Yeah, I know it's not the right time of year, but I received an email with questions about this bag and thought, "Hey, why not take some photos?". The Lithium and Helium are two of my absolute favorite bags. They're about as good as a Western Mountaineering bag, but Marmot actually goes on sale from time to time so it's a no brainer alternative!
It's worth noting that this review quick overview is not for the Lithium Membrain. The Membrain version is very nice, but my personal preference is for a breathable bag over one with a laminate shell.
The Lithium uses the same 1.2 oz/yd Nylon fabric as many of their other bags, so no surprises there. It's a soft material which means it can be prone to snagging, but I've never had any real problems with it. The lining is polyester, and it feels very nice on the skin. Naturally it comes with a stuff and storage sack. You'll want to take care of a bag this pretty! Made in China, filled in USA. I've always wanted to see one of the filling rooms in action. I bet it's just a swirling mess of down! I picture people in full body suits and face masks scooping down into a floppy bag...probably not how they really do it. On to the footbox. It has two reinforced loops for hanging the bag. This isn't something you'd necessarily need on an overnighter, but it's pretty important to dry you bag out during longer multi-day trips. You'd be surprised how much moisture one of these can pick up--even just from your body! After a four day trip in spring, my Helium picked up 12 oz. of moisture, and all of that moisture was from condensation and sweat. Over time, that sweat will build up and cause the down to clump together. After a thorough washing, you'll find an older down bag will regain a few degrees of warmth. Down is very resilient. For a zero degree bag, this thing packs down well (7.5 in. x 16 in.) and weighs about the same as a three season synthetic bag. With the two way-zipper for venting, the Lithium can easily be used in the warmer months. It's nice to have a few extra degrees of warmth as an insurance policy against cold nights, even if the forecast calls for lows in the 40's. Pictured above are a few of the Lithium's best features. The Nautilus "6-Baffle Hood" cradles your head, the oversized down filled adjustable draft collar keeps your heat where it belongs, the no-snag zipper guards get you in and out as quickly as possible, and a full length down filled draft tube along the zipper tops it all off. Trust me, you will not want to get out of this bag in the morning. A closeup of the hood, zipper, and collar arrangement. You can *sort of* see how the hood is made up of multiple down chambers. No cold spots on the noggin (you should be wearing a hat anyways). I should have found a model. Next time we check out a bag, I'll get one of my co-workers in there for a better sense of fit. Bottom line, buy this bag! I would give it a 9.5/10. There is not much that can be improved on. If you like this bag but 0° is overkill, check out the Helium. The Helium and Lithium are nearly identical, save for the color and temperature difference. Mention that you've read this blog post and one of my co-workers just might give you a discount!