Hands-on Gear Review

Compare backpacking sleeping bag ratings side-by-side >

Marmot Plasma 30 Review

   

Backpacking Sleeping Bags

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: June 19, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $469 - $489 | 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 ⋅ November 15, 2012  
Overview
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.

Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >

  • Photos
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
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.

Dislikes
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.

Click to enlarge
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.

Value
$440!! Very poor value.


Other Versions
The Marmot Plasma 15, $540, is a luxuriously comfortable, sleek, high performance sleeping bag fashioned with 900-fill goose down and ultralight Pertex Quantum shell material. Vertical baffles, a large toe box, and a well-designed hood make the Plasma one of the most comfortable three-season bags we've ever tested.

The Marmot Trestles 15 and Marmot Trestles 15 - Women's, $120, is the second warmest synthetic bag we've tested.

Marmot Trestles 30 - Women's, $110.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale

Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >

Where to Buy?


Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: June 19, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
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)
Sort 1 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No


Have you used the Marmot Plasma 30?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
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 $468.95
MooseJaw $468.95
MountainGear $469.00
Compare prices at 5 sellers >

*Help support OutdoorGearLab. If you click on one of the seller links and make a purchase, a portion of the sale helps support this site
Related Best-in-Class Review
The Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review

The Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review

We tested over 30 of the best quality lightweight backpacking bags in a head-to-head competition that assessed the following categories: fit, weight, warmth, packed size, and features.
Helpful Buying Tips
How to Choose the Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag - Click for details
 How to Choose the Best Backpacking Sleeping Bag

by Mike Phillips and Max Neale
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Subscribe to our Newsletter