Mountain Hardwear 1st Dimension Sleeping Bag: 30 Degree Polarguard

Mountain Hardwear

Not Rated
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
1 Reviews
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My go anywhere sleeping bag..

Quantum expander enables the bag to be used in warmer climates.
Works well at temperatures near freezing.
Relatively light weight for a synthetic bag and packs small.
Ventilation opening near the feet lets in cold air.
Zippers snag against the fabric sometimes.
The draw strings to close the hood are a bit unwieldy.
At 75$, this was one of the best gear purchases that i ever made. I live in South India and i wanted a sleeping bag which i can use in a variety of conditions from hiking in the tropical jungles of South India to backpacking around China to summer/autumn camping in the high Himalayas. Over the course of the past 4 - 5 years (i purchased it mid 2007) this bag has proven itself to be perfect for my needs.

Before i go into the detailed review of the sleeping bag, i just want to list out some of the different conditions that i've used this bag in. Although the bag is rated as -1C, i've used it at much lower and much warmer temperatures. Granted it was not always very comfortable when the temperatures dipped below 0C, but i lived to tell the tale.

  • Slept out in the open on the Great Wall. -15C, no tent, no bivy, just an inflatable sleeping pad which failed during the night. Not the most comfortable night but i survived.

  • Camping in the Himalayas, in altitudes all the way up to 4500m. Temperatures did dip a few degrees below 0C, but a few extra layers were enough to keep me warm during the night.

  • Backpacking around India and China. In conditions ranging from below freezing, all the way upto 35C. This is where the quantum expander came in handy. Whenever the temperatures was warm (>10C) i just unzip the expander and have a more roomy, comfortable bag for the warmer conditions. And when its really warm (> 20C) i fully open the bag and use it as a blanket. 

What i liked about this Bag:

What i love about this bag is its versatility to be used in temperatures near freezing all the way up to the high thirties. At a little over 1Kg the bag is light weight and packs small. The material is soft and feels great against the skin. Although not waterproof, i've not had any problems with the condensation seeping in to the inner layers of the bag.

What i did not like about this Bag:
  • There is a small ventilation tube near the foot of the bag (where the zippers end). This lets in a lot of cold air in freezing conditions and makes the bag cold. I usually end up stuffing my heavy socks or scarves into the opening to seal the bag and keep it slightly warmer. This is my biggest complaint about the bag.
  • The zippers sometimes snag against the fabric while opening or closing the bag. This is a minor issue and i generally run my fingers below the zippers to keep them from snagging.

  • Another minor annoyance with this bag is the drawstring cords used to close the hood. They are a bit unwieldy and can be all over the place. Not sure if this issue is common with the other bags as well.
To sum up, i think that it is a great bag. Especially for its price. It served me well for the past 4 years and i'am sure that it will serve me well for a long time to come. It is definitely my go to bag for hiking and backpacking in conditions where the temperature is above 0C. 

For colder conditions i've just recently purchased the Marmot 0F (-18C) Never Summer down bag. The bag has got some great reviews and i'am looking forward to using it during my winter trip to Ladakh early next year (2012).