The San Jose manufacturer of some of the world’s best sleeping bags sews its product right here in the South Bay rather than somewhere in China, commands Cadillac prices for its wares, and insists that dealers cut very few discounts. The situation has so vexed Phillp Werner, the WM-craving keeper of the Section Hiker blog, that he has devoted an extensive post to extracting a rare 20 percent off on WM bags.

Ask anyone who owns one of these: they are fantastic! But they are expensive, because every model that WM manufactures is insulated with highly compressible 850+ fill goose down. This grade of down provides much better heat retention with less weight than the 550-700 down fill that you’ll find in sleeping bags from other manufacturers. This weight difference is significant in a 20F degree bag like the WM Ultralite 20, but it becomes huge in a -25F degree winter bag like the WM Puma which weighs just 3 lb. 7oz.

As a manufacturer, WM is extremely protective of their high price point and they keep very tight limits on how much outfitters can discount their products. This makes it virtually impossible to find their sleeping bags on sale, and it is often difficult to find WM bags in stock because they are in such high demand.

WM’s pricing page is here. You could spend up to $800 on one of their bags (most look to be in the $400-500 range), or you could grab a Flash vest for a mere $135.

For more on WM, check out this podcast I first linked to in 2006.