Marmot Hydrogen Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Packs down really small, low weight, extra zipper for venting
Cons: Narrow footbox, cheap hood drawstring, fragile accessory zipper
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|Price||$320.99 at Amazon|
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|$429.00 at Feathered Friends||$389.00 at Feathered Friends||$349.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Packs down really small, low weight, extra zipper for venting||Spacious dimensions, super comfortable, great loft, lightweight, made in the USA||Super lightweight, incredible loft, snag-proof zipper, cozy hood||Best-in-class zipper, best-in-class hood, awesome loft, great warmth-to-weight ratio||Spacious hourglass shape, innovative venting "gills", waterproof footbox, sturdy compression sack|
|Cons||Narrow footbox, cheap hood drawstring, fragile accessory zipper||Expensive, awkward hood, good but not great zipper||Uncomfortably narrow dimensions, bare-bones design, noisy fabric||Narrow leg dimensions, no draft collar, heavier and bulkier than some 3-season options||Below average warmth-to-weight ratio, bulky packed size|
|Bottom Line||An overly narrow footbox mires this otherwise great sleeping bag||If we could only have one bag for the rest of our lives, this would be it||The ideal bag when you need the warmth, but ounces matter too||Exceptional warm and loft along with our favorite hood and zipper||An hourglass bag with premium down and spacious lower dimensions|
|Rating Categories||Marmot Hydrogen||MegaLite||Hummingbird UL 30||Swallow 20 YF||NEMO Riff 30|
|Packed Size (15%)|
|Features & Design (10%)|
|Specs||Marmot Hydrogen||MegaLite||Hummingbird UL 30||Swallow 20 YF||NEMO Riff 30|
|Insulation||800+ FP Down||850+ FP Down||950+ FP Down||900+ FP Down||800 FP Down|
|Compressed Volume (L)||6.8 L||7.2 L||7.3 L||8.5 L||7.2 L|
|Measured Bag Weight (Size Long)||1.73 lbs||1.62 lbs||1.45 lbs||1.94 lbs||1.91 lbs|
|Manufacturer claimed weight of size Regular (lbs)||1.4 lbs||1.5 lbs||1.33 lbs||1.79 lbs||1.8 lbs|
|Compression/Stuff Sack Weight (oz)||0.8 oz||1.6 oz||0.8 oz||1.0 oz||2.4 oz|
|Manufacturer Temp Rating (F)||30 F||30 F||30 F||20 F||30 F|
|EN Temp Rating (Lower Limit, F)||23.4 F||Not rated||Not rated||Not rated||29 F|
|Fill Weight (oz)||13 oz||13 oz||12 oz||17.5 oz||10.2 oz|
|Compression or stuff sack included?||Stuff||Stuff||Stuff||Stuff||Compression|
|Shell material||Pertex 20d 100% Nylon R/S||Extremelite (12D)||Pertex Endurance (10D)||Pertex YFuse (20D)||20D Nylon Ripstop w/ DWR|
|Small Organization Pocket||Yes||No||No||No||Yes|
|Zipper||3/4-length / Side||Full-length / Side||Full-length / Side||Full-length / Side||3/4-length / Side|
|Shoulder Girth (in)||61||64||58||60||62|
|Hip Girth (in)||56||Not stated||52||56||54|
|Foot Girth (in)||Not stated||39||38||38||59|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Marmot leaves a nice buffer between the Hydrogen's advertised and tested temperature rating. They market it as a 30° bag while it receives a 23°F rating on the industry-standard EN test. As you might guess, our testers think it feels a little warmer than its advertised rating. It supplies this warmth with 13 oz of 800 fill power down, which is a decent amount considering the bag's narrow dimensions.
At 1.73 lbs for size Long (which we tested) and 1.4 lbs for size Regular, this bag is slightly ahead of the field in terms of weight. When you factor in its above-average warmth, it equates to an overall above-average warmth-to-weight ratio. This is surprising if you consider that the Hydrogen provides roomier dimensions and some additional features you won't find on other light bags that are fully optimized for minimum weight.
One of the ways the Hydrogen achieves its impressive warmth-to-weight ratio is through its narrow dimensions. With 61 inches of shoulder girth, the upper body section of the bag actually supplies adequate space. The same cannot be said as the bag tapers toward your feet. The footbox, in particular, feels uncomfortably constrictive. We also heard complaints about the drawcord used to seal up the hood. It's flimsy with a pointy melted tip that had a habit of floppy around and scratching our testers faces.
Considering this bag's near average weight, it performs impressively well when it comes to packed size. With the help of an aftermarket compression sack, we were able to squeeze it down to 6.8L, which is just fractions of a liter more than the smallest 3-season sleeping bags we've tried. The stuff sack it comes with, however, is of the simple drawstring variety so if you hope to enjoy the super small packed size we observed, you'll need to buy a third party compression sack.
To boost your options for venting excess heat the Hydrogen is fitted with a 14-inch auxiliary zipper positioned opposite the main zipper near the head of the bag. When opened, this allows you to fold down the collar and let your neck and upper chest breathe. It's a nice feature, but we're not fans of the tiny zipper it relies on because it's so prone to snagging.
Features & Design
Inside the bag is a slim zippered pocket that's just large enough to stash an iPhone X. The main zipper incorporates a Y-shaped slide that's designed to reduce snags. We found it to be modestly successful at this goal.
We're not happy about the hood drawstring made of supple string because it often dangles down to irritate your face. We also dislike that the useful accessory venting zipper is sewn fully into the bag which makes it a serious chore to fix if it becomes misaligned.
This bag retails near the average for a 3-season backpacking sleeping bag, and it's been around long enough that we occasionally see it on sale. At full price, we consider it an OK value, but there are a few other bags priced competitively that we like a little more, such as the 850 fill power REI Magma 30. If you're able to find the Hydrogen at a decent discount it could still be worth considering.
The sleeping bag market is a crowded place, and this bag does little to separate itself from the field. Its accessory zipper is perhaps its most distinguishing trait but this feature is compromised by durability concerns. If you're on a budget, the Marmot Hydrogen should be on your radar. But only if you're able to find it on sale.
— Jack Cramer