Western Mountaineering Highlite

First all, I have to say, I love Western Mountaineering. Occasionally there are heroic companies in the outdoor world that push new boundaries. This is one of them. They make products that are both unbelievably light and well made at the same time. Kudos WM, I hope you never get too big you forget your niche.

Now back to the bag. This bag is the bomb. It weighs in at an incredulous 15 oz. and is respectably toasty to boot.

Its a down bag, that packs to almost nothing, and is rated to 35 °F. We've slept in it down to around 28 °F degrees wearing thermals. I was on the edge of cold, but mostly stayed warm.

The experience was too cold for Theresa and she's since switched to the Versalite, a 10 °F bag. The versalite is riddiculously warm.

This bag is an ultralight backpackers dream. The top 3 heavies are sleeping bag, tent and backpack and this almost eliminates one of those from the map.

The only downside? It's very spendy, at over $200! But IMHO, worth every penny. Save for this bag and you won't be disappointed.

Available from Backcountry Gear for $230.

3 thoughts on “Western Mountaineering Highlite

  1. Frank Perkins

    Hey Brett,

    I’m currently on the fence between the SummerLite and the HighLite [or maybe a quilt!] and I was wondering your experience with the bag regards to: a) no draft protection on zipper, b) only having a half zipper, c) ~temp rating if you were wearing thermals and a vest ~25 degrees?


  2. brett Post author

    Hey Frank,

    Here are my thoughts:

    a) I have yet to notice a zipper draft. the whole bag is thin and i have felt the wind through it time-time, but not exclusive to the zipper. If you are using just a tarp and will have a lot of potential wind exposure, this might not be such a great bag.

    b) not an issue at all for me, i actually kind of like it. but i’m not the type of person that like to stick my feet out of the bottom of my bag either – if i’m that warm, i’ll use it as a quilt.

    c) as i mentioned above, i’ve used it in the mid-high 20’s. if i was wearing a down vest as well, i’m sure it would have been plenty warm. i haven’t had it that cold since acquiring my cocoon vest. it’s snowboarding season now, and my gear is all tucked away for winter 🙂

  3. Nick

    Brett thanks for directing my attention to western mountaineering. I just picked up the Ponderosa MF. What a fantastic bag.

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