Like most gear from Mountain Hardwear, the Phantom 0 Degree sleeping bag will immediately impress you with its quality and style. It is a lightweight, high quality offering that will keep you plenty warm in inclement weather without filling your pack or weighing you down on the trail.
The Phantom clocks in at just 2 pounds, 10 ounces, making it one of the lightest 0º bags on the market. It uses tried and true 800-fill goose down as insulation on the inside and superlight Ripstop fabrics along the outside to keep the elements out. The interior of the bag is lined with nylon and is soft and comfortable whether you’re lounging on a bed or on the ground. This combination of fabrics and stuffing helps to keep the Phantom’s weight down, while remaining durable for extended use in remote, rugged, places.
The Phantom is a mummy style bag, which automatically make`s it a bit of a love-hate affair for some people. Personally, I don’t’ mind the mummy cut at all, but I know others who find them impossible to sleep in. For cold environments I happen to believe it s the best option, but critics of the mummy bag complain about feeling claustrophobic when the hood is pulled up around their head.
If you’re one of those people, you probably won’t enjoy the Phantom either, but for those who don’t mind the style, you’ll find a hood that is warm, comfortable and designed to allow you to breathe easily without getting cold. There is even a handy little pocket built into the hood’s draft collar, which is a perfect spot for an iPod or small light, keeping your gear in easy reach.
I put the Phantom through its paces recently while in the Himalaya, and found that it was warm and comfortable for long nights in the drafty Nepali teahouses. The rooms in those lodges are unheated and can get quite cold, especially at the higher altitude, but the Phantom kept me warm throughout my trek.
Better yet, the bag is well designed to allow you to sleep without feeling like your movements are restricted or that your body is too confined. And at the end of the night, the Phantom rolled up easily and slipped inside its high quality stuff sack. When compressed down, the bag has a small footprint and doesn’t take up much space in your pack.
If I have one complaint about the Phantom it is with the zippers. While they have a solid feel and are of high enough quality to match the rest of the bag, they did tend to get caught on the excess fabric that lined the zipper teeth. This led to occasional frustration with getting the bag properly zipped up, whether from the inside or out. The question is, was it a bit of a design flaw or user error brought on by the thin air? Only further use of the bag will tell for sure.
If you’re looking for a very good, high quality 0 Degree sleeping bag, the Phantom from Mountain Hardwear should definitely be on your short list. It is a warm, comfortable, and well-designed bag with nice touches from the warm hood, down to the well padded end.
If mummy bags aren’t you’re thing, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere, but otherwise, this is a perfect sleeping bag for your cold weather adventures. (MSRP: $475 (regular)/$485 (long) – Buy it at TravelCountry.com for just $380!)
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