We have been waiting for years for Mountain Hardwear to bring back the Phantom Series for women. While that hasn't exactly happened, Mountain Hardwear has made the new, high-end Phantom 15 in a size "Short" or right around 66 inches in length, perfect for an averaged height woman, of someone around 5'5. We love the Phantom's high quality 850 fill down and super lightweight, compressible shell materials and think this bag is a great choice for lightweight, 3 season backpacking. Its price tag, on the other hand, is a little heavy.
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Lightweight, high-quality materials, comfortable
Cons: Expensive, included compression sack is heavy
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This high quality, lightweight bag is what we ladies have been waiting for from Mountain Hardwear. It's cozy and lofty and is a great trail companion.
Although the name of this bag is the Phantom "15," there is no temperature rating associated with this number. The Phantom has an EN comfort rating of 23 degrees Fahrenheit. From our field testing, we will say we think this rating is pretty accurate in comparison to the other products in this test. The Phantom has a relatively svelte shape with not a lot of space around your body for "dead", cold air to hang around. Because of this snug fit, we think this bag will keep you very warm on cool alpine evenings. We'd bring this bag with us on spring through fall mountain adventures.
This bag is one of the top contenders in terms of its weight, sliding in right at 2 lbs. It's lightweight shell materials, high quality down and slimmed down shape, and features make sure this bag won't be a burden on your back. We did find the included compression sack a little hefty at 3.2 ounces. Know there are other much lighter products you could purchase to cut down your weight even more.
With its "Performance mummy cut," a tighter fit around the hips and shoulders, some may feel a little claustrophobic in this bag if they're not used to it. It is very roomy in the foot box, with plenty of room to move your feet around and stuff extra layers into. It is snug fitting around the hips, which is nice and may keep you warmer as that's a cold spot for many women, our testers included, get cold hips at night. The Phantom's hood feels a little claustrophobic because the inside baffle doesn't have a drawstring to cinch it down out of the way and the opening when zipped up all the way is quite small.
Otherwise, this is a pretty cozy bag. It's high lofting down and soft sleek lining materials feel great and you'll feel bundled and cozy in this product.
Because of its very compressible 850 fill down and thin, lightweight shell materials the Phantom can be packed down very small. It comes with an included compression sack to help squish it as small as possible.
As with many of the high-end bags we've tested, the main feature of the Phantom is its high-quality materials. We love its lofty 850 fill down material, although it does not appear to have been treated with any water repellent coating like the other bags of this class have been. We're not super concerned with the lack of hydrophobic down as we hope our bag never gets soaked out there, but it is one feature that is lacking compared to other high-end products. The Phantom also has a good, anti-snag zipper pull, and interesting vertical baffle construction at the head of the bag to help keep the down where you want it in that area. We love the flashy color combo the Phantom comes in as well.
As with many Mountain Hardwear products, this premium bag comes with a premium price tag. If this bag were not so expensive, we would more readily recommend it. As it is, it's one of the highest-priced bags in this review and slightly below the curve in terms of value with the rest of the high-end products we tested. Other bags have higher fill power down that have hydrophobic treatments, and cost the same.
We love the Phantom 15 "Short" and are so grateful that Mountain Hardwear decided to make a high-end sleeping back that is the right size for shorter people - including most women! If it has a slightly lower price tag we would not hesitate to recommend it to all our friends. It is definitely a great choice for any backpacking adventure and will keep you warm on cool spring and fall evenings.
— Jessica Haist