May 19, 2020 at 2:23 am #3648036Moe MBPL Member
Hi there guys,
This is my first post so to quickly introduce myself – my name is Moe and I am a late starter but enthusiastic mountaineer from Europe/Germany and live close to the bavarian alps.
Climbing and skiing are my main disciplines but I really want to get into camping and do more overnight Trips, not only using huts but also tents and winter rooms of alpine refuges during ski traverses etc.
So after weeks of research and driving myself crazy (I do this a lot with gear of all sorts), I finally decided to get my first quality sleeping bag. I always wanted a Western Mountaineering one because I heard only praise about them and like the idea of supporting a rather small US based company.
So the idea is to get a versatile sleeping system to cover 3 or 3.5 seasons, so being able to camp in most but the fiercest winter conditions. I am 5’10 and about 140 lbs so rather of the skinny and athletic type.
I ordered a WM Versalite, Alpinlite, Apache MF and Antelope MF during a good online sale (-20%).
Now I immediately ruled out the Alpinlite, it’s just way to roomy for me. I am a side sleeper and active sleeper but still this was much more room than I needed.
The Versalite is nice, great loft and the width seems right, still plenty of room but I am inclined to also send it back because I kinda want to have the MF shell. I am not very hard on my gear but it seems like a great middle way regarding durability, water resistance and weight.
So that leaves me with the Apache and Antelope. The Apache seems great as well, it’s not too narrow for me, I can still move within rather than with the bag, in fact it feels like the most fitting.
The Antelope is a different beast for sure, the amount of loft and the warmth to weight ratio just seems absolutely crazy. I was really baffled at how lofty this thing looked right after taking it out of the storage sack.
So two possible concepts:
– Keep the Apache which should be more suited to the temps I think I would encounter. It should be warm enough for shoulder seasons in the mountains and light to moderate winter camping (maybe combined with more layers or an overbag). Eventually get a proper winter bag like the Lynx GWS or something if I should find I need that. Of course that means an expense of another like 800 Euros.
– Keep the Antelope and be prepared to use it much less than the Apache for sure but have more reserves for really cold spring or autumn nights at higher elevation and winter use. Combine it with a lighter quilt for warmer 3 season conditions (this would make like another 250 Euro). For real harsh winter conditions I realize I would most likely eventually need a real winter bag as well with this setup.
Now that’s a lot of text, sorry guys but I saved up and it’s kind of a dream piece of equipment for me so I would be really disapppointed to make a wrong choice.
Thank you so much and have a great week!May 19, 2020 at 7:13 am #3648051
I’ve had a variety of WM bags, and currently have a Versalite and Superlite. Like you, I found the Alpinlite too roomy (I’m 5-10″/150 lbs). My wife has it though, and likes all the extra room. I prefer a more trim, form fitting mummy.
Were I you, I’d keep the Apache. In fact, I wish I had bought that over my Superlite.
I agree, add a second warmer bag later.May 19, 2020 at 10:31 am #3648103John BaltzellBPL Member
I am 6’2″ 185 lb, athletic build and also an active sleeper. My Apache long fits the bill perfectly for the high San Juan’s in Colorado or the Winds in Wyoming during the shoulder seasons. WM bags are a great investment as mine is 12 years old and still looks like new. I was introduced to backpacking while living in Giebelstadt in the late 80’s early 90’s and fell in love with the Bavarian Alps surrounding Berchtesgaden as well as the Garmish area. The Apache is a good fit you will sleep comfortably.
JohnMay 19, 2020 at 2:43 pm #3648171Brian HorstBPL Member
I’m 5’9″ 160lbs, a warm sleeper, and as recently as this winter have used my 20 year old Apache Super MF even down to temps of -15ºC to -20ºC when combined with a vapor barrier or sleeping layers like a down sweater, fleece pants, and down booties. If I know in advance I’ll be at those temps I’ll also carry a lightweight 5-10ºC quilt as insurance to use over the bag, but the Apache is certainly conservatively rated and able to be pushed a bit further than many other 3 season bags. If I had an Antelope I know it would be too warm for me to use in most cases.May 19, 2020 at 5:23 pm #3648204rOg wBPL Member
I love the Versalite! It is compressible and only 2 pounds. You can’t go wrong with either the Versalite or the Apache.May 20, 2020 at 8:49 am #3648307Steven ThompsonBPL Member
The Apache and Ultralight have the same cut, 5F rated difference Apache loftier. The Apache is a bit better into the shoulder seasons. The ultralight better when it is humid due to the lighter/more breathable shell fabric.May 20, 2020 at 12:37 pm #3648349
The ultralight better when it is humid due to the lighter/more breathable shell fabric.
Actually, the microfiber is more breathable:May 20, 2020 at 12:49 pm #3648352Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Intereseting, there have obviously been multiple iterations of the “Extremelite” fabric. I had an Ultralite purchased in 2002 and a Summerlite purchased in 2006 and though both had the “Extremelite” shell, by touch you could tell they were not the same. I don’t think either were 12 denier.May 20, 2020 at 1:43 pm #3648366rOg wBPL Member
I would say that the ‘Lite’ series are considerably less breathable than the microfiber. Quite a bit so, from personal experience that I won’t buy a summer bag from the ‘Lite’ series.May 20, 2020 at 4:23 pm #3648389BHSpectator
Save your money and buy a good quilt. After switching to a quilt, the only way I’d go back to a bag would be in temperatures close to or below 0 degrees F.
Maybe not the answer you are looking for, but it’s the best advice I can provide.May 20, 2020 at 11:27 pm #3648428Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
6 years go I bought a WM Megalite because it has a wider shoulder/torso area and I can wear puffy W/O compromising the bag’s loft.
Also, after a barely OK 24 F. night in thePCT I had the factory overstuff it to 20 F. With that and a puffy down jacket I have been comfortable in 10 F. (tent temperature).May 21, 2020 at 7:35 pm #3648535Steven ThompsonBPL Member
I should have mentioned my Apache is the gore fabric. Choice made thinking it would be good compromise option in my transition to tarp camping. As long as I lived and did most of my backpacking in AZ it was. But out here on the east coast it can be a swampy thing.May 22, 2020 at 8:24 am #3648590
I should have mentioned my Apache is the gore fabric. Choice made thinking it would be good compromise option in my transition to tarp camping. As long as I lived and did most of my backpacking in AZ it was. But out here on the east coast it can be a swampy thing.
I got my first Goretex shelled bag in 1982, a USA Made Marmot Mountain Works “Ptarmigan” model. I used that up until 1992 when I got my first WM Goretex shelled bag, a “Dakota.” I’m a slow learner. That shell started de-laminating in the hood, and I switched to a WM Gore Dryloft bag (WM replaced it N/C). Still too clammy. I like the Extremelite bags my wife and I currently have, but doing it again I’d just get microfiber. Dryloft, for me, is strictly for winter bags.May 22, 2020 at 10:07 am #3648599Paul SBPL Member
I’ve had a MityLite, and now have the Alder MF.
I like the MF fabric better, it seems more breathable, and more water resistant.
I sold the Mitylie, it wasn’t quite warm enough for me (three Season, WA state mountains).
I like the Alder MF. It is roomy (I can’t stand a tight mummy bag) and fairly warm. I think WM temp ratings are a tiny bit optimistic (but no overly so). I am sold on having a separate hood (goosefeet gear) with a non-hooded bag.May 29, 2020 at 1:15 am #3649867Moe MBPL Member
Sorry for replying so late, just have been very busy with real life chores lately!
I just wanted to thank you all for your input it has been very helpful and I appreciate it a lot.
I finally decided to keep the Apache, I really wanted to keep the Antelope since I’m always fascinated by the more ‘extreme’ type of engineering. Thanks for steering me away from it, I think that it would be way too much bag for me for what I’m gonna do.
I think the Apache will be a great light and warm workhorse sleeping bag for all around alpine camping. The plan is to get a warmer, like 30F quilt later on and a 5 or 0 degree bag when I really need it.
Cheers and have a great weekend you guys are awesome!May 29, 2020 at 5:10 am #3649872M BBPL Member
I use quilts for everything above about 25 degrees
Then I use a overstuffed versa light down to single digits
Ive got other bags that havent seen use in years.
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