REPOST - Owner Review - Western Mountaineering Antelope Super with Dryloft
- WESTERN MOUNTAINEERING
ANTELOPE SLEEPING BAG
Personal biographical information
o Alex Wolf Morris
o 28 years
o Height: 6' 2", 1.88 m
o Girth: wide
o Weight: 230 1bs, 104 kg
o Bay Area, CA
o I started Backpacking in Yosemite in 1988. Since then, I
have backpacked all over California with particular dedication to
the Sierras. I also explored the deserts and parks of Southern
Utah, the Tetons, Hawaii, National Parks of the Pacific Northwest,
and Nepal's Everest region. For 4 years, I worked as the Assistant
Manager for UCLA's Outdoor Adventures Program. I am very particular
about my personal gear. Depending on the trip, my backpacking style
ranges from bring-it-all-and-suffer, to lightweight-but-not-quite-
minimalist backpacking. I never leave my chair at home, for
instance. In general, I pack heavy on food, an light on everything
o Western Mountaineering
o Size Long 6' 6", 1.98m
o Listed Weight: 3 lbs, 1.36 kg.
o Actual Weight: 3 lbs, 1.36 kg.
o Zipper: left side
o 5 degrees F, -15 degrees C.
o High Sierras, Utah Deserts, Lost Coast of California,
o Nearly every type of weather, elevation, and climate
o Anywhere from below 0 degree F. (-17.77 degrees C) snow
camping to 65 degrees F. (18.33 degrees C.) nights in Joshua Tree
Overall, I am highly satisfied with the Western Mountaineering
Antelope. It is 6 years old and, except for one zipper repair, has
held up remarkably well. This bag represents the old days where you
only owned one sleeping bag and tried to use it for everything. The
bag lives up to the rigors of year-long use, though it certainly is
heavy for warm summer weather and barely warm enough for cold snowy
weather. This review will list the best components of the bag,
followed by a few problems I noticed over the years.
I purchased the Antelope in 1999 when it was a top-level, expensive
bag. The manufacturer is based in the San Francisco bay area and
their support staff always had answers, particularly to my questions
about product care, longevity, and appropriate use. Western
Mountaineering took my requests for information seriously. Once,
they even sent me free waterproofing material to boost my bag's
water resistance. Western Mountaineering also makes notoriously
warm bags bags that actually work well at their listed maximum
I ordered the 6' 6" (1.98 m) long version of the bag to accommodate
my 6' 2" (1.88 m) frame. I also invested in the Dryloft fabric
which claims to boost warmth by 10 degrees. By this logic, my
Antelope is approved down to -5 degrees. In my experience, the bag
works in these conditions, supporting the legend of Western
Mountaineering's toasty warm sleeping bags. I am pleased with my
decision as the extra length and warmth prevents the pain of cold
toes pushed against the base of the bag, wet down, or a slightly
colder night. The bag is plenty wide for my girth, leaving my
shoulders ample room to maneuver in the bag. The large size of the
bag affords room for fuel canisters, water bottles, clothes, and
even heavy-duty mountaineering boots to fit inside the bag with me
at night. This feature is important in cold weather backpacking, so
I place high value on the large size of the Antelope.
During 6 years of heavy use, averaging 3 weekends a month, the
stitching has held up, the Dryloft fabric shows no tears, and the
loft still keeps me toasty. In fact, it still maintains its
original 7" (17.78 cm) of loft. The pearly blue color of the bag
looks clean and beckons me into the bag. The bag dries of nicely in
the sun, rarely smells funny, and compresses nicely using a 6" or 7"
(17 cm) diameter stuff sack. With more elbow grease, I could
squeeze it into an even smaller bag. Salespeople often say that
down bags are good for 10 years. My Antelope validates this
promise. The 800 fill down is still warm after much more than
normal use for 6 years. In fact, it is wonderful to sleep in, even
on sub-freezing Sierra spring nights.
Overall, the bag shows solid craftsmanship, but there is some room
for improvement. For instance, the zipper baffle, although enforced
with a rigid fabric, still finds a way into the zipper. After four
years, I had to replace the zipper because of this flaw. I also
ordered the bag to be made with Dryloft, a fabric type and coating
that is water resistant, breathable, and adds warmth to the bag.
Even with the Dryloft, I have never seen any water bead up on the
bag. It always gets the external fabric damp, but the moisture
never penetrates in to the down. The fabric dries quickly if you
have an hour or two of sun to dry the bag. I have not, however,
slept out in pouring rain the way I did in my old synthetic bag.
My biggest complaint is the shape of the hood on the bag. Some
friends claim that I have a large noggin, and I agree.
Nevertheless, the hood, when cinched over my face puts too much
pressure on my forehead, nose, and chin. This pressure in turn
compresses the loft and sacrifices warmth. The hood also feels
worse if you stuff a jacket or pillow inside the hood. Another tiny
drawback to the bag is the lack of a fabric loop at the toe of the
bag. This simple loop or tag helps to hang the bag and dry it.
Lastly, the stuff sack they include with the bag is awful.
Although few sleeping bags come with nice stuff sacks, I would like
to see a company like Western Mountaineering achieve excellence in
all aspects of their sleeping bags. The Antelope's stuff sack
really ought to be a nice compression sack a bag of this caliber
and cost needs a nice stuff sack instead of a medium size stuff
sack I quickly replaced.
In conclusion, the Western Mountaineering Antelope is a fantastic 3-
season bag. It will even work as a 4-season bag in milder locations
such as the California Sierras, my personal stomping grounds. If I
had to buy all over again, I would choose the same bag.
- Hi Alex,
Looking good! Please make the few changes below and upload a trial
html version to the OR test folder on BGT at
You will need to log-in first, natch.
OR Editor, BGT
> WESTERN MOUNTAINEERING### OWNER REVIEW: WESTERN MOUNTAINEERING ANTELOPE SLEEPING BAG
> ANTELOPE SLEEPING BAG
> instance. In general, I pack heavy on food, an light on everything### ...and light...
> weather. This review will list the best components of the bag,### This review will list the best aspects (characteristics?
features?) of the bag. Components is the wrong word choice here.
> I purchased the Antelope in 1999 when it was a top-level, expensive
> bag. The manufacturer is based in the San Francisco bay
> water resistance. Western Mountaineering also makes notoriously### notoriously has negative connotations. "notably" will do better
> I also invested in the Dryloft fabric### Two issues here. Firsly, provide Centigrade equivalents for the
> which claims to boost warmth by 10 degrees. By this logic, my
> Antelope is approved down to -5 degrees.
temperatures (the reason for the insistence on this is that we have an
international readership and most of the world uses metric).
Secondly, in the rundown on the bag specifics you had indicated 5
degrees F, -15 C. I just checked on the WM site. They now claim 5 F
for both the microfiber and the Dryloft. I think the indicated boost
in temperature of 10 F was over the nylon taffeta version, which they
no longer offer, but was available when you purchased. Could you
clarify this discrepancy as best as possible?
>### (18 cm) will do fine. When quoting metric equivalents, try to keep
> During 6 years of heavy use, averaging 3 weekends a month, the
> stitching has held up, the Dryloft fabric shows no tears, and the
> loft still keeps me toasty. In fact, it still maintains its
> original 7" (17.78 cm)
to the same level of accuracy as the US.
That's about all I can see to poke holes in at present <g>. No,
really, a good text, well done. The only thing that you did not touch
on are the control cords for the hood and the draft tube. Should these
perhaps be mentioned?