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Topic: Clothes in Sleeping Bag, Warmer without?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 23 2012, 10:26 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My friend and I got into a discussion about how warm you are with extra layers in a sleeping bag. He's warmer with less and I think I'm warmer with more.

I've looked over a few pages on Google and never found a definitive answer. What does everyone here think?

Do more layers keep you warmer in your sleeping bag when it's cold?


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 23 2012, 10:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As long as you're not wearing enough to compress the loft, clothes in the sleeping bag can keep you a bit warmer.   They add a little more insulation, and they can reduce internal convection and conduction that take heat away from your body.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2012, 12:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When you go to bed tonight wear your thermals and see if you get colder or warmer.

The problem is that some get into the sb wearing sweat soaked cloths and that is why they get cold.
You can also try this last one at home (that is put your dirty sweaty stuff on and see if you feel hotter or colder)
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2012, 12:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

+1 on both the above comments.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2012, 12:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

More layers worn correctly will definitely make you warmer. The "less is more" is just a wive's tale (or should I say a man's tale) in order to get women into bed neked. +2 on what was said above. Trapping heat...is not the same as trapping heat and moisture.

With the addition of clothing, I push my +40 sleeping bag to reach temperatures at 0 every winter...so yeah, it's making me warmer.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2012, 9:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It will be warmer with clothing on. (Assuming they are dry.)

Clo is a measurement of clothing warmth and a mid-weight winter baselayer adds 0.5 clo. Naked is 0, a business suit (and normal under garments) is 1.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2012, 11:24 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

for the most part, i agree with comments above, though it is a bit more complex than that and dependent on your sleeping bag and build.

1.  absolutely agree regarding damp layers.  hopefully, your layers are made of a material dries quickly, so you can 'wear them dry' in camp, cooking dinner, and after, before getting into your bag.  if they are so damp that 'wearing dry' isn't possible, try to shake or wring some moisture out of your base layers as soon as you are done with high-energy activity - and while you're still warm, so bleeding off the heat won't set you up for hypothermia.  obviously, you have to judge how cold you are, but very wet layers are a fairly significant threat to your long term ability to stay warm.

during winter, i often lay a damp set of liner gloves & socks over me, inside the bag, and they invariably dry by morning.  (doesn't work so well if you are inside a vapor barrier bag liner, of course, where everything inside the liner stays kind of damp).  

2.  the comment above about 'wearing enough to compress the loft' is accurate and exposes some of the complexity of the question.  if your sleeping bag is relatively roomy, it can accommodate more clothes without affecting the sleeping bag's loft - and it will keep you warmer.  not the case if your layers squish the bag's insulation from the inside.  most sleeping bags aren't designed to wear a big down parka inside them, for example, and doing so would probably limit the insulating value of the insulation in the bag.  

for an extreme example, search Valandre's Shocking Blue sleeping bag and read descriptions of how it is designed.  the bag is a 4 season winter bag, intended to be used in combination with a down suit.  so, the interior dimensions of the bag are intended to accommodate a big-loft down jacket and pants.  working together, the bag and the suit should take you down to very cold temperatures....and the bag only weighs about 3 pounds.  

if you think of your sleeping situation as a system rather than just a bag, then you could definitely function with 'less' bag by combining it with clothing - so long as your bag has enough interior circumference around the shoulders and hips to handle it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2012, 11:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm glad to hear everything above! Makes sense and good info for others looking. It seems that there is for sure a definitive answer in this forum unlike others.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2012, 12:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like without. Sleeping in the clothes I've worn all day just makes it harder for me to go to sleep. There's something about the night time ritual of changing into sleeping clothes (or just underwear) that seems to tell my body - hey, it's time to sleep. I usually take my fleece liner, and sleep in that inside my bag, or if it's too warm, just leave the bag open with my liner on top of me. I do put my clothes in the bag with me, that way they are warm in the morning.
I know I felt much better last trip doing this, vs. just sliding into the bag in my smelly clothes.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2012, 12:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have not had the experience of "compressing the loft from the inside". My Golite Featherlite +40 doesn't exactly have the largest dimensions (58/54/38) and is designed for a minimalist. I wear down booties, two pair of fleece pants, and a down jacket to bed that has about 2.5 inches of loft. It is a relatively snug fit. The sleeping bag puffs up quite nicely and loft of the bag itself in the morning looks to be identical to that of when I wear much less during the summertime. I can't imagine what you would have to wear to compress the loft from the inside or if you did, how you would be able to tell. The volume would have to be so snug, you basically couldn't move from my experience and I think you'd figure that out by the time you tried to zip your bag. My sleeping bag doesn't have a zipper. Can someone explain to me how it will compress the loft from the inside to a noticeable point and how you can tell that your loft has been decreased? Is it because of the baffle type? I can understand the theory but I just can't imagine the reality of what it would take...at least in my sleeping bag.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2012, 2:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That is true. The bag would have to be pretty dang tight to begin with, which would make it uncomfortable right off the bat for me.

I bring a set of clean dry baselayers that I use to sleep in. They are also back-ups in case I get the main set I hike in too wet to dry in camp in the evening.

If I still get too cold at night I add my fleece first. I have never had to put on my parka at night unless doing an experiment where it was supposed to be part of the sleep system. There have been times I just spread it over my upper torso on the outside of the bag or quilt though.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2012, 3:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"Sleeping in the clothes I've worn all day just makes it harder for me to go to sleep"
As I keep saying,  people that states it is warmer without, is because they don't get the idea that dirty and possibly damp clothing (IE :DAY CLOTHING) is the reason why they think clothing inside an sb is bad.
You need dedicated camp clothing for it to work.
AGAIN : CLEAN AND DRY,,,,
(and BTW, "one" should also be clean and dry , not doing so is one of the reasons why some sleep colder than others, that is "need" a loftier bag than others)

And... at BPL one of the experts measured a 50% compression to give about the same warmth as when fully lofted.
So compression is not as detrimental as some think.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 25 2012, 7:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In my experience, the bag takes longer to warm up when I'm wearing more layers.  But I assume that simply because I'm already trapping some of the body heat that would otherwise escape and warm up the bag.  Over the course of the night, more layers inside the bag is warmer because it's more insulation.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 25 2012, 11:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(rayestrella @ Dec. 24 2012, 2:16 pm)
QUOTE
I bring a set of clean dry baselayers that I use to sleep in. They are also back-ups in case I get the main set I hike in too wet to dry in camp in the evening.

+1

And that's the trick. Even "camp" clothes put on clean after a days hike can collect moisture by bedtime - even though they do not feel damp.

The clothes I sleep in are only for sleeping unless otherwise needed.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 25 2012, 11:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Even if you were to compress the loft of the bag you'd be compressing it with clothing - aka insulation (assuming dry clothing). And 2" of compressed down are warmer than 2" of loose down. So unless you're packed so tight as to obstruct blood circulation, you will be warmer wearing clothing inside the bag.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 12:49 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(zorobabel @ Dec. 25 2012, 8:32 pm)
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Even if you were to compress the loft of the bag you'd be compressing it with clothing - aka insulation (assuming dry clothing). And 2" of compressed down are warmer than 2" of loose down. So unless you're packed so tight as to obstruct blood circulation, you will be warmer wearing clothing inside the bag.

That has been my experience. I have slept cooler with my jacket draped over my sleeping bag vs. wearing it inside.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 11:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

everyone has their own experience, i guess.  mine is that sleeping bags don't insulate as well when the loft is compromised.  examples:

-winter hikers need pads with sufficient R value to keep them warm because the compressed insulation under their body does little to keep them warm.  any intelligent sleeping bag shopper will want to look at how much of a bag's loft is ABOVE their body for that reason.  

-sleeping bag insulation that is compromised by moisture doesn't loft as well, hence it doesn't keep you as warm as fully-lofted insulation.

i have personally experienced this challenge - not by wearing heavy clothes inside a sleeping bag, but by inserting a lightweight summer bag inside a 3 season bag to try to extend the bag into colder weather.  it didn't work.  in fact, i slept colder with the lightweight bag inside the other bag than i did with the shoulder season bag alone.  i have done it by using a lightweight summer bag inside a warmer shoulder-season bag, in an effort to extend the usable range of the shoulder bag.  it didn't work well.  it wasn't a situation where i was cutting off circulation; i was warmer in the shoulder bag alone than i was when i combined it with a summer bag.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 12:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm with leadbelly on this one, compressed down is not as warm as loose down. Reason being that it is not the down that is making you warm but the air the down is trapping.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 12:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As long as your layers are not compressing the loft, they will help with the temp rating.  The problem I experienced as when knees, elbows, and hips pressed against the bag loft, creating a cold spot in an under insulated bag.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 4:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There is a whole lot of difference between all and nothing.
All being full loft and nothing (or very close to it)  is your elbow pushing against the fabric or the down under you.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 7:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well if you ever need to try that again leadbelly, put the summer bag over the winter bag. Higher-temp rated bags tend to be roomier than cold-weather bags. Plus you can just nest the footboxes and spread the rest of the summer bag over the winter bag. No need to have it zipped around it really. That would keep circulation cutting pressure to a minimum.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 4:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

i'm fortunately past the point where i need to double up for cold weather; just sharing the observation.  i have a -40 mountain hardwear bag that is fab in the winter.  

it's interesting - i read a review recently that panned Valandre's Shocking Blue bag for being too roomy and too heavy, given the amount of down and overall weight.  completely missed the point that the bag is DESIGNED to use with a down suit or other layers - and that a 3 pound sleeping bag taking you down to -10 or -20 as part of a sleep system is fairly remarkable.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 4:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Less is more... just my opinion. When I was in the Army I tried it various different ways. I was able to stay warmest by sleeping in my long-johns and keeping my BDU's in the foot of the bag. Any moisture (sweat) will just make you colder.

Personal preference I guess cause there were guys in my unit who believed in layering for warmth.

Nowadays I wrap up in a lava-lava and then climb into the bag... it works well because the lava-lava is very light but traps body heat well and the body heat that does escape is trapped by the down in the bag... it's kind of like having a sheet under your comforter at home.

Weird I know, but it works for me.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 5:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This seems like a "no brainer" for me, even after reading all the comments about loft and compression and all that.

I've awakened at 4 AM a few times to find that the wind had picked up or the front had brought in more cold than expected, and I was chilled a bit as temps hit nighttime lows. I always put on my light jacket I hold in reserve, a heavier hat, booties or my down jacket I carry as a precautionary pillow.

Not once have I ever awakened chilled and took clothes off. Not once.

But then, I only occasionally zip my bags, and I use a quilt most of the time. Usually one with some "reserve capacity" based on expected weather.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 27 2012, 5:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(leadbelly2550 @ Dec. 27 2012, 3:17 pm)
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(Valandre's Shocking Blue) the bag is DESIGNED to use with a down suit or other layers - and that a 3 pound sleeping bag taking you down to -10 or -20 as part of a sleep system is fairly remarkable.

Well take that with a grain of salt. Everybody I know that have used one says that it is over-rated. Plus as it is DESIGNED to be used with the Combi full suit I suppose you should add that weight in there as well.

On big mountains guys always wear their suits no matter what the sleeping bag. The only thing they take off is their crampons and sometimes their boots. I don't believe we are talking that use here. ;-)


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 28 2012, 5:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was just looking up a review on a Down Mat, found this comment from Roger Caffin :
" What is interesting is that while the R-value does drop as the mat is squashed flat, it does not drop very fast. This is entirely consistent with the claim heard elsewhere that what matters with down is not solely the loft but the actual amount of down used. And this is consistent with the technical way down insulation works: what matters is the density of the tips of the finest down fibres. So, all other criticisms aside, this is one very warm airmat! It may be rather heavy, but it is warm!'
Note that is comments are the result of machine testing, not his personal opinion.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 28 2012, 5:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I suspect the decrease in loft is partially offset by a reduction in internal convective currents as the open space between down fibers compresses.
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