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#120024 - 08/28/09 01:43 PM WM temps
Heintooga Offline
member

Registered: 04/15/02
Posts: 470
Loc: GSMNP
I'm considering equiping for some Smokies winter trips. In looking at the WM spec chart I see some discrepancies.
VersaLite...6'6" 10 F 6" 63"/54"/39"
Antelope....6'6" 5 F 7" 63"/54"/39"
Kodiak......6'6" 0 F 7" 67"/58"/41"
In looking at these numbers closely one would think that either the Versalite is 'optimistic' or the Antelope is underrated. I had an older Marmot Helium that had similar dimensions as the Versalite and in comparison I'm thinking the Versalite is optimistic and the Antelope the more accurate, particularly when considering the shell materials. What do you good folk think?


Edited by Heintooga (08/28/09 01:46 PM)
_________________________
...ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein... (Jeremiah)

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#120026 - 08/28/09 03:19 PM Re: WM temps [Re: Heintooga]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Originally Posted By Heintooga
I'm considering equiping for some Smokies winter trips. In looking at the WM spec chart I see some discrepancies.
VersaLite...6'6" 10 F 6" 63"/54"/39"
Antelope....6'6" 5 F 7" 63"/54"/39"
Kodiak......6'6" 0 F 7" 67"/58"/41"
In looking at these numbers closely one would think that either the Versalite is 'optimistic' or the Antelope is underrated. I had an older Marmot Helium that had similar dimensions as the Versalite and in comparison I'm thinking the Versalite is optimistic and the Antelope the more accurate, particularly when considering the shell materials. What do you good folk think?


I'd go with the manufacturer's judgement -- assuming the manufacturer is competent and honest, which WM seems to have the reputation for. I'm in a completely different market niche, but I get this kind of thing all the time where people (particularly engineering types) are willing to stack a set of numbers up against reality. In reality, there are always more factors at play than can be quantified in measurements of a single dimension or factor.


(Note, I'm not anti-scientific or saying that reality can't in principle be quantified. All those factors that go into intuition and experience probably can. It's just that those other dimensions haven't been quantified so some people don't think they are real.)
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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#120035 - 08/28/09 06:55 PM Re: WM temps [Re: Heintooga]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Interesting observation.

I can see the Antelope, with one inch more loft providing an addtional 5 rating over the Veralite. But why the 5 added rating of the Kodiak over the Antelope with the same 7" of loft.

My first thought was to check some other features of these bags. But, alas, they all have continuous baffles, single draft tube and full collar.

So, disregard my questioning mind. confused

I`ll await smarter folks than I to offer an explanation.

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#120038 - 08/28/09 07:36 PM Re: WM temps [Re: Rick]
Heintooga Offline
member

Registered: 04/15/02
Posts: 470
Loc: GSMNP
Originally Posted By Rick
I can see the Antelope, with one inch more loft providing an addtional 5 rating over the Veralite. But why the 5 added rating of the Kodiak over the Antelope with the same 7" of loft.


Just throw more fuel on the fire, consider the Kodiak vs Badger. Same dimensions and build but the additonal 1" loft gets 15 degrees. Better bang for the buck, so to speek, lol.
_________________________
...ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein... (Jeremiah)

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#120040 - 08/28/09 07:46 PM Re: WM temps [Re: Rick]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
other, difficult-to-quantify variables that come to mind are fabric weight (same down will loft lighter fabric more easily), and surface area. Heat loss is directly related to surface area.
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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#120071 - 08/29/09 09:33 PM Re: WM temps [Re: Heintooga]
Roocketman Offline
member

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 203
Have you considered rounding errors and related phenomenna? After all, they didn't report the thicknesses to the nearest tenth, but maybe the nearest 1/2" or 1".

You need to take some of that seeking of perfect laws into consideration when dealing with sales literature data.

7.49" may be reported as 7" loft and 7.51" as 8" of loft. And loft isn't perfectly flat the length of the bag, and isn't perfectly uniform from bag to bag either.

Don't be so lazy and just make a table. Make a graph too. When I was a research engineer there was one contractor I always loved to get his reports. He believed in just presenting a mess of data in tables and trying to make sense of it from the tables.

I would take his tables and plot it on graph paper and discover the things he left out.

I am sure your tables are leaving out important stuff, and may not be accurate enough to warrant your conclusions as well.

Make a big table. Not those puny things with three or four entries. You surely didn't use _all_ of the data from that one manufacturer.

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#120073 - 08/29/09 11:19 PM Re: WM temps [Re: Roocketman]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
There is a simple way to find this out-call them and ask. Why people don't do this more often is beyond me. When I have a question about a product, I first try to call the manufacturer and ask. It worked for me with Voile and MSR and by email with Optimus; I don't see why it wouldn't work for you with WM.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#120076 - 08/30/09 11:31 AM Re: WM temps [Re: Heintooga]
jasonklass Offline
member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 551
Loc: Denver, Colorado
For what it's worth, many people consider Western Mountaineering's ratings to be conservative and much more accurate than other manufacturers. From personal experience, I can tell you that I have pushed the limits of my Summerlite and have stayed warm. This isn't any scientific input but out of all the manufacturers out there, WM is one of the ones I would trust the most. smile
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Gear Talk There's no such thing as having too many sporks!

Backpack Flyfishing Tight lines,light packs


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#120089 - 08/30/09 07:01 PM Re: WM temps [Re: TomD]
Heintooga Offline
member

Registered: 04/15/02
Posts: 470
Loc: GSMNP
TomD, I've talked with WM a few times and know their rep in my area. While eveyone has been helpful and professional I guess some questions just don't have an answer. I had a similar problem getting answers about the the GWS question, so I asked both questions on this forum hoping to get some ideas.
_________________________
...ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein... (Jeremiah)

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#120096 - 08/31/09 08:58 AM Re: WM temps [Re: Heintooga]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Out of the three WM bags I have, the Antelope seems to be the closest and rated conservatively. That is going by my variable Zip-o-gauge. Rated at 5, the bag has been used to minus 7 and I have been very warm.

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#120186 - 09/02/09 12:14 PM Re: WM temps [Re: hikerduane]
CCH Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 124
Loc: Colorado
As was mentioned, give them a call. I did and chatted for quite a while with Gary (don't believe it was the owner Gary but another one) who was very helpful. As I recall he said the wider bags are warmer because of the way they drape around you and maintain loft rather than when you press against the sides of the bag with the narrower bags. That's comparing the Kodiak versus the others. No idea on the Versalite? Call, they are very cool about helping you out.


Edited by CCH (09/02/09 12:19 PM)

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#120265 - 09/03/09 03:41 PM Re: WM temps [Re: CCH]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
I have a WM Megalite (like a wide Summerlite) and it kept me warm into the mid 20s F. even though it's rated to only 30 F. With its continuous baffles I could shake much of the insulation onto the top of the bag for colder weather.

I agree that a wider bag drapes better AND it makes a better quilt when zipped open and used as a quilt. "Quilting" W/ my Megalite is the most comfortable way I've ever slept while backpacking in warm weather. Almost like home when using my old full length Thermarest UL matress.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#120303 - 09/04/09 11:46 AM Re: WM temps [Re: Heintooga]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2751
Loc: California
Temperature ratings are always subjective. I have a WM Super Antelope (dry loft outer material) and for me it is basically a 20-25 degree bag. I sleep cold and am small. My biggest gripe about the bag is that it is too wide. I have a "short" but would like it if manufacturers would proportionately size stuff - not only shorter, but a lot narrower. The bag also has more than needed loft in the foot and shoulders, and not enough in the hip and leg region. Perhaps I am the only person out there that is not pleased with my WM bag.

In other words, fit is as important and loft and the only way you can judge the fit is to get in one.

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#120313 - 09/04/09 02:30 PM Re: WM temps [Re: wandering_daisy]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I'd burn up in my Super Antelope at those temps. Very happy with mine.

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#120319 - 09/04/09 04:33 PM Re: WM temps [Re: wandering_daisy]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
Temperature ratings are always subjective.


We even experience temperatures differently on different days. I remember one hike where first night I was just barely warm in my WM Ultralite (older model) and the following night was toasty warm. The temperature was actually lower the 2nd night by a few degrees. But the first night I was absolutely worn out and not real well fed and hydrated and the 2nd night I had had a leisurely day.

That said, I think it is helpful to consider bag ratings along with a "personal offset". If a person knows that they sleep warm or sleep cold, it is still helpful to have an objective and reliable temp rating that they can judge and apply their personal offset to. Certainly WM excels at that.

Maybe you need a Nunatak or Feathered Freinds ...
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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#120332 - 09/04/09 09:52 PM Re: WM temps [Re: Heintooga]
Travelite Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Georgia
I personally think the Versalite rating is a tad optimistic. When I was researching bags several years ago the two bags I was considering were the Apache SMF and the Versalite. Interesting enough they were both rated at 15* at that time. I'm not sure why the new Versalite is now rated 5* warmer. I beleive the fill weight is identical, and the only difference is the fabric. It was 1.2 oz fabric previously and is now .9 oz fabric. It seems to me, the older version with the thicker fabric would be warmer than the newer thinner fabric. It is possible that the thinner fabric lofts better, but it certainly would not be as wind resistant. Overall WM makes a very fine bag, and I find the temp ratings to be spot on. I don't know if this helps or just adds to the confusion?

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#120570 - 09/08/09 08:38 PM Re: WM temps [Re: wandering_daisy]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
Perhaps I am the only person out there that is not pleased with my WM bag.


Not the only one. My wife didn't like her Ultralite Super. It was cold even at 40-F. With a little investigating we discovered that the continuous baffles allowed the down to shift down to the sides, leaving a large flat area over her hip (she's a side sleeper.)

She now has a pair of Montbell UL Superstretch down bags, the #3 (30F) and the #0 (0F). The down is in square pockets, not continuous baffles, and stays lofted over her hips. The #3 is much warmer for her than the WM Ultralite.

Then again, I love my Megalite and my Antelope. Wouldn't trade them for anything.
_________________________
--Ken B

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