Author Topic: sleeping bags  (Read 9191 times)

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Offline zonesystempro

sleeping bags
« on: November 16, 2012, 08:12:01 am »
Hi everyone,
Just looking to purchase a 3 season synthetic sleeping bag. Cost is not an issue. I'm wondering who is using what brand and if you are happy with it? My only concern is to keep it as small as possible for travelling on my bike. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your responses. Have a great day!

Michael

Offline paddleboy17

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 12:48:54 pm »
There are lots of good vendors out there making good sleeping bags.  I think you need to go to your local REI or other outdoor outfitter and start crawling into bags and developing opinions.  You might want to narrow down your criteria if you are ever going to pick a bag. 

I do most of my trips with a light weight bag rated to 45F made by Mountain Hardware.  It will scrunch up small enough to go into a cook pot (that is where my friend sticks his).  I just bought a bag for colder weather, and settled on one made by Big Agnes that is rated down to 15F.  I have really broad shoulders, and don't fit all that well in a lot of sleeping bags.  In a cold weather bag, fit is much more important, and not being able to zip the bag up all the way is not a problem during the summer months.  Big Agnes also has this feature where they make a pocket that you can shove your mattress into.  It looks really good for making sure that you don't slide off the mattress, but that really has not been a problem for me either.

I do short trips of a week or less and can match my sleeping bag to the weather I expect to encounter.  Your situation is probably different.
Danno

Offline RussSeaton

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 02:28:28 pm »
Three season synthetic?  Synthetic are great when you have unlimited space and a motor to carry your gear.  Car camping for instance.  When you have to carry the gear with your own muscles and have limited space like panniers or a backpack, DOWN sleeping bags are the choice.  Small and traveling on your bike with a synthetic sleeping bag?  Good luck.

Offline staehpj1

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2012, 02:59:27 pm »
Lots of room for different choices here.

I used a cheapie Slumberjack Superguide on the Trans America and was fine, but I put out heat like a furnace.

I later bought a North Face Cat's Meow and it is much nicer.  A very good synthetic bag good for quite cold weather.  It is light for a synthetic bag.

More recently I have been really happy with my Mountain Hardware Phantom 45 down bag.  I have been OK down to 18F in it and it weighs about a pound and packs the size of a grapefruit.  If you sleep cold you may find it not warm enough, but I think it is a lot warmer than the 32F Superguide.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 03:51:51 pm »
When you have to carry the gear with your own muscles and have limited space like panniers or a backpack, DOWN sleeping bags are the choice.  Small and traveling on your bike with a synthetic sleeping bag?  Good luck.

Depends on circumstances, of course.  I missed one stinkin' stake last summer and got a puddle half the size of my tent after an overnight rain.  With a synthetic bag, only my toes were cold.  I'd have spent the night looking for a warm restroom if I'd had down.

That said, I'm eagerly waiting to hear from somebody who's tried one of the new "coated down" bags to see (a) if they live up to the waterproof hype, and (b) how long the super-duper-water-repellent coating lasts in the field.

Offline SpokedSTL

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 05:13:27 pm »
I'll be heading out to do the TransAm in early may. I'm going east to west coast.

How low should I go on my temp. rating? How cold of nights/mornings has everyone experienced?

Offline staehpj1

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 05:49:02 pm »
That said, I'm eagerly waiting to hear from somebody who's tried one of the new "coated down" bags to see (a) if they live up to the waterproof hype, and (b) how long the super-duper-water-repellent coating lasts in the field.

Are you asking about the bags with a DWR shell or the new treated down.  If you are talking a DWR shell I can comment on that.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2012, 07:54:50 pm »
That said, I'm eagerly waiting to hear from somebody who's tried one of the new "coated down" bags to see (a) if they live up to the waterproof hype, and (b) how long the super-duper-water-repellent coating lasts in the field.

Are you asking about the bags with a DWR shell or the new treated down.  If you are talking a DWR shell I can comment on that.

I'm more curious about the treated down, like Sierra Design's Dridown.  I say "curious" instead of "interested" because I'm not sure it's worth a new bag to save half a pound or so.

Offline John Nelson

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 10:41:16 pm »
I'll be heading out to do the TransAm in early may. I'm going east to west coast.

How low should I go on my temp. rating? How cold of nights/mornings has everyone experienced?

32 degrees F is likely the coldest you'll likely see, and you probably won't see it that cold more than two or three nights. It depends on where you decide to camp. If you decide to camp in Guffey or Fairplay or Breckenridge, Colorado, it might get nippy up there. You might also have a cold night in Virginia (although probably not more than one). Personally, I wouldn't necessarily plan my gear around those few nights.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 03:29:14 am »
I used a 15 or 20 bag from Slumberjack on the southern tier in the dead of winter. It was just fine. It needed to be covered with a tarp when outside exposed to the elements with a cold wind blowing. However, I use only a 10 by 12 tarp for shelter anyway, so there was always one handy. The bag cost about $65.00.

Offline bogiesan

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2012, 10:40:01 pm »
I would suggest you hit lots of backpacking equipment review sites. The thing about sleeping bags is there are hundreds of models. It's difficult to make a bad decision but it's easy to get a great bag that is inappropriate to your needs.

Here in Idaho, down rules and, brother, I take VERY good care of my down bags. I have not shopped for a synthetic bag in twenty years. I have no clue what's out there.

You may need a synthetic for lots of reasons but sleeping warm and comfortably is a complicated recipe of clothing, insulation, separation from the ground and, of course, ambient conditions. You can get by with a much lighter synth bag if you have an excellent pad and sleep wear and maybe a silk or polypro bag liner.

Good luck in your quest. Please think about returning to tell us what brand/model you purchased and how it has performed.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline litespeed

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2012, 11:04:40 pm »
I pack two sleeping bags and use them in combination or individually as needed. One is a very lightweight bag that packs into a bag a bit smaller than a football. The other is a Mountain Hardware "40 degree bag" that is, frankly, only good down to about 50 degrees. Below that I use them both with the lightweight bag inside. Below freezing I also put on plenty of clothes and zip up the tent good and tight. If it is very warm I lie on top of both of them. I use a shorty Thermarest pad.

Offline bogiesan

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2012, 10:44:02 pm »
Like Lightspeed, I carry two bags, both by Marmot: one pound and two pound ultrahigh loft down. I also carry a silk liner. The liner protects the bags from soil and moisture and adds 5-10 degrees to the comfort range. I sleep cold so I pack silk or polypro sleepwear, too.

But I must say I do not travel self-contained. I'm strictly a luxury bike traveler, participaing only in supported tours. My days of carrying my own gear like backpacking are behind me.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline dkoloko

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2012, 03:38:52 pm »
"Three season synthetic?  Synthetic are great when you have unlimited space and a motor to carry your gear.  Car camping for instance.  When you have to carry the gear with your own muscles and have limited space like panniers or a backpack, DOWN sleeping bags are the choice.  Small and traveling on your bike with a synthetic sleeping bag?  Good luck."

I traveled cross-country with a down bag. Bag getting wet when camping was not a problem. Problem was bag drying after being washed; took too long. After that trip I switched to high grade synthetic bag. I don't plan on going back to down. My synthetic bag packs small. In looking for a synthetic bag I set weight limit at two pounds. That's what my bag weighs. I suggest a high grade synthetic bag. Highest grade synthetic fill gives you just about all down fill provides, with a lot less care. I used to buy down vests, jackets, etc; now all synthetic.

Offline bogiesan

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2012, 11:48:46 pm »
That's why we are all here, to share our stories and opinions. Personaly, I have not looked at the new synthetic materials; my down bags still have many years' of active enjoyment left in them. Backpacker magazine usually runs extensive product reviews and gear recommendations in their late winter issues. Watch for the reviews and try to have fun shopping.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent