winter bag (again)

6:52 p.m. on December 31, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

Okay, so I'm looking to lose some sleeping bag weight without breaking the bank (that omits Western Mountaineering I guess). I'm in the east, do AT weekends and Blue Ridge trips in winter.

Looking for a good cold weather bag around 3 to 31/2 lbs (I have a 0 deg now that works well but is too heavy at 6 lbs), a little wary of down due to local moisture. Anybody have any ideas? the Marmot trestles is a 15-deg bag, wonder how accurate it is? Anyone used Campmor 0-deg down before?
I am a pretty normal sleeper, wear long underwear always (warmth and bag protection). Given the relatively few 'really cold' months, would I be better served by the 15-deg bag with some extra fleece sleepwear?

thoughts?

7:33 p.m. on December 31, 2003 (EST)
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You want warmth at low weight. The only way to get that is ya gotta spend bucks. The companies whose ratings are pretty conservative (accuracy depends on a lot of personal factors) and consistent with each other are Western, Feathered Friends, Marmot, and Integral Designs. Marmot and ID make synth bags as well as down. But although symth like Primaloft is getting close to down, down still has the edge for warmth to weight ratio. These 4 make bags rated at 800 or greater fill factors, and in my experience, their down really is 800+ as they rate it. But you pay a bunch for the warm and light bags (and down clothing as well). Campmor is less conservative in their ratings, as are REI and EMS. Without doing a direct comparison (but based on experience with both companies' products), I suspect that the Campmor 0-deg bag is only slightly warmer if at all than the Marmot 15 deg bag. Slumberjack is notorious for being overly optimistic, as are most chain outdoor stores for their store brands.

Personal factors include what you wear to bed, how exhausted you are, how hydrated and well-fed you are, your sleeping pad, tent, tent crowding, and a bunch of other factors. If you wear longies that are sweated up from a hard day, you lose warmth compared to a set of dry, clean longies of the very same brand and model. Your extra fleece helps - if it is dry and clean. But sleeping in clothes, especially clothes you have been wearing all day, can be really uncomfortable.

Down lasts much longer than synth, given proper care. The four companies I mentioned make long-lasting high quality products and stand behind them. My oldest down bag is over 40 years old and still sees occasional use in winter. But my 2 synth winter bags have lost a lot of their loft in the 15 years I have had them (ok, not much use in the past 6 or 7 years, so a life of 7 or 8 years at the outside). Down does lose insulating power when wet, but if you use care and sense, that won't be a problem.

8:43 p.m. on December 31, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. sc

Thanks - I don't have any experience with the Campmor products, but I found my Sierra Designs 3d 35-deg bag is very accurate. As far as sleepwear, I've heard a number of folks who either don't change longies or don't wear any at all. The post from Jim S back in Nov did a good job in explaining bag protection, longies, etc, etc. I keep an extra pair of polypro and ragg wool socks just for sleeping, and it usually always works....you're right about hydration, food, padding, etc...

.....I know that many of the REI bags have been found to be inaccurate, and almost everyone knows Slumberjack is notoriously inaccurate... Actually, I just use the old "Add 10 degrees to determine REAL rating" and it has served me well most of the time, regardless of brand.

I met a young lady on my last trip a a while back, she said her down bag was 18 (yes, 18) years old, still warms her well (even in the ice storm that blew through our camp). I'll try a down bag this time.

I've already got a 0-deg bag (did I mention heavy?), guess a down 15 or 20 from a good supplier will be worth it. And next time I gotta pack in 2 miles uphill I'll be glad I did.

Sounds like I should hang my hat on the higher end, Marmot (or similar) and expect to pay the dues (ugh - my 11th commandment is 'never pay retail').Thanks again.

br.

6:57 a.m. on January 2, 2004 (EST)
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I have a polarguard 3D 0 degree bag.....

It's a Marmot Merlin. Weighs in at just under 4 lbs. I paid about $110.00.

Love the thing

9:33 p.m. on January 2, 2004 (EST)
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As Bill and Ed said...

Quote:

You want warmth at low weight. The only way to get that is ya gotta spend bucks.

Ed has a bag he likes for what - $110 - but its a pound and a half or two pounds heavier than what Bill is talking about. Whats it worth to you to save a pound of winter gear? Years ago I decided I was willing to pay $10 per ounce...
Jim S

11:37 p.m. on January 2, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. sc
Re: As Bill and Ed said...

Right, Jim.

Actually, after talking with Bill, I searched the internet and found a 0/15 convertible - 600 down bag that comes in at under 3 lbs (15-deg) and right under 4 lbs with the 0-deg lid on. Not miraculous, but not too bad for a long bag and the price is right. And significantly lighter than my old quallofil. I'll use it in Mid-January up on the Blue Ridge. We'll see how it does.

BTW, I found a Feathered Friends bag - a 20 deg long, bought but never used - pretty cheap - out in Colorado at $250 - extremely lightweight - will be glad to forward mail if anyone's interested.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to keep total weight to under 25 lbs this time, so I'm examining everything (wife thinks I'm crazy....not big news after 20 years). If I can travel at 25 lbs for a winter trip, that'll be good for now. Then I need to look at shelters, I guess......
;>)


Quote:

Quote:

You want warmth at low weight. The only way to get that is ya gotta spend bucks.

Ed has a bag he likes for what - $110 - but its a pound and a half or two pounds heavier than what Bill is talking about. Whats it worth to you to save a pound of winter gear? Years ago I decided I was willing to pay $10 per ounce...
Jim S

6:59 a.m. on January 3, 2004 (EST)
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Shelters!......

I was at a Sports Authority last night. They have Eureka Gossamer tents on sale for $49.99. I paid about $99 for mine - five years ago.

If you don't mind having to put your clothes on in a prone position, these are nice, storm proof little tents that weigh in at about two pounds.

7:47 a.m. on January 3, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. sc
Re: Shelters!......

That looks like it would work. I carry an REI Half Dome right now, big enough and robust enough for my trips, and it work all year round here in the Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian area. I'd like to keep this one for basecamping and get an ultralight for walking.

Someone gave me a Texsport bivy (y'know, one of those that you see on ebay occasionally), and it actually works - but I'm afraid to really take it into the woods against the elements - expecially with the sparse rainfly, the skinny poles, etc. I might look to beef it up a little first before I buy anything.

Anyway, I saw a Dana Designs Tarp Tent at Northern Mountain Supply for $99 (yes, $99) this week - has a floor and will use trekking poles (I think) - I'm thinking that's a good way to go. They also have some Bibler shelters and others. (By the way, I do not shill for any outfitter, but those guys have some outrageously good deals on shelters, bags, packs. They are not a big company, and I try to use them when I can....Great prices, great service).

So I'm thinking I can root out an ultralight somewhere and try it out. As far as the Eureka, I'll have to check it out, too. Thanks!

7:52 a.m. on January 3, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. sc
HELP ME....

Am I falling into the ultralight abyss? I REFUSE to trade in my Coleman Extreme for a Coke can!

6:12 p.m. on January 3, 2004 (EST)
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747 forum posts
Re: HELP ME....

Quote:

Am I falling into the ultralight abyss? I REFUSE to trade in my Coleman Extreme for a Coke can!

I would say so yes... Ultralight 3 season is not reasonable for 4 season. BE PREPARED... Its better to have too much and pare down later than to start too light for the sake of UL. besids if you have a heavy pack, 4 pound sleeping bag and an extreme stove and think you can get in under 25 pounds - what are you leaving out? Food or clothes?
Jim S

7:44 p.m. on January 3, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. sc
Re: HELP ME....

HI Jim,

The 25 lb is just a swag - I took your advice of a couple of months ago, made a listing of those things I didn't use prodigiously on my last trip - came up with some interesting items - you'd be (probably) amused at the superfluous things I had - I was. It's very easy to find a bunch of weight - if you just look for it. Anyway, 25 lbs notwithstanding, I think I can easily shave 10 lb this time - even with expected conditions.

Important discovery: my kayak is bigger than my backpack, making it much easier to hide non-value-added crap for expeditions.

Important discovery #2: large (6000+) backpacks require MORE discipline to pack, NOT less. When I packed my old Kelty external, I always seemed to (just barely) have enough space with pack and frame. The newer pack is 50% larger total - and guess what.....same thing.

So mostly, I'm just taking the pulse of my stuff and acting on it.

btw, rei had a Kelty cloud on clearance recently, looked good, light, strong. Wondered how long those things stay white......

br

p.s. ..... is food really necessary?

6:40 a.m. on January 4, 2004 (EST)
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1,240 forum posts
You know, one always could......

strenghthen their body thru resistance training.

Nah - who wants to be able to carry everything they want & need and have it feel like it doesn't weigh that much.

9:10 a.m. on January 4, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. sc
True. But Wait ....

True. But wait... Let's see....off subject.... unfounded inference......
...... you're really Bill O'Reilly, right?

9:28 a.m. on January 4, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. sc
Re: You know, one always could......

By the way, have you used the Gossamer alot? I've been reading owner reviews, mostly stellar, a few naysayers....what's been your experience?

Reason I asked, it seems to be one of the lightest shelters out there that offer good protection....

br

12:28 p.m. on January 4, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

I bought a Marmot "Never Summer" 0F down bag on sale earlier this year after repeated frustration with synthetic bags losing their loft after a few seasons. It's 600 fill, but since it weighs 3lbs 12oz I didn't see the need to spend big bucks for higher fill power.

I find the temp ratings of both REI and Sierra Designs bags to be optimistic, so I was pleased to find that the Never Summer kept me warm to near its rating. So far the coldest was 3F while sleeping on snow. (I sleep in a tent, in polypro long underwear and wool socks.) It costs around $250, but I paid $173 online. It was also at REI's Labor Day sale for a few dollars less, so you may find one on sale too.

8:30 p.m. on January 4, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. sc

Thanks.

That sounds like a pretty great deal. I just found what I think will work (see previous post) - 600 fill etc, etc....

Thanks again to all.

5:55 a.m. on January 5, 2004 (EST)
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Gossamer

I have used the Gossamer a lot. I like it except for having to lay down to put clothes on and off inside the tent.

November 27, 2014
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