Reader Review: Peter Hutchinson Designs Hispar 800

Sam Feuerborn Reader Review of thePeter Hutchinson Designs Hispar 800 for Blister Gear Review
PHD Hispar 800.

Peter Hutchinson Designs Hispar 800

EN Rating: -27℉

  • Features:
  • Rare 950 fill power European Goose Down
  • Water-resistant Drishell outer fabric
  • Superlight MX inner fabric
  • Box-wall construction for max loft
  • Short zip protected by double draft tubes
  • Pack size: 25 x 44cm

Days Tested: 90

Weight as tested (H2X Material, Standard Length and Width, Full length zipper): 3lbs, 1oz

Test Locations: The Elks Range & San Juans, Colorado

[Editor’s Note: Blister reader Sam Feuerborn submitted this excellent review of the Peter Hutchinson Designs Hispar 800. For more information about our Reader Reviews, see this.]

About Sam: Three years ago, after studying European History, Psychology, and Adventure Education, I moved into a Dodge van in order to pursue my passions on my own schedule. Having grown up traveling and spending much of my formative years with my family outside hiking, camping, and skiing, it has been a natural transition to embrace the dirtbag lifestyle. Many of my adventures are fueled by coffee and stoke, and recorded on tattered notebooks and borrowed computers. I have spent months at a time climbing in the desert, hitchhiking through Africa, mountain biking through the San Juans, backcountry skiing across Colorado’s Western slopes, and climbing in Yosemite, as well as playing countless games of Settlers of Catan around the world. I have been lucky enough to embrace this lifestyle and make it work thanks to the support of countless friends and strangers alike, encouraging me to work and think outside the box and play as often as possible.

The Pete Hutchinson Designs (PHD) Hispar 800 sleeping bag is touted as a 950 fill power, -27℉ lightweight expedition sleeping bag, and here’s PHD’s description:

“Ultralights for the mountains are the first words we put to the Hispar sleeping bags and it’s hard to find a better way to describe them.”

This is exactly what I was looking for, and the 90+ nights I’ve slept in the Hispar 800 have given me ample opportunity to evaluate this description.

A Little Background

I am a 5’10”, 160 lb male with a fairly average build (medium shirts and small pants). I spent 90+ days in the sleeping bag this past winter, in and out of tents and vehicles. Night time temperatures ranged from +15F to -15F in winds up to 20 mph (when not in any shelter).

I would guess that due to the unusually warm winter, the average nighttime temperature while testing was around 0F. I sleep fairly warm, and find that I can usually sleep comfortably in temperatures that are about 10 degrees lower than a given bag’s temperature rating.

As the fall turned to winter, temperatures dropped below zero, and I realized I needed to upgrade from my 40 degree bag to something a bit warmer if I was going to make it camping throughout the winter in Aspen, CO. I intended to spend most nights sleeping in my vehicle or out camping, and I was seeking out a packable, lightweight and extremely warm bag.

I had considered Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends bags as well, and had previously owned a couple REI synthetic 0 degree mummy bags.

However, I was most interested in on one of PHD’s ultra light and ultra warm winter bags, since the Hispar was designed to handle arctic and polar expeditions, while keeping weight to a minimum. This was compelling, since I wasn’t particularly interested in suffering through another bout of cold-induced pneumonia.

Hispar 800 Options & Construction

Before getting into the details, it should be noted that the Hispar comes in multiple configurations that affect the weight and size of the bag.

PHD offers four lengths, from short to extra long, four widths from slim to extra wide, and right or left zippers that can be either half or full length. These modifications affect both price and weight.

Prices range from $948 -$1,302 USD and weights run from 2lbs 5oz – 4lbs 8oz.

The Hispar 800 is also available with either the Drishell water resistant outer fabric, or a fully waterproof outer with taped seams.

The configuration I tested included the H2X Waterproof outer material in the standard length and width, had a full length zipper, and weighed in at 3lbs 1oz.

Sam Feuerborn Reader Review of thePeter Hutchinson Designs Hispar 800 for Blister Gear Review
The PHD Hispar 800 partially opened.

The sleeping bag is constructed with straight wall baffles running vertically and horizontally in the sleeping bag, oriented in such a way to minimize the movement of down within the baffles.
The head and foot of the bag is lined with Drishell to increase durability when wearing boot liners in the bag, and to mitigate the effects of condensation from breathing. Their Superlight MX fabric is used throughout the rest of the bag.

NEXT: Performance, Packability, etc.

2 comments on “Reader Review: Peter Hutchinson Designs Hispar 800”

  1. Did you have no problems with moisture? Sounds like you sweat a bit in the bag and had some wet nights on snow. Did you have to take some time to dry the bag out on your multi day ski tours?

    Thanks for the review, makes m want to do some multi day tours in the near future!

    • No issues with moisture and the down wetting out. I would typically pack my sleeping bag last in the morning and set it out first thing when arriving after skinning but beyond the drying that occurred during that time, there wasn’t anything specific that I did.

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