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New Marmot Plasma Sleeping Bags Available Exclusively at REI

The much-anticipated Marmot Plasma sleeping bag series, featuring a +15 degree bag that weighs less than 2 pounds, arrived in selected REI stores this week. bags -- constructed with 900-fill-power down, the highest grade of down found in any sleeping bag at REI -- are also available Plasma bags, at +15 degrees and +30 degrees (in regular and long unisex lengths), are available exclusively at REI through mid-January.

Marmot tech rep Ryan Spivey was at REI Seattle Friday (Nov. 19) to explain some of the bag's premium attributes:

• 900-fill-power down: Collected from very mature geese, down clusters graded at 900 (meaning one once of down can fill 900 cubic inches of space in a grading cylinder) are exceptionally large. Fewer are needed to achieve specific temperature ratings, resulting in uncommonly lightweight products that deliver excellent warmth. The average weight of a long, unisex Plasma bag: 1 lb. 15 oz.• Vertical baffles: The north-south orientation of the bags' baffles creates greater design efficiency, resulting in less material for baffles (and thus lower weight). "You also get a little better heat transfer with vertical baffles," Spivey said. "Your core will actually share a little more warmth with the footbox." He pointed out one other less-obvious advantage to vertical baffles: "Sleepers toss and turn right and left," he said. "They're not doing crunches in their sleep, so these baffles will conform more to our motion during sleep, which adds to our comfortable.

• "Flow Gate" construction: Flaps intermittently spaced inside the baffles keeps down from shifting.

• Pertex Quantum shell and liner: Not the most rugged material, Spivey concedes, but adds that it's highly water resistant while still very breathable. "I've poured water on the shell, walked away, came back in an hour and just shook the water off," he said. asked several staffers at REI Seattle their opinion of the bag and all had favorable first impressions. Lisa Weigle hopped in one and zipped up, but stayed inside only briefly. "It really warmed up in a hurry," she said.

A Marmot video offers more details on Plasma bags. I carried a +15 Marmot Helium bag on my climb of Mount Rainier this past July and it served me well. I have yet to give a Plasma bag a try, but on first glance my first impression is very toasty, very light.

Posted on at 3:57 PM

Tagged: Marmot, Plasma, exclusive, rei and sleeping bags

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I have had a Helium for five or six years and it's a great bag. Looking at the prices for the new Plasma bags, I think I'll be keeping the Helium for awhile...

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Is this Marmot Plasma just a coolness factor type gear? Why pay an extra $100 over the Helium for 1oz weight savings? Also the Helium is rated 2 degrees lower than the Plasma. Please someone explain.


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