Gear review:Montbell downhugger 800 exp

A get a lot of questions on sleeping bags, what sleeping bag I`m using and what sleeping bags I recommend. Because of this I`ll write a short review on my bag and share it here.

The sleeping bag I`m using is a Mont Bell downhugger 800 exp. I have about 50 nights in it so far. The Montbell downhugger 800exp is a winter sleeping bag, but I`m using it all year round, except for below the tree line in summer. I prefer having a warm bag to fall asleep in and as long as the temperature stays below 10 degrees celsius it`s comfortable.

Montbell rates this bag down to -29 celsius, but it`s not EN-tested (very warm winter bags are never EN-tested). This means that -29 is the temperature where a man would start freezing and there`s no womans temperature given from Montbell. My guess is that the comfort temperature for a woman will lie around -20/-22 on this bag (this is just a guess based on experience). I`ve used it down to -15 degrees without problems. 

It`s an extremely comfortable bag to sleep in. Because of it`s stretch feature it snuggles around you at the same time as you can sleep on the side or in a (almost) full starfish if you want. The bag is also solid, I`m the kind of person who breaks stuff (I`ve manage to destroy two Arc`teryx alpha jackets in one year) and I haven`t managed to destroy it yet. In addition I haven`t seen any down leakage which means all the wonderful fluffiness stays inside the bag. This thing with no down lekage also goes for my boyfriends bag, a Montbell Downhugger 650.

Another thing that`s great is the low weight (1,5 kilo) and that it compresses down to 13 liters. This is great for a bag with a temperature rating of -29. 

The bag deals well with moist. It`s been wet with condensation many times and I`ve woken up with a 0.3 cm layer of ice on it and it always dries up in a few hours. I`ve never been on winter trips longer than one week though, I guess a vapour barrier would be neccesary if hiking for longer periods of time in winter. 

One downside on this bag is the same as it`s best feature; it`s big. This is great when you need space to sleep, but it also means it`ll take longer to “heat up” than a smaller bag. If I don`t have a hot bottle with me, I have to move around for up to ten minutes before the bag is really warm. If I don`t do this, the bag gets cold during the night. However when the bag is warm, it stays warm.

Another downside is that it has kind of a funny hood that fits your head. I`ve gotten used to it, but I would prefer a normal hood.

All in all, a great bag. It`s also insanely expensive, but if you`re going to use it as much as I do, it definitely worth the money.

Gear reviewJohanne Refseth