Reviews You Can Rely On

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 30 Review

A premium, no-nonsense mummy bag built for light and fast overnights
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 30
Photo: Mountain Hardwear
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $420 List | $314.99 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Ultralight, packable, premium materials
Cons:  Expensive, uncomfortably narrow, doesn't live up to its temp rating
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear
By Jack Cramer ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 30, 2021
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 21
  • Warmth - 20% 5
  • Weight - 20% 9
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Packed Size - 15% 9
  • Versatility - 15% 5
  • Features & Design - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 30 is a premium down sleeping bag that aims to impress with its ultralight weight and petite packed size. And it is impressive in both of these areas, but it underperforms in others. Our testers don't believe its warmth lives up to its 30F temperature rating. They also complained the bag's narrow dimensions disturbing their sleep. Ultimately, these issues make its premium price hard to justify, but it could still be worth considering if you're able to find it at a discount. At full price, it's best suited for slim folks who care more about saving weight than saving money.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $314.99 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$500 List$299.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$100 List
$99.95 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
67
80
63
63
52
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Ultralight, packable, premium materialsSpacious dimensions, super comfortable, great loft, lightweight, made in the USASpacious, decent warmth-to-weight ratio, reasonable priceDecent weight, respectable warmth, awesome bargainGreat price, respectable weight, simple design
Cons Expensive, uncomfortably narrow, doesn't live up to its temp ratingExpensive, awkward hood, good but not great zipperBulky, ineffective hood closure, limited versatilityAverage materials, limited features, basic designSubpar warmth, annoying hood drawcords, no storage sack, mediocre versatility
Bottom Line A premium, no-nonsense mummy bag built for light and fast overnightsThe best ultra-premium bag that combines warmth, low weight, good packability, and luxurious comfortA mid-range double bag for weight-conscious and comfort-seeking adventure pairsAn exceptional deal for a capable and sturdy backpacking sleeping bag for those looking to get outside without breaking the bankAn acceptable sleeping bag at a rock bottom price
Rating Categories Mountain Hardwear P... Western Mountaineer... Big Agnes Sentinel... Mountain Hardwear B... REI Co-op Trailbrea...
Warmth (20%)
5.0
8.0
5.0
6.0
5.0
Weight (20%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
3.0
Comfort (20%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Packed Size (15%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Versatility (15%)
5.0
7.0
4.0
6.0
7.0
Features & Design (10%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Specs Mountain Hardwear P... Western Mountaineer... Big Agnes Sentinel... Mountain Hardwear B... REI Co-op Trailbrea...
Insulation 850 FP Down 850+ FP Down 650 FP Down 650 FP Down, RDS-certified Synthetic - Polyester
Compressed Volume (L) 6.7 L 7.2 L 11.2 L 7.5 L 9.8 L
Measured Bag Weight (Size Long) 1.48 lbs 1.62 lbs 3.25 lbs (size regular) 1.98 lbs 2.74 lbs
Manufacturer claimed weight of size Regular (lbs) 1.44 lbs 1.5 lbs 3.5 lbs 1.79 lbs 2.5 lb
Compression/Stuff Sack Weight (oz) 2.8 oz 1.6 oz 1.4 oz 1.6 oz 1.2 oz
Hydrophobic down No No Yes No N/A
Manufacturer Temp Rating (F) 30 F 30 F 30 F 30 F 30 F
EN Temp Rating (Lower Limit, F) 25 F Not rated Not rated 30 F 29 F
Fill Weight (oz) 11 oz 13 oz 19.5 oz 15 oz 21.1 oz
Compression or stuff sack included? Compression sack Stuff Stuff sack Stuff sack Stuff
Shell material 10D Nylon ripstop Extremelite (12D) Polyester ripstop 20D Nylon Ripstop Polyester w/ DWR
DWR? Yes No Yes Yes No
Liner material 20D Nylon taffeta n/a Polyester taffeta 30D Plain weave nylon Polyester
Neck Baffle No No Yes No No
Small Organization Pocket No No No Yes Yes
Zipper 3/4-length / Left side Full-length / Side Dual 3/4-length 3/4-length / Left Side 3/4-Length / Left Side
Shoulder Girth (in) 58 64 105 62 62
Hip Girth (in) 52 Not stated 105 53 56
Foot Girth (in) 39 84 Not stated

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Phantom 30 is a premium model that's best for going fast and...
The Phantom 30 is a premium model that's best for going fast and light in warmer weather conditions.
Photo: Jack Cramer

Warmth


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.

The Phantom 30's minimal weight is less necessary for shorter trips...
The Phantom 30's minimal weight is less necessary for shorter trips and car camping when much more affordable sleeping bags would suffice.
Photo: Jack Cramer

Weight


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.

To save weight, the Phantom 30 is noticeably narrow. This...
To save weight, the Phantom 30 is noticeably narrow. This substantially reduces its comfort on extended trips.
Photo: Jack Cramer

Comfort


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.

We were impressed with the effectiveness of the Phantom 30's...
We were impressed with the effectiveness of the Phantom 30's included compression sack.
Photo: Jack Cramer

Packed Size


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.

Versatility


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.

We read several customer complaints about the white lettering...
We read several customer complaints about the white lettering peeling off this expensive bag. We can confirm that we also observed this in our own tests.
Photo: Jack Cramer

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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More