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Western Mountaineering Aspen Bag
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Casey Ryska
(cryska) - F
Western Mountaineering Aspen Bag on 05/08/2006 12:27:15 MDT Print View

I have a birthday coming up and I'm trying to get a wish list together for my wife. I currently have a Big Agnes Lost Ranger but am looking at my birthday as an opportunity to get a lighter bag. I've been looking at all the ultralite bags to include Western Mountaineering's Summerlite, Ultralite, and Caribou bags but the other night I noticed the Aspen without the hood. Even though it is not as light as some of the others, I like the fact that it unzips completely and can be used as a quilt to drape over two people. This looks promising as a means to cut weight when I go with my kids or wife.

Does anyone have any experience with this bag?

Edited by cryska on 05/08/2006 12:28:31 MDT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
WM Aspen on 05/08/2006 17:55:54 MDT Print View

I've had the WM Hooded Aspen for four years now and just love it. It has become my PCT bag of choice.

You're right about the convenience of unzipping it completely to make a quilt, although it's kind of big for one person that way. If you sleep in a floored shelter, that's no big deal, but without a larg ground sheet, you risk getting the inside liner of the bag in the dirt when used as a one person quilt.

The fact that it has two zippers - one down the side and another across the foot gives you a huge array of venting options. I like to leave the foot completely open and if I get too warm, a little bellows action draws cool air through the bag.

Hooded vs. no hood - your call. Personally I prefer the hood because my shoulders get cold easily. Also, I don't have to carry the extra balaclava and hat that I'll need when it gets cold.

Bottom line - well worth the investment, and WM's quality is solid gold.

Wandering Bob

E. H. Clemmons
(sclemmons) - MLife
See if you can find a nylon model. on 05/08/2006 19:31:20 MDT Print View

I have the non-hooded version and have used a knit cap or my Montane Superfly in lieu of a hood. Mine is one of the older nylon models, not SMF or anything fancy. I use it as a quilt in my hammock in the summer time, or in a tent with my wife. I like it for the flexibility and the packed size vs my SMF Badger. I only take the Badger when it is cold. You might get lucky and catch one of these older nylon models, now discontinued in favor of micro fiber, on sale like I did. They are cheaper and weigh less. Good luck.