Author Topic: sleeping bags  (Read 8493 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bogiesan

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2012, 08:54:03 am »
Curious about developments in sleeping bags, I went searching. The market is huge, much larger than I thought. Literally thousands of what appear to be superb bags. A trend that has crept over from the ultralight world of twenty-five years ago is the absence of bottom insulation, replaced by a pocket that holds your sleeping pad. I suppose that's not news to anyone who has recently researched synthetic bags.

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

Offline staehpj1

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2012, 09:57:02 am »
Problem was bag drying after being washed; took too long.
I doubt that would be a big problem for most tourists since I would be surprised if that many folks launder their bag during a tour the length of a typical coast to coast US tour, and those who did probably would do so on a day off.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2012, 03:11:10 pm »
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.

Never heard of washing a down bag.  For fun I went to the Marmot website and looked at their synthetic bags.  They have a 2 pound synthetic that is rated about 32 F for men and 42 F for women.  Cloudbreak 30 model.  Retail price of $169.  I have a Vaude down bag with similar temperature ratings.  It weighs 1 pound.  Half as much.  Paid about $90.  It packs up to about the size of a large grapefruit.  Probably 1/4 the size of the above synthetic bag.

Double the weight.  Four times as much space.  Not automatic deal breakers.  But easily apparent disadvantages.  If everything on your bike trip weighed twice as much and took four times as much space to carry, you would not be able to tour by bike.  Unless you wanted full panniers and pull a BoB.  And only rode 30 miles a day.  Would you tour with a large 8 pound tent?  Most bike tourers probably try to find a small 3-4 pound tent.  Would you tour with biking shoes, hiking boots, sneakers, and thongs?  Or just use your biking sandals for everything or maybe also include a set of sneakers with the biking sandals.

Offline dkoloko

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2012, 06:57:08 pm »
"Never heard of washing a down bag.  For fun I went to the Marmot website and looked at their synthetic bags.  They have a 2 pound synthetic that is rated about 32 F for men and 42 F for women.  Cloudbreak 30 model.  Retail price of $169.  I have a Vaude down bag with similar temperature ratings.  It weighs 1 pound.  Half as much.  Paid about $90.  It packs up to about the size of a large grapefruit.  Probably 1/4 the size of the above synthetic bag.

Double the weight.  Four times as much space.  Not automatic deal breakers.  But easily apparent disadvantages.  If everything on your bike trip weighed twice as much and took four times as much space to carry, you would not be able to tour by bike.  Unless you wanted full panniers and pull a BoB.  And only rode 30 miles a day.  Would you tour with a large 8 pound tent?  Most bike tourers probably try to find a small 3-4 pound tent.  Would you tour with biking shoes, hiking boots, sneakers, and thongs?  Or just use your biking sandals for everything or maybe also include a set of sneakers with the biking sandals."

Washing rather than dry cleaning is recommended. Although down bags can be dry cleaned without damage, only a dry cleaner with extensive experience dry cleaing down is likely to do it correctly.

As I suspected from your prior post you haven't been keeping up with synthetic fills. My experience is much different from your comparison of your down bag and catalog description of synthetic bag. My down bag weighed nearly twice my synthetic bag; I keep just as warm in the synthetic bag and bulk is less. While volume is a consideration, I wouldn't place undue emphasis on it for a down bag. Over compression may harm the down, and tight compression can significantly retard the down's restoration to original loft. I would expect in time more original loft is lost in a down bag than synthetic.

Offline dkoloko

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2012, 07:44:18 pm »
"I doubt that would be a big problem for most tourists since I would be surprised if that many folks launder their bag during a tour the length of a typical coast to coast US tour, and those who did probably would do so on a day off."

I am not getting into how often long distance bicyclists wash their sleeping bags or on what days. My comment was to preempt those who retort to recommendations of a down bag by saving it'll get wet and not dry. As I posted, had no problems keeping bag dry on long tour, but when washed bag took long time to dry.

Offline staehpj1

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2012, 06:04:24 pm »
As I suspected from your prior post you haven't been keeping up with synthetic fills. My experience is much different from your comparison of your down bag and catalog description of synthetic bag. My down bag weighed nearly twice my synthetic bag; I keep just as warm in the synthetic bag and bulk is less.

That is contrary to I have observed, pretty much all manufacturers specifications that I have seen. and conventional wisdom.

While volume is a consideration, I wouldn't place undue emphasis on it for a down bag. Over compression may harm the down, and tight compression can significantly retard the down's restoration to original loft. I would expect in time more original loft is lost in a down bag than synthetic.

Again the opposite of what I have personally observed, what my friends have observed, and what I have read.

It is advisable to not store down bags compressed for long periods, but they tolerate being stored compressed during the day while on tour quite well.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2012, 10:23:31 pm »
Has nobody started a good chain lubrication thread lately?  Synthetic or down isn't really a religious, it's really a matter of choice -- well, maybe it is like choosing a religion.

Having shivered my through a night because of a wet bag, I like synthetic.  I'm apparently one of very few people who have trouble keeping a sleeping bag dry.  If rain's not splashing in from a downpour, there was heavy condensation on the inside of the tent last night.  I don't doubt the theoretical possibility that one can, with careful attention, keep a bag dry during a tour.   But my history is such that I'd rather not bet on it, and so I like synthetic bags.  If most of my camping were in dry deserts, maybe I'd reconsider. 

There's lots of good brands, both for down and for synthetic bags, so any halfway decent outdoor shop will have plenty to choose from.  Just stay away from big box crap, and you'll be fine.


Offline driftlessregion

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2012, 11:43:19 pm »
If I were using panniers that use covers (in other words, not Ortlieb type that are water proof) or used a crummy tent I would go with synthetic. With a BOB dry bag and a good tent I've never had a wet bag and thus can take a down bag.

Offline staehpj1

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2012, 07:27:50 am »
Having shivered my through a night because of a wet bag, I like synthetic.
A perfectly valid choice.  FWIW I was not knocking synthetic.  I actually own and sometimes use a synthetic bag.  My point was that the price of going synthetic is more weight and more volume, by a fairly large margin.  Down has it's disadvantages as well (cost and care to keep it dry).

I'd just hate to see someone believe comments earlier in this thread that the new synthetics are lighter and/or pack smaller than a good down bag.  That is just not true.  Comparing similar quality bags rated at similar temperatures:
  • Down will be lighter by a large margin
  • Down will pack smaller again by a large margin
  • By most reports down will hold up better over many years of usage
  • Down may be more easily damaged if poorly cared for.  Keeping it tightly stuffed all year, or putting it away wet for a long period is more likely to ruin it than it wold be to ruin a synthetic bag.
  • Synthetic will be cheaper by a large margin
  • Synthetic will be less fussy about getting wet
A reasonable person could decide either way, but the items above should be the deciding factors.

Offline dkoloko

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2012, 06:52:20 pm »

It is advisable to not store down bags compressed for long periods, but they tolerate being stored compressed during the day while on tour quite well.
[/quote]

The key word here is "over". I stand by my statement that overly compressed down bags do not regain their full loft well. In fact, I had a stuff sack that tightly compressed my down bag. and discarded it because it unduly retarded the bag's regaining full loft.

Offline dkoloko

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2012, 07:01:29 pm »

I'd just hate to see someone believe comments earlier in this thread that the new synthetics are lighter and/or pack smaller than a good down bag.  That is just not true.  Comparing similar quality bags rated at similar temperatures:
  • Down will be lighter by a large margin
  • Down will pack smaller again by a large margin
[/quote]

"New synthetics are lighter and/or pack smaller than a good down bag". ???? Wherever you got that, it not something I would say.

I do disagree with your statements above "by a large margin". I would say by a small margin, too small in my experience to be worth my using down bags again.

Offline staehpj1

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2012, 06:55:14 am »

"New synthetics are lighter and/or pack smaller than a good down bag". ???? Wherever you got that, it not something I would say.
I got that from your previous post where you said:
My experience is much different from your comparison of your down bag and catalog description of synthetic bag. My down bag weighed nearly twice my synthetic bag; I keep just as warm in the synthetic bag and bulk is less.

Offline dkoloko

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2012, 01:05:32 pm »

"New synthetics are lighter and/or pack smaller than a good down bagNew synthetics are lighter and/or pack smaller than a good down bag". ???? Wherever you got that, it not something I would say.
I got that from your previous post where you said:
My experience is much different from your comparison of your down bag and catalog description of synthetic bag. My down bag weighed nearly twice my synthetic bag; I keep just as warm in the synthetic bag and bulk is less.

That is creative reading. I stated my experience with a down bag compared to synthetic bag that replaced it. I did not say, what you posted, that across the spectrum, "New synthetics are lighter and/or pack smaller than a good down bag".

Offline bogiesan

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2012, 08:51:12 am »
If I were using panniers that use covers (in other words, not Ortlieb type that are water proof) or used a crummy tent I would go with synthetic. With a BOB dry bag and a good tent I've never had a wet bag and thus can take a down bag.

Prudent to carry several heavy duty garbage bags as basic safety equipment anyway. Easy to protect anything in net panniers with a couple of bags. Like the ubiquitous bandana and the (now less-ubiquitous) film canister, heavy duty garbage bags serve many other purposes, too.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline bikeman

Re: sleeping bags
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2013, 05:10:31 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.

If your a sweating or perspiring person or your tent has condensation problems your down bag will accumulate the moisture, become heavier and less effective keeping you warm. 
Regards: Clyde
The journey is my destination.