Rated 4.5 out of 5 by 2
Rated 5 out of 5 by Ddraig Perfect combo of warmth, size, weight, & material
After a very bad experience with a different "15 degree" bag, I spent a long time researching before settling on the 15 degree UltraLamina (long) from Mountain Hardware and LLBean. I couldn't be happier with this purchase. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a lightweight, compressible, synthetic sleep bag.
USAGE and REQUIREMENTS:
I'm a 3.5 season hiker and camper in upstate NY. I avoid deep freeze excursions, but I go on plenty of cold, windy, snowy trips in early and late winter. I go "lightweight" but not "ultralight" with a base pack weight between 15-20 lbs depending on season. I carry a 44 liter internal frame pack. I'm 6'1'' and bulky.
I needed a bag that would compress down to fit into my relatively small pack. I wanted something lightweight (small size and light weight don't always coincide!). I needed a 15 degree or better bag for the weather conditions that I encounter. I wanted a synthetic fill material because down does not insulate well when it gets wet. Finally, I needed a bag that would be tall and wide enough for me to be comfortable, but still be light and compact.
The UltraLamina 15 hit all my criteria. It's rated to the right temperature, filled with synthetic material, and is the lightest/smallest-packing synthetic bag I could find. It's carried by LLBean with their unbeatable satisfaction policy, so I was confident it would live up to its rating.
After using this bag for a year I can say that it absolutely lives up to all of its claims.
This bag compacts down into an amazingly small package. The "long" model fits perfectly into the sleeping-bag-compartment at the bottom of my 44 liter pack. Fully compressed the bag takes on an almost round or spherical shape. If you wanted to pack the bag differently, vertically in your pack for example, you could simply loosen the straps on the compression sack and make it more of a long thin shape.
This sleeping bag is impressively light given its temperature rating. A similarly priced down bag will probably be lighter, but for a synthetic material I am very happy with the weight of this bag.
The synthetic material of this bag is very impressive. It's almost as light and compact as down, but has the durability and moisture resistance of synthetics. No worries about snow and rain here. In addition, the material has not clumped up at all, something that sometimes happens with a down bag. The bag is very soft and comfortable, a real joy to sleep in.
The bag is very well constructed. The long model is perfectly sized for me. I am able to roll around just enough to be comfortable, and there's room below my feet to fit my boots and other gear that I need to keep from freezing overnight. There is a small pocket on the outside, near your face, so you can keep small items you might need access to.
I have mixed feelings on the zippers. I find that they get stuck or tangled far too often. This is especially annoying in cold weather or if you need to get out of the bag quickly (bear investigating your lean-to anyone?) I do like the layout of the zippers though. The design has changed a few times but my model has two, a 3/4 length one on one side and a 1/3 length one on the other. Both can open from the top or the bottom so you can sit up in the bag and stuck your arms out without unzipping the entire bag. I rarely use this feature, but your mileage may vary. In summer I can open both sides and be comfortable.
Another complaint; there are drawstrings around the 'hood' area that let you cinch it tight around your head. There is no draft collar or similar, probably for weight reasons, but I do find that the drawstrings aren't enough to keep you perfectly sealed. When I shift in my sleep, my face is no longer cinched tight and cold air gets into my bag waking me up. It isn't a deal-breaker, but mildly annoying.
I am a bit disappointed that the bag doesn't have a 'pillow compartment' or similar where I could stuff balled up clothing to form a nice pillow, but this is a minor complaint.
I find that the bag hits its 15 degree rating dead on. The rating is based on the idea that you are wearing season-appropriate sleeping gear and using a season-appropriate sleeping pad. I've slept in this bag in windy 20 degree weather in coldgear pants, coldgear shirt, light wool socks, and a light hat, on a self inflating ultralight pad. With that setup I am just a tad bit chilly, but all of the chill comes from not getting a perfect seal on the hood. With thicker gear and/or a thermal bag liner I honestly think this bag would work at temperatures below 15, though you might not be comfortable. I am very confident taking this bag with me on days predicted to hit right around 15.
November 4, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by TalkeetnaMtman nice bag
Spent four wet September days and nights in the northern Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska. This sleeping bag was very comfortable and dry. It never felt clammy or wet. The lowest temp was 40 degrees, so can't rate it yet on cold. It has a deep hood the covers all but my nose. The light weight zipper works fine, just requires a little more attention to you. So far I am happy!
September 3, 2013