Home Forums Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 Sleeping Bag Review

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    Profile photo of Addie Bedford
    Addie Bedford


    Locale: Montana
    Profile photo of christopher shive
    christopher shive


    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.


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    Matthew Dunn


    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.

    Profile photo of Johnathan White
    Johnathan White


    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.

    Profile photo of Alan Little
    Alan Little


    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?

    Profile photo of Jeremy Cleaveland
    Jeremy Cleaveland


    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.

    Profile photo of Don Root
    Don Root


    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.

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    aarn tate


    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

    Profile photo of Lynn Tramper
    Lynn Tramper


    Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna

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


    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!

    Profile photo of Christopher Kuzmich
    Christopher Kuzmich


    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!

    Profile photo of Denis Hazlewood
    Denis Hazlewood


    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"

    Profile photo of Lynn Tramper
    Lynn Tramper


    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"?

    Profile photo of Bradford Rogers
    Bradford Rogers


    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.

    Profile photo of Eric Blumensaadt
    Eric Blumensaadt


    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.


    Profile photo of Lynn Tramper
    Lynn Tramper


    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!

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