Sleeping Bags

Western Mountaineering Apache Sleeping Bag | Review

Western Mountaineering class the Apache MF is a lightweight, UK winter bag rated to -10°C with an extreme rating of -29°C.


Western Mountaineering class the Apache MF as a 2-3 season sleeping bag that ‘pushes the bounds’, in British terms though, we think it’s somewhat warmer than that description suggests and we’d look at it more as a lightweight, UK winter bag – it’s rated to -10°C with an extreme rating of -29°C, so should be capable of handling most UK winter nights just fine.

Western Mountaineering may not be a big name over here, but they’ve been producing sleeping bags for almost 40 years now, so they should know what they’re doing.

Technical Lowdown

Western Mountaineering kit is new to the UK, but reeks of high quality materials and thoughtful construction. It all starts with the down, 850+ fill power eastern European goose down, which in simple terms means the down lofts more strongly, occupies more volume and so provides more insulation relative to weight while also packing smaller.

Then there’s the construction – the bag is cut differentially so the outer is larger than the inner shell allowing maximum loft, fabric panels are cut with a hot knife to seal the edges and the main shell parts are a single piece of fabric to minimise weight. All seams are double-stitched, the double-ended zip is YKK and there’s a neat laminated strip inside it to prevent snagging.

None of that, in itself, is ground breaking, but it shows a dedicated attention to detail, which we really like.

How It Performed

We’ve actually been dragging our feet shamelessly with this review because once it’s done, the bag goes back to UK distributors Beyond Hope, and we’ve got very attached to it over the last few months. The bottom line is that the Apache is very, very warm for its weight. We used it bothying in the Lakes and camping in the Peak with temperatures well below freezing and never felt the need for more insulation.

Its pack size is deceptively small – 20cm x 38cm according to Western Mountaineering – but it emerges from its bag and expands like the Stay Pufft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters. You can almost imagine the yawning down fronds stretching out arms and legs, to give a nice, puffed-up, even loft.

Climb inside and it’s hard to fault. The zip never snags thanks to the laminated baffle strip and the 3D neck collar and hood both hold more than enough down and are well shaped and easy to use when you really need to snuggle into some warmth. We like the non-stretch adjustment ribbon rather than shock cord as well.

Our medium bag was close fitting for efficiency but not excessively slim, call it ‘athletic’. If you’re carrying some extra ballast try before buying or check the Western Mountaineering site carefully for dimensions.


Astonishingly warm for its weight and bulk, this may be a 2-3 season bag in US terms, but it punches well above its weight and we treated it as a lightweight UK winter bag without any issues. Build quality feels superb and overall we found it very hard to fault. In really cold conditions, you could always supplement it with spare clothing.

Buy if you’re looking for a lightweight and deceptively warm top-spec sleeping bag and can afford the £340 asking price.


Top ingredients, expertly put together, warmer than you expect.


Possibly too close fitting for some.

Performance: 5.0
Reliability: 4.5
Value: 4.0


Price: £340.00
Year: from 2010
Weight: 930g


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