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MontBell Down Hugger 800 #3 
Sleeping Bag

Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Page Contents:

Initial Report - May 27, 2014
Initial Report:Author on Lake Superior
May 27, 2014

 Tester Information

 Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 61
Gender: Female

 Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 152 lb (69 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For over two decades, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Canada. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

Product Information

MontBell Co., Ltd.
Down Hugger 800 #3

PMGN (Green)

Regular (also available in Long)
Manufacturer Weight
1 lb 8 oz (687 g)
Tested Weight in stuff sack
1 lb 9.1 oz (712 g) 
Model Year
Spring 2014 
$299.00 US

Initial Impressions and Product Description 

The MontBell Down Hugger 800 #3 Sleeping Bag arrived in the requested size of Regular (fits up to 6 ft/1.83 m) and with a right zipper. It is also available in Long (fits up to 6 ft 6 in/1.98 m) as well as with either a right or left zip (can be mated). The width dimensions on the Regular size are smaller (shoulder girth 53 to 75 in/135 to 191 cm and knee girth 44 to 62 "in/112 to 157 cm) than those for the size long. Most consumers would have to check what would work best for them. The bag came in a cotton storage sack but also included a small stuff sack for use only during trips.
MontBell Down Hugger 800 #3

Design and Technical Features

The Down Hugger 800 #3 Sleeping Bag is a lightweight sleeping bag that is rated at 30 F (-1 C). However there is more to the rating than that according to the EN testing that MontBell lists, the bag has a comfort level of 40 F (4 C), a lower limit of 31 F (-1 C) and an extreme level of 3 F (-16 C). The later is generally known as a survival level but is not advised for regular use.

The most noticeable feature of the sleeping bag is MontBell's patented Super Spiral Stretch System. This system is comprised of orientating the fabric's warp and weft threads at 45 degrees to most major seam lines. The fabric weave also has crimped fibers to make it stretchy and an elastic-stitch technique allows the threads to be stretched just like an elastic band. This keeps the down insulation closer to my body and therefore likely warmer.

The bag is insulated with 800 Fill Power Goose Down and it is contained within 2-denier Ballistic rip-stop nylon with a DWR treatment. The bright green exterior fabric is complemented with a black interior lining.  Diagonal baffles are used. A printed MontBell logo is located at center front of the bag. Two other logos indicate the temperature rating of the bag as well as the model while the other diagrams
the Super Spiral Stretch System technology.

There is an integrated draw cord on the hood which circles the entirety of the hood but closes with a single cordlock. It can be adjusted by pulling the cord on either or both sides of the cordlock to snug it in place. There is also a hook-and-loop closure which covers the top of the zipper.

The stuff sack has two drawcords. Once the bag is stuffed in the sack and the outer edge drawcord is used, I can further compress the bag by pushing down the top portion and then drawing the second cord. The bag packs down to less than 6 X 11 in (15 X 28 cm).

The Down Hugger has a 67 in (170 cm) zipper which has a pull tab on both sides so that it can be opened from inside the sleeping bag or outside. The top of the zipper features an auto lock so that it can not slide down inadvertently. One side of the zipper has an approximately 2 in (5 cm) draft tube. The tube has multiple rows of stitching which could decrease any chance of fabric getting caught in the zipper. An easy-to-use zipper pull loop made of flat webbing is located on the outside while a smaller braided flat loop comprises the inner zipper pull. The zipper works flawlessly with no catches.

I find the bag very comfortable as the stretch component allows me to crawl in with a few layers of clothing and still feel great. It is easy to turn over without feeling constricted. The sleeping bag arrived right before a four-day backpack. Those details plus many more will follow in my next two reports.


  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Packs small
  • Super Spiral Stretch System
  • Zipper works without snagging


  • None
Tester Remarks 

Thanks to MontBell and BackpackGearTest for this opportunity to test the Down Hugger 800 #3 Sleeping Bag. Stay tuned for my next two reports.       

  First Photo: Courtesy of Manufacturer

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