View Full Version : WM Megalite 30 degree bag

01-14-2003, 09:44
I am interested in purchasing the WM Megalite bag for use most of the year. I want to try and stretch the potential winter use. I will be using a Nomad Lite tent, Z-rest pad, gloves, hat, silk-weight capilene underware and eat before going to bed, and I am an average sleeper. (not hot or cold)

I need your experiences and opinions on these options:

1- I can add two oz. overfill at no extra charge--how much if any will this help?

2-I have a Marmot dryclime liner (Trails) I use for a hot summer bag. If I used this as an overbag would this help very much?

3-I have the new WM "Flight Jacket" (down). How much would this add to the extended winter use? The bag has 64 inch girth so I should not be compressing the down.

01-14-2003, 09:52
You still compress all the down you lie on, even though you don't stretch the top out. This pretty much makes all that material and squashed down useless, and dead weight. Go with a Nunatak Down Blanket (or make your own) and a thicker therma-a-rest. A Z-Rest in winter is a joke, unless you have a polar bear hide. Or look at the Big Agnes Bags. By applying the pound you save on removing the bottom insulation and material of your sleeping bag to a therm-a-rest, you'll sleep more comfortable and much warmer. Having the cold ground suck the heat out of you sucks the big one.

01-14-2003, 10:18
I've found a Z-rest in winter to be more than adequate. Western Mountaineering has a reputation of being extremely conservative with their temperature ratings. I do not think WM officially does overfills, but they would probably do it if you asked. However, whether or not you are comfortable in the Megalite in winter depends on many factors. For example, do you wear thermal underwear or a hat to bed? Do you use a liner? Where might you be in winter? Northern New England in the winter time is a lot different than the South in winter time. Are you in a tent or a bivy? Are you a cold or hot sleeper?

I use a "30" degree Marmot bag year round and found that, with a silk liner, thermals, and hat and sleeping in a shelter (sometimes with a bivy), I am comfortable down to around zero degrees, but just barely. I deal with the cold well and have a bit more natural insulation (i.e, fat) than perhaps I should. The Megalite should provide more comfort and I would feel more than comfortable taking it out in winter conditions.

01-14-2003, 10:24
RH, I"m not convinced about the blanket theory, so will be intersted to hear your review after you've made your blanket and tried it in the New England winter. A critical factor to warmth in cold weather is lack of air space between your body and the bag. If there is lots of air space, then every time you move air moves around you and you have to heat up more air. A tight-fittimg mummy minimizes air space so you can move without moving air or pumping it in and out of the bag. A double bag system is usually most effective in minimizing air space because the inner bag fills the space in the outer bag. Seems like a blanket would have lots of air space. Either that or you have to wrap it around yourself and tuck it under you, in which case you get cold and have to rearrange it every time you move.

01-14-2003, 10:53
I have an WM Megalite, and I'm well satisfied with it. I also use it with a Z rest. The middle of December I used it north of Dicks Creek Gap on a cold weekend. During the night things inside the tent froze. I'm not sure how cold it was, but it was the coldest I've used the bag. I stayed warm and slept well in the Megalite. I had silk long underwear with me, to use if I got cold, but never put it on. The only thing I did was I left my flece shirt on. I feel that with aditional clothes on it would be good for whatever I would encounder in Georgia.

The weight of mine wasn't the stated weight of 1# 9oz. It was 1# 10.4 oz, and 1# 11.4oz in the stuff sack. Actually that's a lot closer to stated weight than a lot of gear.


01-14-2003, 12:19
There are a couple of good sleeping bag reviews for lightweight hikers, including the more modern, blanket like designs. See: www.backpackinglight.com for reviews of these along with a bit of theory on designing a sleep system. At

you can read a long, comparative review of several popular choices for long distance hiking, etc.

01-14-2003, 13:13
Thanks everyone, I think that I will go with the WM Megalite as most of my hiking is the AT in GA & NC. Just wanted to see if the 30 degree bag would do it, coupled with other things in my pack.

One dillemma, where I am thinking of purchasing the bag, will add two ounces of down fill for free, if wanted. They advertise adding 10 degrees to your bag. I called WM and they said maybe 2 to 5 degrees max and very little to the loft. I know they are instructed to be conservative on the phone.

Does anyone have any knowledge or experience with this?

01-17-2003, 04:18
I have the Megalite, the Versalite, the Linelite and a Ponderosa..
WM bags are works of art, that said, if you get the Megalite remember it has continous baffles so dont forget to shake the down to the top....the beauty of the Megalite is its interior volume..you will have plenty of room to wear the Flight inside...I just did 12.6 degrees in the Versalite, took the Linelite to use as a liner but didnt need it or my Flight. Mine did actually weigh in at 1'9".....I have never used an overbag with the Megalite but have used a Pertex overbag (macpac) on a Rab Top Bag and enjoyed it but if you are tenting it wont be needed. The Megalite is a good choice for the AT in NC,Ga,TN and probably everywhere else.
Just dont forget a good pad under you!