We are taking a look at the Marmot Plasma series of sleeping bags. This series covers all seasons and all temperature ratings and they are ultra light bags made with very high quality materials built for the ultra light fast backpacker in mind.
All of the Plasma bags are filled with high quality 875 fill powered down. They are also treated with Marmot’s Down Defender. And what is so important about Down Defender is that the plumes of down are treated with a water repellent finish. With traditional down although you have your packable, light weight, very thermal efficient qualities. If they become wet their performance decreases dramatically. So with Marmot’s Down Defender, your sleeping bag is going to have all of those qualities of traditional down, but it is going to be water repellent. It is going to dry out faster if it becomes wet and it is going to keep you warmer longer if it becomes wet.
Marmot does use an EN or a European norm rating for the temperature ratings of their sleeping bags. This basically gives an upper limit, a comfort limit and a lower limit rating for all of their sleeping bags. So keep that lower limit in mind when taking these into the back country.
A feature that makes this series stand out is the design of the baffles. These are vertical baffles and they go right from the foot all the way up to the head, rather than most traditional sleeping bags have baffles that go side to side. There is a lot of reasons why it makes this such a great sleeping bag. One, you have heat from your core that actually travels down... you know, up and down the bag rather than side to side with traditional baffles. So this is going to allow the transfer of heat and better thermal efficiency in the sleeping bag.
There is also chambers within these baffles that keep the down in specific areas. So you don’t have unwanted shifting of down and you don’t have cold spots that you might get with other types of baffle designs.
For such an ultra light weight design, this series is feature rich. So starting up at the hood you have a fully baffled, very comfortable hood that will really hug your head on cold nights. You have a draw cord on the top and the bottom so you can really cinch that down. Open the bag up. You have a really comfortable collar on the inside that you can either leave open or you can clip that closed. So that really cinches in around your neck.
You have a full length zipper with a nice draft tube behind the zipper. So that is going to prevent cold air from getting in behind the zipper. And it is at two way zipper so if you need to you can vent down at the feet.
I have got the 15 degree version packed down into its included stuff sack and this is one of the loftier versions of the Plasma series. I wanted to show you how compact and small that packs down. For a 15 degree bag, that is pretty good. If you have a compression sack, I can see you being able to get that pack size down a little bit more. But that just shows you how packable that high quality 875 fill down really is.
With the technical feature set, high quality materials and Down Defender, the Plasma series is going to be your go to sleeping bag when quality and weight are your highest priority. The Marmot Plasma series of sleeping bags.
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