REI Halo 25+ Sleeping Bag.

9:42 a.m. on May 28, 2010 (EDT)
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I'm in the market for an inexpensive 3 season down sleeping bag. Recently REI dropped the price on their HALO 25+ to $190 - right in my range. Sleeping bags are one of the items that I don't feel comfortable buying site-unseen online without trying it out first. I tried out the HALO bag at a local REI here in Raleigh and the bag was very light, fit my frame, and was comfortable but I was concerned about some of the reviews of it losing\leaking a lot of down. In the store I noticed some feathers coming out of the "floor model". The shell also seemed a little flimsy and I was concerned about ripping. I've got a friend with a light weight western mountaineer that I would love to have but I can't drop $400ish on a bag at the moment.

Has anyone had any personal experience with the REI Halo 25+? The reviews on trailspace are at http://www.trailspace.com/gear/rei/halo-+25/ if your curious.

Thanks.

Josh

12:55 p.m. on June 1, 2010 (EDT)
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no personal experience, but i just replaced a bag in that range and didn't opt for the halo, went with a marmot bag, the sawtooth, that is also on sale in the 150-180 range. i did check out the Halo, in-store only. i thought, from lying it it and feeling the nylon, that the halo would be more prone to zipper snagging, and indeed, some of the reviews complained about this. i took the marmot on a trip this weekend, and so far, so good.

10:05 a.m. on June 2, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for the suggestion. I just noticed the Halo 25+ just went back up in price so I may be checking out the Marmot sawtooth. It weighs a bit more and it has slightly less fill but strangely enough its rated for a bit chillier weather. All those ratings seem screwy anyway. I've never been an ultralight fanatic so the minimal weight difference doesn't bother me too much. Now I just need to find some place local where I can try it out.

Thanks again.

Josh

12:57 p.m. on June 2, 2010 (EDT)
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if i'm remembering correctly, the halo has 750 fill down, which is fluffier thann the 600 fill down in the marmot bag, but the halo has five or six ounces less down than the marmot.

REI and Marmot have both adopted EN 13537, a uniform rating system that is supposed to be consistent across different sleeping bags and brands. keeping in mind that every individual may sleep cooler or warmer than the next.

marmot makes a couple of lighter-weight bags that use 750 or 800 fill down, still good to 15 or 20 degrees, the pinnacle and the helium. i liked the pinnacle a lot, but the price was too high for me.

1:17 p.m. on June 2, 2010 (EDT)
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I have a Marmot sawtooth and its a really good bag. I know it's a little heavy but it makes up for it in the warmth department, I have used it in the upper teen's and stayed very warm. I have not noticed any significant loss of feathers either.

10:38 p.m. on June 7, 2010 (EDT)
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Hmmm ... @Josh ... you said you read about down leaks, and then observed the same even in the store. To me that seems to pretty-much rule out that model :).

What do you think about the Marmot Arroyo 32 instead? It's rated for a bit higher temp, but maybe it's ok? And its rated at only 1 lb, 11 oz! so it's a little lighter. And it's in the same price range as the Halo 25.

I'm checking these out, too, as I'd like to return to some backpacking, but without feeling like I'm a pack mule... however I question whether it would be warm enough, especially if I get an ultra-light tent (since they seem to consist mostly of screening).

I'll be curious as to what you decide...

1:56 p.m. on June 10, 2010 (EDT)
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If you buy it from REI and it doesn't suit you it's EASY to return it for your original cost. No risk.

The reason that REI puts less down in the Halo relative to a 600 fill bag is because it takes less 750 fill down than 600 fill down, by definition.

The REI bags use the EN rating system.

Nothing against Marmot or Mtn. Hardware or any of the others by the way. It's just that you can often get a lower price on the REI bags.

9:42 a.m. on June 26, 2010 (EDT)
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I thought I'd filled everyone in on what i ended up going with. I went to an REI and tried out 6 bags including both the HALO +25 and the Sawtooth (+15?). It's worth mentioning I spent over an hour and not once did the sales guy disappear and he was very helpful the whole time. I know some complain that REI "sold out" but I continually have good experiences with them although I wish they had a little more selection.. but I digress.

I was initially siding towards the sawtooth because I liked the build quality and the price point although it was a bit heavier and bulkier then some of the others but unfortunately the Long wasn't quite long enough. I'm 6'2, tall but not a giant, but I felt compressed in it which was strange - we had to do a double check to make sure I had the right bag.

I ended up checking out the REI Halo again as he mentioned that there had been some minor improvements to the bag (not a new model but changes). Specifically the fabric bordering the zipper is noticeably wider and beefier, I believe this was the source of the leakage as he (sales rep) said some were reporting separation between the zipper and the shell and also snags on the zipper causing rips and resulting leakage. I actually opened up 3 other bags and none of them had down in them. The width is actually a bit less so the shoulders are a little more snug then the sawtooth but not uncomfortably so - I'm assuming they cut down on some weight this way.

In the end I decided to give the Halo a shot. I figured with REI's liberal return policy and the fact that it was marked down a good bit ($269-$190) it became a bit of a no brainer. The bag was comfortable, fit my height, seemed much lighter then the others. I have some concern about the "ripstop" shell but we'll see how it holds up - I take care of my gear so I think I can mitigate that.

I'm heading up to Mcafee Knob (AT) in NC in a couple weekends for a few days and I'll be breaking things in. I've actually been letting my son sleep in the bag for several nights (he gets a kick out of it) and so far no down. After a few trips with the bag I'll probably put together a review.. if it makes it that long in which case the reviewer might be sooner :)

Thanks for everyone's comments, they were very helpful.

Josh

September 21, 2014
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