Hands-on Gear Review

Marmot Helium Review

Marmot Helium Eq
By: Chris McNamara and Max Neale  ⋅  May 8, 2015
Price:  $469 List  |  $299.21 at Backcountry - 36% Off
Pros:  Lightweight, warm.
Cons:  Fit is best for people with wide shoulders, no neck baffle, other bags are warmer for weight.
Manufacturer:   Marmot
  • Warmth - 23% 7
  • Weight - 22% 5
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Packed Size - 5% 5
  • Features - 10% 6
  • Versatility - 15% 4
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Our Verdict

The Marmot Helium is a top quality 850-fill fifteen-degree bag ideal for people with broad shoulders or those who plan to use the bag with a down jacket. The Helium used to be a top quality bag, and it won numerous awards from outdoor media in the past, but recent innovations and newer designs put the bag behind the curve. Marmot has not updated the bag.

Our Analysis and Test Results


Hands-On Review


The Marmot Helium is a top quality fifteen-degree sleeping bag. Its made with a good quality lightweight ripstop nylon and stuffed with 850-fill down.


While the Helium is made of fine materials, two important drawbacks lower its ratings from great to average. First, the Helium has a disappointingly wide fit. A 64 shoulder circumference makes it suitable for those for who have wide shoulders, but too roomy for those who dont. This extra space, combined with the lack of a neck baffle, makes the bag very drafty for slender folk. In other words, you shouldnt buy this bag unless you have broad shoulders. If you do have wide shoulders, this could be a great choice because its cheaper (though also heavier) than other bags, like the Plasma 15.

This bag is heavy when compared to many other bags that use higher quality down and fabrics.

Best Application

Lightweight cold weather camping for those with wide shoulders.


A good value for those with wide shoulders who want something lightweight. Otherwise get the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 for the best value high performance bag, the Marmot Plasma 15 for the most luxurious high performance bag, or the REI Halo 25 for the overall, best value three-season down bag.

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:  
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Average Customer Rating:  
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100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 50%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)

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   Jan 16, 2012 - 12:19pm
ascheylus · Backpacker · Indianapolis, IN

I just spent last night in my helium bag at 4 degrees Farenheit. I had a sea-to-summit thermolite liner and a 4-season thermarest pad & I wore thermal underwear. Loved it. I have broad shoulders. when I bought this bag I was worried about the lack of a neck liner, but haven't missed it. If I'd have known how cold it was going to be I would have took a heavier bag, but I was plenty warm. Thanks for the review and my comment is only my experience, not a promise to anyone! Another big plus is the light weight and the small size to which this sleeping bag compresses. A downside? I would like a waterproof/resistant material for the outer shell, at least around the mouth hole, where breath vapor tends to condense and make that part of the sleeping bag wet. I have taken this bag down to 10-15 degrees many times and can't think of a reason to complain about it's performance.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

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