Sleepin Bag Review

Aron Snyder

2
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
5,011
Location
The Wilderness
After BB replied to my thoughts on the Big Agnes Zirkel, I thought readers would get the most out of this in ""open discussion". The thing about sleeping bag reviews is they're really subjective and one persons opinion isn't always enough, so for that reason I feel that everyone should chime in.


So I will post a review from a different bag every couple days and anyone that has used that bag can chime in with the experiences on that model.



Each person should also comment on a few other key things as well:


1) How many nights in the bag
2)Are they a cold or hot sleeper
3)Was the bag taken care of (hung not compressed)
4)The temp range they have used the bag
5)Do you upgrade or are you still using this model




Marmot Helium 15 Regular

Weight---2lbs 3 oz's
Down---850
Price---$350-400


This bag is probably used by more hunters than any other sleeping bag on the market today, giving you an unbelievable heat to weight ratio with great compressibility. I have personally used the Helium for 1 full year and here’s are a few things to think about before purchasing.
The Helium has a great cut for medium to larger builds, but will leave a smaller sized hunter with some extra room. This is not a bad thing when the temps are above 30 degrees, but the larger cut takes longer to heat up and for smaller guys and another bag may be a better option if you're pushing the limits of the bag. This is also very subjective and only my opinion, but as a bigger guy this bag ft great.
The 15 degree temp rating may be a bit optimistic for comfort, but keep in mind this heavily depends on each person! If I were to give this bag an all-around comfort rating, it would be 20-25 degrees.
One of the only down sides to the Helium is the snagging of the zipper and at the time I purchased the bag it only came in left hand zip. My bivy sack is right hand, so that was a PITA at times, but if you take away those two issues, the bag is one of the best on the market.

The outer shell of the bag has a DWR finish that will keep an occasional spill from getting to the down insulation. I would say that the outer shell is a bit thin, but for a bag delivering these type of #'s you have to expect that. Marmot does offer another version of the Helium called the "EQ" and that model has a tougher and more water resistant outer shell. You will get a weight penalty with this model, but if you are known to destroy your gear than the EQ may be a better option. The EQ would also be a better choice for guys sleeping in a bivy or under a tarp most of the time.

I personally slept under a tarp or in a bivy many nights with the standard Helium without issue and its death actually came from a hungry marmot at 12,300 ft. so keep that in mind:)

When researching the Helium I found a few comments about the hood being a poor design, but I did not have any issue with this, but it should be mentioned anyway.

I'm a warm sleeper for the most part, but my feet always have issues, so I try and throw a heated Nalgene bottle in the bottom of my bag when time permits. This method was done with all the bags I tested.


All of my bags are taken care of and hung/fluffed as quickly as possible.



I've slept in temps ranging from 10-65 degrees in the Helium and multiple occasions.


In summary, the Helium will serve any 3 season hunter very well and with the proper care it should last many season. It was not my top choice, but did in up in the top 3 for bags exceeding the $300 mark.
 

cmeier117

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
1,552
Location
Salem, OR
Good review Aron. I like the open discussion, and although everyone is different and bags feel different to each user. We should notice a trend among the Higher end bags of people generally liking them and such.
 

Ryan Avery

Admin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
6,139
Out of the 5 bags I have used, this is my favorite. Although I have the Helium membrane. I have slept in this bag 14 nights and it has never let me down. I live in North Idaho and its always damp even when it doesn't rain. I was in conditions from 10 to 45 degrees and stayed warm. I would say that I am a warm sleeper.

Last season I used this bag with the super tarp and never had a problem. Even in some real downpours. I love the membrane for this reason. It can get pretty wet and still not get into the down, just watch the zipper.

While we are reviewing sleeping bags. I would say the worst bag I have owned was the North Face Cat's Meow. I would steer clear of this little piece of crap.
 

Matt Cashell

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
4,110
Location
Western MT
I really like this idea, Aron, thanks.

Sorry if I started any controversy (not my intention I assure you), and I am really interested to see your take on these bags.
 
OP
Aron Snyder

Aron Snyder

2
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
5,011
Location
The Wilderness
No worries at all BB!

I think a review that's open for discussion is better when dealing with something like sleeping bags.
 

slim9300

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
1,444
Location
Olympia, WA
Marmot Helium 15 Long

1) How many nights in the bag - 22
2) Are they a cold or hot sleeper - relatively cold
3) Was the bag taken care of (hung not compressed) - I keep it in the Marmot storage bag on the top shelf of my hunting closet. It would probably be better served being hung up but I don't have the space.
4) The temp range they have used the bag - 15-60 degrees. Keep in mind that I always sleep in my lightweight merino wool shirt, long underwear and socks. And I always have my Sea to Summit cotton/silk bag liner. I have never been cold except for my feet to a small extent once in awhile but that's do to my feet hanging off my standard length pad. ;)
5) Do you upgrade or are you still using this model - I have a Marmot Hydrogen 30 Long that I used to use for the same late September elk hunts. This bag would leave me with a little chill when the temps dropped below 25 degrees and forced to to wear all my clothing. I will be sticking with the Helium until it needs to be "refilled."
 

Lawnboi

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
3,852
Location
North Central Wi
Never used the helium, probably should have bought it over the lithium, but just figured id let anyone know whos interested in the helium that there are 2 brand new helium EQ membrane bags at a local store by me for 299 a piece. I dont know if they would ship them but its worth a phone call. PM me if you want details.

Ill throw in my 2 cents on the Marmot lithium bag

1) How many nights in the bag-- Somewhere around 30 last in the last year.
2)Are they a cold or hot sleeper-- Very hot.
3)Was the bag taken care of (hung not compressed)--Yes, i babied it.
4)The temp range they have used the bag-- 60degrees right down to low single digits.
5)Do you upgrade or are you still using this model-- For a winter bag, i plan on keeping it for a few more years. For winter camping though it sure would be nice to have something with a waterproof outer to keep the condensation that forms on the outside during cold temps at bay.

Overall I like the bag, its comfortable as far as mummy bags go. The hood is comfy, and its got a decent neck baffle. The thing lofts up like majic. The DWR was alright, but like i said above, if i was to get another winter bag it would be a 15 degree with a waterproof outer. Another note is that this bag is warm! Too warm for me in anything above double digits. I was sleeping with it half unzipped in the average 20degree temps i was dealing with. I do worry a little about the material and how thin it is when in sharper areas w/ a floorless shelter along with when i have a woodstove.

Iv since 'upgraded' kind of to a more 3 season bag for myself, as i sleep so warm thanks to a high metabolism. Ill keep this one for winter trips though, along with late fall hunts, but if i was to do it all over again. I would probably have gone with one of WM gore windstopper bags in the 15 degree range (based only off playing around with them in stores.)
 
Last edited:
B

bearguide

Guest
i used the lithium last year, and loved it. i get cold, so i liked the extra warmth in this lite bag. i used it in alaska in lots of rainy sleet. i think i would have froze to death with out it. we were sopped clear through, and we slept with all our clothes on to stay warm. the bag dried out v quick when the rain gave us a break. i think it was because there was no membrain. i used it in wyo also and it was warm and dry. i would rather unzip than not have enough bag. my 1, i spent around 50 nights, 2,3,4, are the same as lawnboi, 5 i love the bab and do not plan to change. but i have been wanting to try the slick bag
 

slim9300

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
1,444
Location
Olympia, WA
Marmot Helium 15 Long

1) How many nights in the bag - 22
2) Are they a cold or hot sleeper - relatively cold
3) Was the bag taken care of (hung not compressed) - I keep it in the Marmot storage bag on the top shelf of my hunting closet. It would probably be better served being hung up but I don't have the space.
4) The temp range they have used the bag - 15-60 degrees. Keep in mind that I always sleep in my lightweight merino wool shirt, long underwear and socks. And I always have my Sea to Summit cotton/silk bag liner. I have never been cold except for my feet to a small extent once in awhile but that's do to my feet hanging off my standard length pad. ;)
5) Do you upgrade or are you still using this model - I have a Marmot Hydrogen 30 Long that I used to use for the same late September elk hunts. This bag would leave me with a little chill when the temps dropped below 25 degrees and forced to to wear all my clothing. I will be sticking with the Helium until it needs to be "refilled."
I just finally read my post and realized what the question was for the temp of the bag. It clearly reads "Are they a cold or hot sleeper," for some reason I read this as "Are you a cold or hot sleeper." For the record, the Helium is a warm sleeper despite me being a relatively cold sleeper. lol.
 
OP
Aron Snyder

Aron Snyder

2
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
5,011
Location
The Wilderness
Sorry guys, been on a backpacking trip for the last few days. I'll get the review up on the next bag by tomorrow night.

Here's a quick video from the trip.

[video=vimeo;42071857]http://vimeo.com/42071857[/video]
 

jmez

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
5,533
Location
Piedmont, SD
Aaron, and others, not to get too personal, but could you list your height/weight, general size for these bag reviews. It would help to give some perspective on the size of the bag and fit.

Most of the mummy type bags are too narrow for me toward the top in the shoulder area and while not claustrophobic I'm not a fan of how I fit in them.
 

frans

Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
108
manufacturer: Western Mountaineering
model: Sequoia MF
rating: 5 oF
weight: 3 lb 4 oz
nights in bag: 8 (I ordered it too late to use it for the full season)
sleeping: always cold

Since I strongly believe that the quality of your sleeping pad adds to the comfort of the bag I will say that I use one of those inflatables with some down fillng. If anybody wants to know which, I will look it up.

I chose the semirectangular bag because I don't suffer mummy bags too well. I move A LOT in my sleep and exertion like on a hard hunt appears to make it worse. The bag can also be zipped open all the way so it can serve as a blanket on warmer nights.

The bag was used in the fall in the Alberta mountains, during one trip there was snow on the ground, and night temperature fell to around the bag's rating.

I'm 5'7" and weigh 135 lbs after a heavy meal, and this bag provides all the moving space I need and then some. Downside is that all that space needs to be kept warm by your body. This didn't appear to be a problem, as long as I kept the drawstring on the top closed. I didn't find that particularly comfortable, the string was bothering me. I'm a very finicky sleeper :)

I'm looking forward to trying this bag on a few winter trips. It should have ample space to allow some clothng to be worn without feeling claustrophobic. I guess I need a few more nights in it to figure out the drawstring issue.

Frans
 
Top