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Western Mountaineering Antelope MF Review

Western Mountaineering Antelope MF
Price:   $595 List | $594.94 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Warm, incredibly light
Cons:  Weak neck baffle Velcro, shallow hood
Bottom line:  The Antelope is super lofty and a good choice for those looking to shave weight while staying warm.
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Western Mountaineering

Our Verdict

The Western Mountaineering Antelope MF is a stellar high-performance five-degree sleeping bag. The down is the best available, 850-fill, and the shell material, MicroLite XP, is strong and highly water resistant for its weight. Weighing in at 2lbs 10oz, this bag presents a killer warmth to weight ratio and loft for days. This previous Best Buy Award winner is nearly twice the price of our new best buy award winner, the Rab Ascent 900, but attention to detail and bombproof construction make this a bag fit for years of adventure. Continuous baffles allow you to move the down from the top to the bottom of the bag, thereby making it a true year-round performer (move the majority to the top for winter and to the bottom for summer).


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Winter Down Sleeping Bags of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Matt Bento

Last Updated:
Thursday
April 13, 2017

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Performance Comparison


We were blown away by the loft of the Antelope every time we unpacked it.
We were blown away by the loft of the Antelope every time we unpacked it.

Warmth


The Antelope MF is loaded with 26oz of 850 fill power high-quality goose down. Right out of the box our testers were impressed with its towering loft. On nights dipping into the low teens, testers found this bag warmer than the heavier Kelty Cosmic Down, the Best Buy award winning Rab Ascent 900, the Big Agnes Storm King, the Nemo Sonic, and the Antelope's lightweight brother, the Western Mountaineering Versalite. Our discerning, hair-splitting testers deemed the Mountain Hardwear Torch 3 and the Feathered Friends SnowBunting to be slightly warmer. The Marmot Col, The North Face Inferno, and the Brooks Range Drift -10 are all significantly warmer than the Antelope, but also significantly heavier.

Weight


At 42oz, the Antelope excels in the weight race. It is the second lightest bag in its category, edging out the similarly rated Mountain Hardwear Torch 3, and the Nemo Sonic, while blowing its less expensive competitors like the Kelty Cosmic Down, the Rab Ascent 900, and the Big Agnes Storm King 0 out of the water. It achieves this with high-quality down, a narrow cut, and lightweight MicroLite XP shell fabric. This makes the Antelope a good choice for long ski tours, three season backpacking, and summertime alpine endeavors.

Here our tester is happy to have 6" of loft between him and the rain  but he is not happy that it's 35 degrees and raining.
Here our tester is happy to have 6" of loft between him and the rain, but he is not happy that it's 35 degrees and raining.

Comfort


If you are primarily a back sleeper, the Antelope will provide many comfortable nights of slumber. The substantial draft collar sits snugly under our testers' chins and the shallow hood cinches down until only our noses stick out. For side and belly sleepers, the Antelope's shallow hood is less than optimal. The bags that received our highest comfort ratings like the Marmot Col and the Big Agnes Storm King 0 feature larger hoods that stay suspended over your head, maintaining an airway and ventilation, even when you burrow down in the bag. This makes for a more comfortable side sleeping position. Our testers found it difficult to sleep comfortably on their sides in the Antelope due to the shallow hood.

A high-quality  durable stuff sack is included with the Antelope. We got it to pack down even smaller in our compression sack.
A high-quality, durable stuff sack is included with the Antelope. We got it to pack down even smaller in our compression sack.

Packed Size


Western Mountaineering states that the packed size of the Antelope is 8"x 17". Our hands-on testing confirmed our suspicions that the Antelope would be extremely compressible. Among its similarly weighted competitors, it just barely packs smaller than the Feathered Friends Snowbunting and the Mountain Hardwear Torch 3, but not quite as small as the Nemo Sonic. It compresses much better than the Kelty Cosmic Down 0, and packs down smaller than super warm heavyweights like The North Face Inferno and the Marmot Col.

The Antelope isn't as compact as its lighter the cousin  the Western Mountaineering Versalite  but it still leaves plenty of room in our packs for other winter gear.
The Antelope isn't as compact as its lighter the cousin, the Western Mountaineering Versalite, but it still leaves plenty of room in our packs for other winter gear.

Features


The Antelope is stripped down so you can go light and fast. It doesn't include any zippered pockets or reinforced foot boxes. What it does have is far and away the best zipper of any of the sleeping bags we tested. Our testers loved the snag free ease of getting in and out of this bag. We found that we could get out of the bag quickly and easily in the dark of night without getting the zipper caught. Western Mountaineering has nailed it. No other zipper comes close. An inch of stiff tape is sewn next to the zipper on both sides, preventing the draft tube and tiny folds in the fabric from getting caught.

The draft tube is stuffed full of down and hangs down from the top of the bag, completely eliminating cold spots. Our testers were impressed that such a beefy draft tube didn't ever get stuck in the zipper. We can't say enough how much we loved this zipper. The draft collar is also one of the most substantial collars in this review and does an excellent job of keeping out the cold air when you are sleeping on your back. The 850 fill goose down doesn't boast a hydrophobic treatment like the Rab Ascent 900 or the Brooks Range Drift -10, but the high-quality shell fabric worked so well at keeping out moisture, we don't feel this detracts from the features rating at all.

The Antelope comes with a huge storage sack. This allowed us to store the bag at almost its maximum loft, which increases the longevity of the bag.

All that down in the hood and draft collar kept our noggins toasty  while the black interior dries quickly in the sun.
All that down in the hood and draft collar kept our noggins toasty, while the black interior dries quickly in the sun.

Weather Resistance


This contender performed well in our light rain test, keeping our tester completely dry even as water puddled up on the shell. No moisture could be felt along the zipper thanks to the beefy draft tube. In our submersion test, the MicroLite XP shell fabric proved to be truly waterproof and breathable as we squeezed out the air and bag remained compressed, absorbing no detectable moisture. While these tests are beyond what a user would typically encounter when temperatures are well below freezing, they show that the Antelope is impervious to condensation or small amounts of melting snow. The all black interior of the Antelope greatly aided in the drying time, and we found that this bag was fully dry, lofted and ready to go after three hours drying in the sun.

The Microfiber shell fabric effectively keeps water on the outside of the bag  while our testers stayed warm and dry inside.
The Microfiber shell fabric effectively keeps water on the outside of the bag, while our testers stayed warm and dry inside.

Other top scorers in the weather resistance category include the Brooks Range Drift -10, Marmot Col -20, Feathered Friends Snowbunting, and The North Face Inferno -20, which all scored 9s and 10s out of 10s, securing their position for the top contenders for weather resistance.

Best Application


Cold weather backpacking, ski touring, and any activity where you're looking to maximize the warmth to weight ratio is when this bag weighs supreme. Check out our Best Buy award winner the Rab Ascent 900 for a warmer but much heavier budget friendly bag.

Value


At $595 for a size 5'6, Antelope is a major investment for sure, but its high-quality materials make it a great choice for three-season camping when temperatures are hovering in the teens. When stored properly in its included giant storage bag, it will (should) last for decades. Check out our Buying Advice article to learn how you can make this bag go farther based on your individual sleeping style.

Conclusion


The Western Mountaineering Antelope MF is an excellent choice for those looking to shave weight for fast and light adventures. Its high-quality construction and materials are extremely weather resistant and it has an incredible warmth to weight ratio.
Matt Bento

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Most recent review: April 13, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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