Oct 20, 2009 at 2:46 pm #1240431
So Im about to buy a new bag for colder nights and I have basically narrowed it down to a Montbell UL SS #2 long or a WM Alder Long. The weight is basically the same, temp rating is the same, reviews seem to be good on both of them, price is basically the same, etc. The only real differences I see is that the Montbell comes with a hood and draft collar whereas the WM does not. I usually sleep on my stomach so Im not sure if a hood would be great for that. Also, if I wanted to unzip it like a quilt in warmer temps, I would think that the WM would work better for that. One of the reasons Im having trouble also is that Ive seen a couple reviews stating that the Montbells have been underfilled in some cases and some have said they dont perform to their stated rating. I havent been doing this long enough to really tell if a bag is underfilled so that worries me a bit. Any advice?Oct 20, 2009 at 2:54 pm #1538206
@goldenmeanieLocale: Los Angeles
I just received my WM Summerlite in the mail today… wow is all I can say! I returned a Montbell UL SS#2 because it had a few under-filled baffles in the chest area. Mine may have been a dud, but others have had the same issue… So, I decided to go with the WM bag. No knock to Montbell, as I have a few of their products that I believe to be fantastic. Just didn't have a good experience with that bag. YMMV.Oct 20, 2009 at 2:55 pm #1538208
Joe ClementBPL Member
I don't think you can go wrong with WM, and they're made in the USA. Temp ratings are true too.Oct 20, 2009 at 2:56 pm #1538210
Chris WBPL Member
IMHO WM is a bit better in the quality department and their bags tend to be conservatively rated. MB ratings tend to be more spot on. The shell on the Alder is also going to shed water a bit better than what's on the MB bags. If you don't need the microfiber shell the Extremelite bags are a fair bit lighter (20 degree Ultralite saves a couple of ounces).Oct 20, 2009 at 3:01 pm #1538211
Sycamore is the same bag as the Alder, but with a hood… works fine opened up flat w/hood. WM is the way to go, superb quality, no question of underfilling or staying warm to their rating.Oct 20, 2009 at 3:53 pm #1538229
Josh, I have some potentially good news for you. In the "Gear Deals" section of this forum you will run across a thread where there are a few WM bags on sale through some retailer in Iowa. They have a size long Alder for the great price of $248. I just bought a Mitylite from them and its on the way. They told me they still had an Alder in size long. I really wanted an Alder but I thought the size long would be a bit much for me. I don't think you will find a deal like that anywhere else. WM bags are simply a notch above any other bag manufacturer.Oct 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm #1538243
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
If you don't want a hood then it's a no brainer… go with the WM. I have had nothing but good experiences with WM. The UL SS #2 is a decent, even good, but sometimes Montbell under fill their bags. All things being equal I would pick a WM bag every time, though I did purchase my daughter a UL SS #3 because it was as better match for her.
–MarkOct 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm #1538262
Yeah, thats the one Im talking about. They are holding it for me. I found the ul SS on sale for 267 with free shipping and that one would work out to 260 shipped so the prices are right on with each other. Im just not sure whether I would need or want a hood or not. Ive never had one before but again, Ive never camped in temperatures down to what the bag is rated. I do intend on starting though and its just a little hard deciding when I dont know whether Ill need it or not. Or how drafty the bag will be without one and without a drawstring at the top. I feel like the WM will be a better quality bag but it lacks some of the features of the Montbell.Oct 20, 2009 at 6:00 pm #1538264
Tom CaldwellBPL Member
I have a Ponderosa Long, and being 6 foot I can nearly make a hood out of it's 6'6" length, but I wear a beanie that covers my forehead.Oct 20, 2009 at 6:10 pm #1538270
John DevittBPL Member
The WM alder MF is great. I have both bags. I use a tarp, and the MF shell handled wind w/o any problems. My # is the 1st gen 725 fill, and has ne underfill at all. I did see the underfill chambers in several MB bags at the Boulder store.
JohnOct 20, 2009 at 6:49 pm #1538286
Tom CaldwellBPL Member
I like my chambers STUFFED. I don't want to have to fluff and pet the down, for 30 minutes, to distribute it across the entire bag. I want to pull the bag out and it just poof up. Are there any bag or quilt makers that adequately fill their chambers, besides WM? Feathered Friends or Nunatak maybe?Oct 20, 2009 at 7:17 pm #1538303
David NeumannBPL Member
@idahomtmanLocale: Northern Idaho
I've owned both and found both to be of high quality. I had trouble with the WM zipper (HighLite) and ended up selling the bag. I've owned two MB bags (U.L. SS 800 #5 and SS Down Hugger #5) and was satisfied with both including the fill and temperature ratings. I also have a Nunatak quilt (Arc Specialist) which is a superior product, in my mind, to either MB or WM and I've owned a Feathered Friends bag (Swallow) for a number of years which is also an excellent product but a bit heavier than the others.
For my money, I would seriously consider a Nunatak product. You can have the baffles overstuffed and other modifications made so the quilt or bag is exactly what you need.Oct 21, 2009 at 6:00 am #1538388
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
I've had similar experiences as Dave with WM, MB, FF, and Nunatak.
WM… Good quality and well filled (but I could never find a size that I was comfortable in).
MB (UL SS)… just (barely) enough fill (but oh, so comfortable).
FF… Excellent quality and fill level, but heavier.
Nunatak… Excellent quality and custom sizing. May need some overfill to reach expected level that you and Tom describe.
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