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Thread: Western Mountaineering

  1. #1

    Default Western Mountaineering

    In my search for the lightest and best bag for sheep hunts, I came across Western Mounaineering. I was previously set on a Marmot Helium, but the Western Mountaineering bags look equal or better. Their 10 degree bag is listed as only 1oz more than the 15 degree Helium, and their 20 degree bag is lighter. Is all else equal with these products, or am I missing something I should be comparing? They are listed as equal sizes. How about outer material qualities?
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Eagle River Valley

    Default Western Mountaineering

    I have the 10 degree WM Versalight bag. My bro in law has the new helium. All things are not equal with these bags. The WM bag has more loft. Our September hunt was wet and snowy. My brother in law had his bag zipped up all night and wore long johns. I was warm enough in mine with it zipped up to my lower chest, no long johns, hood not cinched, 2 pair of wet socks, and wet t-shirt inside with me.

    The shell and liner fabric on the WM is lighter in weight as well. Dimensions are similiar, but the WM bag has 4 more oz. of down and more loft. The weight savings is it the fabric weight and construction.

    If I were to do it again, I would get the WM Ultralight and save some more weight. The WM 10 degree Versalight was simply that warm in a double wall Hilleberg tent on both my sheep hunts that had multiple nights below freezing.

    I intentionally tried to "wet out" my down bag by putting my wet gear in it with me, and rubbing up on the side of the tent. My bag got plenty damp, and a little "mushy", but was still toasty warm. Some people have a fear of down bags and getting them wet. After 14 years of using down bags on all my sheep hunts, I have no hesitation using them, especially if I am in a double wall tent.

    Bottom line, WM bags are top notch, best of the best, all they are cracked up to be and more.

    Pm me if you would like to discuss more.


  3. #3
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Palmer, AK


    Interesting these bags are made in the USA... Kind of makes this statement a bit false from another great american bag maker...

  4. #4
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Eagle River

    Default WM gear at AMH

    Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking in Anchorage carries several WM bags.
    AMH is pretty selective; seems to carry WM because it's light and performs well (based on their, or customers' experience).

    AMH website includes comments about bag "fit", something I don't hear discussed much - but makes sense. A bag that works well for 5'8" average build, might not do for 6'3" XL/XXL.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default WM UltraLite

    I just logged three bag nights in my new Western Mountaineering UltraLite, with nothing negative to report. Since you are considering WM and the Marmot Helium, I suppose I don't have to list the pleasures of down bags. My hunting partner has the Helium from a few years ago (also non-EQ), but we have not had an opportunity to lay the bags side-by-side. One glaring difference is that the Helium is not a full zip; whereas, the WM goes face to toe.

    I concur with what 6X suggests, in that the WM are potentially more fitted. My UltraLite fits me (slender, 5'11") about perfect, thus is thermally-efficient to the extent that is feels much warmer to me than my Cat's Meow. You may want to "try one on" before selecting which model and size to purchase.

    If you are patient you can sometimes snag a WM bag up to 20% off online, though you may have to ship to the lower 48.


  6. #6


    I'll add another note from when I looked at down bags and ended up with the Helium. WM sells a couple different bags in the same temp range and I found the lightest ones to be too narrow. I am not a big guy and laying in em in the store I was all sorts of twisted up, no way I could sleep in one comfortably. The 20* Ultralite and 15* Apache is only 59" at the shoulder, thats really tight considering most mummy bags are in the 62" range! Just a heads up.

  7. #7
    Member wolfkiller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    north pole ak

    Default apache

    I have a apache and love it. It will not fit a lot of people though. It is tall and skinny just like me.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  8. #8
    New member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Lubbock, Texas


    I am a big Marmot fan, but understand that Western Mountain Bags are amazing too. The guys at Marmot have told me, when placing orders, that WM and Marmot get thier down from the same place and have the same standards of quality. I do know this. If you get a Marmot bag, they guarantee it for life. You could send it back to them 30 years down the road and say that it is not as warm as it used to be and they will refill it with new down for you. I have noticed that when it comes to wieghts... all the outdoor companies seem to be using different scales. I have seen weights slightly off from all the major brands.


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