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Mountain Hardwear Rook 0 Review

This is a great option for a budget bag with occasional winter overnights in mind
Mountain Hardwear Rook 0
Photo: Mountain Hardwear
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Price:  $300 List
Pros:  Plenty warm, comfortable hood, bomber outer fabric
Cons:  Low end down, substantially heavier than many other bags
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear
By Jeff Rogers ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 18, 2020
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 13
  • Warmth - 20% 7
  • Weight - 20% 5
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Packed Size - 15% 7
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 6
  • Features - 10% 7

Our Verdict

With an ample amount of 650 fill down and a 30D outer fabric, the Rook provides the warmth and durability that occasional backpackers and car campers need. While not very light or packable, this bag does keep you warm at 0F and provides a comfortable fit that does not restrict sleeping. This bag is ideal if you do not want to spend a fortune on a bag in order to stay warm on the occasional winter overnight. If you're planning on carrying this bag for days, there are much better and pricier options that will benefit you more. Bonus points: an old school mountain Hardwear logo and colors bring back the feeling of 90s mountaineering, and that's just flat out cool.

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Pros Plenty warm, comfortable hood, bomber outer fabricWarm, awesome comfort, great warmth to weight ratioWeather resistant, comfortable, inexpensiveAffordable, water-reppelent, roomy, warmWarm, inexpensive
Cons Low end down, substantially heavier than many other bagsExpensiveHeavy, zipper snagsHeavyHeavy, large packed size, not very weather resistant
Bottom Line This is a great option for a budget bag with occasional winter overnights in mindFor temps down to zero degrees, you can't beat this bagThis bag is heavy on the warmth and light on the walletThis is an excellent bargain for a capable winter camping sleeping bagAn inexpensive option that will keep you warm, but too heavy for moving light and fast in the mountains
Rating Categories Mountain Hardwear R... Kodiak MF Rab Ascent 900 REI Co-op Down Time 0 Kelty Cosmic 0
Warmth (20%)
7.0
8.0
5.0
6.0
5.0
Weight (20%)
5.0
7.0
5.0
2.0
2.0
Comfort (20%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Packed Size (15%)
7.0
7.0
4.0
4.0
3.0
Weather Resistance (15%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
3.0
Features (10%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Specs Mountain Hardwear R... Kodiak MF Rab Ascent 900 REI Co-op Down Time 0 Kelty Cosmic 0
Measured Weight (lbs, size Regular) 3.20 lbs 2.85 lbs 3.29 lbs 3.87 lbs 3.80 lbs
Fill Weight (oz) 33.2 oz 30 oz 31.7 oz 27 oz 33 oz
Type of Down Fill Down RDS Cert/Fluorine Free Goose Down European Goose Down Duck Down (RDS certified and bluesign approved) DriDown
Fill Power 650 850 650 650 600
Material Weight (excludes down, oz) 18 oz 15.65 oz 20.98 oz 35 oz 28 oz
Temperature Rating 0°F 0°F 0°F 0°F 0°F
Pocket Yes No Yes No Yes
Shoulder Girth (inches) 60" 66" 59" 62" 62"
Hip Girth (inches) 55" 57" 51" 58" 58"
Foot Girth (inches) Not listed 41" 49" 40" 40"
Shell Material 30D nylon, DWR treatment MicroLite XP Pertex Microlite Ripstop nylon 50D polyester ripstop
Continuous Baffle No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Mountain Hardwear Rook is an excellent example of a budget-friendly bag using adequate materials and down fill. The Rook is cut generously throughout the bag, yet still retains enough insulation to be able to insulate the user down to 0F. With a price tag well below some of its other competitors and a warmth that surpasses any of the other budget bags, the Rook is a great choice when weight is not of the utmost concern. Occasional mountaineering and cold weather car camping can easily be satisfied with this bag, and its included compression sack.

Performance Comparison


Lead Tester Jeff Rogers found this to be a  very warm budget bag...
Lead Tester Jeff Rogers found this to be a very warm budget bag. With 32oz of 650 fill down, it still packs quite a bit of warmth for being so inexpensive.
Photo: Jeff Rogers

Warmth


33oz of 650 fill down fill up a voluminous 30D nylon outer with enough room to store water bottles, camera gear, and whatever else you need to keep warm. Compare this to the competition in the budget bag category, the Thermarest Questar and the Mountain Hardwear has 4 more ounces of 650 fill down at just a slightly higher overall weight. When we say this bag is rated to 0F, we mean it. It also includes an excellent hood and draft collar, which are important in ensuring the warmth that the bag insulates, stays within the bag and close to your body.

Weight


The Mountain Hardwear Rook is not a light 0F bag. However, it is not designed to be. Keep in mind this bag uses less expensive materials. For the given design parameters, this bag comes in at a decent warmth/weight ratio and provides cold weather sleepers with a packable option that will get the job done. Potential buyers of this bag will likely not be carrying their kit deep into the mountains often, and thus do not need to have a bag that weighs closer to 2lbs.

Comfort


We found that this bag was comfortable for users up to 6ft 1inch tall. Taller than that and the foot box begins to get cold due to toes compressing the down in the foot baffles. In terms of width and how much room your upper body has in the bag, we found plenty of room to store water bottles and different gear around the chest area, where it is warmest. We were easily able to dry out boot liners overnight. The hood on the Rook is also well done. While not the most comfortable in the test, it had enough adjustments to seal in all of the warmth, and that is what matters most. Our lead tester was also able to stuff a small puffy inside behind his neck while fully cinched up, which means that you can still use a small pillow and be comfortable.

Packed Size


What can we say, it's a budget sleeping bag and it doesn't pack down very well compared to the more expensive offerings. The saving grace here is that the Rook includes an excellent compression sack. This saves you having to buy a compression bag for your down sleeping bag, which is a must if you are trying to get it compacted into its smallest form factor. Kudos to Mountain Hardwear as this is consistent across their sleeping bag line.

Another A+ from Mountain Hardwear, the Rook 0F seen here in its...
Another A+ from Mountain Hardwear, the Rook 0F seen here in its included compression sack.
Photo: Jeff Rogers

Features


The Rook has several appealing features. A small pocket on the upper portion of the zipper allows you to store small items like earbuds and chapstick. The zipper is backed by a substantial draft tube, and it insulates against your body quite well. The zipper slider itself has a plastic sheath newly developed by YKK and found on a lot of the bags in the test that allows the bag to operate without snagging the zipper on the face fabric or internal baffles. We found this worked adequately but did not create 0 snags like the Western Mountaineering bags. The hood is backed by an insulated draft tube that surrounds your neck and a baffle that insulates your forehead, standard features on most 0F bags.

Weather Resistance



The DWR on the Rook performed flawlessly in our testing, however once submerged and squeezed in water the bag wetted out very quickly. It's important to keep this bag sheltered in a tent or bivy because it does not have waterproof face fabric or water-resistant down. This isn't to say the bag performed poorly in our weather resistance testing, but if you are using this bag day after day, it does need the protection of a shelter and will become wet if you pack it away with a significant amount of moisture on the face fabric of the bag.

This bag did exceptionally well keeping lead tester Jeff Rogers warm...
This bag did exceptionally well keeping lead tester Jeff Rogers warm during a sunrise viewing from a cold and windy summit.
Photo: Jeff Rogers

Value


We see the Mountain Hardwear Rook 0F sleeping bag as a great choice for a budget sleeping bag that will be used for cold weather overnight and carried into the backcountry occasionally. Perfect for the camper who will get out only a handful of nights a year in sub-freezing temperatures but could use a warm bag for sleeping at the trailhead in their car or spending the night in a bunkhouse.

Conclusion


While not our top pick for a budget bag, the Rook delivers on everything a 0F bag needs to deliver on for occasional backcountry use.

MHW provides an excellent storage sack to help maintain the loft of...
MHW provides an excellent storage sack to help maintain the loft of this bag.
Photo: Jeff Rogers

Jeff Rogers