This high-quality synthetic sleeping bag replaces the tried and true Ultralamina. Just like its predecessor, the synthetic insulation keeps its loft and insulation properties even when you or your bag are soaking wet, and it offers several features that set it apart from the synthetic competition.
Mountain Hardwear Hyperlamina Flame Review
Cons: Heavier than down, packs larger than down
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Flame is currently the only synthetic sleeping bag in our Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review.
This bag has a very high warmth to weight ratio. This is due to laminating the insulation to the shell which eliminates stitches. It's warmer, lighter and more weather resistant than more traditional construction methods. There are no little stitch holes for water to get in. It also gives it a cool look.
At 43oz.(size reg.) the Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Flame is comparable in weight to its predecessor, the UltraLamina, and even some of the budget down sleeping bags in our test. It's on the heavy sad, but it's a small price to pay to stay warm when wet. However, as a synthetic sleeping bag, it's pretty darn light!
We really like the soft feel of the interior and exterior fabrics of the HyperLamina, and its lightweight insulation. Other synthetic bags we've used in the past have felt heavier and more smothering. This bag has a "performance mummy cut" to reduce weight and maximize thermal efficiency, but it still doesn't feel as tight as some of the high performance down bags in the review like the Western Mountaineering UltraLite. The footbox is ergonomic and warm. Check out the photos to see how articulated it is.
At first it was hard not to be skeptical of the top zip on the HyperLamina. Images of the zipper pull tapping our nose all night were hard to escape. Luckily, the pull is protected behind the draft tube. Really, the unique design had no direct negative impact on our sleeping comfort. When rolling onto your side with the sleeping bag, it was actually pretty comfortable not laying on a zipper or draft tube. The passive draft collar does need to be fastened around the front of your neck, though. This felt slightly bulky and is the biggest drawback of this top zip design. There is no draw cord for the draft collar, and that gave us one less hard object to lay our head or face on. Kudos for a passive draft collar that is comfortable and still keeps the warm air in. Overall, the hood of the HyperLamina is comfortable and functional. The top zip design has an interesting effect on the hood closure system, which is that the tightening of the hood is only on the top, not near the chin also, because of the zipper. It does still cinch in a way to keeps you well insulated, but not so much as to obscure your vision or ability to breathe that nice cool night air.
When fully compressed, its packed size is pretty close to lower quality down bags. Compared to other synthetic sleeping bags we've tested in the past, this bag compresses well.
The laminated insulation construction that Mountain Hardwear uses keeps this bag lightweight, and more wind and water resistant. The warm-when-wet nature of synthetic insulation is valuable when things are cold, damp, and generally uncomfortable.
A top zipping design changes the way in which we interact with normal sleeping bag features. The position and function of other things like draft tubes, hood adjustments, and draft collars have to adapt.
The draft tube would not work as well on the top of the bag without the velcro closures it uses here. They seemed strong enough to keep the tube in place during the night. Although a bit bulky resting on the adam's apple, the passive draft collar was comfortable without a cinching cord and stayed put, keeping us nice and warm. The nice thing about a functional draft collar is that it allows you to adjust how much you need to use the hood. We expect that one would only need to really cinch down this hood near the bag's temperature limit.
The hood of the HyperLamina is adjusted using small diameter elasticized cord. Push button locks for the cord are hidden beneath the shell of the bag, sheltered by enough insulation to make it more comfortable. The hood cinches only on the top and sides of the head since the zipper comes to the chin.
This bag is ideal for wet conditions, especially when on extended trips you might not be able to easily dry out a bag. It's not quite as light as a high quality down bag. But it has similar weight and warmth to a low/medium quality down bag with the advantage of functioning even when damp or wet.
This is not a great value compared to down bags. However, if you need a bag to keep you warm even if you are wet, this is hard to beat for it's combo or price and performance.
The newest Lamina family member from Mountain Hardwear is a quality synthetic sleeping bag. We're not necessarily sold on the top-zip design of the bag, but don't see any big problems with it in our initial testing. Other solid design details on the bag caught our eye and kept us comfortable and warm in the mountains. This is a good choice for a climber or backpacker looking specifically for a synthetic sleeping bag.
— Mike Phillips