View Full Version : montbell/wm bags?
Im looking for a new sleeping bag set up for my ultra trips. I am familar with wm bags but, i know little and have seen few reviews of montbell's line. Montbell has two styles: one which resembles sierra design stretch bags, the other being more of a traditional mummy. The specs look good but???? still leary. Does anyone have any info on montbell bags and/or wm's new alpine lite bags? all thoughts :welcome
I tried a WM Alpinlite in the store recently. It has incredibly light fabric, light weight zippers, good zipper guards, a big down draft tube behind the zipper. Didn't have a real thick collar, as far I could tell. Had a real puffed up look to it... great lofting.
Never used one in the field, so can't help you there.
The mont-bell has a 6 chamber, stretch seam, baffle design, instead of only 2 baffle sold seam design.
I find the B.A. Lost Ranger bag to be the best for 5 months sleeping and eating in a bag.:-?
I have a question. A lot of design issues involve 'trade offs'. What do you think you give up with these 'stretch bags' and what do you think you gain by them?
We, the jury, all find the B.A. bag to be the best bag for 5 months sleeping and eating in a bag.
uuhh? Is the war still on below?:-?
I bought a Montbell U.L. Super Stretch Down Hugger #3 in July. I love it. Specs are right on (weights 1# 7 oz). It has baffles in 2 directions, so you'll never find all the down sliding to the sides and getting thin on top. Seems very well made. My only concern is that sometime down the road the elastic is going to die and then the bag may be way too wide for me. I might have been just as happy with a narrow cut bag as the stretch version, but I definitely didn't want a bag too wide. I've used it 6 or 8 nights now. I'll be in Boulder next week and I may stop in at the Montbell store.
I have the U.L. Alpine Down Hugger #3 Long (1lb, 11oz) - it stretches also, though not nearly like the Super Stretch. I got it over the summer and was skepticle because it seemed too thin, but it works well. I had it out last weekend in MD, and was very comfortable (36F) and last night (28F) was comfortable. A good pad is essential; I use a thermarest guidelight full.
The idea behind the strectch is that the bag's loft "hugs" you closer, requiring less down, thus less weight. The workmanship is excellent, so I don't know what the trade-off is, yet..
this is from Mont-Bell's site:
Gathered Quilt™ System - All Alpine Down Huggers use MontBell's patented Gathered Quilt™System. This system is similar to our Super Stretch™System, and consists of elastic sewn into the baffles on the inside of the bag. This system allows the shell of the bag to keep its full shape while drawing the interior closer to the user, creating a much more efficient bag. The elastic baffles also allow the bag to stretch as the user moves and changes position. Thus, the Gathered Quilt™System provides the freedom of movement of a more generously cut sleeping bag while providing the efficiency of a much closer fitting, more restrictive bag. Because of this increased efficiency, MontBell is able to use less down to achieve the same warmth, making the bags much lighter per warmth than other sleeping bags.
Overall, it's a great all-around bag for me. I didn't think the price was that bad either - I paid $250US, from Mont-Bell's online store. Coming from a Kelty synthetic bag, the weight and space savings are phenomenal. It stuffs down to the size of a water bottle!
Thanks for the response. That is interesting, I'll have to mull that over. First question would be how do/can you vent it effectively near your neck and shoulders if you are overheating just a tad? Sometimes you don't want it to be real efficient.
Does anyone have any experience with the Montbell Alpine Hugger #5? Weighs 17 oz., 28 degree to 42 degrees. Whatever that means. Suppose to have a full zipper, and a cord to seal off the bottom baffle, to keep feet warm. Seems this would have more room than the WM Highlight. I toss around alot. Oh yes, 725 down. Might make a great summer bag. Any response apprecated.
I have the new versalite which is one ounce more than the alpinlite and I love it! It has 20 oz down and keeps me warm all thru 3 seasons! Dee
I have the Mont Bell Super Stretch Down Hugger #7.
I love it. The inner lining material allows the super-quality down to settle around my form so there is practically no dead air space to warm. The footbox is like a foot cozy. I have not used the footbox drawstring, so far. The drawstring at the head should be more refined. Again, I have yet to use it.
I warm up by tossing the hood section completely over my head. I cool off by sticking out of the bag.
I have only used it fully zipped open, and draped over me as a comforter, but then, I use a sleeping pad and nigthwear of their MontBell specially warm long-sleeved "t-shirt" and special fabric long underwear long pants from Mountain Hardwear.
This is the most luxurious sleeping bag I have had, including my Sierra Designs Model 300 Perfect, which requires some serious cold for comfort.
I can't give you a Montana winter report.
I am in Arizona, this winter.
The weather near Payson, AZ has got down to 12-degrees farenheit, but I am a warm sleeper, having good digestive fire is the explanation I got here. I always eat before bed, and I keep a drink of water inside the covers because I find drinking a little water during the night will warm me, if I wake up from feeling cold. The snickers bar I also have on hand is warming, as a last resort.
Evaluating a sleeping bag has a lot to do with all of these factors.
In severe cold, where I have been concerned about getting the insulation damp, from my own sweat, not being able to risk uncovering a bit, I have relied on my zero-bag synthetic I purchased from a boy scouts store. No kidding. I heard the warmest temperature in that four days was -34 degrees farenheit.
That one was a Montana winter. I know I am a warm sleeper, from that experience. I was out of the wind. That is also an important factor.
I am always comfortable in the #7 down to 50 degrees farenheit.
I have been comfortable in the 30's out of direct wind. I have to do all my extra keep-warm tricks to be sleep in short naps during the coldest night so far in Payson, AZ. All, except VBL that is. I haven't used any VBL layer so far. If I did, I would use it inside the bag, so as not to sweat thru my fancy insulation.
Is there your answer in there somewhere?
Yes, it's nice to know someone has a positive experience with the Montbell bags. Seems their not too well know, at least for now. Thanks.
I think the temperature ratings are accurate, although I use the sleeping bag as a comforter. I sleep thru the entire night, at their upper temperature rating. I sleep in three or four "naps" thru the night at their lower temperature rating, always warming up by tossing the sleeping bag over the top of my head. Both reports performed wearing just underwear for sleep wear and a little hi-low temperature and barometer from Radio Shack for an honest report.
I think this may be how these sleeping bags are rated.
I wear special longjohns tops and bottoms for the colder temperatures, including mentioned above, next wool and silk tops and bottoms, my usual winter wear. I also have a new Stanfield Red Label union suit. So far, I haven't been cold enough to wear it. Maybe next time I pull out the boy scouts zero sleeping bag, I will tryout my Stanfield's Red Label wool and nylon union suit!
Every satisfactory use of my Mont Bell #7 sleeping bag was out of direct wind. That is important.
I think I will purchase the #5 for my next sleeping bag, and use it for cross-county skiing and snowshoeing trips. I often use a pulk, for snow travel, but their sleeping bag is so "snugly" I think I will get the #5 anyway.
I am very satisfied with all Mont Bell products so far, owning an UL down inner jacket, their much bigger and seriously warm down jacket I seldom wear, intended as a belay jacket, and their special long-sleeved t-shirt, in addition to my super stretch #7 down sleeping bag.