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Helium Vs. Versalite (I know, another sleeping bag comparison rehash)
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Fitz Travels
Helium Vs. Versalite (I know, another sleeping bag comparison rehash) on 05/09/2013 19:25:44 MDT Print View

Helium Reg 19.5 down (850)
Versalite 20 down

Now, check the dimensions...

Helium ... 62 inches
Versalite ... 62 inches

Helium ....58 inches
Versalite .... 53 inches

Helium .... 40 inches
versalite .... 39 inches

For the sake of argument, the main difference (weight aside) is that the Helium has a wider Hip region.

thats it.

And yet, people talk about the Versalite like its a slenderer Apache (which makes it warmer because those 2 bag other specs are practically the same)

and people talk about the helium like its a huge sleeping bag.

Im a short, skinny guy and when I tried the helium on at REI, i absolutely loved the room (i bend my knees when i sleep on my side, but dont require it so i would be open to a slenderer bag) and the hood was fantastic and actually when cinched up created the hole perfectly around my mouth and not my nose. But the word on the street is that this bag is probably too big for me and would not be as efficient as a bag with smaller dimensions. But when analyzed, can 5 inches only in the hip region create such a drastic effect upon me?

What I am basically doing is FISHING for someone who is skinny and short and has the Helium bag to tell me that they are just fine in it down to 15 degrees.

Any takers?

Oh, and the real reason I want this bag and not other 15's is because it fits into a S2S 10L compression Sack and is SUPER SMALL. havent tried the versalite, but ive seen its stuff sack full online and its has to be bigger then the helium in its stuff sack (which of course doesnt necessarily mean they both cant compress the same, but it does sway me)

Edited by fitztravels on 05/09/2013 19:31:05 MDT.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Helium Vs. Versalite (I know, another sleeping bag comparison rehash) on 05/09/2013 19:40:13 MDT Print View

I'm 5'10" 170 lbs which aint really skinny and i have a helium.

... So really i shouldnt post but whateva! Lol

If you have some extra room in there and its really cold just stuff some extra clothes or whatever into the bag with you. If its really cold i usually put my puffy layers down over my legs for an extra boost for my extremities.

What I'm saying is that its an easy thing to overcome (the extra room) if needed. And the extra room to move is awesome for the 90% of the time you arent pushing your bag's limit

Scott Smith
(mrmuddy) - MLife

Locale: No Cal
"Helium Vs. Versalite on 05/09/2013 19:42:35 MDT Print View

I'm close to Jeff 5'9" and 170

Had both

Sold the Helium .. kept the Versalite..

And . VERY happy that I did

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
buy it then ! on 05/09/2013 19:52:25 MDT Print View

"Oh, and the real reason I want this bag and not other 15's is because it fits into a S2S 10L compression Sack and is SUPER SMALL"

Well, if that is your criteria, buy it. Buy it from REI and if you don't like it, return it... best return policy in the universe.

But if you want a lighter weight, slimmer, smaller bag... check out Feathered Friends...

I compared the FF Hummingbird and the Marmot Plasma 15 on my living room floor and chose the FF... though I think the Plasma warmer.

And if you want to go even ligher... check out the Zpacks sleeping bags... though they are hoodless, you can buy a hood separate...


jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Helium Vs. Versalite (I know, another sleeping bag comparison rehash)" on 05/09/2013 22:30:01 MDT Print View

I'm 5'9'' and 140 lbs. I like my Helium, although I haven't had it down to 15% yet. And I haven't used the Versalite. I got a great price on the Helium.

It is roomy but I like the idea of being able wear a down jacket or other clothes if need be; other users have claimed to push this bag down to 10% comfortably this way.

Bill, if the Plasma was warmer, why didn't you get it? all things being equal.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
All things are NEVER equal :) on 05/09/2013 22:34:29 MDT Print View

I didn't get the Plasma because I don't need a bag that warm...

and... I can make the lighter weight bag warmer by wearing my down jacket and pants to bed on colder nights... double purpose items = even more weight savings... this is the BP Lite web site, right?


Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
compression sacks for down? on 05/09/2013 22:40:52 MDT Print View

BTW... anyone know if compressing your down bag in a compression sack will reduce the loft of the squished down sooner than would be the case with normal hand stuffing?


Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: compression sacks for down? on 05/09/2013 23:37:21 MDT Print View

It's still under debate.

So far I've only come across one scientific study on the subject. Basically the conclusion was that down is very resilient and compressing shouldn't damage the plume (length of study though was not over years). Even under heavy compression the total force is spread over so many down fibers that each individual fiber receives very little bending force.

What was noticed though with heavy compression was that the little barbs and hooks on plumes can stick to each other under heavy compression. This results in lower loft recovery after compression. Under normal conditions it can take hours to days for loft to fully recover. Shaking helps but no idea to what degree.

So in other words you very likely won't damage your down with heavy compression however you will likely reduce the bags ability to keep you warm when compared to a bag that wasn't heavily compressed.

Willie Evenstop
(redmonk) - F

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
All things are never equal on 05/10/2013 00:19:02 MDT Print View

I think this is BPL, bp lite might be this site


jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Helium Vs. Versalite on 05/11/2013 17:06:58 MDT Print View

Bill: I was curious about the Plasma because I'd read mixed/contradictory reviews about it and wondered if you'd found a flaw, or something that you didn't like. Really just wanted your take on it. Anyway it's moot, I ended up getting the Helium on sale.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Plasma on 05/11/2013 18:59:04 MDT Print View

no flaw... very nice bag... though a little roomy for a us slender guys

I'd buy the Plasma if I weren't trying to save every ounce I could...