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Mountain hardwear sleeping bags

Anyone have experience with their top of the line bags? Im looking into them..

Im sick and tired of buying a bag that says its rated for 30 degrees and yet I freeze my ass off at 45

I realized that I have to buy a bag that's like 20 degrees lower understated temperature.

If not do you have experience with Big agnes bags,  the ones that have a pouch underneath them where you can stick and inflatable pad on there. I can post model names if necessary

Check out the various brands of bags, comparing how much loft they each contain.  Lay them out on a flat surface.  Some bags will have more loft than others; these usually will be warmer than bags with less loft, regardless what the tag states.  Break your comparison down between bags that have synthetic fill, and those with down fill, as synthetic bags require more loft to deliver the same level of warmth as a down bag.  With some observation you can eventually figure on your own how warm a bag may be.  For example: a down fill bag with more than 8" loft is good for below zero temps.  As long as you stay away from the El Cheapo bags this method of judging bags will work reasonably well.  

Another consideration is what you are doing.  When you unpack your bag, fluff it up before climbing in.  Compressed fill is less efficient.  If you are sleeping in the same clothes you wore that day, they probably have sweat in them, and that will serve to chill you.  Wear dry layers to bed and wear socks!  Likewise not eating enough and being dehydrated may make for a chilly sleep.  On the other hand eating a hearty snack before bed can help keep you warmer.


I usually try to find the best deal on gear but sleeping bags for colder weather I don't mind spending on (sales are good though!). A couple of considerations...i am right at 6 ft but use a 6.5 ft bag so I don't compress the down at the bottom. Also gives me room to put my puffy jacket around my feet on really cold nights...sitting up for coffee in the morning I have a prewarmed jacket to put on and my two primary bags can go about 10 degrees below their rating that MH and one Feathered Friends. 

Money spent on a good bag is money well spent but you have to treat it properly.  Store it uncompressed, only stuffing it in a stuff sack when on the trail, fluff it up, and have reliable insulation underneath, usually a  CCF pad.  Wear a dry base layer, including socks - keeps you warmer and the bag cleaner.

Quality bags have ratings that are close to reality.  But you have to do your part.  Find a warm pad to sleep on.  Dry clothes, hot food, hydration. 

I am very happy now that I bought a new pad that is rated for 20 degrees instead of 35 like my old one.  Now freezing temperatures are not a problem even in summer. 

Hi Danny,

Have you checked out the user reviews of any of the sleeping bags you're interested in, such as:

You can find the highest rated bags among all brands here:

And, as others mentioned, sleeping pads:

I hope that helps in your search.

Hey Danny, 

    Mountain Hardware bags are generally a safe choice, back around 2005, I picked one up and after several years my only complaint was that the foot box packed out, making it more of a summer bag. As for BAP, (Big Agnes) I've had their Lone Ranger Long model for the past seven years and it has been great. I think the coldest I ever took it to was around 30, its rated around 20. The only complaint was if I rolled over and the side lifted up slightly, you got cold air nipping at your back. Since they are only insulated on the top and sides that can be an issue. Especially if your sleeping pad is not up to the challenge. I'm generally rocking a z-rest. Reflective side up in spring and fall. If in Steamboat Springs, hit up their office and demo a bag of two. Plus they give a good discount on used gear. You can buy the one you tested.    A good rule of thumb in looking at bags though, is the down fill rating, price 160-200 will be pretty decent on your money. Avoid Slumberjack at all costs, and other mainstream department store brands you'll find just about everywhere aka Target, Dicks, etc. REI level stores would be a good start, also reading the reviews from places like this, Outdoor Gear Lab, and Trailgroove Magazine are places to look. North Face bags, while mainstream are one of the few things they havent compromised on since their Vanity Fair buyout decades ago. The Aleutian is pretty solid model just make sure you check its rating onto the one you buy. It covers 20 to 0. Another trick may be to look at bag liners as well as what you are wearing to bed. Hope some of that helps.

I have used a mountain headwear down bag for winter for a number of years.

Nothing but positive experience with it.  Never slept out in -40,  but it is warm at  -30 (face is never warm at those temps).  Well made, on the roomy side.  

Have a MH Phantom Torch 3 and I love it. Rated to 3F but I've slept comfortably in base layers in my 4 season tent down to -8F with 20-30mph winds and it was no problem. Was rated as one of if not the best cold weather bag by but they removed it bc the bag is being discontinued. Got it on for 50% off $300. 

WESTERN MOUNTAINEERING is the company you want to look at. Excellent quality and conservatively rated temps on their bags. Pricey but excellent.

Disclaimer-> I bought a MH 30 F. bag but after looking it's disappointing loft at home I returned it to REI. Then I got a WM Megalite (more girth) down bag good for 30 F. and I'm very happy. After 6 years of 3 season use it still looks new. WM "overfilled" it for $45. and it is now easily good to 20 F. I've had it to 15 F. inside my solo tent. It's big enough to wear puffy clothing for even colder weather and still have enough room inside.

LL Bean also has very good sleeping bags for the money. All the down is DWR treated with Down Tech. I have their -20 F. winter bag and it is THE best designed bag I've ever owned or seen.

Eric B.


I have a Marmot down bag that is 28 years old.  I wash it once in awhile.  It is rated for 25 degrees F.  With a good winter pad, some heavy clothes, and a small fleece comforter I have used it in moderate winter conditions down around 10 degrees without problems staying warm.

About 7 years ago I bought a MH 30 F. bag. Upon examining it at home the loft was "less than impressive".

Then a few weeks later I saw a Western Mountaineering Megalite 30 F.bag and was very impressed.

Needless to say I returned the MH bag to REI promptly. The WM Megalite has been a great 3 season bag.  

Yeah, the WM Megalite bag was about another $100. more but well worth it. 

Since that time I've looked at other MH sleeping bags and was not impressed. REI offers a lot more for the same money.

Eric B.

I have a Mountain Hardwear Lamina 0 sleeping bag. It is lightweight and very cozy.

August 11, 2020
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