Author Topic: Trans Am bag question  (Read 1631 times)

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Offline Pepper

Trans Am bag question
« on: March 21, 2010, 12:35:46 pm »
I've searched and found a lot of good advice on sleeping bags here, but not to my specific question.

I'm planning on doing the transam E to W in June and July. What temperature sleeping bag would you recommend? I know the east coast pretty well, and I'd be fine with a 40 or even 50 deg bag, but I'm not sure about going through the rockies in July, and what altitudes or cold weather I might hit? Will I need more than a 40 or 50 deg bag?

Related follow up question : Should I bring a light insulated jacket? Or would I be fine with a wool base layer, T, and maybe my rain jacket on a cool evening? I want to go as light as possible, and it will be mid summer, but I just don't know the weather there. Thanks.

Lucky13

  • Guest
Re: Trans Am bag question
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 12:55:04 pm »
That’s a tough question to answer as we all have our own comfort level - and we all respond differently to cold weather. I happen to be a cold sleeper and a bag rated to 40-50F wouldn’t work at the higher elevations.

You are likely to encounter the lowest temps. of the trip up in the Rockies. The weather can change quickly there as well.

You might consider a lightweight sleeping bag liner, or a space blanket, just in case you find yourself in a cold spot. These items pack very small.

Some folks like to carry a compressible down vest for core insulation - they can be very light and compact.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Trans Am bag question
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2010, 07:39:56 pm »
You probably won't ever be sleeping above 8100 feet, except for Fairplay at almost 10,000 feet and the Breckenridge/Frisco area which is above 9000 feet, and maybe Guffy at 8600. In July, I would expect temperatures overnight in those areas to touch freezing, but not get much below it.

Offline windrath

Re: Trans Am bag question
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2010, 06:50:31 pm »
Pepper -

Having gone through the Rockies in July, I would suggest a 20-30 degree bag will be good.  You can always wear some clothes to stay warm.  I always have a winter hat with me and that helps on those nights that require a little extra warmth.  On the hot nights, just sleep on top of the bag.

For apparel during the day, I shy away from wool in favor of 3 layers:  long sleeve polyester (capilene), short sleeve jersey, arm warmers and leg warmers if necessary, and a rain jacket.  With the right gloves, I can ride in 20 degree weather with that combination and it is easy to change layers on the fly as the day progresses.

Where are you starting from?

Good Luck

Offline bogiesan

Re: Trans Am bag question
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 05:37:03 am »
What temperature sleeping bag would you recommend? I know the east coast pretty well, and I'd be fine with a 40 or even 50 deg bag, but I'm not sure about going through the rockies in July, and what altitudes or cold weather I might hit? Will I need more than a 40 or 50 deg bag?

The higher passes can see snow any day of the year so, if you're planning on riding through weather, your riding gear MUST include adequate protection. But you're not camping at the summits. Me, I'd plan to buy a one-pound down sleeping bag around Kansas or so to put inside the 3-pound synthetic I'd been carrying since the start but that's just me. You may only need a fleece or silk bag liner that you can buy along the way and then ship it  home as you descend to the desert.

Should I bring a light insulated jacket? Or would I be fine with a wool base layer, T, and maybe my rain jacket on a cool evening? I want to go as light as possible, and it will be mid summer, but I just don't know the weather there. Thanks.

There's no reason to carry a full winter riding outfit all the way across the country just to pedal cross the Rocky Mountain region. Buy a few extra items along the way or have someone send them to you. As you cross into the Pacific weather region, you will want better rain gear than you may have packed, too. As your research has no doubt revealed, lots of folks do this ride in either direction at different times of the year and they do it with no standardized kit in varying degrees of comfort and success.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline staehpj1

Re: Trans Am bag question
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 07:41:47 am »
On our 2007 TA, I carried one kayaking sweater and wore a rain shell over it when cold.  I wore tights some of the time and could have put rain pants over them but never did.  The rain pants and jacket were real light coated nylon ones.  In camp sometimes I wore tights under some very light weight zip off leg pants.

If I were doing it again I would probably take a 20F bag in the Rockies and something lighter east of maybe Pueblo.

Clothes I would plan to be OK in the coldest temps likely if I put everything I was carrying on.  For me that means something like the following:
  • Cycling shorts (2 pair)
  • Cycling leg warmers and/or tights (1 pr)
  • Cycling jersey short sleeved (2)
  • Cycling gloves and thin liners
  • Cycling shoes
  • Socks (3 pr tech socks)
  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses (prescription)
  • Warm shirt (Immersion Research)
  • Tee shirt (1 Under Armor Heat Gear)
  • Bike hat
  • Long pants with zip off legs
  • Belt
  • Cap (thin skull cap)
  • Rain gear (cheap non-breathable Sierra Designs from REI)
  • Sandals (Crocs)
  • Running shorts

Offline Pepper

Re: Trans Am bag question
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 09:25:10 pm »

Where are you starting from?

Good Luck

I'm starting from Virginia Jue 1st and heading west. Thanks.

Sounds like I'll have to get something warmer. I do have a 20 deg bag I could switch to for the rockies, but Sea to Summit has bag liner now that I could use with my 40 deg bag and supposedly adds 25 deg and weighs only 14 oz, so maybe that's the way to go...

Offline Tourista829

Re: Trans Am bag question
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 09:36:51 pm »
I agree with Boggiesan about the sleeping bag liner and shipping it home. That should do the trick. Make sure you also have a good sleeping pad, because without it, it will be difficult to stay warm no matter how many layers of clothes you have on.