Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $80
Pros: Lightweight, inexpensive, anti-snag zipper.
Cons: Budget rectangular bags offer better value.
Best Uses: Budget car camping and backpacking.
The Mountain Hardwear Pinole 20 offers the best value of all synthetic mummy sleeping bags we've tested. The bag is comfortable, simple, reasonably lightweight and can be found for around $80. The Pinole straddles our three pound cutoff that divides general purpose and backpacking sleeping bags; it can be used for shorter summer backpacking trips if you don't mind carrying the extra weight. But other bags offer less weight, pack smaller, and cost only slight more. The Kelty Cosmic Down 20 is our top choice for budget backpacking and general use.
The most luxurious general purpose sleeping bag we've tested is the Slumberjack Country Squire, a gigantic rectangular bag that doubles as a queen sized blanket. The Wenzel Grande offers the most warmth for the dollar and the Wenzel Conquest, the best value for summer camping and warmer weather applications.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Mountain Hardwear Pinole 20 is the best value three-season synthetic mummy sleeping bag we've reviewed. The bag's construction and materials are simple and of reasonable quality. It has differentiated pull cords (one round, one flat), which allow you to distinguish the cords by feel in the middle or the night. The Pinole also has the same anti-snag zipper found on Mountain Hardwear's higher quality sleeping bags like the Phantom and Ultralamina.
The best part about the Pinole might not be the bag itself but its fleece lined stuff sack that doubles as a soft pillow. Simply flip the stuff sack inside-out, fill it with a layer of your choice, and you have a warm and comfortable pillow.
While the Pinole employs offset quilt construction (to avoid sewn-through seams and cold spots), we found its temperature rating to be rather optimistic. Our testers agree that a rating closer to 30 degrees is more accurate. This doesn't necessarily detract from the bag- it's made for summer use- but we do recommend layering up when sleeping in near freezing temps.
Rectangular sleeping bags offer nearly the same warmth and cost as little as half as much as the Pinole.
Mountain Hardwear UltraLamina 32, $255.
Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 15, $260. The Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 15 is our highest rated synthetic sleeping bag.
Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 20, $280.
Looking for down? Check out the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 - Men's, or Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 - Women's, $500.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: August 14, 2014
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