SLEEPING BAGS

The North Face Cat’s Meow Sleeping Bag: The Warmest Synthetic Bag on the Market

Two aduls in The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag near a tent outside
Henry Silva
Written by Henry Silva

You can start an adventure without much money, compass, without goals and planned destination. However, you cannot start an adventure without a sleeping bag. You can easily find food in nature, especially in the warmer seasons. For directions, you could always ask around.

However, at the end of the day, you must sleep and rest for the next day and an inevitable question pops for a sleeping place. People require a warm, dry and possibly comfortable place for sleeping in order to function properly the next day.

If you have ever found yourself in a situation to sleep outside on a warm night, you definitely understand the description above and you know that for such a situation, a sleeping bag is a must, and that is why we decided to review the North Face Cat‘s Meow model and present to you all the features that make it one of the best in its class.

A sleeping bag is a bit more than just a camping equipment. It represents a small, intimate space which you will use as a bed for the camping days. It also allows you to unburden yourself of negotiating for rents and discussing sleeping conditions in some accommodation while bringing you closer to nature.

Theoretically, if it weren’t the laws who forbid a person to sleep wherever he can and likes, as well as the mosquitoes, no one could stand in his path. The only equipment you will ever need is a toothbrush, a sleeping bag, and clothes on your back. The rest, is an adventure!

Product Specification

  • Optimized fill achieves a smaller packed size
  • Continuous-filament maximize thermal performance
  • Shaped hood for more warmth and comfort
  • Versatile, twenty-degree mummy bag insulated with high-performance Heatseeker Pro for maximum heat. The offset quilted bottom reduces cold spots where your body rests against the cool ground.
  • Made of Nylon

Check the price on Amazon

So, if you don’t know how to choose a sleeping back, you are on the right track. This buying guide will help you make the right choice and it might save you some money too. As a bonus, we are including a suggestion, a North Face sleeping bag which is perfect for the warmer periods.

Before choosing a sleeping bag, you need to decide the destination and your own needs and requirements. Will you go camping in the summer; will you go backpacking on a mountain; or are you planning a winter hiking trip? This is important because the final choice you make will highly depend on these factors. According to these factors, you will be directed to a winter or a summer bag which is made from specific materials.

For instance, if you are planning on spending the night next to a river, you should probably decide on a winter sleeping bag. The heavier a bag is, the more volume it takes. The more lightweight, it is, and the more natural it is, the more expensive it is. These are just a few of the factors you should consider before buying a sleeping bag. In addition, we are explaining all the things which you should consider before even going through the different sleeping bag options on the market.

Review

Packaging

The North Face Cat’s Meow comes with a stuff sack for storing the sleeping bag for easy transport. The Cat’s Meow also comes in different sizes. Since our sizes differ, the producers of the Cat’s Meow have done an amazing job in producing different sizes of the sleeping bag to suit almost every size.

Man on a beach holding The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag

If you are the plump sized individual, you can go for the extra long while the not so plump ones can go for the regular sizes. The Cat’s Meow also comes with an insulation filled box to provide more warmth in harsh weather conditions.

Design and Durability

This sleeping bag contains ceaseless baffles all through, it comes with hood and side pockets. The hood adds extra warmth to your head while the pockets can be used to pack snacks for the night. The stuff bag that comes with the Cat’s Meow can be used to store the sleeping bag for easy transportation.

Man on a beach holding The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag on sand on a beach

The North Face used a Nylon material to design the Cat’s Meow making it more lightweight than ever.  The sleeping bag’s hood has been shaped in a way to provide more warmth to the user. If you are camping in the summertime in scorching temperatures, the hood can be removed to allow more air in the bag.

Insulation

The additional insulation filled in the foot box plus hood where women want it most, including the soft, lightweight material used in producing the bag. The pack pocket in the inner part of the bag is a decent size for keeping a headlamp or snacks for the night. The features that differentiate this bag from other versions is the added 10 Oz insulation attached to the hood and foot box of the sleeping bag.

Man on a beach holding The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag insulation

Additionally, the recently added fleece warmer pockets.  This sleeping bag capitalizes on the insulation and keeps you at ease at any kind of temperature. If you feel too much heat, you can effortlessly unzip the sleeping bag, keeping your arms outside if you wish. A distinctive technology is included in the sleeping bag which increases the insulation of the bag by making use of compressible vertical baffles.

Warmth

The North Face Cat’s Meow sleeping bag is the warmest of the synthetic bags in the present market. It keeps you warm in high-altitude during the summer months, when temperatures can come down into the 30s. The key to this warmth is due to the fit of the sleeping bag.

Close-up of The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag zipper

The North Face has also included additional insulation in the hood and foot box of this specific sleeping bag to keep the extremities nice and comfy. The North Face has also included internal hand warmer pockets to the North Face Cat’s Meow for extra warmth.

Temperature Rating

The temperature rating of the North Face Cat’s Meow is -7 degrees, the temperature system is more precise and simplified, and every product contains a label with temperature statements guaranteed by the manufacturer. There are critical or lower temperatures and comfort temperatures.

A comfortable temperature is an outside temperature, which the bag is able to endure without you freezing inside the bag. For you, this means that at this temperature you would be able to have a good night and comfortable sleep at the temperature stated without feeling the cold outside. A critical or lower temperature is the border temperature at which the manufacturer guarantees that you won’t get hypothermia.

Close-up of The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag temperature rating

For you as a user, this means that you should only remember this temperature for extreme conditions which hopefully you will never find yourself in. At the lower temperature, you would feel very cold inside the bag, but you will not freeze to death. Even though this is a bizarre thing to say, it is necessary that you understand the markings on the sleeping bags.

These temperature statements mean that every sleeping bag which is offered on the market is subjected to standardized laboratory testing and experiments. For the testing, a thermal sensitive mannequin is used.

Weight

This model is no longer the lightest synthetic bag due to the addition of fleece hand warmer in the interior of the bag and other redesigns of the shape, the bag weighs a little above 3 pounds. Though, it is still lighter than most sleeping bags in the market. The North Face Cat’s Meow sleeping bag uses a lightweight exterior material to keep the bag relatively light, though it still does not pack down very well.

Size

The North Face Cat’s Meow is not recommended for individuals taller than 5’5 because of the size of the sleeping bag. There is more than enough room to move the shoulders to wear an extra layer if the weather seems cold.

The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag on the ground

The feel of its soft-shell material on the skin is a plus, and the added insulation sited in key spots to give rise to a comfortable sleep. The enormous baffle around the neck at times feels a bit deterring, but the additional warmth delivered by this baffle makes it worth it.

Versatility

Because of its largeness and weight, the Cat’s Meow is much less versatile than most sleeping bags in the market. But for what it’s worth, the Cat’s Meow sleeping bag is a workhorse and is decent for trips where you anticipate the weather to be wet and chilly; its synthetic insulation will hold its loft when wet better than any other sleeping bag that will lose its loft and insulating ability.

Hood of The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag

The Cat’s Meow is a great introductory bag for a beginner backpacker since it is not expensive for its quality, and it is also perfect for anyone who is looking for a cheap summer backpacking sleeping bag that will keep them warm in all weather conditions.

Value for money and guarantee

This is an excellent value at approximately $189 for a great product that can get you underway on your outdoor journeys. There are many sleeping bags which are very expensive but low in quality and still cost more than the North Face Cat’s Meow. The Cat’s Meow has much better value and also has higher quality materials and design. It is just as warm and comfortable as the heavier, more expensive sleeping bags in the market today.

The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag

The North Face company guarantees to return any damaged product in as much as you have not used the sleeping bag. So, if you purchase the North Face Cat’s Meow and it is faulty or a part is missing, you should request for a new sleeping bag by sending them an email and you will get a new bag.

Similar Models / Competitors

There are numerous sleeping bags on the present market with different features. So, before you buy a sleeping bag, make sure you check more than two bags to compare to the one you decide to choose. This is just to make sure you are purchasing the perfect sleeping bag that suits your needs. Some people prefer a sleeping bag that is lightweight while some prefer it to be a little heavy. Below are products similar to the North Face Cat’s Meow sleeping Bag:

The North Face Aleutian North Face Aleutian

The North Face Aleutian is almost the same with the Cat’s Meow but with noticeable differences. The Aleutian is a three season sleeping bag that has been designed to keep you warm during the winter season.

The Aleutian does not come with a stuff sack, but you can purchase one if you desire. The Aleutian weighs up to 5 pounds, which is quite average for a lightweight sleeping bag. If you are someone who moves around when sleeping, then this bag is not for you because the bag does not have enough room.

Kelty Cosmic Kelty Cosmic

The Kelty Cosmic is similar to the Cat’s Meow but also with several differences. The Kelty Cosmic is a lot lightweight than the Aleutian weighing just 2.8 pounds.

If you are a fan of lightweight bags, then the Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree sleeping bag is for you. The Kelty Cosmic comes with a stuff sack and thermal comfort hood and natural fit footbox.

The best feature about the Kelty Cosmic is its DriDown fill power up to 600. It protects you from the harshest weather which is why this sleeping bag is great.

Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Mountain Hardware Lamina Z

The Mountain Hardware Lamina Z is heavier than the Kelty Cosmic. Also similar to the Cat’s Meow is the Mountain Lamina Z Flame but with significant differences.

This sleeping bag weighs just 4.7 pounds a bit heavier than the Kelty Cosmic but we can also say the sleeping bag is lightweight considering other sleeping bags in the market today.

It’s zoned insulation gives maximum warmth during the worst weather conditions. Its thermal has exceptional compressibility and also upholds superb loft.

Overview

The main purpose of wearing a sleeping bag while camping is so that you are protected from the elements. A user should expect at least this much. However, every manufacturer focuses on different features, so you should choose the ones which you require the most. The outer material of this sleeping bag is made from nylon and the inside is full with a synthetic blend.

Synthetic blends tend to be less expensive because they are very well known for their inability to keep your body warm in extreme temperatures. Having this in mind, it is important to mention that this sleeping bag will keep your body temperature in spring and summer. Even though this product is advertised as a three season sleeping bag, I wouldn’t go that far with its warming properties.

This North Face sleeping bag uses a Heatseeker synthetic technology, which has more insulation than heating properties. The hood for the head is a nice addition which would keep your body a bit warmer. There is a draft collar, which acts as an isolation between you and the outside elements. It is integrated into the bag since it blocks the cold air and it is trapping the heat produced from the body inside the bag.

The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag

However, this only works on warmer temperatures. The comfort temperature advertised from the manufacturer is 33 degrees. I would say that the comfort temperature for cold sleepers is around 38 degrees. The lower limit, however, is not recommended to test. The EN lower limit of this North Face product is 22 degrees.

It is interesting to mention that this sleeping bag has padded loops, which allow the user to safely attach the sleeping bag to the sleeping pad if he uses any. However, the attachment parts are sold separately from the sleeping bag. The neck baffle is also a great addition which keeps your neck warm if you tuck it around. It is also very soft and comfortable. When you lay your head on the soft neck baffle, you would fall asleep immediately.

The bag has excellent durability, many users have reported on using the product for decades. As far as durability goes, synthetic materials are known to have a larger shelf life. Since this bag’s outside is made from nylon material, it is less subject to tearing it or damaging it some other way. So if you are looking for a durable sleeping bag which you are going to use for years to come, look no further.

Close-up of The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag

The compression is easy and very fast. A compression bag is included in the price. It packs down small, almost as small as a down bag. It is also very lightweight. The bag also comes with a compression stuff sack, which is very useful. It is attached to the bottom of the bag and it measures 10 x 18 in. Keep in mind that you should never store the sleeping bag in a compressed state. This rule applies to almost every sleeping bag on the market.

Keep in mind that some sleeping bags won’t keep you warm unless you are wearing additional thermal underwear. Also, in order to feel the features of a sleeping bag, you must avoid humidity, water, and the wind. Of course, there are some models which have features specific to these conditions, but their price is also pretty high.

Besides packing a sleeping bag, it is also good to pack a sleeping pad in order to isolate yourself from the cold ground. This is especially beneficial if you are planning a trip in cold weather conditions. Even the warmest sleeping bags cannot protect you from the cold if you are not isolated from the ground.

Pros:

  • The Cat’s Meow is fairly lightweight
  • It is comfortable to sleep in
  • The zipper of the bag does not stick
  • It is also fairly compact
  • Compression is easy and very fast
  • It comes with a stuff sack

Cons:

  • Its possess a 35 Degree threshold
  • It is not suitable for very tall individuals

There is also a possibility of buying one woman’s and one man’s bag and zipping them together. Make sure you check the zipper’s side since they have an option for a sleeping bag zipper on either side.

The sleeping bag is not waterproof, although it is more water resistant from many other models out there. This doesn’t mean that it won’t get wet if you leave it out in the rain, but it can endure a little rain or splashing. This is due to the nylon exterior, which is making it slightly water resistant.

However, if the nylon material is damaged somewhere, which is very likely since it is very this, water will come inside and you will spend the night in a wet bag. The downside of this bag is that it is not appropriate for very tall people. If you are tall, however, and you like this product, make sure you double check the dimensions. Tall people should avoid the regular size sleeping bag and order a larger version.

If you have used this sleeping bag in the past you can leave a comment about your experience. We will love to hear about your experience using the bag in the comment section below!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henry Silva
Henry Silva

Henry was hiking since he was 4. He was lucky enough to be born in Boulder, Colorado and enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park hikes growing up. His favourite is Longs Peak, which rises to 14,259 feet (4,346 m) above sea level. It is the highest point of the park. Henry likes to explore new hikes and spend his spare time in the wilderness.

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