User Review: Western Mountaineering Apache MF
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $200 pro deal
Warm, lightweight, compact, and luxurious: this is one of my favorite pieces of gear!
- Compresses well
- Fabric feels great
- Hood fits well
- Fabric seems delicate
The Apache MF was a large investment. At $450 MSRP ($200 pro deal), it's by far the most expensive piece of gear I've ever purchased, but each time I use it, I know I made a sound investment.
I've used the Apache twice so far in very different conditions. Once was in early May 2012 at the Buffalo River in Arkansas. The temperature ranged from mid-40s to mid-50s at night with high humidity and rain. The bag remained lofted and warm every night.
Obviously a 15° bag was overkill for such a trip, but I had just gotten it and had to take it for a spin. I was surprised at how I did not overheat, the down doing a great job keeping me comfortable and the footbox venting well. I used it again in late February 2013 for an overnight at Dinosaur Valley in Texas where lows at night dipped into the low 30s. I stayed cozy and warm all night using a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pad.
I'm 5'8" and 165lbs and the bag fits great. It is a narrow cut, but I have plenty of room to be comfortable while maintaining efficiency.
The microfiber (MF) fabric is a ripstop polyester. It feels great against the skin, and when combined with the already awesome feel of down, it feels like heaven when you get in it. The fabric seems delicate, but I'm always careful with it and haven't had any issues. The tight weave and DWR are great for moisture resistance; I poured a bit of water on the shell upon receiving the bag and it rolled off like a duck's back. The smooth fabric also makes stuffing the bag very easy. The bag compresses to about the size of a soccer ball in the compression bag I use, but it could probably go smaller.
The zipper moves well, but can be tricky to get the last 3 inches or so when you're inside — doesn't stick, it's just a weird angle. The zipper has a full-length stiffener that pretty much eliminates snags. A thick draft collar is awesome and the opening of the bag has two cinches — one around the shoulders on the draft collar and one at the hood to really seal in all the warm air. Velcro on the collar and hood keeps zippers closed during the night.
My feet are always cold, so I regret not ordering an over-stuff on the footbox (available if you order direct from Western Mountaineering), but no frigid feet yet; I'll update once I take it closer to the lower temperature limits.
Overall, an awesome bag that I hope to have for many years to come!