Reviews You Can Rely On

Marmot Helium Review

gearlab tested logo
marmot helium backpacking sleeping bag review
Credit: Marmot
Price:  $479 List
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Marmot
By Chris McNamara and Max Neale  ⋅  May 8, 2015
  • 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.
Fit is best for people with wide shoulders
No neck baffle
Other bags are warmer for weight
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