The Montbell Down Hugger 900 #3 is a three-season sleeping bag with a comfort rating of 37.4°F / 3°C. There are five models in Montbell’s Down Hugger 900 series (900 referring to the down’s fill power i.e. loft) – #1 being the warmest bag with a comfort rating of 24.8°F / -4°C and #5 with a comfort rating of 46.4°F / 8°C. That said, for some reason only the #2 and the #5 are available via the Montbell USA site – if you want the #3, the one in this review, you’re out of luck (unless you have a shipping address in Japan).
All of my sleeping bags until now have been rated to temperatures of 20°F / 6.6°C or lower – as my first warmer-weather (colder?) sleeping bag, I was very happy with this one. What do you call that anyway? If a sleeping bag was rated to a lower temperature then you would say it’s “warmer”, yes? So would you call a sleeping bag rated to a higher temperature a colder sleeping bag? But then people might think that means it’s rated for colder temperatures? Whatever, you get it, right?
I used the Montbell Down Hugger 900 #3 for my traverse of the Japanese Alps (more on that trip here). I’ve used this bag down to freezing temperatures and up to elevations of up to nearly 11,000 ft / 3,350 m.
- Comfort Rating: 37.4°F / 3°C
- Limit Rating: 28.4°F / -2°C
- Extreme Rating: 0°F / -18°C
- Weight: 17.43 oz / 494 g
- Fabric: 7-denier Ballistic Airlight rip-stop nylon
- Zipper: Half zip
- Maximum Height: 72.05 in / 183 cm
- Fill Power: 900
- Sizes: One size
- Available Colors: Blue
- Country of Origin: China
- MSRP: ¥48,000
- Super Spiral Stretch System
- Multi-Tube Construction with Flow Gate technology
- Draw cord for face hole adjustment
- Auto Locking Zipper to limit zipper ”slip”
- Stuff sack included
THE WEIGHT | At 17.43 oz / 494 g this is the lightest sleeping bag I’ve ever owned. That said, it’s comfort rating is only 37.4°F / 3°C – which is fine so long as you aren’t planning on using the bag in temperatures much colder than freezing, it’ll get you through the night. I wouldn’t use it in shoulder seasons, but as a summer bag in warmer climates, it’s great.
THE COMPRESSIBILITY | Usually my sleeping bag occupies the entire bottom section of my backpack and everything else sits on top (or gets stuffed around it). This bag packs down small enough that I can fit it down at the bottom of my pack alongside my tent or my sleeping pad. I’m all about having a Tetris-master packing strategy so this gets me very excited (probably too excited).
THE ZIPPER | I honestly don’t understand why every sleeping bag doesn’t have this zipper. Forget everything I’ve ever said about zippers before because this is the best zipper I’ve ever had on a sleeping bag. I literally show it off by just pulling it open and closed over and over because it’s that good. If you make gear and you’re reading this, get on these zippers.
THE DRAFT COLLAR | Why is the draft collar just okay? Because there is no draft collar. Why is it still okay instead of something we don’t like? Because there’s a drawstring in the hood and the sleeping bag isn’t rated for temperatures low enough to really call for a draft collar. The drawstring works just fine.
THE STRETCH | The Down Hugger 900 series is big on their patented “Super Spiral Stretch System” (sounds fancy, huh?) and it’s true that it’s a thing. The bag is put together with “strategic seam orientation and the elasticized gathers” to give the bag a bit of stretch. This means that the bag fits closer to your body (less dead space = warmer) but that it also gives a bit if you wriggle around inside of it or press up against the sides.
THE AVAILABILITY | For some reason, the Montbell Down Hugger 900 #3 is not available outside of Japan. Why is this? I have no idea. What makes the 900 #2 and the 900 #5 so special that they are available both outside and inside Japan. I don’t know. Maybe if you go directly to one of the Montbell stores (there are only two – in Denver and Boulder, CO) they’ll be able to fill you in.
Who Is It For?
BEGINNER BACKPACKERS | If you don’t think you’re going to be doing much backpacking in the future or you aren’t ready to sink all your funds into a new hobby, then the Down Hugger 900 #3 is probably a bit extravagant for you.
CASUAL BACKPACKERS | If you only plan on ever owning one bag, then this bag probably won’t do it for you unless you only plan on being out in warmer temperatures. If you’re thinking about getting a bit more serious about your time in the outdoors, then the Down Hugger 900 #3 might be something to consider as a lightweight summer bag.
WEEKEND WARRIORS | Like backpacking in the summer in temperatures that don’t get too cold? Then the Down Hugger 900 #3 could be a great bag for you (that is, if you have the means to get it in Japan).
THRU-HIKERS | If you’re thinking about one of the big trails in the US, then you’re probably going to want something warmer than the Down Hugger 900 #3.
It sucks that this bag isn’t available in the US, because I really do like it. If you want a comfortable, lightweight, summer bag with a bit of stretch, then the Montbell Down Hugger 900 #3 is one to consider. If you don’t have the means of getting it from Japan, then you can check out the (slightly warmer) Down Hugger 900 #2.
However, if you’re set on the #3, you can check it out here.
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