The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Sea to Summit Flame 15 Review

The Flame is a new, high-quality backpacking sleeping bag at a high price.
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Price:  $529 List
Pros:  High-quality down, warm and lofty, light, a top tier product
Cons:  Very expensive
Manufacturer:   Sea to Summit
By Jessica Haist ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 17, 2019
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89
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 15
  • Warmth - 25% 9
  • Weight - 25% 9
  • Comfort - 20% 9
  • Packed Size - 15% 9
  • Features - 15% 8

Our Verdict

This year Sea to Summit has launched an impressive line of new sleeping bags, and we were excited to see that they included women's models in their range! The Women's Flame is one of our favorite bags of the bunch. It has super high-quality materials, an intentional design that keeps it's weight down, and it is comfortable to boot. The Flame is neck and neck with our Editors' Choice Award winner the Feathered Friends Egret UL 20, but its steep price and slightly lower quality down keep it just behind the fantastic Egret.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

With 850 fill power down and lots of it, the Flame is very warm, light and lofty. We love this bag and think it's an excellent choice for lightweight backpacking.

Performance Comparison


The Sea to Summit Flame - Women's is one of the warmest and loftiest bags we tested.
The Sea to Summit Flame - Women's is one of the warmest and loftiest bags we tested.

Warmth


This bag is EN-rated to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, and we think that rating is spot-on. The Flame has almost 23 ounces of high quality 850 fill power down that is super lofty and fluffs this bag right up. The Flame and Marmot Phase 20 Women's both have 850 fill, but the Phase only has 18.3 ounces of down in it, contributing to it being less warm. We think the Egret is slightly warmer. Even though it has less down, its fill power is higher, and it can move all the down in the baffles to the top of the bag for extra loft.

The Flame also has huge fluffy neck baffles around the front and back to stop any pesky drafts from coming in down your neck. Sea to Summit claims the Flame has "down chambers filled using body-mapping to maximize warmth for a woman's physiology." We're not sure what this means, but half of its baffles are sewn vertically while the lower ones are horizontal, the jury is out whether this makes a difference in warmth. The Big Agnes Hazel SL 15 also has vertically sewn baffles, and we do not find that product particularly warm.

Weight


Weighing in at 1.95 pounds this bag is not crazy lightweight, but it's not heavy either. The Rab Neutrino 400 and Sierra Designs Cloud 800 are tied for the lightest bag in this review and weigh 1.7 pounds. However, those bags are not as warm as the Flame. The shell materials appear to be very light and delicate as they are translucent and you can see the down feathers and clusters right through the materials.

Two of our lighter additions this round  the Sea to Summit Flame and the Nemo Aya. Both products are focused on weight savings.
Two of our lighter additions this round, the Sea to Summit Flame and the Nemo Aya. Both products are focused on weight savings.

Comfort


We were pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the Flame is. It is a simple mummy shape that is roomy enough to move around a bit, much more comfortable than the NEMO Aya. It is so light and fluffy; it feels very cozy.

Packed Size


The Flame (left) and the Aya in their included compression sacks.
The Flame (left) and the Aya in their included compression sacks.
The Flame comes with a great compression sack that will pack this bag down super small. This bag takes a bit more effort to get into its compression sack as the materials seem to have a waterproof coating that takes effort to get the air out of when compressing it down.

Features


This bag has few bells and whistles, which we like! The high-quality materials and streamlined design are a simple, weight saving feature. We do wish it had a small stash pocket for those essentials like a headlamp or earplugs we want during the night. We also noticed that the zipper is not particularly high-quality and prefer ones with anti-snag pulls like on the Egret. The Flame comes with a strange rectangle shaped "case" for storage. We do not like it at all. It is difficult to get the bag back in the case, and it leaves the Flame partially compressed during storing, which is less than desirable.

The Sea to Summit Flame has very high quality down fill and it's shell materials are lightweight and translucent so you can see the down through it.
The Sea to Summit Flame has very high quality down fill and it's shell materials are lightweight and translucent so you can see the down through it.

Best Application


The Flame 15 is a great choice for all your long backpacking trips, especially if you'll be in high in the mountains and want to stretch your season from early spring to late Fall. This model is a true 3 season bag, even more so when paired with a high R-value sleeping pad.

The women's Flame has a very warm hood and interior draft collar.
The women's Flame has a very warm hood and interior draft collar.

Value


Here is this product's one Achilles heel - it's the most expensive bag we tested. This aspect is the one reason we would hesitate to buy it. The Egret is $40 cheaper, warmer and lighter, so we would choose it over the Flame. The Cloud is a full $200 cheaper and also a great, lightweight product with a slightly warmer temperature rating. If you're starting out and looking for an inexpensive, entry-level bag the Kelty Cosmic 20 is a good product to get you going and retails for only $170.

Conclusion


We love this bag and commend Sea to Summit for putting out such a technical product for women. We wish all manufacturers would put this much intention into new products for women. The Flame is light, super warm and lofty, and very comfortable. Now if we could just work on getting that price tag down a bit, we could wholeheartedly recommend it.


Jessica Haist