Sleeping bag choices-Help me!
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Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Sleeping bag choices-Help me! on 07/21/2010 23:28:54 MDT Print View

Alright my head hurts. Trying to decide on a new sleeping bag. I'm 6'3, 205lbs. ,broad shouldered, size 15 feet, warm sleeper. I've narrowed my choices down to the three following bags.
WM Megalite
Feathered Friends Kestral
Montbell UL Spiral Down Hugger #3
I currently have a WM hooded Aspen(now Alder) that I have had forever it seems. I love the roominess, especially in the foot area. But at 40 ounces and way too much bulk I need to add another bag to my quiver. I don't like the purple of the WM, minor annoyance I know. The FF bags sound good , but I have zero experience with them. Never even seen one till last week. The MB sounds good on paper and the price is not bad either. Though I will spend the money on whatever one will suit me best. I look at sleeping bags as a long term commitment. I am mostly a hammocker but still prefer a bag to a quilt for the times I do go to ground. I also like the ability to use the hood. Let's try to keep it down to these three bags because I can only be undecided on three things at a time. Thanks everyone.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: bags on 07/21/2010 23:31:20 MDT Print View

I've yet to see/hear anything that would make me choose anything other than a WM bag when looking for a down bag. I'm sure FF and Montbell are both excellent, but with something like a down bag that's a long term commitment, why mess around?

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: re: bags on 07/21/2010 23:38:31 MDT Print View

I had to ask. Any idea if WM would do a custom color? I guess I'll call and find out in the morning. Still would like to get some more input though. Thanks David.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Sleeping bag choices-Help me! on 07/21/2010 23:39:06 MDT Print View

Well...

You are already own and are familiar with WM, which is considered a premier company. Other than the fashion statement, I think you already answered your own question.

BTW, I have a WM Ultralight, and it is top notch.

William Johnsen
(sixoclocknews) - F
Feathered Friends on 07/21/2010 23:54:24 MDT Print View

I picked up the FF Merlin (slimmer cut than the Kestral) a while ago and have been nothing but impressed. Since they didn't have any already made in Epic I was able to pick my color. I looked at WM and the FF Epic seemed more durable to me, maybe someone has data on that? I wouldn't hesitate to get another FF bag.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Sleeping bag choices on 07/22/2010 00:33:27 MDT Print View

I think it really depends on the features you are looking for. I'd never argue against a WM bag, they are at the top of the list when it comes to quality in my opinion. Unfortunately, it's not just about quality, it's also about features and I struggled with the same issue this spring.

I really wanted a roomier bag but I like WM quality. In the end, I went with the Montbell Super Spiral bag and it was the right choice for me. It's an incredibly comfortable (roomy) bag. No issue with layering in this bag, there's tons of room for additional layers. I used it this past weekend with my "Large" NeoAir and I've never slept so well. Roomy bag and wide pad... doesn't get any better than that.

Were you considering the non-stretchy Spiral or the Super Spiral? There is a good discussion of the Super Spiral at this thread.

Richard Rini
(rarini) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Love My Bells on 07/22/2010 04:01:20 MDT Print View

I have the older version of the Montbell UL Super Stretch Down bags (#0 & #3). I love them both. It's freedom in a bag. The quality is there! I like you, am a warm sleeper. I have taken my #3 down to the high teens/low 20’s (with my sleep system) and have slept comfortably. Albeit, close to the border of the bags limits. I also shift frequently in the night so for me, I needed a bag that would not restrict my movement. Sounds like an oxymoron but it's the roomiest mummy bag you will ever sleep in!
Since price is not a consideration, I do not think you can go wrong with any of your choices. If you decide on the Montbell you will defiantly want to go with the “long” bag (6’6”), I’m 5’10” and went with the long.

carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Montbell Spiral #3 on 07/22/2010 07:45:06 MDT Print View

Last year I looked into a new bag. I am 6' 195lbs with size 12 foot and roll around a bit. For temp rating and spaciness I choose the Spiral 3 to replace my old NF kestrel, roomie, small and light. I am pleased with the quality of Montbell and also purchase a down inner jacket. It works well with a short Neoair, a CCF mat inside a Tarptent Sublite and carried in a Aarn Natural Expression of 32L.

Edited by carlbecker on 07/22/2010 07:49:09 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Sleeping bag choices-Help me! on 07/22/2010 14:03:41 MDT Print View

Well WM won't do any other colors for the Megalite. Though they do have a long, right zipped one in red that they cut by mistake. So close. If it was a left zip I would have jumped on it. I tend to sleep on my right side and don't enjoy sleeping on the zipper. Boo Hoo.

Scott McCain
(Highlander366) - F - M

Locale: Idaho
Megalite on 07/22/2010 14:33:44 MDT Print View

I have a Megalite and I love it. I have made some quilts since then but I still go back to the Megalite. Mine has overfill and was worth every penny.

Joe Cangelosi
(JoeFish) - F

Locale: All Over California
Purple for the Win on 07/22/2010 14:35:38 MDT Print View

+1 for the WM

"Why mess around?"

You can get colored contacts if you're afraid it will clash with your eye color :-)

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Sleeping bag choices-Help me! on 07/22/2010 17:47:36 MDT Print View

Well, well nothing but purple for the WM. Man I really dislike that color. The MB is $80 cheaper, comes in balsam green. Also gets more bonus points than the WM at Moontrail. Would like to hear more about the FF and the MB though. I agree you can't go wrong with the WM, but the color is a tough hurdle for me to get over. Thanks for all the insight so far.

Richard R
(alaskaoneday) - MLife

Locale: Northern CA
Feathered Friends on 07/22/2010 18:13:55 MDT Print View

Ken
I have three FF bags and have been very happy with them. I do have a Kestrel (reg in eVent) and really like it for both using as a bag on the ground and as a quilt in my hammock. Going with FF you can get some color choices (depending on what is in stock) along with fabric choices (Nanosphere, Epic, eVent) and overfill. With a bag being a long term purchase, get a color (and options) you can live with long term. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions concerning the Kestrel.
Rich

Chris Peichel
(momo)

Locale: Eureka
Sleeping bag choices on 07/22/2010 18:43:28 MDT Print View

Ken,
I have a FF swallow in epic, I love it. Quality is first rate, and the material seems very durable. Let me know if you want to come by and check it out in person.
PS: hope you got my email, I was out of town for a few days.
Chris

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Sleeping bag choices -Mike W on 07/22/2010 18:46:05 MDT Print View

Thanks so much for the link. Don't know how I missed that one.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: Sleeping bag choices-Help me! on 07/23/2010 15:20:53 MDT Print View

Well after thinking about it some more I have decided on a couple of things. Since this is to be my summer bag, I can go without the hood. Also no mummyesque type bag will be good for my gigantic feet. So I think I'm going to pull the trigger on a WM Mitylite. I can use it as a quilt in the hammock and should be plenty warm for summer use for me. I have a MB down inner top and bottom to supplement if needed. Plus the color is good too. And so is the price. Thanks everyone for all the useful input. Once again the BPL community comes through!

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Sleeping bag choices-Help me! on 07/23/2010 18:09:04 MDT Print View

Ken, I own 3 WM bags and love them. I will never switch to a different manufacturer.....I love them that much. Oh and they are made in San Jose which doesn't hurt them too much!

james lantz
(SweaT-rex)
Why confine to a sleeping bag? on 07/23/2010 20:08:54 MDT Print View

Why not consider a down quilt? I use my GoLite Ultra 20 year round & have had it from 17-70 F. I am 6'1" & 215 lbs with size 12 feet & its variable girth is very flexible. Of course you will have to supplement the quilt with head insulation & extra clothing in the winter, but isn't dual use the norm with UL Backpacking? My quilt also only weighs 19 oz. My hiking buddy uses a Ray-Way synthetic quilt at the same temp. range & only slightly more weight (& might I add less cost).

Jason Knecht
(distortedaxis) - F

Locale: Earth
Suggestions on 07/23/2010 20:16:56 MDT Print View

I to have very wide shoulders. 52+ inch chest and 265lbs. most bag -- hell most backpacking gear does NOT fit me.

As for the subject at hand, I was very comfortable with my WM megalite for a longtime. It was wide enough to fit and not compress the down to the point of it being useless. Construction wise, I still say that WM is probably one of the best out there that I have seen.

However, I will say that the first time I tried a Montbell SS I was sold. Twice as much "wiggle" room and just as warm. Built very well, but I think WM is slightly better if you were to ask me construction wise.

In any case, I've made the switch to Montbell and have not looked back. My bags of choice for all my excurions. I own the #1, #3 & #4.

Try one out... Decide for yourself.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Why confine to a sleeping bag? on 07/23/2010 21:13:52 MDT Print View

Quilts. Have one. Wake up out from under it too often. I'm a thrasher. If I get one that attaches to the pad, well that doesn't sound like a great benefit to me when it comes time to pee. Zippers don't bug me, unless I'm laying on it. I think the mitylite might be the best of both worlds since I want something for the ground and in the hammock. Dual use.