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Thread: Mountain Hardware Sleeping bag

  1. #1
    Member MyKC395's Avatar
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    Question Mountain Hardware Sleeping bag

    I am looking into purchasing a MH sleeping bag. I was first interested in the Phantom 0 degree bag until I noticed it was goose down. I am now leaning toward the new Ultra Lamina. There is a pound difference between the two, but the down fill worries me. I have always heard that once down is wet, it is useless for a good while, as it takes so long to dry.

    Has anyone used either bag or have you any other experience with MH bags. Just some insight to its use...I will be taking it on a sheep hunt in the Brooks this year and after that it will be my go to bag for cool weather.

    Any and all input would be appreciated. Thanks for you time, Shane

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    Default Sleeping bag suggestions

    Shane,
    Here are my thoughts: I have been using down bags for pretty much everything for the last 20 years. Unless you submerge your down bag, then jump up and down on it to make sure it is totally saturated, then a damp down bag will not be "useless". It will lose some loft, and insulating capacity. I see you are looking at a zero rated bag. Most sheep hunters would look at a 15 -20 degree rating on their bag.

    The MH Phantom 15, Marmot Helium, NF Hightail, WM Versalight/Ultralight/Apache would all be 2 lb or lighter toasty sheep season bags.

    If I was doing a float trip, or goat hunt in south east, I would consider a synthetic bag.

    Fear of using down bags is just that: a fear. Treat your gear properly, use it right, and understand it's limitations and it will NEVER let you down!

    Good luck, have fun, and stay safe! ;-)
    -Chris

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    Default I Agree

    I completely agree with the fake "fear" of down bags. If you are careful about it, you will have no problem with a down bag. They are lighter and more compressible.

    At NOLS Alaska we use MH Lamina 0, 15 and 20 degree bags. The main reason we use the synthetic bags is that they hold up better after repeated student use, and they are much easier to manage from a laundering standpoint. Our bags see 6 courses (approx. 180 days) in the field and 6 washes before we retire them. And they are still in perfect condition.

    With that said, most of our instructors will take down bags into the field for many more days than that and never have a problem.

    It is true that down is useless when it is wet, but it is very easy to keep it from getting to that point.

    Another option, especially if you are planning on going lightweight, is to go with a bivy sack. It will keep your bag dry, and then you can even ditch the tent if you want. Also, get a warmer bag like a 30-40 degree bag and then sleep with your insulating layers on. Just another way to save weight.

    -Jason

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    I tend to agree with the above. I will probably pick up a Wiggys glacier hunter from Marc here pretty soon for my SE goat hunt. I carry a TNF Cats Meow primaloft most of the year but I am considering switching to the Montbel Down Hugger bag next year. Of all my hunts I can't think of any where my bag got drenched. If I had a cheap tent then perhaps but I just cant see my Hilleberg getting thrashed. When I do go to a down bag I will replace the compression sack w/ one from sea-summit. I am also planning on picking up a bivi (tigoat ptarmigan) depending on Alaska_Lanche's test results.

    Anyone know who in town carries Montbel? The specs on the down hugger are for people up to 6'4" I am just a little bit bigger than that at 6'5" so I would prefer to test the bag before ordering it blind!

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    Default

    I'm pretty sure I've seen Montbel at AMH. I didn't pay attention to which model(s).

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    I'm pretty sure I've seen Montbel at AMH. I didn't pay attention to which model(s).
    THX I will check them when I get back!

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    Thumbs up MH ultralamina

    I used the MH ultralamina 15 last year in the AK range. Performed well. Packs small. Lots of rain and moisture on my hunt.

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    Member MyKC395's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the insight

    It does help alot. I will be doing a float hunt with it, but the dry bag idea would definitely work. Thanks again for the info. Shane

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    Default

    MH makes good sleeping bags. I don't have any though, just the Marmot Hydrogen (30) and Helium (15). Both down. Have used the Hydrogen backpacking and on a float trip without problems. Don't worry about the down. Not sure what you need it for, 0 seems pretty low for a float trip, even in september, unless you sleep real cold. 15 would be a good all round bag, but if it is a summer float, 30 degress should treat you good. good luck

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    Default

    I have the Phantom 15 - it's an excellent bag. I carry it in one of the newer roll-top lightweight drybags, which in turn is used as a pillow when filled with clothes and air.

  11. #11
    Member Noble Killer's Avatar
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    Default One word

    Wiggy's!!!

  12. #12
    Member MyKC395's Avatar
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    Default

    I will definitely get a Wiggy's bag some time down the road. My concern is bulk and weight...and price. I can get a really sweet deal on a MH bag at this time and don't want to pass that up.

  13. #13
    Member Noble Killer's Avatar
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    Default Wiggy's

    I understand on the Wiggy's bags, they are pretty spendy. I am sold on them and will never go to another bag. The system I have is the Ultima Thule with the outer bag rated for -60. The bag I take with me all depends where I am hunting and at what time of year. Most of the time I just use the outer bag which is only $190, light and compacts very well. Their website also had 25% off of all bags not too long ago. Later down the road you can purchase the inner bag of your liking. This way you just continue to add to your Wiggy's colection. I have plenty of nasty camping stories where I was sure glad someone else turned me on to the Wiggy's bags.

    Just my $.02

  14. #14
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Wiggys makes great bags for float hunting. That said if I had a great deal on a MH bag I would see what I could get in the 15* range as it seems to be my go-to temp rating as a balance of weight vs temp. With sheep in it's future it would be awful tempting for me to go with a down sac and a great water proof stuff sac if I had a line on cheap MH. I have heard great things about their shell being highly water resistant. The issue with me when it comes to most bags isn't just their weight. It is more about the bulk! They take up way too much room in my pack. I would trade 1/2 pound or even a bit more for a bag that compressed to 1/2 the size! If it were my decision I think the deciding factor would be availability of a campfire to get warm by. Are you floating a river on the north slope where fire material will be hard to come by or are you going to be in an area that allows you to have a fire each nite? If you will have a fire then the risk of hypothermia is mitigated and it would allow you to go with a down bag with far less worry. Just some thoughts I have a feeling that I am not helping

    I went with a FTRSS wiggys w/ the zero degree bag as the core. It is great for most situations but I would prefer a glacier hunter if I was going to haul it in my pack. As much as I would love to say there is a one wiggys combo that will fit all needs I just don't buy it. With three bags you can Taylor fit most any situation. Marc should really make a combo with the Ultima Thule/Glacier hunter/ and the overbag with 2 different size stuff sacs. That would leave you covered for about 98% of all situations year round in AK (or anywhere else).

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