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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Marmot Plasma 15 > Owner Review by Doug White

MARMOT PLASMA 15
BY DOUG WHITE
OWNER REVIEW
June 26, 2015

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Doug White
EMAIL: bakpack215atyahoodotcom
AGE: 33
LOCATION: Boulder, Colorado, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 170 lb (77.10 kg)

Backpacking Background: I've been backpacking for several years. I have tested a lot of different systems to find what works the best for me. I pack as light as possible without sacrificing comfort and functionality. I enjoy backpacking in all kinds of weather including winter. I also do snowshoeing and year-round mountaineering. I backpack in the Rocky Mountains just below treeline most of the time. My trips are normally at least a few miles (5 km) or more. Anytime I can get out and enjoy the mountains, even for a day hike, I do.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Marmot
Manufacturer's Website: www.marmot.com
MSRP: US$679.00
Measured Weight: 31 oz (879 g)
Lengths may vary as manufacturer has updated the model.
I purchased this bag in 2011
Temperature rating: 15 F (-9 C)
Size being reviewed: Regular
Fill power: 900 (Note: The manufacturer now calls it 875+)
IMAGE 1
The Bag


Other details:The Marmot Plasma 15 bag that I am reviewing uses 900 fill power down. The fabric is a 10 denier Pertex Quantum fabric that is water resistant and breathable. The baffles are sewn vertically and use the Insotect Flow technology along with flow gates within the baffles to keep the down clusters in place. The vertical baffle system is claimed to allow heat transfer vertically instead of horizontally so that the body extremities are warmed more efficiently. The footbox is a wrap-around design to aid in keeping cold air from contacting the feet. The bag has an insulated draft tube that runs the full length of the zipper as well as a two-piece insulated neck collar. The neck collar also fastens with two plastic buttons to ensure a tight fit but can easily be opened and closed when getting in and out of the bag. With this bag, Marmot includes two cords of a different texture for tightening the hood or neck collar. One cord is round and one is flat, this is to aide the user at night so the cords can be felt when in the dark. The bag is only offered in one color: Black for the exterior and beluga (blue) for the interior. The zipper is only offered as a left-zip option. The zipper does open from the bottom as well as the top for footbox venting. The bag comes with a stuff sack that is slightly larger than a football as well as a mesh storage sack for when it is being stored at home.

FIELD USE

I have used this sleeping bag on at least twenty trips in temperatures as high 38 F (3 C) and as low as 15 F (-9 C). The bag has been used in contact with snow and light rain and has been used in elevations from 8500 ft (2590 m) to 10500 ft (3200 m). It has been used on hikes as short as 1 mi (1.6 km) and as long as 14 mi (22 km).
IMAGE 2
Bag In Storage Sack
IMAGE 3
Bag In Stuff Sack

SUMMARY

I love this bag. It is my go-to bag for three-season use. I will say though, as temperatures drop below 20 F (-6 C), I grab my other 0 F (-18 C) bag. When I've used the Plasma 15 bag in those temperatures, I do start feeling some cold spots near my core or my hips. It's not dangerously cold, but does have me tossing and turning a little at night with some cold spots. I do find that when I get any cold spots, I lightly fluff the down and it is fixed. I think with the amount of time that I've used the bag, the down has compressed a little. I love the way the bag feels as it is very comfortable. The down is soft and light and almost feels like being surrounded by warm cotton candy. This is also a great bag for saving weight and pack volume. Year round, I use an inflatable sleeping pad with an R-Value of 4. When hiking, I can actually fit my sleeping pad inside of the Plasma 15 and put both of them in the stuff sack together for extra space-saving in my backpack. The thing I like the least about this bag is the cost. In my opinion, for the value of the bag, it is over-priced. I also have noticed that feathers still poke through the bag from time to time as well, even with the tightly-sewn 10 denier fabric. Other than that, I love the feel and the durability of the fabric. I have noticed that the zipper tends to snag on the fabric a little. Luckily the fabric is thin enough, it can be pulled out of the snagged zipper with no damage to the fabric.

As far as the comfort of the bag, it is a good fit for me. It's a little tight around the hips, but not extreme. I still feel I can move around enough in it. The hood is amazing; this is probably my favorite feature of the bag. It fits well and has a very comfortable and soft feeling to it. There is an easy-to-use neck collar that goes around the neck then buttons on the side. Then by pulling an adjustment strap, it tightens around my neck to keep the warm air in the bag. With the 900 fill down, the collar is very soft. Then the hood itself has another cord and can be pulled down as tight as I want it. I normally leave just my mouth and nose sticking out of the open hole. Again, the materials allow for a soft and comfortable fit. Obviously in colder temperatures, there is heavy condensation on the bag due to warm breath escaping from my body, but it wipes right off the bag with no issues of the down getting wet. The same thing occurs when snow falls on it. As soft and delicate as the bag appears, it has held up very well for me with no abrasions or tears.
IMAGE 4
Different Pull Cords
IMAGE 5
Neck Collar Buttons

THINGS I LIKE

Warm
Soft
Comfortable
Light
Packable

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

Expensive
Colder feel around 15 F (-9 C)
Down shifts a little

SIGNATURE

Product reviewed by Doug White.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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