new kind of bag-Lippi Selk Bag

12:50 a.m. on May 13, 2008 (EDT)
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Was looking in the back of my Outside magazine and saw an ad for this sleeping system. It looks gimmicky, but it also looks extremely comfortable. After all, getting out of your warm cocoon in the middle of the night to answer the call is about the most terrible thing in camping IMO. Anyways, just wondering what people thought of it.

http://www.lippiselkbag.co.uk/?gclid=CNOujqTVopMCFQECGgodvX2Eng

or http://lippiusa.com

2:03 a.m. on May 13, 2008 (EDT)
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The reason we stay so warm in a sleepin bag is because most of our heat producing surfaces are inside one large air pocket. With your arms and legs surrounded by the cold air it's absolutely no different than wearing a snowmobile suit as a sleeping bag. As you sleep your body cools and puts out less heat, probably not enough to keep your arms and legs from getting cold, then cooling off the rest of you. No matter what the company says, It's physically impossible to have as warm a sleep in a suit where half of your heat sources are cut off from the rest of you. Unlike in a sleeping bag where all the heat produced is available to you. To put it simply. Would you WANT to sleep in your snowsuit? My 2 cents.

12:01 p.m. on May 13, 2008 (EDT)
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TJCeeJay is exactly right when he points out that your surface to volume in the Lippiselk is far higher than in a "conventional" mummy bag. You will be far colder in it than in a standard mummy bag of the same weight. I suspect that it doesn't compress as well, either, judging by how my high altitude expedition parkas stuff (those arms and hood are always popping out of the stuff sack like a whackamole - stuff one in and the other pops out, like wrestling a live creature).

As for getting out of the bag in the middle of the night, expedition and high altitude climbers learned long ago techniques for relief in the middle of the night. Basically, you take a dedicated pee bottle into the bag with you. Important features include distinctive shape so you can identify it in the dark and a dependable, completely sealable cap (good use for that old BPA water bottle!). With practice, you can roll on your side or do it on your back. Practice in a bathtub at home first until you get the technique down, including opening and closing the bottle without spilling. Women have more of a challenge, though there are several commercially available anatomically shaped funnels.

3:40 a.m. on May 14, 2008 (EDT)
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Of course a traditional bag will keep you warmer, but the point of this product is not to replace the traditional design. I think you have to try this product before you knock it, just what have you tried that comes close to this design? The company gives conservative temperature ratings anyways. I think it's pretty cool, kind of goofy though. I'd lounge in it in my house during the winter and turn my heater off, ha.

9:10 a.m. on May 14, 2008 (EDT)
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Of course the goal is to replace a traditional sleeping bag: the manufacturer describes its product as "the best option for those frequent campers who would like a good extreme temperature sleeping bag with an equal comfortability factor." Or are you expected to carry both the Lippi Selk bag as well as a traditional design?

1:29 p.m. on May 14, 2008 (EDT)
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I have bivouacked in my down parka and pants several times, which is basically the same thing, as have a number of friends. During storms at altitude, we sometimes sleep in the down gear just in case the tent fails or something else necessitates a rapid exit during the night. It really is not very comfortable compared to being in a regular sleeping bag.

There are also a number of "bunny suits" designed for lounging around the ski lodge (and for little kids in those of our families that spend lots of time out winter camping). Not exactly a new idea. The bunny suits are kind of nice for lounging around, but tend to be a bit uncomfortable for actual sleeping.

2:25 p.m. on May 14, 2008 (EDT)
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I agree with what everybody said. It is the same as wearing a glove vs a mitt. Mitts are warmer because each finger is warming each other up as compared to a glove.

1:58 a.m. on May 15, 2008 (EDT)
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There is more than one way to skin a cat Rexim, and I really do not think the designers of this "sleeping system" are naive enough to believe it could replace the venerable sleeping bag.
As for what Bill said, I do not believe sleeping in down pants and jacket could not accurately reproduce the feeling of using this product. Pants and jackets must fit tight enough, yet loose enough to provide adequate movement for physical activity. The Selk bag has built in padding and much more room than any clothing would afford you. It is meant to be slept in. I personally find most sleeping bags to be poorly designed. My sleeping style has NEVER fit any sleeping bag well. I like to sleep on my side and bring one leg up to relieve some pressure on my lower back, mummies do not allow this. Shouldn't good design mean that the product conforms to the user and not the other way around?

As for the mitt vs. glove, the temperature estimates given by Lippi would not suggest use in extreme weather, so I do not understand how this could be held against them. Of course a mummy bag would better serve you in Denali.

1:01 p.m. on May 15, 2008 (EDT)
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Tell ya what, MTB, you put out the several hundred bucks for one (preferably the #3), try it out in some cold weather, and write a review. Oh, and tell us about how you handle Customs, since it is a UK company.

For comparison, try an expedition down parka and pants, or better, a full down suit, and report on how they compare.

I have had two styles of down pants, one with an outside zip (the most used one, from Feathered Friends) and one with an inseam zip that could be zipped as a foot bag. The only difference I see with the Selk and the down suit or down parka/pants setup is that the feet are permanently attached, just like the kids bunny suit or adult lounging bunny suit. I would have to disagree that none of these variations from long ago would not give the feel of the Selk (aside from the fact that every sleeping bag feels different and every sleeping location feels different).

But you spring for the bucks to do a comparison and write it up in the Gear Reviews section and let us know how it works in actual use in actual camping and backpacking. Ads and websites always sound great. Actual practice is almost always different and almost always much less "fantastic" than the ads.

3:41 p.m. on May 15, 2008 (EDT)
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If there is one innovative thing this company came up with is the running clock!
http://www.lippiselkbag.co.uk/store/d54-Other-Exciting-Products

5:59 p.m. on May 15, 2008 (EDT)
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Fyi, Clocky was invented in 2005 by Gauri Nanda, a grad student at MIT's Media Lab. You can buy them at Target for $50, plus they are for sale at Amazon and a lot of other websites. I remember seeing it on TV when it first came out.

I still think their sleeping suit is an idea with limited appeal. If it was such a great idea, Western Mountaineering would be making one.

8:47 p.m. on May 15, 2008 (EDT)
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$60 for the clock (plus duties and shipping from UK)! You can get the flying alarm clock for less than that!

8:55 p.m. on May 15, 2008 (EDT)
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Bill S. -"But you spring for the bucks to do a comparison and write it up in the Gear Reviews section and let us know how it works in actual use in actual camping and backpacking. Ads and websites always sound great. Actual practice is almost always different and almost always much less "fantastic" than the ads."

Thanks for the advertising lesson, I guess that Mass Comm. major of mine is just not paying off. I'll buy one and make a PowerPoint presentation on its performance for you Bill.

2:14 a.m. on May 16, 2008 (EDT)
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In case you don't realize it, not that he needs defending, but Bill isn't exactly a newcomer at this game. He's probably seen more gadgets and bad ideas than all of us put together.

Camping gear isn't rocket science, but it is basic physics. If you want to sleep in a glorified snowmobile suit, well, someone makes one for you.

BTW, the warmest thing I think I ever put on was a NASA space suit-the real deal. It was on loan for the HBO series,From the Earth to the Moon. It was amazing how quickly I heated up in that thing once I closed the visor, but I sure wouldn't want to try sleeping in it.

6:19 a.m. on May 17, 2008 (EDT)
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If space is sooo cold why not make the space flight suit a mummy bag with arms, now answer that.

HAHAHAHA, and you say "camping gear isn't rocket science", yet you give an example that revolves around rocket science, haha.

[Edited by Dave: no personal attacks, please]

12:42 p.m. on May 17, 2008 (EDT)
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Hmmm, since you haven't been paying attention, I will remind you that in fact I am (or was until I retired), quite literally, a rocket scientist (well, ok, I still consult, so I am still a rocket scientist). In one sense, Tom is quite right - camping gear is basic physics. But, Tom, I gotta disagree with you a bit - since rocket science is, in fact, basic physics (plus a bit of basic chemistry), camping gear can be considered rocket science.

MTB, Tom got so hot in the space suit because he forgot one thing - ya gotta turn on the air conditioner that is built into the suit. In space, you basically are balancing the heat input of unfiltered sunlight on one side of you with the emptiness of space on the other (no convection and no conduction to speak of, but direct radiation of a 10,000F body on one side and radiating into 2.7 Kelvin on the other, which is about -450F). The "air conditioner" in the suit balances things out, plus the suit provides insulation, just like a a mummy bag, though much more efficient.

Oh, yeah, why legs on a space suit. That's actually kind of obvious, but basically maneuverability. You do sacrifice some insulation capability, but there is so much direct radiation from that 10,000F big ball of hot, glowing gas (aka the Sun) that your major problem is getting rid of heat when you are in direct sunlight and keeping it in when in shade. The thermal balance is a fun problem to work out. In that case, the thermal inefficiencies of having the legs and arms pretty minor, where in a sleeping bag, they are the major problem.

2:08 p.m. on May 17, 2008 (EDT)
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Bill, ya got me on that one-hehehe. The suit I tried on was one of the ones used for astronaut training. I think it was one of the ones used in the big water tanks. A visual effects company I knew at the time was using it for something, so we all tried the suit on. For the show, they had all the components, but we just had the suit itself for some impromtu pictures, so about five minutes in it in LA weather was plenty.

My point about the down suit,regardless of whether we are talking rocket science or not, is that it just isn't that practical for the application. Another thing no one has mentioned yet is that I don't see how it could compress to anything the size of a down bag, with all the extra fill and material. That alone makes it less appealing to the average backpacker. I have a big down parka, for example and that thing stuffs down to about the same size as my sleeping bag.

7:37 a.m. on July 4, 2008 (EDT)
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Just wondering why instead of adding constructive feedback to help consumers make a decision, some people have to be sarcastic about others' feedback. Thanks, but no thanks. It doesn't help me make the decision that I am trying to make right now between this bag and a more mummy style one.

11:30 a.m. on July 4, 2008 (EDT)
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evre1ok, read the first 3 or 4 responses to the original question to get feedback from experienced backpackers as to serious drawbacks with the design of this suit as a sleeping bag versus the mummy-style bag. Even a rectangular bag has great advantages in the same way over the Lippi-Selk, while a mummy bag has advantages over the rectangular bag. The major problem as several people noted is the same problem of keeping your hands warm in gloves versus mittens - the much greater surface area through which to lose heat. For a given volume and loft, a mummy bag has the least surface area through which to lose heat, rectangular next, and the Lippi-Selk by far the most. The only advantage is the mobility. Contrary to the OP's comments, a full expedition suit or a combination of parka and filled pants with the same loft is, for practical purposes the same as the Lippi-Selk. They work for bivuoacs, but are at a distinct disadvantage for normal sleeping bag use.

12:14 p.m. on July 4, 2008 (EDT)
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I have slept out in the open before(under a parafly), Myself and a couple buddies wore blizzard suits. We felt it would give us better mobility to tend the fire, ect.
About 2:00 AM I was really wishing I had also brought my mummy bag along as a back up. We made the assumption that the blizzard suit would keep us warm, and we thought we could stay close to the fire, but you can not get too close to a fire wearing synthetics. Although the radiant heat was a help, the wind chill really made things rough!
That was a few years ago, and I have learned a lot since then. In my opinion the Lippi Selk bag would be a good option for sleep walkers!
I think the best combination is a good bag(mummy style is a better performer), and wearing thermals, socks, and ski cap while sleeping. If you have to venture out during the night, you are already dressed for it, just slip on your mocs, or boots and there you go.
You loose much less precious body heat this way, and you also have mobility when needed. I found this worked the best for me, I really got tired of getting out in the cold to use the bathroom, wearing shorts, and then shivering for the first five minutes back in my bag.
There's no need to be miserable, and I'm convinced many people don't go on second camping trips because they were needlessly miserable on the first one.

8:48 p.m. on July 5, 2008 (EDT)
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Evre1ok-I realize you are brand new here, while some of us have been around for a while. Some of the back and forth is just entertainment-we can't be serious all the time, but much of the info here is from people (and I don't necessarily include myself) who have, as they say, "been there, done that." A bit of sarcasm is the price of admission and a bargain at that for what you can learn here. Don't let that put you off.

9:55 p.m. on July 5, 2008 (EDT)
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Frankly, that rig strikes me as a problem looking for a place to happen. I certainly am NOT a ...rocket scientist... or a major in ...Mass Comm..., whatever that may be; however, I have spent my entire life in COLD country and much of it is the most remote true wilderness left on the planet, outside Anarctica.

I also tend to draw up one leg while sleeping, due to very severe injuries as a lad and I find that my Integral Designs Himalayan custom OF winter bag and my Valandre Shocking Blue cool weather bag BOTH allow this with ease and I have a 48"chest, 19"neck and shoulders to match, so, it should work for most people.

I detest gimmicky gear as I spend most of my time solo and cannot afford a failure....and I HAVE experienced all too many of them. Bill KNOWS whereof he speaks and listening to his sage advice is a very good idea....plus, he IS a ...rocket scientist... !

6:13 p.m. on July 8, 2008 (EDT)
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The Exped Wallcreeper (http://www.outdoorresearch.com/site/wallcreeper.html) and the Feathered Friends Rock Wren (http://www.featheredfriends.com/ProductDetails.aspx?productId=82&CatId=1&ProductName=Rock%20Wren) are a better design IMO. They allow you to wear the bag around camp & when answering nature calls and enclose your body in one big pocket when in use as a sleeping bag.

7:08 p.m. on July 8, 2008 (EDT)
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I have an Exped Wallcreeper in Pl. as my emerg. bag for dayhiking here on the BC coast. The Rock Wren is too snug for my taste, although I have a down-GT overbag for it, bought as an u/l sheep hunting bag in 1989.

For any REAL cold, NO bag od these designs is warm enough, but, the Wallcreeper does work as advertised and I think that Nunatak makes something like this as well. For SOME uses, these bags are OK, but, for regular sleeping in cold weather, they are pretty marginal and a good mummy bag is FAR more useful.

1:30 a.m. on July 10, 2008 (EDT)
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This bag would be ideal for the narcaleptic backpackers, maybe they will come out with a nice pillow attachment. I dunno about letting sleep walkers use this though, the harder it is for them to get out of their bag the better off we all may be, dont want to track down my partner when I wake up every morning...Ill stick to my bag

3:08 p.m. on September 30, 2008 (EDT)
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wow

3:09 p.m. on September 30, 2008 (EDT)
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should we take ourselves more serious?

1:26 p.m. on October 3, 2008 (EDT)
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I was considering one for use with my Hennessy hammock tent...I live in BC on Vancouver island. I have been using my hammock tent for two seasons now and it is the most comfortable camping bed I have used. Problem is getting in and out of it without screwing up your sleeping bags positioning on your body. Once your in the bag and in the hammock tent its very good but its hard to adjust yourself in the sleeping bag in the tent...I thing the Selk bag would work very well for the hammock tent arrangement. I think a standard sleeping bag would be better for regular tenting...

Wondering though if anybody has considered a very light shell bag to put over the selk bag in extreme conditions...Might sound like it would defeat the purpose but you could make the shell bag an 'in the pocket' add on to the selk bag....Like the rain shell that is attached in a hidden pocket on my backpack....

If your not sure what I mean by hammock tent check them out at http://hennessyhammock.com/

I don't work for them and this isn't an add...I just love the tent...Think the Selk bag may be a good combo for it...I will let you know how well the combo works after I test it...

2:55 p.m. on October 3, 2008 (EDT)
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Don't get these guys started again on why the Lippi sleeping system is "stupid". I for one am impressed by it, but the others are only against it.

3:34 p.m. on October 3, 2008 (EDT)
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I had a brief chat with the Lippi folks at the most recent Outdoor Retailer: http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2008/08/09/lippi-selkbag.html

4:30 p.m. on October 3, 2008 (EDT)
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Hi lunchbox,
I have spent many nights in a Hennessey.
Used it for my hike from Clingmans Dome SoBound to the Southern terminus of the AT, and used it to do the Benton Mackeye Trail. They are comfortable, they can also be a PITA to get situated in.
The Lipi Selk bag might work for you.
I don't like the concept myself, but I can understand why you would be interested and you might find it works for you.
You will not be as warm as in a mummy bag, which is why some are against it, but you can always supplement your sleeping system with an under quilt, if you are not already using one.

The important thing is to find a system that works for you and offers adequate protection from the elements.
I say go for it if you are so inclined, let us know how it works.

5:12 p.m. on October 3, 2008 (EDT)
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Anyone ever tried the Mountain Hardwear, 'Absolute Zero' Series Snow Suits? Same kind of concept, without footies though haha. i tried one on in a store, felt like i could definitely sleep in it :)

12:33 a.m. on October 7, 2008 (EDT)
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Hey Trouthunter...
I have just been looking at the under cover/overcover and under pad for the hennesy hammock..Says that its rated to minus 25 with a proper bag...I think I will pick up a Selk bag and also get a Slumberjack 4 layer modular miltary system..I can wear the Selk bag and if I get cold I can just keep putting on more bags....I figure I will be good to about minus 150 and I can still get up and go pee without getting right out....

12:49 a.m. on October 7, 2008 (EDT)
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"Anyone ever tried the Mountain Hardwear, 'Absolute Zero' Series Snow Suits? Same kind of concept, without footies though haha. i tried one on in a store, felt like i could definitely sleep in it :)"

No, but I do have a TNF Baltoro parka (the newer version is called the Himalayan). I'd rather be in a bag; it's just much more comfortable than trying to sleep in a jacket. I can toss my jacket over my bag if I get cold.

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