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Marmot Phase 20 - Women's Review

This model will keep you warm and cozy at night, but comes with a hefty price tag.
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Price:  $479 List | $478.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Warmth-to-weight ratio, packs down small
Cons:  Expensive, restrictive in the leg area
Manufacturer:   Marmot
By Jessica Haist ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 9, 2018
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85
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 15
  • Warmth - 25% 9
  • Weight - 25% 9
  • Comfort - 20% 8
  • Packed Size - 15% 8
  • Features - 15% 8

The Skinny

One of our testers called this bag her "Mermaid Bag" because she felt like one in this bright ocean blue bag with a tapered foot box that resembles a tail. We think the Marmot Phase 20 - Women's is a high-quality product that we enjoy having in the backcountry with us. It is lightweight and scores right up there with the top contenders in this category. It is surprisingly lofty and warm with 850 fill down, but also comes with a high price tag and a tight ankle region.

While this bag has no major drawbacks, we found some other models to perform at the same level (or a smidge higher) for less cost. For example, the Feathered Friends Egret costs a bit less but performs a bit better, and should be on your short list if you're considering dropping over $400 on a top-of-the-line backpacking sleeping bag with female-specific features.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

We love the warmth and weight of this pretty sleeping bag, but don't like the price tag and restrictive fit around our ankles!

Performance Comparison


The Marmot Phase 20 served us well on many alpine overnights and backpacking trips.
The Marmot Phase 20 served us well on many alpine overnights and backpacking trips.

Warmth


The Marmot Phase is warm. With a fill power of 85, it has the loft and fluff you're likely seeking. Next to the Feathered Friends Egret 20 UL, which has 950 FP, the Phase has the second-highest quality down in this review. It also has a lot of down in the bag, 18.3 ounces, that fluffs up the inside of the bag and makes it very warm. The Phase is almost too warm on mid-summer nights and we think it's EN rating of 21.7 is pretty accurate. If you live in warmer climates or are a fair weather camper, you could consider getting something that isn't quite as warm like the Rab Neutrino 400 or the Kelty Cosmic Down 20 - Women's.

The Marmot Phase is cozy and warm.
The Marmot Phase is cozy and warm.

Weight


For having so much down fill, the Phase is just a hair heavier than the top two contenders, the Egret and the Sierra Designs Cloud 800, weighing in at 1.75 pounds. The Phase is lightweight enough to bring along on all our fast and light backpacking adventures. It is much lighter than a more bargain-priced bag like the Cosmic Down that weighs in at a hefty 2.94 lbs, or 19 ounces heavier.

Comfort


The Phase's liner materials are very soft, and it is an attractive blue color. One tester calls it her "Mermaid Bag" because of the color. She also called it that because of the strange, tapered foot box that almost looked like a mermaid tail. If you are someone who doesn't like their legs to feel restricted, this bag is not for you. The foot box is articulated so you can have your ankles flex in it. However, it tapers down at the ankles leaving your legs feeling somewhat restricted. We recommend going with a roomier bag like the Egret or NEMO Rave if you want to feel like you can move your legs around a bit more.

The Phase's foot box is articulated at the toes and tapers at the ankle  which some might find claustrophobic for their legs.
The Phase's foot box is articulated at the toes and tapers at the ankle, which some might find claustrophobic for their legs.

The Phase has a very large hood. If you cinch it down tight, it could essentially cover your whole face. We like this, but sometimes it felt like a little much.

The Marmot Phase is very comfortable with soft liner materials. We enjoy sleeping in this bag.
The Marmot Phase is very comfortable with soft liner materials. We enjoy sleeping in this bag.

Packed Size


The Phase comes with a small-ish sized stuff sack to pack it down. It is much more compressible than its sack suggests, though, and if you purchase a separate compression sack, you can get it down much smaller. It packs similar to the Egret but not quite as small as the Neutrino.

Features



We like the Phase's simple features and the attempts Marmot has made at weight savings. The Phase has a small inner pocket which we like for storing small things like earplugs and headlamps. The finish on the exterior of the bag held up against moist mornings during our testing period.

The Phase did a good job of beading moisture off when it got dewy outside.
The Phase did a good job of beading moisture off when it got dewy outside.

The troublesome feature on this bag which many people have complained about is its small-toothed zipper. It tends to catch on the shell material of the bag, requiring a lot of attention when zipping it up. The other problem with this zipper is that it will not be compatible with other bags should you ever want to zip together with someone else!

One set-back with this bag is its zipper. It has a tendency to catch on the shell material.
One set-back with this bag is its zipper. It has a tendency to catch on the shell material.

Best Application


This is a great choice for all your lightweight backpacking needs. With the Phase, you can push your adventures into the shoulder season and camp from cool spring nights all the way through to crips fall ones as well. It is not the best choice for very warm climates at the height of summer, but great for the mountains.

The Marmot Phase and the Feathered Friends Egret are both great options for long backpacking trips.
The Marmot Phase and the Feathered Friends Egret are both great options for long backpacking trips.

Value


This area is the Phase's main downfall. It is quite the expensive bag, retailing for $479. Many other high-quality bags in this review perform on par with the Phase, like the Cloud and the REI Joule, and so we don't think this price is a good value.

Conclusion


If you want to feel like a Mermaid, and carry around a warm, lightweight bag on your back, the Phase could be the one for you. It has high-quality materials and will keep you warm through the seasons. Its shape is slightly restrictive around your legs, the zipper catches on occasion, and it has a steep price tag, but if you can overlook those facts, it gets everything else right.
We like the Phase's colors and feel like a mermaid in it sometimes.
We like the Phase's colors and feel like a mermaid in it sometimes.


Jessica Haist