Sleeping Bag Advice

10:15 p.m. on May 16, 2006 (EDT)
(Guest)

Hey Guys and Gals!
Im going to Alaska in a few months and Im looking to get a new down sleeping bag. So far I have narrowed it down to the Marmot Helium EQ, Western Mountaineering Badger MF, and the Feathered Friends Puffin (with epic shell fabric). The Marmot and the WM are 15 degree bag and the FF is a 20 degree bag and all of them have 6in loft. All of these bags are a little on the wide size because Im belssed/cursed with wide shoulders. Does anyone own these bags or have any good information to help me make my decision? Any info will help because I cant dedcide!! Thanks for everyone's time and help.
- Clay

11:26 p.m. on May 16, 2006 (EDT)
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I assume you are going to be camping in the lowlands and not venturing onto any glaciers? I would vote for the FF first While not the model you are considering, we have 2 of them, one of which (at 6 years old) I have spent many nights in on Denali and elsewhere in Alaska plus winter camping on backcountry ski trips. Second choice is the WM, not because they are lesser quality (FF and WM are pretty much equal in quality and in service), but because I am more familiar with long term use of FF. Also, both are US made (though they have Chinese goose down, like almost everyone else). Marmot makes great stuff as well. I had (still have) a Marmot Primaloft 15 deg bag that served me well for 12+ years of hard use as my summer bag. Marmot bags are made in SE Asia these days. FF and WM are more conservative in their comfort estimates, so I think you will be happier in the long run. Also, FF and WM take more care in their preparation and selection of the down (I have toured both factories - FF is in Seattle, WM is in San Jose, about 10 miles south of where I live). Both make only down bags, while Marmot also makes synthetic fill bags. All 3 companies have been making bags and other gear for many years and established excellent reputations among climbers and backpackers (although all 3 have had their occasional slipups - but they all stand behind their products).

You can't really go wrong with any of them, though.

1:21 p.m. on May 17, 2006 (EDT)
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Clay:
I’ve tried on the Marmot and Western Mountaineering bags you mentioned. The Badger is the widest in the shoulders and narrowest at the foot. The extra two inches in the shoulder makes a huge difference, and I didn’t feel confined at the hip or foot despite the fact that it tapers the most. I am a warm sleeper, and I would be toasty at five degrees in a Badger. The draft tube and collar in the Badger are puffier than the Helium’s as well. I’ve never been able to get my hands on a Feathered Friends bag, but looking at it on the web it seems to have more room in the hip and foot. Looking back I wish that I had gotten a Badger when I had the chance. You know what they say about hindsight.
Good Luck
Doug

11:52 p.m. on May 24, 2006 (EDT)
(Guest)

Does anyone own or know anything about the Feathered Friends Swift?
Thanks,
Clay

12:21 p.m. on May 25, 2006 (EDT)
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Other than to comment that Feathered Friends is one of the top 2 or 3 makers of down bags, very high quality, stand behind their products, I don't know anything specific about the Swift. It is the most roomy of their superlite bags, which makes it the heaviest of their 20F bags at 34 ounces. I would choose the Epic cover, unless I were going to sleep in the open a lot (no tent or tarp) in a humid climate (like a lot of Alaska that you mention going to). In that case I would choose the eVent cover. Epic and eVent are more durable than the plain nylon. The Quantum is more breathable but less water resistant, while the eVent is quite waterproof (I have 2 eVent jackets, which are great for an outer, waterproof layer when running in rain or ice climbing, or cross-country ski races, but they are less breathable than Epic or Quantum - our FF bags are Epic).

For what you described, I don't think you can go wrong with the Swift with the Epic cover. I would consider the upgrade to 800-fill down (FF checks the down for fill ratio themselves, and doesn't just take the word of their suppliers).

8:47 a.m. on May 30, 2006 (EDT)
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a.k.a. c, M, Miles Trail

I've got a Marmot pounder its a warm weather bag but its really nice and I would recomend a Marmot bag any day I also have a Sierra Designs Flex bag it is rated at 15 degrees and can stretch to fit most anyone I'm about 6' 1" or 2" and 169 pounds and it fits me and I could if needed get at least one more person in gigity gigity gigity aawwwwlright welp hpe this helps. Chip

7:18 p.m. on August 22, 2006 (EDT)
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If you can I would go with Marmot. I have three of thier bags and they have never let me down. BTW if you get down just be aware you need to spend a little extra time looking out for the bag.
Super light weight and super warm. You cant go wrong

3:52 p.m. on September 3, 2006 (EDT)
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I would also encourage you to look into waterproof down bags by Sierra Designs. I own one of the women's bags and I swear by it. My friend just got back from Alask doing glacial research and said it was near impossible to stay dry. There's no keeping warm in a wet down bag, if anything happens.

December 20, 2014
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