View Full Version : Mont Bell vs. West Mtn vs. Mtn Hrd

03-24-2007, 23:27
I don't mean to be bugging the crap of you veterans. I am just doing some thorough research before dropping some cash on a bag. Please comment on one or all of these:

Western Mountaineering Badger 15 degree, (850 fill, 2lbs 12 oz., $395)
Mont Bell U.L Super Stretch #1 long, 15 degree (800 fill, 2lb,5 oz,$370)
Mountain Hardware Phantom, 15 degree, (800 fill, 1lb 15 oz., $284)

03-25-2007, 04:46
All of those are quality bags. Also take a look at the EMS Mountain Light 20 degree (725 fill 2 lbs even, $199). Quality bag at a reasonable price.

03-25-2007, 08:18

This was from an earlier post.

I have the WM Alpinlite wt 31 oz & just received a 2006 Montbell UL Superstretch Downhugger #2 long wt 31 oz that I ordered for my son's birthday. It was onsale for $260 at Backcountry.com. I considered the #0 3* which was also on sale but decided it would be too warm for much use in SE USA. I really wanted to upgrade his TNF Cats Meow with a #1 but the 2006 clearance bags were sold out.

I layed them out side by side last night and checked the loft.

The Montbell #2 averages 4.5" of loft. The elastic bands appear to have almost no down behind them.

The WM Alpinlite is advertised to have 5" of loft. I measured 7" of loft around the chest & 6" through out the legs and footbox.

Even thouth the ratings are only 4* F apart (MB #2 is 24* "Comfortable" & the WM Alpine is 20*) I'd rather use the WM for my winter bag.

My summer bag >35* is a JRB quilt which I've used to 29*.


03-25-2007, 08:31
I use the MH Phantom 15 and it quickly became my favorite bag.

03-25-2007, 09:47
Don't have the Phantom, but have two MH bags and they are both great. For me the temp. ratings are a little on the conservative side. :cool:

03-25-2007, 10:00
I'm also going to chime in for the 20' EMS mountain light. They go on sale every once in a while for as low as $150. It's a great bag for the dough. Pertex shell and 725 fill so it's not a p.o.s. I also own the 32' moutain hardwear phantom, great bag, but is it worth 2 or 3 times as much? I bought the Mountain Light 0' as a budget winter bag on sale for less than $200 and liked it so much that when the 20' was being blown out a month ago I bought one for $149. Needless to say it's not a Western Mountaineering bag and they are so nice,( I made the mistake in touching them in the Wilderness House in Boston) but a very good sleeping bag that would last years. Peace. J.J.B.

Appalachian Tater
03-25-2007, 10:10
They are all excellent quality bags. Go by the features you want, including the width of the bag, and if you end up with more than one acceptable bag, see which one you can fine on sale for the best price on the internet.

03-25-2007, 16:05
Phreak, why did the Phantom become your favorite bag? Also, what kind of shell does yours have? (check out Phreak's website!) JJB, yea, I made the mistake of touching the WM Badger at Quest yesterday myself! Saimyoji, glad to hear you like yours, no buyer regrets there, huh? App Tater, I am trying to sort through all the info of features, price, and wants ( I made a spreadsheet yesterday so I can sort the different features! I am putting WAY too much time into this I think!) G8-will look into your suggestion as well. Egads- wow you are a great dad to get a MB for your son's bday! Any other comment welcome, my goal is to order one this week so I can get back to a "normal life" and quit obsessing over this! Did anyone else spend this much time picking out a bag?!

03-25-2007, 18:59
Of your choices, the Phantom weighs the least and cost the least.....UMMMM...


03-25-2007, 19:47
There's a little more to consider than price and weight, such as girth, collars, baffles, zippers and shell material.

03-25-2007, 20:39
I have two Montbell Superstretch down bags, the #1 and the #5. When I first got my #1, my immediate thought was "there's no way this skimpy thing is going to keep me warm." I was wrong. Montbell specializes in mountaineering gear and they know what they are doing in terms of giving you maximum quality for minimum weight. I am a big tosser and turner and hate feeling constricted when I sleep -- the Montbell hasn't let me down yet.

03-25-2007, 21:52
If the cost is no big deal, go with the WM Badger. The microfiber material is amazing - soft and silky, wind resistant yet highly breathable, great dwr, and durable too. Sounds perfect huh?? It is... I have a ponderosa that is like a bigger rectangular hoodless Badger :) and I've felt no other bag like it.

Also your weights are a bit off. The 6' badger is 2lbs 6oz. the 6'6" is 2lbs 8oz.

That should be accurate too. My Pondo weighs 2lbs 9oz on my scale just as WM claims

03-26-2007, 02:26
I use the badger long and it's an awesome bag...

Dingus Khan
04-03-2007, 11:09
i'll vouch for the ems mountain lite as well. great bag!

04-03-2007, 18:01
I used a MontBell UL SS #4 Long on my (attempted) thru last year. Although only rated down to 37, I was perfectly comfortable on the nights when we got hit with snow and temps in the teens. I don't know if "inches of loft" is an accurate benchmark for these bags...the elastic greatly reduces the amount of airspace inside the bag, so what insulation there is works more effectively.

I'm a big boy..roughly 225lbs and about 6'-1", and I loved the fact that I could sit up in the bag Indian style without unzipping it.

I was, and still am, a bit concerned about the longevity of it though. I'm worried that the elastic will make the bag wear out faster than a normal bag would. If those elastic bands ever give up their springiness the bag will become pretty much useless. But, I used the bag for 60 nights on the AT last year, and probably 30 more nights last summer, fall, and this spring, and the elastic and shell still feel almost as good as new, so we'll see.