There are few things more important than your sleep system when you’re outdoors. Whether or not your tent-mate snores and your choice of whiskey can make or break a trip, a bad night’s sleep can turn your exciting adventure into a disappointing scenario in a flash. Luckily, the is a great choice of sleeping bags on the market that can make you sleep warm and comfortable in the backcountry. Main specs of the Western Mountaineering Summerlite Sleeping Bag and what I think and learn about this sleeping bag.
In this review, I am going to share my experience with Western Mountaneering Summerlite ultralight sleeping bag and compare its technical features and my personal experience in order to find out whether it’s worth the price or not.
In case you are limited on budget and going to look for a cheaper alternative, here is a full review on top ultralight sleeping bags)
WESTERN MOUNTANEERING SUMMERLITE: BASIC OVERVIEW
STYLE: Full-hooded mummy
Mummy is the most popular shape, these sleeping bags have a snug fit that tapers toward the feet, making it the warmest option.
FILL: 850+ goose down
Do not associate temperature rating with the “fill power”! The higher fill power only reflects the warmth per unit of weight.
Goose down is the warmest and most expensive fill for sleeping bags in the whole industry.
INSULATION RATING (COMFORT): 32F
This is the most important feature you should consider when searching for a sleeping bag.
INSULATION RATING (SURVIVAL): 15F
This rating is often suggested by sellers in marketing purposes. But it doesn’t mean it will keep you warm.
If you need more official info about sleeping bags’ temperature ratings https://www.thermarest.com/blog/en-iso-sleeping-bag-ratings/
WEIGHT: 17oz (500g)
That is something everyone loves. In terms of weight to temperature rating, WM Summerlite is the best choice.
I have tested WM Summerlite in the Southern Rocky Mountains, Colorado (by the way, above 9000 feet), where you can expect really frosty nights at any time. This is not my first sleeping bag, I am an avid backpacker and I would not recommend to venture out, with less than a 20°F sleeping bag, even in midsummer.
Nevertheless, 32°F Summerlite did quite well in keeping me comfortable at night in July. (comfortable is the right word here, not warm) I dressed my Patagonia Merino Thermal baselayer top and bottom. You can add a midweight hiking sock to get your feet warm to complete a whole set for unexpected frosty weather.
WM Summerlite also keeps warm because of the continuous baffles; there’s an unbroken four-inch layer of down separating the two nylon shell fabrics. This features eliminates cold spots inside the sleeping bag and allows the ten ounces of down to work together, minimizing the need for more fill. Manufacturer offers an option with a footbox overfill – as additional 1.5 oz of goose down added in the footbox.
I have used several different goose down bags over the last 10 years (Naturehike, Marmot, Western Mountaneering, Aegismax) all of which are very good to great sleeping bags, and this was my first bag by WM. I dare to say this sleeping bag is a step above in quality, but it also costs much more. I don’t know how I would ever buy anything else after using this sleeping bag.
I would recommend it for those worrying more about weight than about budget. I guess, the price is the only reason that stops people from buying it. You can always find some cheaper goose down US-made sleeping bags on the market, but they won’t be lighter nor warmer for sure.