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Ben Wiles
(benjita) - MLife

Locale: Annandale, VA
TNF Orion on 07/12/2009 14:24:31 MDT Print View

Would like to get people's thoughts on the Orion. Would primarily use this bag in shoulder season with average night temp of 40F and adding another 10 degree of buffer to 30.

EN Rating (F): 33 | 25 | -6
Weight: 39 oz
pack size: 7.5 X 13

25F rating would give me another 5 degree buffer.

Unless I'm missing something the stats on this bag look pretty good for $180. Am I missing something?

Thanks

Edited by benjita on 07/12/2009 14:25:21 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: TNF Orion on 07/12/2009 18:05:57 MDT Print View

Uhh....the problem is the 39 ounces. At this price range, you are better off with North Face's Kilo Bag which is an extra $10 but it saves you 8oz and it packs a lot smaller.

Or you could get GoLite's Ultra 20 quilt which is rated the same as the Orion but it's under half the weight for only $40 more.

Really, there are tons of bags out there that weigh less, pack smaller and are just as warm, but they do generally cost more. If you're stuck around this price, get a used bag or a 600 FP down bag. Or perhaps you're really set on synthetic?

Here's a shameless plug, I have a North Face Kilo bag for sale...it's in great shape. Search the buy/sell forum for my thread on it if you're interested. I'd sell it for $110 USD shipped.

Edited by dandydan on 07/12/2009 18:06:32 MDT.

Ben Wiles
(benjita) - MLife

Locale: Annandale, VA
Re: TNF Orion on 07/12/2009 23:57:22 MDT Print View

I had looked at the Kilo bag

EN rating (F): 37 | 28 | 0
weight: 34 oz.
pack size: 7X11

I'm probably splitting hairs but as I mentioned 25F is the absolute lowest I'd expect to encounter and thus set it as my cut-off.

The Kilo is a 30F bag and not comparable to the 25F Orion based on size and weight alone. If 30F was my cutoff I'd pay $30 over the Kilo price and get a Montbell UL Spiral Down Hugger #3 which weighs a pound less.

I'm probably being blasphemous but I was actually comparing the Orion to the Montbell SS.Down Hugger #2 (25F). I don't have the EN rating for the bag but I have read that the temp is accurate. The MB weighs 1 ounce less the Orion and packs to the same size. Not withstanding that the bag is roomier because of the stretch material and is down (which I would actually prefer), it is $80 more expensive than the Orion. What do I get for the $80 differential? Could the bag be compressed down more than what is stated on their site? How much more do you think?

Maybe the question should be what are competitive bags that have an effective temp rating of 25 or less for under $250? I'm willing to go below 25F but not above.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
How's about a quilt on 07/13/2009 01:29:40 MDT Print View

If you are willing to switch from a bag to a quilt, I would take a look at jacksrbetter Hudson River quilt. It hits your $250 price, weights 20oz and I expect that it would work to 25F. I use a Nunatak Ghost blanket to 30F wearing just a base layer... and the Hudson River has 3 more ounces of down. If it's not to narrow, I would spend a bit more money (~$280) and hunt for a western mountaineering ultralite someplace that has a 20% off coupon (reasonably easy to score). Good down to 20F, 29oz.

Edited by verber on 07/13/2009 01:33:35 MDT.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: TNF Orion on 07/13/2009 02:46:22 MDT Print View

I'm probably being blasphemous but I was actually comparing the Orion to the Montbell SS.Down Hugger #2 (25F). I don't have the EN rating for the bag but I have read that the temp is accurate. The MB weighs 1 ounce less the Orion and packs to the same size .... it is $80 more expensive than the Orion. What do I get for the $80 differential?

The UL SS #2 weighs 28oz which is quite a bit less than the Orion isn't it? It retails at about $325 but you can almost always score it for 20% off somewhere... which would make it about $260, pretty close to your $250 limit. There are plenty of montbell fans on this website so I'd say that would be a good option.

Check the montbell website and you'll see both versions (UL and non-UL) of the #2 bag and you can compare specs. Avoid the 650fp version!

Cheers, A

Edited by ashleyb on 07/13/2009 02:52:32 MDT.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Re: TNF Orion on 07/13/2009 02:56:12 MDT Print View

If you're quick you can pick up a "used once" UL SS #2 at geartrade... being sold by backcountry.com for just $207!

http://www.geartrade.com/item/95812

Ben Wiles
(benjita) - MLife

Locale: Annandale, VA
Re: Re: Re: TNF Orion on 07/13/2009 06:37:13 MDT Print View

YES! The UL was one of the first MB I researched. But at $320 thought it was too pricy. That's why the Orion caught my eye. I have until Sept to purchase the bag so I'll keep a look out for a UL on sale.

Why don't you like the 650 version?

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
TNF Orion on 07/13/2009 06:52:26 MDT Print View

Why don't you like the 650 version?

Actually there's nothing wrong with it except what you see in the specs... about 30% heavier and doesn't pack nearly as small. I just don't think it is nearly as good value. But in terms of temp rating, construction etc it is just as good.

One significant reason to buy an 800+ fp bag (other than the significant weight and packability savings) is that the resale value is much higher. If you get into ultra-light gear on this site it won't be too long before you will be unhappy with a 650fp bag because it is too heavy and too big. But when you try and sell it you'll find there are very few buyers and you probably won't get anywhere near the price you paid. Try and score an 800fp montbell bag on sale somewhere (get the one at the link I posted, it's a steal!) and you shouldn't have much problem selling if you need or want to. But if you buy a good 800fp bag now you are less likely to want to change anyway (although quite a few people end up trying a quilt!).

Anyway that's my 2c based on experience. I once bought a montbell non-UL bag and the quality was good, but I now think it is way too heavy and I won't get anywhere near enough money back if I sell it. A quality down bag holds its value pretty well. Try and buy at 20% off or better though... there are plenty of deals which come along at around the 20% mark.

Edited by ashleyb on 07/13/2009 07:30:54 MDT.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: TNF Orion on 07/13/2009 06:56:25 MDT Print View

BTW, the same comments apply to the Orion. You will find it difficult to sell it for a reasonable price if you decide to sell it again in a year or so. Bags which hold their value pretty well include Montbell, Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends. Obviously you don't recoup your entire investment if you decide to sell, but if you buy at 20% or more off you won't lose much.

It's also worth posting a WTB (want to buy) post in the Gear Swap forum. It wouldn't be surprising if someone had a decent 25F bag they wanted to sell. If you're on a really tight budget then you could even buy a cheap 650fp bag through the gear swap... you should get it pretty cheap, so you won't lose much if you decide to upgrade later (as I'm sure you will!).

Ben Wiles
(benjita) - MLife

Locale: Annandale, VA
Re: Re: TNF Orion on 07/13/2009 07:24:11 MDT Print View

Ashley,
Thank you so much for heads up. I just got the bag off Gear Trade. You just saved me over $100!

I need another one for my wife, so hopefully another will come up before Sept.

Thanks again!

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
TNF Orion on 07/13/2009 07:32:09 MDT Print View

Cool! You're welcome. It's nice to spend someone else's money on gear instead of my own ;-) Enjoy your new bag!

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: TNF Orion on 07/13/2009 07:38:32 MDT Print View

BTW, don't expect the bag to look as puffy as it does in product pictures on the web. Montbell makes their bags look super-duper-ultra-puffy in their product shots, so it can be a bit of a surprise when it arrives. They are accurately rated for temp and weight though. Kind of like how burger chains make their burgers in their ads look much bigger than they actually are!

Ben Wiles
(benjita) - MLife

Locale: Annandale, VA
Re: Re: TNF Orion on 07/13/2009 09:46:05 MDT Print View

Thanks for the heads up.