comes in pretty colors -- baby blue and silver. It is such a light blue that I expect it would show dirt and grunge over time, requiring that the bag be laundered more frequently.
4. The main zipper jammed the third night the bag was used, eventually requiring me to find my glasses and a headlamp and risk waking my companion.
I'll have to put my (now used) Cat's Meow bag on Craigslist and get myself a normal "men's" cut mummy bag that provides a couple inches more of girth for the legs and does not come with a ridiculous, over-engineered hood like the Cat's Meow does.