Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $130 - $179 | Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros: Warm when wet.
Cons: Heavy, not as light as compressible or as comfortable as a down bag.
Best Uses: Summer backpacking.
Manufacturer: North Face
The North Face Cat's Meow is an ultra classic and over priced synthetic bag that walks the car camping/backpacking line. We've found that other Backpacking Sleeping Bags perform better when weight and packed size is a concern and cost less than the Cat's Meow. Similarly, for car camping and general use, we've found that bags in our Sleeping Bag Review are much cheaper and more comfortable than the Cat's Meow. Check out those reviews. You can get two other bags for nearly the same price as the Cat's Meow.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The North Face Cat's Meow is a moderate quality synthetic insulated mummy bag. It uses mid range PrimaLoft Prism insulation and a mid range ripstop fabric.
This bag is marketed as a all-purpose car camping and backpacking bag. But through testing seventy sleeping bags of all types and styles we've found other bags that perform better for backpacking and car camping and cost less. Our testing has shown that the only reason to get a synthetic bag for multi-day trips is the warm-when-wet performance advantage over down insulation. Budget car camping bags found in our Sleeping Bag Review are as warm as the Cat's Meow and up to 1/3 cheaper. See our Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review for lightweight and compressible bags, and specifically, consider the Enlightened Equipment Revelation and the Kelty Cosmic Down 20.
Our highest rated synthetic sleeping bag is the Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina. That bag offer the greatest amount of warmth and comfort when wet. If saving weight is more important than warmth, or if you plan to bring a warmer insulated jacket consider the Enlightened Equipment Prodigy, which saves 12 ounces. The latter bag offers much more performance than the Cat's Meow and costs only slightly more.
The North Face Cat's Meow 20 - Women's, $179, wins our Best Buy Award, as it is inexpensive and does the job well. The Cat's Meow is a tried and true inexpensive, synthetic insulated sleeping bag and is an excellent introductory sleeping bag for short backpacking trips and car camping adventures.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 5, 2014
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