New sleeping bag....which one?

armyjoe

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So last year I bought on clearance a The North Face Cat's Meow. Well lets just say, there is nothing "cats meow" about this bag! So I'm now in the hunt for a better bag. I already have a light weight military recon bag for summer, so for this one I'm looking at a 20-15 degree bag for hunting. These are a couple bags that I am looking at and seeing if anyone has any reviews about them.

1. Western Mountaineering Alpinlite -20
2. Kifaru Slick Bag - 20
3. Marmot Helium - 15
4. Marmot Plasma - 15
5. MontBell Super Spiral Hugger #1 - 15

The price differences are huge on some of these, I know, but I get military discounts so all bags about +/- $80 of each other. So price isn't an issue at all. I just want quality.

Thanks
 

dotman

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Search thus section Aron did a write up or thread on it covering a bunch if bags. It would be close to the last thread pages.
 

mtnkid85

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I cant comment on that exact WM bag, but I do own the Summerlite as well as the GWS Puma from them. Both are absolutely fantastic, quality bags. I have been very pleased with both those bags. Accurate temp ratings.

Im sure you'd be well set with any of Western Mountaineerings bags.
 

RosinBag

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I have abused the Montbell UL Doen Spiral for the last three years. I have nothing bad to say about it. All around great bag.

However, I sold it and am going with the Kifaru Slick Bag. Reasons being it is bigger, lighter and is synthetic. The synthetic part is what really sells me as I have had my down bags get wet and the next few nights are miserable. Plus the insulation isn't placed into baffles or quilted patterns, thus eliminating cold spots. The Slick Bag is continuous fibrous insulation.
 

tstowater

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I don't think that you will be disappointed with any of the bags. I did a similar search last summer and ended up with the Slick bag. Really like it so far and went with the synthetic for the wet concerns.
 

TRIPLE

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I would definitely stray away from the plasma. They are tiny. Most guys look at the tech specs and components and think they're on to something great. Unfortunately, most guys can't even zip the damn thing up.
 

Trout bum

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My Marmot Helium has served me well for 5 years of heavy use (always kept in bivy). If I were to buy a new bag today I'd get another Helium or a Kifaru 20 degree slick bag. It weighs 1 oz. more but is slightly larger and may be more durable. I think your list is solid. Quilts are also a good option to look into depending on your needs (Nunatak Arc Alpinist; Kifaru Woobie/Doobie).
 
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armyjoe

armyjoe

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Thanks dotman for that link. Nice to see Aron had such good things to say about the Marmot. So I think I've kind of narrowed it down. I'm going with the Kifaru Slick bag or Marmot. Does anyone know or have a pic of how well the Kifaru packs down? I know my current Cats Meow is synthetic and it packs horrible compared to down bags. Its not a huge issue if it isnt super small but I don't want a 3ft x 3ft beast in the bottom of my pack either.
 

dotman

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There are some good comparison pics on Kifaru next to a nalgen bottle. I have the 20* long slick and it gets nice and small in the 5 string stuff sack (regulator). The Slick bag is the best syn bag out, imo. So I the big decision is whether you want down or syn :)
 

dotman

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Ok good to hear. Thats a decent compression size.

Since you are in Denver you should just go over to Kifaru and check the Slick bag out and see how well it compresses. The bag will not look warm but for me it is very true to temp.
 
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armyjoe

armyjoe

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I think I might just give Aron a call and cruise over there to check one out. I guess my only issue with the Slick is the insulation fill material "climashield" is the same stuff in my North Face bag and that thing sucked! My nuts were the size of raisins in that thing at 34*. By far the worst bag I've ever owned. I think the materials used in the Slick are superior but the fill is my one and only real question on it I guess.
 
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