First Look Gear Review

North Face Cats Meow Review

   

Backpacking Sleeping Bags

  • Currently 3.0/5
Overall avg rating 3.0 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: March 11, 2010
Street Price:   Varies from $169 - $179 | Compare prices at 7 resellers
Pros:  Durable, great temperature range.
Cons:  Does not compress small, a little heavy.
Best Uses:  Backpacking, camping, wet climates.
User Rating:     
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 (3.0 of 5) based on 2 reviews
Manufacturer:   The North Face
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ January 19, 2010  
Overview
This is the old Cat's meow page, as this product has been updated and the original version discontinued. The new one is here North Face Cat's Meow 20

The Cat's Meow is a durable sleeping bag at a great price that works in most camping and backpacking situations. I have had one for 15 years and still use it. After hundreds of times through the washing machine, it is surprisingly lofty and warm. It is a great value and is ideal for spring, summer and fall camping. However, any time I know the temps will be below freezing I bring a warmer bag. The one downside to this bag is that it does not pack that small and is not that light or warm compared to a down bag. For Sierra backpacking trips where I don't expect much weather, I would bring a down bag. For really cold winter camping, I would bring a heftier down or synthetic bag. But 90 percent of the time, whether it is sleeping on the side of EL Capitan or car camping, I reach for this bag. I know I can sleep in the dirt and abuse it, then toss it in the washer and it will be almost as good as new. In comparison, I have to baby my down bags to keep them lofty. For $160 it is hard to beat this bag for an all-around camping and outdoor sleeping bag.


  • Photos
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Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 11, 2010
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 33%  (1)
2 star: 33%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Mar 11, 2010 - 04:00pm
Morgan · Climber · East Coast
I'm currently on my third CAT'S MEOW. It is such a versatile and reliable sleeping bag. Takes the abuse for sure. The current model has some cool fabrics and a tiny laminated zippered pocket, which I haven't used yet, but it could be useful. I'm not sure if the newer model has gotten some trimmer dimensions than previous versions (It sort of feels like it), or maybe I got a little bit bigger. So far I never owned a down bag, maybe I'm missing out on something there. But I will probably always have a Cat's Meow in the arsenal.
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   Mar 11, 2010 - 01:38pm
xtrmecat · Climber · Kalispell, Montanagonia
My wife and I bought these new in 1996, and spend over 50 nights out almost every year in them. It is not the best and wildest thing out there, but for an affordable do almost everything bag, it is a winner in my book. They took a lot of abuse at our hands, stuffing them tight in compresion bags was the worst of it. The loft only gave out after many more uses than we thought we would ever get out of a synthetic light weight bag. Tough enough to say, "it is a winner". I finally started getting cold in mine after a decade of abuse, with no holes, zippers in tip top shape too. My only complaint would have to be it is tight in the upper torso area for me. This wouldn't be an issue for smaller folks though. If in the market for another synthetic bag on a budget, it would probably be this one again.

Bob n Kim

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Click to enlarge
The North Face Cat's Meow
Credit: TheNorthFace.com
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Backcountry $168.95
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