Hi, I was thinking about buying a Minim 500 in the PHD sale, but unfortunately left it too late as the sale has ended.
If you bought a sleeping bag in the sale and you've managed to try it out how do you like it ?
Yes I bought the 500.
Firstly it's a very well-made bag, can't fault the quality at all. It comes with a mesh storage bag, as well as the stuffsac, which is a nice bonus as it isn't obvious on the website.
I've only used it once camping @ around 0 degrees and in a cold cottage at about 5. I'm concerned it may not quite reach its claimed -10 rating for me but haven't had the chance to prove this yet. From what people say PHD are happy to add down at a reasonable cost and I may investigate that option - ideally they could do it while I supped a few in the Stalybridge station bar but that may be asking too much.
The biggest niggle is that there's no shoulder baffle - I'd never really paid much attention to these but the lack of one means you really need to use the hood to prevent heat leaking out - personally I'd rather just sleep in a hat than use the hood unless it's really cold. I know they add weight but for a few extra grammes I'd rather it was there.
I went for the dri-shell with a full zip so it came to £204 IIRC inc the delivery, at this price it seems good value. If the price was any higher I might be tempted by the Alpkit 600 which was my other option (@£150?)
I too have the Minin 500 dri shell. Have used it twice, the first night not below freezing so OK, however the second night fair frost so guess just below freezing - as was I! I am sure it is me, but I do have trouble sleeping warm, despite whatever I wear,sleepin/on.
The only niggle, but this is general down bag stuff is where the condensation from my breathe hits the sleeping bag and creates a damp bit.
Other than that I am one very proud owner of a lovely sleeping bag.
Got the 300 in the sale and was worried it would be too snug a fit but it's fine. Had a full length zip fitted too. Well impressed with the mesh storage sack, wasn't expecting it. Only slept in it once, no idea how cold it was exactly but think about 6deg and I was proper toasty. Tried sleeping in a liner to keep it clean but that wont be happening again... clean clothes all the way in future!
Must admit the shoulder baffle not being there is odd but I'm sure I'll get used to it. Even with a full zip, it weighs just a smidgeon over 700g - well happy.
I've been using the Minim 300 regularly since mid-February. Basic bag with no zip and in MX. (bought in last year's sale)
The long length weighs in at 700grms.
It has been the dogs do dahs!
Love the hood. Stick a down pullover on and a pair of leggings and it goes well below zero.
Question for the 300 owners...
did you find the top baffle just below the hood has very little down in it? I imagine that it might be to make it easier to cinch around the face... or rather that additional down wouldn't be able to loft there... but I was a bit surprised how scarce it was in that baffle. The feet also seem to get an extra large helping of down... the logic of which I can understand even if it might not have been my first choice. Comments?
I'm waiting to use it properly because if this is an error in manufacture I'd need to send it back pristine...
Kelvin... well impressed if you managed stay toast in 6C in the mesh bag
Have to say, John, the hood is one of the easiest I've had for cinching around the face. Not sure if this is because of the down, or, lack of............. Once the hood is done up it is toasty.
Personally I prefer it this way. An old ME bag I have was a pain to close up around the face.
It's great getting into a bag with no zips (my first zipless).............. as you pull yourself into it, it billows up with the air pressure in the bottom of the bag. Again, not sure if the design was for extra down in the foot area, it does seem to be well endowed in that area, which I like, and it does the business for me. And all at 700grms for a long version.
My best compromise bag so far: i.e. stick extra clothes on and it goes well down in the temperature scale.
John Burley wrote (see)
Noticed that the foot area was very well stuffed the minute I unwrapped the thing, as for that baffle at the top, just legged upstairs to check and mine would seem to be the same as yours. Never having had a down bag before I had nothing to compare it to other than the very cheap quilt that resides on top of my bed!
Keep it, you know it makes sense
I also own a fairly good down bag at the entry level of the market (350g of 650 fillpower french duck down) but spend a bit too much time inspecting kit in gear shops! In a similar category to the PHD M300, I had been pondering the Valandré mirage has 350g of 850 fillpower down and is stuffed slightly differently to my PHD bag. But Valandré is known for slightly overstuffing the baffles which gives them an immediate puffiness even if it isn't absolutely the most efficient way to insulate. The Mirage, in todays exchange rates, is nearly £100 more than the Minim 300 via the PHD sale and it doesn't have the water resistance of the drishell so I stand by my choice!
Still... if I could afford both it would be fun to compare!
I have the 300/400 and 600 and all have a very stuffed footbox and very little down in the neck baffles.. I find that after about a month solid usage the loft of the neck baffle is reduced to barely anything.. (probably due to ingress of dirt and moisture of breath etc) Just seems to me how these bags are made.
I have a couple of rab top bags, one with 100grms and the other the standard 200 grms of down in the top so have taken to using these as part of my sleep system to enhance and protect the loft of the PHD's..(I am only about 64kg's so plenty of room inside without affecting the loft) or otherwise I end up wearing a down jacket, as this area of the bag definately seems to give me coldspots (and drafts when bivvying).
I think these bags are great ,but for really cold weather I reckon having a bag with extra neck baffles and a well lofted hood (e.g. marmot lithium or similar) is definately better at heat retention.. ( p.s. I must sleep really cold as the comfort rating PHD gives is about 10 oC less for me.)
P.S. They seem to reloft nicely when laundered
I have a short 300 and I was utterly freezing cold at 0c, in full baselayer, socks, buff, and a thin synthetic sleeping bag draped over the top of me "just in case". Kept waking up shivering. The next night at about 7c I was comfortable in the same attire. I do however, feel the cold badly when stationary, and am a petite lady! I think I must sleep cold and now need a warmer bag!
Incidently, I can't be 100% sure of the temperatures because looking backwards at weather conditions online doesnt seem provide me with much data..!" If anyone knows of a decent website, or where I can get a thermometer which measures peaks and lows!
The baffle around the face at the front does not have much down in it, but on mine it is a 'short baffle' and the next one down is fine. The foot is well-stuffed, as others above have said.
I just bought one of these. I've not used it yet, but it lofts up to an impressive 6 inches or more lying on the bed. It has both a neck collar and well filled hood. The interior feels very soft and comfortable on the skin. It's extremely well stitched together like all of my ME gear.
All in all it seems a bit of a bargain, probably performing similarly to the Alpkit Pipedream 600 at just £40 more for a well known brand. It weighs exactly a kilo in the waterproof stuffsack (950g for the bag alone).
I've got the 300 in long, dri-shell and with a full zip.
Not tested it in anything extreme, but its been fine for a few night crashing at peoples houses with the zip fully open.
Quality wise seems very well made, comes with small stuff sack and larger mesh one. Would definitely recommend comparable to my Rab Atlas.
As I am a hot sleeper the zip option works best for me adding versitility (as well as a little weight)
They offer a 10% for people who have spent over £110 if you are lucky someone on the forumight be nice and post it out to you http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/discount.php
I got a Minim 300 in one of the sales I think in '10, and I used it last Sept '11 in warmer temps and was very happy with it. Compact, light, warm.
However, this September's weather has been colder and I was in some valleys in the last weekend when temps got the ground to frost (so just above freezing?) and I woke cold in the night. Of course when trying to sleep and get comfy you have some time to ponder the problem, for me the Minim 300 is too narrow in the shoulder-hip area for handling about-freezing, I had to sleep on my back to stay warm enough, there was enough room for baselayer type insulation but no way could I add a down jacket type insulation, its simply not wide enough. If I turned onto my side and pulled my knees up, my back became cold, presumably due to down compression. if I'd had some baselayer leggings with me, would have made a difference.
So overall, for my body size, Minim 300 only was its stated warmth lying on my back straight.
I had a further problem, not specific to PHD Minim 300 but to Drishell and to my tent, I had used a Laser Comp, not the Tarptent Notch I own, and the LC struggles to get air circulation, the inside of the tent was wet and any touching of the inner got the Drishell wet, and indeed I was woke 4am by dripping of condensation in my face. No rain.. The Drishell was not holding this all back, it was getting the down inside wet, suffiient after multiple nights transmitting a bit of the black dye from the inner to the gold outer.
I was keeping on top of down dampness via the sunny mornings after the still cold nights drying my bag, meaning I was not hiking til about 2 hours later to wait for the sunshine to hit the bag and then dry it. In certain combinations like wet morning after still night, I'd be packing a wet bag.
I don't have the solution, just know some combinations are almost failing.
On the plus side, I did from Lakes get to see Snowdon, then IsleOman, then Northern Island, then Scotland via a loop around and in the evening some SneckLifter, and then the Milky Way with the lack of light pollution. Which is what it is all about.
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