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#100194 - 07/22/08 04:49 PM Debating on Western Mountaineering bag
NitroSteel Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 61
I'm 5'9", 195 pounds and am looking at getting a Badger SMF or Badger Gore Windstopper bag. I always sleep in a tent (either a Cabelas Alaskan Guide or a Big Agnes Seedhouse 3SL). I'll be hunting in cold weather (to date I've never been out colder than 15 degrees) and will also use the bag for hiking in warmer weather. Weight is not an issue as long as it's under 3 pounds, but when looking at spending $400 on a bag, I want to make sure I get the right one. I thought about stepping up to the Antelope, but wasn't really sure I needed it for temperature and wasn't sure I wanted to give up the girth.

Is the Gore Windstopper worth the extra $80 or so dollars? I can't see anything on the internet to specifically justify it, it doesn't appear to be waterproof anymore than the "microfiber" shell is.

Please let me know your opinions on the subject. Also, please let me know if you think I should get a little bit narrower girth bag (simply for warmth - no worries about weight).

Thank ya'll,

NitroSteel

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#100195 - 07/22/08 09:02 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
Ender Offline
member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 779
Loc: ME
Personally, I say no, especially if all your camping will be done in a tent. The SMF shell is still surprisingly water repellant... I woke up one morning when using my old Apache SMF, to find a puddle of water sitting on top of me that had dripped down from the leaky shelter roof. The shell was wet but not soaked and not letting the water through, and the down inside remained dry. And for wind it keeps that out just fine. I think for what you're using it for, the Windstopper is overkill.

YMMV though... either way you'll end up with a fantastic bag.

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#100196 - 07/22/08 09:17 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
It's possible that the bag is a tad warm if you sleep in a tent, and plan for a rock bottom temperature of 15 degrees.

WM bags are conservatively rated for temperature, or at least mine is, and I sleep cold.

Also, I'm not sure why they are so expensive, or at least, why one would want to pay so much money for them.

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#100197 - 07/23/08 08:49 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
If you want that girth (66), you picked a beautiful bag. People think its a high price but 850+ down is expensive and high quality light weight material is expensive. In the end, WM is a pretty good deal. When you want low weight and high warmth, it comes at a cost.

Initially, you can use it all year, but in the warmer months, you may wish for something lighter. Thats why backpackers have at least 2 sleeping bags --- so they can go lighter in the summer.

I have the Antelope (bought on eBay for 1/3 off) that I only use 1-2 months of the year. I have the WM POD30 (bought used here) that I use in the winter/spring. I also have one Megalight that my wife and I share (used as quilt with a zipped in sweetie-pie) when she goes with me. And I have the Carribou that I use the most for summer. However, that is changing because I have been loving my new JRB Stealth quilt (with poncho head hole) because its lighter yet, warm to at least 50F (Ill test it for colder this fall) and packs so small.

Another reason I have so many WM bags is because when my family backpacks with me, all the bags become taken. And we use them car camping since they fit in the Prius trunk better than most bags.

Good luck on your bag purchase <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
-Barry

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#100198 - 07/23/08 09:18 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I've drooled over the WM bags for years - My issue has always been price (ok, I could eventually get over that) and the narrow cut which does *not* fit me. I know they make a wider one but I never managed to get ahold of one to try on, and am very reluctant to drop that much coin on a
bag that I don't know about the fit of.

I recently cured my WM envy however, MEC 's merlin bag lineup compares well, at a very favorable price. I recently bought the -3 (C) rated version. I will probably pick up the -10 version for fall. The main difference is the merlin is quite a bit wider than the WM, at least for me, and actually fits, So I really like it (since I can use it both as a bag or quilt style, and it was going to work out as light and inexpensive as any quilt I made. For what you'd pay for the WM bag, you could almost get both MEC bags and have a warmer and colder weather rig.

Look here:
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...D=1216829354610

and here:
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detai...D=1216829354612
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#100199 - 07/23/08 10:38 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
I'd skip the GT shell if you're planning on using it anywhere near freezing and above. It's helpful in cold, dry conditions but won't breathe as well as a standard shell in warmer, humid conditions, possibly compromising the fill.

I have two WM bags (Ultralite, Dakota) and they're great--highly recommended. I also like Feathered Friends. Look at the Raven and the Swift (possibly with overfill) as alternatives. Every bit as good as WM bags, and much more customizable.
_________________________
--Rick

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#100200 - 07/23/08 11:58 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: phat]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
WM and the narrow cut which does *not* fit me

Phat,
If you can live w/ the 71cm shoulder (142cm or 56 girth) of the MEC, you can probably live with the 66 (168cm girth) of the WM Badger (from OP).
In fact all WM bags have a bigger girth than the MEC links you posted. Of course MEC could be wrong on their specs because I thought I heard other people say they wiggle fine in their MEC bag.

Plus I think the MECs are 25% cheaper than WM because they use 800+ down instead of 850+, and are made in China (vs America for WM). And I noticed the loft is about 5% higher on the WM (comparing -14C specs). This shows a more conservative rating on WMs part.

And dont be surprised when MEC weighs 10% more than stated, yet the loft stays the same.

Im just trying to tempt you more <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

-Barry

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#100201 - 07/23/08 01:27 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: BarryP]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
The MEC house brand is good stuff. Better and in some instances much better, than REI, I think. All I really know about is the MEC Brio pack, which is very nicely designed and cost $60 US on closeout. (They slightly redesigned it). Fantastic.

I certainly don't doubt that WM are lighter. (My particular WM is said to be 17 ounces) But I seem to remember OP saying he wasn't all that concerned about weight. So what's the gain?

Also, and this is strictly personal on my part, I think the ultra-ultra premium light type bag is nicest (most worth paying for) in summerish-weights, when the item can truly be reduced to like, nothing. With the 3-season or winter items, premium/nonpremium, they're all relatively bulky....

Maybe I'm being illogical.

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#100202 - 07/23/08 02:27 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: johndavid]
jonnycat Offline
member

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 363
Loc: PNW
Quote:
The MEC house brand is good stuff. Better and in some instances much better, than REI, I think.


I've become very dissapointed in REI's brand of gear. It seems that every time they revamp a line, it is for fashion's sake, with a decrease in useable quality.

At one time I could count on their gear being "affordable quality", but anymore it's just junk that is only useful for the most casual user (AKA mallwalkers and car campers).

I would guess that most of their customers don't know any better these days, and they are just mirroring that, but it is dissapointing for those of us who actually used to use REI gear for it's intended purpose and for the long haul.

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#100203 - 07/23/08 03:02 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: jonnycat]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
I think REI stuff is okay and some is good. It was never for the most part the greatest. Not WM-style premium stuff.

I bought one of their tents in 1971. It was cotton with a nylon floor and aluminum "A" poles. Tapered to the rear in height and width. That was a pretty good mountain tent.

I still have an REI sleeping bag from 1972,. Works good. Very basic.

A cagoule from 1978 held up until 2003, with patching, as my main rain gear.

I have a cheap 2002 Scholler jacket from them which I like. MEC made something very similar at a better price (given 2002 Loonie rate).

Never was a big fan of REI branded packs, although I found one in the garbage and gave it to my friend. Made a nice gift.

Then there's the brand itself. Not cool. Like, do you really want to drive a Ford? MEC is much cooler in that way. WM is way cool.

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#100204 - 07/23/08 03:08 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: BarryP]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
WM and the narrow cut which does *not* fit me

Phat,
If you can live w/ the 71cm shoulder (142cm or 56 girth) of the MEC, you can probably live with the 66 (168cm girth) of the WM Badger (from OP).


If the badger is indeed that big, than probably - however...

Quote:

In fact all WM bags have a bigger girth than the MEC links you posted. Of course MEC could be wrong on their specs because I thought I heard other people say they wiggle fine in their MEC bag.


I don't know who is wrong on specs, MEC or WM (likely MEC) but I do know that for me, every
one of the three WM bags I've tried (yes, *NOT* the badger) have been way tighter for me than the merlins (which may be a reason to go WM if you're slight!)

Quote:

Im just trying to tempt you more <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />


Yeah, I know - it's not even sporting it's so easy <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#100205 - 07/23/08 03:15 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: jonnycat]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Quote:
The MEC house brand is good stuff. Better and in some instances much better, than REI, I think.


I've become very dissapointed in REI's brand of gear. It seems that every time they revamp a line, it is for fashion's sake, with a decrease in useable quality.


While I do like MEC house brand gear and it tends to hold up, MEC also suffers from revamping good stuff for fashion's sake and making it suck. My beloved original rad pants, dervish windshirt, and northern lite pullover all got replaced with things that were "improved" but not as good. It's
still buyer beware.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#100206 - 07/23/08 06:58 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: Ender]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I have found the material on my Caribou to be very water resistant. The first time out with it I was car camping with my motorcycle and got some light rain over night. I felt a little clammy and in the morning, water was puddled up on top of the bag. I now can see light thru the stitching, so I don't know if it could hold off the water again. I have had that WM bag for five years now I think. My Apache has been good down to 15 like it's rating, but just barely, and a couple years ago, I had heavy condensation inside my floorless, Tarptent Squall in the Fall and I felt cool in the bag for some reason. Not a conservative rating for the Apache has been by experience.


Edited by hikerduane (07/23/08 06:59 PM)

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#100207 - 07/23/08 07:54 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: hikerduane]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
When I purchasaed my particular WM, the Highlite, it was rated at 40 degrees. A couple of years later, they changed it to 35 degrees, but specs remained identical.

So maybe you'd be right..Let's say they have "accurate" ratings, which by the lights of some manufacturers, would be conservative.

I actually think that's part of their marketing plan. That is, a WM bag rated for a given temperature is intended by the company to be warmer than a Brand X bag rated for same temperature.

I'm only guessing that's the case, but if so, that's not a bad or unwise goal for them to have, given their prices and relatively small piece of the market. Sterling reputation is necessary for premium price.

Also, the water-repellency of a newly purchased sleeping bag shell may not be much reason to pay nearly twice the going rate for a sleeping bag or whatever it amounts to. At least not for me, mostly using a bivvy cover, partly to protect my investment.

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#100208 - 07/24/08 02:21 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
rgb63 Offline
member

Registered: 03/29/04
Posts: 35
OT, but has anybody noticed that the Ultralite is now spec'ed at 16oz of down and 1lb 13oz total for the 6' version? It used to be spec'ed at 14oz of down, and 1lb 10oz. Loft is spec'ed as the same.

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#100209 - 07/24/08 06:46 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: hikerduane]
Ender Offline
member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 779
Loc: ME
Hikerduane , it sounds like in the Apache case it was a function of humidity in the air that lessened the loft of the down. I don't know if a different shell would have helped or made it worse. I would think that a Gore shell would actually make it worse, because it would hold more of that humidity in? Not sure. Thoughts?

Good point about the stitching though... you can have the best fabric in the world, but if you can see through the stitching, water is still going to get through.

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#100210 - 07/24/08 07:11 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
NitroSteel Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 61
Does anyone know of a place where I can get more than 10% off the retail price of a bag? I'm having a hard time finding one for less than this (this is Moosejaw using a code). Comes to $374 for the 6 foot Badger Super MF. There's a 7 footer on ebay now, but that's impractical I think.

Thank you,

NitroSteel

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#100211 - 07/24/08 08:09 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
just_another_Joe Offline
member

Registered: 11/30/06
Posts: 117
Patience is fullness. Check ebay about once a week for the next year. You will eventually see what you want. Most ads run from one weekend to the next, so I check midweek. People sell before and after Christmas, around tax time, etc. Go to the WM website and print out their spec sheet so you can see which sizes suit you. Look up a WM dealer and go try some for size.

Spadout.com is one of those price comparison sites.

Just Another Tightwad

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#100212 - 07/25/08 09:41 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
Berserker Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 493
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
If you want to buy a new WM bag from an outfitter (rather than an individual on ebay for example), then you probably aren't going to find one on sale. The only time I have ever seen WM bags on sale is when an outfitter is trying to get rid of them.

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#100213 - 07/26/08 06:50 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: Berserker]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Agreed on the sale prices. I got my Antelope for 40% off at my local outfitter, when they wanted to get rid of that model. Good for me, not so good for them.

Can you try on the bags ahead of time? At 5-9 you should easily fit in the Regular size bag, but in my experience WM bags seem a little short. You might want to try a Long just to see.

We had three WM bags in the house, but my spouse traded her Ultralite for a Montbell bag. (That bag work out okay in the GC, keith?) I use my Megalite for three-season hiking, and the Antelope for winter. Great bags, and worth the extra $$$ to me.


[Edit: changed Apache to Antelope. Brain [email]f@rt.][/email]


Edited by kbennett (07/28/08 07:08 PM)
_________________________
--Ken B

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#100214 - 07/26/08 11:30 PM Re: Weight of WM Ultralite [Re: rgb63]
billk Offline
member

Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 1196
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Thanks...I was unaware they'd changed the specs. I was a bit disappointed when I weighed mine at 1lb 14.1oz (not counting the stuff sack), since their web site said 1lb 10oz. It's an awfully nice bag, though, and still pretty light, so I decided to keep it.

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#100215 - 07/27/08 04:54 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: kbennett]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
We didn't take that one because we figured it would be too warm. We did, however, have snow on the rims and could have used it. We used our older Ultralite (not you UL Super) and it did fine.
Thanks for your rapid shipping.
--Keith
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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#100216 - 07/27/08 08:12 PM Re: Weight of WM Ultralite [Re: billk]
just_another_Joe Offline
member

Registered: 11/30/06
Posts: 117
You can order WM bags with overfill. Some dealers may consistently order overfill so all of their bags are a few ounces over weight. See the WM website for overfill details since warmer bag models have larger amounts of overfill.

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#100217 - 07/28/08 06:06 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
NitroSteel Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 61
If only I could get into one and try it...

The rep at Travelcountry.com seemed very sharp and has almost got me talked into getting the "Alpinelite". It's definitely between the Alpinelite Super and the Badger Super MF now. The Gore shell seems like it would work against me (the more I read) and the Antelope is just too warm.

Part of me wants the Badger, but I think all I need is the Alpinelite. If it will handle 20 degrees comfortably - - - I think that's enough and I'm not giving up very much girth either... The Alpinelite weighs in at 1 lb. 15 ounces. Very impressive.

How thin is the shell fabric on the Alpinelite? Will it REALLY keep me warm at 20 degrees?

I know there are some opinionated folks out there that can give me some more insight... Let me have it.

Thank ya'll,

NitroSteel

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#100218 - 07/28/08 07:06 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Quote:


Will it REALLY keep me warm at 20 degrees?


This is the most important question, isn't it? Too bad there is no simple answer.

1. Different people sleep differently. My wife is always cold; I am always hot. I am happy inside my 30-F WM Megalite right at 30 degrees wearing long johns and socks. My poor wife would be half-frozen.

2. The same person sleeps colder or hotter depending on a long list of factors: how tired you are, how much you've had to eat, the humidity, whether you are in a tent, your sleeping pad, the wind, whether you have a large dog inside the bag with you, etc.

My experience with high-end bags is that, *FOR ME* the WM temp ratings seem pretty accurate for tarp or shelter camping in the Southern Appalachians wearing light long johns, socks, and a microfleece hat. I can push the ratings quite a bit with a down jacket, thicker fleece leggings, heavier socks, and gloves. (I've had my Megalite into the upper teens quite comfortably.) I suppose I could be warmer in a tent rather than under a tarp, too, but I'm ornery that way. I've had my Antelope into the single digits, and I was warm as long as I didn't get out of the bag. (Brrr.)

So, this doesn't really answer your question, because I'm not you. You might be cold-natured, like my spouse. Only you will know.

Good luck and stay warm. There is a good resale market for WM bags if you decide you don't like it.
_________________________
--Ken B

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#100219 - 07/29/08 06:38 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
Berserker Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 493
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
The difference in the fabrics the shells are made out of has been discussed in past threads in great detail, so I would recommend trying to dig some of those up. In a nutshell, the MF fabric is much more water resistant, and the Extremelite fabric seems to get damp a lot easier. I personally like the MF fabric better, however 2 of my 3 WM bags are made of the Extremelite fabricgo figure.

As for the Alpinlite, I do not have direct experience with it but my good hiking bud has one. He loves his. Hes a warm sleeper, and doesnt seem to have issues with taking it down to its rating. As Ken said though, it all depends on how comfortable you are in different temperatures.

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#100220 - 09/01/08 11:06 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: Berserker]
NitroSteel Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 61
I made my WM order today. I broke down and ordered a Western Mountaineering Right zip (I'm left handed) 6'0" VERSALITE. After much studying and going back and forth I'd almost decided on the Badger, then the Alpinelite. Wasn't sure if the Alpinelite was warm enough. Wasn't sure if I needed all the room in a Badger or if I wanted to carry that much weight.

In the end I found this bag brand new 20% off and it is this years model, so I had to buy it, it was a pretty easy decision at $328 with no tax or shipping....

After getting into my ol' freeze to deather (Slumberjack Ultimate 20 - 68" girth) this morning and then having my 3 year old pile in there with me I decided that 62" of girth should be plenty for just me. I think the temperature rating of the VERSALITE will be perfect, I hope I like the durability and water repellancy of the fabric... I could've got an Antelope MF for 20% off too, but there was the weight issue and the fact that it would probably be too warm.

I'm hope I'm as happy about it this time next week when it arrives. Thank ya'll for your help.

Any thoughts?

Nitrosteel

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#100221 - 09/03/08 05:32 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
kutenay Offline
member

Registered: 10/12/04
Posts: 102
Loc: B.C. Canada
I am about your size and have a WM Alpinlite Super plus several other highend bags. I WOULD definitely get the Badger and go with the microfiber as you always sleep in a tent. I have found Gore-Tex and Endurance shells to be a bit clammy inside my tents and I have had an original Marmot Mtn, 1978, a Feathered Friends, 1989 and an Integral Designs, 2003 shelled bags.

I now am using a Valandre Shocking Blue with "Polynamide" microfiber shell and an Integral Designs North Twin/Andromeda Overbag combo with a Pertex microfiber shell more than my other bags, have had them wetted and they performed VERY well. I use GT and eVENT bivies with them, when I feel it necessary.

The WM bags are a bit "tight" in cut relative to the stated dimensions, so, a Badger would work very well for you. I have a 48" chest and my WM-AS is just a tad tighter than I really like, HTH, your choice of a WM is an excellent one.

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#100222 - 09/08/08 11:43 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
ndsol Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 673
Loc: Houston, Texas
You may have already received your bag by now and hope that you will enjoy it. I used my Versalite Wednesday night with an eVent overbag and a tarp in the Boulderfield at 12,760 prior to summit day on Longs Peak. Very nice and toasty.

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#100223 - 09/08/08 06:11 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: ndsol]
NitroSteel Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 61
My bag came today to the office today (said my assistant), but I had to go to a meeting out of town.

One more day without trying it out for size won't kill me I guess... I'm sure it will be fine though. I'll let ya'll know how it works out.

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#100224 - 09/08/08 06:24 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
VikingMD Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 3
Quote:
My bag came today to the office today (said my assistant), but I had to go to a meeting out of town.

One more day without trying it out for size won't kill me I guess... I'm sure it will be fine though. I'll let ya'll know how it works out.


Where'd you get it for 20% off?

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#100225 - 09/08/08 06:42 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: VikingMD]
NitroSteel Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 61
Mammothgear.com

I think the sale lasted only a day or maybe two. The guy I spoke with on the phone said that in the 4 years he'd been there, they'd never put WM on sale. I'd been shopping around for a couple of months and decided if I found anything better than 10% off I'd jump on it. A few places will do 10% off. E-OMC.com for one (several others price match). I felt really good about it, particularly since the sale ended so quickly. Seems like I never get a deal...

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#100226 - 09/09/08 04:41 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
NitroSteel Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 61
I opened up the bag today and messed around with it quite a bit. 6' right zip Versalite, it is the new color as shown on the WM website. I'm 5-10ish and 190ish. I couldn't believe how fast and BIG it fluffed up. The 62" girth, to me was perfect. Enough room to move around in and to zip and unzip with no problem. I can cross my arms comfortably and not feel restricted. The hood cinches down perfect and the zipper refuses to snag. I've tried to lay in it everywhich way I could and don't feel uncomfortable (other than hot in my living room) at all. I can sit up in the bag with the hood on with no problems. It fit into the stuff sack fairly easily and could be compressed a good bit more if necessary (I have no need to though).

Like I said earlier, I'd never even had a chance to look at a WM bag. The "lite" shell on this bag seems to be as thick as the flooring on my Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3 tent. I'm not worried at all about tearing it with normal use in a tent or shelter. I can't wait to try the thing out on the trail. I must say that I am very satisfied right now.

The two concerns I had (girth and fragile shell material) are no longer concerns for me. Maybe I'd be happier with a wider girth, but I think it would probably work against me in the end - - I get no "bellows" effect at all with this bag.

Thank all of ya'll for your help.

NitroSteel <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#100227 - 09/09/08 04:49 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
bash Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 146
Loc: Scotts Valley,CA
Once you get a WM bag it is all over. I own three and I love them!!!!!!!

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#100228 - 09/09/08 04:50 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
My WM Caribou zipper snags more than I like. Sounds like the material on your "lite" is more robust then they advertise for that line. Congrats on joining the WM club.

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#100229 - 09/09/08 10:17 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: hikerduane]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I've been amazed since I got my WM Ultralight Super at how the thing puffs up and puffs up and puffs up when it comes out of its stuff sack!

One one trip I got it rather damp and was really concerned about packing it up (i.e. compressing it) when damp. I need not have worried. Once I got it out in the sun, it quickly puffed up again to its original volume.

Just be sure to store it in its large cloth bag, and don't leave it in its stuff sack for several days after you return from a trip. In other words, preserve your investment and it will last for years.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#100230 - 09/10/08 05:54 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: OregonMouse]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I don't stuff my bag until at the TH and unstuff it when back at my truck/car when heading home. Same with down/synthetic clothes.

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#100231 - 09/10/08 11:36 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: OregonMouse]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Quote:
I've been amazed since I got my WM Ultralight Super at how the thing puffs up and puffs up and puffs up when it comes out of its stuff sack!


If I recall an old Backpacker review the quote was something like "puffs up like a blowfish". People can argue specs from their armchairs until the cows come home but the conclusion from actual experience is swift and definite -- "Hmm, never seen anything like this before".

I've found that I can pick out a WM bag with my eyes closed in a mass of hanging sleeping bags at a gear store. And it isn't even hard to do. It's not just the quality of the fabric but also the way the down "pushes back" at you. It really wants to get big. By comparison, other bags feel like they are filled either with "weak squshy down" or cottage cheese.

Not trying to persuade anyone who has tried a WM bag and decided something else is better for them -- but if you haven't seen one in the flesh, you really have no clue . . .


Edited by Keith (09/10/08 11:39 AM)

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#100232 - 10/09/08 05:22 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
NitroSteel Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 61
Me and my external frame pack, Cabelas 4 season tent and WM Versalite are headed to Gillette, WY for the next week (leaving for there tomorrow) to antelope hunt. I think the average low is around 17-22 and the average high is around 34-38. I feel like I sleep cold and am a little concerned about how warm I'll be, but from everything I've read, I should be fine. I'm only planning on sleeping in a base layer, but I'll have more ready to put on if necessary. I've never slept outside in temps this cold before. I sold my Slumberjack Ultimate 20 to a friend who will be on a Thermarest right next to me (bundled up like an Eskimo) - - he's been warned...

It will be interesting to see how warm I am able to stay in this tiny little bag, as compared to some of my buddies in their big heavy bags.

I'll give a report when I get back.

NitroSteel

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#100233 - 10/10/08 02:37 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
leadfoot Offline
member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 954
Loc: Virginia
put a closed cell foam pad underneath your sleeping pad to keep the cold out from under you. You will be amazed how well that works.

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#100234 - 10/12/08 05:24 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
canyonS Offline
member

Registered: 08/08/03
Posts: 601
HI, I think this is my safe true opinion DESPITE the fact that I have a badger for sale!
I would never want a wp/b on a sleeping bag. If I think it is going to get wet, I avoid that or have a cover. Microfiber is lighter, more compact, durable, breathable comfortable. The Badger is the best bag I have ever had and I have had everything from Marmot Lithium, Helium eq, several ff, Santa Cruz Down Works, Mountainsmith Vision, Propel, Beeline. The Badger is the most comfortable, warmest, best made bag I have used. I am only 160 and I still love that extra room. I think it is close to as warm as the old Lithium,

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#100235 - 10/14/08 02:23 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: canyonS]
NitroSteel Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 61
First night we came in during a snow flurry at 10:00 p.m. The tent was setup on top of about 6 inches of snow. Bag really didn't get to fluff up before I got into it. Slept on top of only a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pad. Got down to about 18 degrees outside and about 22 degrees inside. Went to sleep in t-shirt and regular underwear (no socks). Could feel cool air on my back as soon as I laid down. Woke up cool (not really cold) at about 5:00 a.m. and put on thermal underwear and long sleeve shirt and socks. Got very warm, very quickly...

Second night, went to sleep in thermal long underwear, long sleeve shirt and socks. Slept on same pad, plus cheap closed cell foam pad from Wal-Mart. Slept like a baby, couldn't zip up for about 3 hours. Checked the temperature at dawn outside the tent: 12 degrees, inside the tent: 20 degrees.

Last night, slept the same way, on the same pads. Temp got down to 21 outside and about 23 inside. Didn't zip up all night, ended up taking off long sleeve shirt before I could fall asleep.

In a nutshell, the bag did exactly what I wanted it to do. Each night the tent had frost on the interior roof and interior walls. There was about a foot of snow on top of the tent the first 2 nights. At least one night there was frost on the shell of my sleeping bag. The shell did get damp once, but it never got wet or lost any loft.

It was VERY, VERY nasty cold weather. I probably will never duplicate a seemingly misable trip like this (It wasn't miserable at all). We all got our antelope and I got my sleep....

Very satisfied. In the end I threw my bag over to a friend of mine and he couldn't believe how light it was and that I was able to stay warm in something that light weight.

NitroSteel

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#100236 - 10/20/08 08:29 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Glad to hear your report, Nitro.
_________________________
--Ken B

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#100237 - 10/20/08 10:20 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Glad the bag worked so well. (Finally, a chance to say "We told you so" in a positive way!) <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#100238 - 10/23/08 06:21 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: Glenn]
NitroSteel Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 61
Do most people cut the tags (the one that says 6 foot left, versalite super) off of their bags. I don't ever plan on getting rid of the bag, but I don't want to hurt the value of it if I do. Will this hurt the value? Do most people cut their tags off? It just seems anoying and almost like it might get caught on something and cause the bag to be ripped.

I haven't cut it off yet, but I figure in a year or two if left on there it will be become illegible anyways. I notice that most of the bags for sale on ebay have the tags still there...

Thank ya'll

NitroSteel

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#100239 - 10/23/08 07:44 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I never bothered to cut the tag off, but it's from laziness, not from any desire to preserve the tag. I don't know anyone else who's ever really bothered or expressed any thoughts on it.

You got me to thinking, though; now, where are those scissors... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#100240 - 10/24/08 04:18 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
deliriousNomad Offline
member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 64
Loc: Matthews, NC
I don't like the annoying tags either - and I cut them off.
_________________________
- deliriousNomad

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#100241 - 10/24/08 02:07 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: deliriousNomad]
Trout Offline
member

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 74
Loc: Bath, Maine USA
I agree-cut them off everything.

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#100242 - 10/25/08 09:41 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
kutenay Offline
member

Registered: 10/12/04
Posts: 102
Loc: B.C. Canada
I usually leave the tags on my bags to remember whatever cleaning info. they may have. Sorry my original post on this came after your decision to by the Versalite, but, I WILL say that, this is maybe the BEST single backpacking, sleeping bag I know of, when quality and price are considered. I WOULD have one, but, they are a bit too narrow for my taste.

For a general purpose bag to last most people a lifetime, the microfiber shells from WM, ID and especially the Asahie fabric from Valandre, as on their Shocking Blue and newest Bloody Mary models, are, IMHO, the best option. However, for lightest weight and inside a tent, with care, the WM Ultralite series bags are just superb, glad you are happy!

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#100243 - 10/25/08 04:39 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: kutenay]
NitroSteel Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 61
I cut the tags off my bag and put them in a ziplock bag "pinned" to the inside of my gunsafe door along with the other hanging tags that were on the bag when I bought it, and the receipt. I figured as long as I had the tags and other information I'd be good to go in the event of a warranty repair or something else...

When I need to refer back to the directions on how to wash it, I'll just go there or to the WM website. It seems like the general consensus was to remove the tags.

NitroSteel

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#100244 - 11/07/08 05:34 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
RobA Offline
member

Registered: 05/21/02
Posts: 92
WM bags still 20% off at www.mammothgear.com btw


not in the sale section, just search under the down bags.


I know the ultralites and versalites are.



Nov. 7 2008

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#100245 - 11/08/08 10:02 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
earlylite Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 31
Loc: New England
The goretex shell is not worth paying for if you already sleep in a tent.

earlylite
Visit my Blog - SectionHiker
_________________________
Earlylite
http://sectionhiker.com

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#100246 - 11/10/08 11:14 PM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: earlylite]
NitroSteel Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 61
What are the velcro tabs inside of the bag for? I just noticed these, I wasn't sure what they were designed for, but I know they must have a purpose. Everything on the bag seems to be pefect...

Thank ya'll
Nitrosteel

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#100247 - 11/11/08 07:43 AM Re: Debating on Western Mountaineering bag [Re: NitroSteel]
Slowfoot Offline
member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 157
Loc: Missouri
If it's like my Apache, there are velcro tabs inside to complete the loop for the draft collar, so you can get it tight around your neck.

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