View Full Version : Sleeping BAg Questions

09-17-2007, 21:02
I'm currently in the market for a 20 degree down bag. So far I'm trying to choose between Western Mountaineering's "Ultralite Super" 20 degree down bag or Mrmot's "Helium" 15 degree down bag. Both bags are 850 fill.

I've only heard super things about WM products. I believe that their 20 degree rating is conservative so I could get away with using it in mildish winters. I also hear the durability of WM bags are great.

I don't know a whole lot about Marmot bags. They're roughly the same price, so thats not really a factor. I want a bag that is going to be durable and at least as warm as its rating.

Heres the other important factor, I'm allergic to feathers. The Marmot bags claim to be hypoallergenic. They clean the down.

I called the maufacturers of the WM bags and they said their bags are "not specifically hypoallergenic".

I know WM is top of the line so you don't really need to praise them for my benefit, but can anyone speak to Marmot's bags?


Lone Wolf
09-17-2007, 21:04
campmor 20deg down bags are great. $119.00

09-17-2007, 21:04
Oh one other point, I want a super light, super compressable bag. I know the WM is both of these things, and I can only assume the Marmot would be too.

There is only a 3oz difference in the weight of these two bags so their quite comparable as far as that goes.

09-17-2007, 21:07
I keep forgetting imporatant info here! lol. I'm looking at bags that weigh under 2lbs :) (the Marmot Helium is 1 lb 13 oz for the 6'0" one and the WM is 1 lb 10 oz also for the 6'0").

09-17-2007, 21:08
We have both the Helium and WM bags.

The Marmot bag is every bit as good as the WM. The women's Helium is 1 lb 13 oz.

Appalachian Tater
09-17-2007, 21:10
The Marmot Helium is a great bag. My only complaint is the zipper only goes half-way down.

09-17-2007, 21:10
hey 'stu - I was somewhat allergic to feathers too - when I got my first down bag I hung it in a doorway that I went through often - every time through the door I would hit the bag, stick my face into it and inhale - after about 6 weeks I was desensitized and have not been bothered since.

on the other hand its a good reason to take some Benedryl and sleep like a babe

09-17-2007, 21:10
I keep forgetting imporatant info here! lol. I'm looking at bags that weigh under 2lbs :) (the Marmot Helium is 1 lb 13 oz for the 6'0" one and the WM is 1 lb 10 oz also for the 6'0").

You're right about the weight of the Marmot. The website shows the women's bag at the same weight, but it's actually about 5 ounces less than the 6 foot bag.

09-17-2007, 21:19
Hey HOI, glad that trick worked for you...but I actually take shots for this stuff....if they're not helping, walking through my down bag every day isn't gonna help. lol.

...truth be told, I actually sleep with a feathered pillow...but I stuck it in a hypoallergenic case (seems to me one side of that case is like plastic of some sort....aint nuthin gonna get through there)

09-17-2007, 21:20
you would think WM would at least clean the down before they stuff it in their bags? Maybe I should call them again tomorrow....or re-read their website.

Appalachian Tater
09-17-2007, 21:33
sweetpeastu, pretty much all 850+ down has been cleaned pretty well before somebody like WM or Marmot even gets a peak at it--they probably don't do anything to it at all except stick it in the casing. If you are truly allergic to stuff on down, either buy the bag in person or make sure you can return it.

09-17-2007, 21:38
THanks for the info. I figured somone would surely do something to clean it before WM makes such a pricey bag....one would hope. I plan on asking the guy Im buying it from....if I can return it if I sleep in at home and it makes me ill. The guy did say I was free to roll around on the floor of his store in it :)

09-18-2007, 11:47
I have 2 WM bags including an Ultralite. I will be more than happy to bring it on the TT Carvers Gap trip if you want (Depending on the weather, I will probably be bringing it anyways). Mine is an older Ultralite and not the Ultralite Super with the draft collar. I also think they have changed the shell since my Ultralite was made as the material on my new WM Summerlite is lighter and accordng to the website the Ultralite Super and the Summerlite use the same shell fabric.

I know a few people who have Marmot "Element" series bags and have yet to run into someone that was unhappy with them. I have inspected a Atom up close and it seems like a great bag except I don't like half zippers. The only other advantage that I can see that WM has over Marmot is that WM bags are made in the USA and the Marmot bags are made in China. While the quality diffrence may not be as big as some of us like to think, it at least makes me feel good to support American workers.

All of that being said, I think you would probably be happy with either one. A few more things to look at:

The WM bag is 59" girth and the Marmot is 62" (I think) this may help as you don't want a bag that is too big or too small. WM offers the same bag in a larger girth (64") as the Alpinelite Super (1lb 15oz).

WM offers both bags in 6-6, 6-0, and 5-6 sizes. Marmot offers the Helium in 6-6, 6-0, and a Womens version at 5-6.

WM bags are the best of the business in many ways including the siffining tape they use so the zippers don't get stuck, but they have shallow hoods, so the Marmot probably has the better hood of the two.

09-18-2007, 11:51
Have you looked into feathered friends at all?

09-18-2007, 11:52
go with the Marmot Helium.

09-18-2007, 13:07
I called my gear guy back and asked him to go ahead and order the Marmot Helium (its outa stock). He said he'd give me 10% off of it...which granted, isn't much, but every little bit helps.

Wolf, I did look at Feathered Friends...they're quite expensive too though and I don't believe my gear guy carries em.

Thank you all for your help. I talked with a few people that have both the WM and Marmot Helium....both come highly recommended, but I think I might feel a little better about using a bag that I know is supposed to be hypoallergenic. :)

Creek Dancer
09-18-2007, 13:36
You won't be disappointed Stu!

09-18-2007, 13:37
I am sure that you will be happy with it. As long as your allergies can handle it, I don’t think you would ever go back to a synthetic bag, They are just so heavy and bulky in comparison.

Creek Dancer
09-18-2007, 13:43
When I haven't been out on the trail for awhile, sometimes at home I take my sleeping bag out of the loft bag just to smell the funk. Weird huh? :o

John B
09-18-2007, 13:55
I have the WM Ultralight 20 degree bag. I bought it used from a guy who carried it on a completed 2004 AT thru. I've used it over the past years on section hikes from Amicalola thru Damascus.

On the plus side, it's definitely durable. After 2,500 miles, still no tears or abrasions, the zipper works fine, no loss of down, and I still use the original stuff sack. The temp. rating is also fair -- you'll stay warm in temps to 20 degrees.

On the minus side, I'm 6', 205 lbs., and have broad shoulders. The bag isn't roomy (I think it's 59")-- it's a definite tight fit at the shoulders if it's zippered up. In a perfect world, I'd much prefer at least a 62", which WM makes in other models.

In sum, if you're thin or narrow shouldered, it's a great 20-degree bag; if you have broad shoulders or like a bit extra room, you might consider check the other WM styles.

09-18-2007, 13:56
LOL. OH MY! I don't do that...but I do pull my tent out of its bag to smell the wood smoke on it :)