A high loft, premium goose down sleeping bag is worth its weight in gold when the conditions dictate. This is a minus 20 degree, wide bag with Gore DryLoft from Western Mountaineering. Luxurious warmth in a beautifully made package.
I have Western Mountaineering listed on my best sleeping bags list but I don’t think that I have ever actually posted a GREAT GEAR RECOMMENDATION on them and that is a mistake. I should have because they are the epitome of the type of product and company I want to support with this site.
If there is anything in my gear system that could be described as luxurious this is it. It is an accurate word to describe Western Mountaineering sleeping bags but it didn’t come from me. The luxurious label came from an attractive brunette that I lent this bag to for a cold weather trip she was making. The fact that I would actually lend any piece of my kit out should give you an indication as to how attractive this woman is. Anyway, when she returned the bag she said that it was like sleeping on a bed of clouds, positively luxurious. She added that I was right, it is even warmer when you sleep naked in it. Sorry, no pictures of that.
The hood and collar snug up to conform comfortably around my face to create an efficient heat conserving capsule. The zipper doesn’t snag and there are no thin slash cold spots anywhere. I don’t have a single gripe or suggestion as to how this bag could be improved.
I have looked at many goose down bags over the years and there are some very good ones, especially from Valandre and Feathered Friends, but Western Mountaineering bags are still my favorite.
The materials and workmanship are absolutely first rate. Features like thick down filled neck collars and big fat draft tubes over the zipper enhance performance to maximum levels. The option to overfill or add additional down insulation to the foot box just adds insurance (although I have found WM temp ratings to be squarely in range if not on the button accurate) for cold sleepers. Best of all, they just feel good. Womb like, coma inducing, mommy I don’t want to get up yet comfort. The design, the cut, the loft, are all perfect for me.
And they are made in America, right there in good ol communist California.
Is it expensive? Depends on how you look at it I guess. What is a good nights sleep worth to you when it is 20 below and you have to be up and sharp at o’dark thirty? There you go.
If you are working in conditions where ultra efficient, lightweight insulation is required and you have the ability slash skills to keep it dry then goose down is absolutely the best choice. And if you are going with goose down I recommend the entire line of Western Mountaineering sleeping bags.
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