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Western Mountaineering Summerlite Review

   

Backpacking Sleeping Bags

  • Currently 4.8/5
Overall avg rating 4.8 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: January 13, 2013
Street Price:   Varies from $370 - $395 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Very light, simple, full-length zipper increases versatility.
Cons:  Only warm enough for summer, other hoods are more comfortable.
Best Uses:  Summer adventures
User Rating:     
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 (4.5 of 5) based on 2 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (2/2) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Western Mountaineering
Review by: Max Neale ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ November 17, 2012  
Overview
The Western Mountaineering Summerlite is the best summer weight traditional style sleeping bag we've tested that has a full-length zipper. It weighs nineteen ounces, boasts 850-fill down, a superlight shell material. Though the bag is exceptionally well designed and constructed, we've found that other types of bags offer far greater performance for weight conscious applications. Specifically, quilt style bags are lighter, warmer for their weight, and more versatile than bags with hoods and zippers. We compare the best bags for summer backpacking and all applications where saving weight is a top priority in our Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review. If you're set on a bag with an attached hood then see the Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
The Western Mountaineering Summerlite is the lightest fully featured summer weight bag we reviewed. At nineteen ounces this bag is a solid option backpacking, bike touring, and fast and light climbing. It provides the warmth necessary for these activities without sacrificing comfort. 850-fill down, a superlight shell material, and an efficient, trim cut will keep you warm and comfortable in summer conditions. Many summer weight mummy bags skip the full length zipper. But the Summerlite does not, and we like this because the bag is more comfortable in warm temperatures.

Dislikes
If you're reading this review you're probably looking for a lightweight bag for three-season use- a bag that prioritizes weight savings. After testing nearly 70 sleeping bags of all types we've found that quilt style sleeping bags are much warmer for their weight, and more versatile than traditional sleeping bags with attached hoods and zippers. We highly recommend quilts for all weight conscious three-season applications because we believe they perform much better than the Summerlite if saving weight is a priority. Warmer, lighter, and more versalite… a win-win for most people. Consider the Katabatic Gear Palisade. However, if you want a top-tier bag with an attached hood and full-length zipper, the Summerlite can't be beaten. It's the best in its class of traditional style summer weight bags with a full-length zipper.

We believe that most people will be better off with an ultralight sleeping bag.
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The Western Mountaineering Summerlite and Feathered Friends Merlin at 13,000 ft., High Sierra.
Credit: Max Neale

Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: January 13, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.5)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 67%  (2)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Jan 31, 2012 - 05:00am
portlandclimber · Climber
perfect warm weather bag, no problems for me down to 0 degrees/37f. i tend to sleep cold so i think in general WM get it right with the ratings they give their bags.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 13, 2013 - 09:48am
KouleKafe · Backpacker · London
This is a very light bag in a tiny bag. And it has a full-length zip. Great. It is also rather fragile and does not have much loft. Most importantly, it really is for the summer!

Don't assume that it will keep you warm to 0C. I have used this bag many times and find it good to 10, OK to 5 and too cold below that. I wear long trousers and a fleece and at 2-3 degrees and it still feels cool - at rather damp weather outside the tent, mind you. (And with a very good mattress, so the cold is from the top.) There is just not enough down in there and stitching through doesn't help either. Will get another bag (at ca. 1kg weight) for temperatures below 5C.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Western Mountaineering Summerlite
Credit: Western Mountaineering
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