best 15F 3lb bags? / Feathered Friends WSTN. MTN any good?

12:50 a.m. on April 25, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

TNF Hot Tamale? or Marmot Pinnacle?
or Western mountaineering or Feathered friends?
Would like practical criticisms, and are the more expensive models worht the price for someone ona budget?

I lean towards investment so....let the posts begin

7:00 a.m. on April 25, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

pinnacle

Quote:

TNF Hot Tamale? or Marmot Pinnacle?
or Western mountaineering or Feathered friends?
Would like practical criticisms, and are the more expensive models worht the price for someone ona budget?

I've got the Pinnacle and can't complain. Got it $100 off a few years ago and don't think I'll buy a warmer bag for quite some time. Slept fine in it down to -10F only adding a fleece hat, long johnies, and a 100wt fleece top. Woke up and checked the thermo thought I should be cold and put on a warmer jacket. 30 min later woke up sweating and took er off.

Broad cut and a good hood. Can' speak about any of the others.

Woody

11:49 a.m. on April 27, 2002 (EDT)
37 reviewer rep
747 forum posts
2nd pinnacle

Pinnacle - great bag.
Jim S

12:37 p.m. on April 28, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Integral Designs

Of the 4 you mentioned, FF is the only company still making their bags by hand 1 at a time when you order it. They do have a few bags stocked for various reasons. They are known for long turn-around time becuase of this and Patrick refuses for now anyway, to bend to the pressure to become one of the others and mass produce. Just recently they have switched from Gore-tex rules to offering and recommending micro-fiber shells. They still do min custom work if you got the time to wait. There are rumors that it has taken 6-8 months to get a bag and then it was junk but when confronted by Partick to give details, name, bag and when order, there doenst seem to be any truth to it. It took me about 3+ weeks to get a bag but when I called to check on it, I actually got the factory and the guy who was making my bag. I do not own a single FF bag anymore after 3 total.

I am not a TNF fan but since the company was bought out this past year, they are suppose to get back to their roots. ?? They do make good gear and stand behind it with prob the best warranty.

Marmot was outstanding when they were a cult company in Colo but have gone to the huge mass overseas way 15 years ago. But, the last few years, they have upped their notch some and consider a worthy look.

WM is known for high end bags and they too have succumbed to mass producing. They still push the Gore-tex shell theory. With mass producing, you get no custom work at all other that overfill and they have hundreds of bags laying around for fast turn around times, about 10 days.

Integral Designs in my opinion anyway, make the finest bags on the planet. You wont find a better zip, hood, foot section period. Full costum sew jobs for the average user and still at a decent price, well below FF - WM. Plus, they recommend a micro-fiber shell.

Dont buy into the down wars. They all use top notch down and even buy it from the same sources.

Any good down bag will last years and FF has actually taken 20 year old bags, ripped them apart, washed the down and put the down back into a new shell but in fact, this will cost you near as much as a new bag. So, yes a good investment.

But, you can buy 2 ID synth bags for the price of 1 WM and have a bag for all seasons. Or, buy an ID synth every 10 years and still spend less money than 1 down bag.

Belay-Off
The Sleeping Bag Dawg

9:40 p.m. on April 28, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Integral Designs

I have 3 WM bags. I didnt pay close to retail for any of them...and i have no spancership or retail connections. i recommend giving Appalachian Outfitters in Oakton, VA a call...you can find their number on the WM website under dealers.

My experience from talking with 2 guys at WM, one of which was Gary Schaezlin, is that they are not big fans of dryloft except for snowcaving or maybe those spending time in places like the cascades. they were big on microfiber. I have 2 dryloft and one extremelite shells. I like the extremelite by far the best.

another company to consider would be Nunatak. Probably making the nicest stuff and innovative. http://www.nunatakusa.com/

Best advice i can offer is to really assess what you need in terms of warmth solely from a sleeping bag. Use your other clothes at night, get a bag that is lighter and create a system that is just as warm as a heavier, less compressible, more costly bag. Be wary of the retail salespeople, most dont like resourcefulness...it doesnt help the bottom line!!


Quote:

Of the 4 you mentioned, FF is the only company still making their bags by hand 1 at a time when you order it. They do have a few bags stocked for various reasons. They are known for long turn-around time becuase of this and Patrick refuses for now anyway, to bend to the pressure to become one of the others and mass produce. Just recently they have switched from Gore-tex rules to offering and recommending micro-fiber shells. They still do min custom work if you got the time to wait. There are rumors that it has taken 6-8 months to get a bag and then it was junk but when confronted by Partick to give details, name, bag and when order, there doenst seem to be any truth to it. It took me about 3+ weeks to get a bag but when I called to check on it, I actually got the factory and the guy who was making my bag. I do not own a single FF bag anymore after 3 total.

I am not a TNF fan but since the company was bought out this past year, they are suppose to get back to their roots. ?? They do make good gear and stand behind it with prob the best warranty.

Marmot was outstanding when they were a cult company in Colo but have gone to the huge mass overseas way 15 years ago. But, the last few years, they have upped their notch some and consider a worthy look.

WM is known for high end bags and they too have succumbed to mass producing. They still push the Gore-tex shell theory. With mass producing, you get no custom work at all other that overfill and they have hundreds of bags laying around for fast turn around times, about 10 days.

Integral Designs in my opinion anyway, make the finest bags on the planet. You wont find a better zip, hood, foot section period. Full costum sew jobs for the average user and still at a decent price, well below FF - WM. Plus, they recommend a micro-fiber shell.

Dont buy into the down wars. They all use top notch down and even buy it from the same sources.

Any good down bag will last years and FF has actually taken 20 year old bags, ripped them apart, washed the down and put the down back into a new shell but in fact, this will cost you near as much as a new bag. So, yes a good investment.

But, you can buy 2 ID synth bags for the price of 1 WM and have a bag for all seasons. Or, buy an ID synth every 10 years and still spend less money than 1 down bag.

Belay-Off
The Sleeping Bag Dawg

5:45 p.m. on April 29, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Integral Designs

Most retail staff are chumps.
And retail prices are for chumps too! Sales are the only way to go, that and hook ups.

I'm not a big fan of the dryloft, just because it
can expire sooner than the shell material (I think)

Integral Designs, forgot about them so might pore over their offerings.

Quote:

I have 3 WM bags. I didnt pay close to retail for any of them...and i have no spancership or retail connections. i recommend giving Appalachian Outfitters in Oakton, VA a call...you can find their number on the WM website under dealers.

My experience from talking with 2 guys at WM, one of which was Gary Schaezlin, is that they are not big fans of dryloft except for snowcaving or maybe those spending time in places like the cascades. they were big on microfiber. I have 2 dryloft and one extremelite shells. I like the extremelite by far the best.

another company to consider would be Nunatak. Probably making the nicest stuff and innovative. http://www.nunatakusa.com/

11:08 p.m. on April 29, 2002 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,329 reviewer rep
5,255 forum posts
bags

Over the years, I have used a number of different brands of bags, some of which no longer exist or no longer make bags (still have my 1959 Eddie Bauer Karakoram - super bag, but their technology is long since superceded, and Eddie Bauer only makes yuppie clothing now, sort of the way TNF and other companies are going).

My Marmot Mistral (no longer under this model name, Primaloft fill) has proven to be a good all around bag for at least 3-season use (spring melting snow through fall when the snow starts sticking). Most of my Marmot stuff has been very good, so you would be happy with their bag. They use top quality down for their down bags.

My FF Ptarmigan (overfill and all that) has proven excellent for expedition and deep winter (-40F type temperatures). FF has given me excellent service. Because I was asking for several custom mods to my Ptarmigan, it did take a while, but Patrick gave me an estimate when I was ordering, and it came in a week earlier. Same thing when I got a new pair of down pants. The Ptarmigan has a DriLoft shell, which has given no problem in the 5 years I have had it (and well over 100 nights use), but the down pants are microfiber. Based on experience, I would say that if you are using the bag in a tent or bivy sack, go with microfiber (FF doesn't use Driloft anymore anyway).

One correction to the Dawg - FF may have done the down re-use at some time in the past, but they won't/can't do it anymore. There are regulations on bedding that prevent this without extensive sterilizing and rewashing. However, as evidenced by my old Bauer bag (still used from time to time), a down bag will last 30, 40, 50 years with reasonable care. And that is using it a lot of nights a year. I typically use my FF 20-30 nights a year on expeditions and backcountry ski trips, and did the same with the Bauer before that, plus several other down bags I have had (most were either summer-weight or 3-season, not deep winter bags).

I don't have an ID bag, but I do have one of their Dolomitti jackets - Primaloft fill, microfiber shell. Great jacket. I also have an older Marmot jacket that is also Primaloft fill, but is just a ripstop shell. The Marmot does not have a hood, which is why I got the Dolomitti. I do have several other ID items, and have been impressed with the way they do business and the quality of their stuff. So I second the Dawg's recommendation there.

I have been turned off by TNF for a number of years now. The quality of their stuff isn't what it was 10 or 15 years ago, although VF (the new owner) is supposedly trying to get them back to their core business. I do own some TNF gear, but mostly pretty old now. For the most part, it is pretty heavy for what it does compared to other companies and doesn't seem as well made.

The only Western item I have is a bivy. But some friends have their bags and are pretty satisfied with them.

I would put ID, FF, and Marmot at the top of the consideration list myself.

3:49 p.m. on May 30, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Quote:

TNF Hot Tamale? or Marmot Pinnacle?
or Western mountaineering or Feathered friends?
Would like practical criticisms, and are the more expensive models worht the price for someone ona budget?

I lean towards investment so....let the posts begin

I bought a Kluane bag 27 years ago and still use it. Everything is hand made and priced in Canadian dollars.

http://www.kluane.ab.ca/

8:23 p.m. on January 12, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: bags

Hey can you give me some information about the eddiebauer bag? I have one and don't know what the temp rating is...: Over the years, I have used a number of different brands of bags, some of which no longer exist or no longer make bags (still have my 1959 Eddie Bauer Karakoram - super bag, but their technology is long since superceded, and Eddie Bauer only makes yuppie clothing now, sort of the way TNF and other companies are going).

Quote:

My Marmot Mistral (no longer under this model name, Primaloft fill) has proven to be a good all around bag for at least 3-season use (spring melting snow through fall when the snow starts sticking). Most of my Marmot stuff has been very good, so you would be happy with their bag. They use top quality down for their down bags.

My FF Ptarmigan (overfill and all that) has proven excellent for expedition and deep winter (-40F type temperatures). FF has given me excellent service. Because I was asking for several custom mods to my Ptarmigan, it did take a while, but Patrick gave me an estimate when I was ordering, and it came in a week earlier. Same thing when I got a new pair of down pants. The Ptarmigan has a DriLoft shell, which has given no problem in the 5 years I have had it (and well over 100 nights use), but the down pants are microfiber. Based on experience, I would say that if you are using the bag in a tent or bivy sack, go with microfiber (FF doesn't use Driloft anymore anyway).

One correction to the Dawg - FF may have done the down re-use at some time in the past, but they won't/can't do it anymore. There are regulations on bedding that prevent this without extensive sterilizing and rewashing. However, as evidenced by my old Bauer bag (still used from time to time), a down bag will last 30, 40, 50 years with reasonable care. And that is using it a lot of nights a year. I typically use my FF 20-30 nights a year on expeditions and backcountry ski trips, and did the same with the Bauer before that, plus several other down bags I have had (most were either summer-weight or 3-season, not deep winter bags).

I don't have an ID bag, but I do have one of their Dolomitti jackets - Primaloft fill, microfiber shell. Great jacket. I also have an older Marmot jacket that is also Primaloft fill, but is just a ripstop shell. The Marmot does not have a hood, which is why I got the Dolomitti. I do have several other ID items, and have been impressed with the way they do business and the quality of their stuff. So I second the Dawg's recommendation there.

I have been turned off by TNF for a number of years now. The quality of their stuff isn't what it was 10 or 15 years ago, although VF (the new owner) is supposedly trying to get them back to their core business. I do own some TNF gear, but mostly pretty old now. For the most part, it is pretty heavy for what it does compared to other companies and doesn't seem as well made.

The only Western item I have is a bivy. But some friends have their bags and are pretty satisfied with them.

I would put ID, FF, and Marmot at the top of the consideration list myself.

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