Ultralight backpackers have different preferences for a sleeping system, depending on their location and style of travel. I normally backpack in the Rocky Mountains spring through fall, and spring and fall in southern Utah, where nighttime temperatures frequently drop below freezing. I want the lightest sleeping bag that will do the job, but still want a sleeping system that will handle the occasional unexpectedly cold night. My preference is a 30F-rated mummy-style down sleeping bag with enough girth so I can wear extra clothing inside to extend its warmth when needed. Backpacking Light will publish a State of the Market article on this subject in spring 2010; this review is a separate evaluation of the popular Marmot Hydrogen bag.

The Marmot Hydrogen is the quintessential ultralight down sleeping bag, dating back almost to the beginning of ultralight backpacking's popularity. The original Hydrogen had a half-length zipper and 10 ounces of 800 fill power down - which was state of the art at the time - and weighed 24 ounces. Review ratings of the Hydrogen have fallen in right behind Western Mountaineering bags, which is very good. The current (2009) Marmot Hydrogen is better than ever, or bloated a bit, depending on your point of view.


  • Introduction
  • Description
  • Performance
  • Comparisons
  • Assessment
  • Specifications and Features

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