Mountain Equipment Starlight IV 2011

For me, the cut of the Mountain Equipment Starlight IV was excellent, being a good compromise between spacious comfort and snugness for warmth. The Polarloft insulation lofted well, too. This meant it immediately felt warm, which is what you’d expect from so much insulation. The shark’s fin toebox is lifted from Mountain Equipment’s top-of-the-range sleeping bags and provides a contoured fit around the feet. There’s a two-way, full-length zip with a glow-in-the-dark zip pull. The shoulder baffle is generous and comfy, and the outer fabric is treated with a DWR finish for extra water resistance. You also get a small internal pocket.  But the Mountain Equipment Starlight IV’s hood was big, and felt very bunched-up and restrictive when the drawcords were pulled tight. The neck baffle was hard to get small enough too, but the biggest problem was the zip baffle. It just wasn’t big enough and left a long, cold spot along the side. Also, although warm, it didn’t feel as warm as the -12 deg C comfort rating would suggest.

Size 211x72x35cm
Outer fabric lightweight nylon shell honeycomb ripstop
Inner fabric Ultrasoft nylon lining
Construction shingle
Insulation Polarloft
Minimum comfort temperature rating -12 deg C
Packed size 40x29x88cm; 27x30x90cm compressed
Weight 1972g (bag); 2100g with stuffsack
Made in China
Stores in the UK 80

The Mountain Equipment Starlight IV is a big, heavy sleeping bag that offers a greater degree of warmth than some on test, but it falls short on comfort around the hood.

Review by Ben Winston
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2011