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ultra light 30 degree, high loft down bag - what are some good options?
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Zack Freije
(oldskool) - F

Locale: Ohio
ultra light 30 degree, high loft down bag - what are some good options? on 04/24/2012 16:33:35 MDT Print View

I have currently a nice down bag that is just too warm for me. Plus it's a little on the heavy side for spring/summer/fall backpacking.

The Marmot Plasma seems to check all the boxes that I have, but it also seems to go a little above and beyond. The main problem though is the price. I just don't see myself dropping that kind of cash on a new bag.

I've looked at quilts, but I just don't think they work for me and my sleeping habits.

So, are there any other ~30 degree down bags right around a pound but for a lower price?

Also, when using with a tarptent, how good are today's down bags at resisting moisture? Is a lightweight bivy something I should look into?

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Somnus 30? on 04/24/2012 16:56:40 MDT Print View

If you can deal with the center zip, the Stoic Somnus 30 might fit the bill. has it on sale right now for 209.
They list the weight at 1 lb 4oz, but they're off by about 2.5 oz. my kitchen scale says 22.7oz, so I think they meant 1.4lbs.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: ultra light 30 degree, high loft down bag - what are some good options? on 04/24/2012 17:01:07 MDT Print View

I always suggest a western mountaineering summerlite, but I'm guessing a new one is out of your price range even though I don't know the plasma's cost offhand. see if you can score one off gear swap if you are ok with a used bag

andrew brown
(abrown3mtg) - F

Locale: High Rockies
montbell ul #3 on 04/24/2012 17:01:52 MDT Print View

I toss and turn at night and sleep on my side. I'm also a hair claustrophobic. The Montbell ss has been a godsend for me.

Here are a couple options:

(1 day left on ebay auction) current bid at 170 ish.

Backcountry has it for 339.00 and I believe they have a 15% off code published on their site that will work for the bag (but not 100% sure on the discount)

If you can justify a hair more weight and don't mind a 15 degree, the ul ss #1 is what I have and love it! one on gear trade for cheap.

I've tried a different ul bag and felt much too cramped.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: ultra light 30 degree, high loft down bag - what are some good options? on 04/24/2012 17:04:22 MDT Print View

You might try this:

And there's that Golite sale.

For high-end bags, WM's Megalite has a MSRP a little lower than the REI price I see on the Plasma. More down fill (by weight) too. I have the 20* WM Ultralite, and the quality can't be beat.

Personally, I liked quilts when I tried one, and I'm a side-sleeper who tosses and turns some.

Modern sleeping bags and quilt should have good DWR--no reason for WP bivy in a tarp or tent with adequate coverage.

Edit: Nathan Watts prob. right, and the Summerlite is a better choice weight and cost-wise than the Megalite. Was typing as he posted.

Edited by DavidDrake on 04/24/2012 17:07:38 MDT.

Paul Johnson
(johncooper) - F

Locale: SoCal
RAB Neutrino 200 on 04/24/2012 17:05:50 MDT Print View

RAB Neutrino 200. This is a 35 degree bag and 21oz. The standard bag is cut long to fit up to 6' 4". It works well for me at 6' 2".

Look for a deal at Campsaver.

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Re: Somnus 30? on 04/24/2012 17:07:11 MDT Print View

Augh. Why can't I ever finish a thought?...

I've tested 4 different bags in the last 7 months,sleeping in the backyard. The ones that boast a DWR finish seem, at least so far, to deliver. Most recently, I slept in the Somnus 30, which has a Pertex Quantum shell, when I woke up in the morning there were little ice-balls all over my bag. Apparently I bumped the center pole of my tent and rained condensation down during the night. It beaded up and stayed there long enough to freeze. It definitely didn't soak into the shell.

FWIW: I'm not a particularly warm sleeper, and the Somnus 30 was cool comfortable in just polypro baselayers, wool socks, and microfleece beanie at 30*, or maybe 29. I had frozen condensation drips on my bag, ice in my Nalgene, and temp history to check.

Mike R
(redpoint) - F

Locale: British Columbia
WM MegaLite on 04/24/2012 17:08:06 MDT Print View

+1 for Western Mountaineering. I don't know the cost of the Plasma or a WM MegaLite, but WM makes a very nice, high loft bag. The MegaLite is a 30 F bag and weighs 1.5 lbs [reg]. Worth a look and you may be able to score a used one. The WM HiLite or Caribou would also be good choices - both extremely light bags weighing jut north of 1 lb. Both are 35 F bags however.

Zack Freije
(oldskool) - F

Locale: Ohio
pricing on 04/24/2012 17:14:39 MDT Print View

Marmot is ~430..

The Somnus 30 at 209 sounds like the right price and I really do like the design of it.

Matt Allen
(zeroforhire) - MLife
Somnus on 04/24/2012 17:16:48 MDT Print View

I love my somnus 30. Really high quality and great price.

andrew brown
(abrown3mtg) - F

Locale: High Rockies
#3 on gear swap on 04/24/2012 17:38:10 MDT Print View

There is a #3 ul montbell for 230 shipped here on the site right now too

Larry M
(Maethros) - MLife

Locale: Mid South
MontBell #3 on 04/24/2012 17:45:55 MDT Print View

I use a MontBell UL Spiral Down Hugger #3 and love it.

It weighs less than the UL "Super" Spiral Down Hugger #3, while giving up a little bit of stretchiness. But it is still stretchy enough that I can change socks inside with the zipper fully zipped.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Marmot on sale? on 04/24/2012 18:19:00 MDT Print View

I've been very happy with my Marmot Plasma 30. It's been on sale a couple of times at least - cuz I bought it on sale!

I tried to sell it awhile back to get a ZPacks bag - which hasn't arrived yet - but found the money elsewhere and took it off the market.

If you're not in a hurry to get a new bag, keep an eye out for sales on the Marmot Plasma - they do happen!

Good luck!

Rob Jones

Locale: Washington, D.C.
Re: ultra light 30 degree, high loft down bag - what are some good options? on 04/24/2012 18:34:15 MDT Print View

The WM Caribou is also a bit of a wider bag, which is nice if you can't handle a narrow mummy. I've seen them pop up around $259 lately. I didn't buy from them, but someone else said they worked out well. Check here

Zack Freije
(oldskool) - F

Locale: Ohio
current bag on 04/24/2012 18:41:04 MDT Print View

I misspoke , my current bag is a mountain hardwear phantom 15. 800 fill down. A little over 2 pounds. It's way too warm for me for most outings.

I think a 30° bag will be a better fit since i don't mind sleeping in base layers.

The big question is do i hold onto it or sell to fund other purchases.

Is 15 to 30 a big difference? I do tend to sleep cold, but with the 15°, i end up sleeping in boxerrs and a t-shirt, while constantly opening and closing the zipper. It's a bit aggravating.

Ed Hayes
(ejhayes) - F

Locale: Northwest
Is 15 to 30 a big difference? on 04/24/2012 19:01:29 MDT Print View

Most definitely. You are looking at around 2" of loft between a 15' and 30' bag. My guess is if you wear boxers and t-shirt in the 15' bag, you'll need thermals in the 30' bag in the same weather.

Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Crawl in some bags on 04/24/2012 19:46:40 MDT Print View

Go crawl in a few bags at REI or somewhere else. The cut is different for different manufactures and you may find the uber-light flavor doesn't fit your body type. High quality goose down is the same weight no matter which manufacture and they are all using essentially the same materials. The small differences in weight are almost always due to size/dimensions of the actual bag or features (half/3/4 zippers vs full lenght)

I use a Marmot Arroyo which is cut generously (getting old and fat) and I'd bake in anything warmer. It is 27oz and around $200. Quality bag for a reasonable price but if you are a slimer build you may want to try crawling in some other fart sacks to see what works for you.

John West
(skyzo) - F

Locale: Borah Gear
SD Nitro on 04/24/2012 21:10:19 MDT Print View

Check out the SD nitro 30. Great bag, was highly reviewed here a few years back. I've used mine down to 20 degrees with just a baselayer and was still toasty, a very conservatively rated bag.
Mine is a long, and weighs 29oz, so I think the Regular length would weigh something like ~27oz. You can usually find them for about $200.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
ultra light 30 degree, high loft down bag - what are some good options? on 04/24/2012 21:24:04 MDT Print View

Steep and Cheap has been having some killer deals on those Stoic bags. It was all I could do not to buy one, and I've already got a ton of bags.

Zack Freije
(oldskool) - F

Locale: Ohio
knowing what works on 04/24/2012 21:24:30 MDT Print View

I find it can be tough to know what works because you need to use it first to see. Light down bags tend to be a bit on the expensive side, so my ability to try them all out on the trail has been limited.

I'm nervous to let go of the 15 degree bag, but at the same time, it's never been comfortable for me since I don't backpack much if ever in the winter.