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Hands-on Gear Review

Marmot Plasma 30 Review


Backpacking Sleeping Bag

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: May 8, 2015
Price:   $440 List | Varies from $463 - $599 online
Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, very comfortable hood.
Cons:  Heavier, colder, and less versatile than quilt style bags.
Best Uses:  Luxurious summer activities.
User Rating:       (0.0 of 5) based on 1 reviews
Manufacturer:   Marmot
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ May 8, 2015  
The Marmot Plasma 30 is a luxuriously comfortable high performance summer weight down sleeping bag. It boasts top quality 900-fill down, a hyperlite Pertex Quantum shell material, a cut that accommodates a variety of body types, and a supremely comfortable hood. This the most luxurious fully featured leightweight bag we've tested.

And that's exactly the problem. Other bags in the same class are warmer for their weight and we believe that for backpacking it more comfortable to carry less than to carry a heavier bag that's slightly more comfortable. We've found that quilt style bags are the lightest, most versatile, and warmest for their weight. Our testers much prefer quilt style sleeping bags for weight conscious three-season applications. See our Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review for details.

New Version Update - May 2015
The Marmot Plasma 30 has been updated! Keep reading for more details!

RELATED: Our complete review of backpacking sleeping bags

  • Photos
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

The New Marmot Plasma 30 vs. The Older Version

According to Marmot, this new bag has, "heaps of advancements in fabric, insulation, and design add up to the most evolved sleeping system on Earth". This bag also features an Insotect Flow Vertical Baffle System that is said to reduce weight and transfer the heat from your core to your extremities. You also get a full-length zipper, a new insulated draft tube, a hood draw cord, an insulated collar with easy access cord, a velcro-free face muff, and two-way zipper sliders. We have contacted Marmot to confirm any additional upgrades.

"Lightweight Pertex© fabric forms a water-resistant, breathable barrier against the elements. 875+ (certified) fill-power goose down has been updated with our Down Defender treatment offering an extra level of moisture protection for sleeping bags exposed to wet environments. Flow Gate Construction allows warm air to circulate without allowing the down to shift."


This bag is currently available in slate grey/green lime and in a men's size regular, 6'0. The price has increased from $440 to $579. See below for a side-by-side comparison, with the newest model shown on the left and the older version pictured on the right.


Check back this fall (2015) for a brand new review of the Marmot Plasma 30, as our reviewers are currently hard at work testing out the latest version!

Hands-On Review


The Marmot Plasma 30 is the most comfortable hooded summer weight bag we reviewed. It's made of 900-fill down, superlight Pertex Quantum shell material, and has vertical baffles, which make the bag more comfortable. (Vertical baffles make it easier to design a comfortable hood and toes box, both of which the bag has.) The Plasma 30 is cut to fit a wide variety of body types and will likely fit you well.


Quilt style bags are warmer for their weight, lighter, and more versatile than traditional bags. We highly recommend quilts for all weight conscious three-season applications.

The Marmot Plasma 30 is best suited to lightweight camping trips where you walk for a few hours and spend the rest of the day reading the New Yorker in your tent (see photo below). Other bags are cheaper, lighter, and more versatile.

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Julia enjoys the Marmot Plasma 30 with her New Yorker and tea. Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 2 tent.
Credit: OutdoorGearLab
A few drawbacks specific to the Plasma 30:
The Plasma has a full neck baffle with two snaps and a drawcord. Althogh this feature is well designed we don't believe it belongs on an ultralight summer bag. Similarly, the hood is very comfortable, but almost too comfortable. Marmot stuffed extra down into the back of the hood to make a mini pillow. These features don't add too much extra weight, but they illustrate that the bag is designed more for comfort than for performance.

Another potential drawback is the shell material, Pertex Quantum. Though superlight and surprisingly durable for its weight the material offers virtually no water resistance. Other materials, such as the Pertex Endurance UL offered on the Feathered Friends Merlin, are nearly as light and more water resistant. You can't go wrong with the Plasma 30, other bags just perform better.

See the Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review to compare the best bags that prioritize weight savings.


$440!! Very poor value.

Other Versions

Marmot Plasma 15
Click to enlarge
  • Cost - $470
  • 900-fill goose down
  • Ultralight Pertex Quantum shell material
  • Luxuriously comfortable, sleek, high performance sleeping bag

Marmot Trestles 30 - Women's
Click to enlarge
  • Cost - $100
  • Weight - 3 lbs 2.8 oz
  • Women's specific bag
  • Warm weather bag that is roomy and comfortable
  • Synthetic

Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: May 8, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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Write a Review on this Gear

Jun 19, 2014 - 06:37pm
Let me start out by saying that I absolutely love Outdoor Gear Lab and truly appreciate all the work being put in by testers and those writing reviews. Having said that, the tone of this review is just weird. It reads like some kind of bad inside joke. Other bags get a legitimate breakdown of pros and cons, but this one is only good for "trips where you walk for a few hours and spend the rest of the day reading the New Yorker in your tent"? You talk about it's well designed features that don't add much weight but make them sound like a terrible thing. The Plasma comes out as the top scoring 30 degree bag according you your rating numbers, but the writing in this review makes it sound like no one should buy it. I'm not saying that the bag is perfect, I just don't understand the strange resentment you seem to have towards it.
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Click to enlarge
Marmot Plasma 30. Note the full neck baffle and puffy mini pillow in the hood. The bag's vertical baffles make it more comfortable, but less versatile than traditional horizontal baffles.
Credit: Marmot
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Backcountry $463.16  -  20% off!
CampSaver $463.16  -  20% off!
Oregon Mountain Community $508.04
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