Author Topic: Sleeping bag for Trans Am  (Read 2810 times)

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Offline Moscowjohn

Sleeping bag for Trans Am
« on: June 25, 2018, 02:09:50 pm »
Hi.
I'm setting out From Boston at the start of August, hoping to be in San Francisco via Tennessee by end of October....
I want to keep the weight down as much as possible.... I'll be camping a bit..
Do you think I'll have many cold nights on my trip or will I get away with a lightweight sleeping bag not suitable under 10 degrees?...
Cheers
John


Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Sleeping bag for Trans Am
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 03:43:53 pm »
With a screen name like "Moscowjohn" I'll have to ask for clarification: is that 10 degrees C or F?

My guess is that you'll be fine through August and halfway through September, assuming that's about how long it'll take you to hit central Colorado (assuming you approximate the Adventure Cycling Western Express route from there).  Once you hit the Rockies through to the Sierras in late September through October, I'd expect frost.  A 20F bag would probably get you across, but 40-50F would leave you shivering.  A lot.

Offline Moscowjohn

Re: Sleeping bag for Trans Am
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2018, 04:18:35 pm »
Moscow John is my nickname in my motorbike club because I've been to Moscow a couple of times on my dirt bike but I live in the U.K....

This is roughly my planned route...

Temperature in centigrees!..




« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 04:50:52 pm by Moscowjohn »

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Sleeping bag for Trans Am
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2018, 06:50:15 am »
I would go with a 0*Celsius (which I think is the same as centigree) or 20*F bag but make sure the bag does NOT have side baffles.  Side baffles prevent the down from being shifted top to bottom.  However, if you do not have baffles, you can shift the down to the bottom in warmer climates and shift to top in cooler climates.  Also, if you carry a WOOL beanie hat that will dramatically keep you warmer at night.  Your coldest areas will be in northern NM and in UT at elevation. 

The AVERAGE low temps in early October in southern UT elevation areas is around 4*C but you should be OK if you wear a hat and a shirt.  Note the temps drop quickly, i.e. in Monticello, UT, the average low Oct 1st temp is 3.5*C but the Oct 15th average low is 0.5*C
Overall, you should be fine except for maybe a day or two when at high elevation (above 5,000 feet).

If you are going in that area, be sure to head south for a day and visit Monument Valley.  A must see area.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Sleeping bag for Trans Am
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2018, 07:53:37 am »
That is a very hard question to answer.  There is tremendous variability between different bags of the same supposed rating and between how warm or cool people sleep.  My Phantom 45 is MUCH warmer than some cheap 32 F or even 20 F bags.  For your route and planned time of year I'd be fine with my Phantom 45 and some clothing to supplement it at times, someone else might freeze even with a much warmer bag.  I guess I tend to put out heat like a furnace.  I used it on the Southern Tier starting in early Feb and had a lot of frosty nights with a trip low of 18 F and was fine.

Best to figure out what average and record lows are for the time and locale and plan for survival at record lows and comfort at a bit warmer temps.


Offline John Nelson

Re: Sleeping bag for Trans Am
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2018, 10:10:26 am »
As Pete says, this is a hard question.

Personally, I'm willing to be cold for a couple of nights across the whole country to avoid carrying a big bag. I also don't mind wearing all the clothes I have with me inside my bag if necessary. I did the TransAm May-July with a pretty light bag. Make sure you have a good air mattress.

As Pete says, don't put any faith in the manufacturer's temperature rating. Measuring the loft with a ruler is more reliable.

Offline Nyimbo

Re: Sleeping bag for Trans Am
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2018, 02:07:33 pm »
As Pete says, this is a hard question.

Personally, I'm willing to be cold for a couple of nights across the whole country to avoid carrying a big bag. I also don't mind wearing all the clothes I have with me inside my bag if necessary. I did the TransAm May-July with a pretty light bag. Make sure you have a good air mattress.

I'm the opposite.  I'm willing to carry a big bag across the country to avoid freezing on the cold nights.  Actually to be honest, I sent my lightweight bag with my wife so when we met up 1/2 way across country for a week of vacation in the middle of my tour, I switched out my sleeping bags.  So I had the colder rated bag in the west and the lightweight bag from Missouri to the East Coast.  But, even with the colder bag I wore my hat and all my clothes on the coldest nights.