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Home Forums Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 Sleeping Bag Review

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  • #1241574
    Profile photo of Addie Bedford
    Addie Bedford
    Participant

    @addiebedford

    Locale: Montana
    #1544386
    Profile photo of christopher shive
    christopher shive
    Member

    @cms432

    Locale: Along the AT in PA

    Regarding zipper length. I think I would be most content with a 3/4 length zipper that stops at about the knee or a little higher. Enough of a zipper to open the bag up like a quilt and allow for easy entry/exit. My Mont-Bell super stretch zips down to mid-shin level, and I never feel the need to completely unzip the bag.

    chris

    #1544471
    Profile photo of Matthew Dunn
    Matthew Dunn
    Member

    @boddunn

    Locale: Kirby Muxloe

    I've got a Cumulus 200 bag and I'm pretty impressed, no hard figures but I've had it down to around 0 degrees (30F) and it's preformed pretty well, mine weighs 550 grams including the stuff sack (not the 495 advertised) and it cost me £165 (about $270 at present exchange rates); definitely worth considering.
    As for the zip, it's full length but I agree a 3/4 length would be better to save weight and make it easier to stay covered when using it in summer.
    Here's a link.

    #1544517
    Profile photo of Johnathan White
    Johnathan White
    Member

    @johnatha1

    Locale: PNW

    Great write-up Will!

    One thing I would love to see though is the comparison grid you have, but with the girth of the bags included.

    I.e. a 62" bag with 10oz of 850+ down vs. a 57" with 10oz of 850+ down will obviously have different loft depths.

    #1544526
    Profile photo of Alan Little
    Alan Little
    Member

    @alanl

    Locale: Bavarian & Austrian Alps

    I often find it comfortable in not too cold conditions to sleep with my torso zipped up but my feet sticking out.

    I'm currently on the lookout for a new down bag, and find that the Valandre Mirage looks impressive in many ways, but the 3/4 zip is a concern for my sweaty toes.

    Maybe I'm just weird. Should I perhaps be looking at using a quilt upside down?

    #1544536
    Profile photo of Jeremy Cleaveland
    Jeremy Cleaveland
    Member

    @jeremy11

    Locale: Exploring San Juan talus

    Great review
    I was already thinking of getting this bag to outrank my DIY down quilt. This is lighter (my quilt is about 28 oz and very warm), and I already bring primaloft clothing. I've also been moving away from the quilt idea in my thinking, as it is less thermally efficient with drafts and all, and a mummy bag can still be used as a quilt anyway.
    Thanks.

    #1544538
    Profile photo of Don Root
    Don Root
    Member

    @doninmarin

    I have this bag and used it for the first time on an 18-day trip in the Sierras last summer. The zipper is definitely a drag, and the stuff sack was so obviously ridiculous I replaced it before going on the trip. I also agree that 850+ fill down would be better–the insulation seemed a little wimpy, even for a 32 bag. Better to save weight with a down quilt, I'd say. I got this bag on sale, and for the sale price, I guess it's OK. But if I were buying today I'd keep looking. Gotta be something better out there.

    #1544547
    Profile photo of aarn tate
    aarn tate
    Participant

    @aarndesign

    Either a 3/4 length or a full length zipper that is available in left and right versions (so 2 bags can be zipped together) is essential for me to sleep ultralight with my partner. I also need zip compatability with other bags in the same manufacturers range so i can zip a warmer bag with a cooler bag as my partner needs more insulation than me. Using a 2 bags together saves weight as we can use lighter bags.

    Aarn Tate

    #1544569
    Profile photo of Lynn Tramper
    Lynn Tramper
    Member

    @retropump

    Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna

    "Maybe I'm just weird. Should I perhaps be looking at using a quilt upside down?"

    LOL.

    Zipper length will always be controversial. Some tough folks Like Glen Van Peski can cope without any zip! I am OK with a half zip, and two half-zip bags mated together works well for us too, bit I prefer full length. Of course some folks get offended at the presence of any zips (ie quilters). I too like to have my feet hanging out while the rest of me is covered, and a full length zip (or quilt) is essential for this (as is NOT zipping together with someone else).

    Anyway, from where I'm sitting the MH bag doesn't look very tempting. In fact, not even a little tempting!

    #1544586
    Profile photo of Christopher Kuzmich
    Christopher Kuzmich
    Member

    @obchristo2

    I often sleep with a foot sticking out from my covers at home, and do the same while camping. The ability to drape the bag as a quilt, let a foot out, or zip fully up is essential for me.

    For me, a full length zipper is non-negotiable. Same with a full length pad.

    Sleep your own sleep!

    #1544588
    Profile photo of Denis Hazlewood
    Denis Hazlewood
    Participant

    @redleader

    Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul

    I have both the old -no zipper- and the new -half zipper- NF Beeline bags. I actually prefer the no-zip version. The zipper on the newer -half zip- version is too short to be of much use.

    Edit: I don't consider myself "Tough like Glen Van Peski"

    #1544601
    Profile photo of Lynn Tramper
    Lynn Tramper
    Member

    @retropump

    Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna

    "I don't consider myself "Tough like Glen Van Peski""

    Good point. How could anyone that carries something called a "LUXURYLITE" be a tough guy, though I'm sure Glen enjoys his little luxuries as much as anyone else.

    Perhaps I should have called him "really dedicated to pushing the boundaries of SUL" rather than "tough guy"?

    #1544617
    Profile photo of Brad Rogers
    Brad Rogers
    Participant

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    They must have changed the zipper guard design when they went to a full length zipper because it looks nothing like the one on my Phantom 0 with a 3/4 zipper. I have had no trouble with snags, though I will admit, that the design isn't as good as the one on my Western Mountaineering Bags.

    #1544716
    Profile photo of Eric Blumensaadt
    Eric Blumensaadt
    Participant

    @danepacker

    Locale: Mojave Desert

    I owned a Phantom 32 and realized, without trying it out, that it sorely lacked loft. Others, after trying it, felt the same and posted their complaints on various sites.

    I returned it to REI and bought a WM Megalite by mail order. Never been happier with a bag. I've had it down to 25 F. in the high Sierras with poly long johns and was fine. I seriously doubt the Phantom 32 would have kept me warm in those temps. I think the Phantom is misnamed.
    42 F. maybe but 32 F., nope, not unless Mt'n. Hardware has greatly increaseed the fill.

    Eric

    #1544781
    Profile photo of Lynn Tramper
    Lynn Tramper
    Member

    @retropump

    Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna

    Well, according to Will, it has 2 inches of single layer loft which should indeed make it warm down to freezing. Maybe you have an older model, or MH has some quality assurance issues?

    Interesting observation on the Beeline!

    #1544839
    Profile photo of Brad Rogers
    Brad Rogers
    Participant

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    My Phantom 0 has the advertised 7.5" of loft, I would assume that all of the Phantom series bags would be as advertised as well, but I could be wrong.

    I also noticed that it is rated at EN 13537 standards at 38* for the average woman, and 29* for the average man, which seem to indicate that it does indeed have 4" of double sided loft. For comparison, the Marmot Hydrogen rated at 39* for the average woman, and 30* for the average man. It probably has similar loft, but didn't preform quite as well due to its larger girth (62" vs 60").

    #1544854
    Profile photo of Richard Nisley
    Richard Nisley
    Participant

    @richard295

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Bradford,

    Your post was a nice job of adding some objective science to a largely subjective frequent-forum-topic. The Marmot Hydrogen has 1/2" higher loft than the MH Phantom 32 and yet the lab measurements show the Hydrogen has less thermal resistance.

    Is there anyone who no longer believes the often repeated axiom, "The Relative Loft ALWAYS Determines the Comparative Warmth"?

    Loft

    #1544857
    Profile photo of Jim W.
    Jim W.
    Participant

    @jimqpublic

    Locale: So-Cal

    "Is there anyone who no longer believes their often repeated axiom, "The Relative Loft ALWAYS Determines the Comparative Warmth"?"

    I believe it…All else being equal…

    Problem is that all else is seldom equal.

    Jim

    #1544863
    Profile photo of Dale Wambaugh
    Dale Wambaugh
    Participant

    @dwambaugh

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    I tried one UL sleeping bag and found out very quickly that the air permiability of the fabric made a big difference– the cold wind went through it like a screen door. If the loft isn't there, you're gonna get cold and if the loft IS there, you need a resonable seal to keep the cold air out and the heat in.

    I wonder about the relative density of the lofted material and how much it controls heat transfer. For example, a denser material may slow air currents and pumping from the sleeper's movements, where a light fluffy material might allow more air movement, taking heat with it or moving colder outer air to the inner warm layers, etc. Just impressions and thinking out load on my part.

    #1544867
    Profile photo of Tom Caldwell
    Tom Caldwell
    Member

    @coldspring

    Locale: Ozarks

    "I tried one UL sleeping bag and found out very quickly that the air permiability of the fabric made a big difference– the cold wind went through it like a screen door. If the loft isn't there, you're gonna get cold and if the loft IS there, you need a resonable seal to keep the cold air out and the heat in."

    You ought to try hammocking. If you aren't able to make something yourself, you are forced to freeze with the commercially available underquilts. Plain old ripstop nylon does nothing more than just hold some down in place, when it's not leaking it out.

    #1544869
    Profile photo of Diplomatic Mike
    Diplomatic Mike
    Member

    @mikefaedundee

    Locale: Under a bush in Scotland

    Interesting point, Tom. I find my Arc Specialist quilt very warm compared to bags i have used with similar loft and rating. I ordered my quilt with the Epic shell. It's the first time i've ever used a bag or quilt with an Epic shell, and i've wondered how much of a part the shell played in how warm it felt. I also have a bag with a Pertex Endurance shell (Rab Q250), and it too feels warmer to me than other similar bags.

    #1544875
    Profile photo of Tom Kirchner
    Tom Kirchner
    Participant

    @ouzel

    Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra

    "Is there anyone who no longer believes the often repeated axiom, "The Relative Loft ALWAYS Determines the Comparative Warmth"?"

    Richard,

    I missed something along the way. What is relative loft?

    #1544878
    Profile photo of Richard Nisley
    Richard Nisley
    Participant

    @richard295

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Tom,

    It is the approach where you determine which of two bags is warmer by comparing the loft of the two bags. In other words, the loft "relative" to the other bag.

    #1544888
    Profile photo of Tom Kirchner
    Tom Kirchner
    Participant

    @ouzel

    Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra

    "In other words, the loft "relative" to the other bag."

    Thank you, Richard.

    My guess then would be that the weight required to achieve that loft would go down as fill power increased? Along with the price?

    #1544945
    Profile photo of Adam Kilpatrick
    Adam Kilpatrick
    Participant

    @oysters

    Locale: South Australia

    Great review Will

    I've been interested in getting either Phantom 32s or Phantom 45s. I'm wondering if anyone knows how the design details differ on the 45?

    In the pic on the Australian website, it looks like it has a 2/3 zipper, similar to the pic with the Phantom 32. Is this a design/model difference here (ie with the Australian model, or did Will have a full-zip or older version)? If these zippers are different, I wonder if they don't snag or have been improved?

    Any ideas anyone?

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