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Old 08-02-2013, 06:27 AM   #1
bobframe OP
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A Better Night's Rest

After failing to achieve a decent night's sleep, I am about to give moto-camping one last shot.

In the past couple of years I "upgraded" my tent to a Big Agnes four man tent (which I find nice and roomy, but significantly colder than my two man version of the same tent), upgraded to an Exped Downmat 9 (largest size they make) and a 20 degree down "mummy" bag from Western Mountaineering in the 6'6" version (Alpinlite: http://www.westernmountaineering.com...s&ContentId=28.)

So, having dropped over a grand on the above and not sleeping well at all, I have somewhat reluctantly decided to give it one more shot.

Figure the tent, while cold, is not the problem and I'll keep that.

I think my problem is a too-constricted mummy bag that makes rolling from one side to the other a chore and twists the bag around me so that I spend all night rearranging the bag. The bag also moves around on the pad a lot...so again, I spend all night re-positioning the bag on the pad.

I am interested in a roomier bag with an "imbedded" sleeping pad. I know of two companies that make a sleeping bag/pad comb in which the pad slides into a sleeve in the bag...Big Agnes and Nemo.

I am a Big Agnes fan, but have never tried their "one-sided" sleeping bags. Still, they have oversized bags and insulated pads that imbed...so, I'd be open to a BA solution.

The Nemo products I am interested in are the Strato Loft 25..http://www.nemoequipment.com/product/?p=Strato+Loft+25 and the Cosmo Insulated pad..http://www.nemoequipment.com/product...o+Insulated+XL

Anyone have any hands on experience with these? I should mention that most of my camping will be in the southern Appalchians during fall and spring, so temps can easily fall to the 20's. Warm/hot weather camping is of little interest to me.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 08-02-2013, 06:39 AM   #2
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No, but hammock camping gets you off the ground and the comfort is superior to and ground based system. It requires a bit if dialing in to get the quilts on but once you have it set, the whole thing can be up and ready to sleep in in just a couple of minutes.

Here's the thread.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...hlight=Hammock
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:42 AM   #3
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I don't have any experience with the products you're looking at. However, when you choose a site to put your tent, are you making sure that the ground is level? If it's even at a slight angle from side to side, you'll likely find yourself sliding off of your pad. If your feet are higher than your head, you'll likely get a headache, feel nauseous, or just generally be uncomfortable. When I pick a site, I try to find completely level. If I can't find completely level, I'll be content with my head slightly higher than my feet. But, finding the right spot to lay a tent can make all the difference in how good a night's rest that you get.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:42 AM   #4
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I haven't used that product but I have used a few Nemo products and they are top notch equipment. I use the Cosmo Air with pillow top sleeping pad and its very comfortable. I also have one of their morpho tents...

This sleeping bag looks pretty good.....be interested also to hear some reviews.

What I have been doing is I unzip the bag and use it as a blanket since the sleeping pad has a soft fabric cover.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by max384 View Post
I don't have any experience with the products you're looking at. However, when you choose a site to put your tent, are you making sure that the ground is level? If it's even at a slight angle from side to side, you'll likely find yourself sliding off of your pad. If your feet are higher than your head, you'll likely get a headache, feel nauseous, or just generally be uncomfortable. When I pick a site, I try to find completely level. If I can't find completely level, I'll be content with my head slightly higher than my feet. But, finding the right spot to lay a tent can make all the difference in how good a night's rest that you get.
Those are very valid suggestions, but I don't think they are at the root of my problem. I understand camping on a flat site and usually find such a spot. I am a pretty "active" sleeper and a mummy bag makes this difficult. At 6'3" and 200lbs I think I need a roomier bed. And I also think a better connection between bag and pad would be helpful.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by MeanMoe View Post
No, but hammock camping gets you off the ground and the comfort is superior to and ground based system. It requires a bit if dialing in to get the quilts on but once you have it set, the whole thing can be up and ready to sleep in in just a couple of minutes.

Here's the thread.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...hlight=Hammock
I admire folks who can sleep in a hammock. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. Thanks for helping.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:03 AM   #7
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I'm not quite clear on what you're complaining about... is it being cold, or not being able to get comfortable in a mummy bag?

If it's about being cold, then a good mummy bag is way better than a rectangular bag because you want to minimize air spaces that your body would have to warm up. A mummy bag should be considered as being more of a "sock" for your body than a normal bed. And sleeping in one DOES take some getting used to.

Like you, I used to fight the mummy bag, always trying to realign and straighten it, and when I finally gave up on that and decided to let it move with my body (as a sock) I got more comfortable. A good backpacking pillow also makes a big difference. I'm a side sleeper so a mummy bag is a lot more challenging for me than for someone who sleeps on their back.

I currently use a Big Agnes Flycreek UL1 and I'm strongly considering upgrading that to the Flycreek 2 Platinum... quite expensive, but a lot lighter and with a smaller packed size while still giving me more room in the tent. Why do you use a 4-person tent? Are you usually with another person (or with more than one other)?

Thermorest has a "luxury" sleeping pad that is really very nice. I usually take that only when I'm car-camping though and not on the bike. It's just too big (packed size) for me to take on the bike, but gee it's comfortable. On the bike I use a much smaller Thermorest (don't remember the model) that has a tapered shape and it packs really small while still giving me comfort and insulation from the ground. I usually put my riding jacket and pants under my feet so they're not on the ground either.

Also like you, I much prefer to camp in colder temperatures than warmer as I generally sleep better and the bonus is that there are less biting insects.

Good luck!
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mtl_Biker View Post
I'm not quite clear on what you're complaining about... is it being cold, or not being able to get comfortable in a mummy bag?

If it's about being cold, then a good mummy bag is way better than a rectangular bag because you want to minimize air spaces that your body would have to warm up. A mummy bag should be considered as being more of a "sock" for your body than a normal bed. And sleeping in one DOES take some getting used to.

Like you, I used to fight the mummy bag, always trying to realign and straighten it, and when I finally gave up on that and decided to let it move with my body (as a sock) I got more comfortable. A good backpacking pillow also makes a big difference. I'm a side sleeper so a mummy bag is a lot more challenging for me than for someone who sleeps on their back.

I currently use a Big Agnes Flycreek UL1 and I'm strongly considering upgrading that to the Flycreek 2 Platinum... quite expensive, but a lot lighter and with a smaller packed size while still giving me more room in the tent. Why do you use a 4-person tent? Are you usually with another person (or with more than one other)?

Thermorest has a "luxury" sleeping pad that is really very nice. I usually take that only when I'm car-camping though and not on the bike. It's just too big (packed size) for me to take on the bike, but gee it's comfortable. On the bike I use a much smaller Thermorest (don't remember the model) that has a tapered shape and it packs really small while still giving me comfort and insulation from the ground. I usually put my riding jacket and pants under my feet so they're not on the ground either.

Also like you, I much prefer to camp in colder temperatures than warmer as I generally sleep better and the bonus is that there are less biting insects.

Good luck!
Sorry if my rant is confusing.

I don't think the cold is keeping me from sleeping...even though the 4 man tent is decidedly cooler than the two man version. I like the four man tent because, unlike back packing or bicycle touring, when I motocamp, I have a lot of gear to stow...so I thought the bigger tent would serve me better. I actually prefer things on the cooler side.

I understand the physics of how a sleeping bag keeps you warm, so you are right...a mummy bag would be the warmest solution. However, I'd think that a rectangular bag designed for colder temps would compensate. IOW, would a mummy bag for 25F be comparable to a rectangular bag for 0F?

Agree that a pillow is a HUGE deal and I think I have that solved.

I'm a side sleeper and a mover...so the mummy "sock" is a constant challenge. I'm thinking that a bigger, roomier rectangular bag with the pad imbedded would work better for me. Weight and pack size, since I'm motocamping on a 1200GS with Adventure boxes, are largely irrelevant.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:45 AM   #9
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bobframe-

Two suggestions:

1. Try a semi rectangular bag. After several decades of using mummy bags in all sorts of temps (down to -20F) I have figured out two things - Fuck winter camping and a bigger bag works better for me. My caveat is that you need a really good semi rec bag. I use the Western Mountaineering Alder MF (http://www.westernmountaineering.com...s&ContentId=22). It is rated at 25F, but that is a very conservative rating. All of WM ratings are very conservative. I have used it down into the 20's with no problems and it packs plenty small.

2. With your Exped mat - Do you inflate it to full firmness? Unless you are a side sleeper you might try inflating it a little less and see if that is more comfortable. That was brought up in a conversation with an Exped rep I know. I have the equivalent synthetic filled mat from Exped and as a big dude (6' 230#) and an alomost exclusively side sleeper I inflate it almost as hard as it can go.

Another upside to the semi rec bag is that I can mate it with a Summer Coupler (cotton blend sheet with slots for pads) and make a two person sleep system for my wife and I that is only minimally bulkier than my one person system. With 2 people in the bag it is good down into the upper 30's with a decent pad underneath.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:48 AM   #10
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When comparing sleeping bag ratings keep in mind they rate them using an industry standard so the numbers are apples to apples comparisons. The one caveat is that the ratings don't account for the extra warm air escaping when you roll around in a non mummy bag.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobframe View Post
I am interested in a roomier bag with an "imbedded" sleeping pad. I know of two companies that make a sleeping bag/pad comb in which the pad slides into a sleeve in the bag...Big Agnes and Nemo.

I am a Big Agnes fan, but have never tried their "one-sided" sleeping bags. Still, they have oversized bags and insulated pads that imbed...so, I'd be open to a BA solution.
If packing space is not an issue I would encourage you to try the Big Agnes "Park" series bags. I have a long 20 degree "Hog Park" poly filled bag that gives a fantastic night's sleep when coupled with my Exped Downmat 9 pad. I am 6'4" and 235# and that bag will allow me to sleep on my side if I desire.

I also have a 15 degree down filled BA Bag that works great for backpacking or if space is at a premium...but the comfort is markedly reduced for me from the big bag.

You won't regret trying it.

http://www.rei.com/product/811097/bi...0-sleeping-bag
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:53 AM   #12
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I am also a side "thrasher" and while not quite as tall as the OP, I usually run around 215lbs. I went with the Thermarest "system". A NeoAir large rectangular air mattress that has a microfiber sheet that covers it, and a down "comforter" that attaches to the sheet. Rated to 20, I also use a mylar-backed tarp underneath to help isolate me from the ground. I also have a sleeping bag liner that is made of a fairly light stretchy stuff that doesn't constrict for colder nights.

A nice pillow made a huge difference too. I use a Nemo Fillow Luxury model.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:40 AM   #13
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I have a long 20 degree "Hog Park" poly filled bag that gives a fantastic night's sleep when coupled with my Exped Downmat 9 pad.
I am considering one of the BA Park series. Does your Exped Downmat fit inside the Hog Park's sleeve? BTW, which Downmat 9 do you have...M (72 x 20) or LW (77.5 x 26)?

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Old 08-02-2013, 10:38 AM   #14
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I'm a side-sleeper, I weigh around 240 lbs, I'm 6'2" and I have had arthritis for close to 30 years (largely under control with meds.) I do toss and turn a lot at night at home and have never found mysef off of my pad when tenting so I don't see that being an issue for me.

I use an Exped Synmat 9 delux (the larger one with the internal pump) and do not inflate it rock hard. I inflate it just enough that I am off the ground when on my side and I am very comfy. I use Wiggy Rectangular bags.. the Hunter Ultralight with hood and the Nautlis with hood overbag. The two together inside my Eureka El Capitan 3-man tent gave me the best night sleep I ever had in temperatures in the lower 20's. (The El Capitan has two vestibules. Decent room for stuff outside of the sleeping area.)

I have never used a bag that had the sleeve for a pad. I understand the theory but can see I would have one big issue with it. That being that I like to wrap my feet in whatever blanket/sheets are around me. This is at home in my bed as well as when sleeping in a tent. I can't see how I could do that with the sleeved pad. Do any of you find that to be an issue?

..Tom
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:51 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by bobframe View Post
I am considering one of the BA Park series. Does your Exped Downmat fit inside the Hog Park's sleeve? BTW, which Downmat 9 do you have...M (72 x 20) or LW (77.5 x 26)?
The long "Park" series takes the 77x26. It is like sleeping on my Tempurpedic mattress at home!
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