Owners Report of Western Mountaineering HighLite Sleeping Bag
- Owner Review of Western Mountaineering HighLite Sleeping Bag
Name: Carol Crooker
Weight: 165 lbs
City, State: Phoenix, Arizona
Date: September 29, 2002
Backpacking background: For the past 6 years I've backpacked about 30 days each year. My trips were from 2 to 28 days, with my usual trip being between 3 and 6 days long. Most of my trips have been in Arizona and the High Sierras with Oregon, Utah and New York thrown in for variety. Weather has varied from highs in the 90's to lows in the 20's. Most of my backpacking trips have been solo.
Product Information on the Western Mountaineering HighLite
Manufacturer: Western Mountaineering
Year of manufacture: 1999
Web site: http://www.westernmountaineering
Listed Weight: 16 oz
Weight as delivered: 16 oz
Sewn-Thru and Baffled Box Construction
59"/38" Shoulder/Foot Girth
2 1/2" Loft, 40 degrees F
8 oz. Down Fill
Everything in the HighLite's design is intended to reduce weight and promote compressibility. First, the .85 ounce EXTREMELITE tm shell fabric goes without saying. No other shell fabric is this light or packed with so many threads per inch. This specialized EXTREMELITE tm bag uses a one way #4 1/2 YKK coil zipper that is cut to half length. While the horizontal seams are sewn-thru, the vertical seams are baffled with 1 1/2" netting to allow unimpeded loft so the effect of its 750 Plus goose down is fully realized. Its efficient cut not only reduces bulk and weight, but reduces excess internal volume so quick heating is realized! At only 16 ounces total weight, no other bag is as light, as warm, as well made or as handsome as HighLite.
I have the bag to accommodate someone up to 6' tall with a right zip.
I've used the HighLite for the last three years for about 75 nights. Trip length was from two to seven days. Overnight temperatures ranged from highs in the 60's and 70's in the Grand Canyon to lows in the low 20's. Locations were in Arizona desert and high country, the High Sierras, Oregon and the Finger Lakes area of New York. Precipitation ranged from none (a frequent occurrence in Arizona) to continuous rain for a day and a half in the Sierras and high winds and snow in Arizona. I always used a Design Salt silk mummy liner and almost always a bivy sack. The first two years I used an OR dryloft bag cover as a bivy, for the last year I've used the Equinox Ultralite Bivi. My tarp was a 5' x 8' silnylon tarp from Integral Designs until this year when I started using the silnylon Tacoma tarp with bug netting. My base packweight was normally 11.5lbs. For winter trips and when I used a bear can, base packweight was about 13.5 pounds and in very warm temperatures my base packweight was around 9 lbs.
I love this bag! Recently it kept me warm at 13,500' in the High Sierras at 31 degrees. I used my silk bag liner and Equinox bivi and almost all of my clothes, including laying an 11 oz down jacket over my torso. I didn't use my tarp but was sheltered by a loose stone wall. I had a 3/4 length Mount Washington foam pad under me. I was amazed! By the way, the Mount Washington pad has made all the difference in sleeping warmth to me. When I first started using the HighLite I used a silk liner, a bivy, and a 3/4 ultralight Thermarest. I was comfortable only down to 40 degrees (the HighLite's rating). Once I switched to the 3/4 Mount Washington, I found I was comfortable below 40 degrees.
I've also been comfortable down to 25 degrees using a full length Mount Washington II pad and a 3/4 length Mount Washington, and a Moonstone down liner on top of the bag and inside the bivy.
Workmanship is excellent. I haven't seen any broken stitches anywhere. I've never washed the HighLite in three years of use, yet it looks and lofts like new.
The shell does a good job of keeping the down dry. On a couple of occasions, the toe or hood of my bag has gotten wet from touching tarp walls or from splash. Although the shell material was wet, the down did not get wet.
The bag is cut close. I'm 5'10" tall and this 6' bag is just long enough for me. My toes touch the end when I stretch out. There is enough room over my torso to wear a light insulated jacket (Patagonia Puffball or 11 oz. down jacket) over several layers of clothing. I find the bag cozy, rather than constricting. My shoulder girth is 45" and my chest is 37".
Things I like
I really trust the HighLite to keep me warm.
Excellent workmanship! A beautiful bag!
It's very light and compressible.
Things I don't like or could be improved
The zipper separates at the bottom if the bag is unzipped too far.
One or two down pummels poke out each trip.
It is difficult for me to get the hood to cinch down low over my forehead. I'd like it to come just above my eye brows but it normally rests at almost the crown of my head.
I absolutely love this bag! It's my 35 degree bag.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Hi Carol,
Thanks for your second owner's review. Like your
first, this one is very well written. I have a few
corrections for you to make before you upload your
In your link to the Western Mountaineering website you
left off the '.com': 'Web site:
IF you are going to include the verbatim text of the
manufacturer's product description as given on their
website, please put quotes around it and do everything
else (perhaps indent it as a separate paragraph) to
make sure that it is obvious that you are quoting and
that this is not your own review of the bag. Because
of the hyperbolic cant of the material you have
quoted, I do not think it is a good idea to include it
in your review (even if you agree with it.) I would
much rather read a description of the product in your
own words, with your own superlatives, if you feel
that strongly about the product.
When you have corrected your review please upload it
When you enter the description for your review, it
should include (if possible) the manufacturer, product
name, product type, and your name. So your report
should have a description something like:
Western Mountaineering HighLite Sleeping bag - Carol
If you need any help uploading your review, you can
post a request for assistance at:
Once this report has been uploaded you will be
qualified to apply as a gear tester. Welcome aboard!
BGT List monitor
"What are the three most essential backpacking items?"
"Toys, water, and food. Without water and food, you'll die. If you don't bring toys, all you'll have to play with is rocks and sticks."
-- A. M. Frick
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