[at-l] Sleeping Bag Ratings Question

nightwalker.at at gmail.com nightwalker.at at gmail.com
Sat Jan 16 16:55:08 CST 2010

From: Daniel Steil <dsteil19 at gmail.com>

Only Marmot and REI sleeping bags use the European Norm (EN) temperature rating system for their bags...<cut>...All other companies give their ratings based on what temperature you could survive at, not necessarily what you would be comfortable at.

Sorry, dude. I'd put my WM against anything else for comfort, not just survivability. My 10F Versalite Super stands over 7" tall when laid out fresh from the closet. That's almost the standard for 0F, which is supposedly 8". There is no way that it is rated for only survivability at 10F! Of course, brand loyalties can be really silly, especially since I have never actually slept in a Marmot. I do know that the Marmot 1 pound bag is rated at 40F and the WM is rated at 35F, for whatever that is worth. I am hoping to get that Western Mountaineering Unicorn (I think that is the name) for my next summer bag. It would be nice to lose 8 ounces and get a full-length zipper at the same time.

Actually, a rating system based on loft height would probably be the great equalizer, if you think about it. It would also be nice if they standardized how they measure cubic inches per ounce of down. One uses a square tube (Marmot), one uses a round tube (WM). The square will artificially inflate the numbers because of the corners. I got that from Mountain Crossings. I was looking at Marmot and Western Mountaineering bags, and he (Cornbread) gave me some really good info. He also said that their markup was the same per unit on those two brands, so he wasn't trying to steer me into whatever made Winton more money.

I have no idea about the REI. I do know they're a high-quality company, especially when the price is considered. I do know that Kelty and TNF have a terrible reputation for "optimism" on bag ratings.

On my last hike, I was able to wear all my layers and use my 10F bag down to rated temp without zipping into it. My dog was shivering badly, and I used it like a quilt to cover both of us. When used as a mummy bag, It is comfortable below rated temps with just a base layer and wool socks.


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