SLEEPING BAGS

Western Mountaineering Highlite Sleeping Bag: Sleep Great in the Great Outdoors

Western Mountaineering HighLite on the floor
John C. Porter
Written by John C. Porter

When you’re settling in for a long night at the end of an even longer day out in the bush, what you need is a great night’s rest. You’ll be amazed what a difference a good sleeping bag can make to your sleep quality and through that your mood. A good mood = more fun in the great outdoors during the day. Sometimes a little extra padding is all that stands between you and that glorious all-night-long sleeping experience.

There are few things better than waking up in the morning refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to start the next leg of your hike or go fishing in the local stream for lunch. Alternately, there are few things worse than finally getting up after a restless cold night with minimal sleep and feeling groggy for the rest of the day.

That’s why your choice of sleeping bag is so important. We’ve picked a favorite for ourselves, the Western Mountaineering HighLite Sleeping Bag (hereinafter called the WMH Sleeping Bag) which we’ll review for you here.

Product Specification

  • Everything in the HighLite’s design is intended to reduce weight and promote compressibility.
  • 9 ounce ExtremeLite shell fabric: at only 16 ounces total weight, no other bag is as light, as warm, as well made or as handsome as our HighLite
  • 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.

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There are of course many other sleeping bags on the market to choose from, but we think the WMH Sleeping Bag is in a league of its own. We’ll review its key features and also let you know what we’d advise for anyone looking to purchase it. Of course, the pad/air bed/stretcher/tarpaulin that you place underneath your sleeping bag will also play some part in your nightly experience sleeping outdoors, but we’d wager that your sleeping bag itself will have the most major influence.

Review

Packaging

In case you’re not acquainted with Western Mountaineering (WM), they are popularly regarded as a standout amongst other top sleeping bag producers, with an overall notoriety for making extremely compressible and lightweight sleeping bags.

The HighLite sleeping bag packs down astonishingly little. Lightweight materials and a moderate outline help it squelch down to most down jacket size. However, it is due to its general absence of material (i.e. fabrics, full-length zipper, and insulation) that enable it to do as such. The HighLite sleeping bag utilizes excellent lightweight materials and a moderate design to achieve a little, lightweight package.

Design and Durability

Everything used in designing the Western HighLite sleeping bag is planned to lessen weight and enhance compressibility. In the first place, the 0.9-ounce ExtremeLite shell textile is extremely great. No other shell textile is this lightweight or stuffed with such a large number of threads per inch.

This particular ExtremeLite bag utilizes a single way #4 1/2 YKK curls zipper that is sliced in half length. While the seams which are horizontal are sewn-through, the vertical ones are baffled with 1/2″ mesh to enable unhampered space in order to make the impact of its 850+ goose down to be completely realized.

Western Mountaineering HighLite on the ground

Its productive cut lessens mass and weight, as well as diminished overabundance inward volume so speedy heating is figuring it out! At just 16 ounce aggregate weight, no other sleeping bag is as lightweight, as warm, or as great looking as the HighLite sleeping bag.

As one of the lightest backpacking dozing sleeping bag on the market, the WM Highlite sleeping bag has great construction and a remarkable sewn-through plan that allows it to pack into a 5.5liter stuff bag and then recapture full space for a comfy night’s rest in the mid-30s.

It’s an awesome option for somebody needing ultra-light and still, owns a whole sleeping bag. The ultra-durable construction of the ExtremeLiteTM shell means that it’s a once off investment that will go the distance with you on many trips for years to come. For those prone to long journeys, it can be reassuring to know that your sleeping bag zip will stick it out with you.

Performance

You can quote performance ratings and construction details throughout the day, but what truly counts is the level at which a sleeping bag sleeps well. The first thing you will experience with the HighLite sleeping bag is that it packs little, in its provided stuff sack. The second is when you unpack it, is exactly how much space that top quality down offers you – for a lightweight sack, there’s a horrendous parcel of it. You can practically observe the down awakening and extend little arms as it widens.

The cut is smooth and not overtight, however, if you are above medium athletic build, you will be interested in trying before purchasing. The sleeping bag is a “Mummy” shape, with molded toe-box, and has a sufficiently fair hood to cover up inside, but remember that there is no shoulder or neck baffle and the single-way half-length zipper has no support baffle either.

That may not make any difference if the sleeping bag weren’t exactly so warm, yet practically, we’d say the comfort rating of 2°C, you can eventually end up utilizing at around the point of freezing. Furthermore, when it is pretty cool, you may see the lack of baffles. Some HighLite sleeping bag owners include their own to expand the bag’s versatility. In addition, a velcro tab closure built at the zip’s top implies that you can utilize it for powerful venting in hotter conditions, which would not be possible with zipless version.

Technical Lowdown

Most sleeping bags are in the range where anal attention truly pays off and Western Mountaineering is completely fastidious in their approach. Basically, everything about the HighLite sleeping bag has been carefully picked. The fill, every one of the 225 grams of it, is ultra-high hurling 850+ goose down, however, Western says that is a traditionalist gauge and genuine appraisals might be successfully higher.

Then there is the fabric, the absurdly lightweight 0.9-ounce ExtremeLite shell material, which features a high thread for every inch number to keep down inside and enhance the performance of the sleeping bag.

A couple in a tent sitting in Western Mountaineering Highlite Sleeping Bags

Western utilizes a different slice amongst internal and external to enhance performance and, while most sleeping bags are straight fasten-through constructs, the HighLite sleeping bag consolidates flat sewn-through creases with vertical baffles, which are produced using netting, not so much since it is light, but rather due to the fact that the down will attach to it and tends to slide around making cool spots.

Value for Money and Guarantee

The WMH Sleeping Bag is a glossy purple colored outdoor camping sleeping bag. It sells for anywhere from USD $340 to $350 which is at the higher end of the wilderness sleeping bag market, but well worth the extra investment. This sleeping bag manages to actually be worth its oversized budget, which is quite impressive in and of itself.

As touching the product’s guarantee, we are certain that the producer or seller has provisions for defect issues that you may encounter while using the sleeping bag. So you can contact them whenever you come across any issue with your sleeping bag and they will be able to tell you if such issue meets their warranty requirement.

Similar Products/Competitors

Western Mountaineering Summerlite Western Mountaineering Summerlite

The Western Mountaineering Summerlite sleeping bag, evaluated at 32-degrees F, is a lightweight, completely baffled, traditional mummy sleeping bag. While most Ultralight Sleeping Bag forgoes some great features, the Summerlite sleeping bag has them such as a draft tube that supports it, full-length zipper and a warm hood.

While many ultralight hiking devotees incline toward bags or quilts that don’t have a hood, it’s not everybody. The summerlite can be a go-to sleeping bag for a 3-season backpacking trip.

Weighing at only 1 lb 3 oz, the SummerLite sleeping bag is the lightest-continuous baffle bag that produced by Western Mountaineering. These baffles permit you to direct the bag’s temperature by moving the down above you in colder condition, or below you when there is warmth, thus making for an extremely versatile summer sleeping bag. Difficult to believe in a sleeping bag that is this light, however, the SummerLite even comes with an insulated draft tube for additional security from the components.

Western Mountaineering made this sleeping bag for the lightweight enthusiasts who have offered them criticism, feedback and inspiration to keep creating the lightest down items on the market. Like all of the WM’s sleeping bag, this sleeping bag is produced by hand in San Jose in the city of California.

The down is gotten from unfenced mother geese who are not in any way force-fed or live-plucked. The sleeping bag packs into a 1ounce sack that is just marginally bigger than a loaf of bread. The bag’s construction is great and it should last long.

Nemo Strato Loft Nemo Strato Loft

The Nemo Strato Loft is really more than a sleeping bag, it can be referred to as a bed. This sleeping bag zip a 25inch wide insulated cushion just like Cosmo insulated 25L in its fitted and uninsulated sleeve, and retain it for this trip and the following.

You can move from one side to another under its knitted down cover and the Nemo Strato will remain in place simply like your bed.

Designed for three-season solace from the campsite to the boondocks, this sleeping bag gives you a chance to extend in solace due to the 700-fill DownTek down sofa and fitted cushion sleeve.

The NEMO Strato Loft is almost like resting on a double bed as you can also get in a car outdoors bag. At the weight of 3 pounds and 4 ounces, this sleeping bag is too big for use as a hiking sleeping bag, however, it’s optimal for 3-season car, outdoor use, particularly for side sleepers or any individual who usually stroll around during night times and can’t rest in a mummy-pack style straight coat.

The Strato Loft 25 is actually more of a quilt since it is not insulated underneath. Rather, you have to slip a 25inch sleeping cushion into the space beneath the sleeping bag to utilize it. The space closes towards the end of a zipper and possesses an opening above, so that you can maneuver your cushion into it. The Strato Loft 25 sleeping bag does not feature a mummy style hood despite the fact that it is insulated and you can wrap it around your head so as to get warm.

Sea to Summit Spark I Sea to Summit Spark I

The Sea to Summit Spark I sleeping bag is really an ultralight bag with many important uses. Its size, warmth and weight balance makes it an incredible summer bag, particularly for ultra-light hiking and cycle touring.

Its temperature rating and size implies that it can likewise function admirably as a supporter pack, by slipping it into another sleeping bag to include warmth. The insulation of Ultra-Dry Down makes this sleeping bag perfect for adventure racing and summer alpine use, where heavyweight is not allowed and where down hasn’t been a feasible choice.

Packing down to 1-liter water bottle size, this ultralight sleeping bag adjusts the size, warmth, and weight to make it a fabulous option for summer hiking and mountaineering. Its size, weight, and warmth balance, make it a great sleeping bag, particularly for space and weight cognizant ultralight walkers and cycle tourers. It additionally functions admirably as a liner pack, by entering into another bag to add maybe a couple seasons to its rating. The Spark SPI sleeping bag packs so little.

Overview

The HighLite Sleeping Bag from Western Mountaineering could be thought of as the pinnacle of sleeping bag designs when it comes to both long hikes, camping, and single overnight stay camps. It comes equipped with everything from a general summer sleepover to a wintery night at a base camp. Coming in at a very manageable overall weight of 16 ounces (.45 kilograms), the HighLite Sleeping Bag will hardly be felt as extra luggage by most hikers.

This is a huge plus for those who like to go long distances in between camp setups. The simple pocketed design of this sleeping bag also makes it a superior insulation provider with dense material and thread, to keep warm air locked in. In addition, as far as outdoor sleeping bags go, the HighLite is also incredibly durable – clearly having been made for stays on rough terrain.

Western Mountaineering HighLite in a tent

It’s up to you whether the HighLite Sleeping Bag will match your unique situation, but we’d certainly urge you to consider it as one of the top sleeping bags out there on the market today. The HighLite definitely has a few things on its side when you compare it with the competition. For one thing, it’s a bit of an all-rounder – meaning it may not be the best at any of the features when compared with other sleeping bags, but it won’t be the worse for any of them either.

The special ExtremeLite shell fabric, for instance, is super lightweight and has a high thread count, thus making the HighLite score well in terms of both portability weight and insulation warmth. Unfortunately, it can’t score perfectly in either category – it is still heavier than a simple sheet sleeping bag and still less warm than a full on mountain climber’s high altitude snow sleeping bag.

Pros:

  • Comes in a variety of sizes
  • Fantastic portability in terms of both weight and size
  • Decent insulation
  • Fairly priced
  • Water resistant outer layer to increase durability

Cons:

  • Not suitable for mega cold conditions below 0 degrees Celsius

Clearly, the temperature rating of 35 degrees Fahrenheit is not suitable for snowy conditions, but for the frost, it’s more than adequate. You’ll find that the efficient and sleek interior design of this sleeping bag helps to add to its warmth, comfort, as there is less air to accommodate the body of its user, and therefore the air will heat up more quickly. For anyone who’s gone to bed cold before, you’ll know how much of a blessing a fast warming up sleeping bag can be. And the HighLite certainly is one.

Whether the WMH Sleeping Bag is right for you is completely a matter of personal preference and intended use situations. If you are thinking of getting a WMH Sleeping Bag, already have one, or would be in love with a different sleeping bag, let us know in the comments below. It’s always fun to hear from other hikers about their experiences. We wish you all the best with your adventures in the wild!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John C. Porter
John C. Porter

John is passionate about hiking long distances. His record is over 65 miles in one day with backpacking gear. John hiked over 10 thousand miles, tried over 100 hiking shoes and visited 56 countries so far. His favourite hiking route is West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

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