Marmot, an award-winning outdoor clothing, and equipment company based out of Santa Rosa,California, is acclaimed for the excellent quality of its high-tech sleeping bags. One particularly unique trait of Marmot bags in which purchasers are in agreement is the sheer lightness of the products. Weighing in at less than 2 pounds, the Marmot Hydrogen certainly lives up to its name. Easy to compress and stuff in with the rest of your outdoor adventure equipment, it will be even easier to forget that you’re carrying the Hydrogen, which will be a welcome feature for those of you who need to pack for every foreseeable situation.
Marmot’s sleeping bags are also renowned for their excellent down filling. The 900-fill down of the Hydrogen, a rather high down fill rating, will provide premium warmth capability though it has the expected drawback of making the Hydrogen rather more expensive than most other sleeping bags of a similar class. The Hydrogen sports a mummy bag design, which complements the down fill in keeping you at a proper temperature during frigid nights. The bag’s body fabric isn’t designed to be tossed around randomly on cutting rocks and abrasive sand, and buyers would be wise to invest in a cheap ground cloth on which to mount the Hydrogen to ensure that no tearing occurs.
Other appreciated features of the Hydrogen include a comfortable hood baffle to cover the face of the user during colder evenings when the bag has to be sealed, a full zipper that allows you to convert the bag into a down comforter on warmer nights, and a roomy fit, which is a pleasant surprise for a normally claustrophobic mummy design.
The temperature rating of the Hydrogen is listed as being able to handle a dip down to 30 degrees F and below, and ideally, the down fill should practically guarantee that rating but many users have complained about suffering in the cold even in temperatures that do not push the Hydrogen to its advertised limits. This is perhaps the biggest failing of the Hydrogen – it is not built to provide optimum warmth, and is heavily dependent on both prevailing environmental conditions and the user’s other measures to raise the sleeping temperature, such as by wearing extra layers of clothing. Built to be a sort of halfway selection between Marmot’s warm-climate Atom and its winter-level offering, the Helium, it actually hews closer to the Atom, and may not be the best choice for one expecting to run into a few nights of bitter chill. Another issue with the Hydrogen is that its fabric appears to be susceptible to tearing. A number of dissatisfied customers have complained of waking up in the morning to find their surroundings littered with tiny feathers, and a couple of holes torn through the lining or shell.
All in all, the Hydrogen is a sweet bag to own if your primary concerns are weight and elegant comfort. Just be wary of low temperatures, which the bag doesn’t handle as well as most would like, and be careful with the damage that rugged terrain may bring.