Sleeping Bag

8:41 a.m. on January 29, 2018 (EST)
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Hello everyone,

My son is a tiger scout and I'm his den leader. I have no experience with scouts and we plan on being in it for the long haul.  I wanted to know what you would recommend for a sleeping bag.  We are trying to stay around $50 range and max of $100.  We are in metro Atlanta and it was recommended that we should look at a 30-degree bag.  I would like to get a decent bags for the both of us that we can use throughout the next 10 or so years.  I also assume we will be doing some backpacking over the years, with the scouts.  

Thanks,

Ben

9:04 a.m. on January 29, 2018 (EST)
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https://www.rei.com/product/845512/rei-co-op-kindercone-30-sleeping-bag-kids

The above bag might work for you,, at least in the short run.  Your son will out grow whatever you purchase now.  As he reaches his adult dimensions and interests, it would be time to spend serious money on a really good bag, if he should be so inclined.   REI isn't the only supplier of good bags, but they are a handy reference point.  Check their other offerings, as well.

The word on sleeping bags - light, warm, cheap - pick any two characteristics.  A good down bag is a very important item and a significant investment that, chosen wisely, will repay itself many times over in future outings.

11:03 a.m. on January 29, 2018 (EST)
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Hey Ben, also in the ATL...

Where and when will you and your son be camping? North Georgia mountains in the summer a 30F bag might be too warm. Travel elsewhere, and/or camp in spring and fall, then 30F is probably the most versatile option.

Down insulation is more expensive, lighter, and more compressible (packs smaller) than synthetic, but synthetic is better for damp/wet conditions. When my daughter was younger and I was sending her off to summer camp in N Ga mountains I got her synthetic because I knew she would not have the opportunity or discipline to dry it out properly and would ruin down. Just keep in mind that a synthetic bag could take up half or more of your son's backpack, so if you do go with synthetic you may want to make sure his pack is a little larger volume.

12:34 p.m. on January 29, 2018 (EST)
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Ben,

My family has been involved with Boy Scouts virtually since the beginning (my father was the founding Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 1, Universal Pennsylvania, at the very beginning of BSA in 1910. So we have accumulated a lot of "Do's" and "Don'ts". And we have accumulated a number of Eagle Scouts in the family.

So some basic rules - The above recommendations are mixed good and not-so-good recommendations for your new Tiger. First of all, Tigers do very little camping. That doesn't really get started until they get close to the transition to Boy Scouts. Your local Council will have training sessions for you, as an adult leader. Your wife should play an important role as well as you, either or both as an Assistant DenLeader and/or Den/Troop Committee, ultimately Assistant Scoutmaster. One of the early training sessions you should go through is "Youth Protection". This one is very important. There will also be training for camping, hiking, and so on.

As for the sleeping bag, as noted above, your young son will be rapidly growing, so you will go through a number of sizes of uniforms and sleeping bags. Remember that boys will be boys. So your first few sleeping bags should be inexpensive, preferably the wool and synthetic shells. The general rule for sleeping bags is that they should NOT be down bags. The reason is that down loses insulation capability quickly when it gets wet - SURPRISE! Boys will get a sleeping bag soaking until they get into their teens (and sometimes maybe even then). They will physically outgrow their first few bags faster than you can blink. Same thing with clothing and footwear. Sounds costly, doesn't it? But if you pay attention to the training and information provided by your Council, you should do just fine.

When I was a youngster in Scouts, we just laid out a ground cloth and blanket for the first few years.

2:28 p.m. on January 29, 2018 (EST)
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Eureka Cricket and Grasshopper

11:29 a.m. on January 30, 2018 (EST)
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We should only be camping in north ga and local sites and only during Spring, Summer and Fall.   

I was thinking about these for my son

Slumber Jack Big Scout

Big Agnes Little Red

Slumberjack Go-N-Grow

And these for myself. 

Marmot Sorcerer

ALPS Mountaineering 20°F Echo Lake

Kelty Tuck ThermaPro

Any other ideas?

11:41 a.m. on January 30, 2018 (EST)
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Ben,

I don't know if there are Costcos in your area. But yesterday when we went to our neighborhood Costco, I noticed they were selling a bag for about $40. The spec on it was about 30 degrees. The major problem I noted, without opening one up is that it is rather heavy for someone of Tiger size (or anywhere in the Cub size range). But, since virtually all camping for someone in the Tenderfoot and smaller size range and carrying capacity, (Cubs are in the car-camping range, not backpacking range), it would be inexpensive and would last a while.

To repeat, though, have a talk with your experienced Cub leaders for your area to see what they consider adequate for your Tiger-level and up size and activities.

9:30 p.m. on January 30, 2018 (EST)
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9:49 a.m. on January 31, 2018 (EST)
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If you will truly be doing some backpacking over the next 10 years, and you and your son both enjoy camping, then I would budget slightly more to able to get a decent quality down bag. There are tons of GREAT options in the 150$ price range.

Sub $100 you can get some decent down bags that have a temp rating of around 45F such as the one Rob linked above.

Synthetic bags will always be cheaper, but as already mentioned they take up a ton of room in comparison to down. Know what else costs more? A bigger backpack costs more. If you havn't bought your packs yet, that is another thing to consider. You can easily save that $50 each from the price of the backpack and put it towards the sleeping bag. Most times, the average person, beginner or not can make do with a pack around 50-60L for a typical 3 day trip, even if the pack is a bit too big for their amount of gear. Use a synthetic bag and your talking needing a bag in the 60-80 range most of the time, unless you carry it on the outside of your pack which I wouldn't really recommend for a sleeping bag.

You can get a kids bag to save some money in the short term, but he will eventually outgrow it but it should serve you well for several years at least. If you find a good deal on a regular size bag I would probably go with that though.

I think all around you would have a more enjoyable experience with a down bag, BUT, and it is a big but, synthetic bags work just fine, they are just large and heavy. A smaller, and lighter pack if backpacking will lend itself to a more enjoyable experience IMO.

Here are some awesome options at a slightly higher price point of 150-165 or so, if you shop around some you can find good deals and coupons to bring it down a little cheaper also. I think the Kelty and the REI bag and the best bang for the buck. If you shop around and are patient you could probably get the Kelty bag for around 125-130 or so if I had to guess.

All of these use water resistant down aka dridown.

Kelty Cosmic 20

REI Helio 30

TNF Furnace 20 or 35

Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 600

 

11:45 a.m. on February 7, 2018 (EST)
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Ben,

I have 2 kids bags that my kids have outgrown. They are both in great condition, and either will serve your boy until he outgrows it. 

I'm in Illinois, near St. Louis, but I can ship. 

Kelty Little Dipper (40F)--$20 + shipping


10557686_874324599331740_161336859760119
12471741_874324549331745_816886948375208

Kelty Little Creek (30F)--$25 + shipping



920763_874324662665067_77593616205757928

12469516_874324615998405_794267730605461

Message me if you are interested. 

7:57 p.m. on February 7, 2018 (EST)
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Listen to Bill S.

Also,

Thrift store/Craigslist/garage sales.

7:11 a.m. on February 8, 2018 (EST)
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Thanks, everyone, 

I just purchased the Slumber Jack Big Scout on sale for $30 for my son.  Still not sure what to get for me.  

12:43 p.m. on February 10, 2018 (EST)
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costco down quilt. 

7:41 a.m. on February 15, 2018 (EST)
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I have one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/AEGISMAX-Urltra-Light-Sleeping-Three-Season-200cm86cm/dp/B01LYL7FRJ/ref=pd_day0_468_6?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01LYL7FRJ&pd_rd_r=FN6R9QG7TED67ZNCE1Y6&pd_rd_w=E01rn&pd_rd_wg=PyWlV&refRID=FN6R9QG7TED67ZNCE1Y6

and have had it down to 20 degrees with a silk weight and mid weight base layer and was fine other than cold feet.

I also have several Costco down throws I have made top and under quilts with and will be using one this weekend in NW Florida. I sleep cold and the Costco quilts don't work for me below about 60 but at about a pound a piece and 20 bucks each you could double them up without breaking the bank or your backs.

I really like the AegisMax bag, it has a good feel to it and since I use it as a quilt it is plenty roomy.

after buying 5 high end quilts and still needing more to outfit the grandkids I went to Amazon in search of financial relief. I would suggest watching Darwins lightweight gear on a budget to get some ideas https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC18exdGWh7piVWisrnDXiZg

I have bought 4 of the BRS stoves, had 2 failures on one trip. I have bought many pads and as of yet to find a better of more comfortable pad than a thermarest, even my original backpacker self inflating is more comfortable than any of the other inflatable pads I have bought but you do pay for the quality.

there has been some really good deals on backpacking light and some of the other forums in the last few weeks so you may want to take a look at those along with massdrop and geartrade.

 

good luck.

 

creek

February 24, 2018
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