Warmer and 200 grams lighter than a Rab Neutrino Endurance 600 with enough room inside for a comfortable nights sleep and to layer up if required, the Western Mountaineering Apache MF is still a slim cut lightweight, ideal for high Alpine summer trekking, hut to hut, and all but the worst U.K winters conditions.
So how do they do it?
Western Mountaineering call upon over 30 years of design experience and use a combination of the latest technologies and the best quality materials.
Here are some of the features that make the difference between a good down bag and a great one:
Different bags in the Western Mountaineering range have different design details according to their intended purpose and place in the range, but one or two ideas prevail overall.
Light weight through simplicity: The more panels of material there are on a sleeping bag the more seams there are and the folds of material add weight. Making a bag out of large single sheets means more material off-cuts and that adds cost to the final product, but it adds value as well and that's why you will never see a Western bag with an array of different coloured patches.
Differential cuts: Some manufacturers use one template or ‘pattern’ for the inner and outer of their bags (lining and shell). This saves on production costs, but the bag will lose performance and you will feel the cold anywhere your body presses against the inside of the bag. This is because the down between the two fabrics is crushed and down that isn’t lofted isn’t fulfilling its potential of trapping air to keep you warm.
Western Mountaineering use a different pattern for the lining and shell, so the inner is smaller than the outer. Much like one tube being inside another tube with a gap in-between for the down to loft. This is called a differential cut and you will notice the benefit on your toes, knees, hips and shoulders.
Usable zips: A simple laminated plastic strip is all it takes to make a sleeping bag zip work well.
It adds just a few grams to the bag overall, but it is worth its weight in gold. How many times have you been desperate to get in, or out of a sleeping bag and the damn zip has jammed. Mostly ,that's frustrating, but a badly jammed zip can damage your bag, or it could even be dangerous if you were really cold, with frozen fingers and needed to be in your bag quick.
We should always take care when zipping our sleeping bags, but the Western Mountaineering zips are a pleasure to use.
Baffles and hoods: All the winter sleeping bags on the EMS site have full length 3D zip and shoulder baffles. Take a close look at the photos, especially at the shoulder baffles. They are sewn into a delightfully fat tube which inflates with the down inside to make a very cosy and warm baffle around the neck. The hoods can be drawn up snug around the head to leave nothing more than a breath hole and covering the temple and eyes with warm soft material.
[I felt like my eyeballs were freezing solid in their sockets on the Klein Matterhorn in a snow bivi 2009 Adam]
Adjustable warmth and seasonal flexibility with continuous main baffles:
The Apache MF and the Antelope MF both have a continuous main baffles which encircle the bag from the zip , all the way under, up and over the top and back to the zip. This feature allows you to customise the performance of your sleeping bag, so one bag will get used in more seasons . [All U.K. seasons] In the warmer months the down in the upper part of the bag can be teased around the baffles to the underside thus making the bag cooler. As the seasons change the process can be reversed, so more of the down is on top where is can fully loft and trap the most heat. [ Great feature; use one bag all year round and adjust for personal preferences. Adam]
Finest Down Quality.
Down quality is measured by how much loft is achieved from a given weight of down, usually cubic inches (of space filled) with one ounce of down. The result is termed fill power and most down products have a fill-power of between 650 fp and 800 fp (or cubic inches per ounce).
All manufacturers wash and treat their down before putting it in their products, but to get the highest fill-power test results, they give laboratory test samples additional washes and warm air drying before the tests.
Western Mountaineering believe this is gives a false test result as the sample has had more treatments than the down in the products we buy. They have opted to test their down as it is in their products, clean and dry, but with no extra ‘special attention’. Despite the pragmatism all W.M. down has a fill power of 850+fp. The ‘+’ is to demonstrate the fp is always greater than 850 and that 850 is not an average.
(Other manufacturers that source their down from the same suppliers claim an fp of 900).
MicroLite XP™ Shell Material.
Microfiber is a specific type of fabric constructed of densely woven ultra-fine yarns in order to achieve an optimal balance of breathability and water resistance. Each microfiber yarn has many more filaments than a normal nylon or polyester yarn of equivalent area. Woven into jigh thread count material, it becomes a fabric that really keeps wind and water out. Although treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish, this fabric remains highly breathable because there is no coating or laminate to restrict vapour transfer. Since the fabric's construction is responsible for weather resistance, it cannot wear off, wash out or delaminate. This is the most advanced technologically advanced non-laminated weather resistant fabric available. We have carefully sourced our MicroLite XP™ microfiber because of its very low weight(less than 1.3 ounces per square yard), its durability and ability to perform well in a wide variety of weather conditions.
|Fill Wt.||Total Wt.||Stuff size|
|Mummy||5'6"||15° F||6"||59"/51"/38"||17 oz||1lb 14oz||8 x 15|
|full collar||6'0"||15° F||6"||59"/51"/38"||19 oz||2lb||8 x 15|
|6'6"||15° F||6"||60"/51"/38"||21 oz||2lb 2oz||8 x 15|
|Mummy||165||-10°C||15||150/130/97||480||850||20 x 38|
|full collar||180||-10°C||15||150/130/97||535||905||20 x 38|
|200||-10°C||15||152/132/97||595||965||20 x 38|
Covid 19 Information for UK deliveries
Please be assured that EMS is open for business and Royal Mail & DPD are still making deliveries.
DPD next day and Saturday delivery services are still operating normally, but Royal Mail deliveries have been delayed in some areas by several days.
In compliance with Government Guidelines we have reduced our active staff to just one person working alone to process orders. Other members of staff are still working from home to answer email and phone enquiries.
Covid 19 Information for international deliveries
All international shipments are currently suspended until the Covid 19 situation improves.
EMS shipping information UK.
All orders placed before 3.00pm Monday to Friday will be shipped the same day.
Orders placed after 3.00pm will be shipped the next business day.
Orders placed after 3.00pm Friday will be shipped on Monday.
No orders are shipped on Weekends or Bank Holidays.
EMS is a Plastic Free Retailer
From 1st June 2019 no new plastic will be used in any order shipments.
We now use recycled craft paper wadding, paper based adhesive tape, card boxes and double wall paper bags for all our order shipments. No new plastic is used at all.
We'll continue to reuse the bubble wrap and other plastic packing materials our suppliers send to us as reusing is still better than recycling.
Shipping Cost UK - Mainland:
All UK orders with a value of £50.00 or more are delivered FREE via 2nd Class post and should arrive in three to five working days.
For small orders of £49.99 or less we charge a very reasonable flat rate of just £3.95 and ship via 2nd Class post which should arrive in three to five working day.
Premium Shipping Service Options:
If you would like your order delivered quickly via a premium service several options will be available at checkout.
1st Class Post costs £4.50. Delivery usually takes one to three working days.
Next Day Courier Service costs just £6.00. Your order is tracked and will arrive next Business day.
All UK Mainland orders over £175 are delivered FREE via Next Business Day Courier. (Some Scottish Highland and offshore postcodes may be excluded and delivery to remote areas may take longer, but the delivery service will still be free of charge).
Shipping UK - Offshore:
If your order has a value over £50 then you still qualify for free shipping but there is not a next business day courier option. Please allow two to four days for all deliveries.
Shipping costs - E.U. and Rest Of World
All exports have been temporarily suspended until the covid situation and associated difficulties with stock and staff have improved.
The EMS website now has ‘Smart’ currency and sales tax (V.A.T.) function which automatically displays the most appropriate currency for your location and includes the V.A.T. for UK and European Union delivery destinations, but removes the V.A.T. for all ‘Rest of World’ delivery destinations (including Channel Islands).
You can also manually select your preferred currency from the selector button at the top right corner on every page.
For the most up to date shipping prices please add your items to the basket and proceed to the checkout where you will be able to enter your country.
If you can't find your country in the drop-down list please contact us for more information.
Typical Shipping Cost Examples:
Belgium up to 20Kg £15 – Product price displayed includes V.A.T for E.U. delivery.
Finland up to 2Kg £15 – Product price displayed includes V.A.T for E.U. delivery.
Australia up to 2Kg £25 – Product price displayed has V.A.T. removed for export. (Please note you might have to pay import duty if your order’s value exceeds the import allowance for your country).
Out Of Stock Items:
Out of stock items are marked as out of stock on the product page, however on very rare occasions situations beyond our control may result in an item(s) being temporarily unavailable.
For Items that are no longer available we endeavour to remove from our website as quickly as possible.
You will be contacted by email or telephone concerning any item(s) we are unable to supply. Out of stock items marked to follow will be sent automatically when they become available. We do not make additional charges for this service. In any case, we aim to deliver goods within a maximum time frame of no more than 7 days from receipt of order. If we are unable to do this, you will be contacted to make arrangements for any necessary refund to be issued.
Question: What is the EMS returns policy?
Answer: If you don't like it send it back for a refund.... no problem! Please read on for terms and conditions.
In line with current health and safety guidelines, we reserve the right to refuse any items that are (for whatever reason) not returned to us in a clean and hygienic condition.
Goods with manufacturing faults can be returned for a full refund (including delivery and standard return postal charges of up to £7.50) if the item, after later inspection by us, is proven to have been faulty and returned to us within 30 days from the date of purchase.
Please check all goods on arrive to ensure they have not been damaged in transit and report any damaged goods as soon as possible after receipt and within 14 days.
Please email or call and ask us which return service to use as we can only refund for the service we recommend.
Please note that inflatables such as sleeping mats are not considered to faulty if they become punctured and are not covered by the manufacturers warranty in this event.
If the goods have been supplied as requested but are unwanted they can be returned within 30 days from receipt of goods for a full refund provided they have not been used and are in a resealable condition with all of the manufacturer's labels and packaging intact.
Items ordered in November or December as Christmas presents can be returned to us at any time in January.
If you would like to exchange for an alternative size we will supply replacements subject to stock availability. You will have to pay to have the goods sent back to us, but we won’t charge you any shipping for your first replacement item.
All items returned must be unused and with their original labelling and packaging intact (unless faulty).
How To Send Returns.
1). You will need a returns number and a returns address. Please use the 'Contact Us' form from the 'Contact Us' page (found in the footer of this page). Send us your order number and reason for return. We will issue a returns number and returns address for one of our UK warehouses. (Please Don't ship your returns to our office address in Cheltenham as we don't keep any stock there and there might not always be someone there to sign for your package).
2). For New and Unused returns please include all the Manufacturer's Packaging and Labels, otherwise we cant return the item to stock.
3). Carefully pack the product so it survives its journey and send it to the address we provide. We recommend a postal service with a signature on receipt.
Our 100% secure payment platform accepts all major credit cards & debit cards including American Express and PayPal.
Privacy Payments Policy?
Your orders are sent to us via a Secure Page on our web site. This means that others cannot hack into your credit card details or obtain any other personal information from our order form.
We know of no documented case of credit card fraud using our shopping system over the Internet.
What about on line security?
Any personal information given to EMS will be protected. Your information will not be disclosed to any third parties. Our server will secure your personal information with up-to-date firewall and encryption techniques during the ordering process.
In order to protect customers to the fullest extent, EMS does not store your credit card information at any time. To assist you in recognizing secure areas of the website, a small lock icon will appear in the lower right-corner of your web browser**. When this icon is present, and in the locked position, you know that information on that page will be secured.
The prices payable for the items that you order are clearly set out on the web site. All prices are expressed inclusive of any VAT payable unless otherwise stated.
Orders delivered to countries outside of the E.U will have the VAT removed automatically, but you might be liable for import duty depending on your country’s import regulations.
Product information is included on the site and if there is anything that you do not understand, or if you want more information, please contact us by email or telephone.
The content of pages on our site is constantly updated yet may at times be out of date. We accept no responsibility for keeping the information in these pages up to date or liability for not doing so.
Other sites, Advertisements and Links
EMS links to other websites in good faith and we do check these sites before adding a link. However we are not responsible for the privacy policies or content of these websites.