Forum Index » GEAR » Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others?


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David S.
(six2) - F

Locale: Southwest
Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/12/2010 22:23:03 MDT Print View

I've used 30 degree bags for years hiking in the east, but this summer on the Colorado Trail my 30 wasn't cutting it. I ended up switching for an old school 900 fill Marmot Helium, which worked great.

Now it's time to shop for a new bag, perhaps for the Pacific Crest Trail (fingers crossed). I'm looking for a 15 or a 20 degree down fill mummy bag. I'm not completely opposed to quilts, but I haven't been sold on the concept for colder temperatures, and I toss and turn a lot, so I'm not sure I'm the best candidate. I'm 6'2" and pretty skinny, so a snug fit isn't a bad thing.

Right now I'm looking at the Western Mountaineering UltraLite, Feathered Friends Hummingbird, Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15, Marmot Helium, and others.

Recommendations? I'm worried that the UltraLite might actually weigh more than the spec and that the Hummingbird might not be quite as warm as the rating.

Thanks!

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/12/2010 22:35:50 MDT Print View

Shameless self promotion:

http://www.titaniumgoat.com/Cyanocitta.html



;)

Will Inman
(Empacitator) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Re: Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/12/2010 22:44:27 MDT Print View

Hi Javan,
Looks fantastic, although I guess it will be keeping you busy for a while! What temperature rating do you think they would be good for?
Cheers,
Will

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Re: Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/12/2010 22:51:41 MDT Print View

By loft rating it should be ~20 or so. Although it wont be as roomy as the quilt I made for you Will.

Scott Truong
(elf773)

Locale: Vancouver, BC
Javan: lead time. on 10/12/2010 22:55:17 MDT Print View

That bag looks good. I was thinking of something along the same lines, it looks almost like a rectangular bag (when "zipped" up). What is the lead time for the bag, and how much fill is the 18 oz.. any customization?

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Javan: lead time. on 10/12/2010 23:22:25 MDT Print View

Custom work will be filled by contacting me directly, although I'm covered up for pretty much the rest of the year.

I'm looking at early Jan for custom orders.. The TiGoat model should be in stock a fair bit sooner than that.

I fill based on dimension calculations for desired loft. It'll have a nominal(minimum) 2.5" loft, the actual amount is arbitrary unless you can factor the exact dimensions.

javan.dempsey@gmail.com is my direct addy.

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/13/2010 05:18:32 MDT Print View

I made this same decision a few years back with essentially the same candidates and the Ultralite won and is still the best bag I have ever owned.

I am 6'1" 180 pounds and the narrow cut is just fine for me and I too roll around a bit at night. I have taken it down to the single digits and been plenty warm.

My large actually came in at 28.5 oz.,less than specs.

David S.
(six2) - F

Locale: Southwest
Re: Re: Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/13/2010 09:56:15 MDT Print View

I've been leaning toward the UltraLite. You have a "long" model? 28.5 wouldn't be bad at all.

I was spoiled for years getting away with a lighter weight bag for 3 seasons, and I'm always annoyed when my gear gets heavier. But just about everything else has gotten lighter, I might as well sleep comfortably.

David S.
(six2) - F

Locale: Southwest
Re: Re: Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/13/2010 09:59:05 MDT Print View

Nice looking bag, although it's probably not warm enough for what I'm doing. Do you have anything using, say, closer to 16 oz/450 gr of fill?

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Quilt Option on 10/13/2010 10:43:01 MDT Print View

I have spent time in every bag you are considering and liked the WM Ultralite the best. I used the Hummingbird on my CDT hike in 1983 and it is a fine bag, Just a little more slim than the ultralite.

Another option if you are open to the quilt/variable girth option would be the Katabatic Sawatch at 23.5oz reg with 15oz of 850+ fill and 24.8oz for the large with 16oz of fill. I can vouch for this bag down to 10f with no hood sleeping on a DAM in long silk top and bottom.

Brian Senez
(bsenez) - MLife

Locale: New England
re: weight of wm ultralite on 10/13/2010 10:59:41 MDT Print View

I just purchased a new WM Ultralite in regular size which weighs in at 868g or 30.6oz

The bag is however very warm. I want a quilt!

Dave N.
(Quiet) - F

Locale: Southeastern US
WM on 10/13/2010 11:04:38 MDT Print View

I have a WM Ultralite and I absolutely love it. I've used it down to the most severe weather we get here in the southeastern US (not that severe). It's a beautifully made bag that has proven it's rating. I've heard others complain about it's snugness, but a 5'10, 145 lbs it fits me perfectly.

Scott Smith
(mrmuddy) - M

Locale: No Cal
Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight on 10/13/2010 11:51:16 MDT Print View

I currently own both..

Both are outstanding..

Again, the " plus" with the Hummingbird is a choice of colors/ fabrics/ overstuffing/etc .. and the great personal service that they provide.

Having siad that, I like my WM better .. Not sure why .. maybe feels a tad warmer ?? And a tad more roomy ??

BTW, I'm @ 5'10" and weigh @ 180 lbs ..

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/13/2010 12:00:04 MDT Print View

The Ultralite is a fine bag that I've enjoyed for, what, a decade now? Something like that, and it's been lightened by WM in the meantime via fabric changes. It's a snug fit so I got the long, which is a bit roomier at not much weight gain. The continuous baffles give it more flexibility as the temps vary, than bags without. Highly recommended.

I don't have a Hummingbird but do have a Swift, its larger brother, which I customized when ordering at the FF Seattle shop. Mine's probably a legit 15 and perhaps 10-degree bag, but considerably bulkier than the Ultralite.

FWIW Brian Robinson carried a Hummingbird through much of his Triple Crown hike and it was still in very good shape afterwards (I was able to inspect it at a talk he gave). That's about the best testimonial anybody could ask for.

Happy shopping,

Rick

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Re: Re: Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/13/2010 12:05:27 MDT Print View

I'm the same size as Alex and I also think the WM Ultralite is an excellent bag. I have about 6 Down sleeping bags and this is my #1 choice for a sleeping bag in sub 30 temps.

Edited by kegelhoff on 10/13/2010 12:06:06 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/13/2010 16:38:58 MDT Print View

"The Ultralite is a fine bag that I've enjoyed for, what, a decade now? Something like that, and it's been lightened by WM in the meantime via fabric changes. It's a snug fit so I got the long, which is a bit roomier at not much weight gain. The continuous baffles give it more flexibility as the temps vary, than bags without. Highly recommended."

+1

Hard to beat an Ultralite for the temperature range.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/13/2010 19:35:17 MDT Print View

If you're thinking toward the warmer side, also check out the Western Apache. It's a 15*F bag, 3 ounces heavier than the Ultralite b/c it's filled with another 3 ounces of down. Same cuts and all; both great, but imagine an Ultralite really stuffed w/down...

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/13/2010 19:40:41 MDT Print View

"If you're thinking toward the warmer side, also check out the Western Apache. It's a 15*F bag, 3 ounces heavier than the Ultralite b/c it's filled with another 3 ounces of down. Same cuts and all; both great, but imagine an Ultralite really stuffed w/down..."

Good point. I've owned both and you're pretty much on the money. However, when you get into 10-15 degree temperatures, there's a new kid on the block: The Versalite. Myself, I've found it gives me more flexibility to go with the Ultralite and make up the difference with layers of clothing, which can take me down to 10 degrees and also serve to keep me warm during the day.

David S.
(six2) - F

Locale: Southwest
Re: Quilt Option on 10/13/2010 19:46:10 MDT Print View

How do you think the warmth of the Sawatch compares to the Ultralite?

I did a bike trip in a WM Summerlite last year and wasn't warm enough on nights approaching freezing(with an old prolite 3 w's pad).

I must admit the Sawatch looks really good, and the weight is impressive. I could carry a Mont Bell Ex Light Jacket for the difference in weight from other bags.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: Best 15-20 Degree bag for the Weight? WM UltraLite? Hummingbird? Others? on 10/15/2010 09:07:05 MDT Print View

Hi Tom,

Yeah, there's the Versalite at a theoretical 10*F. However, note that the Versalite is 3 inches wider in girth with only 1 ounce more down than the Apache. I have some variation or another of nearly all of WMs bags at hand right now, and the Apache clearly lofts better than the Versalite.

Also note that the Antelope, theoretically only 5*F warmer than the Versalite, uses a full 6 (!) ounces more down than the Versalite for the same-cut girth. Again, the Antelope is clearly a warmer bag, and has significantly more warmth than a 5*F differential.

Edit: Oh, on versatility... we each develop our preferences, but I think the Apache is a bit more versatile than the Ultralite. You can always shift the down and make it a bit cooler if necessary, & the 3 ounce weight "penalty" of the Apache is probably the warmest 3oz you could carry...

Edited by 4quietwoods on 10/15/2010 09:10:33 MDT.