Sleeping Systems

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by headwoundharry, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. headwoundharry

    headwoundharry Steady Eddy

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    My girlfriend had her first year touring last year and really enjoyed it. She wants to switch from staying in Hotels to camping. We tried car camping in the fall last year and really had a blast. Most of my equipment is compact and light for motorcycle touring, however I am wondering about sleeping for two. Does anyone have any experience with using a lightweight comforter and a sleeping pad for two? I want the sleeping to be enjoyable for her and I, but we also need it to fit on the bike. Any suggestions?
    #1
  2. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    You can get sleeping bags that zip together for those nights when you want to be close to one another...and then they can unzip and work on their own....for those nights when its been 4 days since your last shower and you want some space :D Get a couple of good Thermarest air mattresses to go with them and their you go.

    You can also look into "Swags" which are very common in Australia where it doesn't rain much. they are simple and can be fairly compact and waterproof as well.

    http://www.campingswag.com/
    #2
  3. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Air mattresses are comfortable, and they come in sizes up to at least queen.

    Going from car camping to moto camping will require some great adjustments. Space and weight will be your limiting factors.

    I wouldn't even think about taking any bedding on a moto that did not compress well.

    Let us know how it goes.
    #3
  4. Claytonroy

    Claytonroy Been here awhile

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    If you're looking for something a bit more hi tech & with options as to mattress width & weight, check out the Thermarest "Down Coupler". It's a fitted sheet w/ down fill that will join together 2 Thermarest sleeping pads.

    You can choose the width of each single mattress (20", 25" or 30" options).

    I haven't tried it personally, but I've used Thermarest products for years...high quality gear for sure. And a Washington company to boot!

    I'm going to buy one of their individual sleep systems to do away w/ a full size sleeping bag & drop some weight and bulk off my moto camp + backpacking setup.
    #4
  5. Downs

    Downs KK6RBI

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    My favorite so far has been my issued sleeping system which is three part system. It consists of a lightweight green bag rated to 40 IIRC a heavier black bag rated to 10 IIRC and then you can combine them with the cammo Bivy sack to be good to a some where in the negative double digits. The good thing about that system is I don't have to carry the whole system I can use the lightweight bag during spring summer and fall around here then throw in the heavy bag and leave thelight bag during the winter months.

    I usually keep the bivy sack with me cause during the winter months when bugs and snakes go away I ground camp on a sleeping pad and in the bivy sack with no tent.

    For the sleeping pad I use a Magellan that is grey in color from Academy. I actually replaced my last magellan with a Thermarest. It was uncomfortable as feck and failed in a few trips. I went back to Academy and picked up that same model Magellan which is about 1 inch bigger around when rolled up but slept TONS better and so far has lasted a hell of a lot longer. Oh it was half the price also.
    #5
  6. colomtnbiker

    colomtnbiker wimpy old guy

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    I certainly do have a take on this. My wife rides her own klr 650 and has been in 7 states of the US, Canada (AlCan Highway), Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize on her bike. South of the border we did not camp but in the US & Canada, we camped/camp about 50% of the time. Keeping my wife happy is paramount to a fun trip. So when we decided to head to Canada for a month, I searched for stuff that would keep her warm, dry and protected from whatever the elements or bugs threw at us. I ended up with Thermarest women's prolite plus (r-4.6, why should she be warmer than myself, I bought 2) and a mountain hardware light wedge 3 tent. I could afford it and she is a happy camper. I'm in Colorado and I've heard Big Agnes makes some kick ass stuff also but I wasn't aware of them 5 years ago when I bought our stuff. For sleeping bags, we use very ancient Holubar bags that still do the trick. We use compression bags for everything we can. Oh and by the way, my wife sewed a bottom silk sheet that holds the 2 Thermarests together. Decadent yes and very lightweight and the pads don't separate at night. That said, traveling with my wife, who rides her own is a blast (and a job). Sometimes we look like the Beverly Hillbillies or look like the travelers in the Grapes of Wrath.
    So we aren't young kids, I'm 61, she's 59. In just a couple of weeks, we are heading to Mexico/Central America for 3 months on our motos for our second time. We traveled south of the border for 3 months in early 2007
    Keep your girlfriend happy and you never know where your moto will take you.
    #6
  7. Hootowl

    Hootowl Long timer

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    The other option besides two sleeping bags is a down quilt. They're more comfortable (no zipper down the middle) and warmer.
    You can make your own from a kit or buy a ready made here:
    http://www.jacksrbetter.com/Large Family.htm
    #7
  8. colomtnbiker

    colomtnbiker wimpy old guy

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    In response to Hootowl's comment, we did try the down comforter. But, with a maturing wife, we found, sometimes she wanted the comforter all to herself. And on the flip side of the coin, sometimes she didn't want any covers. So, for us older riders ( hootowl you must me really old starting to ride in 1964) we found having the zip up sleeping bags makes more sense.
    #8
  9. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

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    hammocks with sleeping bags and a tarp to cover in case of rain.
    That's what I use.

    The eagle's nest outfitter's double hammock is about 55 bucks. Keeps you off the ground.

    Hanging in a hammock isn't for everyone, but it's more comfy than ground sleeping for some people.
    #9
  10. B.C.Biker

    B.C.Biker mighty fine

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    We use two thermarests and a couple blankets. Type depends on the temp/weather. But we aren't all that delicate. If its really sucking out we spring for a hotel. If your into low tech this works fine.
    #10
  11. natez1

    natez1 Adventurer

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    MY favorite sleeping system has been a Coleman queen size air mattress that rolls up small ,a fleece sleeping bag that unzips to lay flat and a 0 deg. sleeping bag that unzips to lay flat. I usually end up laying on the fleece bag with the sleeping bag for a cover but if it's hot just the fleece or if cold the fleece bag inside the sleeping bag. very versatile system but does take some room.the fleece bag I roll up in the sleeping bag and doesn't take up any more room then just the sleeping bag, and the air mattress is actually smaller then the self inflating mattress I was using, but WAY more comfortable!
    #11
  12. Hootowl

    Hootowl Long timer

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  13. munchmeister

    munchmeister Grow'd Up Mini Trail

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    Big Agnes bags.

    [​IMG]

    #13
  14. Grantizzle

    Grantizzle Been here awhile

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    big +1 to hammock camping. super comfy, off the ground (keeps the creepies away), and a whole sleeping set up (hammock, suspension, insulation, tarp) can fit in the same sized bag as a tent.
    #14
  15. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    This is good. You can vary the temp ratings and types of bags, and even another light top cover.

    For sleeping, you're dealing with two different things: a body support system and cover/insulation. Air mattresses can be super comfy for most people. Get the pressure right and you're good to go - off to lala land. If you're sleeping in cold temps, you really do need some good insulation over the air mattress. Otherwise you will get 'cold spots' and not sleep well through the night.

    The inexpensive air mattresses are a bargain. Many people use home-styled air mattresses as their regular bed at home. Choose your covers and insulation needed. She will be happy.
    #15
  16. bikergirl4ever

    bikergirl4ever girlie girl

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    I am a wife who absolutely must be comfortable or else I will not go. We use Luxurylite cots with Thermarest pads on them. Our sleeping bags zip together and sometimes we use a fuzzy liner. This is almost as comfortable as our Select Comfort bed at home. If you pack the cots together they do not take up any more room than 1 cot. With this setup I prefer to camp because I know I will be more comfortable than if I was sleeping in a hotel bed. I plan to buy the Exped pads sometime in the future. We also use Sea to Summit self inflating pillows with padding, they roll up pretty small and you can adjust how much air you want in them. Good luck and have lots of fun.
    #16
  17. munchmeister

    munchmeister Grow'd Up Mini Trail

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    +1 on the LuxuryLite cots. Really comfortable.
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  18. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

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    For sleeping pads, look into the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pads. They pack down to 1/3-1/2 the size of a thermarest and are thicker (2.5"). The downside is you have to inflate them every day.

    I've backpacked with my wife for over 20 years, and we just use separate sleeping bags instead of trying to make a bed for two. I like Big Agnes bags for the elbow room. I guess it sounds like I like Big Agnes stuff, and I do.

    To be honest, I find a folded up wool army blanket as comfortable to sleep on as anything, but they don't pack small. -al
    #18
  19. RiddenHard

    RiddenHard old not dead

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    Like the earlier post by Colomtnbiker, I too am over sixty amd have camped in all conditions from 10 below to 80 in the tropics. I will not try to advise you on the sleep system that is best, as conditions dictate that, but I will say that were I camping with a girlfriend in lieu of a wife, I would not hesitate to use a 40 degree bag in sub zero temps! :evil
    #19
  20. speedtrials

    speedtrials Adventurer

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    +1 on 2 sleeping bags. Get 2 barrel type bags so they zip together around the outside. 2 mummy type bags will zip together in the center and its kind of a pain getting in and out and unzipping if its too hot. I wouldn't go for a comforter unless you're camping somewhere where its very warm at night as you're going to lose a lot of heat out the sides. Since you are sharing your body heat with 2 bags zipped together, you can probably go for bags that are slightly lighter than you would usually use. This will save space/weight.

    2 sleeping bags are lighter, more compact and cheaper than buying one of those double sleeping bags made for 2 people.
    #20