SLEEPING BAGS

Western Mountaineering Apache GWS Sleeping Bag: Best Insulation at an Affordable Price

Western Mountaineering Apache GWS Sleeping Bag
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

Western Mountaineering has always been known for the added amount of down fill power they include and the excessive prices of their top sleeping bags. The Western Mountaineering Apache Gore Windstopper Sleeping Bag is one of the cheaper alternatives that are currently on the market and will be an essential tool for those looking to enjoy camping or backpacking in places like the arctic.

Product Specifications

  • Full down collar and draft tube are capped with Gore Windstopper fabric to prevent cold drafts from ruining your night
  • 5 1/4″ spacing of continuous baffles that stretch from zipper to zipper
  • 850 down fill power provides an excellent warmth to weight ratio
  • Slimmer cut lets your body heat warm the bag quicker and cuts down on weight
  • 19 oz Down Fill gives this bag a 6″ loft

Check the price on Amazon

We have decided to look a little deeper at this sleeping bag and find out exactly what sets it apart from the rest. We know that it is cheaper and still features the same quality materials and design, but our review section should give you much more insight and help you make an informed decision on whether or not you should consider buying it.

With that being said, let’s see why the Apache Gore Windstopper is one of the top sleeping bags designed by the Western Mountaineering brand.

Review

Much like all of our other top reviews, we have selected a few features that we believe are essential to look at if you plan on buying a sleeping bag. These features will break down all of the essential parts of the sleeping bag and also allow you to see whether it will be worth your money.

In this detailed review, we have tried to pinpoint as many of the intricate features as we possibly could to ensure that you are in a position to make an informed decision when you think of buying a sleeping bag.

Packaging

If you consider yourself to be a backpacker and you love getting into the colder areas of the world, this sleeping bag will certainly do well at keeping you warm. Another great thing about this sleeping bag is the fact that it is extremely small when folded up and it only has dimensions of 8 x 15 inches. This means that it should easily fit inside your backpack without any hassles.

Western Mountaineering Apache GWS pack

The weight of the sleeping bag is also much lighter than many of their other sleeping bags and while Western Mountaineering has been known for their sleeping bags of more than 3 lbs., this one only weighs in at 2.6 lbs. This will make the sleeping bag easier to carry and you will not need to worry about leaving some other essential pieces of equipment to accommodate the sleeping bag.

Finally, when looking at the packaging, we also like the fact that the sleeping bag folds down quite easily and you will not need to spend too much time when it comes to compressing it to fit inside the carry bag. The carry bag is also very functional and can be tied to the backpack, but we do not necessarily recommend this due to the fact that it might get wet in colder conditions.

Design and Durability

The durability is especially important for anyone looking to buy a sleeping bag and if the sleeping bag is not durable, why would you go out of your way to spend so much money. In terms of design, the sleeping bag is a mummy type sleeping bag and mummy sleeping bags have been widely known for their excellent abilities to ensure that you stay warm. This mummy design is, unfortunately, a little narrow and this is especially seen in the foot box.

Western Mountaineering Apache footbox

The shoulder girth and hip girth is quite large and they have sizes of 60 and 52 inches respectively, but the foot girth is only a mere 38 inches in width and due to the strength of the materials, you will not be able to easily stretch the sleeping bag for your own sizing accommodations. If you are quite claustrophobic, this sleeping bag might potentially increase this issue and make it even harder for you to resist the feeling of keeping it open.

The sleeping bag is also designed with Gore-Tex technology and this will help to not only improve the durability and dry out the shell, it will also keep the wind out. Since down has been known for migrating to sides or even bundling up in many sleeping bags, the Western Mountaineering Company has decided to work with baffles. These baffles will keep the down in their respective areas and ensure that you need not worry about cold spots emerging and also keep the moisture in the air from penetrating through the sleeping bag.

When looking at durability, the sleeping bag is actually quite durable and it features an outer shell of 30D nylon. This added strength has been added to keep you from accidentally damaging the sleeping bag, should it get ripped or torn from the friction on the ground when you do not have a sleeping pad to rest on.

Western Mountaineering Apache design

The inner lining is constructed from 20D nylon and the combination of these two makes it nearly impossible for the wind or any other damage to get through the sleeping bag and damage it.

Another thing they have done differently with this sleeping bag is to keep the weight down. Many of the Gore WindStopper sleeping bags feature weights of more than 3 lbs. and if you ever wanted something a little lighter, they recommend that you consider microfibers as your outer shell. But, with the Apache Gore Windstopper sleeping bag, they have removed the excess weight and you still have a lightweight sleeping bag to keep you warm in the arctic.

Warmth

Keeping you warm is the main purpose of a winter sleeping bag and this sleeping bag strives to ensure that you never have to suffer from the cold again. With a minimum temperature rating of 15 degrees Fahrenheit, the sleeping bag will be ideal for most of the arctic, but as you start scaling up mountains, the sleeping bag might prove to be a little weak.

Western Mountaineering Apache warmth

While 15 degrees Fahrenheit is the minimum temperatures, we do not recommend women to try out the sleeping bag in this weather without a good comforter. The body temperature of the average women is a little lower and their bodies also take a little longer to generate heat and keep them warm. This sleeping bag also keeps out all the wind and the Gore-Tex will ensure that you never become a victim of the cold breeze, even without a tent.

The sleeping bag can also be used for multifunctional purposes and this is thanks to the decent temperature rating. If you want to use it in the summer or in the spring, you will be free to do that, we just think that the sleeping bag might become a little warm and you might sometimes feel like you are overheating.

Insulation

Insulation directly relates to you staying warm and while we now know that the sleeping bag will make you warm, the question many people still have on their minds is whether the sleeping bag will keep you warm. To answer this question we only have to look at the design and the down on the inside.

Big Agnes Flume UL 30

The sleeping bag features a down fill power of 850 and it has been filled with around 17 ounces of down. If you need more down added, you can simply let the company know and for an added price they will be happy to give you an additional 4 ounces of down.

In terms of insulation, we would once again like to mention the baffles and these baffles will keep the down perfectly in place and avoid any potential cold spots from appearing. If there are no cold spots and the wind has been blocked from getting in, your heat will also be trapped from getting out and this should keep you fully insulated.

Comfort

Many backpackers still choose to take on the cold without a sleeping pad and this is probably to save weight or even save a few bucks. There are, however, now many sleeping pads that can easily be inflated and used in conjunction with a good sleeping bag to ensure that you do stay warm in the cold temperatures.

Western Mountaineering Apache comfort

Luckily, if you do not own a sleeping pad, there should not be any reason to panic. The Apache Gore Windstopper sleeping bag is filled with around 17 ounces of down and this down will give you a loft of around 6 inches.

If you do add a sleeping pad, you will be sleeping in the utmost of comfort and always be staying warm, no matter the temperature. Since a lot of the heat in our bodies will escape to the floor, the sleeping pad will help reflect it back up.

The only downside we have found in terms of comfort is the small dimension in the foot box and it is quite narrow for those who like to move their feet. If you love having space at your feet, you might need to consider looking into a bigger sleeping bag. We should also mention that this sleeping bag does have a maximum length of around 6 foot and 6 inches, which should be more than enough for the average human.

Value for Money and Guarantee

Western Mountaineering sleeping bags are mostly expensive and they sometimes are in the range of $900+, but this is one of their more affordable sleeping bags made for the avid and enthusiastic backpacker to use in all of their outdoor situations.

Western Mountaineering Apache unique features

The sleeping bag offers you unrivaled durability and this durability will definitely be worth the price, but when you include the great thing about using Gore-Tex, the sleeping bag is actually quite affordable.

You might still find many sleeping bags with similar features that will still keep you warm in those excessively cold temperatures, but nothing says quality quite like an original Western Mountaineering sleeping bag. If you do prioritize having great value and quality, this sleeping bag will be one of the best investments that you could potentially make.

We do suggest that you buy this sleeping bag only if you will be using it a lot. If you only go backpacking a few times every 5 or 6 years, this sleeping bag might not be the best investment and you could save money for other more important pieces of equipment.

Unique features

Western Mountaineering likes to be quite unique with their products and many of their features are different. Much like some of their top sleeping bags, this sleeping bag also includes a few unique and special features that will make the sleeping bag great for your specific backpacking needs. It will also be great to know that these features are free and you need not spend extra money to have them included in your sleeping bag:

  • Very lightweight: Since this sleeping bag has been specifically designed for avid backpackers, they had to keep it lightweight. The company has done an excellent job in ensuring that the sleeping bag is lightweight and you will be able to easily compress and fold it. This makes carrying the sleeping bag easier and you will also be able to use the sleeping bag as a minimalist.
  • Draft tube behind zipper: The zippers are generally singled out as the wind might sometimes find ways to get inside and cool you down. To combat this, Western Mountaineering has added a draft tube behind the zipper and this will keep the wind from getting on the inside. This draft tube will also ensure that you have some added heat retention.
  • DWR-treated fabric: Down and water or moisture does not work together in any way and to combat this, the fabric has been DWR-treated. This will ensure that water cannot penetrate to the inside and will also ensure that you need not worry about the moisture in the air when you need to go somewhere the snow is falling. Ice also does not prove to be a challenge, but do not leave the ice on the sleeping bag.
  • Added down to give you more loft: Loft is an important thing when you think about comfort and heat retention. The added loft in this sleeping bag will combine with the 850 down fill power and keep the heat inside, while simultaneously giving you a decent platform that you could sleep on. We do recommend this sleeping bag without the added 4 ounces of loft, but if you feel the need to add it, feel free to improve the comfort.

Unique WM Apache

Main Competitors

Rab Neutrino 800 Sleeping BagRab Neutrino 800 Sleeping Bag

The Rab Neutrino 800 Sleeping Bag is one of the more expensive high-end sleeping bags that you will find on the market. The sleeping bag is constructed from extremely durable Pertex Quantum and it features a down fill power of 800. This down is only goose and it is only from European farms to ensure that you have something unique from any other down sleeping bag.

In terms of pricing, this sleeping bag is unfortunately really expensive and will be ideal for even the coldest of mountain peaks. If you have the money to buy the best, you should and this sleeping bag certainly ranks as one of the best sleeping bags ever made.

Western Mountaineering Antelope GWSWestern Mountaineering Antelope GWS

The Western Mountaineering Antelope GWS is much similar to the Apache Gore and it has also been made from the same durable materials. The sleeping bag has the same down fill power of 850, but it has more down at around 36 ounces and you will also be able to add more if needed. This sleeping bag will be ideal for the colder mountain peaks as well.

In terms of pricing, the sleeping bag is not overly expensive, but it is a little more expensive than the Apache Gore Windstopper that we have reviewed. If you want to take on the Alps or climb those mountains in the arctic, this sleeping bag will certainly be the ideal sleeping bag for you to do so with.

Big Agnes – Flume UL 30 Sleeping BagBig Agnes Flume UL 30

The Big Agnes – Flume UL 30 is a little bit of a cheaper alternative that you can choose and while this sleeping bag still features a down fill power of 850, it does lack a little in terms of durability. The sleeping will also keep you fully insulated with the DownTek fill included.

In terms of pricing, the sleeping bag is a little cheaper, but you will also be giving up a few added features. If durability is fundamentally important to you, this sleeping bag might not be the best of choices if you do go backpacking or camping quite often.

Overview

Looking through the features and the construction of the Western Mountaineering Apache Gore sleeping bag was quite revealing and gave a better insight on how the sleeping bag is constructed and how well it should perform when used in the outdoors. If you are looking for something with great durability that will still keep you warm, this sleeping bag will be an affordable choice for you.

The sleeping bag might not be ideal for mountain peaks or climbing the Alps, but if you do add a comforter, you can easily improve the heat and the insulating provided by the sleeping bag at an affordable price. In terms of comfort, this sleeping bag will be perfect and provide you with the utmost of loft. We still do recommend that you consider adding a good sleeping pad to keep it elevated.

We would highly recommend this sleeping bag to those into backpacking, but this sleeping bag can also be used for camping if you do like to go camping often. The sleeping bag is extremely lightweight and will definitely be a great choice for the super minimalist to help them save some weight and create extra space in the backpack for added pieces of equipment.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable
  • Includes Gore-Tex WindStopper technology
  • Really affordable to buy compared to many similar sleeping bags
  • Virtually waterproof and impervious to conditions
  • Very lightweight and easily compressible
  • Decent loft to provide you with some added comfort

Cons:

  • Small sizing might be a little claustrophobic
  • Zipper might get stuck in the baffles from time to time

If you find yourself looking for a sleeping bag for your next backpacking trip and you also consider yourself to be an avid backpacker, this sleeping bag will definitely be one of the most essential parts of your kit. We believe that this sleeping bag has immense durability and will be a great investment that will keep you using it for multiple years.

If you have any experience using this sleeping bag, we would really like you to share some of your thoughts and let us know if you think we might have missed anything of substantial value. If you have used similar sleeping bags that you think we might have missed, feel free to let us know and we would be glad to look at them and analyze their features as well.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Luke Rogers

    I have heard so many good reviews for this from my friends. I am really intrigued with this sleeping bag so thank you for a wonderful review. You have listed all the important points that one has to consider. I already own another brand, but I will look into this more because I plan to buy another one.

    • Mark Foster

      That’s great!

  • Oli Stan

    I have Mountaineering Apache Gore Windstopper Sleeping Bag and your review is accurate. What I like most about it is its durability. I’ve had mine for two years already and it still looks new. In addition, the price is also very affordable. I recommend this to those who do not want to spend so much money.

    • Mark Foster

      It holds up well over time.

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