Review: Radical Wearable Sleeping Bag
Field Testing Parameters
The bag was tested in 18°F, 22°F, 35°F and 65°F ambient outside temperatures. For this report, the results are limited to a five-night backpacking trip involving 25°F temps with 5-10 mph wind gusts, sleeping inside a tent on an insulated self-inflating pad. Tester is female, 5’4”, 125 pounds, and dressed in base layers with thin wool liner socks, no hat or gloves.
The Mobile Mummy zips up with ease, and is super easy to get in and out of, and warms up in minutes with no lingering cool spots. The most remarkable thing is that it allows you to move with the bag when you roll around in your sleep (instead of fighting tight spots like you would in a traditional mummy). Also, when using the baffled arm ports (which are free of any closures—like zippers, toggles, or hook and loops), you can wear it like a jacket so you can easily sit up and read, or get up in the middle of the night to answer nature’s call, or to sit in camp on a chilly night, and eat, or stargaze without an ounce of cold or discomfort. The tapered jacket-like shoulder design and tuck-up-able, toggled foot box means there’s no weight strain coming over your head from the hood, but also your feet are free, allowing you to get up and move around unencumbered. The premium, sustainably sourced down is treated with a hydrophobic finish (literally on each individual down plume) so the bag stays drier longer, lofts better and dries faster (if it gets wet while you’re fording creeks in slot canyons or hiking in super wet climates.
The independent third-party assessed European Norm (EN) temperature rating system is considered the gold standard, and this three-season 800-fill bag hits the lower-limit of its EN rating at 16°F degrees for the men’s model, and 20°F for the women’s.
A comment about women-specific bags: Some women advise going with a unisex bag to get a few extra inches of room, but doing so will cost you. You lose 7 degrees of the EN rating (the men’s model is rated to 27 degrees for women) and too much extra air space means more body heat is expended to warm the bag. The only justifiable reason to go that route, is if you wanted to wear a down sweater or hoody inside this bag (you could easily do so in a smaller bag though—without adding bulk in the arms and neck area. Either way, the sleeveless design potentially increases your warmth range while saving you money. (The 4-season version is a pound heavier and approximately $100 more).
Unzipped at the top and the bottom, sleeping in minimal under clothing, and giving arms and leg lots of air—this bag can easily be relied on in temps well up into the 70s. Zipped full length, the bag easily keeps you toasty well down to the 20s.
The Mobile Mummy also offers these unique functional features:
- The main entrance is a 58-inch long 2-way center zipper that runs from the baffled neckline to the footbox (most bags put the zipper on the side), allowing for easy entry and exit, no air leak. It also allows for bottom venting or footbox tucking/toggling.
- Hood, zipper and arm ports are reinforced with draft “curtains” or “tubes” to contain warmth and keep cool air from leaking in.
- DriDown insulation stays dry 10 times longer, retains 170% more loft when exposed to moisture (2.7 times better loft) and dries 33% faster than untreated down.
- The ripstop polyester exterior is fairly durable and soft to touch, while the polyester taffeta lining is silky soft next to skin.
Design and Aesthetic ★★★★
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but the Mobile Mummy sure beats the look of another wearable “garment” bag currently hitting the market. The color choices among the Mobile Mummy line are sweet—two different hues of green, two hues of orange, two of red, and a blue. The colors are tied to the fill power as well as gender specifications.
The insulated jacket-like shoulder design combined with the zipperless arm pockets (each with its own integrated draft curtain) is really the hallmark innovation in this bag. Not only do these features help the bag maintain its thermal efficiency, but also represent a creative reimagining of the sleeping bag as cross-functional, multi-use gear.
Perhaps the only design misstep is the toggle loops used to stow the footbox in the upright and stowed position. The lower ones are almost too tiny to use, while the next level up are a bit better. Cold fingers can especially make it a challenge to engage the toggle in the loops.
Yeah, no—you still need to be super careful with this bag. Don’t carelessly air it out by draping it over a thorny bush or even in a tree branch where the wind could blow into a cactus (as has happened to me with other polyester ripstop gear; it may be called ripstop but that just means at some point the rip stops. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t rip). There are, however, no strings in the hood to pull out, or Velcro™ type closures to get clogged with hair. And the zippers glide easily, though the double zipper at the bottom can be a bit of bugger to align correctly.
This bag has been hand washed, hand-squish rinsed and home dried five times. The loft potential of the waterproofed down is as good as the day the bag was purchased. A year from now I will be in a better position to judge longevity, but for now I am mightily impressed with the quality and functionality of both bag and the Dri-Down inside it.
If you’re accustomed to going the cheap route, these aren’t your bags. But if you consider, as I do, how important it is to get a good night sleep when you’re putting in long days on the trail or even basecamp adventuring, and combine that with the fact that with proper care a sleeping bag can last for a couple of decades, if not longer, than you’ll find this premium bag is well worth every penny paid. The 3-Season 800-fill bag is also ultralight (2.4 ounces), and offers one of the lightest weight to warmth ratios available.
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