Author Topic: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm  (Read 20374 times)

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Offline staehpj1

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2015, 06:39:47 pm »
You may spend more time sleeping on top of it, for padding, than in it for warmth.

Yep that is very likely.  Still even one cold night might justify taking a bag warm enough for the coldest night.

In the mountains temperatures can be crazy variable.  I think we saw 110 F and 32 F in the same 48 hour period on the Sierra Cascades route.

On my TA it was mostly very hot, but there were a few moderately cold nights (32 F maybe).  We left a little earlier in the season than the OP is planning, but still in the mountains some pretty variable weather can happen.

Offline henry_jackson

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2015, 12:29:31 pm »
I'm new to bike travel but I've worked full time in outdoor education and adventure travel for the last five years.

WAY MORE IMPORTANT than your bag is your SLEEPING PAD. The bag protects against heat lost through Radiation but the sleeping pad protects against heat loss through Conduction.

Also, KEEP IT CLEAN. Dirt and sweat prevents the fabric and insulation from performing to it's full capacity.

As someone who sleeps very cold, here's my beliefs....
Sleeping pads must be inflatable and have a very high "R value" usually achieved through insulation within the air chambers.
I have 3 bags. 45 degree for warm weather, 0 degree for "this sucks" weather, 20 degree for everything else. I use the same pad year round.
Quilts are a miserable experience made worse by trying to sleep in layers of sweat-smelling clothing.
A sleeping bag (with a good pad) is comfortably warm 10-15 degrees higher than the rating.
Synthetic insulation works well in 45-50 degree bags only!
Any bag for colder temps has to be hydrophobic treated down insulation stored in a Sea to Summit evac compression dry sack for added protection.
Any bag heavier than 2lbs is out of the question.
Snag free zippers are a lie.
Inserts and liners keep the bag clean (major plus!) but do nothing for added warmth.




Offline 2Trikes

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2015, 09:39:15 pm »
So my wife found a deal for a Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 800F on e-bay. It has an EN Comfort Rating of 31 degrees F. We will give it a go and see how it works out over the next several months. Who knows, maybe we will get some cold weather in Florida to give us a feel, LOL!

It is an interesting design with no zippers using what looks like a quilt to cover an opening on the front of the bag.

Here's the link if you want to take a look - http://www.sierradesigns.com/product/backcountry-bed-800-3-season

Offline staehpj1

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2015, 08:07:34 am »
It is an interesting design with no zippers using what looks like a quilt to cover an opening on the front of the bag.

It looks like an interesting design, but I am not sure it would work very well for me.  I find that in order to manage a wide range of conditions I need to be able to have a lot of incremental steps between sleeping on top of the bag and being in the bag with the hood drawn up to just a small hole to breath through.  Those steps go something like:
  • sleeping on top of the bag
  • draping the zipped open bag loosely over with limbs or even most of my body hanging out as needed
  • draping the bag more completely over whole body
  • getting in bag, but leaving it zipped open
  • partially zipping up the bag
  • fully zipping it up
  • putting on the hood
  • drawing the hood tight
It isn't clear to me if/how well your bag works at accomplishing those steps.  If you jump to too warm of a step early in the night you will sweat and then if it gets colder later you will be wet and cold.  Also I think the lack of being able to draw the hood tight would limit the lowest temperature comfort for me.  I wonder how well sticking feet and arms out works in warmer conditions as compared to being able to have the bag off of one side or having a leg out to adjust.  Also I have found that with a conventional bag I don't like to have the sleeping pad attached because I prefer that the bag roll with me and the pad sty where it is.  With your bag I guess that you roll inside the stationary bag.

It may work great, but I would be a little skeptical of that setup myself.  I wouldn't mind trying one out but at that price I'd only buy it from somewhere like REI that would let me return it for up to a year if I decide I don't like it.

Offline 2Trikes

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2015, 08:28:09 am »
Good points, thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate your thoughts because I am such a newbie.

FWIW, I got a great deal on the long version of this bag and it can be returned if I don't like it (not up to a year, though).

As for the steps, I will definitely see how well this bag works out with

1 - sleeping on top
2 - draping a silk liner over portions of my body
3 - draping a portion of the quilt
4 - getting in the bag with the quilt down and one or more feet out
5 - feet in (and probably into the silk liner)
6 - quilt up (with, then without arms exposed)
7 - head tucked into the bag

I also found that sleeping in an older, mummy style bag that we have was uncomfortable, so I am hoping this bag offers a bit more room to move around in. I will report back after I get the bag and have some experience with it.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2015, 08:37:47 am »
That sounds like a plan.  Let us know how it works out for you.

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2015, 01:14:14 pm »
I find it odd that, for of a bunch of weight considerate touring cyclists,  None of you mention hammocks at all ...plus: sleep on the ground?  Never again for this cyclist. My days of waking up all stiff are over. 

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Offline Ty0604

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2015, 12:33:05 am »
I find it odd that, for of a bunch of weight considerate touring cyclists,  None of you mention hammocks at all ...plus: sleep on the ground?  Never again for this cyclist. My days of waking up all stiff are over. 

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I hammock camp using a 40 degree bag even during the winter months when temps are well below freezing. Whomever said "how cold do you sleep?" hit it exactly right. I grew up in a very cold region so it doesn't bother me much. I was zipped up in the bag anything less than 40 degrees but anything over I was still "in" it but it was unzipped. I don't use a sleeping pad either. Your rain fly can be used as a windbreaker on those windy nights. I'm leaving in early April for a ride from Portland, OR to Portland, ME and am at about 30lbs including the weight of the bike. I'm also taking 80 days and going my own route so what you find necessary I may not. Just to touch bases on the weight as the above poster mentioned. 
Instagram: tyjames0604

WI—>WA—>CO

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2015, 10:15:57 am »
I live in upstate NY, and have been 3-season hammock camping for three years to -10*F temps.  My setup was multilayered:
45* bag
0* bag
Fleece liner
Reflectix used as a sleeping pad
Fleece pullover
Knit wool sweater
Hiking Pants
Heavy base layer

Obviously, I mix and match the above to make myself comfortable
For me, the 45* bag is only good to 50* which is when I switch to the 0* bag... Which for me was only good down to 25* or so, which is when I layer the reflectix, then the 45*, then the fleece liner, then clothes.  I don't think my bags were rated properly though...I could see the given ratings as "survivability" ratings but not "comfort" ratings
This year I'll be trying 4-season, but with a new setup that hopefully will keep me warm to -45*F if need be, without the layered bags, though it's been almost century since it's been that cold in this area.

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Offline Ty0604

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2015, 03:12:04 pm »
I live in upstate NY, and have been 3-season hammock camping for three years to -10*F temps.  My setup was multilayered:
45* bag
0* bag
Fleece liner
Reflectix used as a sleeping pad
Fleece pullover
Knit wool sweater
Hiking Pants
Heavy base layer

Obviously, I mix and match the above to make myself comfortable
For me, the 45* bag is only good to 50* which is when I switch to the 0* bag... Which for me was only good down to 25* or so, which is when I layer the reflectix, then the 45*, then the fleece liner, then clothes.  I don't think my bags were rated properly though...I could see the given ratings as "survivability" ratings but not "comfort" ratings
This year I'll be trying 4-season, but with a new setup that hopefully will keep me warm to -45*F if need be, without the layered bags, though it's been almost century since it's been that cold in this area.

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The coldest I've hammock camped in, that I've recorded, was 7 degrees and was comfortable zipped up in my 40 degree bag. Do you have any idea of how much your bag weighs?

What part of Upstate NY are you in? My ride is taking me through that part of the state. Might have to hit you up if you're nearby my route!
Instagram: tyjames0604

WI—>WA—>CO

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2015, 04:21:15 pm »


The coldest I've hammock camped in, that I've recorded, was 7 degrees and was comfortable zipped up in my 40 degree bag. Do you have any idea of how much your bag weighs?

What part of Upstate NY are you in? My ride is taking me through that part of the state. Might have to hit you up if you're nearby my route!

Wow that's some 40* bag! 45* bag is synthetic fill, 3.3 lbs; 0* bag is synthetic fill, 3.7 lbs. The 850 down hammock quilt-set I recently ordered from undergroundquilts.com will be about 3 lbs total.

I live near Albany NY.  When are you expecting to come through? Are you also a member of hammock forums?

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Offline Ty0604

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2015, 05:20:50 pm »
Wow that's some 40* bag! 45* bag is synthetic fill, 3.3 lbs; 0* bag is synthetic fill, 3.7 lbs. The 850 down hammock quilt-set I recently ordered from undergroundquilts.com will be about 3 lbs total.

I live near Albany NY.  When are you expecting to come through? Are you also a member of hammock forums?

I'm not familiar with the hammock forums. Where can I find those at?

I'm leaving Portland, Oregon in early April and looks like I'll be in New York in June. I first hit New York on Day 54 of my ride but between there and Albany (13 stops later) I'll be visiting family near the Adirondacks so I'm not sure how long it'll take me to reach Albany. I made my own route to see family and other stuff such as Niagara Falls etc and am really taking my time. Solo ride to do my own thing :) In addition, I've never met any of these family members so I plan to spend at least two days with each of them.

My New York itinerary in below.

Day/Depart City/Arrive City

Coming from Pennsylvania
54. Edinboro, PA - Fredonia, NY
55. Fredonia - Arcade
56. Arcade - Buffalo
57. Buffalo - Niagara Falls
58. Niagara Falls - Rochester
59. Rochester - Port Byron
60. Port Byron -  Pulaski
61. Pulaski - Watertown
62. Watertown - Ogdensburg
63. Ogdensburg - Pierrepont
64. Pierrepont - Parishville
65. Parishville - Long Lake
66. Long Lake - Diamond Point
67. Diamond Point - Albany
68. Albany - Lee, MA

Edited: 10/19/15 3:20pm to reflect added stop at newly discovered family I didn't know I had
« Last Edit: October 19, 2015, 06:21:19 pm by PacificNorthwestRider92 »
Instagram: tyjames0604

WI—>WA—>CO

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2015, 08:03:12 pm »
It's @ hammockforums.net and you'll learn more than you ever needed to know about hammocking ;) its also accessible with the tapatalk app, just like this one is

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Offline Ty0604

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2015, 03:28:48 pm »
It's @ hammockforums.net and you'll learn more than you ever needed to know about hammocking ;) its also accessible with the tapatalk app, just like this one is

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Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. If you're interested in meeting up as I pass through Albany send me a private message on here.
Instagram: tyjames0604

WI—>WA—>CO

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Recommended Temperature Rating for Sleeping Bag on TransAm
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2015, 04:12:18 pm »
Another possibly useful site is warmshowers.org I'll probably try and meet up with you, maybe even ride up and come back, but it'll all depend on my work schedule at that time

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