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Western Mountaineering Megalite

in Sleeping Bags - Mummy & Other

Average Rating
4.78 / 5 (9 reviews)


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Nathan Moody
( atomick )

Locale:
San Francisco Bay Area
Western Mountaineering Megalite on 11/07/2006 19:57:33 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Sleeping bag reviews are often best understood by first identifying the user.

Me: Male, 5'11.5", 160 lbs., Moderate-High Metabolism (high heat exertion, rapid head loss when idle).

That said, the Megalite is listed by its manufacturer to be a 32-degree (F) bag. With thin base layers, this reviewer concurs. I've been quite comfortable in this bag, with an insulated windshirt or a Primaloft-filled jacket, down to 20 degrees F.

The Megalite is interesting in its cut. I am quite broad-shouldered, so the fit is just right with insulated torso layers. However, the leg area for me is vastly oversized, resulting in cold legs below freezing.

This is my first down bag, however, and the comfort level for this side-sleeper is really quite high. Sleep comfort is an intensely personal issue in the backcountry, but for me, I've found it a tremendous upgrade over the synthetic bags I've suffered through for years. :-) The construction is stellar, made in the USA, and is bomber in every way (Pertex Quantum shell, BTW).

Highly recommended.

Edited by atomick on 11/07/2006 19:59:45 MST.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Western Mountaineering MegaLite Sleeping Bag priced at: $339.95 - $404.95
Eric Blumensaadt
( Danepacker )

Locale:
Mojave Desert
A Very Versatile Summer Bag on 01/13/2007 13:59:09 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I just tested my Western Mountaineering Megalite summer bag last night in my backyard here in Henderson, NV (Las Vegas' southern suburb). It was a chilly 22F and I soon learned the bag would handle this temperature as long as I did my part, i.e. wearing thin polyester long john tops & bottoms, hiking sox and a thin balaclava. My tent was a TarpTent Contrail which was "airy" and did not give much, if any, additional warmth.
Also I used my ultra light, full length Thermarest. Again, no problems.
The idea was to see if I could use all these items on a High Sierra trip that might have sub freezing temps. The answer was "YES".
The Megalite is great for summer camping here in the Southwest high deserts where cold temps are often encountered in early and late season camping. It's full length, dual slider zipper is great for hot evenings that turn into cool nights. Simply unzip from both ends and the top stays over you, being held in the middle by the sliders, but you have excellent ventilation and you can "hang a leg out" to cool down. If the temp drops after you fall asleep just pull your leg in B/C the top is still in place, held by the mated top and bottom sliders.
The Megalite has 850 fill goose down. Just about the best available. With no side baffles you can shift down to the bottom or top, depending on your need. And, once you're laying in the bag, the down stays put.
It has plenty of room inside. Great for hot nights or for room for extra insulating clothing if needed, which is why I bought it and am willing to carry a few extra ounces. This versatility, along with the outstanding quality, makes the considerable investment well worth it.
And one final thing. That "Made in USA" American flag sewn on the foot of the bag is a nice thing to see, especially on such a well made piece of gear.

2 Year Update: Still my 1st choice for summer/3 season camping. For hot nights I unzip it all the way and use it as a quilt W/ teh foot end hooked over the end of my full length mattress.

3 Year Update: I used the Megalite at Arapaho Pass, CO, in October in teen temps. I wore my Thermolite insulated pants & top & was very comfy W/ no feeling of being cramped for space. As I suspected, this bag's girth permits this versatility.

Edited by Danepacker on 05/03/2010 21:39:39 MDT.

Zack Karas
( iwillchopyou@hotmail.com )

Locale:
Lake Tahoe
I like! on 01/13/2007 14:34:43 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

My girlfriend and I used this bag unzipped as a quilt for our PCT thru-hike--not bad at .75 lb per person. The wide girth of the bag lends itself to be used for a couple's quilt or as a regular sleeping bag with tons of room for layering inside. As a quilt, we took it semi-comfortablely to 15 degrees, as I've taken it as a regular bag to around 10.
I've washed it around 4 times (the bag is almost 4 years old now) and it is just like new. A great bag. It's a 5/5 for quilt use, a 4/5 for single person use because of the long zipper).

Bill Law
( williamlaw - M )

Locale:
SF Bay Area
Top Quality Comfortable Bag on 03/26/2007 13:27:42 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

My Megalite is my favorite piece of gear. It keeps me warm in temperatures from 25-55. I've never had a moment where anything negative about this sleeping bag ever crossed my mind while using it.

Spacious, super-lightweight, quality throughout. It's amazing how a little adjustment on the zipper allows me to regulate my temperature precisely.

Worth the investment!

Ryley Breiddal
( ryleyb - M )

Locale:
Pacific Northwest
perfect bag for summer side sleepers on 09/19/2007 16:30:55 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

My favourite piece of gear. This bag has kept me warm down to just below freezing. The double zipper and draft tube make this the easiest sleeping bag ever to zip up (no snags) and gives lots of venting options when it's warmer out. When you add in the continuous baffles, you have a lot of options for regulating temperature.

Lots of room in the bag was almost always a blessing for me. I'm a side sleeper and I could really roll around in the bag. I generally consider myself to be a warm sleeper, 6ft tall, 190lbs.

I used this bag every night of a 2007 thru-hike of the PCT and it never disappointed me.

Eugene Smith
( Eugeneius )

Locale:
Nuevo Mexico
Insanely light fully featured bag! on 04/13/2009 22:00:00 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I recently used the WM Megalite on a 5 day trip through the Gila with temps at night ranging from the mid 20's to the lower 40's. Light wind was present each evening and the bag and draft tube functioned extremely well at locking in heat and keeping out the chill. The bag performed exceptionally well in that broad of a temp range, I enjoyed having the ability to unzip and utilize the bag as a quilt, which came in handy when the temperature stayed in the 40's. I found the temperature range to be very accurate and maybe even slightly conservative, I have no doubt I can comfortably use this bag below 30, pushing the down to the top of the bag seemed to increase thermal quality extending the bag into the sub 30 temp range. The roomier cut allowed me to side sleep easily without any constriction, and when the time comes to incorporate additional layers into the bag when pushing the temperature I know I have the room to do so. Build quality is flawless, no snags, great zipper, consistent loft, very simple design. Overall I'm happy with the investment and WM's reputation really lives up to the hype, they make some of the best bags!

Amy Reid
( marmot8 )

Locale:
central Sierra
5 Years & still lovin' it! on 04/27/2009 16:07:28 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I want to say that I purchased this bag in 2003. Although I'm only 5'4" and of moderate stockiness, I chose this model because I'm a tad claustrophobic and wanted the extra wiggle room. I use it almost exclusively as a quilt, although I have zipped it up on some particularly cold nights. I can tolerate it zipped, but just prefer sleeping quilt style.

I only set up a shelter if I have to and only just purchased a bivy recently, so most of my use of this bag has been in the open. My first night with the bag was along a windy ridge in the central Sierra at about 8,500'in September wearing light sleeping clothes. After a comfortable night's sleep I enthusiastically raved about the bag and continue to this day.

As with all bags, it won't be the right choice in all conditions, but this is a solid quality product which for me sleeps warmer than its rated, but I'm a hot sleeper.

I take care of my bag and it is still in excellent condition after 5+ years.

John Kays
( johnk - M )

Locale:
SoCal
Warm on 03/11/2010 22:52:57 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The Megalite has kept me warm and comfortable down into the 20s even though I am not a particularly warm sleeper. I used it in January combined with a Montbell UL Down Inner pants and jacket and was very comfortable in the mid teens. The wide proportions of this bag allow for broad-shouldered users to wear inner layers as described and reap the full benefit of the combined loft. If you have a string bean build you might want to shop for the slimmer cut bag. My first WM bag was a Versalite but it was too warm for the Sierras in the summer. Since buying this Megalite though, I rarely use the Versalite. The ML has provided amazing comfort, even in cold winter hiking using additional down layers.

Edited by johnk on 03/13/2011 17:12:13 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Montbell UL Down Inner Pants - Women's priced at: $150.00
Western Mountaineering VersaLite priced at: $424.95 - $494.95
Shop Versalite products at GearBuyer
M B
( livingontheroad - M )
good bag, roomy on 12/09/2011 14:50:19 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Roomy, warm, true to rating , or better if shift down to top to maximize loft when sleeping on good R value pad.

I sleep cold with a pretty low bodyfat percentage.

After shifting most down to top, I have had ice on the outside of my megalite at 30F and been comfortable enough inside without longjohns or socks or hat in early morning hours when I get the coldest. This was on pad with R value of about 5. This is with some dampness and loss of loft too from condensation sleeping under stars.

30F seems about the comfortable limit without additional clothing for me based on early morning conditions. Late at night when first entering bag, will feel fine at even lower temps until body cools down. If wear extra insulation to bed, at first I will sweat, so I just put it in the bag incase I need it.

I have also been quite cold in it at 34F with really cold feet and legs when I had only a 1/8" thinlight pad R=0.4)beneath them. (duh!) Especially with little down on bottom. Use of a good pad is pretty important to stay warm when temps get close to freezing, but even more so if you shift the down to the top.

The extra room for avg sized folks lets you store warm clothing and shoes on the sides of you, instead of at your feet. This makes it accessible , and you can actually put it on inside the bag during the night. It is also great to rest elbows on for comfortable sleeping.

Slept fine, at 22F with only longjohns and fleece hoody/cap. Nanopuff in bag but on side of me.

Warm enough that kept head out all night slightly unzipped, at 28F with only longjohns and fleece hat. Fleece hoody and nanopuff inside bag on sides, but too warm to even consider wearing.

Edited by livingontheroad on 01/15/2012 18:59:30 MST.

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