Mountain Hardwear Phantom 30 Review
Cons: Expensive, uncomfortably narrow, doesn't live up to its temp rating
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
Compare to Similar Products
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 30
$449.95 at Backcountry
$314.96 at Backcountry
$235.00 at REI
Check Price at REI
$99.95 at REI
|Pros||Ultralight, packable, premium materials||Spacious dimensions, super comfortable, great loft, lightweight, made in the USA||Decent weight, respectable warmth, awesome bargain||Spacious, decent warmth-to-weight ratio, reasonable price||Great price, respectable weight, simple design|
|Cons||Expensive, uncomfortably narrow, doesn't live up to its temp rating||Expensive, awkward hood, good but not great zipper||Average materials, limited features, basic design||Bulky, ineffective hood closure, limited versatility||Subpar warmth, annoying hood drawcords, no storage sack, mediocre versatility|
|Bottom Line||A premium, no-nonsense mummy bag built for light and fast overnights||The best ultra-premium bag that combines warmth, low weight, good packability, and luxurious comfort||An exceptional deal for a capable and sturdy backpacking sleeping bag for those looking to get outside without breaking the bank||A mid-range double bag for weight-conscious and comfort-seeking adventure pairs||An acceptable sleeping bag at a rock bottom price|
|Rating Categories||Mountain Hardwear P...||Western Mountaineer...||Mountain Hardwear B...||Big Agnes Sentinel...||REI Co-op Trailbrea...|
|Packed Size (15%)|
|Features & Design (10%)|
|Specs||Mountain Hardwear P...||Western Mountaineer...||Mountain Hardwear B...||Big Agnes Sentinel...||REI Co-op Trailbrea...|
|Insulation||850 FP Down||850+ FP Down||650 FP Down, RDS-certified||650 FP Down||Synthetic - Polyester|
|Compressed Volume (L)||6.7 L||7.2 L||7.5 L||11.2 L||9.8 L|
|Measured Bag Weight (Size Long)||1.48 lbs||1.62 lbs||1.98 lbs||3.25 lbs (size regular)||2.74 lbs|
|Manufacturer claimed weight of size Regular (lbs)||1.44 lbs||1.5 lbs||1.79 lbs||3.5 lbs||2.5 lb|
|Compression/Stuff Sack Weight (oz)||2.8 oz||1.6 oz||1.6 oz||1.4 oz||1.2 oz|
|Manufacturer Temp Rating (F)||30 F||30 F||30 F||30 F||30 F|
|EN Temp Rating (Lower Limit, F)||25 F||Not rated||30 F||Not rated||29 F|
|Fill Weight (oz)||11 oz||13 oz||15 oz||19.5 oz||21.1 oz|
|Compression or stuff sack included?||Compression sack||Stuff||Stuff sack||Stuff sack||Stuff|
|Shell material||10D Nylon ripstop||Extremelite (12D)||20D Nylon Ripstop||Polyester ripstop||Polyester w/ DWR|
|Liner material||20D Nylon taffeta||n/a||30D Plain weave nylon||Polyester taffeta||Polyester|
|Small Organization Pocket||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Zipper||3/4-length / Left side||Full-length / Side||3/4-length / Left Side||Dual 3/4-length||3/4-Length / Left Side|
|Shoulder Girth (in)||58||64||62||105||62|
|Hip Girth (in)||52||Not stated||53||105||56|
|Foot Girth (in)||39||84||Not stated|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Phantom 30 is filled with 11 oz of premium goose down. Although this high-quality down boasts a respectable fill power of 850, after extensive testing our testers don't believe there is enough of it for this bag to live up to its 25F lower limit EN temperature rating. In fact, there were several bags with inferior temp ratings that felt warmer to our testers during our tests. The absence of a neck baffle also seems to make the limited insulation a bigger issue because it's hard to prevent heat from escaping out the hood.
At 1.48 lbs for a size Long, the Phantom 30 is among the lightest bags in this review. It achieves this low weight with narrow dimensions and high-quality materials. Our testers appreciated these weight savings during minimalist adventures when the ounces really mattered.
The 10-denier nylon lining fabric on the Phantom 30 feels luxurious on the skin. Unfortunately, this sense of luxury is negated by the bag's narrow dimensions. Even our slimmest testers complained of feeling constrained by the meager girth at this bag's waist and foot. To be fair though this is a common complaint we hear about most ultralight mummy bags that choose to trim their dimensions to trim ounces.
One advantage to this bag's minimalist design is a minuscule packed size. In a third-party compression sack, we were able to pack it down to an impressive 6.7 liters. We were able to achieve similar results with the capable compression sack that this bag comes with. Our only gripe is that this compression sack is a little heavy at 2.8 oz.
The Phantom 30 makes some compromises when it comes to versatility. You cannot rely on its premium down to keep you warm if it gets wet. The 3/4-length zipper is long enough to shed excess heat on warm nights but too short to effectively share it between two people during an unplanned bivouac. The lack of a significant neck baffle also limits this bag's usefulness if temperatures unexpectedly drop.
Features & Design
This bag is designed to keep weight at an absolute minimum so its feature set is understandably sparse. We're happy to report that the 3/4-length zipper is sturdy and resistant to snagging. The hood closure utilizes a basic, inelastic string as a drawcord. We found this to be reasonably effective, but relatively uncomfortable because it would dangle into the bag and irritate our faces. This bag also lacks a small organizational pocket for stowing a phone.
With its premium materials, the Phantom 30 retails at a correspondingly premium price. Unfortunately, we prefer several other bags in this price range over the Phantom. It represents an OK value at full price, but it becomes much more desirable if you're lucky enough to find it on sale.
In a crowded field of backpacking sleeping bags, the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 30 tries to distinguish itself with its small packed size and minimal weight. Although its performance in these areas is impressive, there are other bags that match it on weight and packability while making fewer sacrifices in terms of warmth and comfort. The Phantom 30 could still be a premium bag that's worth considering, but only if you can find it on sale.
— Jack Cramer
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