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Topic: 15F or 32F - Expert Advice, Sleeping Bags< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 13 2012, 9:54 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi,
Thank you for stopping by and trying to help out.

I need the suggestion and advice of experts like yourself in choosing between these sleeping bags.

I'm new to backpacking and hiking and buying a sleeping bag in 1-2 days. I can't use any down filled bags because I'm allergic to most natural fibers. I know synthetic bags are heavier but I have to go with them. I searched around and found the Mountain Hardwear Ultra Lamina 15 and 32.

Where I Need Your Advice:
I want to buy a bag I can use in all seasons, from 80F to 10F. I know this is not easy but I was thinking of getting a sleeping bag and a good liner this way I can use the liner by itself during the hot summer temperatures and the bag and liner for the cold temperatures. Is this a good idea? I'm going to be using a Therm A Rest 40th Anniversary Pad with a 4.0 Rating.

Would you recommend the Ultra Lamina 15? or the Ultra Lamina 32 + the liner? I would go with the Ultra Lamina 15 but I'm worried it will be very hot during the 40-60F temperatures where a liner isn't enough by itself, but being inside the bag would boil me.

Any suggestions are appreciate it.

Thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 13 2012, 10:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Liners are worthless for the most part. They are not worth their weight. I will state upfront that my skin is extremely sensitive to many natural fibers (I can't even use soaps besides Ivory and I can't use deodorant). However, I use a down bag just fine because newer technology has allowed them to learn to remove the oils from the feather/down much more efficiently than in the "good ole' days".

If you are firm on using a synthetic, use the +15 and unzip it in the summer or just sleep under it. I can't unzip my Golite Featherlite because it doesn't have a zipper, but I've slept under it on a few nights in my hammock and it's done great.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 13 2012, 10:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the quick reply.

I've read the total opposite about liners. I was thinking of getting the Seas To Summit Reactor or their other liners. All I've read are positive reviews about how it increases the bag temperature. It does increase the weight by 6-8oz but most the +35 bag is a bit lighter than the +15 and is why I was thinking of getting it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 13 2012, 11:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a Sea to Summit Reactor and it does not appreciably raise the bag's temperature.  I use it only when camping in dirty or sandy areas and then only to keep my (usually down) bag clean.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 12:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I, too, have little faith in liners.  Seems I get tangled up in them and they don't add any appreciable warmth.  I'd go with the 15 degree bag.  That way when you move on to other backpacking areas like the Rockies or want to extend your backpacking into colder seasons, you'll be set.  And you can always buy a bolt of fleece at a fabric shop and make yourself a sleeping sheet that should serve you pretty well in warm temps.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 12:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

To heck with making your own, those cheap, $15, fleece blankets that zip up will do just fine for Summer weather, as long as the isn't any wind to speak of.  I second the idea of getting a 15-20* bag for your first one.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 12:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Once again thanks for the quick reply, really appreciate it.

I can get the +15 Ultra Lamina, but I'm afraid it might be extremely hot at 50F temperatures. Would unzipping it all the way down while in mid temperatures between 45-60F might be uncomfortable.

You guys are the expert at this, any advice is appreciate it.

Thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 12:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

From experience, unzip it and use it as a quilt or just sleep underneath it. I do this every summer on warmer nights. Insulation is insulation. It traps heat. If you ventilate your bag, it is going to let the cool air in and the heat out. Having a "warmer" bag just means it is more efficient at trapping the warm air. If you unzip it and allow it to draft, it will be plenty cool.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 12:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

+1 What Tigger says.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 1:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

+2 on what Tigger says.  

Just be aware that almost all mummy bags don't unzip all the way; the zipper usually ends a few inches from the toe box.  That means you can't open the bag flat when you want to use it as a top-only quilt.  Not a big deal, as you can use your feet to "anchor" the bag.  When it's really warm though, a true full-zip bag that opens flat is nice to have.  My primary summer bag is a semi-rectangular that unzips completely flat for just that reason.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 4:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Where are you that you're talking 80F temps at night?
How often will you actually see the lower end of that temperature range(10F)?
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 6:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The thought that liners add appreciable warmth is just wishful thinking. For me the tangle-factor (I toss-and-turn when I sleep) made them undesirable as a way to keep the bag clean so I got rid of mine.

I would suggest finding out for sure if down bothers you before I throw it out.

No single bag will cover that temperature range. And unless you are a back-sleeper the 15 F rating may be more like 20 or 25 anyway. So if your heart is set on those two I'd suggest the 15. Just unzipping it will let it be used to around 45 F, using it as a quilt (you on your pad and the bag open and flipped around 90 degrees) will take you to warmer temps.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 9:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have to say thanks once again for the fast reply guys, truly appreciate it.

It looks like you all agree the +15 is the way to go which means is what I'm going with. I picked the Ultra Lamina because it was the lightest and highest reviewed synthetic sleeping bag I seen around. If you do know of a better, light and compact synthetic sleeping bag or a real hypoallergenic ultra light down bag at +15 degree that might make me go from the Ultra Lamina +15 to down, let me know.

I made another thread for another gear I'm having a problem with. I own backpacks I use for climbing and bought a hiking backpack which wasn't very comfortable. I could use your advice and suggestion in choosing. This is the thread if you want to help out a newbie hiker/backpacker,
Can It Be Found - Lightweight Yet Bombproof.

Thanks
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 5:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think the simple answer to your question is no, there is no bag that would be comfortable or safe from 10 to 80 degrees.

The Ultralamina 15 has a lower-limit temperature rating of 19 degrees, so it already doesn't meet your winter needs. If the actual outside temperature is 10 degrees, you would need at least the UltraLamina 0, which weighs 3lbs 6 oz. It makes no sense at all to lug that around in the summer.  

The UltraLamina 32, according to the MH website, weighs a mere "1 lb 16 oz" (HA!). The EN lower-limit temperature rating is 37 degrees. That would work well up to about 65 degrees. For temperatures above that a $10 fleece bag from Walmart would be fine. Above 70 degrees I use a sheet or nothing.

I don't mind taking chances with a 35F bag by adding more clothing (I've gotten mine down to 25 degrees that way), but at 10 degrees I wouldn't fool around with wishful thinking. I would be overprepared rather than underprepared.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 6:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TrailTramper @ Oct. 14 2012, 2:25 pm)
QUOTE
I don't mind taking chances with a 35F bag by adding more clothing (I've gotten mine down to 25 degrees that way), but at 10 degrees I wouldn't fool around with wishful thinking. I would be overprepared rather than underprepared.

I've been wishful thinking for over five years now in temps down to 0 with my +40 sleeping bag supplementing with clothing and been quite comfortable.

I don't recommend for someone getting into it, but it definitely can be done.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 8:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think its going to be difficult to find one bag that will be comfortable in both warm weather and really cold weather. A bag that will keep you warm at 15 degrees F will be very hot in summer! You'll be sweating.

The down bags are expensive, but you should be able to get 2 decent synthetic bags for less than you'd pay for one 10-15 degree down bag. Look around for sales by doing multiple searches for bags on Google, Amazon, etc. You should be able to get a good 40-50 degree bag for late spring, early fall, or summer in more northern climates for less than $75 on sale. I found a 40 degree one that was originally $79 for like $45 3 years ago. It only weighs like 1.8lbs. packed.

Then buy a separate 10-15 degree winter bag. You should be able to get a winter bag on sale for $100 or so. Thats what I did, as I didnt want to deal with a down bag, which might get wet and stay that way for a while!

To be honest, I dont think having 2 of them is good enough! Even the 40 degree bag is too hot in summer, so I usually end up sleeping on top of it, so I really need an even higher temperature one for summer(or just a sheet or something)

REI's got  a Marmot trestles bag that is called a 15 degree bag, but its actually rated to 11.8 degrees F. A regular size one is $109 on sale: It's just over 3lbs.

Also, REI has a bag called the "REI travel sack" which is 55 degrees for $59. It weighs about 1.7 lbs.

So for under $170 you could have 2 nice bags for different times of year. Compare that with buying one 15 degree higher end down bag for $329!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 8:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(CharlesTheHammer @ Oct. 14 2012, 8:14 pm)
QUOTE
I think its going to be difficult to find one bag that will be comfortable in both warm weather and really cold weather. A bag that will keep you warm at 15 degrees F will be very hot in summer! You'll be sweating.

As mentioned above, just unzip and use as a quilt, covering as much or little as necessary.  I have a real 15F bag (Marmot Pinnacle) and haven't used anything else in the last eight years, in warm weather and cold.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 10:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(big_load @ Oct. 14 2012, 8:59 pm)
QUOTE

(CharlesTheHammer @ Oct. 14 2012, 8:14 pm)
QUOTE
I think its going to be difficult to find one bag that will be comfortable in both warm weather and really cold weather. A bag that will keep you warm at 15 degrees F will be very hot in summer! You'll be sweating.

As mentioned above, just unzip and use as a quilt, covering as much or little as necessary.  I have a real 15F bag (Marmot Pinnacle) and haven't used anything else in the last eight years, in warm weather and cold.

The only problem is that my 15 degree bag doesnt open up all the way, and the 40 degree bag opens  up, but I like it a c little cool, so it makes me sweat if its over 65-70 degrees at night, but maybe just sliding it down to my waist would work, I'll have to try that.

I noticed you used the word "real" when speaking of your 15 degree bag. I found out that hard way that some lower rated bags are underrated.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2012, 10:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Oct. 14 2012, 6:25 pm)
QUOTE
I've been wishful thinking for over five years now in temps down to 0 with my +40 sleeping bag supplementing with clothing and been quite comfortable.

I don't recommend for someone getting into it, but it definitely can be done.

Good grief, if some cases that +40 would actually be a +50 to begin with.

I find +35 the best overall if you can only have one bag. In a heat wave you chuck it and take some kind of light, small blanket. It's not hard to get a (true) +35 down to 25 degrees---I wear cross-country ski pants with a fleecy lining (fairly light, not real fleece), a light long-sleeved shirt, and a fleece jacket. Probably no hat, no gloves. To get it lower than that you would add thermal longjohns, a heavier shirt, hat, gloves, and heavy socks or down socks. But I don't like the constricted feeling of that much clothing and I would rather get a warmer sleeping bag.
(On the other hand, heavy clothing does feel better when you get up in the morning and that blast of cold air hits you.)
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2012, 10:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(StylesTW @ Oct. 13 2012, 9:54 pm)
QUOTE
Where I Need Your Advice:
I want to buy a bag I can use in all seasons, from 80F to 10F. I know this is not easy but I was thinking of getting a sleeping bag and a good liner this way I can use the liner by itself during the hot summer temperatures and the bag and liner for the cold temperatures. Is this a good idea? I'm going to be using a Therm A Rest 40th Anniversary Pad with a 4.0 Rating.

One, the R rating on the pad tells me the pad isn't good for your low temp listed - the Big Agnes Q Core is rated to use at 15F and has a higher R value than your pad. You would probably be better off adding a foam pad at temps below 20F.

Two, there is no one bag for that temp range. I wouldn't even have a bag over me at 75F - I'd be on top of it.

I use a 20-25F down quilt that weighs 22 oz in temps 25 - 55F quite happily, and have a 0 degree bag that makes sense in my local winter conditions (you must take into consideration actual conditions you will be in).

I have a Sea to Summit Reactor. If you would like to buy it I have not used it more than once. It was not worth the full retail and since I knew that going in I did not pay that much.... Liners are 90% hype and 10% performance, IMO.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2012, 10:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TrailTramper @ Oct. 15 2012, 7:35 am)
QUOTE

(Tigger @ Oct. 14 2012, 6:25 pm)
QUOTE
I've been wishful thinking for over five years now in temps down to 0 with my +40 sleeping bag supplementing with clothing and been quite comfortable.

I don't recommend for someone getting into it, but it definitely can be done.

Good grief, if some cases that +40 would actually be a +50 to begin with.

I find +35 the best overall if you can only have one bag. In a heat wave you chuck it and take some kind of light, small blanket. It's not hard to get a (true) +35 down to 25 degrees---I wear cross-country ski pants with a fleecy lining (fairly light, not real fleece), a light long-sleeved shirt, and a fleece jacket. Probably no hat, no gloves. To get it lower than that you would add thermal longjohns, a heavier shirt, hat, gloves, and heavy socks or down socks. But I don't like the constricted feeling of that much clothing and I would rather get a warmer sleeping bag.
(On the other hand, heavy clothing does feel better when you get up in the morning and that blast of cold air hits you.)

Luckily, mine is a "true" +40. It took me two years of testing (brought one of my other +15 bags on every trip) before I felt confident enough to only go with my Golite bag.

What I do like about it besides the weight savings is the middle of the night calls of nature. I enjoy getting up and out of my bag in the middle of the night to see the stars and moon when they're present and snap a few photos. I wear down booties to bed along with a pair of mid-weight fleece long johns and fleece pants. I'm hoping to get a pair of Down pants before this winter to help lighten that load along with the extra shrinkage of size. I also wear a down jacket over the top of my Smart Wool base layer. I can hop up, throw on some snow gloves and head out. When I want to get back in, I just brush the snow off the bottom of my Down booties and crawl back in.

I assume it's really going to depend on the area as to the temp rating you would want with just one bag. In our area (PNW Cascades), it often hits single digits...even in the middle of summer.

HYOH


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