Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 0 Review
Cons: Heavy, static drawstring around the face
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
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Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 0
$315.00 at REI
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$324.95 at Backcountry
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|Pros||DWR shell fabric, glow in the dark zipper, large draft tube, inexpensive||One of the warmest bags in the test, lightweight, compression sack included||Dual zipper for venting and sitting up, zippered stash pocket, affordable||Weather resistant, comfortable, inexpensive||Warm, inexpensive|
|Cons||Heavy, static drawstring around the face||Lack of hydrophobic down, missing top hood cinch, snug fit not everyone's favorite||Heavy, small draft tube allows cold air infiltration, static drawcord over the face||Heavy, zipper snags||Heavy, large packed size, not very weather resistant|
|Bottom Line||An inexpensive bag that offers excellent warmth and weather resistance, albeit heavier than most in our fleet||A truly supreme sleeping bag that stands out for impressive weight savings without missing out on warmth||A great first four-season bag that weighs a little more but costs a bit less than most||This bag is heavy on the warmth and light on the wallet||An inexpensive option that will keep you warm, but too bulky and heavy for heading more than a few miles into the backcountry|
|Rating Categories||Mountain Hardwear B...||Mountain Hardwear P...||Marmot Never Summer 0||Rab Ascent 900||Kelty Cosmic 0|
|Packed Size (15%)|
|Weather Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Mountain Hardwear B...||Mountain Hardwear P...||Marmot Never Summer 0||Rab Ascent 900||Kelty Cosmic 0|
|Measured Weight (lbs, size Regular)||3.13 lbs||2.68 lbs||3.19 lbs||3.29 lbs||4.56 lbs|
|Fill Weight (oz)||35 oz||29.6 oz||36.2 oz||31.7 oz||39.5 oz|
|Type of Down Fill||Down||Goose Down RDS Cert/Fluorine Free||Down||European Goose Down||Duck Down|
|Material Weight (excludes down, oz)||15.1 oz||13.28 oz||14.9 oz||20.98 oz||39.5 oz|
|Shoulder Girth (inches)||62"||58"||62"||59"||62"|
|Hip Girth (inches)||53"||52"||57"||51"||58"|
|Foot Girth (inches)||Not listed||Not listed||48.5"||49"||Not listed|
|Shell Material||20-denier ripstop nylon||10D nylon Ghost ripstop, DWR finish||20-denier ripstop nylon||Pertex Microlite||20D Nylon|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass is packed with 650 fill high loft down and boasts large baffles, which keep warm air in and cold air out. It earns this year's Best Buy award for honorable marks across the metrics and a price that is hard to beat. The sturdy construction held up to cold mountain nights, with just thin layers of foam and cuben fiber between it and jagged rocks and roots. Our testers were unanimous in giving this product our coveted award in return for the sound nights of sleep it bestowed on them.
On cold Sierra Nevada nights in early winter, the Bishop Pass kept our testers toasty with six inches of loft and a generous draft tube that kept the chill out on our coldest test nights in the open air. The draft collar is extremely plush and some of our testers needed ventilation without wearing layers in the bag in freezing temps. It is also ergonomic and forms to the body to keep warm air in even as you move around. The bag is supplied with a large storage bag to protect the loft of the down while it is not in use.
When temps got down to the teens, we were still comfortably warm in only base layers. The proclaimed comfort level of this bag is 13 degrees and our testers agreed. The large baffle does a lot, even though it adds weight, to reduce the intrusion of cold air into the bag. Should you get too hot, the two-way zipper allows for easy ventilation at your feet. This bag comfortably covers a wide range of temperatures.
The Bishop Pass weighs in at three pounds and two point one ounces. This seats it in the heavier end of our lineup, though its weight is still not too much to throw in the pack for an overnight backpacking trip or ski tour. The lighter you go, the more you pay and we feel that the Bishop Pass threads a fine needle of offering outstanding warmth and features for a competitive price. Not everyone is ready to drop a rent check worth of cash on a sometimes used piece of gear. If you aren’t avid about winter camping or need a bag for every season, this is a great choice without breaking the bank.
This bag uses sturdy rip-stop materials and beefy zippers. The mummy bag shape does trim considerable ounces compared to a full-size bag. There are 35 ounces of down, which is less than some bags on the same market; Mountain Hardwear trims some extra grams by making this bag a little more slender in the hips and feet. At six feet, two hundred pounds, our largest testers felt perfectly comfortable all night without noticing a few less inches in girth compared to similar competitors.
The Bishop Pass is 62 inches in the shoulders and a slender 53 in the hips. The foot box doesn’t taper much, which makes it feel roomy, allowing space for items you don’t want to freeze or that Nalgene of boiling water to keep your toes toasty. As with most mummy-style bags, the position of comfort that you sleep in will alter your perception. We tested side, back, and stomach sleeping. Even our larger testers who filled out the bag had few issues finding a comfortable sleeping position. Less dead air space and lofty baffles mean no cold spots on the inside of the bag.
The hood is fat with down and the cinch cord draws snug around your face. Similar to other bags at this price point, we were disappointed that the cinch cord is made from a static cord instead of a bungee. This causes the edge baffle to catch on your forehead as you move or change positions. Of course, moving around in a mummy bag is always awkward but we found the soft fibers of the liner felt smooth and velvety against our skin. The zipper also has a large garage housing at the face so you don’t get annoyed by it flopping in your face or jingling in the wind.
We were disappointed that the Bishop Pass didn’t come with a compression sack. Forcing a bag into a tiny sack shortens the lifespan of the loftiness of the down, but it is necessary to fit everything you need for your adventure. To test packed size, we used a 20 liter Sea to Summit compression sack as our benchmark. It took some time to squeeze all the air out (a very good sign), but we were eventually able to get the sack all the way cinched down to the max. This didn’t take too much effort but it is important to be patient with this process to not stress the stitching on the shell or baffles.
If you plan to car camp and store this bag in the provided storage sack, it will lengthen the useful life span of the down and construction. Some users prefer to stuff the bag around other items in their pack or feign compression sacks altogether. Taking time to allow the air to leak out slowly can be a time-consuming process depending on your objectives but it will pay back in droves later.
The Bishop Pass doesn’t offer a lot of fancy extras but sticks to providing a solid job in the basic function of a good sleeping bag. The stash pocket is a definite plus. It’s large enough to toss your phone so the cold doesn’t drain your battery or to hide a little midnight snack (be safe in bear country!).
Durable tape lines the zipper to prevent snags and is wider than most other brands we tested at just over an inch. The zipper also has a plastic housing to prevent snagging. The zipper action is great and doesn’t resist being pulled in either direction.
There are also tie loops on the side of the bag to secure it to the sleeping pad. If the ground is uneven, this can help you from ending up in a puddle at the bottom of the tent in the morning. These are also handy for hanging the bag to dry or for climbers, to keep it from getting blown off your ledge. One last special touch we appreciated was the glow-in-the-dark zipper. This saved us from ruining our night vision when we got up to pee. Not necessary but it displays the thoughtful extra care integrated into this award-winning product.
Our testers were happy to find that the DWR treated 20 denier shell repels water and tent condensation very well. When we tested the material by letting it puddle, the material withheld from soaking for over 15 minutes. It is important to not let down get wet or it loses its warming capability and loft.
On windy nights in the open, the shell material repelled the wind effectively. Much of this is due to the aforementioned draft tube. We don’t recommend sleeping out without a tent in the snow or rain. But on long trips where spills and condensation can accumulate into saturated gear, it is important to know there is an adequate level of resistance. In submersion testing, the bag absorbed little water and dried quickly, in a half-hour, in full sun on a cool fall day in the 50s.
The Bishop Pass receives our strong recommendation as this year’s Best Buy. It boasts an excellent price and features that make it an absolute steal. Although it is heavy and doesn’t have the extra features of more expensive bags, it’s a great product for car camping or shorter backcountry trips. With its venting capabilities, this bag would perform well even in the summer, and the weather resistance and warmth retention in inclement seasons earn it top marks. If you aren’t ready or are unable to commit to purchasing a top-of-the-line bag, consider this model as a perfect do it all bag at a moderate price.
The Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 0 is a stout, all-around, go-to grab bag for any season. It's affordable and offers great features and warmth for a killer price. Utilitarian, it offers good weather resistance and lofty but packable down. It kept us warm on cold mountain nights and chilly dewy mornings. This bag could be the budget-conscious nascent outdoor enthusiasts’ one-stop shop for all seasons of use.
— Ryan Baker
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