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The North Face Cat's Meow - Women's Review

An inexpensive and versatile synthetic bag, this product is best suited for smaller people in car camping situations
the north face cat's meow for women sleeping bag review
Credit: The North Face
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Price:  $210 List | $209.95 at Backcountry
Pros:  Warm and comfortable, keeps you warm when wet
Cons:  Bulky packed size, heavy, small fit
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Jessica Haist ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 7, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 17
  • Warmth - 25% 8.0
  • Weight - 25% 3.0
  • Comfort - 20% 7.0
  • Packed Size - 15% 4.0
  • Features - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The North Face Women's Cat's Meow has been around for several years, receiving new iterations periodically. The current version is a bit of a disappointment because it's reverted to a much heavier, bulkier model. It has added almost a pound of weight and is now one of the heaviest bags in this review. We think the Cat's Meow is a decent choice for all your car camping needs but would hesitate to take it backpacking because of its weight and bulk. It also is a very tight fit and we would only recommend it for small people with narrow shoulders. The Cat's Meow could be a good choice for activities where your kit is in danger of getting wet like boating trips or in rainy coastal climates. Synthetic insulation will keep you warm when it gets wet since it can maintain its loft, unlike down products.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $210 List
$209.95 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Warm and comfortable, keeps you warm when wetComfortable, lightweight, excellent materials, not constrictingComfortable, warm, roomyComfortable and warmComfortable, inexpensive, recycled materials
Cons Bulky packed size, heavy, small fitComforter sometimes does not stay tucked inHeavy, bulkyNot light, hood draw cords hard to use, large for a women's sleeping bagHeavy, bulky
Bottom Line An inexpensive and versatile synthetic bag, this product is best suited for smaller people in car camping situationsA great, high-quality choice at a relatively low price for those looking for a lightweight bag that doesn't sacrifice comfortThis middle-of-the-pack sleeping bag is comfortable, warm, and fine or short backpacking trips and car camping excursionsThis bag earns high marks for comfort and is a decent backpacking choice, but has added 4 ounces it the most recent iterationThis well priced synthetic bag is a great choice for your car camping needs
Rating Categories The North Face Cat'... Sierra Designs Clou... Mountain Hardwear B... Marmot Angel Fire Marmot Trestles Eli...
Warmth (25%)
8.0
5.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Weight (25%)
3.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
Comfort (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
Packed Size (15%)
4.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Features (15%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Specs The North Face Cat'... Sierra Designs Clou... Mountain Hardwear B... Marmot Angel Fire Marmot Trestles Eli...
ISO/EN Comfort Rating 20 F 26 F 15 F 27 F 20 F
Fill Type Heatseekerâ„¢ Pro synthetic insulation PFC-Free DriDown 650-fill-power down Duck down HL-ElixR synthetic fibers
Measured Weight 3.4 lbs 1.7 lbs 2.5 lbs 2.7 lbs 2.8 lbs
Total Weight 54.5 oz 27.4 oz 39.7 oz 43.6 oz 44.0 oz
Fill Power Synthetic 800 650 650 Synthetic
Women specific features Women's specific cut More insulation per square inch than men's version Additional insulation Women's Specific Fit - more Insulation in Key Areas Women's specific fit
Fill Weight Unspecified 14.8 oz Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified
Material 20D Nylon Ripstop/taffeta 15d nylon risptop 20D Ripstop Nylon 20D 100% nylon mini ripstop, 30D 100% nylon, DWR finish 20-denier recycled ripstop polyester
Neck Baffle Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Pocket Yes No Yes Yes - Internal Stash Pocket and Heater Pocket in Footbox Yes
Sleeping Pad Sleeve Yes Yes No No No
Zipper Length 59 in N/A 66 in 63 in & 13 in 53/15 in
Shoulder Girth 62 in 59 in 60 in 56 in 58 in
Hip Girth 57 in 58 in 50 in 56 in 58 in
Foot Girth 42 in 39 in 40 in 46 in 45 in
Stuff Sack included? Compression sack and storage bag included Stuff sack and storage bag included Stuff sack and storage bag included Stuff sack and storage bag included Stuff sack and storage bag included

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Women's Cat's Meow has slimmed down on unnecessary features included in previous versions. It's added warmth by putting insulation in all the right places, piling more on top and less on the bottom, making it more effective. This is a good value bag for a tight budget, and a good option for wet or humid weather.

Performance Comparison


the north face cat's meow for women sleeping bag review - the cat's meow is a warm bag with lots of synthetic insulation. we'd...
The Cat's Meow is a warm bag with lots of synthetic insulation. We'd recommend it for folks smaller than 5'4.
Credit: Jessica Haist

Warmth


The Cat's Meow is rated at an EN comfort rating of 22 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature rating is slightly warmer than average, and we would agree that the Cat's Meow performs similarly. This bag is warm and cozy, keeping us warm on cold nights, be it dry or wet.

The North Face has gotten clever with constructing the Cats Meow. They have moved the majority of the insulation to the top layer and just left a thin layer on the bottom. We think this is super smart and way more efficient. Insulation keeps heat in by trapping air molecules in the loft. This air warms up, keeping you warm. Any insulation that is under your body is being compressed, and therefore not lofty, so it is ineffective at containing heat and keeping you warm. Your sleeping pad is what should be keeping you warm and insulating you from the ground, not the insulation on the bottom of your sleeping bag. The Cat's Meow does a great job keeping you warm with its smart design. It also has a hefty neck baffle and draft tube to help keep things snug and cozy.

the north face cat's meow for women sleeping bag review - we like the cat's meow's big neck baffle and draft tube for keeping...
We like the Cat's Meow's big neck baffle and draft tube for keeping warm air in and cold air out.
Credit: Jessica Haist

Not only that, but the loft is made of synthetic fibers that will retain their warmth, even when wet. This adds to its overall warmth in all types of conditions. Our verdict? This is a super warm synthetic option that will keep you cozy in all sorts of conditions, down to almost 20-degrees Fahrenheit.

Weight


Weighing in at 3.4 pounds, the Cat's Meow has gained almost a pound from the last version and we're super disappointed in this bag's new weight. Because of this, we would no longer recommend it as a good choice for backpacking.

One way to lighten your load with this product is to choose a different compression sack. The Cat's Meow's included compression sack weighs 4.2 ounces, which is unnecessary weight. By purchasing a lighter sack, you can shave off the ounces, making it a more viable option for adventures that require lightweight gear. The one weight-saving strategy The North Face uses is a half-length zipper; unfortunately, this wasn't enough to save much weight.

the north face cat's meow for women sleeping bag review - the cat's meow only has a half-zip for weight and space savings. it...
The Cat's Meow only has a half-zip for weight and space savings. It was not enough and this is the heaviest and bulkiest bag we tested.
Credit: Jessica Haist

Comfort


We love the Cat's Meow's soft shell and liner materials. They are very comfortable and feel soft on the skin. It is also nice that this bag still has a thin layer of synthetic on the bottom layer so you don't feel the more coarse materials that would otherwise cause discomfort. Sleeping in it is plush and comfortable, offering a nice sleep all night long.

The fit of this bag is very snug. Our 5-foot, 5-inch tester, who is usually exactly the right size for most women's sleeping bags (which often come in a single "women's" size) found that she could barely get her head into the hood, making it feel slightly claustrophobic, and, could barely zip it up around her shoulders. We couldn't find any sizing materials on TNF's website, but Amazon says that the max height for size Regular would be 5 feet, 6 inches. We think it is closer to 5 feet, 4 inches, and for folks who are on the slimmer side.

Packed Size


As with most synthetic bags, the Cat's Meow is not very compressible. As we mentioned, the compression sack is huge and bulky. We like the idea of a compression sack for synthetic bags, but it should be smaller and have less weight. We can cinch the compression straps all the way down and it could still be cinched smaller. This recent version of the Cat's Meow has lost its competitive edge over other synthetic bags in this category - it is very bulky and its materials are not very compressible.

the north face cat's meow for women sleeping bag review - the cat's meow's packed size is one of the largest of all the...
The Cat's Meow's packed size is one of the largest of all the products we tested. Its materials are not very compressible.
Credit: Jessica Haist

Features


We like the large neck and draft tube baffle that keeps warm air in and cold air out. The white color of this bag is a bit disconcerting since it is pristine-looking in a world of dirt and could show stains very easily.

We were happy to see the addition of a small stow pocket. It is convenient for keeping a headlamp or phone warm, preserving batteries, and at hand should they be needed in the night. Almost every other product we tested now has an anti-snag zipper, but the Cat's Meow does not.

the north face cat's meow for women sleeping bag review - we appreciate the addition of a small stow pocket in the cat's meow.
We appreciate the addition of a small stow pocket in the Cat's Meow.
Credit: Jessica Haist

Value


We think the current price makes the Cat's Meow a decent value product. Its insulation will keep you warm when wet, making it a great option for humid or wet weather. It is no longer under the $200 mark and since its changes have not been for the better we can't give it a best value award any longer.

Conclusion


The Cat's Meow is a bulky, heavy, and very snug-fitting synthetic sleeping bag. It would be a good choice for car camping trips in humid or wet climates since the synthetic materials will keep you warm even if they get wet. Be sure to try it out before purchasing as it is a tight fit for average height women.

Jessica Haist
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