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Reader Reviews

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Marmot Helium (long)

in Sleeping Bags - Mummy & Other

Average Rating
4.75 / 5 (8 reviews)

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Greg Vaillancourt
( GSV45 )

Marmot Helium (long) on 05/29/2006 13:57:26 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I thrash way too much to even consider a top bag.

Positives: Warm: I've taken it down to it's 15 degree rating and it was comfortable while wearing midweight LU, merino socks and a synthetic cap. I used a blue foam pad with a Thermarest 3/4 standard on top of the foam.
Roomy: I'm big so the 64" of shoulder room let me wear extra clothes if needed. Great hood design and comfortable contoured foot area.
Light: 2 lbs. is great for a bag this warm and comfortable.

Breathable: Pertex 20D shell turns away moisture while breathing nicely.

Downsides: Half zipper limits the temp range in which you can use this bag. If it isn't cold the bag will be too much. The other aspect of the zipper that is a letdown is the zipper does not function as well as my Western Mountaineering bags.

Areas to improve: A 3/4 length zipper would extend the temp range for an acceptable increase in weight. Stiffer tape alongside the zipper should improve the ease of use.

Edited by GSV45 on 07/12/2006 22:52:15 MDT.

Scott Smith
( mrmuddy )

No Cal
Damn near Perfect on 01/03/2007 21:31:57 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I bought the regular ..

I'm 5'10" @ 170lbs >great fit

Have spend @ 30 total nights in the bag..

Temps ranged from mid 40's to high teens.

Always VERY comfy..

I sleep in my skivies need to supplement

Squashes down to the size of a volley ball..

Can't imagine a better bag

Mike Barney
( eaglemb )

AZ, the Great Southwest!
Excellent bag, longer zipper would be nice on 01/04/2007 19:24:50 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I had this bag for a short period, but really liked it. It's so warm, that it was almost too warm for me above freezing, but a very comfortable bag overall.

It fits me (6'1") well and is light weight, tipping the scales right at 2 lbs. It is comfortable and you can extend the rating down by adding socks or other thermal underwear, balaclava, or other lightweight layer.

I would agree that the half length zipper is a hinderence, as you have a delemma if you have any unexpected warm days: You can't ventilate the bottom half of the bag very well so it may get pretty warm down there. Making the zipper 3/4 to full length would lengthen the draft tubes and add zipper weight, guestimating pushing the weight to 2 lb 3 oz.

The high loft down squeezes down to one of the small stuff bags, taking very little space on the trail.

For an otherwise darn near perfect bag, it's a very nice bag, and would personally consider it "the standard" for the 15 - 35 F temperature range.

I wouldn't typically give it a 5 because of the zipper, but, considering it is clearly superior to other equipment rated at a 4, so I'll call it a 4.9 and go with the 5 ;)

Randy, bag length = long / tall.

Edited by eaglemb on 01/05/2007 18:30:55 MST.

Randy Brissey
( rbrissey - M )

Redondo Beach, CA
For Mike on 01/04/2007 22:06:54 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Hello Mike,

What length is your bag? Marmot says that for the regular length 6' and for tall to 6'6". You are 6'1".


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Phil Barton
( flyfast )

It is nearly perfect, a longer zipper would help on 01/05/2007 07:21:37 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

My experience with the Marmot Helium is in line with those above. I'm pleased with the warmth for the weight and volume of the bag. It's great to dive into that bag on a below freezing night with confidence that I'll be toasty warm. I've used down to about 10F with added clothing (insulated jacket, wearing the rest of my clothes).

A 3/4 length zipper would extend the upper temperature range for this bag. The zipper does catch on the fabric quite easily. Stiffer fabric along the zipper would seem to help.

Compared to my other sleeping bags, I like the hood on the Marmot. I find it easy to cinch the hood where I like it and it stays in place well.

I bought this bag in Feb. 2004 with my REI dividend. I particularly had Scout camping in mind as our troop camps in a wide range of weather. Not all of that camping is on the trail. So, it fits my needs well for backpacking and other uses. Most of my backpacking is actually with a lighter sleeping bag.

My bag is the long length. I've measured it at 34.0 oz.

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Tony Wong
( Valshar )

San Francisco Bay Area
Helium EQ is Bomber on 06/29/2008 17:29:30 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have the 2007 Model of the Marmot Helium EQ, which differs from the regular Helium in two ways.

It has a full length zipper and the shell is waterproof.

Weight is listed as 2 lbs 2 oz vs. 1 lb 13 oz. for the Regular Helium.

I have modified mine by seam sealing the entire bag.

The interior lining is soft as silk, but has the minor drawback in that it is not down proof.

Each time I use mine, I do find that I have lost 1 or 2 feathers.

The hood area is closed with just one pull string and cinch. No velcro. This creates a comfortable, but firm seal to prevent heat loss.

How waterproof is the EQ version?

Exceptionally waterproof.

On one trip, we where camping on top of a ridge and the rain and winds came in.

The wind was strong enough that it crushed an REI half dome, bending the tent pole and forcing my friend to spend the night sitting on a pit toilet for shelter til morning.

Due to my inexperience using my tarptent, my shelter completely collapsed on me and the water rushed into my tent though the mesh along the bottom perimeter of my tent.

Unable to leave my tent because it would have blown away, I simply curled up into a fetal position and cinched up the opening of my bag as small as I could.

I was sleeping on a Prolite 4 pad and was laying in about 1.5 inches of water all around me with a wet and collapsed tent on top of me til morning.

In the morning, I looked like Han Solo in carbonite, but I did find that I was completely dry and warm in the morning.

The complete exterior of my bag was soaked, but I was dry and did not suffer any loss of loft.

The only other extreme test that I have with this bag was using it the Lake Tahoe area near Kirkwood ski resort sleeping under a tarp in a MLD Soul Side Zip eVent bivy overnight to temperatures that got down to 5 degrees F.

Using the BPL principles of layering my clothing, I was able to stay quite warm, with the exception of my head, which only had a light weight fleece hat.

What more can I say?

Tested, abused, and it has never let me down.


Edited by Valshar on 07/31/2008 18:31:55 MDT.

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john griffith
( jgriffith )

Southeast U.S.
Roomy, Well made, Warm on 01/12/2010 09:23:21 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I chose this bag over the other obvious options mainly for the extra girth. I'm 6'3" and have fairly wide shoulders. I have plenty of room in this bag. I have been in many long bags where there was no extra room in the shoulders and I find it uncomfortable.

Tons of loft for the weight. Puffy and comfy.

I am happy with every aspect of it. Construction, Roominess, Warmth, Materials.

I've had mine for about 2 1/2 years. I only go in cool and cold weather so I have used it quite a bit. I don't use a compression stuff sack and don't even stuff it down into the smallest stuff sack that I could get it into. I store it in the manner recommended. It has retained all of it's loft.

The only recommendation I have is to pump real actual helium into to get it even lighter.

Lance Reedy
( lreedy )
Great Bag on 08/12/2010 17:39:58 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have the Helium EQ. It is a fantastic bag. The extra weight is well worthwhile to have the full length zipper. At times I use the bag as a quilt in warmer weather. If you're going to buy this bag, get the long zipper. The quality of the down is excellent! It is well assembled. Lance Reedy, Lewiston, ID

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