- Nov 20, 2017 at 1:06 am #3503009
Looking for performance/fitting info & advice on these two.
I’m 5’9″/185, lateral recumbent (almost stomach) sleeper. The Katabatic lists my height and sleeping style as needing the Long Wide. Can’t find that info on Western Mountaineering’s site, but, from knowing how restricted I feel in my Mountain Hardwear Lamina Regular (72Lx62S/58H/38F), I know I need more room, even before layering up.
I’m comparing these two different styles since the overall weight and price is relatively close, and they seem to be well represented, and also because I haven’t decided whether I’m going to try a quilt, or just get another bag.
From users who’ve used both brands, or know someone who has knowledge of one/both:
- Am I correct in comparing these two temp ratings? Or does one perform below/the other perform above?
- For a 3/4 prone sleeper, is the Flex Wide actually wide enough? (Katabatic’s dimensions are listed as 58S/51H/44F… with listed shoulder equivalent to 67″ Mummy, not sure about the rest)
- Does Western Mountaineering recommend adding 4-5″ to your height for stomach/lateral sleepers, like some quilt companies do (like Katabatic)? Or is it already a bit long for the given height?
- For quilts in general, for those unexpected overnight snow events (while shelter/cowboy camping), is it just a given that the snow will melt on the pad and seep into the depression, getting you wet? Or does that just not happen? And if it does, for those conditions, does it make quilt use still advantageous (with cost/weight being somewhat equal to a bag)?
Thanks in advance.
-EddieNov 20, 2017 at 5:57 am #3503053
Nick DBPL Member
@stumpjumperLocale: Santa Barbara, CA
I’ve never owned a WM bag, but I own a Katabatic Alsek Elite 22 (long/wide) and a Katabatic Flex 40 (reg/wide). I’m 6’0, 175lbs. Both bags are exceptional and very conservatively rated. At one point I had an Enlightened Equipment 40 and the Flex 40 next to each other and the loft difference was laughable. The Katabatic blew the EE away.
I sleep mostly on my stomach and I love the Alsek Elite because of the underside band. I’ve been in snow without attaching it to my pad and had almost no issues with draft. It snugs up soooo well under you. The Pertex is luxurious, the draft tube is thick and amazing, and the collar snaps/pad clips are super high quality. If you can kick the budget up to the Elite bags, I would. If not, the Flex bags are still amazing.
As for sizing. Definitely get the wide and don’t look back. The long is LONG. At 6ft I probably didn’t need it but I like to sleep with my arms folded under my head. At 5’9 I think you’d be very happy with a Wide/Reg.
Good luck!Nov 20, 2017 at 7:08 am #3503063
Serge GiachettiBPL Member
@giachettLocale: boulder, co
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Katabatic quilts are conservatively rated. For quilts in general, definitely go wide. Although very warm, I did have draft problems with my sawatch (reg) when side sleeping. Flex would be nice for the versatility and wearing the quilt around camp.</p>Nov 21, 2017 at 3:42 pm #3503291
Thanks for the info. It’s not so much budget focusing on the Flex (though that’s a component), it’s that Katabatic lists the Flex as 2” wider in the hip and foot, so, more of a precaution, really.
And the more I think about the Terralite, the more I think that while wide enough to be super comfy, the extra amount of dead space would create cold spots, and for the temp range I’m looking at, I may need to choose different WM bag for a more equal size comparison.Nov 21, 2017 at 7:41 pm #3503325
Richie SBPL Member
Have you looked at the feathered friend series of bags with the full zippers. They can either be used as a full quilt or zipped up into a hoodless bag.Nov 21, 2017 at 8:21 pm #3503334
Erik GBPL Member
@fox212Locale: Central Coast
Another data point – I’m 5’10” and 180lbs and the WM TerraLite 6′ fits me pretty close to perfectly. Very roomy inside, but not so much so as to be inefficient. Everything people say about the impeccable quality of WM gear is true in my experience. I don’t have experience with Katababic products, but I’ve heard and read much the same about their level of workmanship as well.
I sleep on my stomach at times, and have not felt restricted at all in the TerraLite. I’m not sure if they recommend sizing up for stomach sleepers, but for me – not necessary.
I think both companies are pretty conservative in their temperature ratings, based on my actual experience with my TerraLite and comparing fill weights/loft across various manufacturers. I think your comparison is legit.
I don’t want to derail this thread, but I am actually considering selling my TerraLite (actually it’s my wife’s bag, but for medical reasons she is not able to backpack for the foreseeable future). @eddie-s-2-2 If you’re interested, let me know. :)Nov 22, 2017 at 12:28 am #3503385
Richie SBPL Member
Ok, well I have the terralite and a palisade, and a feathered friends flicker. All are of a great standard. I love the palisade but not pushing the temp limits as I just think I move around too much to retain heat.
WM is great with its ratings even with the terralite, and you can get they have already factored in the extra space into their rating. The fact it is roomy and can also unzip the bottom like a quilt is a huge bonus in terms of flexibility.
If you can stand the extra weight I think the flicker and terralite offer more flexibility. If you ok with quilts overall then the Katabatic gear is well made and has faultless construction.
All three are of the highest quality. Not sure I can answer your questions more specifically. In terms of snow, you should probably make sure you are out of it altogether. Getting your bag wet in freezing conditions can easily lead to problems of the terminal kind.Nov 26, 2017 at 6:34 pm #3504153
Thanks all for the replies.
@stumpjumper – I see your Flex has an extra 3″ in hip room & 1″ in foot box over your Alsek. Is it obvious when inside the bags? I’m wondering if the differential cut of the Alsek offsets the wider width of the Flex, making them seem just the same width on the inside…
@giachett – Is your Sawatch a wide? If not, do you think that would have made the difference in the drafts?
@landrover – I hadn’t looked into Feathered Friends, but doing so now, I see that the Flicker wide still might not be wide enough. Looks like I’d need to go the Penguin or Puffin route, and for the temp ratings, they look 1/2 to 1 lb heavier than the Terralite, though not sure why, as the FFs look a bit narrower overall. Is there something I’m missing?
@fox212 – WM got back to me and didn’t recommend sizing up in length, so, pretty much what you said.
All – I’m still debating which route to go with (quilt or bag), as I have no real world experience with a quilt. I have cowboy camped in a bag in the southern Rockies, southern & central CA, even up at Sonora Pass, but never been snowed or rained on; however, I do plan on doing some eastern trails and hopefully some AT sections within the next few years (never camped east of the Mississippi).
I had been pretty much set on getting a quilt when I came across this: https://youtu.be/1khbwXc5OG4
…which is why I started backtracking on thinking that a quilt might be my answer. The lady shooting this video was using a quilt, and didn’t seem to mention any issues with it, but it got me thinking about the possible drawbacks. Maybe I’m overthinking the whole issue, but at least I’m certain that whatever I get, it’s going to be a wide!
Nov 26, 2017 at 6:58 pm #3504159
- This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by EddieS.
Nick DBPL Member
@stumpjumperLocale: Santa Barbara, CA
I wouldn’t get caught up over 3″. The differential cut and the underside band make a huge difference and the Alsek Elite feels just as wide. More to the point, the Elite design is just much more thermally efficient. The quilt snugs up for you (because of the band) so there’s no need to worry about extra inches of width that you’d need to ‘pin’ under your body parts. My first quilt was a specially made Hammock Gear 68″ wide because I was worried about the same issues…. In the end I had far more problems with draft in that then the much narrower Alsek. Personally, I don’t like pad straps and I don’t like constantly pinning a quilt underneath me. Katabatic Elite = problem solved.
My Flex-40 is my summer/spring bag so I was less worried about getting that good underside seal and I wanted the ability to completely open it up and drape it over me during hot summer trips.
The combo will serve me well for the next 10-15 yrs. I don’t even look at other bags/quilts now. :)
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