Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear's Hotbed line

Can Geo staff test out a cold-weather sleeping bag and camp quilt 
  • Sep 27, 2016
  • 552 words
  • 3 minutes
  • By 
A camp quilt and a sleeping bag Expand Image

Chilly nights call for some seriously warm gear, especially if you’re out in the bush. Canadian Geographic’s associate editor Michela Rosano and education program coordinator Sara Black try a few products from Mountain Hardwear’s Hotbed line that claim to keep campers toasty warm at night.

Mountain Hardwear Hotbed Flame 20° Sleeping Bag 

No matter how much I bundle up for an evening under the stars, I always seem to get cold throughout the night. I decided to test Mountain Hardwear’s Hotbed Flame 20° sleeping bag on a recent camping trip to Charleston Lake Provincial Park, just north of the Thousand Islands region of eastern Ontario. And I was pleasantly surprised.

For starters, this sleeping bag is warm. The Hotbed Flame’s Thermal Q insulation maintains loft and its vertically welded Lamina (proprietary) construction eliminates cold spots to keep campers toasty, even when temperatures dip below zero (Its T-Comfort rating is -2 C; its T-Limit rating is -7 C.). Overnight low temperatures hovered around 10 C during my camping trip, so I was very comfortable without having to double up on sweaters or tights. But once the sun was up, this sleeping bag got a little too warm; it really is best suited for cold nights.

As someone who likes to pull the blankets up around her head, I also appreciated the sleeping bag’s mummy cut, which could be easily adjusted using the single-handed draw cords. One of its selling points is its roomy construction, and as a tall woman (5’10”), I was skeptical of this claim. However, once I was all zipped in, I had lots of room to spare (for very tall individuals, this sleeping bag also comes in a long version).

Touted as a backcountry/hiking item, this sleeping bag rolls up to a modest 23-by-43 centimetres in a fleece-lined stuff sack that can double as a pillow.

In all, I really liked the Hotbed Flame 20° sleeping bag and would recommend it for anyone camping in the spring or fall who, like me, just can’t seem to keep warm.

Michela Rosano

Mountain Hardwear Hotbed Ember Camp Quilt

For my recent cottage adventure in Prince Edward Island’s Northumberland Provincial Park, I decided to bring the Mountain Hardwear Hotbed Ember Camp Quilt to keep me warm on chilly nights by the fire.

After settling in for a night outdoors, the quilt became handy almost immediately as a storm rolled in. The quilt’s Thermal Q insulation kept me warm and its versatile design, including snaps in the foot-box, made it easy to wrap around my entire body.

When rolled up in its microfleece-lined stuff sack, the camp quilt can also double as a pillow, which came in handy many times throughout the weekend when I wanted to rest my head after a long hike or needed neck support while reading.  

Although the camp quilt is exceptionally warm, I would not suggest packing this if space and weight are an issue. There are many multi-season sleeping bags that can keep you just as comfortable. However, this quilt is perfect to bring along to a cottage any time of year for a chilly evening in the great outdoors.

Sara Black


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