Sleeping Bag Systems?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by vector_dumb, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    I refuse to use brick-and-mortar shops for gathering information then buy online by price.

    Some items I go mainly to brick-and-mortar, other items I generally shop online. I recognize that bags and pads are two items where trying them on the outfitter's floor can be very useful, but I'm taking a break from the poor information and products available at shops near here.
    #21
  2. RonSJC

    RonSJC Been here awhile

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    Just wanted to second the full length zipper idea. I've done a lot of backpacking/climbing and a good down mummy bag is warm enough and sleeping with it completely unzipped with a leg or arm out will keep you cool enough. Look for bags that say they can be zipped together to form a double. I hope they still make them. I got mine ages ago............
    #22
  3. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    It is unlikely that you will find any quality mummy bag where the zipper goes around the bottom of the foot. I have never seen one constructed that way. Most go within a few inches to a foot from the very bottom of the bag.
    #23
  4. Jeff B

    Jeff B Socially Awkward

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    I've also been happy using a two bag system. [insert old joke here] Different pads, and bivvys to adjust for varying conditions.

    I also use the concept of using the bags as quilts/blankets to increase the versatility and comfort.

    It's loft that ultimately decides level of warmth.
    #24
  5. Escaped

    Escaped Been here awhile

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    I use this Bivy:

    http://www.amazon.com/Military-Surp...=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1362933623&sr=1-1

    With an old cheap synthetic sleeping bag I have.

    Very compact and light.

    Works down to 30F no problem


    #25
  6. vector_dumb

    vector_dumb Happier Here

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    A few people have recommended that I check out Full Throttle Camping ... so I did!

    They have the Lost Ranger 15 for 130. I did some additional research and found some interesting reviews. Here is one of the better ones:

    http://www.backpackgeartest.org/rev...ost Ranger 15/Owner Review by Travis Crooke/

    At first I was put off by how the BA bags require the sleeping pad, but I'm starting to warm up to the idea. If you get a BA bag and pad at least you are getting a system designed to work together. Also in the summer you can go without the pad and stay a little cooler. The lost ranger also has the no draft yoke which is a great idea.

    Well, that's the direction I'm leaning for now. We'll see what tomorrow holds :p
    #26
  7. O'B

    O'B Long timer

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    There is a company in Seattle called Feathered Friends located across the street from REI. They were located next to REI when it was up on Capitol Hill also. This family business has been making down bags since the sixties or seventies always located next to REI and still in business. That has to tell you something! The first bag I brought from then literally lasted 25 years. Washed in the bathtub and in the machine on gental cycle with wisk. Everybody is always worried about getting your bag wet and losing insulation properties. Well take care and don't get it wet. use a large heavy duty plastic garbage bag and put it in before you insert it into the stuff sack. You can use the garbage bag over the bottom of your sleeping bag if your tent gets wet. Whatever you do is don't purchase one of those Chinese bags with the duck or chicken feathers there is a big difference compared with a real goose down bag.
    #27
  8. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    You'll be miserable without a good pad. They really help getting a good night's sleep. For camping in hot weather, you can even use one of those inflatable mattresses that can be found at big box stores. I bought one that rolls up to a little larger than my Thermarest pad. It's heavier, but is pure luxury. I bring along my 12v raft pump, which I've wired to the bike with an SAE connector. It inflates the mattress in minutes. When I'm going light, I always take the Thermarest. However, for a summer weekend trip, the air mattress comes along.

    Pure air mattresses are lousy at insulating, so are not recommended in cold weather. A lot of heat is lost through convection. On a hot summer's day, they are significantly better than sleeping on the ground.

    [​IMG]
    #28
  9. Lost Roadie

    Lost Roadie Rider

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    The new Big Agnes Downtek waterproof down bags are great, best of both worlds packing small and providing protection against wet down. The integrated sleeve makes for very comfortable sleeping, especially if you move around while sleeping, never sliding off the pad or carrying insulation that's not needed on the bottom of the sleeping bag.
    I have years and hundreds of comfortable nights in BA bags, "Mother of Comfort" is their slogan and I have to agree.

    A thread on the new BA bags:


    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=862488
    #29
  10. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9SU1gFcoEA

    One of several dual temp sleeping bag systems out there.
    Eureka makes a few bags that are dual temp,if you are on a budget.

    I have a similar design bag from Sierra Designs that they made 5-7 years ago.

    I am however a Big Agnes fan over the last 4-5 years and the Lost Ranger(down)and the Encampment(synthetic) are the bags to look at.
    If you are a big guy,look at the Park series bags from Big Agnes.
    If you are looking a older BA bags,make sure they have the isotect baffling,the earlier bags had some problems with insulation shifting.

    I too use Exped pads with my BA bags.

    JR356
    #30
  11. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    Here's my question and the Campmor answer:

    Code:
    Q: 
    How far down does the zipper go?  All the way to the foot box?
    Thanks.
    Asked on 3/9/2013
    
    
    
    Staff Expert
    A:
    The zipper on this bag goes down to the ankle.
    Looks good to me; enough "box" to keep feet in even when unzipped, but low enough to get feet out.
    #31
  12. JustRon

    JustRon ex-broadwayron

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    To the op... if you decide to go with a warm sleeping pad, I've got a brand new (unopened) Exped Downmat 9M in the flea market.
    #32
  13. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    thanks ... what an excellent sleeping bag design!
    #33
  14. vector_dumb

    vector_dumb Happier Here

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    Hi all - I've done a ton of research based on the recommendations on the thread and I think I am going to go with the Lost Ranger 15 from Big Agnes. I have one question out to Gregg at FTC before I buy (just looking to confirm the baffle design). If everything sounds in order I'll order the bag and an insulated air core sleeping pad.

    It's funny, I initially discounted BA because of the need for a sleeping pad. I thought it was more of a marketing ploy to sell more of their brand (and maybe it is). On the other hand I did ask about what works as a sleep system, and the folks at BA clearly designed the components to work together. At the moment I never plan to be camping with the bag in temps lower that 32F, and the bag should cut it at those temps with long johns. If I get more into cold weather camping I can pick up an outer bag.

    Thanks for all the help and posts. I never would have really considered BA without the suggestions!
    #34
  15. vector_dumb

    vector_dumb Happier Here

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    Just placed my order w/ Gregg at Full Throttle Camping

    Large BA Lost Ranger 15 and a long insulated air core pad : 215 shipped.

    Nice! :D
    #35
  16. blitzkreig

    blitzkreig Been here awhile

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    When riding double we take a light weight fiberfill and a down filled that even through it is a square bag is rated to below freezing temperatures. If it is hot the thin bag goes on the top and when it is cold the down-fill goes up top.

    Now the trick to sleeping comfortably when it is getting rather chilly out there. Don't use a air mattress, as the things really have no insulating ability. Get those self inflating foam filled mats and the best are those which are nearly an inch thick.

    Then the coupe-e-gras. Find a rock about as big as your head and stand it up beside your campfire. Get it good and warm. If you spit on it and it sizzles it is just a little too warm ... ;-) Then wrap that rock up in a towel and tie it with string. Wrap that string around several times as you don't want that hot rock to escape. Then throw that in the foot of your sleeping bag. It will still be warm in the morning. That makes a bag which is good to freezing ... good to at least Zero.

    You know it is cold when you and the wife go for three rocks. Two for one each of your feet ... and another between you for your backside ... :-).

    Bye the way ... the run around the tend absolutely naked so that when you get back in the sleeping bag it seems nice and warm ... doesn't work. Don't ask me how I know ...
    #36
  17. vector_dumb

    vector_dumb Happier Here

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    Short follow up:

    I know I'm long overdue with a follow up but I did get to use the bag and pad a few times. I did a few nights in the mudroom - probably low 50's and I was a bit on the hot side in the bag - which is odd because I am always on the cool side. A few weeks ago I also camped a couple of nights in the yard. If I recall one night was the upper 30's and one was the low 40's. Both nights I was a pinch cool, but really nothing to complain about. I'm pretty sure with some winter oriented sleeping garments (i.e. longjohns) I could go fairly comfortably to about 30 degrees. Below that it would probably be fairly uncomfortable without some more thought out prep. I feel confident it can be done w/o much of an issue.

    I found one thing mildly annoying - not the actual bag/pad's fault.

    I bought a cheap bag liner mainly to keep the bag clean. It was an Alps mountaineering something or other. The sleeping bag liner was a 1/4 opening on the opposite side as my sleeping bag zipper. Not a big deal, just turn the liner inside out. Well, no. The outside of the bag liner had a grippy microfiber texture that would catch on my clothes/hair/skin so I couldn't slide in and out of the bag. This made things tough since I sleep on my stomach, there wasn't a ton of room at the head end of my tent (tent is a side opener), and the damn liner would just bunch up on me.

    So, my advise would be to get a BA bag/matt and a 1/2 length opening silk liner if you don't have a ton of room at the end of your tent to get in and out of the bag. No complaints with the actual bag/pad. Full throttle camping had just what I wanted at a really good price!! :clap
    #37
  18. sagedrifter

    sagedrifter Southern Explorer

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    I like the Kelty Cosmic down bags, they are good enough for casual use. About $109 for the 40 degree which is very light and packs small, the 20 degree is around $150. I find I use a thin 40 degree bag 90% of the time. I gave up on packing synthetic bags, they just take up too much room. I have a Kelty bag that weighs well under 2 pounds in the long version and its big enough to cover my 6-4 tall self with 50" shoulders.

    Even the best syn bags take up at least twice the room of a feather version.. :D

    I still prefer the Exped Syn 9 DLX pads, been using them since 2007. Nice and warm, built in pump, 3.5 thick, big enough for my large ass. Good warranty.
    #38