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so i'm curious whether there is any science to support that EN ratings diminish in accuracy at temperatures below zero. Mountain Hardwear seems to think so; their literature says they only apply EN ratings to sleeping bags rated above zero. Marmot says their bags are rated to the lower (but not the extreme) limit. in other words, a -20 f marmot bag has an EN comfort rating somewhat higher, a lower rating of -20, and an extreme rating that's somewhat lower temperature.
also, is it fair to compare fill and bag weights for bags that are not EN rated? not clear that western mountaineering has adopted EN 13537. so is it fair to compare their fill weights (assuming all 800+ goose down is roughly the same) to the companies that have adopted and do a good job with winter bags, eg Valandre, marmot, north face? or is there some reason it wouldn't be fair to do this kind of comparison? i don't think a standard rating system is the last word, but until i can get winter bags and test them in a freezer, it can be hard to judge.
i'm contemplating, after a long time, getting a down bag to replace my northface darkstar - a great synthetic bag, but it has seen a lot of service & is a real pain to pack, even with a compression stuff sack. mostly looking at the marmot col or CWM, and mountain hardwear ghost. i suppose some of the others (valandre, WM, Feathered Friends) may make a better bag, but they don't discount much or often.
thanks for your thoughts - about the general questions, and about these three bags in particular. i'm pretty convinced that either of these bags would fit my needs, but i'm open to criticism.