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#97691 - 06/09/08 07:19 AM WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this?
Mumblez Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 178
Loc: Detroit Metro Area
I'm in the market for the lightest 3-season 20 Degree bag I can find. The WM Ultralite is the lightest 20-degree bag I have found that has a full-length zipper.

Does anyone know of another bag that is lighter weight or even close to the weight of this bag with all the same features?
_________________________
"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today." -James Dean

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#97692 - 06/09/08 08:38 AM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Mumblez]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“…that has a full-length zipper…”

That really puts a hamper in the competition. WM is the only one that comes to my mind.

To go lighter than that with the same warmth would mean leaving bags and entering the quilt arena.

-Barry

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#97693 - 06/09/08 08:42 AM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Mumblez]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
I've got the WM Highlite and like it a lot.

Looks like Ultralite uses same shell.

However, its shell material is quite thin relative to most other sleeping bags, and perhaps somewhat fragile.

When I use this bag, I mostly always bring a cover, so it's not such a concern for me. Also babying bags is second-nature.

When appropriate in warmer weather, I leave it home, and use either the cover alone, with a sweater, etc., and/or a ratty old lightweight alternative bag, to save wear and tear. And of course I don't use it much in winter.

Anyway, apparent fragility, and high cost, are the bag's weak points. In highlight's case one spends about $100 or more, to save a pound over the bargain-bin competition.

I add back the pound with the cover, but gain a great deal of wind and weather resistance, some warmth, and relatively iron-clad abrasion resistance.

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#97694 - 06/09/08 10:55 AM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Mumblez]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
It's my most-used bag (of several options); I have well over a hundred nights in it and it's still in great shape.

Do also look at the FF Hummingbird, which can be had in full or half-length zip and one of three fabrics. That's the UL's closest competition in quality, performance and weight, and it's more customizeable.

I only caution potential UL buyers that it's a snug bag, so make sure it suits you in that regard. Mine's a long, which provides valuable extra wriggle room.

Quote:
I'm in the market for the lightest 3-season 20 Degree bag I can find. The WM Ultralite is the lightest 20-degree bag I have found that has a full-length zipper.

Does anyone know of another bag that is lighter weight or even close to the weight of this bag with all the same features?
_________________________
--Rick

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#97695 - 06/09/08 12:15 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Mumblez]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
I have the WM Alpinelite - a roomier version of that bag. I get claustro. I think it has been a good investment. I feel that the temp rating is fair if not conservative for this bag and me. I have not seen anything that I would consider as a replacement for this bag. They all seem to be in a similar price range and if you are after a well made, lightweight bag then I don't think you would regret the purchase. WM bags consistently get good reviews. Go for it.

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#97696 - 06/09/08 05:51 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: hootyhoo]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
We had an Ultralite Super for my wife. Great bag -- very well made, plenty of loft, beautiful construction -- just a wonderful bag.

Just be aware that it's a very narrowly cut mummy bag. Though she is quite thin, she likes to thrash around a lot while sleeping. So we sold it and bought a Montbell bag, which also has a full zipper, but the stretchy design lets her move around a lot more.
_________________________
--Ken B

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#97697 - 06/09/08 08:51 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: BarryP]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
I have a WM Megalite B/C I wanted a bit more room in a summer bag. Plus it has no side baffle and one can move the down from top to bottom a little bit. (Not easy with that high lofting down.)

I think WM has outstanding quality an you'll be very happy with it. You'll especially like the full length zipper on hot nights or when you unzip, hook the foot over the end of your mattress and use it as a quilt.

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

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#97698 - 06/09/08 08:57 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: 300winmag]
rgb63 Offline
member

Registered: 03/29/04
Posts: 35
Quote:
I have a WM Megalite B/C I wanted a bit more room in a summer bag. Plus it has no side baffle and one can move the down from top to bottom a little bit. (Not easy with that high lofting down.)

The Ultralite does not have a side baffle either.

I love my UL - there is no other bag that I rather have.

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#97699 - 06/10/08 11:18 AM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: rgb63]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
Well, I got a WM bag about six years ago, like I said.

Is it worth it? Not from a purely practical point of view.

I'm not at all sorry I bought the WM bag. It is very beautiful. But I try not not to have any illusions about its rather minimal advantages.

I think I paid about $240 for the thing, rated to 40F (they've since decided that was too conservative and knocked it down to 35F). It weighs (supposedly) 17 ounces in "long" version.

Campmoor sells a similar bag for about $100 that weighs 2 pounds, rated at 20F, but probably good to 35F using rational standards (purely a wild guess.)

One pound is what a pint of water weighs.

The Campmoor shell is certainly more durable than the WM ultralight line.

I have an old duck down & feathers bag that is 35 years old, and is still (barely) holding up. (It stuffs down really small).

Down lasts and lasts, no matter the quality, if it's cared for.

(In fact I wonder, if you could graph the deterioration rate of 800 cubic-inch fill, vs 600, vs 900, what it would look like? I'm not even speculating, but it seems possible that the super-high-quality down could loose its "fill ability" at a faster rate than lesser quality stuff, at least early in its life.)

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#97700 - 06/10/08 01:35 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Mumblez]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
I tend to agree with Johndavid. I took an old down bag apart and made a quilt using the recovered down. It works wonderfully. It actually gets more use than any other bag I have. I have also noted that the 600 fill seems tougher. If you are a bag washer (sleeping bag) then that might play into the durability issue. I hope my Alpinlite last a really long time, but when my Alpinlite fabric wears out I plan to make a really nice quilt with the down and keep on using it.

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#97701 - 06/10/08 04:41 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Mumblez]
Mumblez Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 178
Loc: Detroit Metro Area
Thanks to everyone so far for all the great info. Western Mountaineering is definitely one of the best down bag manufacturers out there. I'm just not sure if I want to spend that much money on a sleeping bag right now.

If only I worked for Moosejaw! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> (they are able to get a discount on the bag)

I'm now strongly considering the REI Sub Kilo. It weighs about the same as the WM Ultralite but the stuff sack is a bit larger. I wonder if I can compress it down to about the same size as the WM Ultralite.

What size sack comes with the WM Ultralite? Can it be packed any smaller than that?
_________________________
"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today." -James Dean

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#97702 - 06/10/08 06:21 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Mumblez]
magnumopus Offline
member

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 16
Loc: New Mexico
the rei sub kilo is 750 fill, which means it'll compress down to a hockey puck if you're willing to press hard enough (you shouldn't, but you could).

that is to say packed size may be larger than the WM, but not so much that it would actually make a significant difference.

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#97703 - 06/11/08 04:44 AM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: magnumopus]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
My daughter has an older version of the Sub Kilo. It's a nice bag -- Pertex shell, 700 fill. I think it's a little underfilled for its 20-F rating, though. Putting the Sub Kilo and the Ultralite side-by-side showed a significant difference in loft. But she likes it, and it's a good bag for the price. Even better when you can get it on sale.
_________________________
--Ken B

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#97704 - 06/11/08 11:49 AM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: kbennett]
Paul_C Offline
member

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 506
Loc: Beaverton, Orygun
The Subkilo is nowhere near the WM in warmth. It is sewn-through, and I put it around a 32 degree bag, well above its 20 degree rating.


I recommend the Montbell UL SuperStretch Down Hugger series. I have a #3 (24 degree) and a #5 (40 degrees). They have plenty of room in them, are lightweight, have a great hood, and are spot-on their ratings.



_________________________
Jeeper - NW mountain roamer

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#97705 - 06/11/08 02:12 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Paul_C]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
I wouldn't want to advise any particular anonymous person on this, but would guess that lots of people who buy a 20-degree rated bag could do better with a 40-degree-rated bag.

A 20-degree-rated bag that is in reality good to 35 is perhaps not such a bad thing for these people, assuming they exist.

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#97706 - 06/11/08 03:12 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Mumblez]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
My gen1 UL's stuffsack is smaller than I prefer so I use another, looser bag. I don't like cramming down into a brick-like cylinder, but some folks have no problem doing so.

Can't speak to the current version and its stuffsack.

Quote:
Thanks to everyone so far for all the great info. Western Mountaineering is definitely one of the best down bag manufacturers out there. I'm just not sure if I want to spend that much money on a sleeping bag right now.

If only I worked for Moosejaw! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> (they are able to get a discount on the bag)

I'm now strongly considering the REI Sub Kilo. It weighs about the same as the WM Ultralite but the stuff sack is a bit larger. I wonder if I can compress it down to about the same size as the WM Ultralite.

What size sack comes with the WM Ultralite? Can it be packed any smaller than that?
_________________________
--Rick

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#97707 - 06/11/08 05:37 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Paul_C]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Quote:
The Subkilo is nowhere near the WM in warmth. It is sewn-through, and I put it around a 32 degree bag, well above its 20 degree rating.


I might agree with you on the rating, but my daughter's Sib Kilo is most assuredly not sewn-through construction. It is fully baffled.
_________________________
--Ken B

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#97708 - 06/13/08 09:50 AM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: kbennett]
Paul_C Offline
member

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 506
Loc: Beaverton, Orygun
They must have updated it very recently. This is good news. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Jeeper - NW mountain roamer

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#97709 - 06/13/08 10:17 AM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Paul_C]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
Possible.

I'm not familiar with the older series, but see that the Sub Kilo is now rated 20 F as a unisex bag, and 15 F as a women's bag; both are definitely baffled. The Kilo Flash is listed as a 40 F unisex bag and 35 F women's bag, and is also baffled. 19 oz for the unisex version--not bad!

Quote:
They must have updated it very recently. This is good news. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Edited by Rick_D (06/13/08 10:21 AM)
_________________________
--Rick

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#97710 - 06/14/08 05:40 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Rick_D]
drow42 Offline
member

Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 144
Loc: Washington, DC
For 19oz I would take a Golite Ultra quilt over the Flash. Its a bit more money, but I would say that it is more likely to keep you warm to 40*.

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#97711 - 06/16/08 01:12 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Mumblez]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2752
Loc: California
Temperature ratings are meaningless! I have an older WM Super Antelope10-degree bag and I get cold at 20 degrees. My partner, has enough body fat and fuzz and a hot-shot metabolism and sleeps hot in a 40 degree bag in 20 degrees. It is all very individual. Also, the rating is based on the bag fully cinched up with just your nose hanging out, on a perfectly insulated sleeping pad. If you cannot sleep in this position, then you need a warmer than average bag.

Quantitative comparisons can be made in fill type (650,700, 750, etc down), fill weight, cover material, design and fit. I would never buy a bag not knowing the fill weight. Try to find charts that compare these. Call the manufacturer to get detailed design information (baffle type, draft collar, draft tube, etc).

Loft is a pretty relativistic measurment. Loft when absolutly new, never stuffed, right from the manufacturer? Loft after stuffed for 16hours? Loft after a year's use? Loft after three washings? Hard to say.

You need to try out several bags (borrow from friends) to see how the standard temperature rating feels for YOU. Or maybe the store would let you take it home two or three bags, sleep in them on your clean carpet once in the winter with no heat on in your house - then compare. (or buy from an supplier with liberal return policies).

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#97712 - 06/17/08 09:25 AM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Berserker Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 493
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
I totally agree with your assessment of temperature ratings WD. I have never slept in a bag down to it's rating, although I have gotten close in my WM bags. It's a very subjective thing based on the person and conditions. For example, I can sleep in my WM Caribou almost to the rating if I am in my Akto tent, but I've gotten cold in my WM Ultralite at 40 F in my Double Rainbow.

To the OP, I have 3 WM bags and I love all of them. I do have an Ultralite, and I am not sure if I am going to keep this guy for the long term or not. The main reason being the amount of room inside of it. The cut on it is fairly restrictive, and I am finding that I prefer a bag to be a little roomier like my WM Caribou. So definitely try it out first, and see if you like the cut.

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#97713 - 06/18/08 01:21 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Berserker]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Best to get to a shop and actually climb in the bags for the fit perspective. Only you can determine if the fit is too tight or not. Regardless of the specs, if the bag is too restrictive you won't sleep well, and then what do specs matter? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#97714 - 06/21/08 10:35 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Not only is temp rating relative from person to person but also from day to day for the same person. Case in point:

In Jan. I was in the Grand Canyon and the first day was a late start, long day and late arrival at camp. Temps overnight were into the 30's but not freezing. I was chilly in my WM ultralite (the original model) even with extra clothing on. The next night it got down below freezing and I was toasty warm with less on. The difference? Sheer exhaustion the first night while I had an easy and shorter hike the next day, arrived early at camp and had a nice warm supper before going to bed.

That said, once you determine a given manufacturer's rating, you should be able to rely on it to compare how their different bags will perform for you.

We are very happy with the original Ultralite we got for my wife and recently got the newere Ultralite Super from kbennet here on this site. We also have an older WM that is very nice. I highly recommend them.
_________________________
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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#97715 - 06/21/08 10:52 PM Re: WM Ultralite, can any bag beat this? [Re: Keith]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
Expert physiologist types have said you can't acclimate significantly to cold weather. That it's just pretty much take it or leave it.

But I swear that the one year I went camping on nearly each successive winter weekend, by late winter I was less affected by cold than on New Year's Eve.

Some of it may be attitude and minor adjustments to technique, but I definitely didn't think so. Temps were generally around zero.

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