Rating: 4 / 5
A 15oz shorter version of the Highlite - good for those 5' 6" or shorter.
Essentially concur with the comments of the Review Thread initiator.
When I purchased mine, the bag was conservatively rated at 40F. It now lists as a 35F bag & that's about right for me (a cold sleeper). Adding hi-loft garment layer (top or top&bottom - depending upon the indvidual) would take it down to 30F with no problem. However, the bag is cut so tight that this might NOT be an option for other than a very slim build individual.
Light (15oz) & packs small, though at 15oz, it's one of the lighter pieces of gear in my pack, so i pack it high & let it loft and expand any remaining pack volume (subject to the waterproof trash bag or pack liner that i store it in).
It is a key component for me for a <5lb SUL kit for spring & fall (replaced by a 12.5oz MB ThermalSheet for summer SUL kit).
Cut is a too tight for me in the shoulders and chest, and i would guess anyone else who is short with an athletic build or who lifts weights, but would work for someone with a slimmer or non-athletic build or perhaps for a most women. I should add that i'm a back sleeper who sleeps like a "dead man", i.e. i rarely move at all while sleeping)
It should be mentioned that its short half-length zipper limits ventilation options should the nighttime temp prove warmer than expected. Obviously, it also make ingress & egress from the bag not as easy as a bag with a full-length zip, but actually is not too difficult to get in or out of in actual practice, IMHO.
Perhaps only in the area of the hood design/shape and hood fit, does my opinion differ GREATLY from the Review Thread initiator. Compared to Montbell, Mtn. H/W, Marmot, and TNF hoods, this hood design/shape and fit is poor to fair, at best. If the rest of the bag was on the same level as the hood, the bag would get a 2 rating from me. Don't get me wrong, the hood is still quite functional, but comparatively speaking is poor-to-fair. If i was unfamiliar with hoods on other bags, i would have no complaint about the hood.
However, even with the poor hood design and fit, this bag is excellent, and i can heartily recommend it.
For my part, i now prefer the Montbell SuperStretch bags due to the better hood design and fit, the full-length zipper, and more particularly the advantages offered by the SuperStretch system. I'll accept a bit more weight (~8oz more, IIRC, cp. to the WM Highlite) to get a 30F Montbell bag (which keeps me warmer at 30F than the WM Highlite).
All this said, you can't go wrong getting the WM Highlite bag. In my opinion, it's still the standard by which all 30F-35F bags should be judged.
I give it a 4.0 due to (on the plus side) the incredible warmth for weight, and build quality, and (on the minus side) restrictive cut/girth, relatively/comparativelypoor hood, and too short zipper (YET IT STILL RATES a 4.0 inspite of the minuses!!).
Instead of being arbitrary just because this is one of my favorite bags, I'm going to attempt to be fair here by trying to have some semblance of objectivity. It has been well said that "Sacred cows make the best hamburger". The WM Highlite is one of those sacred cows. I'll begin by saying that others are welcome to expand my list of categories or criteria, as well as to provide their own ratings in each one of their categories or mine.
Here are my categories upon which i base my rating for a MUMMY BAG:
warmth (dbl. weighted - we after all want to be warm at night, hence this cat. is impt.)
weight (dbl. weighted - we are after all a XUL/SUL/UL/L backpacking website)
user friendliness, including ingress/egress & ventilation
other design aspects/features
[the DE FACTO standard, IMHO; any warmer for its rating and i'd complain of it being grossly improperly rated]
[the DE FACTO standard, IMHO; any lighter and it would float away]
[i figure midrange - it's really NOT out of line with other 'Primo' bag Mfr's, but it is expensive when considering the whole gamut of bags]
FIT = 2
[5=Montbell SS; 4=fits all but those having gross exogenous obesity & also allows for adding hi-loft garments; 3=snug fit for athletic build w/o compromising loft; no hi-loft garments to extend range;2=too snug or too tight for athletic build;1=better for a more typical feminine shoulder width.]
USER FRIENDLINESS (including ingress/egress & ventilation) = 3
[1=no zip&too tight; 2=no zip; 3=half-zip; 4=3/4 zip; 5=full zip]
OTHER DESIGN ASPECTS/FEATURES = 3
[1=basically a sack & nuttin' else; 2=a sack w/a hood; or a well-designed hoodless sack that makes up in some way for a lack of a hood; 3=average mummy bag; 4=some above average about it (e.g., great hood, zipper operation, expandability of some sort, pillow pocket, [zippered]eye glasses pocket, draft tubes, etc. as may be appropriate);5=exceptional in enough design areas, NOT covered by other categories, to warrant a FIVE]
QUALITY = 5 [immaculate selection of materials & construction; they don't come better made than this]
VALUE = 4 [what you get for what you paid, taking into account all the pluses and all of the minuses]
TOTAL SCORE = 40 divided by 9 = 4.444... repeating tedium ad nauseum ad infinitum
[ooooh! oh, so close!!! truth be told, this result was NOT FUDGED to get a 4 rating. the running score was NOT even mentally kept while rating so as to not influence the final outcome. really, i was very interested IF my original rating & assessment was accurately a 4 or should it have been a 5 as the lovers of the Sacred Cow, one of whom, by their own admittance, was prompted to review & rate just because of a couple of fours being given]
Rounding down, as we were taught to do in grade school = a final score of...[Maestro, drum roll please.]
4 (FOUR & another Sacred Cow finds its way onto the 'Barbie'! Perfection is hard to come by.]