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WM Highlite vs Summerlite
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Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
WM Highlite vs Summerlite on 01/14/2008 13:56:56 MST Print View

Looking at the specs for the 6' bags on WM website, shouldn't the weight difference be 1 ounce? What am I missing?

Why is the Summerlite 3 ounces heavier if it only has 1 ounce more fill and is exactly the same size? Wouldn't it be one ounce?

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Summerlite and Highlite on 01/14/2008 14:00:55 MST Print View

The Summerlite has baffles, while the Highlite uses sewn through construction. This will add weight and also warmth to the Summerlite. In my experience, the Summerlite is quite warm - an excellent bag. THough I have no experience with the Highlight.


Andrew Richard
(fairweather8588) - F

Locale: The Desert
summerlight zipper on 01/14/2008 14:09:59 MST Print View

the Highlite has a 1/2 length zipper. If I had to buy another mummy, Id go for the Summerlite. The full zipper is more useful, IMO.
The point is moot, however if you use a quilt. (pros/cons to each but I now highly recommend quilts.)

(beenay25) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
summerlite vs highlite on 01/14/2008 14:22:07 MST Print View

As people have said, the full zipper and the baffled construction of the Summerlite add weight, warmth, and convenience. With a full zipper, you can be more comfortable on 45-55 degree nights where you need some sort of insulation, but zipping yourself up into a mummy bag would be hot and sweaty.

My Summerlite (reg. length) weighs 20 ounces, not 19 ounces as claimed. However, I have owned several other items by Western Mountaineering (including a Flight vest, Flight jacket, and a Versalite Super) and they're all about 1-2.5 ounces over the claimed weights. As a Summerlite user, I think a 16 ounce mummy bag rated to 35 degrees is appealing, despite the 1/2 length zipper, but given my experiences, I doubt I would actually get one that weighs exactly 16 ounces.

Edited by beenay25 on 01/14/2008 14:24:16 MST.

David Neumann
(idahomtman) - M

Locale: Northern Idaho
Highlite vs. Summerlite on 01/14/2008 16:02:42 MST Print View

I've owned a WM Highlite and it was a very high quality bag but the 1/2 zipper was a weakness as was the sewn-thru construction. I had a difficult time keeping the zipper from opening during the night. The Summerlite looks like a much better bag, however I purchased a Montbell Superstretch Down Hugger #5 which weighs 18 ounces and has the full length zipper plus the stretch design allows much greater freedom of movement.

I have to echo what was said above, though, that a quilt might be the best option. I purchased a Nunatak Arc Specialist and could not be more pleased. So far, it has provided the most comfortable sleeping accommodations yet.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
MMmmmmMegalite - YUM! on 01/14/2008 18:10:31 MST Print View

I have a heavier W.M. Megalite. It's baffled (except lengthwise, at the side opposite the zipper) and has a full length zipper. I love it. The lack of a lengthwise baffle separating top & bottom means I can shift down from top to bottom as the temperature dictates. I've slept warm in that bag (in a T.T. Contrail)at a breezy 22F with only light polyester long johns & socks.

But, this summer in Paria Canyon, Utah I used it as a quilt, zipped all the way open, foot of the bag hooked over the foot of my full length UL Thermarest mattress. Worked great and was VERY comfortable.

So get that full length zipper no matter what bag you get. It's worth its weight in versatility.


Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Re: WM Highlite vs Summerlite on 01/14/2008 18:48:20 MST Print View

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm still not ready to go with a quilt and really need to know myself more before I take my UL to another step. Draft protection and a full length zipper are two features I did not consider seriously and now I think they are a must have so I think I'm going with the Summerlite.

Worst case is I sell it used and try something new :-)

Edited by fperkins on 01/14/2008 21:01:36 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Highlite vs Summerlite on 01/14/2008 21:49:14 MST Print View

I have owned both but now just have the Summerlite. Both are good bags, but the full length zipper makes the Summerlite more versatile.

The Highlite has

1 oz less fill
1/2 length zipper
sewn though construction
no draft tube

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
WM Highlite vs Summerlite on 01/15/2008 00:26:13 MST Print View

Have the best of both worlds - bag and/or quilt. Look at the WM Sycamore MF (formerly the Hooded Aspen). It's a semi-rectangular bag with a full side zip AND a full foot zip. Maximum ventilation possibilities. Opens to make a down quilt. I've used it several years on the PCT and in the Sierras. LOVE IT. It cover the wife and me when we go together, or just me solo.

Microfiber shell gives added wind and water protection

25° rated for only 32 ounces

At least go see one before you buy the Summerlite.

Wandering Bob

Edited by wandering_bob on 01/15/2008 00:27:44 MST.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
WM Highlite vs Summerlite on 01/15/2008 00:30:08 MST Print View

Same as Andrew. I have the Highlite, would prefer the Summerlite but use a quilt.

Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Re: WM Summerlite vs Nunatak Specialist on 01/15/2008 18:20:12 MST Print View

So if were to go with a bag, it's the Summerlite. However, I was researching quilts and I can't find the benefit in weight savings of a quilt

WM Summerlite:
Size: 6'
Rating: 32
Shoulder: 59
Fill Weight: 9
Total weight: 19

Nuntak Specialist:
Size: 5' 10"
Rating: 32
Shoulder: 55
Fill Weight: 8
Total weight: 16

Specialist Modified to 6' with 1 ounce over fill gives us:
Size: 6' [add one ounce for 2 inches]
Rating: <32?
Shoulder: 55
Fill Weight: 9 [add one ounce]
Total weight: 18

Summerlite vs Specialist
Weight: Specialist but only one ounce
Temp rating: ~same
Shoulder: Summerlite has 4 inches more room.
Hood: No hood on Specialist

If you consider the hood to be at least 1 ounce, the weights are pretty much identical. However, you have the issue with potential drafts with a quilt. I'm not seeing the benefit of using a quilt over a bag in this case. What am I not seeing? I thought quilts allowed you to sleep on your side easier, but the shoulder room seems to be less on a Specialist... wouldn't there be more room in a Summerlite?

Edited by fperkins on 01/15/2008 18:22:43 MST.

Dave Heiss

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Summerlite is a tight fit on 01/15/2008 18:35:28 MST Print View

I looked at both the WM Highlite and Summerlite last year, and both are great bags, but I chose the WM Caribou MF due to the full zip and extra circumference. I'm 6'2" and 180 lbs, so I could have handled the more confining Highlite or Summerlite, but the Caribou is a warm, versatile bag and I really enjoy having the extra wiggle room.

The construction quality is superb, but that's what WM is known for.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: WM Summerlite vs Nunatak Specialist on 01/15/2008 20:16:27 MST Print View

Frank, users of the variable girth nunatak bags can change the internal dimensions so they can wear loftier clothing inside, thereby making that bag more versatile (using the same bag into lower temps)

There are pros and cons of each. It's a personal thing.

Arguements against the variable girth bag are that they may have to use a bivy to stop drafts. Also, if they chose the nunatak hood, it weighs 4 oz. making it more heavy than your summerlite.

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: Summerlite is a tight fit on 01/16/2008 13:12:48 MST Print View

I had planned on using a Summerlite on my thru of the CT this year. I finally got the chance to actually try one since I'm 6'1" and wanted to see if I'd fit into a 6' model. I did just barely fit lengthwise, but although I'm fairly slim it was way too tight to be comfortable. It looks like I'll be adding yet another MB Superstretch (a #4) to my collection.

Jake Calabrese
(trekmore) - F

Locale: Colorado
Megalite on 01/17/2008 00:26:37 MST Print View

Megalite: I have it, the 6'6" version. Slept in it in AZ a few weeks back, it was around 18 at night. I was on 2 pads (3/4" therm+closed cell) in a mesh body tent. I have used it many other times and it works great, that is just about the coldest I have used it in.
Had fleece pants, and silk top, fleece jacket on... I was a "bit cold" added a my hiking pants and passed out... (warm).

Great bag- the 6' was "tight" length wise for me, I am 6'. So I went with the the 6'6". A place in Boulder, CO has them in stock, so I could try them. The Mega was also wider I think, and I toss and turn all night, so I thought that was best... I love the bag... Even if you can not find that bag to try, find some bags with the same shoulder width and see how they feel to get an idea!

- Jake

Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Re: Megalite on 01/17/2008 05:49:59 MST Print View

The only problem with the Megalite is that it's 7-10 ounces heavier than what I'm considering buying. I should mention I already have a WM Ultralite Super and I was looking for a lighter and smaller bag to take when the season is warmer. I think I may be leaning toward a quilt now and pair it with a cocoon hoody or MB UL down inner parka.

1/23: I have ordered a Nunatak Arc Specialist made for 6'

Edited by fperkins on 01/23/2008 15:23:04 MST.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
My summerlite: 20.4 oz with stuff sack on 01/18/2008 09:53:19 MST Print View

Similar experience with my summerlite; I got it in June 2006, and used it a lot over the last two hiking seasons and still love it. I too have tried it at somewhat cold temps; camped directly on snow once in the upper 20's F in a tarptent and various clothes on; this works, depending very much on your metabolism, clothes worn, sleeping pad system, etc.

I agree with others that a full-length zipper is worth while --- it's nice to be able to fully unzip this and use it like a blanket, or just keep the footbox zipped.

Mine weighs 20.4 oz if you count in the supplied stuff sack.

Jake Calabrese
(trekmore) - F

Locale: Colorado
ML is Heavier on 01/19/2008 13:28:07 MST Print View

You are right of course... the ML is heavier... I am not a fan of being constricted in a bag, so I specifically got the ML because of the extra 5" of shoulder space and 1" of foot space (over the SL and HL). For me that was a critical requirement. Clearly not the lightest option with weight being your only requirement!
- If I go lighter, I will go with a quilt... I was skeptical at first, but folks here have won me over!
- Jake

Dylan Taylor
(nevadas) - F

Locale: California Coast
Re: Re: WM Highlite vs Summerlite on 01/23/2008 15:16:51 MST Print View

the full zip function is overrated IMO when dealing with bags of this rating. if its warm enough to have this light weight bag unzipped and opened, you probably dont need to be in a sleeping bag at all. i dont know, i had the WM caribou, which is the full zip version of the highlite, and ended up trading it b/c i couldnt justify the full length zip weight penalty. i always had it zipped up or opened to the waist only in warmer weather. i guess its regional too... if you do a lot of stuff in the desert or in high humidity, maybe thats more important, justifying the weight. for me, in the sierras, cascades, and the coast ranges i've never needed a full zip with a bag of this rating.

generally, i'm pushing the temp rating when using this bag so of course, i will have it zipped up.

(beenay25) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Re: Re: Re: WM Highlite vs Summerlite on 01/23/2008 16:05:00 MST Print View

Dylan, Good points, but I think the main appeal of the Summerlite is that it's a 30 degree lightweight bag that's highly versatile. You can use it closed up, but if you wanted to use it unzipped, in quilt-mode, this is also possible. This allows budget-minded people to splurge on a nice sleeping bag that works for either two configurations, instead of owning one half-zippered bag and one quilt, using whichever one depending on conditions...which would be considerably more expensive than just owning the Summerlite alone.

I think you're right on that needing a mummy bag that fully unzips is a regional thing. I have had nights in my Summerlite where I used the bag as a quilt the first half of the night, then needed to zip it up fully for the second half of the night, and I've also had night in it where I've used it in either quilt configuration or fully zipped configuration the entire night. In the high deserts of the Southwest, May can host some hot daytime temperatures, but the air can get cooler pretty quickly at night, meaning that the full zip would be wasted for that circumstance. Each region and each time of the year I find myself using the bag a little differently.

Edited by beenay25 on 01/23/2008 16:08:18 MST.