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The North Face Cat's Meow

Est. $170 and up
Reviewed
July 2013
by ConsumerSearch
The North Face Cat's Meow

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Packs easily
  • Dries quickly after exposure to moisture
Cons
  • Not warm enough for some
  • Zipper snagging issues
Where to Buy
 

Bottom Line

The North Face Cat's Meow is a classic sleeping bag for casual campers. Lightweight and durable, its synthetic fill allows for a comfortable night's sleep in mild temperatures, even when the weather is wet.

Performance

Quick-drying. The North Face Cat's Meow sleeping bag is a reviewer favorite. On the market for more than 10 years, the bag continues to get good reviews from backpackers for its light weight. "Packs great into the kayak for overnighters, too," one Buzzillions.com contributor says. Its synthetic Climashield fill dries quickly after exposure to moisture and retains users' body heat even when wet.

One Trailspace.com contributor says it's a good option for wet, warm climates where you otherwise would use a down-filled. However, many report the bag not meeting its 20-degree Fahrenheit rating. Campers who may need extra layers with the Cat's Meow even at 40-degree nighttime temperatures.

Comfort

Cozy sizes. The North Face Cat's Meow comes in two sizes, regular and long, and users say the sizes are adequate for campers over 6 feet tall. Users with large feet might find the footbox too constricting, says a reviewer at CheapTents.com who wears a size 13. This is good news for campers who usually have cold feet - less room in the footbox means it warms easily by body heat. Adjusting the bag while inside is easy, say StarCamping.com editors: "The hood was easy to pull up tight around my face without any discomfort."

Ownership

Good for novice or casual campers. The North Face Cat's Meow strikes a balance between affordability and function. "(It's) an ideal piece of kit for someone starting out or indeed anyone looking for a good quality sleeping bag without breaking the bank," says a reviewer at CheapTents.com.

However, the bag's notoriously sticky zippers and mixed reviews for temperature dependability might drive more frequent campers to a lower temperature rating or a down bag, such as the top-rated Sierra Designs DriDown Zissou (Est. $220 and up).

The Cat's Meow is reportedly durable: its synthetic fill keeps its loft (thickness) well over a few years of use. "It is highly compressible and has held its loft for three years so far without being washed," writes a Buzzillions.com contributor. However, a user reviewing the bag on Trailspace.com reminds campers that losing a fair amount of loft "is just a fact of life for synthetics." North Face does offer a full warranty for the lifetime of its products.

Our Sources

1. Buzzillions.com

The North Face Cat's Meow is one of this site's most-reviewed sleeping bags, earning a 4.2-star rating from more than 260 reviews. Users praise it's light weight, but deduct points for a zipper prone to snagging.

Review: The North Face Cats Meow 20 Degree Sleeping Bag, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of May 2013

2. Trailspace.com

Trailspace.com allows for outdoor enthusiasts to provide feedback on gear they've used. Contributors praise the Cat's Meow for its light weight and ease of compression. The most common complaint for this bag is that it's too cold.

Review: The North Face Cat's Meow, Contributors to Trailspace.com, As of May 2013

3. OutdoorGearLab.com

Editors rate 26 sleeping bags, including The North Face Cat's Meow, finding it only of "moderate quality" but recommending it nonetheless for summer backpacking.

Review: North Face Cat's Meow 20 Review, Max Neale, Nov. 17, 2013

4. StarCamping.com

Reviewed after a three-day excursion in Colorado, a StarCamping.com editor calls The North Face Cat's Meow "probably the warmest +20 degree sleeping bag I have ever used." Although the reviewer finds the footbox "confining," he say the regular sized bag is roomy enough for someone up to 6 feet tall.

Review: The North Face Cat's Meow +20 Sleeping Bag Review, Editors of StarCamping.com, Not dated

5. CheapTents.com

Calling the Cat's Meow a "good all around performer," CheapTents.com's reviewer finds the bag feature-rich at a good price. He praises the bag's secondary features, such as the interior watch pocket, and comfortable interior lining.

Review: The North Face Cats Meow Sleeping Bag Review, "Ryan", March 13, 2009

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