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Waterproof Sleeping Bags

10:29 p.m. on May 28, 2006 (EDT)
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A lot of the bags out there have a just a water resistant shell but I was wondering what the advantages or disadvantages to having a bag like the shield series from Big Agnes or DriZone from Sierra. I would like to have a do it all bag, light, warm and if possible waterproof. Any recommendations?

7:49 p.m. on May 29, 2006 (EDT)
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The bag has to breathe to get rid of the moisture you sweat off (excuusse me, lose through normal perspiration) during the night, somewhere between 1/2 liter and a liter. This will condense on the inside of the waterproof layer, even a somewhat breathable layer like Goretex or the Goretex clones. I've personally had that happen with Driloft, a fairly breathable waterproof version of Goretex. You will get lots of condensation on a humid night, whether warm or cold.

Your better alternative is to get a waterproof/breathable bivy sack, if you are going to go without a tent. Clearly, you don't need waterproof if you are in a tent or under a full-coverage tarp. If you insist on a waterproof shell, at least use a vapor-barrier liner to keep the condensation out of the insulation of your bag. Even with a fairly breathable shell (Pertex or plain nylon, for example) you will get some condensation on cool nights.

April 16, 2014
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