Western Mountaineering Apache MF
A fabulous bag for summer mountain backpacking. Great 3-season bag.
- Great summer mountain backpacking sleeping bag
- Anti-snag zipper
- Very lightweight for the warmth
- Shoulder collar keeps warmth in
- Confining mummy
- Expensive, but worth it
Summary - You can't go wrong with this bag for summer mountain backpacking. Warm with low weight. Anti-snag feature on zipper makes that midnight bathroom run a bit easier. And the way I like to re-hydrate with lots of warm tea after dinner, I cannot say enough about the zipper design.
Also the shoulder collar (see pic) which is separate from the hood, does a great job in keeping any cold draft out, and on warmer nights, it can be left open. Ventilation on feet with the 2-way zipper is great when you need it. These two features add to the temperature comfort range.
My Use - I have used it the Sierras and Rockies where temps dipped to 15 - 20 degrees in September and October, and had no problem. On windy and wet nights at 20 degrees, the breeze coming through the "modern" lightweight tents of netting did cause me to put on silk long johns and long sleeve shirt to stay warm. So your tent makes a difference if you are in exposed areas and/or there are consistent winds.
Comfort and Packability - The inside diameter is a bit smaller than other mummy bags I have used, so it has taken a few trips to get used to it, but that is what keeps the weight down and temp rating as low as it is. The benefit is it warms up very fast when you first get in, but middle of the night movements are a bit restricted. However I find it easily manageable, not a big deal for saving an extra pound of carry weight. Can pack it down very small to take up very little space in backpack.
Construction and Materials - I had heard about Western Mountaineering high quality, but this is my first WM bag and I can see that WM only makes high quality bags, no doubt about it. The high loft 850 down really works. It does loft up well after repeated use.
Storing it in the included storage bag or hanging it is necessary for long life of the bag. Nylon material seemed a bit light initially, but it has shown to be durable. And I just love the anti-snag zipper system — a stiffer material next to zipper keeps the material from getting in the way of the zipper.
Gripe - It's a bit difficult to change clothes while fully zipped-in the bag due to its small inner diameter. I find this manageable given the low weight-to-warmth ratio achieved. I end up with the bag partially zipped open and then I can easily change clothes on those cold mornings.
Overall - I have used several different down bags over the last 50 years (Sierra Designs, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear) all of which are very good to great bags, and this is my first WM bag. WM is a step above in quality, but it also costs more. I can't see how I would ever buy anything else after using this WM bag, just need to save up and look for sales, which are very rare for WM.
Thinking of getting a 0-degree rated bag from WM, and I see that the inner diameter is larger, which will make changing clothes so much easier on colder nights.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $450 on sale, "flawed" but I could not see it
The Western Mountaineering Apache is an outstanding all purpose bag. Rated for 15 degree 3 season bag.
I tested it on a trip to Jefferson National Forest where the temperature was on average 45° F. The bag was so warm. I had to leave it unzipped and used it like a comforter.
My second trip was to Shenandoah National Park where the temperature was 20-35 degrees. I took a core temperature of the bag alone at 22 degrees with windchill. My sleeping bag was at 80 degrees with body heat after a core temperature check after an hour.
- Warm to 15 degrees
- Excellent construction and stitching
- Narrow bag, not made for broad people
Price Paid: less than retail, used..
This bag is amazing! I just spent New Years, Jan 1, 2015, in the Utah desert. It got down to 12°F in my Springbar. This bag didn't just keep me not cold, but with the draft collar and the hood all the way cinched I stayed toasty warm. This bag will definitely put any other three-season bag to shame.
- Warmer than 15°
- Comfortable to sleep in
- Highest quality construction
- Constant jealousy from other campers
- Other people try to take naps in it
- You'll have to start wanting something else
I spent four nights in this bag in the Utah desert on New Year's Eve in freezing cold temperatures and stayed completely and totally warm at night in the sleeping bag.
The draft collar works amazing the hood is perfectly shaped. The 15° rating is generous. The quality and construction is unmatched and any use with the proper sleeping pad could easily be used as a four-season bag.
Absolutely worth every penny.
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 weight is about average for a bag of its temperature rating in its class. The Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 is 2 lbs 1 oz and the Marmot Plasma is 1 lbs 15.96 oz.
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!
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $200 pro deal
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Current Retail: $605.00-$630.00
Historic Range: $316.00-$630.00
Reviewers Paid: $200.00-$450.00
|Weight||1 lb 14 oz / 850 g||2 lb 0 oz / 905 g||2 lb 2 oz / 965 g|
|Fill weight||1 lb 1 oz / 480 g||1 lb 3 oz / 535 g||1 lb 5 oz / 595 cm|
|Loft||6 in / 15 cm||6 in / 15 cm||6 in / 15 cm|
|Temperature rating||15 F / -10 C||15 F / -10 C||15 F / -10 C|
|Fill||850 fill-power down||850 fill-power down||850 fill-power down|
|Max user height||5 ft 6 in / 165 cm||6 ft 0 in / 180 cm||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||51 in / 132 cm|
|Foot girth||38 in / 97 cm||38 in / 97 cm||38 in / 97 cm|