Its been a cool start to summer here in Tahoe but the weather is finally nice and camping season is in full swing. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about sleeping bags lately and I thought I’d go over some of the Marmot 2010 line. A lot of people ask what temperature rating they need and this varies depending on what the bag will be used for. For some climates a 45 degree bag works fine in the summer, but here in Tahoe the elevation means that it often gets down to 45 or colder at night and a lightweight bag just isn’t going to cut it. For summer use around here I recommend at least a 30 degree bag and a 20 or 15 degree bag gives more versatility for shoulder season and year round use. As far as down vs. synthetic fill goes, I prefer down for its light weight and ability to compact down small and not take up too much space in your backpack. Synthetic bags are great for raft trips or rainy climates where the ability to insulate when wet is important, or people looking for a good warm bag on a budget. Marmot put out a great video that explains the advantages and disadvantages of down vs. synthetic insulation for sleeping bags and outerwear. Check it out here:
This is my personal favorite in the Marmot line. It weighs under 2lbs, compacts down to the size of a loaf of bread, and has a 15 degree rating for colder nights. This is a great all around ultra light and compact sleeping bag for three season backpacking. It has high quality 850 down fill and the best weight to warmth ratio of any bag that we carry. It’s also available in a women’s specific version. The Helium series bags are filled and finished in Santa Rosa, California with and are independently tested and certified to ensure quality.
The Never Winter is a 30 degree down fill bag that is the minimum warmth wise that I would recommend for summer camping at elevation. It weighs about 2.5 pounds and compacts well, just not quite as small as the Helium. Overall a great summer bag at a great price.
The Never Summer is a classic zero degree down sleeping bag for year round use, or for people that tend to sleep cold. It even has a pocket in the trapezoidal foot box for heat packets for people that always have cold feet! A 0 degree sleeping bag is great for 3 season back packing or winter camping. It is a good compromise between being compact as well as warm.
The Trestles series are synthetic fill bags that come in a variety of temperature ranges. The 15 degree is in the middle of the line and probably the most versatile. The synthetic fill will keep you warm even when the bag is damp, making it a great choice for wet climates and river trips. Its weight (3lbs 10 oz) and bulk make it more suited to car camping than backpacking but the price ($98.95) can’t be beat for someone on a tight budget.
The Sawtooth is a down fill 15 degree bag great for 3 season use in a variety of climates. Although not quite as compact and light as the Helium it has comparable performance at a price a little more friendly to the budget. It still weighs under 3lbs and is a durable bag that will last for many years. A great bag for someone looking for one bag to do it all.
Once you have decided which Marmot sleeping bag is right for you, your next question is likely to be: How do I care for my new Marmot sleeping bag? Lucky for you the fine people over at Marmot have put together another video showing you how to wash and care for your down or synthetic fill sleeping bag. You can check it out here: