Reviews You Can Rely On

Marmot Helium Review

Marmot Helium
Credit: Marmot
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $449 List | $448.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, warm
Cons:  Fit is best for people with wide shoulders, no neck baffle, other bags are warmer for weight
Manufacturer:   Marmot
By Chris McNamara and Max Neale  ⋅  May 8, 2015
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
  • Warmth - 23% 7.0
  • Weight - 22% 5.0
  • Comfort - 25% 6.0
  • Packed Size - 5% 5.0
  • Features - 10% 6.0
  • Versatility - 15% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Helium has been updated since we initially tested it.

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
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More