The MonBell U.L. Super Stretch Down Hugger bag is part of a series of very unique and high performance sleeping bags. MontBell has a Patent on the Super Stretch system, which incorporates horizontal elastic stitching. This bag comes in 3 sizes, with the most recent addition to the line-up being the ‘Short’ version. Thanks MontBell for recognizing us shorter users.
|Length||5′ 6″||5′ 10″||6′ 4″|
|Inside Shoulder Girth :||53.2″~70.9″||53.2” – 70.9”||56.7” – 75.6”|
|Inside Knee Girth :||42.8″~57.1″||42.8” – 57.1”||47.3” – 63”|
|Weight||2lbs. 3oz.||2lbs. 4oz.||2lbs. 7oz.|
MontBell made the outer fabric from 15-denier Ballistic nylon. This Ballistic Airlight nylon is an ultra-light and ultra-thin fabric that has high wind resistance performance. It is also one and a half times more abrasion resistant than other similar weight fabrics and boasts three times the tear strength of nylons that are almost 20% heavier. Unlike other water-repellent fabrics, MontBell uses a Polkatex water-repellent technology that retains its ability to keep you dry, wear after wear, wash after wash.
|Product Description Details: From the MontBell Website|
When backpacking, I always carry more layers than my friends, and usually end up needing them, as I am a very cold sleeper. I find that I’m almost always cold at night when camping and usually need to stuff extra clothing and jackets around my body and feet to use up extra space and help my body to generate heat. I was also excited about reviewing this sleeping bag as soon as I heard about its stretching capabilities. Since I tend to sleep on my side and stomach, I need to be able to stretch out a lot, and most standard mummy style bags do not provide this opportunity.
Upon receiving the bag, I noticed that it came in it’s own large cotton bag, allowing you to store it with the down loose and fluffy. A small stuff sack was also included that allows you to compress it to size of about 7” x 13”. The down seemed quite lofty, and the material and stitching seemed very good quality. Of course my first reaction was to get in and try stretching it out. I was amazed how much this bag stretched and found that it was not restricting in the least. While the bag stretched with my movements, I also found it to mold around me, so the airspace around me was small and should be quick to warm up. It was obvious that MontBell’s Ultra light mummy bag wasn’t going to make me sleep in the mummy position all night.
The material was comfortable, there was no scent of any kind and there seemed to be a large amount of down inside the bag. While I usually wear a merino wool base layer while camping in colder temperatures, I discovered that I could even wear less layers while utilizing this down bag. I found the double-ended zipper very convenient for venting my lower half when I got warm or needed some frsh air. I also used the MontBell polyester warm-up sheet with this bag and found it to also stretch with my movements and liked the fact that it adds up to 5o to the bag.
On most occasions, I zipped the bag up completely and cinched up the collar baffle and hood. This was comfortable and worked quite well as long as I was on my side, but of course, it didn’t work as well if I tried to sleep on my stomach. I was particularly fond of stuffing the last baffle into the bottom of my bag and cinching the foot cord shut alowing me to use the added down at my feet to keep them extra warm on the coldest nights.
The bags Super Stretch system has very elastic vertical sections about every 8 inches, in addition to the horizontal ones, makingup the Multi-box construction. These small sections help the down maintains its loft, prevents down migration, cold spots, and reduces the amount of dead air. Even in very cold temperatures, the bag heated up very quickly. The full length, dual opening zipper worked smoothly, the cinches on the collar and hood were also great to keep out the cold air and keep in the warm air. On one occassion, I was able to actually change clothes in my bag without opening the zipper, which is very nice on frigid mornings. This bag is verylight for it’s range, (2lbs 4oz) and packs very small, making it easy to carry and store on any trip. As I used the bag, I did notice some feathers begin to push through the lining, but this is common in down bags and I simply pulled then back through from the inside and used my fingers to seal any possible opening in the lining.
The hood has a cinch can be adjusted very tightly around the face for those colder nights (See Insert). Even without cinching this drawstring, the hood of this bag comes all the way over the head for colder nights. On warmer nights, I often put my pillow in the hood and used the fluffy hood of the bag as part of my pillow. A neck baffle prevents air circulation through the top of the bag and this baffle has a drawstring that allows you to adjust the fit.
There is also a draft tube along each side of the full length zipper to prevent air from escaping. The foot adjuster system (unique to MontBell bags) has a drawstring at the second last horizontal seam, allowing the user to adjust the length of the bag to size. For shorter people, the last baffle can be added to the inside of the bag and then closed off to reduce empty space. On warmer nights, the bottom of the bag can be vented by opening the zipper from the bottom, allowing air circulation around the feet. The last baffle can also be used as a storage container for the bag by stuffing the bag into the last baffle and cinching the foot drawstring.
Although I’ve only used this bag for a few months, this bag has quickly become my favorite. This bag is super comfortable, allows me the freedom to stretch while inside the bag and is very warm. The Montbell Super Stretcher is surprisingly durable, showed no signs of wear after several months of use and is also easy to clean. The light weight and ability to pack small only adds to the overall appeal of this bag. After using mnay bags over the years, this bag is my favorite to date.