Let's talk sleeping bags

Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by BaRRaCuda1974, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. BaRRaCuda1974

    BaRRaCuda1974 Adventurer

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    I'm looking for recommendations on sleeping bags that pack down nice and small but most importantly, keep me friggin warm when it gets cold. Pictures or packed dimensions will be helpful. Cost, well if it works I'm willing. I currently have 3 and none really do the trick when it comes to warmth.
    #1
  2. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    I froze my ass off a number of times and finally broke down and bought a proper sleeping bag. I unequivocally recommend Western Mountaineering.
    I have the Versalite. http://www.westernmountaineering.com/sleeping-bags/extremelite-series/versalite/
    Weighs 2 lb and packs down small. It's expensive, but WARM. I use it like a blanket in the 50s. I've used it down into the 30s, and have to unzip the bottom to cool off. Impeccable quality. Handmade in the USA. Also, get a good quality insulated pad. The best sleeping bag in the world won't work if you put it directly on cold ground.
    #2
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  3. Tom D

    Tom D Been here awhile

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    after 50 years of camping i'm moving away from a sleeping bag and am currently looking at down quilts.

    smaller, warmer, more room and packs smaller when compared to equally rated sleeping bags.
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  4. deadzed

    deadzed Meat Popscicle

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    I use a Big Agnes Encampment 15 With a 4" Q-Core pad. Packs very small & I've been comfortable down to freezing. 13 degrees Fahrenheit was too cold for it.

    The big Agnes design has no insulation in the back, so it packs down very small for it's temperature rating. The pad that slides into a pocket provides the insulation between you and the ground. It also keeps you from sliding off the pad when you move around. The encampment isn't a full mummy design. It's got a larger foot area, which is more comfortable for me. It also has an air dam that folds down against your neck so you don't get that inrush of cold air every time you move. It has a pillow pocket, so you're not chasing that around in the middle of the night either.

    I've been using that system 4-5 times a year since 2013 & I'm very happy with it.
    #4
  5. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    I am a big fan of the bags from Serra Designs.

    You really need to think of this as a 2 part system pad + bag. You need to invest in both to have a light weight compact warm sleep.

    I like serra design bag no zipper design. ... makes for a super comfortable bag .... available in a 20 and 30 degree down versions.

    Figure out the coldest temp you will want to camp in ... buy a bag rated to at least that temp.

    Scott
    #5
  6. GiddyThump

    GiddyThump Been here awhile

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  7. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    Got to go with a down bag. The lower the temp rating the warmer it is. Get at least a zero degree. The higher the fill rating the smaller and lighter it is. Both these specs will increase the cost.

    A zero degree 880 fill bag will run you ~$500+. Don't go below 660 fill.
    #7
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  8. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    All of the above, and make sure it's goose down, not duck.
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  9. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    The shell can also increase the weight. I have a down bag with a gortex like shell. Heavier. Also a lower fill rated bag will have more down (weight) than a higher fill power for the same temp rating.

    Lower fill rating IMO is warmer.
    #9
  10. Snake Oiler

    Snake Oiler If the world didn't suck, we would all fall off

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    This is almost like a tire question. Everyone will have a different answer . But goose over duck is lighter and price shows. 800 + fill and as mentioned she'll and liner nylon and if possible a heat reflective lining. But I'm a cold sleeper and a 30 degree bag is always enough for me
    #10
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  11. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    I absolutely have to have a bat that unzips the full length to vent well. Makes those less-than-freezing nights bearable. I've tried ones that unzip to mid-thigh or knee and they leave my feet and shins too hot.

    I also appreciate a slim-fit mummy bag that's not too tall (I'm average height). Not having a lot of interior air to heat makes it much warmer when zipped up. Or maybe it's the reduced surface area. Whatever the reason, a good fit is warmer.

    For me the Marmot Never Winter (a 30-degree bag) fits these 2. YMMV. I have a 20 degree Kelty bag that's not as warm in cold weather and much hotter in warm weather.
    #11
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  12. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Lost Ranger is a common bag used on this forum.

    Sometimes I'll take a bag liner and down quilt.
    Comfortable too and smaller packed than the sleeping bag.
    #12
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  13. Snake Oiler

    Snake Oiler If the world didn't suck, we would all fall off

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    I should have added to my above post. But I'm old and slow. But anyhow I just went through a couple purchases, a tent and quilt. I was looking for a smaller but also better winter setup. So I got a cheap single wall tent, the review all spoke off pour ventilation . So I thought better heat,retention. And I got a 40 degree quilt from Hang Tight Shop with a reflective liner that I was told would lower the ratings by about 10 degrees . It came today and first impressions are No Way this is going to be good. But just so happens it's to be in the high 30's this weekend here so guess where I'll be. The quilt only has about one inch loft, but again I have a 3.5 r rating on my pad and I like a cool night sleep. I might be okay. Another thing that adds to the fact is the ground is still warm. Onc,it,freezes up its a different story . I'd have to think that no matter which bag you decide on. It's got to be a system not any one component
    #13
  14. appliance57

    appliance57 Long timer

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    If it gets damp you're seriously screwed. A decent synthetic, insulated air pad, a hat and some long johns. A "last year's" model from say Mountain Hardware - laminas are nice - should be around $80 to $150.00. Better living through chemistry.
    #14
  15. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    The modern down bags can take a bit more abuse than the old ones. Hydrophobic treatment, different material in the bag itself, etc.
    A synthetic bag, equivalent of a down one, will be heavier and pack much larger - so there’s a tradeoff.
    #15
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  16. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    or oil question, Oiler...:lol3
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  17. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

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    My current bag is a 0 degree Sierra Designs and while it may be overkill for most of my camping, but I’d rather have the warm bag and not need it than wishing I had when the temps dip. You can always zip the thing open.
    The sleeping pad is the next item for a proper sleep and you can go with self inflating, or the pump-it-up-yourself type either synthetic or down too.

    The down Exped mat I have comes with a built in pump but I use a compression sack as it is faster. And as not to introduce moisture from your breath never inflate any mat by mouth...:gdog
    I also have a Browning self-inflating mat for car camping as it takes up a lot of space like a Thermarest would.
    #17
  18. gmk999

    gmk999 ____ as a Rotax

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    In the northeast a 20 degree fill bag is my go to for bike camping for most of the three seasons that we can ride. Fill is heavier by a bit but the bike doesn’t complain. Its ability to insulate while wet and it’s quick dry capability make it a better choice IMO. When traveling at 60mph in the rain water can be prety clever about how it gets into a panier. Doesn’t happen often, but it happens.
    Also remember that the Bag rating is the lowest temp the bag can keep you from freezing, (etreme ratibg) the comfort rating is usually 15-20 degrees higher for men abd 30 deg higher for women.
    I am not knocking down as it certainly has it’s merit. Light weight, retains loft better, packs smaller etc, and is my go to for backpacking. but if I was to only have one for travel...
    Fill FTW
    #18
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  19. Wilde

    Wilde Adventurer

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    I get cold easily. I think it's because my wife is from a tropical country and likes to keep the house at around 78 degrees all the time, so now I'm used to being warm. I have a Big Agnes Summit Park 15 degree bag and I get cold in it when it's 45 degrees or less. This past weekend I took two of the $17 Costco down blankets (more expensive at Amazon: http://a.co/d/cQV8ao6) to make the sleeping bag warmer. I used one layered above me and the other one down by my feet. I was super warm even when it got down to under 30 degrees. They weigh next to nothing and pack down super small, so they're going with me any time I go camping from now on.
    #19
  20. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    This is the bag I ended up buying last year: https://www.rei.com/product/110922/rei-co-op-magma-10-sleeping-bag-mens

    For years I had avoided down because of the cost and the fear of getting it wet. A while back, I actually found a down bag in its stuff sack on the side of the road. I ended up using it for several years, and it was the best bag I had. When it finally wore out, I decided to take the leap and spend the money on a good down bag.

    I really like the REI bag so far, though I admit that I've only used it about a dozen times. The coldest I've had it was around freezing.

    Jamie
    #20
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