Weight: 47 oz / 2.94 lbs // Stuff size: 7 in // Fill: Synthetic // EN Rating T-Limit: 19 F / -7 C
When I began shopping for a sleeping bag there were a couple characteristics I knew that I wanted. First off I knew I needed a low temp bag. Secondly I wanted a synthetic bag. I found both of these in Mountain Hardwear’s Ultralamina 15 degree sleeping bag.
Seeing as I’m planning on starting my hike earlier in the winter than is typically suggested I wanted a low temperature sleeping bag. I generally sleep warm, so getting too cold of a bag did concern me somewhat. I definitely don’t want to be cold at night, but I don’t want to overheat either. I thought a 15 degree bag would be a suitable compromise. If there are nights in which this bag does not prove warm enough I plan to supplement it with the Sea-to-Summit Reactor Thermolite liner as well as simply sleep in some additional clothing. This should effectively turn it into a 0 degree sleeping bag.
As for why I want synthetic over down, that simply comes down to the fact that I don’t trust myself. I have heard many stories regarding the horrors of a wet down sleeping bag. Though I feel many are probably exaggerated I do not really feel like taking the chance. My synthetic bag should be easier to take care of and will be much more forgiving when I inevitably get it wet somehow. However, down bags offer the benefits of being able to pack down much more tightly, are usually a bit lighter, and are generally considered just more comfortable.
That said the Ultralamina has treated me very well. It has given me plenty of warmth on my practice hikes, but not so much as to make me over heat. It just all-around feels great. It also packs down much smaller than many other synthetic bags; not nearly as small as comparable down bags, but for a synthetic I think its quite impressive. It has a small zipper pocket near the head of the bag that’s perfect for storing night-time essentials such as my headlamp or even the occasional iPod to help me drown out any unwanted bunk-mate noises.
A notable feature of the bag is its half-zip style. The bag does not have a full zipper on one side to completely unzip the bag. Two zippers on each side go down to about waist high on the bag. This is advertised as a benefit to allow you to sit up in the sleeping bag more easily while reading or cooking. It is also beneficial as it helps keep heat trapped in the bag a bit better. However, if you sleep warm, as I sometimes do, this can become a nuisance. Since the zippers do not go past the waist you become unable to conveniently stick a leg outside of you bag to help cool off a spell. Though, I would only consider this a minor inconvenience. In actuality it sounds like in Mountain Hardwear’s latest version of the bag they have added a longer zipper to one side of the bag. Figures I always miss out on these nice features.
In summation Mountain Hardwear’s Ultralamina 15 is a fantastic bag if you’re looking for a lower temp synthetic bag. It’ll keep you nice and cozy and will pack down smaller than you might think for a synthetic bag. It’s done right by me on all my hikes so far. I don’t expect to be trading this baby in any time soon.