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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > MontBell Down Hugger 800 3 Sleeping Bag > Test Report by Kathleen Waters

MONTBELL DOWN HUGGER 800 SLEEPING BAG #3
TEST SERIES BY KATHLEEN WATERS
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - June 12, 2020
FIELD REPORT - September 09, 2020
LONG TERM REPORT - October 07, 2020

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
AGE: 69
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 118 lb (53.50 kg)

Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Montbell Company, Ltd.
Year of Manufacture: November 2019 - received by me: June 2020
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.montbell.us
MSRP: US $309.00
Listed Weight: 20.2 oz (573 g)
Measured Weight: 20.2 oz (573 g)\ including stuff sack
Measured Dimensions in stuff sack: 13 in (33 cm) length, 21 in (53 cm) circumference
Zipper Available: Right zip or left zip
Zipper Tested: Right zip
Fits to 6 feet (1.8 m)
Colors Available: Balsam and Sunrise Red
Color Tested: Balsam
Temperature Rated: Comfort: 40 F (4 C), Limit: 30 F (-1 C), Extreme: 3 F (-16 C)

Other details:
Construction: Shell and Lining - 100% Nylon; Filling - 90% Down, 10% Feather

Included: Stuff sack and Storage bag

Made in Vietnam
hugger
Picture courtesy Montbell

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

When I received the box from Montbell containing the Hugger Sleeping Bag, I was sure there was nothing in the box. It was that light! It was also rather small. Amazing how such a small lightweight package could contain such a super product!

The Hugger is very, very soft and "loft-y" It's hard to believe there is "only" 10 oz. (283 g) filling. It looks way thicker.

According to Montbell, the patented Super Spiral Stretch System of multi-tube construction of the Hugger sleeping bag features a woven fabric sewn at a 45 degree angle to the major seam lines. This plus elasticized thread causes the gathered quilting to stretch which makes for easier movement while sleeping. This is easily noticed when looking at the sleeping bag.

The zipper can be either on the right or left. It is a two-way zipper so it can be open from the top or the bottom for personal preferential venting.

The zipper also incorporates several neat features. There is an anti-snagging slider cover, an insulated flap to shut out cold air, an anti-lock so as to prevent the zipper from slipping during the night and triangle gusset reinforcement at the end of the zipper.

The mummy's hood is generously sized and has a draw cord for adjustment of the opening/tightening of the hood.

A thorough examination of the Hugger sleeping bag confirms the expected Montbell quality. I found no imperfections. No cut or pulled threads, snags or discolorations. The zipper operated smoothly without any problems.
spiral stitches
Super Spiral Stretch System
comparison of size
Size Comparison

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

I'm reasonably sure I can handle using a sleeping bag without instructions, so I'm going with "reading the instructions" to mean "care of" the sleeping bag!

Inside the Hugger's stuff sack is a very long care tag. It is written in three different languages, including the international symbols which I always find just slightly easier to decipher than the Japanese (which I can't read at all) and the English which I can read.
Care:

1.) Hand wash in a bathtub or sink using a down-specific product and cold or lukewarm water deep enough to cover the bag when lightly pressed down into the water.
2.) All zippers should be closed.
3.) Discard soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
4.) Remove excess water by pressing down on the sleeping bag. Do not wring the bag.
5.) To dry the bag, immediately put it in a large dryer at the lowest setting. Check often to make sure the bag is not overheating or clumping.
6.) Even though the bag appears dry, the down inside may not be. It is recommended that the bag be hung in the shade to dry for up to a week.
7.) If the sleeping bag becomes too dirty, take to a dry cleaner who can wash sleeping bags.
8.) Do not iron or use petroleum cleaning solvents.
9.) Storage: Allow sleeping bag to ventilate after use in the shade.
10.) Do not store for long periods of time in the stuff sack but rather loosely store in the included storage sack in a cool dry well ventilated place.

TRYING IT OUT

The first time I attempted to put the Montbell Hugger sleeping bag into its stuff sack was a comic affair!

I started by gently folding it in half (top to bottom), then length-wise in half. Next, I rolled it from one end to the other, compressing the bag slowly.

Gingerly, I started to ease the opening of the stuff sack over one end of the bag. It didn't take a New York minute to realize that was NOT going to work. I had way more bag than stuff sack as far as I could tell. More of the bag was coming out of, than going into, the stuff sack!

So, I resorted to my usual method of stuffing things into tight spaces I know should work but don't look like they will. I just slowly, randomly worked my fingers around the edge of the stuff sack, pushing in whatever fabric was in the way until all of the bag was in the stuff sack.

With one hand covering the Hugger which was threatening to explode outward, I was able to use the other hand to quickly pull the drawcord out and just as quickly tugged the push-barrel closure into place. Ta-da! I did it!

OK! So I was able to get the Hugger into the stuff sack. Now I was ready to spread it out and climb in.

I'm always a bit leery about trying a new mummy sleeping bag as I'm not a person who lies down to sleep on her back and spends 8 hours without moving a muscle. Nope! Not me.

I will start peacefully on my back but within minutes will shift to my left side, then my right. Back to my left, right, etc. all through the night. AND, when on my back or my sides, I have one (back) or both, legs (side) bent at the knee, semi-fetal position like.

This awkward sleeping positioning can be uncomfortable if the sleeping bag is narrow.

An initial nap - testing new gear is always a good excuse - went well. I was able to shift into each of my usual contortions without feeling unduly claustrophobic. It was close, but good.

Of course, that was about a 15 minutes trial. The real test will be next week when I will be relying on the Hugger to keep me warm and comfortable throughout the night in camp. Low temps are predicted to be in the low 40s F (4 C) Fingers crossed.
label
Temperature rating according to Montbell!

SUMMARY

I'm so excited to be trying out the Montbell Hugger Sleeping Bag! It looks and feels amazing. I have several camping/fishing trips already scheduled for this summer and will most likely be adding more. I plan on sleeping like a baby, snug and warm in this bag.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I had the pleasure of camping overnight three times for a total of nine nights during the field testing period. All were base camps established for fishing purposes.

May 26 - 29, 2020: Hecla Junction/Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, Salida, Colorado. Campsite overlooked Arkansas River in Browns Canyon. Heavily pine-treed, rocky ground. Elevation: 7817 ft (2383 m)
Nighttime temperatures: 34 to 46 F (1 C to 8 C)
Other weather-related factors: None.

June 15 - 18, 2020: West Fork/San Juan National Forest, West Fork, Colorado. Campsite was within walking distance to the West Fork River in heavily pine-treed area. Elevation: 7,874 ft (2399 m)
Nighttime Temperatures: 45 to 52 F (7 to 11 C)
Other Weather-related factors: None

July 13 - 16, 2020: Lathrup State Park, Walsenburg, Colorado. Campsite was in open space on hilly grounds about 2 miles (3.2 km) away from Horseshoe and Martin Lakes. Elevation: 6400 ft (1950 m)
Nighttime temperatures: 54 to 63 F (12 to 17 C)
Other weather-related factors: afternoon winds and one night of steady, pounding rain.
West Fork River, Colorado
West Fork River, Colorado

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I was so happy to get outdoors and camp and fish this summer that I would have slept on a rock! Fortunately, I didn't have to "rough it" because I had the Montbell Down Hugger 800 sleeping bag to get my zzzz's in!

This is one super comfy sleeping bag! The loft on this bag is amazing yet it compresses down to a very manageable pack size in its stuff sack. And, despite all that loft, the Hugger is very lightweight. If it weren't for the stellar warmth, I wouldn't have even noticed I had it "on".

The cut of the Hugger is a mummy style which can be confining at times for me. It's pretty generously sized but I am a very restless sleeper and I tend to squirm and toss around a lot at night, especially when not on a pillow top queen-sized mattress!

I can, however, move fairly freely within the Hugger and my favorite position which is on my side, almost fetal, can be achieved without me becoming totally awake. Also, the cut of the Hugger is not so bulky as to not allow me to turn the entire bag with me if I so chose to tummy-sleep.

I can't say much about the hood as it's been a bit too warm to have to cinch up but the hood appears to be perfectly-sized, not too big and not too small, and ready to use should I need it.

For the above nights listed, I wore long-sleeve synthetic base layer tops and bottoms. I did not use a sleeping bag liner.
When the Hugger was not in use, I kept it in its cotton storage bag, stored on a shelf in the lower level of my house.

SUMMARY

Despite the fact that I've had to cancel some backpacking trips, I have been able to "get out there" and experience base camp overnights which were a wonderful escape from the daily grind! As I expected, the Montbell Down Hugger 800 sleeping bag has been a comfortable addition to my backpacking and camping sleep system. I have been warm and comfy at all the temperatures I have encountered so far and appreciate the warmth-to-weight ratio of this well-made sleeping bag.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I had the pleasure of camping overnight two more times for a total of 6 nights during this field testing period and a total of 15 nights over the entire test period. All were base camps established for fishing purposes.

August 3 - 6, 2020: May Queen/Turquois Lake National Forest, Leadville, Colorado. Campsite was on level grassy open area with no trees. Elevation: 9900 ft (3020 m)
Nighttime temperatures: 38 to 41 F (2 to 5 C)
Other weather-related factors: None

August 24 - 27, 2020: Prairie Ridge/Lake Pueblo State Park, Pueblo West, Colorado. Campsite was level, open grassy area right on the lake. Elevation: 4900 ft (1490 m)
Nighttime temperatures: 61 to 64 F (16 to 18 C)
Other weather-related factors: severe winds and heavy rain each afternoon and into the evening.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

First off, the Montbell Down Hugger 800 sleeping bag is a top-shelf quality product! After not-so-gentle treatment and four months of use on a total of 15 nights, it still is in pristine condition. AND, on nine of those nights, I shared my sleeping space with my son's 46 lb (21 kg) Aussie!

Still, there are no signs of wear and tear. No snags. No pulled stitches. No stains. And no odor! Amazing, I must say!

It has been an exceptionally hot and most very dry (except of course when I camp!) summer here in Colorado, so I never did have to worry about the temperatures dipping below the lowest range of the Hugger. Mostly I had to worry about being too warm.

However, even at the highest nighttime temperatures, I was comfortable and not unusually sweaty using the Hugger. On the warmest nights, I simply left the bag unzipped and even, on a couple of occasions, just tucked my feet in the footbox and draped the Hugger over me like a quilt. Since my feet are the appendages that are most susceptible to cold, that worked just great for me!

The Hugger is so lightweight that it is perfect for warmth without weight which I like as I am a restless sleeper and don't particularly like feeling "held down".

I love the texture of the Hugger lining and the overall comfort of this sleeping bag so much that I'm considering purchasing the Montbell Down Wrap Quilt for those warm nights next summer!

STARRING ATTRACTIONS

1.) Super lightweight both for packing and for sleeping.
2.) Packs down nicely for stuffing into my backpack.
3.) Versatile - can be used almost as a quilt.
4.) Kept me warm when I needed it.

MINOR DISTRACTIONS

1.) A little less "hugging" would be better for me.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Wow, this has been an unusual summer and fall with limited opportunities for outdoor fun. Lots of my favorite trails were closed and several multi-day hikes were cancelled as a result.

However, I did get in more than expected base camp days and for that I'm grateful to Montbell for the opportunity to enjoy those nights in comfort in the Hugger sleeping bag! It is a wonderfully lightweight and warm sleeping bag! And Sky (the Aussie dog) likes it a lot too!

I am not packing away the bag just yet in the hopes of maybe another outing or two, but for now, the Hugger is waiting for spring and summer 2021!

Thank you to Montbell and >!

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
Co-owner and Contributing Writer
BackpackGearTest.org

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

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