Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: CACyclist on November 04, 2020, 09:04:11 pm

 
Title: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: CACyclist on November 04, 2020, 09:04:11 pm
I am planning on a Northern Tier trip in the summer of 2022 and will be buying new gear.    Just curious, for those of you who have done a similar trip, how much did your Tent + Sleeping bag + Pad weigh? 
I am 6 ft 2 so will probably want a slightly longer tent and sleeping bag.    also, I am 62 yrs old and somewhat less flexible than in my younger days, so a little extra tent height is probably a good thing.  Budget is probably $1,000 max for the tent, footer, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad.   Will probably spend 70 nights camping, and 20 nights motel/with friends.

New to this forum - if this question has been addressed elsewhere, let me know! Thanks.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: John Nettles on November 04, 2020, 09:21:26 pm
Welcome to the ACA Forums! Sounds like you have wonderful trip coming up.

My gear varies depending on the trip I am taking.  For your trip, I would take something like a MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent (or REI equivalent), a Thermarest NeoAir air mattress, and my Western Mountaineering Megalite sleeping bag. I strongly prefer quality and durability over price and lightness.  For me, the gear above is a pretty good balance between durability and lightness.  You should note that tents are being made that are so flimsy anymore that do not expect them to last much more than 100 nights, if that.

I frequently buy lightly used (like new) equipment for 50% of the new cost.  Just set up an automatic email alert on eBay and when the specific item you are looking for, i.e. a 2 person Hubba Hubba NX tent for less than $200, it will email you. 

Whatever sleeping bag you choose, try to get one without a side baffle so the down can be shaken from the top to the bottom on hotter nights and back to the top on cooler nights. I really like Western Mountaineering as they have top quality and have a true lifetime warranty, even if you are not the original owner.  Therefore, you can buy a used bag on eBay and if you have an issue, it would be covered under warranty as if you were the original owner. Another thing you might consider is a sleeping bag liner to keep the inside of the bag cleaner when you are unable to take a shower some nights.

I will let you look up the weight but all the above are fairly light and, when used, easily under $1000. You probably could buy some new and some used for under $1000.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: Inge on November 05, 2020, 01:31:48 am
For me at the moment - things weigh around 4 kg. I have a Tarptent SS2. Because just like you the height in a tent for me is important as well. I have a mat from Thermarest NeoAir - Xtherm - and a sleeping bag made by Cumulus (a company in Poland).

Suggestion from John to see if you can score things used sounds like a good idea considering your budget. Or otherwise maybe an older season tent with a good price.

With the sleeping bag make sure you get a liner so that the actual bag stays clean and you only have to wash the liner.

Have fun planning your trip in the meantime.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: staehpj1 on November 05, 2020, 06:21:15 am
I have used a variety of setups most of the with no tent, but rather a bivy and tarp.  When I did use a tent on some solo trips I sometimes used the following:
That totals about six and a half pounds.  I have used a MSR Fling tent at times that added 3/4 of a pound or so.  FWIW I do not add a lot of extra stuff like footprints and whatnot.  Also I find this setup good for me down to overnight lows into the teens F despite the conservative 45F rating on the bag.

Neither of those tents are still made. 

My bivy setup uses either a Borah Side zipper ultralight bivy (7oz) or a Ti Goat Ptarmigan Bug Bivy (5.3oz).  I have used tarps ranging between 4.9 and 7 ounces, but have recently gone to a bigger (Sea2Summit Escapist M 6'6" x 8'6") 12.3 ounce tarp for more coverage.

I find that I really like sleeping on top of the bivy most of the time when the weather and the bugs allow and climb inside if I need to.  I often don't bother to pitch the tarp if the weather doesn't look threatening and just keep it handy.  If the rain should kick up during the night I pull the tarp over me and my gear.  Obviously the ability to do that often depends on when and where you are travelling, but I did it a lot especially biking and backpacking in the west and southwest.

I never did the math on the prices and do not remember what I paid for any of the individual setups, but the tent was cheap and I don't think any of the setups exceeded your range.  I may be wrong but I think they were generally well under the $1k max.

Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: Pat Lamb on November 05, 2020, 08:38:38 am
I shared a tent on my TransAm -- about 5 pounds for the two of us -- and sleeping bag and Thermarest were between 3.5-4 pounds together.

Some of these implied questions border on "what size belt should I buy?" because the answers depend so heavily on who's asking it.  I found an old (but well-kept) 20 degree bag pretty chilly when it frosted.  Bundled up in tights, base layer, skull cap, and sleeping bag liner, I managed to get to sleep anyway.  Of course, I slept on top of the bag when it was 85 degrees at 11:00, and still sweated through the night.  If you have some gear, you might try what you have on an at-home campout some spring night to see how much of a bag you need in similar temperatures.

On the NT, I'd expect mosquitoes.  Lots of them.  The kind that can bite through thin tent fabric.  I'd suggest a tent for sleeping in warm conditions when an elbow or ankle might brush up against the tent, as opposed to a bivy where bare skin WILL be exposed.  Also, a two person tent (of appropriate length) has enough room for me, whereas I feel claustrophobic in a single.  (Another reason I'm not a bivy fan!)  It's also easier to dress or change in a crowded campground if you've got a bit of headroom.


Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: staehpj1 on November 05, 2020, 09:18:18 am
Some of these implied questions border on "what size belt should I buy?" because the answers depend so heavily on who's asking it.
Yep.

Quote
On the NT, I'd expect mosquitoes.  Lots of them.  The kind that can bite through thin tent fabric.  I'd suggest a tent for sleeping in warm conditions when an elbow or ankle might brush up against the tent, as opposed to a bivy where bare skin WILL be exposed.

I've never been bitten through even my ultralight 7 ounce bivy, even in places like the everglades, gulf coast bayous, or the Adirondacks.  They can bite through the mesh of the 5.3 ounce bug bivy when I use it, so I keep it off of my skin when bugs are bad.  I do that with a combination of clothing and/or sleeping bag, ties to hold the mesh up, and/or sometimes a hat with a bill.  I typically don't like to have much bare skin exposed and sweating any way and always sleep in at very least a tech tee shirt and running shorts.  If the bugs are terrible I might partially cover my legs just enough to keep the mesh off of them.

Quote
Also, a two person tent (of appropriate length) has enough room for me, whereas I feel claustrophobic in a single.  (Another reason I'm not a bivy fan!)  It's also easier to dress or change in a crowded campground if you've got a bit of headroom.
These are definitely bigger concerns for some than for others.  Some folks feel the need for sprawling room, for bringing gear inside, and so on.  It is important to them.  I figure once I crawl in I am either sleeping or maybe reading and reading is most often an audiobook.  Even very rainy days I am likely to be bored and roll out with only a little delay.  You need to figure out which category you fit in.  For me carrying a bunch of bulk and weight for tent space is a waste, for someone else it might be a luxury, and for another it might be a necessity.

FWIW, I am not a fan of bivies that are like tiny tents.  Mine are more like just a big sleeping bag cover with some mesh for ventilation.  They move with you so I don't really find them any more claustrophobic than being in the sleeping bag.  Also I really like cowboy camping out in the open without even the mesh of the bivy when I can.  With a bivy I can do that and climb in if the bugs get bad, the wind chill gets bad, or a shower kicks up.

The best answers are different for everyone.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: John Nelson on November 05, 2020, 10:33:56 am
Tent+footprint: 4 pounds
Sleeping bag: 2.4 pounds
Pad: 0.8 pounds
Pillow: 0.2 pounds

Total: 7.4 pounds

Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: staehpj1 on November 05, 2020, 11:01:17 am
I decided to run the numbers...

Setup with the regular bivy, stuff sack, tarp with cords and stakes, sleeping bag, pad, and pillow - 2lb 9.3oz total
Setup with the bug bivy, stuff sack, tarp with cords and stakes, sleeping bag, pad, and pillow - 2lb 7.6oz total
Setup with the Eureka Spitfire1 tent, sleeping bag, pad, and pillow - 4lb 9oz total
Setup with the MSR Fling tent (2 man single wall), sleeping bag, pad, and pillow - 5lb 6oz total

All of these have been used for three season and would be fine for me for winter on the Southern Tier.  I used a different bivy on the ST and was fine with lots of overnight frosts, one night down to at least 18F (according to my thermometer, the locals said it was colder), and a few other fairly cold nights.

FWIW, I find that bag a lot warmer than other bags I have used that are rated much lower.  Additionally, I supplement it with clothing either worn or piled on top of me inside the bivy.  Also I find a bivy warmer than a tent.  I find that a pair of warm dry socks helps a great deal as well.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: dkoloko on November 05, 2020, 12:16:37 pm
When I look to buy I have the following maximum weights in mind:

Tent: (1-man) 3 lb
Sleeping pad: 1 lb
Sleeping bag: 2 lb

I have bicycled the entire Northern Tier.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: jwrushman on November 05, 2020, 06:02:03 pm
Hennessey hammock and suspension = 1286 g
Warbonnet Superfly tarp = 928 g
Warbonnet 3/4 length underquilt = 354 g
Warbonnet top quilt = 562 g
Total = 3130 g = 6.9 lbs

Did modified Northern Tier (started in New Jersey), June -> August -> cold weather wasn't a problem for me.  Bugs occasionally were bad (Saco MT, Luther MI). 
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: CACyclist on November 06, 2020, 06:15:08 pm
Thanks for all the replies so far! I look forward to additional notes/suggestions from you long-distance pros out there.   FYI, this trip will mark a return to long distance touring for me....  my most recent trip was 2 weeks in New England in 1984.  Before that..... Bikecentennial 76 from Yorktown to Pueblo!  I have no idea what gear I had then.  I'm sure it was cheap, and relatively heavy.  So long ago!  I had a 10 speed Fuji.  Only one of our group of 8 wore a helmet.   I was not in shape for that trip when it started, but by the time we got to Charlottesville (day 3?) I was fine.  Younger days!
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: cyclist alan on November 06, 2020, 09:52:01 pm
For me, it weighs around 4 kg
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: TCS on November 07, 2020, 10:38:05 am
CACyclist -

Exciting!  Fun!  Inspiring!  Please journal @CGOAB and keep us posted.

My gear is older, kinda bulky and heavyish.  Well, so am I!  Anyway, inspired by your inquiry, I made a quick state of the industry survey.  For one large* it looks like one could outfit themselves with a roomy-for-one tent and synthetic sleeping bag each a skosh over 2# and a comfy sleeping pad in the neighborhood of 1#.  Color me impressed.



*AKA a Cleveland.  You know, $1000.   :)
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: driftlessregion on November 10, 2020, 06:05:08 pm
I'm 68 years old so weight is very important to me, but must also function well. I too am 6'2" which affects weight of what I buy. Every thing here is much lighter than what I used just 3 years ago.
Tent  4# 4 oz
bag   30 degree bag  2# 1 oz ;  50 degree bag   1# 10 oz
pad   1# 8 oz
It's a lot of work comparing equipment. good luck.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: canalligators on November 17, 2020, 06:48:57 pm
Do what you need to do, to sleep well.  If you’re well rested, you can put up with a lot of crap during the day.  And you’ll make better decisions.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: CACyclist on November 18, 2020, 01:59:19 pm
Thanks to all for the advice and perspective.  Sounds like I'm aiming for 6 - 7 pounds, maybe a touch more. 
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: David W Pratt on November 30, 2020, 07:15:47 pm
Have not weighed my tent and sleeping stuff separately, but I can recommend the Sea to Summit inflatable mattress.  It is very light and packs up to about the size of beer can.  It inflates with fewer than 10 breaths, and is quite comfortable.
My tent is a NEMO Hornet, nominally two person, but they had better be interested in each other physically.  For one person, it has nice sitting head room, and room for gear.  It has two side entrances, and lots of mesh.  I would not choose it for Winter, or late Fall, or early Spring.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: hikerjer on December 09, 2020, 01:42:18 am
I've been meaning to answer this for a while and just now got around to weighing the specific gear..

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 person tent, footprint & stuff sack:  3lb, 9 oz

Marmot Arete 40 degree sleeping bag & stuff sack: 1 lb, 13 oz

Thermarest NeoAir sleeping pad & stuff sack:  14 oz

Exped inflatable pillow & stuff sack: 3.3 oz

Total: 6 lbs, 2.46 oz

I prefer the room of a two person tent rather than being cramped in a one person tent. The footprint saves a lot of wear and tear on the tent floor in those gravel pad sites in some campgrouds.  Worth the small weight penalty to me. I've found a 40 degree sleeping bag sufficiently warm for summer touring. On those colder than usual nights, I just wear some clothes to bed.  I wouldn't even consider camping without my pillow.  It makes the night so much more restful.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: HikeBikeCook on December 09, 2020, 06:35:36 am
The less you carry the easier it is to bike, the more you carry the more comfortable you are when you camp. I spent almost 6 months hiking (174 nights) and we bike camp as well. I am in my late 60's and I want a good night's sleep. I use Big Agnes Air Core Sleeping pads because they are thick, but very light and as a company their warranty and customer service is incredible. Their new pads come with a stuff sack that also acts as an air pump.

I also like to have everything inside my tent if possible and do not want to be rolling into the sides of a wet tent in the rain. I analyzed 30 different tents before my hike and went with the lightest tent per square inch in floor and vestibule space. You can cook in the rain under your vestibule with the right stove set up - not advised in bear country. That being said, I use a two man tent for solo camping and a three man tent when I camp with my wife. The two man worked okay for the two of us, but was a little too cozy. Again, Big Agnes won out here. I have a Seedhouse SL-2 and camped over 100 nights on the trail, the tent is over 10 years old and still going strong. I also bought a three person Big Agnes Copper Spur HV-SL for the two of us.

I use down bags and invested in a Feathered Friends 30 degree after my hike, because the REI sub-kilo was a total waste. Again, comfort matters. You are looking for length, but for me shoulder width in a tapered bag is the most important. A mummy bag saves weight, but I upgraded to one with a wider shoulder width. The REI bag was too narrow in the shoulders and I froze below 40 and I am a "hot" sleeper. I also use a bag liner as well - easy to wash and keeps the stench out of your bag.

I like to eat well also, so I opted for a Jet Boil but carried the group cooking pot for a lot more options. You have to pick what fits your budget but I would read a lot of reviews and invest in quality and comfort. I have not weighed my stuff recently I usually look at weight at the time of purchase on a per item basis. For a long trip, pack, repack, go on a short trip, repack and trim down, another trip and a repack, and you will almost be ready.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: staehpj1 on December 09, 2020, 08:01:39 am
The less you carry the easier it is to bike, the more you carry the more comfortable you are when you camp.
I think we all balance that differently  I agree with the first half of that.  The second half less so.  I find that for me there are two kinds of comfort that are most critical, comfort while riding and comfort while sleeping.  For me the latter doesn't require most of the extra weight and volume that folks carry for comfort.  Sprawling space, extra gear,  a lot of extra paraphernalia don't add much to sleeping comfort, but for me at least, do take away from riding comfort.

The sweet spot comfort wise will vary pretty widely with rider, locale, and season.  I really enjoyed my 14# load on my old 1990 vintage Crit race bike for a winter Southern Tier ride and was quite comfortable.  If I were to do it again I'd make some adjustments, but I wouldn't be carrying more.  To me riding a light relatively unencumbered bike and sleeping in a real nice sleeping bag with just enough space to sleep was great.  Someone at the other extreme may find that carrying more stuff actually is worth it to them to the extent that they may be happy carrying a huge tent that allows them to bring in all their stuff and still sprawl out, tarp, chairs, a table, and large amounts of other stuff.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: John Nettles on December 09, 2020, 08:12:24 am
I use down bags and invested in a Feathered Friends 30 degree...
The Feathered Friends bags are very nice but very pricey.  We have one and it is the second one.  The first was replaced for free and even upgraded after THIRTY years because the Gore-Tex had de-laminated.

We also like Western Mountaineering bags.  They too have a great customer service attitude so much so that they will repair or replace a bag even if you bought it used on eBay.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: HikeBikeCook on December 09, 2020, 08:16:32 am
I totally agree that there is a sensible limit. We towed a trailer one year ,before I wife had panniers, and we filled that thing and I suffered. It was the first long bike trip the two of us had done together and we were camping some nights. Since then we both have only rear panniers and do fine. I would probably add front panniers to mine for cross country just to carry extra water and food.

I have watched videos of the TA with solo riders with full front and rear panniers, gear on their racks, and big handle bar bags and wonder what they heck they have in there. I hiked for around 6 months with a 28 pound pack (less food and water) and that was with a 2 person tent and cold weather gear and I was very comfortable. Water weighs 8.4 pounds a gallon and is essential for survival. Resupply on the TA is way easier than hiking the AT, where you can go 5 days in the mountains without resupply.

Western Mountaineering is on a par with Feathered Friends. I think I went with Feathered Friends because I could get a bag wider in the shoulders. Yss, they are $$$, but a life time investment - at least at my age. :)
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: John Nettles on December 09, 2020, 08:21:12 am
To me riding a light relatively unencumbered bike and sleeping in a real nice sleeping bag with just enough space to sleep was great.
Pete, I just noticed you must have an older photo as part of your profile as that is definitely not a unencumbered bike  ;) .

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: staehpj1 on December 09, 2020, 08:24:48 am
To me riding a light relatively unencumbered bike and sleeping in a real nice sleeping bag with just enough space to sleep was great.
Pete, I just noticed you must have an older photo as part of your profile as that is definitely not a unencumbered bike  ;) .

Tailwinds, John
Yep, my first tour.  That was from the Trans America in 2007 and the bike was quite heavily loaded.  I trimmed the load in steps from there.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: hikerjer on December 09, 2020, 05:38:00 pm
"The less you carry the easier it is to bike, the more you carry the more comfortable you are when you camp"

Ah, this is the delimma, isn't it?  It's a quandry to be sure.  I like both the comfort that a low weight brings while riding but I like to be comfortable in camp as well.  As I age, and I am, that lower riding weight is quite desirable but it belies the comfort in camp. And then there is the safety issue that enough adequate gear insures. Seems I can't have them all - safety, lightweight and comfort. Sure you can go with expensive superlight gear, but that's only going to save you a certain amount and I find that super light weight gear is not always that duarble. So, I guess I'll continue to tour with my front and back panniers and small handlebar bag which weigh out loaded at about 31 lbs without consumables.

I'd really being interested in seeing a gear list from folks who summer tour cross country and camp with just rear panniers and a handlebar bag. I'm sure I could learn somehing.

Thanks much.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: John Nettles on December 09, 2020, 05:44:22 pm
If possible be sure to have every item do double duty, i.e. use your sleeping pad (or bandana) as a "chair"; have only shirts you would ride in and wear post-ride, limit clothes to no more than 3 days worth, etc.

Obviously, certain items like spare tubes or medicine are basically dedicated use but you get the idea.  Also, if you are carrying a jacket for when you get into the mountains in 40 days, just mail that ahead care of general delivery to just before the mountains begin.  Or just go to a thrift store and buy a $2 jacket and trash it afterwards.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: TCS on December 10, 2020, 07:49:50 pm
Resupply on the TA is way easier than hiking the AT, where you can go 5 days in the mountains without resupply.

Hikers on the AT carry five days of water?  Whoa.  Or is this just a definitional difference between hiking 'resupply' and cycletouring 'resupply'?

Depending on how many miles one covers in a day, of course, but there are stretches on the ST and WE where one could be advised to head out with two days supply of water for all uses.
Title: Re: How much does your sleeping gear weigh?
Post by: HikeBikeCook on December 11, 2020, 07:07:54 am
Resupply on the TA is way easier than hiking the AT, where you can go 5 days in the mountains without resupply.

Hikers on the AT carry five days of water?  Whoa.  Or is this just a definitional difference between hiking 'resupply' and cycletouring 'resupply'?

Typically AT hikers find water each day, but have to carry food for up to 5 days in certain areas. Roughly 2 to 3 lbs. of food per day. I hiked in 2007, which was a drought year, and trail angels often left gallons of water at road crossings. I typically carried 3 liters of water to start out the day (6.5 pounds) and planned 6 liters for camping - cooking, rehydrate, and water to start the next day. On a hot day I went through 24 pounds of water, which you pump from streams or get from springs. Road cycling offers more resupply opportunities for the most part. Although calculations vary by weight and load, my estimate is that I burn about 1,000 calories more a day on average back packing over cycling. 4,480 versus 5,600. I lost around 40 pounds hiking the AT over 174 days. My wife and I have been watching biker's videos of the TA and my wife commented that the riders did not look like they lost much weight compared to hiking. I reminded her that I was not eating in dinners every day hiking and stopping for ice cream at least once a day like you can on the road. :)