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Gear Review

5 5

everything I expected from Western Mountaineering

I just ordered and received this bag after looking at a number of sleeping bag options, including bags from Marmot and mont-bell (I currently own and love a mont-bell UL SS Down Hugger #3). While it has not yet passed the test of keeping my ass warm in the mountains, the HighLite looks like a keeper.

My initial assessment of the quality and the fit and finish is that it is outstanding, and is everything I expected from Western Mountaineering. The fit is roomy enough (which was one of my concerns with ordering this bag), and it feels instantly warm. I really like the baffling and the down distribution. The bag is exremely light at 16 ounces, which is quite important to me. The fabric has a nice feel, and should be durable enough given its lightweight composition.

The half-zipper provides plenty of room for easy entry and exit, and since I sleep in a bivy sack, it's not an issue for me to need to slide in from the top. Additionally, the bivy sack use means that I would not need to unzip it for quilt use, but will just control temperatures with the half-zipper and my clothing choices. The half-zipper is well worth the weight savings for me.

The bag included a lightweight stuff sack that looked to be about 6-8 liters, as well as a very handsome and sizeable storage sack, probably the best one I have ever received with a sleeping bag. Nice touch by WM.

I will be rolling with bag this on my next backpacking outing, and if the warmth is what I expect (and why wouldn't it be, after all, it's a WM bag), I think this bag will be my go-to choice on many of my trips. I will update this review after it has been field tested...

Edit/Update: I returned this bag after only one use, because depite my initial assessment that it was roomy enough, it was just too slim a cut for me once out in the field with it. That might just be that I have gotten used to my mont-bell bag, but nonetheless...

That is no reflection of the quality of the bag, but it just wasn't going to work for me.

A couple other observations: The zipper was fussy, which as we all know sucks in the middle of the night. The fabric was not as comfortable against my skin as the mont-bell fabric. Just my take...

Responded on

You will not be disappointed...WM makes the best bags...I have a Hilite and a Badger and am going to purchase this bag because it is so darn lite...for those of you out there looking for a 30-40 degree bag, make sure you buy a mummy. I made the mistake of buying a non-mummy and have paid the price. I look forward to your update but I am confident you will love this bag.