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EDIT: Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15- Peter Spiller

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  • Roger Caffin
    EDIT: Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15- Peter Spiller Hi Peter A very impressive effort, and a good use of photos. I have some small edits for you to fix, and
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 4, 2008
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      EDIT: Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15- Peter Spiller

      Hi Peter

      A very impressive effort, and a good use of photos.

      I have some small edits for you to fix, and these are listed below. Please
      do not be offended by the terse manner used in spelling out the edits:
      that's just how I find it easiest to list them.

      You will notice a number of 'delete commas' in the list. While I am being a
      fairly hard-line here, the rest of your writing is good and I thought you
      would want to achieve the best possible result. Excess commas are a common
      occurance.

      Cheers
      Roger Caffin
      BGT OR Editor
      -------------------------------
      > Date: December 28, 2007
      EDIT: update please :-)

      > I average 1-hike a week, and 1-backpack a month year-round.
      EDIT: no hyphens here: 1 hike and 1 backpack

      > Manufacturers Description: (from the website)
      EDIT: it is OK to include a short bit of the manufacturer's description in
      the Product Information section for reference, but without any marketing
      spin. The reader can get all the marketing spin he wants from the
      manufacturer! In this case you are fine.
      However, we also need YOUR description in your words as well. This should be
      in a separate section immediately following and headed 'Product
      Description'.

      > Field Information
      EDIT: this is a small thing, but it helps to keep Owner Reviews distinct
      from Test Reports. If you can, please use the words 'Field', 'Field Report'
      (and 'Field Test') only in Test Reports and use something else for ORs.

      > The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 Sleeping Bag has been used in
      Comment: I favour writing in the first person for my ORs and Test Reports,
      to emphasise that these are MY experiences. I keep the third person writing
      for science stuff.

      > Locations
      Comment: I do not object at all, but this has got to be the most
      comprehensive listing of locations I have yet seen! No worries.

      > Terrain: The Grand Canyon is one of the most unique
      Edit: a bugbear of mine: it is either unique or it is not. The phrase 'most
      unique' grates on me. A bit like being 'slightly pregnant'.

      > The sleeping bag is a mummy cut down sleeping bag
      EDIT: mummy-cut

      > It's 800-fill power down
      EDIT: Its ...

      > a down filled draft collar near the neck area, that has a Velcro
      EDIT: no comma

      > is a small triangle shaped zipper pocket
      Edit: triangle-shaped

      > hood, with a Velcro closure on the right side
      EDIT: no comma

      > and two differentiated pull cord running through a single cord
      EDIT: ' two differentiated pull cords ...'

      > I own a regular sized bag, and my 6 ft (183 cm)
      EDIT: confusion here. Do you mean the Phantom is a regular-sized bag?

      > It is long enough to that my feet reach the foot-box, without
      EDIT: delete 'to'

      > as the bottom if the bag is not as generously insulated
      EDIT: the bottom of the bag

      > I did call Mountain Hardwear, in regards to the defective stuff
      EDIT: delete comma

      > during my trip to Yosemite with my Daughter.
      EDIT: daughter, no cap

      > first trip I used the bag for more than two nights, and was
      Edit: ' and I was '
      > all but the coldest, and the warmest conditions
      EDIT: delete comma

      > The small stash pockets do not get utilized by me,
      Edit: the right word here is 'used'.
    • phspiller
      Roger, Thanks for the edit. The extensive filed location and conditions section of this report was me playing with the idea of modularizing this section, so
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 5, 2008
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        Roger,

        Thanks for the edit.

        The extensive filed location and conditions section of this report was
        me playing with the idea of modularizing this section, so that I can
        easily create info for areas that I visit often, and create a unified
        set of information for all my trips. I will see how it works for me
        in the future.

        I have made the edits indicated in your report, and reposted the HTML
        to the test folder. You can find it here:

        http://snipurl.com/2122f


        If I have missed anything please let me know.

        Thanks Again,

        Peter

        Mountain Hardwear Phantom +15 Sleeping Bag
        Peter Spiller
        February 16, 2008



        Biography:
        Name: Peter Spiller
        Age: 37
        Gender: Male
        Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83m)
        Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
        Email address: phspiller@...
        City, State, Country: La Mesa, CA U.S.
        Website: www.outsidesd.com
        Backpacking Background: I have been camping and hiking avidly since
        childhood. In the last several years my passion for backpacking and
        kayaking has grown. I am a Chapter Outing Leader for the Sierra-Club,
        I have trained in Wilderness First Aid, and am a staff member for a
        Wilderness-Basics course. I enjoy solo backpacking and group trips.
        I have an adaptable style that is fueled by my interest in backpacking
        gear. I pack as light as possible when the situation dictates, but I
        am not against hauling creature comforts. I average 1 hike a week, and
        1 backpack a month year-round.




        Product information:
        Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 Seeping Bag
        Manufacturers Website: www.mountainhardwear.com
        Listed Weight: 31 oz (880 g)
        Delivered Weight: 33 oz (936 g)
        Purchased: December 2006
        Manufacturers Description: (from the website) Designed to be warm and
        as light as possible, the Phantom™ 15 is a great all-around choice for
        colder conditions. This light, warm mummy cut bag has a snug fit and
        is an ideal choice if you only want one bag. The Phantom 15 is
        insulated with 800-fill down, tuck-stitched for durability and built
        from Superlight 15 denier fabric.




        Product Description:

        I purchased my Mountain Hardwear Phantom sleeping bag (hereafter
        referred to as the Phantom 15) with the intention that it be my only
        sleeping bag through the next several seasons. With this in mind, I
        settled on this sleeping bag as it was represented as being the most
        versatile on the market.

        The sleeping bag is a mummy-cut down sleeping bag rated to keep the
        user warm to 15 F ( -9.4 C). Its 800-fill power down in encased in
        lightweight fabric that is blue ripstop type nylon on the top
        exterior, and black ripstop type nylon on the bottom exterior. The
        interior is a slightly heavier black material. There are seams sewn
        across the body of the bag at regular intervals that hold the down in
        place. The zipper is on the right hand side, and is ¾ of the bag in
        length. There are two zipper pulls on the opening, allowing me to zip
        the bag closed, and then vent the mid-section of the bag using the
        second. A substantial draft tube backs the zipper track. The
        interior of the bag features a down filled draft collar near the neck
        area that has a Velcro closure on the right side, and two
        differentiated pull cords the left side, running through a single cord
        lock that is attached to the bag via a short ribbon. Just above the
        draft collar on the left side is a small triangle-shaped zipper pocket
        backed by another Velcro closed pocket formed by the zipper pocket and
        the wall of the sleeping bag. The sleeping bag has a substantial hood
        with a Velcro closure on the right side of the bag, and two
        differentiated pull cords running through a single cord lock on the
        right side of the hood.

        The bag I have been using is a medium, and my 6 ft (183 cm) 190 lbs
        (86 kg) frame fits into the bag a bit snug, but not uncomfortably so.
        It is long enough that my feet reach the foot-box, without pushing up
        on the bottom of the bag. I am a side sleeper, and the cut of the
        torso and shoulders of the bag allow me to sleep on my side but it is
        somewhat tight in the shoulder area. When rolling over in the bag, I
        need to use a little care to keep the bag from rolling over with me as
        the bottom of the bag is not as generously insulated as the top. The
        bag has substantial loft when uncompressed, but does compress down
        very well, and fits in a 7 in (18 cm) by 20.5 in (52 cm) compression
        sack. The stuff sack that came with the bag ripped within the first
        week of using the bag, so I purchased a waterproof compression sack.
        I did call Mountain Hardwear in regards to the defective stuff sack,
        and they responded by sending me a replacement. There was also a
        large mesh storage sack included, for uncompressed storage when not in
        use.

        Locations and Conditions:

        I have used Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 Sleeping Bag in multiple
        locations throughout California and Arizona. The Phantom 15 is my
        primary 3-season sleeping bag, and I have used it on just about all of
        my backpacking trips in the last 13 months. I will include
        descriptions of trips in the following locations in this report:


        Anza-Borrego Desert, CA (January 2007)
        High temp: 78.7 F (25.9 C) Precipitation: .04 in (1.0 mm)
        Low temp: 23.4 F (-4.8 C) Elevation (Borrego Springs, California):
        780 ft ( 238 m)
        Average Temperature: 52.6 F (11.4 C)
        Terrain: The Anza-Borrego region is classic desert terrain. It is
        covered in rugged rocks, split by sandy washes. The foliage consists
        primarily of cactus and yuccas. The weather is usually dry, with a
        brief wet season in February and March in which the desert comes alive
        with one of the most spectacular wild-flower blooms in the world.


        Anza-Borrego Desert, California February 2007
        High temp: 82.3 F (27.9 C) Precipitation: .03 in (.8 mm)
        Low tem: 37.2 F (2.9 C) Elevation (Borrego Springs, California):
        780 ft (238 m)
        Average Temperature: 59.8 F (15.5 C)
        Terrain: The Anza-Borrego region is classic desert terrain. It is
        covered in rugged rocks, split by sandy washes. The foliage consists
        primarily of cactus and yuccas. The weather is usually dry, with a
        brief wet season in February and March in which the desert comes alive
        with one of the most spectacular wild-flower blooms in the world.


        Mammoth Lakes, California (March 2007)
        High temp: 69.8 F (27.9 C) Precipitation: 0 in (0 mm)
        Low temp: 6.0 F (-14.4 C) Elevation Mammoth Lakes, California: 7920
        ft (2414 m)
        Average Temperature: 38.0 F (3.4 C)
        Terrain: Mammoth Lakes is a high altitude area covered with thick pine
        and juniper forests. The violent volcanic history of the region has
        distinctly shaped the terrain. The jagged mountain ranges, and
        plethora of volcanic rock littering the forest floor speak of this
        tumultuous past.

        Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona (May 2007)
        High temp: 69.8 F (21 C) Precipitation: .65 in (1.65 cm)
        Low temp: 39.1 F (3.94 C) Elevation Range: 2200 ft (670 m)-7400 ft
        (2255 m)
        Average Temperature: --
        Terrain: The Grand Canyon is a unique and diverse place. The vertical
        mile of elevation change allows one to experience a wide variety of
        terrains in one day. The rim is swathed in juniper forests, which
        quickly give way to a mild shrub covered terrain, just as quickly
        yielding to a harsh desert regions. The water of the Colorado River
        creates an oasis from the extreme desert environment, providing for
        riparian forests of willow and tamarisks.

        Yosemite National Park, California (August 2007)
        High temp: 99 F (37.2 C) Precipitation: .14 in (3.6 mm)
        Low temp: 50.8 F (10.4 C) Elevation Range:
        4,000 ft (1219 M)-9926 ft (3025 M)
        Average Temperature: 74.1 F (23.9 C)
        Terrain: Yosemite is covered with pine and juniper forests, and is
        dominated by its spectacular glacier carved granite features. The
        moisture from the large amount of snow in the winter, and the regular
        but short thunderstorms that rolls through during the summer, sustains
        the forests.


        User Experience:

        Anza-Borrego Desert, CA (January 2007): The overnight trip that I
        took in Anza-Borrego Desert was my first real experience with the
        Phantom 15. The weather was fairly mild, and I found that I was
        overheating using the bag in the traditional manner. I reconfigured my
        sleeping setup to use the bag as a quilt in conjunction with a closed
        cell foam pad inside a solo two-wall tent. The open configuration of
        the bag used as a quilt was perfect to keep my temperature regulated,
        and I was neither too hot nor too cold. The bag compressed as
        expected, and lofted in a reasonable amount of time after removing it
        from its stuff sack. I wore a lightweight base layer while sleeping.

        Anza-Borrego Desert, CA (February 2007): The temperature during this
        trip was a little more severe, and the lows dropped down in the 30's
        during the middle of the night. The Phantom 15 performed well zipped
        up in the more traditional manner, but I was very cold during the
        first night as I developed a hole in my inflatable mattress, and was
        not carrying a closed cell foam pad. The down that comprises the
        underside of the bag did not insulate well when compressed with the
        weight of my body. Fortunately, Mountain Hardware had the foresight to
        use less down on the bottom than the top of the bag, concentrating the
        insulation where it is most effective.

        Mammoth Lakes, CA (March 2007): I camped in the Mammoth Lakes Area,
        as part of a snowshoe trip for a wilderness basics course. This is
        the first trip I experienced any extreme temperatures in the Phantom
        15. The overnight temperature dropped below 20 F (-7 C) range, and I
        am happy to report that the bag was able to keep me warm and
        comfortable in these temperatures. I supplemented the bag by wearing
        light fleece pants and a light fleece pullover, and placed the bag in
        a breathable bivy sack to protect it from moisture. Early in the
        night, when the temperature was somewhat warmer, I did need to open up
        the bag to avoid overheating. When the temperature dropped, I zipped
        it down over my head, and was very comfortable.

        Grand Canyon National Park, AZ (May 2007): I used the Phantom 15 as
        my primary sleeping bag for my backpacking trip into the Grand Canyon
        in May. The conditions in the canyon were very warm, exceeding 100 F
        (39 C) in the day, and not cooling much during the night. The Phantom
        15 was way too much bag for this trip. I still carried it as the
        weight of the bag is comparable to many summer bags, and it provided
        me backup insulation if the weather would take a drastic change while
        in the Canyon. I did not need the backup, and never slept inside the
        bag during the trip, although I did drape it over me loosely in the
        coolest part of the night to cut the mild chill. I do not regret
        taking the bag with me in the warm conditions, but if I have access to
        any lighter less insulated bag in future trips, I would not hesitate
        to bring it in place of the Phantom 15.

        Yosemite National Park, CA (August 2007): The Phantom 15 excelled
        during my trip to Yosemite with my daughter. The weather was warm
        during the day, dropping to cool to cold in the evening depending on
        location. I spent four nights in the Phantom 15, and it was an ideal
        sleeping bag for each evening. On the warm evenings I would sleep
        with it unzipped, loosely covering me. As the temperature dropped
        during the night, I was able to stay warm by zipping it more closely
        around me. I only needed the hood one of the nights, when the
        temperature dropped more significantly than the others. This was the
        first trip I used the bag for more than two nights, and I was
        initially concerned about condensation compromising the down
        insulation, but this proved to be unfounded. I did pull the bag out
        of its compression sack at every opportunity in order to dry it out,
        but I believe that it would have remained dry enough without the
        additional precautions.


        Summary:

        The Phantom 15 is a very versatile sleeping bag. It is functional in
        all but the coldest and the warmest conditions I have found in the
        Western United States. The high quality 800-fill down has kept me
        warm while sleeping without adding undue bulk or weight to my pack.
        The bag has been durable, and has held up well on multiple nights of
        use in the backcountry. The ability for me to ventilate the bag with
        double zippers, and the ability to close up the bag with the draft
        collar, and the cinch down hood add to the range that this sleeping
        bag is comfortable to me. The small pockets near the head of the bag
        look convenient, but I have yet to use them, and would prefer the
        weight savings if they were removed. The differentiated pull cords
        work well, and are vital to opening and closing the draft collar and
        hood in the dark. The biggest problem I have with the bag is the
        zipper, which snags the draft tube regularly when zipping and
        unzipping the bag. Overall, the features, durability and flexibility
        of this bag far outweigh the annoyance of the snagging zipper. What
        follows is a synopsis of the pros and cons of The Mountain Hardwear
        Phantom 15 sleeping bag:



        Pros:
        • Warm
        • Durable
        • Packs down small
        • High warmth to weight ratio
        • Well designed hood system


        Cons:
        • The zipper pull snags the draft tube when zipping it open and closed
        • The small stash pockets do not get used by me, and add to the
        weight of the bag
        • Slightly snug around the shoulders when sleeping on my side.
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