Props to Western Mountaineering

chasewild

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2016
Messages
525
Location
San Juans
For anyone looking at a new bag...

I Made the jump and purchased the WM Apache in Microfiber.

Took it out this weekend on an upper elevation turkey hunt and the night temp dropped to about 25. No tent or bivvy.

Woke up to an owl hooting and noticed my bag was frosted over heavily. THought for sure I'd be freezing in an hour or so.

Woke up at dawn and the bag still had its loft, I was perfectly dry, inside was not clammy and I was toasty.

The WM people said the tight weave of the fiber is what keeps moisture out and I have to say I was impressed.
 

wyosteve

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
906
Location
cheyenne
Thanks for the report. I recently got one of their Bristlecones, but have not had the chance to use it yet.
 

Lawnboi

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
3,994
Location
North Central Wi
Got my first western mountaineering bag out this last week as well. Mines a megalite, took it down to its advertised rating with lots of wind and stayed toasty warm. Thinking of sending it in for overstuff if WM still does it so I can use it later into archery season. Fit and finish is great, and the thing weighs one and a half pounds and packs down to nothing I'm sold on them for down, I'd like to get a badger or Apache someday for colder trips.
 

CCH

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
147
Location
Colorado
I have found them to be conservatively rated, but good over a wide range of temps. Love my Badger with 3 oz. overfill. It's an extremely roomy bag, but just over 2.5 lbs. Went through a lot of bags to get to this one, and don't think I'll be changing soon.
 

Mi_fiveo

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
214
Location
Michigan
Picked up the Alpinelite this year. Haven't had the chance to sleep in it yet but the craftsmanship is top notch. Thoroughly impressed so far.


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copedog

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
33
Location
Sisterdale,TX
I've had a MF Alder 6 foot 6in bag for over 10 years. I've been comfortable in it down to 20 and it still looks and performs as new. It really is a buy once, cry once, be happy forever item.
 

LaGriz

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2014
Messages
415
Location
New Iberia,LA
CCh,
Have had a Badger on my wish list for a while. If I pull the trigger on one I too will go for the over-stuffed model. I have been running a early 1990's model L.L.Bean North Col 15 degree bag. I was ok with the narrow (31"at the shoulder) mummy bag at the time but find it too restrictive at my present size. This 3.6# bag is the long model that designed to accommodate campers up to 6' 6" tall. At only 5' 11" it is a little overkill. I justified the length because of a winter camping habit of putting my next day's clothing in the bottom of my bag. Have always stored it in an extra large cotton sack that it came with. The compressibility even now is still pretty good.

How long can one expect a quality down bag to keep its loft? I wonder if being stored by hanging it instead of the storage sack, would have paid a dividend by retaining more loft? This might be an issue this year as I will be hunting in a later rifle season for the 1st time in years. Since they rarely go on sale, I'll keep my eye out for a well cared for second hand Badger.

Regards
LaGriz
 

CCH

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
147
Location
Colorado
I've had mine for several years and it has not lost any loft. I store it in the cotton storage sack it came in. At times, that sack has been hung up, but lately it is resting on a shelf. One possible downside to hanging the entire bag on its own is that you are subjecting some of the materials to supporting the weight of the bag. In a storage sack, the bag supports nothing. I don't know that this matters, but anything that reduces wear on such an expensive item seems worth pursuing.

If you take care of them, down bags will last a really long time. Pushing fifty, I don't have any plans to replace this bag, but it is likely to average two weeks to a month of use per year so YMMV. If you aren't switching bags to get new models, they are almost always cheaper in the long run than synthetic bags which break down quicker. I try to avoid washing it any more than necessary, and to that end do my best to clean up well before using it. I also try to wear layers that I didn't sweat in all day. That can be hard when backpacking, as I'm not going to pack anything just for night wear, but I do the best I can. In single wall shelters, I use a DWR breathable bivy -- think it's a TiGoat I picked up used. It does add about 7 ounces, but the protection from both water and wear is significant without retaining condensation which is the biggest enemy of a down bag.

I have yet to hear of someone who regretted purchasing a WM bag. I sold my first one because it was too hot. I was used to buying other bags and sleep cold, so I thought I needed a -5 bag. There might be a time, but it was certainly too much for most of my use.
 

DaveC

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
469
Location
Montana
My Antelope MF is 12 years old. Occasional cleaning has kept it good as new. One of the top 3 pieces of gear I've owned.
 

akrdkill

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
353
yup....microfiber over gorewindstopper shell....gore doesn't breath & its heavier
 

mntnguide

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
301
Location
Central ID/Western WY
I just picked up a WM Versalite. 2lbs..10 degree bag. Im stoked! I ran a North Face Superlight 15 degree last year, but just have decided im not a big fan of a center zip bag. . WM is renown for the bags, and with luck my father has an outdoor gear store in central Idaho and as I was back visiting last weekend he had just got this Versalite in...so I pulled the card out and took it back out the door. Cant wait to start my highcountry scouting trips!
 

LandYacht

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
638
Location
Frisco
I just picked up a WM Versalite. 2lbs..10 degree bag. Im stoked! I ran a North Face Superlight 15 degree last year, but just have decided im not a big fan of a center zip bag. . WM is renown for the bags, and with luck my father has an outdoor gear store in central Idaho and as I was back visiting last weekend he had just got this Versalite in...so I pulled the card out and took it back out the door. Cant wait to start my highcountry scouting trips!

You will love this bag. Have had mine for the last 5 years and it is my go to everything bag. Have an antelope too, but the versalite is perfect in every way that the antelope only gets used when I take my kids with me.

So many miss out with quilts or quarter zip bags. Full zip bag does both quilt and bag for the best of both worlds. Two pounds for a bag that will do dang near four season to boot.


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Kevin Dill

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
2,535
My Western Mountaineering mistake:

I sold my other bags and ordered a WM Sequoia GWS from a regional retailer. My mistake was requesting a 4 oz overfill of that superior goose down WM uses. I just had a feeling I'd need the extra warmth...possibly the bag wouldn't be as warm as the rating. I was wrong. I would have been perfectly fine without the overfill. The bag has proven to be so warm that I'm sometimes just overheating if night temps don't drop to frost (or below) levels.

Of course I'm completely happy and my 'mistake' is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the quality of WM bags. I also own a TerraLite and love it. In my totally biased world there is no better sleeping bag (using down) than Western Mountaineering.
 

MattB

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
2,549
Been there, done that. Frost on a 25 degree bag and had no idea until I woke up.

If my house burned down tomorrow and I had to pick the order of gear I would replace, it would be a new Hoyt bow, new Lowa boots, new Swaro binocs, and then a WM bag. They are just awesome in comparison to other manufacturer's bags.
 

Jimbob

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
1,132
Location
Smithers, BC
I use an Apache and an Alpinelite that I purchased as a package deal from a couple that slept in them once and didn't like the mummy cut. I sold my Marmot (which was a great bag) and the WM's are a HUGE upgrade. They truly are a top quality piece of gear.
 
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