Rating: 5 / 5
No reviews on the Tamarack yet so I'm giving my first impressions. After I use it a few times I intend to come back and add further thoughts on performance. Since it's a Western Mountaineering bag I assume it will be good to its stated rating.
I decided to grab this bag used off of ebay last week at a good savings, since it's tough to find WM bags on sale--especially this one!
Got the bag today, and the stated weight of 19 oz looks correct on my spring scale. The Tamarack has a full-length two-way zipper and is rated down to 30 degrees, so I feel pretty good about that weight!
The stuff sack that comes with it is too small in my opinion and could be lighter--will use a MYOG silnylon one instead.
Construction looks great, of course, with one caveat--the website says WM uses 1.1 oz ripstop nylon for this bag's shell, and I don't think it's as nice as the material used on normal adult bags. Interior material is great though, and feels nice to the touch. Zipper moves cleanly with no snags--much better than my Feathered Friends winter bag!
What I really wanted to comment on, though, was the fit. WM says users under 5'1" can use this as a full-length bag, and that's just barely true! This thing fits me trimly, with little room to spare, but that's what I was looking for. I heat up quickly once I'm in and zipped up. I am 5'0" tall and weigh 140 pounds. I have a stocky, curvy build and wide shoulders. The only place the bag might be a little too tight is in the shoulder area, but I don't actually think this will be a problem or cause compression of loft. No problem with the hip area.
The bag is just long enough for me to cinch up around my neck, leaving my head exposed. I'll wear a balaclava or the hood from my synthetic parka to supplement in cooler weather.
The awesome thing about the zipper, though, is it zips not only all the way down, but across the footbox as well, so you can truly open the bag into a quilt.
Should end up as my new best friend for three season backpacking. Highly recommended for short women, especially those a little more petite than I!