Hands-on Gear Review

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 Review

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15
Price:  $500 List
Pros:  Warm for its weight, good fabrics, fantastic hood design.
Cons:  Does not have continuous horizontal baffles = less versatile and less warm than Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering 3-season bags.
Editors' Rating:   
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Style:  Mummy
Total Weight (oz):  31
Total Weight (lb.):  1.94
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear

Our Verdict

Product Discontinued
The text in this review compares the Phantom 15 to other top models available in 2015. Our current Backpacking Sleeping Bag review provides in-depth comparisons among today's best bags.

This excellent bag combines 800-fill down with a great fit. The Phantom is equipped with one of the most comfortable hood designs of any bag we tested. This bag offer campers and backpackers a moderately lightweight bag that's viable below freezing.

Traditional sleeping bags with zippers and hoods have fixed girths that can be a large drawback for backpackers and climbers that cross multiple climates or wear clothing inside the bag. We've found that quilt style sleeping bags are more versatile, lighter weight, and more comfortable in a wider range of conditions. Our testers much prefer quilts for multi-day trips. Compare the best bags that prioritize weight savings in our Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review. If you're set on a hood check out our Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags of 2018

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Chris McNamara and Max Neale

Last Updated:
Thursday
May 7, 2015

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Likes


The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 is one of our highest rated traditional style three-season down bags. It exemplifies a well-designed, comfortable, and efficient sleeping bag, and its significantly more affordable than slightly better bags.

Outside, the Phantom is protected by superlight 15 Denier ripstop nylon. Inside, 800-fill goose down provides a luxurious amount of puffy loft. While weight and compressibility are top factors when choosing a sleeping bag, its fit that separates a good bag from a great bag. Disregarding the stretchy Montbell Down Hugger, the Phantom is the best fitting all-purpose bag reviewed in this category. The Phantom 15 fits a wide variety of body types without being too wide or too skinny for the masses. Its available in a Womens cut, which is shorter than the Regular cut. We prefer the fit of the Phantom to the fit of the Marmot Plasma, which is slightly wider and not available in a Womens cut.

All other sleeping bags weve reviewed, except for the Marmot Plasma, have inferior hood and neck baffles. The Plasmas is, more or less, as comfortable as the Phantoms, but its slightly less efficient (heavier). Were comparing minute details here, but theyre important because its what surrounds your face and neck.

The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 has one of the most comfortable hoods of any sleeping bag we've ever tested.
The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 has one of the most comfortable hoods of any sleeping bag we've ever tested.

Dislikes


Unfortunately, the zipper on the Phantom is extremely prone to snagging. Like terribly likely to snag. This author once spent 10 minutes freeing a caught zipper in the middle of the night (much worse than most other bags). While this is rather annoying, the problem is akin to a small blemish on a flavorful fruit. You can deal with it.

Like all sleeping bags with fixed girths, the Phantom is significantly heavier and less versatile than quilt style sleeping bags. Our Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review discusses the advantages of quilts, which are found in the Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review.

Best Application


All-purpose multi-day camping.

Value


The Phantom is a great value. Its not as light or as fancy as the Marmot Plasma 15, but its lower price make it a sure bet for someone looking for a quality do-it-all down bag.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: May 7, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (4.7)

100% of 3 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (2)
4 star: 50%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Backpacker

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   Dec 4, 2012 - 03:30am
Sarah Raz · Backpacker · MT

I got this bag for a five month bicycle trip from Alaska to Mexico: I wanted something light, warm, and that would pack down. This bag did all of these things, and I was happy with it. I was afraid that exposure to moisture would compromise the loft, but it stayed fluffy til the end. I'd had a cheaper, thus heaver sleeping bag before and I could not BELIEVE how light this bag was. On a sweet note, it also zipped up with my boyfriend's bag, although we did not have the same sleeping bag. So that was pretty cute.

One thing that worried me a bit-this bag seemed to lose a lot of feathers through the seams. I didn't notice any real difference in the loft, but whenever I'd shake the tent out in the morning, quite a few feathers would fly out. I am a little concerned about how that will play out in the months to come.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

Kayaker

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   Oct 27, 2012 - 03:16am
MotoKitty · Kayaker · Portland, Or

I bought his bag for all around travel, to take on motorcycle trips and on trips that involve plane travel. I'm a thin built female that gets really cold at night so the bag needs to strike a balance between being really compressible and warm. I think the phantom 15 has done this perfectly.

I just stayed in Bryce Canyon where the overnight temp was at 28 degrees and I was toasty warm and comfy with only a thin clothing layer. I'd be comfortable taking this bag into the upper teens. The hood on this also fits perfectly so a hat isn't needed. Like others have mentioned, the zipper can snag but i got used to it. Bottom line is that I really love this bag!



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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   Apr 3, 2011 - 08:43am
spidey · Climber · Berkeley CA

I have the Phantom 32 for summer use, and Phantom 0 for winter. Both are great bags, so I'm sure the 15 is great as well. Only negative is the zippers do catch a lot. But they are super light, perform well, and very comfortable. Mountain Hardwear makes great sleeping bags. I tried the marmot helium and found the phantom was a lot more comfortable - it just fits better in the hood and the footbox.

If you are only going to have one bag the 15 degree rating is the way to go, and I'd highly recommend the phantom series.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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