Hands-on Gear Review

Mountain Hardwear Laminina Z Flame 21 Review

Price:  $179 List | $133.73 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Stays warm when wet, comfortable
Cons:  Heavy and bulky
Bottom line:  A good budget option for someone looking for a synthetic bag, otherwise too heavy for backpacking.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 5
EN Comfort Rating (F):  21
Women specific features:  Women-specific cut to maximize warmth and minimize weight
Total Weight (oz):  55 oz
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear

Our Verdict

Mountain Hardwear has revamped its line of sleeping bags this year to give women shoppers some budget options. The Laminina Z Flame 21 is one of those options. This synthetic bag comes in a bright teal and yellow material that is soft and comfortable. It kept us warm on High Sierra summer nights but is not the most compressible or lightweight for backpacking. This bag could be a good choice for someone going on short backpacking trips, particularly in wet climates where having a synthetic bag is an advantage. Unfortunately, it is definitely a step down in quality, weight, and compressibility from the UltraLaminina that we have tested in previous years.

2018 Color Updates
The Laminina Z Flame keeps all the same technical specs as before but is now available in the new blue and red color, shown in the image above!


RELATED REVIEW: Best Sleeping Bags for Women


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jessica Haist

Last Updated:
Friday
August 12, 2016

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Performance Comparison


The Women's Laminina Z Flame can keep you toasty warm on summer nights in the high country and is a good pick for climates where you know the chances of getting soggy are high, like in the Pacific North West.

Barbara Bemis lounges in the Mountain Hardwear Laminina Z Flame below Mount Whitney.
Barbara Bemis lounges in the Mountain Hardwear Laminina Z Flame below Mount Whitney.

Warmth


The last synthetic bag we tested from Mountain Hardwear was the super high-quality women's UltraLaminina. When comparing the Laminina Z Flame to its predecessor, it is a step-down, and we noticed it was not as lofty or warm. That being said, it keeps us warm on summer nights in the alpine and seems to keep drafts out with its draft collar and warm hood. Mountain Hardwear has added extra insulation to the foot box of this bag, so our extremities stay toasty warm and it has 5 oz more insulation than it's competitor, The North Face Cat's Meow Women's. The bag's draft collar seems to be in a strange place, much lower than where our necks are and seems to sit around our tester's shoulders — making it ineffective to keep drafts out from around our neck unless we scooted way down in the bag (but then our faces are covered up).

The Mountain Hardwear Laminina Z Flame is a budget synthetic sleeping bag that could be a good choice in wet climates.
The Mountain Hardwear Laminina Z Flame is a budget synthetic sleeping bag that could be a good choice in wet climates.

Weight


All of the synthetic bags we tested in this review have a disadvantage in this category because they are all on the heavy side. The Laminina is no exception; weighing in at a hefty 55 ounces, it is the heaviest bag in this review. The North Face Cat's Meow is seven ounces lighter and is also a quality synthetic bag.

Comfort


We like the Laminina Z Flame's soft liner material against our skin. The "comfort mummy fit" was a comfortable fit for someone under 5'8; then it becomes a little snug (we recommend going with a size long).

Barbara  our 5'8 tester found the Laminina a bit snug but she still fit!
Barbara, our 5'8 tester found the Laminina a bit snug but she still fit!

We like the bag's articulated foot box, which allowed our taller testers feet to lay comfortably and not pointed like in the Cat's Meow. If you're looking for a synthetic bag that is not the traditional mummy shape, check out the Nemo Celesta and its strange spoon shape.

The Laminina's bright yellow lining material is too light and shows stains easily. We also think that the draft tube is located too far from the face opening and ends up around our shoulders  not neck.
The Laminina's bright yellow lining material is too light and shows stains easily. We also think that the draft tube is located too far from the face opening and ends up around our shoulders, not neck.

Packed Size


This contender does not compress as well as a down sleeping bag like the Rab Neutrino 400 Women's, the Editors' Choice award winner. It does come with a compression sack, which does a decent job of compressing the bag to a manageable size, but nowhere near its predecessor's the Ultralaminina's size.

Features


The Laminina Z Flame has a small exterior stash pocket for stowing items that might be useful in the night time, like your headlamp.

We like the Laminina Z Flame's articulated foot box and wish that the Cat's Meow had the same feature.
We like the Laminina Z Flame's articulated foot box and wish that the Cat's Meow had the same feature.

The yellow liner color is nice because you won't lose your sock in a black hole at the bottom of the bag; however, the yellow color shows dirt very easily - it is too light and looks gross pretty quickly.

The Laminina's stash pocket is located on the outside and opposite side of the bag from the zipper - this makes it hard to access.
The Laminina's stash pocket is located on the outside and opposite side of the bag from the zipper - this makes it hard to access.

Best Application


If you are planning a trip to a wet climate where you are afraid your bag might be getting wet, a synthetic bag like the Laminina Z Flame could be a good choice, as synthetic insulation will retain its loft when wet. For this reason, big wall climbers may reach for the Laminina Z. Otherwise, it is a heavy and bulky choice, and we would recommend going with a down sleeping bag like the Kelty Cosmic Down Women's.

Value


The Laminina Z Flame is a good value at $179 and after the low end Slumberjack Boundary 20, is the cheapest synthetic bag in this review.

Conclusion


The unfortunate trend that we've been seeing is that manufacturers are cutting the high-end women's' bags out of their product lines and only providing budget options for women. This is the case with Mountain Hardwear's synthetic bags. The Laminina Z Flame is a decent synthetic bag for a screaming deal, but we wish the UltraLaminina was still an option for those of us looking for something lighter and more compressible.

We wish the Z Flame had different diameter draw cords for the chin and hood so we could operate them more easily.
We wish the Z Flame had different diameter draw cords for the chin and hood so we could operate them more easily.

Other Versions


The Laminina Z Flame comes in regular and long sizes. You can also get a Laminina bag in a warmer version (Z Torch 0 degrees), and a cooler version (Z Spark 34 degrees). HyperLamina replaced the Ultra Lamina and unfortunately only comes in regular (for people up to 6') and long (up to 6'6); tall ladies, you're in luck!
Jessica Haist

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Most recent review: August 12, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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3 star: 100%  (1)
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