Author Topic: Which sleeping bag?  (Read 8578 times)

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Offline storner

Which sleeping bag?
« on: March 13, 2008, 09:49:01 am »
What recommendations do you have for a sleeping bag for a 5'7, 155lb male, in the +20-30 F range?

Also, what suggestions do you have for a sleeping pad?

And, how succesful might it be to buy each on EBay?

Lite weight is a must as I'm intending to ride the So Tier, self contained (600 miles in 2-week increments twice per year in April and October) beginning next month, riding from Florida to San Diego.

Thanks.


Offline WesternFlyer

Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 02:01:24 am »
Look at Big Agnes down bags with an eVent compression bags, and Big Agnes Air Core pads.  They really have done their design homework.  I got a BA 40 deg bag and 35 deg Air Core last summer and I am really happy, excellent workmanship and design details and incredibly lightweight. http://www.bigagnes.com/

I have not had much luck with this type of item on eBay.  They tend to bid such items to 15% to 10% of full retail and then add high shipping charges.  Whereas you can order from REI, and if there is a retail outlet nearby no shipping, and if you dont like it for any reason or no reason even after using it in the field they will take it back with a full refund.

Remember those comfort rating are very nominal.  If you think you are going to be warm in 20 deg weather with a 20 deg bag without thermal long-johns, wool socks and a fleece hat on, you are in for a very rude and chilling surprise.  Someone wrote some place on this forum, If you dont have to wear every item of clothing you brought your sleeping bag is too heavy.

Check out Sierra Trading Post sometimes they have some great deals, and they have easy return policies.  http://www.sierratradingpost.com/


Western Flyer

My hip hurts when I move my chin, . . .
and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!
   Shel Silverstein
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline John Nettles

  • World Traveler
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  • I ride for smiles, not miles.
Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 02:12:29 pm »
You didn't mention how much you have to spend.  No matter what, for you should look for down (for lightness and compactness), and a bag without side baffles so down can be shaken from top of bag to bottom when hot outside or vice versa.

I second the eVent shell.  If you have money to spend, I have used Feathered Friends.  They have great bags, service, warranties, and will allow you to customize their bags. You can get them on eBay but the eVent may be harder to find though.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

Offline DaveB

Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2008, 07:21:13 pm »
Forget e-bay.  Look at REI or Campmore.  You will get better quality and better choice.  (An aside: why does everyone think e-bay is a good choice for everything?)  

Personally, I'd avoid a down bag.  Good ones are very expensive and cheap ones aren't worth having.  For the temperature range you are looking at, synthetic bags are plenty light, less damaged if they get wet (wet down is a hazard, not a comfort)and much more reasonably priced.    


Offline JayH

Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2008, 08:57:03 am »
big fan of Western Mountaineering down bags. For me, size is just as important as weight, so if you choose to save a few $$ (in the short term anyway), if you do buy a synth bag, consider a compression bag that you can buy that will cinch your synth bag even more. Well worth the extra ozs of the compression sack, IMO.  

BTW, no ending 'e' in Campmor.  

My summer bag is a Western Mountaineering Iroquois though it's no longer made, it's a +38f bag that I use til about freezing temps.

Jay


Offline John Nettles

  • World Traveler
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  • Posts: 1596
  • I ride for smiles, not miles.
Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2008, 09:39:03 pm »
Since your biggest concerns were weight (and I assume bulk), you really should only consider down as it is almost 1/3 lighter.  I have 30+ years of touring and have never had a wet bag as I have always had a goretex or similar outer shell.  If a regular shell just put in a large leaf bag.

eBay/Criagslist/etc. are a good deal provided you do your homework.  I personally would rather buy a used top-of-the-line model of anything that has been well cared for than a new average model for the same money.  Evaluate for yourself if the cost/weight difference is worth it to you.  

As far as pads go, try both (closed cell and air) before you go.  I used to be able to handle a closed cell but the old bones prefer the heavier yet more comfortable air mattress now.  Obvioulsy, go a narrow as you can to save weight.

Hope you enjoy the trip!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

Offline valygrl

Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2008, 07:08:30 pm »
Sometimes you can get an insane deal at rei-outlet.com


Offline 2ering

Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2008, 11:53:49 pm »
Marmot makes a line of ultra-light bags with 850+ down fill.  I have the
Helium which is rated for +15 F but they also have a +30F w/ the 850+
fill down for $309 called the Hydrogen that weighs about 1 1/2lbs.

As for a pad, I love the Exped Downmat 7 which comes with it's own dry
sack which also doubles as a (somewhat finicky) pump sack to inflate the
pad without introducing water vapor from your breath into the bag where
it can form ice.  Total weight of pad & sack is 2 lbs.


Offline biker_james

Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2008, 07:52:46 am »
My thinking is that you can get more miles in by getting a good nights sleep than you can by saving 8 or 9 ounces and freezing all night, then trying to ride the next day. 600 miles in two weeks doesn't sound too extreme to me, as my wife and I usually do 1500+ km ( about 900+ miles) in the 3 weeks we get for holidays, and believe me, we don't travel light, and aren't exactly extreme athletes.
I don't have a sleeping bag recomendation, we use Kelty bags, but I can't say much one way or the other about them. I know when it gets down near the "rated" temperature, I am cold if I don't wear a lot of clothing. We use Thermarests-not sure of the model, but the thicker ones, but I am looking at the Exped mats. (Or maybe a Luxury Lite cot, but I would have to see it in person first).


Offline staehpj1

Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2008, 08:24:47 am »
"Lite weight is a must as I'm intending to ride the So Tier, self contained (600 miles in 2-week increments twice per year in April and October) beginning next month, riding from Florida to San Diego."

Light weight is always a good thing as long as it doesn't impact safety or comfort to an unacceptable degree, but...  That said, I don't understand why your statement quoted above dictates particularly light weight.  I think that the ST is the flattest of the coast to coast routes and 600 miles in two weeks is a very leisurely pace.

Any reasonable weight 30 degree bag would be fine.  Spend more if you want and the budget allows, but a $79 Slumberjack or whatever is on sale would be fine.  That is what I used on the TA last summer and it was never a hardship, despite the fact that the route had more climbing and out daily mileage was a good bit higher.  Nothing wrong with spending more and getting better, but you don't need to.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 3-20-08 @ 4:33 AM

Offline staehpj1

Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2008, 10:05:12 am »
I forgot to respond to the the pad question.  There are lots of good answers.  I like the Thermarest pads.  The Prolite 4 regular would be a good choice.  You could go to a 3/4 length pad, but I think the comfort of the full length one is worth it.


Offline bogiesan

Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2008, 12:25:45 am »
If weight is a primary concern, invest a few hours hunting through
ultralight backpacking sites. There are only three places you can save
significant weight: tent, sleeping bag, pad. Everything else is either
necessary (but can possibly be reduced in mass) or simply cannot be
reduced any further. You can carry a 1 pound silnylon tarp and a 2
pound bug screen or a six pound tent. You can carry an eight pound
poly bag or a 2 pound down bag and some extra tights.

Here in dry ol' Idaho, down is queen but I try to take a poly bag on
Cycle Oregon tours cuz we know we'll see rain on at least two out of
seven days. If you know how to take care of your gear, down will serve
you well but, if you're a novice, take poly. I carry two down bags, a
one-pounder and a two pounder. If it gets really cold, they nest.

(You might want to take an interesting lightweight item called  "vapor
barrier liner." Hard to find these days but it can add about ten degrees
to any bag or keep you dry in a wet bag.)

Sleeping pads are totally subjective. On a supported tour, I make them
haul my 6 pound, 2-1/2 inch thick Thermarest. If I'm carrying it
myself, I go for the Cascade Design egg-crate minimum pad.

david boise ID


go, ristretto, FCP/AE
"Read the manual."
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline DaveB

Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2008, 10:14:16 pm »
BTW, no ending 'e' in Campmor.

Right.  :blush:  I should have looked at my catalog first.

About two years ago I bought a North Face "Trinity"  +20°F rated synthetic bag from Campmor on closeout for $60 and it weighs less than 3 pounds complete with stuff sack. It even came with a loose ventilated storage sack.  

It has been very comfortable and I don't think a down bag would save significant weight at this temperature rating.  


Offline bogiesan

Which sleeping bag?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2008, 10:15:53 am »
on closeout for $60 and it weighs less than 3 pounds complete with
stuff sack. It even came with a loose ventilated storage sack.  


Sierra Trading Post and Campmor usually have far better values on deep
discounted items than REI Outlet. (I often feel ripped off by REI these days
but that's just me, member for more than 30 years).

david boise ID




go, ristretto, FCP/AE
"Read the manual."
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent