Western Mountaineering HighLite

5 reviews
5-star:   2
4-star:   2
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Specs

short regular long
Weight 15 oz / 420 g 1 lb 0 oz / 455 g 1 lb 1 oz / 485 g
Fill weight 7 oz / 200 g 8 oz / 225 g 9 oz / 255 g
Loft 3.5 in / 9 cm 3.5 in / 9 cm 3.5 in / 9 cm
Temperature rating 35 F / 2 C 35 F / 2 C 35 F / 2 C
Fill 850 fill-power down 850 fill-power down 850 fill-power down
Shape Mummy Mummy Mummy
Max user height 5 ft 6 in / 165 cm 6 ft 0 in / 180 cm 6 ft 6 in / 200 cm
Shoulder girth 59 in / 150 cm 59 in / 150 cm 60 in / 152 cm
Hip girth 51 in / 130 cm 51 in / 130 cm 52 in / 132 cm
Foot girth 38 in / 97 cm 38 in / 97 cm 38 in / 97 cm

Reviews

7

As one of the lightest sleeping bags available, the…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $180

Summary

As one of the lightest sleeping bags available, the WM Highlite has high quality construction and a unique sewn-through design that enables it to compress into a 5.5 liter stuff sack and then regain full loft for a comfortable night’s sleep into the mid-30s. It is a great choice for someone wanting ultra-light and still have a full sleeping bag.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Highly compressible
  • Very warm for its weight

Cons

  • Half-length zipper

In my pursuits to lighten the load carried for long distance treks, I came across the Highlite and was immediately drawn in by the overall weight. At one pound, it is one of the lightest sleeping bags on the market. I also knew Western Mountaineering has an excellent reputation and makes some of the best down products. After deciding to go ahead with the purchase, I was not disappointed.    

After the box arrived in the mail, I opened it and was amazed at how light it felt. I stuffed the bag into its stuff sack and then was surprised at how it fit into that extra small stuff sack. 

Stuffed comparison:
Stuffed.jpg

Zipped, showing box-stitch construction:
Zipped.jpg

Fully unzipped:
Unzipped.jpg

Added bonus:
WMUSA.jpg

In use, the bag has proved itself many times. Of course, the small size takes little room in my pack and the weight has helped reduce what I carry.

One other benefit I have found is the dark colors used. When turned inside out, the black inner material absorbs heat and quickly dries the inside for the next night. The “ExtremeLite” fabric used has a very tight weave and to date have seen only a few feathers push through.

I am also very happy with how quick the bag compresses. I can stuff it into its 5.5 liter sack in about 30 seconds with little effort. I will also add the disclaimer that I have not pushed the bag to its limits for cold as I use it primarily in the summer months.  I have used it down to about 40 and been very comfortable.

The only drawback I have come across is the half-length zipper. I know it cuts overall weight but, at the compromise of cooling in the warmest nighttime temperatures. I have awoke a few times sweating, wishing I could unzip the bag further.

G00SE MODERATOR

Wow! How did you find it so cheap?


5 months ago
denis daly

Goose It was recommended to me to look through craigslist in you area or Denver or another trail area..I didn't believe it at first but on my first look I found a WM Apache for 100 listed called the guy.I went he had the bag and that's all she wrote...


5 months ago
PNW_John

@G00SE, I was fortunate to get a one time, great deal through a friend.


4 months ago
Joseph Renow

Thanks for the review PNW...I'm with Goose...what a great price for a bag by WM (without a doubt one of the best bag makers in the world).


4 months ago
1

I really wanted this bag to work out since it was…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $280

Summary

I really wanted this bag to work out since it was made in the USA and at 16 oz along with small size would make it perfect for lightweight backpacking. Most temperatures I would encounter would not be below the bags 35 degree rating, however I would rate this at a 40 to maybe even a 45 degree bag.

Pros

  • Light
  • Compacts smaal
  • Made in USA
  • Great craftmenship

Cons

  • Not warm enough

I used this on 3 different trips with a thermal sheet and bivy sack over it inside my tent and never got good quality warm sleep time unless it was above 50 outside. So the bottom line is I got rid of it and went back to the Mountain Hardware 32 Phantom bag that weighs in at a half pound more but well worth the extra warmth.

G00SE MODERATOR

I had been eying this bag, but the price had kept me from moving on it. Thanks for the feedback.


1 year ago
1

amazing bag. highly specialized fringe product. not…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: mummy
Fill: 700+ fill down
Temperature Rating: 40 F
Weight: 15 oz.
Price Paid: couple of hundred

amazing bag. highly specialized fringe product. not for everyone. under one pound and small enough to fit in a fanny pack!! 1/2 zipper. combination baffles and sewn thru. extra down in foot section.

i have maybe 30 or 40 nights on my high lite and for me it far exceeds its temperature rating. in a tent it is good for at least 30 degrees. i guide in the sierras where it is dry and mild in the summer and sleep under the stars every night in this bag.

superb craftmanship. if you need a lighter secondary sleeping bag for summer bivvys this one has all my recommendations.

1

I already had a sturdy Polarguard for colder temperatures,…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: mummy
Fill: down
Temperature Rating: 40 F
Weight: 1 #
Price Paid: $210

I already had a sturdy Polarguard for colder temperatures, but it is bulky for most of my hiking in Florida. I chose this bag because it was the lightest in the gear reviews, would compress into an extemely small space and for the good reputation of the company. I'm sleeping in a tent about every 3 weeks, either backpacking, kayak camping or car camping, so it gets a lot of use. It's a delicate bag, I wish I'd chosen a longer zipper (I like to keep a leg out on warm nights) because I have to be very careful getting in and out of the bag. I'm usually careful with my gear and expect to get years of use from it. I haven't used it in very cold weather (I'd probably take my other bag.) But, in summary, I'm glad I bought it.

1

People might call me nuts, but I haven't used the…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: Mummy
Fill: 700+ fill down
Temperature Rating: 40 F
Weight: 16 oz
Price Paid: $210

People might call me nuts, but I haven't used the Highlite at or above its temp rating yet. I've been using it from 28 to 40F on every trip. I cannot believe how this 16 oz bag can keep me so warm. (At 28F I had to put on some mid weight capilene to keep warm)

The cut is quite tight (I'm 5'8" 160lbs) but that's part of the design idea. They save weight by not using their renowned zipper tape construction and the zipper is only 1/2 length, but I haven't noticed a single problem with zipper hang-ups.

If you are tough on a bag, consider the Iroquis for the tougher fabric, cause the Highlite is paper thin...but again, no complaints.

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