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Reader Reviews

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Western Mountaineering Caribou

in Sleeping Bags - Mummy & Other

Average Rating
5.00 / 5 (4 reviews)

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Matthew Swierkowski
( Berserker )

Western Mountaineering Caribou on 03/02/2010 10:47:05 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Since I bought this bag in 2004 (I think), this has probably been one of my most used pieces of gear. Being someone that does sound engineering on the side (as a hobby of sorts), I always feel that I am doing a good job if no one notices me. It’s when one makes mistakes that suddenly everyone realizes there is a guy running the sound. This explains how I feel about the Caribou. It has silently done a great job for 6 years, and I hardly ever even think about it.

I have the long version as I am 6’-5”, and it weighs 22.8 oz by itself and right at 24 oz with the supplied XXS stuff sack. When not in use I store it in the supplied cloth storage bag in my closet.

Stuffing the bag in the stuff sack is a little tough as it is a very tight fit. Once in though, the thing is about the size of a loaf of bread. I’ve recently gone to a different philosophy where I just stuff the bag in my pack (which is lined with a trash compactor bag) without using the stuff sack, and it takes up minimal room that way. I am always amazed when I pull this thing out after setting up camp and it lofts up just like it did the first day I got it.

As far as warmth, I feel as though it is good to it’s rating or possibly below. I tend to sleep cold, so I can’t confirm this other than to make that statement based on comparison to other bags I have used. If it is warm out it works well fully unzipped and draped over as a quilt. It has a very good DWR finish on it that literally causes water to bead up and roll off. I almost exclusively use single wall shelters, and routinely get condensation inside that tends to get on the bag. I have never noticed water soaking into the bag except at the points where there are seams, which isn’t a big deal as it dries out quickly in the sun (the interior fabric is black, and the exterior is a dark maroon like color).

One other thing of note is the cut of the bag. It is quite roomy, and that is one of the things that attracted me to it. The extra girth allows for more room to stretch out, and to layer clothing for use in colder weather. As a matter of fact, I have used it in the winter before with my synthetic clothing (Patagonia Micropuff & BMW Cocoon pants) comfortably below its rating. As with all WM products I have seen or used the quality is second to none.

One complaint I have read about with this bag that may have been remedied in recent years is the size of the hood. It has a fairly minimal hood, but I found that it works fine. I tend not to use it though as I move around a lot when I sleep, so I find that wearing a stocking cap is easier.

I really don’t have much else to say other than this bag is pretty much perfect. It’s a good compromise between warmth, weight and functionality for 3 season use.

Thomas Baker
( Shake_N_Bake )

Typical WM Quality on 08/12/2010 10:45:19 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have used this bag for about two years now. I can say I am nothing but impressed.

Being 6'4" I have found the large size to be very comfortable. I do not use extra clothing beyond a long base layer to extend the temp. range. Even so I have found the temp. range to be very accurate to a little conservative.

I also do not use the bag as a true mummy. I roll from side to side a lot at night. However, I do not take the bag with me. I turn within the bag. There is more than enough room to do this.

I "cowboy camp" whenever possible. The DWR on this bag lets the morning dew roll right off and the bag is dry in minutes.

Overall this bag shows typical Western Mountaineering quality and will last me many more years.

Edited by Shake_N_Bake on 08/12/2010 10:47:10 MDT.

Seth Brewer
( Whistler )

Exceeded My Expectations - Worth Every Penny on 10/18/2011 10:51:41 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Used the long version of this bag on my 2011 NOBO Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail. I loved being able to zip it almost fully open like a quilt. This allowed way more temperature control and versatility in regards to what temperatures I was comfortable in this bag. I'm 6'1" and was happy with the long, and am a skinny 160 lbs and thought that it was very roomy and comfortable to toss and turn around it. I slept in it with only fleece socks and a fleece watch cap down to 30* and was comfortable. For temperatures down to 18* I used a Montbell Thermawrap jacket and pants added to the fleece hat and socks to stay warm. At 18* I did use this bag inside a MLD superlight bivy for added warmth. Overall I would say the temperature rating is slightly conservative but pretty close for most people. This bag, even in long, packs to almost nothing and for its weight is much more versatile than a quilt. I slept in it for about 45 nights before the temperatures became too warm and I switched to a cheap and light summer bag. It is the perfect all around bag and the quality is second to none. For under $300 I think it's the best 35* bag out there at 1 lb 8 oz. for the long.

Edited by Whistler on 10/18/2011 10:53:33 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Montbell Thermawrap Jacket - Women's priced at: $98.95
Montbell Thermawrap Jacket - Men's priced at: $72.47 - $144.95
Shop Appalachian Trail, Penny products at GearBuyer
Martin Van Laarhoven
( vtrek )

GREAT bag! on 07/25/2013 16:21:11 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I am 5' 9" and weigh about 190 lbs. I have the regular size version of the Caribou and I have plenty of room. The material feels really nice on my skin and the construction is top rate. It packs down very small and has kept me warm into the low thirtys. Recently I have gone to hammock camping but I still use my Caribou zipped open. It doesn't zip all the way so there is a built in footbox! This is one bag I will keep for a long long time.

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