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+5 C° comfort temperature sleeping bag

Hi there!

I would like to buy a new sleeping bag that has a comfort temperature of circa +5 C°. After doing some research, the brand Mountain Hardwear emerged as a potential candidate.
Because I never had any product manufactured by them so far, I am interested to know what is your opinion about their products? Are their products good quality and durable or do they break easily?
If You had to buy a good quality sleeping bag for yourself of this comfort temperature would You choose another brand?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.


Adrian
HitchhikingTips.com

I have used one of Mountain Hardwear's winter bags for several years.  It has proved to be warm and high quality.   My non-winter bag is from Marmot - it has also been comfortable and free of defects.

Rather than focusing on a particular brand, i strongly suggest you research the measurements of the sleeping bags you are interested in, and ask yourself some questions:

-how large a person am I, and do I want a sleeping bag that is more narrow or more roomy? the key specs to look at are length, shoulder girth, and hip girth.  If you compare a few brands, you will see that these measurements vary considerably.  They make a big difference.  PS - if you want the option to store a few things in a stuff sack in the foot of your bag, get a size long for the extra room.  also, it's helpful to see a sleeping bag in person, get in, zip it up.  i have tried sleeping bags that I eventually rejected because the foot box was too small, or because i didn't like the shape of the hood.  

-am I going to be happier with down insulation or synthetic? no sleeping bag is great when it gets wet, and some down ('dri down' or equivalent) claims to be treated to repel water, but synthetic bags are a better bet in wet-moist environments.  Down tends to be warmer for the weight, stuffs smaller, and (my opinion) lasts longer with proper care, whereas synthetic insulation tends to compact and lose some of its insulating value over the long run.

-other brands to consider for sleeping bags on the moderate end of the spectrum: Marmot, Kelty, REI, Nemo, The North Face.

-brands on the pricy end of the spectrum (down bags): feathered friends, western mountaineering, valandre.  

Andrew has good advice above about first deciding on the criteria of the bag you want.

Where and when do you plan to use the bag? What temperature range? For what activities? Down or synthetic? And what's your budget?

Once you've narrowed it down to your needs and then to your preferences it will be easier to choose one bag. There are so many!

I haven't personally used a Mountain Hardwear sleeping bag, but they do have good reviews.

As Andrew mentions above, there are many other excellent, and pricier, bags out there too.

What are your top needs and wants?

IN that temperature range there are many choices, bags, quilts and blankets.  All will work and some are lighter than others. 

@ Andrew:

Thank You for your feedback - definitely useful.

Among the manufacturers You mentioned, from Marmot I have a rain jacket (10000 mm) and I am unhappy about its quality - I am unsure if I am willing to give Marmot another chance.

Hey Adrian,

For what it's worth, I wouldn't feel stuck on Marmot if you've had an iffy experience with them. There are so many other great brands putting out sleeping bags that are worth your consideration. 

Alicia

@ Alicia: Thank You. In fact, that is what I meant: I prefer to try another brand.

I don't know your budget or what international shipping restrictions you might run into, but here are some brands you could start with:

  • Western Mountaineering
  • Feathered Friends
  • Valandre
  • Big Agnes
  • Nemo
  • Mountain Hardwear

If you need some European brands (Valandre, above, is), here are some worth considering:

  • Rab
  • Deuter (we don't get their sleeping bags here in the US, but I do love their packs)
  • Mountain Equipment

There are SO many sleeping bags out there, and to some degree this is a good thing because there are a lot of good to great ones out there. Once you narrow down by budget (some of these bag will be quite pricey) that will help winnow choices. Having a budget in mind and a few key priorities will help you focus. 

Personally, I am a fan of down sleeping bags for their light weight and stuffabillity (assuming you can keep your bag reasonably dry). 

Also, if you're able to buy from a local shop or online retailer you know has good customer service and return policies, that is also helpful.

Back to your original question about Mountain Hardwear—it's a reputable brand that makes good gear. I wouldn't dissuade you from buying one of their bags, but you may want to consider a wider range of brands (such as ones mentioned above) and bags before committing.

Campmor has a few  sleeping bags from a couple of reliable companies in your temperature range at good prices.

Deuter (we don't get their sleeping bags here in the US [...]

About this I am particularly curious and interested to know - in fact I posted this separate thread Deuter: sleeping bags vs backpacks and looking forward to read some opinions of people who used or uses them :)

@Ardr1an: A few things. I've owned and thoroughly tested a 900-fill-power Marmot Helium, and am very glad I sold it to fund the purchase of a Valandre Bloody Mary. The former is cut like a blanket folded in half, while the later is a three-dimensional sculpture made to fit your body.

As an aside, I've owned (and extensively used) one Deuter bag, and while it was very light for it's stated temp rating, while packing very small, it was also very cold at its' stated rating, by about 10 degrees.

After going through about 10 bags over the years, I've found Valandre to be the worthiest of my dollar.

Vince, thank You - your feedback is definitely useful.

LL Bean has some very good bags for a reasonable price. I love my -20 F. LL Bean winter bag. Lots of useful features.

i paid a lot for my Western Mountaineering Megalite 30 F. bag and when I slept in 26 F. on the PCT I decided I wanted it factory overstuffed to 20 F. I've had it for 8 years and  many trips in all 4 seasons and it still looks new. "Pay once, cry once."

BTW, WM only charged me $40. to overstuff it.

I have one sleeping bag (Western Mountaineering Megalite - overstuffed) without down DWR treatment and it has been a great 3 season bag but I  bought a few years before down DWR was available.

Also I have an LL bean -20 F. bag with down DWR and an Eddie Bauer vest with down DWR and an Eddie Bauer PEAK XV -30 F. DWR teated down parka. These are excellent at retaining loft when damp from use.

In the future I will absolutely always buy down garments with DWR down treatment. And so far the very best DWR brand is Quixdown from Toray of Japan, as tested by Down & Feather Testing Institute. 

Hopefully a good bag manufacturer will mage their down bags with Quixdown treatment.

Yes, synthetics are approaching 600 down fill for warmth/weight ratio, but not for compressibility. Down still is king but at a premium price compared to the best synthetic fill. And DWR treated down is even better in my experience

Look for 0 F. bags. They will keep you warm at 5 F. and, if made with enough space inside, even at -10 F. when wearing a base layer with puffy jacket and puffy pants or fleece lined pants.

A light fleece balaclava is always a great head covering for cold temps. You can never keep your head covered by the bag all the time when asleep unless your bag is cinched down to a "blowhole". 

For cold weather bags I prefer down with a DWR treatment. It DOES work much better than untreated down (regardless of what you hear from the Luddite naysayers and armchair backpackers). In fact since down DWR came out all my down garments have had down with a DWR treatment. 

Yeah, my overstuffed WM Megalite 3 season bag and Eddie Bauer light down jacket have no down DWR and still work well but they both get damp faster and STAY damp longer than the DWR treated down. 'Nuf sed.

Eric B.

October 27, 2021
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