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Topic: 0* Sleeping Bags, Down, Synthetic, Etc...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 11:46 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ok, so I'm needing a new bag. I've decided I'm wanting one rated for 0* as I am a small and skinny guy that doesn't have too much "natural" insulation on me and most of my trips will be in colder climates.

I'm beginning to have a small issue though. Some of the web sites don't list the compressed size of the bag, only the stuff size. Secondly, I'm needing to keep my bag budget under $200.

I'm not really partial to synthetic or down either way as long as it fits in the back compartment of my Deuter ACT Lite 65+10. The only thing I don't like about down (unless convinced otherwise) is that if it gets wet somehow (most of my trips will be backcountry fishing trips) its hard to dry out and it looses all its warmth. At the same time I can always keep it in a water bag, but then there is the inevitable tent leak, etc.

Anyhow I'm posting here in hopes that someone can give me some pointers on what bags to look at and where. I've been looking at REI, Campmor, Backcountry and Cabelas. Any other places ya'll would recommend?

Thank you!
Randall


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 11:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A true 0F synthetic bag will not pack very small.  It would probably use up about a third of your pack, or slightly less.  

Also, the supposed performance advantage of wet synthetics over wet down is not nearly as great in practice as it is in marketing.  With either one, keeping it dry is a must.  I've spent a night each in wet down and wet synthetic, and they both sucked.  The last time was long ago, and I've managed to stay dry in all kinds of nasty conditions.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 12:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd imagine it is not a fun time or a walk in the park for either. And thankfully I've never had to test the theory out on my kayaking trips with my current synthetic bag. But to my understanding the synthetics tend to hold heat a little better than down when wet...?

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 12:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RandallW201 @ Apr. 07 2014, 12:15 pm)
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I'd imagine it is not a fun time or a walk in the park for either. And thankfully I've never had to test the theory out on my kayaking trips with my current synthetic bag. But to my understanding the synthetics tend to hold heat a little better than down when wet...?

May I ask what your current bag is? I have a 20* and have worked out a couple ways to make it usable year round.

I'm a small guy as well 5'6" 135lbs no natural insulation at all.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 12:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yep, its a Trekker Retangular -20 It works great for vehicular camping and kayak trips but the thing is a beast that doesn't compress much. My build is much like yours minus about 5 lbs.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 12:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RandallW201 @ Apr. 07 2014, 12:15 pm)
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But to my understanding the synthetics tend to hold heat a little better than down when wet...?

Not enough better to be very noticeable in practice.  Only enough better to support an advertising claim.   Also, as others usually point out on this topic, down doesn't get wet very easily, which you'll discover the first time you wash a sleeping bag.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 12:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You are looking in the right places. What seasons do you plan to hike in? A zero bag is far heavier that a 20 degree bag, and you will roast in it in the summertime. Marmot, Sierra designs have en rated bags. My son has used a Marmot Sawtooth for 9 years now. It has served him well through scouts, and backpacking. It still is going strong. Its a 15 degree bag.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 12:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'll be using the bag 4-season. Although in winter it'll be in Texas. I do plan on using this bag for backcountry hunting in the fall in high elevations and for frosty early spring fishing trips.

Right now, this one is looking like a good deal, although it don't list the compression size (only the stuff size of 9x17) I'd reasonably think that I could compress it to say 8x14 at least unless someone tells me otherwise.
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___43184

I just wish I could see these bags in person but my local REI only carries as low as 15* bags and not very many at that. if I could get my hands on one in person with a compression sack I'd be able to figure this out all on my own... :(


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 1:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(paula53 @ Apr. 07 2014, 12:52 pm)
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You are looking in the right places. What seasons do you plan to hike in? A zero bag is far heavier that a 20 degree bag, and you will roast in it in the summertime. Marmot, Sierra designs have en rated bags. My son has used a Marmot Sawtooth for 9 years now. It has served him well through scouts, and backpacking. It still is going strong. Its a 15 degree bag.

As stated, a 20* will be much easier to pack and can always be made a little warmer. I use mine with a good pad and stuff all my extra clothing in the bottom of it and have stayed warm well below its rating.

A sleeping bag liner can also add a little heat. My 20* bag is actually an EMS kids bag, well over 10 years old now and still kicking, its synthetic down. It got a little wet on my last trip in 26* weather and it still kept me warm, in fact I didn't know it was wet till I woke up and got out.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 1:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, but if I was going to add a liner I'd also be adding extra cost, weight and space. I'd rather just have the one bag.

I'm also looking at this one: http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___42241
http://www.backcountry.com/marmot-....TAwMDA0

But it has conflicting specs. Campmor says the stuff size is 10.5x10.5 and Backcountry says it is 16x7.5. What in the heck?


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 1:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RandallW201 @ Apr. 07 2014, 1:13 pm)
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Yeah, but if I was going to add a liner I'd also be adding extra cost, weight and space. I'd rather just have the one bag.

I'm also looking at this one:
[URL=http://www.backcountry.com/marmot-....A0]http


But it has conflicting specs. Campmor says the stuff size is 10.5x10.5 and Backcountry says it is 16x7.5. What in the heck?

If you look at the reviews everyone says its huge and doesn't pack well at all. Stuff sizes are hard to measure, too many factors. The thing weighs in at over 5lbs.

http://marmot.com/products/details/trestles-15#

http://www.rei.com/product....g-liner

Trestles 15 - 109$
Sea-Summit Thermolite 67$

That puts you under 200$ and over a 1lb lighter. I'm sure you could find an even cheaper 15* if you looked around
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 2:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am going to go off into the direction of quilts.  For a mere $25 above your budget, you can have something that will last you for a very long time.   All you need to do is read more of the sleeping bag threads we have had on here over the Winter, and you will see what I am talking about.  For instance:

http://www.undergroundquilts.com/instock/default.html

You could also research Jacks r Better quilts, Hammock gear quilts, etc...  20 degrees will be warm enough for most of your use, warmer than you want in the Summer, even at elevation.  The problem with most bags is that they are over-rated, meaning they claim they will keep you warm to 20*, but they won't.  Even EN ratings are not for comfort, but survival.  I don't want to just survive a cold night, I want to sleep so soundly I don't even realize how cold it got.  Since I switched to quilts, my pack is lighter, and it stuffs smaller.

Go read a few other threads, and talk to 92hatchattack.  He can vouch for our advice.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 2:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RandallW201 @ Apr. 07 2014, 10:46 am)
QUOTE
Ok, so I'm needing a new bag. I've decided I'm wanting one rated for 0* as I am a small and skinny guy that doesn't have too much "natural" insulation on me and most of my trips will be in colder climates.

I'm beginning to have a small issue though. Some of the web sites don't list the compressed size of the bag, only the stuff size. Secondly, I'm needing to keep my bag budget under $200.

I'm not really partial to synthetic or down either way as long as it fits in the back compartment of my Deuter ACT Lite 65+10. The only thing I don't like about down (unless convinced otherwise) is that if it gets wet somehow (most of my trips will be backcountry fishing trips) its hard to dry out and it looses all its warmth. At the same time I can always keep it in a water bag, but then there is the inevitable tent leak, etc.

Anyhow I'm posting here in hopes that someone can give me some pointers on what bags to look at and where. I've been looking at REI, Campmor, Backcountry and Cabelas. Any other places ya'll would recommend?

Thank you!
Randall

My advice to you is to physically inspect all the 0-15 degree down bags available at REI or any other outdoor store in your area.

Forget about synthetic bags at sub-freezing temps. They are too bulky and too heavy. A good down bag will keep its insulating value longer, so you won't have to replace it as often and it will cost you less in the long run.

Also, my bet is you don't need a 0-degree bag. If you are camping in temps below freezing you will undoubtedly have warm clothes with you, which you can wear inside the sleeping bag and thereby increase its warmth (and not freeze your butt off as much when you get out of the bag in the morning).

After looking at bags in the store and talking with knowledgable salespersons, make a list of the bags acceptable to you ... then check for online sales to get the best price.

Be prepared to spend more than $200 for the best bag for you. I've been backing for nearly 30 years and I almost always regret saving a few bucks for less expense gear, because I end up replacing it that much sooner.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 3:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I agree, I need to get my hands on some. The problem is, no place around here typically carries the 0 degree bags and very few 15's.

After trying to get specs online (and not finding accurate ones) I think I'm going to change directions and look at 15-20* bags and a liner. I like that liner that mrcarman recommended. I never knew there were any that pack that small. I have a liner for my current bag but its the size of another small bag in itself.
If that Marmot trestles packs down fairly small (can't find specs) that just might be the way to go.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 3:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Plus a decent 0 degree down bag is going to cost you more than your budget. I've got a Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0 degree down bag and it keeps you really warm, too warm to be used 4 seasons. I'd look at something along the line of a 15 degree bag or even a 32. You've got to figure most of your time you'll be using it will be in warmer temps.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 4:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't know if I can totally agree with that Qchiker. The bag I have now is a -20 and I've gotten chilly in it from time to time. I would use it but its the size of 2.5-3 basketballs when stuffed. Albeit it is about 8 years old and I'd only assume the new bags are better.
I'd be willing to go up to a 15, but not a 32.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 4:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RandallW201 @ Apr. 07 2014, 4:22 pm)
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I don't know if I can totally agree with that Qchiker. The bag I have now is a -20 and I've gotten chilly in it from time to time. I would use it but its the size of 2.5-3 basketballs when stuffed. Albeit it is about 8 years old and I'd only assume the new bags are better.
I'd be willing to go up to a 15, but not a 32.

Is it EN rated? Just old enough to not have been, if so who knows what it's true temp value is.

Also remember, everyone sleep differently. In CO both my buddy and I had 20* bags in hammocks. I couldn't sleep for more than 45min without waking up and being cold, my buddy on the other hand slept the entire night.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 4:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Perhaps a 15-20 F degree EN rated bag and a good to very good insulated pad?

Use less of a pad in the spring/summer/fall and in winter go for the bigger/heavier/warmer pad.

Something like a Thermarest proLite for warmer times and one of the high R value insulated ones for the deep cold?
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 4:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

also check sierratradingpost and sign up for their deal flyer and watch.  clean dry long underwear, warm hat, neck gaiter, and handwarmer in the bottom of the bag can help you keep warm. Zeke is right on reading other threads about bags.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 5:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Apr. 07 2014, 3:28 pm)
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Perhaps a 15-20 F degree EN rated bag and a good to very good insulated pad?

Use less of a pad in the spring/summer/fall and in winter go for the bigger/heavier/warmer pad.

Something like a Thermarest proLite for warmer times and one of the high R value insulated ones for the deep cold?

Another pad alternative is to add a Z-Lite to the 3-season pad for colder temps. It's a less expensive option, and the accordian Z-Lite can come in handy for other things.

I cut my Z-Lite into two equal halves, and use them for 2 nice seat cushions on picnic tables when car camping. Half a Z-Lite straps easily to the back of a pack and is nice to sit on for breaks along the trail. A half or a full Z-Lite can also be combined with the Thermarest chair kit (9.5 oz) for a fairly comfy chair with some back support.

I've switched to hammock camping with an underquilt, but when the temps really drop I criss-cross the two halves under my torso & shoulders between the layers of my Warbonnet Blackbird.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 5:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Drift Woody @ Apr. 07 2014, 2:11 pm)
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(High_Sierra_Fan @ Apr. 07 2014, 3:28 pm)
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Perhaps a 15-20 F degree EN rated bag and a good to very good insulated pad?

Use less of a pad in the spring/summer/fall and in winter go for the bigger/heavier/warmer pad.

Something like a Thermarest proLite for warmer times and one of the high R value insulated ones for the deep cold?

Another pad alternative is to add a Z-Lite to the 3-season pad for colder temps. It's a less expensive option, and the accordian Z-Lite can come in handy for other things.

I cut my Z-Lite into two equal halves, and use them for 2 nice seat cushions on picnic tables when car camping. Half a Z-Lite straps easily to the back of a pack and is nice to sit on for breaks along the trail. A half or a full Z-Lite can also be combined with the Thermarest chair kit (9.5 oz) for a fairly comfy chair with some back support.

I've switched to hammock camping with an underquilt, but when the temps really drop I criss-cross the two halves under my torso & shoulders between the layers of my Warbonnet Blackbird.

Totally good point, that is the more cost efficient solution.

I think I had Tigger's thread on what to do with his gift stuck in my head.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 5:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A 20-15 degree bag will give you the most bang for your buck performance. It will be a great 3 season bag. Have you looked at The Sierra Trading Post? They sell seconds, and newly discontinued sleeping bags and tents. Also outdoor clothing.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 5:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I havent checked out Sierra Trading Post. Thanks for the heads up guys!

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 5:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

From experience - I've frozen my butt off in both wet synthetics and down bags. Warmer when wet is BS.

A down bag - any down bag...will last 4 to 5 times as long as it's synthetic counterpart.

You can always supplement with clothing. I currently use a 40 degree bag down to 0 utilizing clothing supplement.

I'd encourage you to look at quilts as an option

I agree with adding a Z-Rest during winter (It's what I do also). It gives you the added protection of a closed cell foam which you know you won't need to repair, is very robust against thorns, etc.


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(RandallW201 @ Apr. 07 2014, 3:22 pm)
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The bag I have now is a -20 and I've gotten chilly in it from time to time.

One of the reasons you get chilly in that bag is the insulation is synthetic and it's gotten older. They lose their R-value much more quickly than down.

Don't use your recent experience in that bag as a guide to the temp rating you need in a new down bag.


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(Drift Woody @ Apr. 07 2014, 6:07 pm)
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(RandallW201 @ Apr. 07 2014, 3:22 pm)
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The bag I have now is a -20 and I've gotten chilly in it from time to time.

One of the reasons you get chilly in that bag is the insulation is synthetic and it's gotten older. They lose their R-value much more quickly than down.

Don't use your recent experience in that bag as a guide to the temp rating you need in a new down bag.

This was a huge hurdle for a friend who would not part with her -20 bag that weighed a ton - she has thyroid issues and is paranoid of the cold. It took a ton of trips showing her my 22 oz quilt that keeps me warm below freezing nicely, packed into my 40L backpack with the rest of the non-bulky gear including a down jacket, to get through to her. These days she is using a budget bag - a Marmot Never Winter 0 degree that weighs 3 lbs, is EN rated to 17F (lower for men), cost $120 on Sierra Trading Post. Not quite getting around to using a quilt yet - but old notions die hard. She is working hard on diet and other aspects of keeping warm such as proper hydration as well.

I kept telling her that old synthetic of hers was not a true -20 bag - even she would have roasted alive in it if it were anything close to that. Synthetics die in a few years of stuffing and restuffing.

When I started out with the quilt, I thought it wouldn't be warm enough - such is the lot of those who lived with synthetics for too long. Once you shake the idea that you totally need overkill to stay warm and get a real down bag or quilt with nice high quality down, you never go back to heavy overkill bags.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 7:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's kinda funny that I have an under quilt for my hammock, but not a top quilt. I tried various pad combinations for awhile but finally gave in and bought the 20* Warbonnet UQ for my Blackbird hammock.

I made the switch to hanging in October 2012 and still have two high quality down bags (20* Western Mountaineering Ultralight & 32* MontBell UL SS Down Hugger). Both have worked well as top quilts, so I can't justify spending $$ on a good TQ to save a few ounces.
I also have an Exped Downmat 9 sleeping pad that my buddy gets to use since I'm almost always hanging.  :(


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 7:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Glad to have been of help.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2014, 11:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ok ok ok.... So what is this quilt thing I keep seeing? They are new to me.

Can someone point me in the right direction of "good" quality quilts that are lightweight and pack small?


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I'm goin' backpackin' cause I ain't gettin' any younger!
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RandallW201 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2014, 12:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, I found this topic: http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin....1170301

So I'll start looking into these. They are a bit more than I want to pay though.
What makes these quilts better than bags? I mean they are both filled with the same stuff...


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