When you’re settling in for a long night at the end of an even longer day out in the bush, what you need is a great night’s rest. You’ll be amazed what a difference a good sleeping bag can make to your sleep quality and through that your mood. A good mood = more fun in the great outdoors during the day. Sometimes a little extra padding is all that stands between you and that glorious all-night-long sleeping experience.
There are few things better than waking up in the morning refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to start the next leg of your hike or go fishing in the local stream for lunch. Alternately, there are few things worse than finally getting up after a restless cold night with minimal sleep and feeling groggy for the rest of the day.
That’s why your choice of sleeping bag is so important. We’ve picked a favorite for ourselves, the Western Mountaineering HighLite Sleeping Bag (hereinafter called the WMH Sleeping Bag) which we’ll review for you here.
There are of course many other sleeping bags on the market to choose from, but we think the WMH Sleeping Bag is in a league of its own. We’ll review its key features and also let you know what we’d advise for anyone looking to purchase it. Of course, the pad/air bed/stretcher/tarpaulin that you place underneath your sleeping bag will also play some part in your nightly experience sleeping outdoors, but we’d wager that your sleeping bag itself will have the most major influence.
In case you’re not acquainted with Western Mountaineering (WM), they are popularly regarded as a standout amongst other top sleeping bag producers, with an overall notoriety for making extremely compressible and lightweight sleeping bags.
The HighLite sleeping bag packs down astonishingly little. Lightweight materials and a moderate outline help it squelch down to most down jacket size. However, it is due to its general absence of material (i.e. fabrics, full-length zipper, and insulation) that enable it to do as such. The HighLite sleeping bag utilizes excellent lightweight materials and a moderate design to achieve a little, lightweight package.
Design and Durability
Everything used in designing the Western HighLite sleeping bag is planned to lessen weight and enhance compressibility. In the first place, the 0.9-ounce ExtremeLite shell textile is extremely great. No other shell textile is this lightweight or stuffed with such a large number of threads per inch.
This particular ExtremeLite bag utilizes a single way #4 1/2 YKK curls zipper that is sliced in half length. While the seams which are horizontal are sewn-through, the vertical ones are baffled with 1/2″ mesh to enable unhampered space in order to make the impact of its 850+ goose down to be completely realized.
Its productive cut lessens mass and weight, as well as diminished overabundance inward volume so speedy heating is figuring it out! At just 16 ounce aggregate weight, no other sleeping bag is as lightweight, as warm, or as great looking as the HighLite sleeping bag.
As one of the lightest backpacking dozing sleeping bag on the market, the WM Highlite sleeping bag has great construction and a remarkable sewn-through plan that allows it to pack into a 5.5liter stuff bag and then recapture full space for a comfy night’s rest in the mid-30s.
It’s an awesome option for somebody needing ultra-light and still, owns a whole sleeping bag. The ultra-durable construction of the ExtremeLiteTM shell means that it’s a once off investment that will go the distance with you on many trips for years to come. For those prone to long journeys, it can be reassuring to know that your sleeping bag zip will stick it out with you.
You can quote performance ratings and construction details throughout the day, but what truly counts is the level at which a sleeping bag sleeps well. The first thing you will experience with the HighLite sleeping bag is that it packs little, in its provided stuff sack. The second is when you unpack it, is exactly how much space that top quality down offers you – for a lightweight sack, there’s a horrendous parcel of it. You can practically observe the down awakening and extend little arms as it widens.
The cut is smooth and not overtight, however, if you are above medium athletic build, you will be interested in trying before purchasing. The sleeping bag is a “Mummy” shape, with molded toe-box, and has a sufficiently fair hood to cover up inside, but remember that there is no shoulder or neck baffle and the single-way half-length zipper has no support baffle either.
That may not make any difference if the sleeping bag weren’t exactly so warm, yet practically, we’d say the comfort rating of 2°C, you can eventually end up utilizing at around the point of freezing. Furthermore, when it is pretty cool, you may see the lack of baffles. Some HighLite sleeping bag owners include their own to expand the bag’s versatility. In addition, a velcro tab closure built at the zip’s top implies that you can utilize it for powerful venting in hotter conditions, which would not be possible with zipless version.
Most sleeping bags are in the range where anal attention truly pays off and Western Mountaineering is completely fastidious in their approach. Basically, everything about the HighLite sleeping bag has been carefully picked. The fill, every one of the 225 grams of it, is ultra-high hurling 850+ goose down, however, Western says that is a traditionalist gauge and genuine appraisals might be successfully higher.
Then there is the fabric, the absurdly lightweight 0.9-ounce ExtremeLite shell material, which features a high thread for every inch number to keep down inside and enhance the performance of the sleeping bag.
Western utilizes a different slice amongst internal and external to enhance performance and, while most sleeping bags are straight fasten-through constructs, the HighLite sleeping bag consolidates flat sewn-through creases with vertical baffles, which are produced using netting, not so much since it is light, but rather due to the fact that the down will attach to it and tends to slide around making cool spots.
Value for Money and Guarantee
The WMH Sleeping Bag is a glossy purple colored outdoor camping sleeping bag. It sells for anywhere from USD $340 to $350 which is at the higher end of the wilderness sleeping bag market, but well worth the extra investment. This sleeping bag manages to actually be worth its oversized budget, which is quite impressive in and of itself.
As touching the product’s guarantee, we are certain that the producer or seller has provisions for defect issues that you may encounter while using the sleeping bag. So you can contact them whenever you come across any issue with your sleeping bag and they will be able to tell you if such issue meets their warranty requirement.
The HighLite Sleeping Bag from Western Mountaineering could be thought of as the pinnacle of sleeping bag designs when it comes to both long hikes, camping, and single overnight stay camps. It comes equipped with everything from a general summer sleepover to a wintery night at a base camp. Coming in at a very manageable overall weight of 16 ounces (.45 kilograms), the HighLite Sleeping Bag will hardly be felt as extra luggage by most hikers.
This is a huge plus for those who like to go long distances in between camp setups. The simple pocketed design of this sleeping bag also makes it a superior insulation provider with dense material and thread, to keep warm air locked in. In addition, as far as outdoor sleeping bags go, the HighLite is also incredibly durable – clearly having been made for stays on rough terrain.
It’s up to you whether the HighLite Sleeping Bag will match your unique situation, but we’d certainly urge you to consider it as one of the top sleeping bags out there on the market today. The HighLite definitely has a few things on its side when you compare it with the competition. For one thing, it’s a bit of an all-rounder – meaning it may not be the best at any of the features when compared with other sleeping bags, but it won’t be the worse for any of them either.
The special ExtremeLite shell fabric, for instance, is super lightweight and has a high thread count, thus making the HighLite score well in terms of both portability weight and insulation warmth. Unfortunately, it can’t score perfectly in either category – it is still heavier than a simple sheet sleeping bag and still less warm than a full on mountain climber’s high altitude snow sleeping bag.
- Comes in a variety of sizes
- Fantastic portability in terms of both weight and size
- Decent insulation
- Fairly priced
- Water resistant outer layer to increase durability
- Not suitable for mega cold conditions below 0 degrees Celsius
Clearly, the temperature rating of 35 degrees Fahrenheit is not suitable for snowy conditions, but for the frost, it’s more than adequate. You’ll find that the efficient and sleek interior design of this sleeping bag helps to add to its warmth, comfort, as there is less air to accommodate the body of its user, and therefore the air will heat up more quickly. For anyone who’s gone to bed cold before, you’ll know how much of a blessing a fast warming up sleeping bag can be. And the HighLite certainly is one.