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Western Mountaineering Tamarak

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Western Mountaineering Tamarak 3-season down sleeping bag

I have this sleeping bag on trial from the local retailer to give him my feedback on its suitability for Australian conditions. First off, it weighs very little and takes up a minimum of space. The shell is very breathable and the loft is phenomenal for its weight. WM say it lofts to 4 inches, but I measured it at 4.5.

My primary use will be as a foot-sack/elephants foot for emergency use when ski touring but, as this is a very narrow bag (a good thing in my opinion, less dead air to warm up ), it will have a secondary function as a liner for my double bag system. It would also make a superb sleeping bag for a teenager or younger walker as the semi-rectangular cut makes its use as a quilt in warm weather another option.

As a foot-sack the zipper is redundant and if WM ever wanted to make a dedicated half bag all they need to do is shorten this bag a touch and remove the zipper.

(4-Year Update below)


  • Lightweight
  • Warmth-for-weight ratio
  • Compact stuffed size
  • Full length zipper
  • Excellence of materials and workmanship
  • Breathability of the shell fabric


  • For climbing use the zipper is redundant, and for climbing use the more weather resistant microfiber shell may have been a better fabric

Having tried the bag on only one windy and chilly night I do believe that it is much warmer than the manufacturers rating of-2°C.

I am a cold sleeper and halfway through a night that got down to 5°C I had to open the bag up and vent the heat from my legs.

Although a lightweight shell fabric, it was more wind resistant than I would have thought, but in winter I would not use to without a tent or bivvy.

I slept as I usually do in spring in silk weight longs but no socks or beanie, on top of a combination of Ridgerest Solar and a 32mm half length Thermarest that is now more patch than original fabric under a small tarp and using a Level 7 Army insulated jacket, which is a clone of the Patagonia DAS belay parka and an old but comfortable cashmere jumper, more moth hole than wool these days.

I had no trouble pulling the bag up under my armpits and then doing up the jacket. I'm reasonably tall at 185cm and the bag covers my legs and torso admirably.

I will be able to write a long term usage review after the winter, but I intend to buy this bag for my own use. I have always been a user of half bags and this bag fits inside my big expedition cut winter bag with enough room to spare to allow the outer bag full loft.

Luckily I am still reasonably skinny but Western Mountaineering does describe it as such and a narrow bag warms up much more quickly so the narrow cut is a plus in my opinion. For my use it would be better without the zip but the zipper does make this bag much more versatile.

EDIT May 18, 2017

4-Year Review

I have been using this bag every winter since I wrote the first review, nothing has changed.

It is awesome as a booster and WM musy have taken note of my comments/communications as they now have a zipperless half bag that looks even better spec'd for UL use. I did get a discount on the purchase, but I would have been happy with it at full retail.

Source: Trialing for the local retailer, as this bag is a manufacturer's sample. I did get a discount on the purchase.

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Price Current Retail: $335.00
Historic Range: $162.00-$335.00
Weight 19 oz
Temp Rating 30°F
Product Details from Western Mountaineering »

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