Mountain Hardwear Ultra Lamina (2013)

Now here’s something new: a synthetic bag that can compete on every level with a down bag. The Mountain Hardwear Ultra Lamina just gets away with it too, packing down to a size comparable to the Rab and Marmot bags featured here, with similar EN-tested temperature ratings and the benefit of being insulated with synthetic Thermal Q fill, which – unlike down – stays warm when wet, which is an asset in the British summer. Therefore this offers exceptional value from the get-go, though there are extras that this bag doesn’t have, which will have to be forsaken as a trade-off. These include a shoulder baffle, a decent foot box (large feet? Try before you buy) and a fumble-friendly zip. The inner is also a bit clammier-feeling than some here, lacking the softness of the Pertex models; however these are fairly minor gripes considering the Mountain Hardwear Ultra Lamina is less than half the price of the most expensive bags in our test and actually has advantages over them in terms of its resistance to damp. These come in the shape of a competitive comfort temperature rating of 0 deg C, impressive weight, weather-friendly fill and a proper compression stuffsack.


Weight (with stuffsack) 763g (833g)
Size 198x76cm
Packed size 26x16cm
Outer fabric 100% nylon ripstop
Inner fabric 100% nylon taffeta
Insulation Thermal Q
Construction MH welded lamina
Lower comfort limit 0 deg C
Extreme temp rating -11 deg C



Minor gripes are forgivable given the price tag, making the Mountain Hardwear Ultra Lamina an excellent option for the UK summer.

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine August 2013

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 (2012)

The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 is a light bag that compresses down very well for packing, but it still manages to be warm. Its low bulk comes from a mix of good-quality down fill and a shell made of incredibly light fabric, which at just 15 denier is the finest in our test. The bag has a two-way full-length zip with quite a small internal baffle and an effective anti-snag webbing channel. The top of the zip has a Velcro security flap and a large webbing zip pull, which is easy to find in the dark. There’s no shoulder baffle but the hood is very well-shaped and insulative with a down-filled baffle, which cinches in around your face to seal in the heat. Comfort in the Phantom is very good, the lightweight fabric making for a very soft bag, and there’s also enough room to move your arms freely. It does taper in towards your feet but the foot box itself is roomy and well-shaped. The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 is also the only sleeping bag in our test that comes in both a men’s and women’s specific fit, so it’s worth trying if you’re female and the others don’t offer the fit you want. There are no hanging loops but the bag is supplied with compression stuffsack and a storage sack.

Weight (bag only) 662g
Size (length x shoulder width x foot width) 193x42x75cm
Packed size 14x26cm
Outer fabric Superlight 15D ripstop
Inner fabric 20D nylon taffeta Insulation 800 European goose down Construction box baffles
Comfort temperature rating +3 deg C
Lower comfort limit -2 deg C
Extreme temperature rating -18 deg C

The durability of the very light fabric might be a concern, but the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 is the second lightest bag in the test at 662g, with a temperature rating of -2 deg C, making it ideal if weight and comfort are a priority.

Review by Peter Macfarlane
First published in Trail magazine June 2012

Mountain Hardwear Lamina 20 2011

The Mountain Hardwear Lamina 20 is one of the lightest sleeping bags on test and, as a result, it packs down small in a good stuffsack. There’s a great two-way zip that doesn’t snag, and a substantial baffle alongside to eliminate cold spots. The hood is big but feels extremely cosy when pulled tight, and both on this and the generous shoulder baffle you get drawcords split into cord and bungee to make sure you pull the right one at night. There’s also a very small pocket on the outside. The bag feels large and roomy, which will suit some, but smaller people might prefer a snugger fit. But when done up tight, the hood ended up covering my nose and made breathing difficult. The drawcord enclosures are also insulated, meaning they felt bunched up when tightened. These two niggles are drawbacks that nudge the Mountain Hardwear Lamina 20  down the rankings a little.

Size 202x80x34cm
Outer fabric 40D micro ripstop nylon
Inner fabric 40D polyester taffeta
Construction welded layer
Insulation Thermic Micro
Minimum comfort temperature rating -7 deg C
Packed size information not supplied
Weight 1392g (bag); 1488g with stuffsack
Made in Asia
Stores in the UK 160

The Mountain Hardwear Lamina 20 is one to look at if you want a roomy sleeping bag with a very low weight for camping. It provides a good temperature rating for 3-season use.

Review by Ben Winston
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2011


Mountain Hardwear Lamina 20 2009

The Mountain Hardwear Lamina 20 is a mummy-shaped 3-season synthetic sleeping bag that is cut a little wider at the legs for comfort. Its two-way full-length zip runs smoothly with little snagging. A large shoulder baffle seals in the heat, and the hood, though basic, fitted well. The drawcords for the hood and shoulder baffle are split into tape and bungee, so in the dark you can adjust the correct one. The inner fabric is pleasant against the skin, while the insulation feels warm and soft. The outer fabric has very good water resistance and is very smooth. The weight is good and the bag compresses down well into the supplied stuffsack. It has a small internal pocket and comes with a large storage bag as standard. But the zip has no Velcro tab to hold it secure at the hood, and rather than a standard-style zip baffle, the main zip has a channel of insulation sewn in such a way that it partially covers the zip.


Size 220cmx80cmx40cm
Shell 40D nylon ripstop
Inner 40D polyester taffeta
Construction welded layer
Insulation Thermic Micro
Packed size 36x20cm; 27x20cm compressed
Weight 1360g (bag only); 1465g with stuffsack
Made in Far East
Stores in the UK 150
Stockists – tel. (01572) 72449;

Verdict: The Mountain Hardwear Lamina 20 is a warm and comfortable 3-season synthetic sleeping bag that’s light and packable enough to carry into the hills. Potential cold spots at the zip let it down slightly. It won ‘Best in Test’.


Review by Peter Macfarlane
First published in Trail magazine June 2009

Mountain Hardwear Piute

The Piute is a straightforward 3-season down sleeping bag that you could find plenty of opportunities to use throughout much of the year. The design is not over the top or fussy: it simply gets the job done. The hood has a small baffle added around the face to help provide a nice seal when it’s drawn in, thus preventing air movement and cooling. There is a well-reinforced baffle next to the zip, ensuring that there is none of that annoying snagging, and the foot box is contoured. This reduces weight in the form of unused space, showing that some thought has gone into the design of this reasonably priced sleeping bag. But there is no extra baffle around the neck, meaning that a draught-free night’s sleep is reliant on the fit of the hood around the face. The Piute does not pack up all that small either, and there are no compression straps on the stuffsack to help reduce its size.


Size: 200x80x30cm
Outer fabric: 30D nylon micro ripstop
Inner fabric: 30D nylon taffeta
Insulation: 600 fill down
Construction: box wall
Packed size: 40x20cm
Weight: 1250g
Made in: China
Stores in the UK: 70

Verdict: A good, straightforward all-rounder that is warm enough for 3-season use, but packed size is not ideal.

Mountain Hardwear Cotopaxi -10

This was foulnd to be a very warm synthetic sleeping bag in the Trail lab test with a result of -23 deg C, and it was noticeably warm in use too. It also has shingle construction, which means there are fewer cold spots. The side zip is well-designed so that it doesn’t snag, and it benefits from a well-filled and robust baffle to keep draughts at bay and shield your skin from the cold zip. The shoulder baffle is particularly impressive, being profiled to fit around the neck – and this is also well-insulated. Like some other bags the foot is shaped to allow a comfortable, natural position for your feet without squashing the insulation. The hood draws in neatly and was very comfortable. All that warmth and quality for just £95 is a bargain. But this standard bag is shorter than most other standard bags by 10cm (a longer version is available). The major drawback is that you don’t get a stuffsack with a compression system, but you can buy these quite easily and one would be recommended to reduce the packed size. The shell is also not as water-resistant as higher-priced bags. It is annoying that the bag is rated as -10 deg C and yet our test found it to be so much warmer.


Size: 200x80x50cm
Shell: Dupont 50d nylon
Inner: Dupont 50d polyester
Construction: shingle
Insulation: DuPont Thermalite Extra
Packed size: 48x23cm; 34x23cm compressed
Weight 2010g bag; 2035g with stuffsack
Made in China
Stores: England-40; Wales-5; Scotland-10; Ireland -1
Comfort ratings deg C:
Claimed -9
Tested -23

Verdict: Buy it if you want a very warm bag and can tolerate the large packed size and minimal water resistance.

Mountain Hardwear Fuji

At just 1445g this is a very lightweight 3-season synthetic sleeping bag yet it maintains a reasonable temperature rating and is a very competitive price for the weight. It comes packed in a compression stuffsack that also allows it to be packed down very small. It is built with shingle construction, so overlapping layers of insulation reduce cold spots. Particularly good are the wide zip baffle and the wide shoulder baffle that is contoured to fit the neck to further protect against cold spots and draughts. The zip runs reasonably smoothly too. The hood, too, is well contoured and this fitted particularly well under tension from the easy-to-use drawcords. Finally the shell provided excellent water repellency. It seems too good to be true as its weight, warmth and price are so good! But a closer look reveals some areas where weight might have been saved. Primarily this is a slightly smaller and closer-fitting bag, which makes it ideal for smaller people of course. It is not quite as warm as some other heavier bags either. Confusingly the bag says -5 deg C on it but the manufacturer also states that the bag has a -2 comfort limit when tested to EN13537.


Size: 210x75x50cm
Shell: 50D nylon
Inner: 50D polyester
Construction: shingle
Insulation: DuPont Thermalite Extra
Packed size: 45x20cm; 32x20cm compressed
Weight: 1445g (bag only); 1530g with stuffsack
Made in China
Stores in UK: England 60; Wales 6; Scotland 10; Ireland 2

Verdict: Buy it if you want a slightly smaller and therefore closer-fitting bag that is not the warmest in its class and has a relatively low weight.