View Full Version : Splitting Marmot Hairs

04-14-2011, 16:15
Please help me in choosing between these two bags: Marmot Pinnacle and Marmot Helium.

Current specs:


The Pinnacle is 2.5 lbs (1134 grams), insulated with 22.58 ozs of 800 fill power down. I have slept in the Pinnacle and find it more than roomy for me and quite warm down to 21F (the male EN 13357 rating is 10F). I'm 5-8, a little overweight (165) but with a narrow build and the Pinnacle's a roomy bag so naturally it's plenty big. But it's not too big. The extra space doesn't result in cold. The main design difference between the Pinnacle and the Helium appears to be that the Pinnacle has an inner down-filled "collar" with two snaps and a draw cord. The collar cradles around your neck and shoulders and provides an extra barrier to the passage of cold from the face opening to the inside of the bag. The zipper is full length on both bags for the current model year.


The current Helium is 2#2.6 (981 grams), insulated with 19.5 oz of 850 fill power down. So that's a weight savings of 153 grams between the Helium and Pinnacle. Rounding an ounce to 28.35 grams means the Helium is about 5.4 ounces lighter than the Pinnacle. The EN male rating is 16F. As mentioned, there's no down collar on the upper part of the bag. Tightening up is accomplished by pulling the draw on the face opening (the Pinnacle also has a draw on the face opening as do most sleeping bags).

What mainly appeals to me with the Helium is the weight savings and that it would likely pack down slightly smaller than the Pinnacle. With the 6F higher male EN rating, the Helium is obviously not going to be as good a three-season bag (and even stretched into less cold winter use) as the Pinnacle. But since I'm going to use just one bag for all four seasons, the Helium should be a bit more comfortable on warm overnights.

It's unfortunate that the American companies using the EN rating (EN13537) don't post the "upper limit" which is "the temperature at which a standard man can sleep without excessive perspiration." Obviously if the lows only get down into the 60's, you're likely to end up climbing out of either bag and sleeping on top of it for much of the night.

Any thoughts from users of either bag?

04-14-2011, 17:00
My Helium is a fantastic thru hiking bag. Mine has over 6000 trail miles on it, and I recently had it out in mid teens and I stayed warm--not survival, but comfortably warm. In warmer summer temps I turn it upside down or shake the down to the bottom--no side baffles in mine. I have an old half-zip model, very light weight. Sorry I can't comment on the Pinnacle, but your analysis looks correct.

Lord Helment
04-14-2011, 17:07
i have an early version, half zip also, of the hydrogen, then rated @ 20 degrees......i won't sleep in another bag unless it falls apart.....i don't think you could go wrong with the helium.......my hydrogen compresses to the size of a loaf of bread...1 lb 5 oz

04-14-2011, 17:11
My Helium was one of the best purchases I've ever made in my life.

Mtn Scout
04-18-2011, 00:30
there is a helium on ebay right now. i have been watching it

04-18-2011, 12:24
I'd go with the Helium. Frankly, if you plan to do any real winter camping north of the Smokies, you'll probably want a 0-degree bag anyway, or at least be able to wear additional layers in your Helium to increase comfort.

04-18-2011, 13:17
I am going to go against the grain. I would go for the Pinnacle. It is legitimately warmer (EN testing) and although a bit heavier, it is also made out of more durable fabrics with a higher thread count and less chance of down leakage. It's also cheaper.

04-18-2011, 13:26
if i was poor i would go with the pinnicle. if i was rich the helium. it comes in eq coated. mine is totaly waterproof after 5 years and i sleep on the ground with no groundcloth or tent floor in my megalite megamid. i also own the marmot col eq 20 below. the higher rated downs work far better than you trust. trust me. you want any marmot, their all superb.

04-18-2011, 17:10
I don't think that you would go wrong with either. Just depends on whats more important to you. Which features are most important to you. make a list and compare them.

Saying that, I too love my Helium. It weighs 34.5 oz and I have used it with a NeoAir and a 1/8" GG ThinLight pad successfully down to temps right at single digits, plus a windchill, in my OES 8x10 tarp. Using it exclusively with a tarp though, I would be weary of it as far as shedding water. I have thought about just getting a small piece of silnylon and sewing it into a pocket that simply fits around the foot of my sleeping bag. This way when I use it with my tarp, the silnylon foot will shed the water for me. Then I have to worry about my feet sweating and getting trapped inside though...

Oh well...good luck!

04-18-2011, 17:42
Stick- Earlylite (sectionhiker.com) made a suggestion about using a pack liner to cover your feet. I just made one for a trip to fit my pack and plan to try it as a foot cover as well.

04-18-2011, 18:05
Stick- Earlylite (sectionhiker.com) made a suggestion about using a pack liner to cover your feet. I just made one for a trip to fit my pack and plan to try it as a foot cover as well.

I will be attempting a NOBO this season in an old half-zip Helium. My plan was to use either my pack liner or the pack itself (golite gust) as a makeshift bivy when using a tarp in inclement weather. That pack is like a 2/3rds bivy with shoulder straps!

04-18-2011, 18:10
That is a great idea DripDry. I do have a rather large MYOG sil stuff sack that I use for my sleeping bag rather than the little stuff sack. I just stuff my bag in and then stuff it into the bottom of my Circuit and pile everything on top. But it is not quite big enough to go around the foot of my bag. It would constrict it. But that is a great idea. Thanks for the tip!

04-22-2011, 20:23
warmer is all ways better