Old synthetic sleeping bag worth saving??

1:51 a.m. on April 26, 2012 (EDT)
119 reviewer rep
456 forum posts

Hi all,

I need a decent 20 to 30 degree long sleeping bag, and I just happen to have one, only it's been a stuff sack way to long and the last time I used it I froze my rear off. 

So is there a way to "restore" this bag or am I just wasting my time trying and should go get a new bag.  I prefer synthetic bags because of the rain and general wet conditions here in the PNW, but I have been looking at Down bags too, their SO LIGHT, compared to the synthetic bags.  And I am really looking to lower my base weight. 

I looked through the old forms and only found one thread on this.  It did not have a lot of information in it.  Do the tennis balls work with synthetic bags also?  Any thoughts and or suggestions would be great!

Wolfman

2:49 a.m. on April 26, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR
38 reviewer rep
1,757 forum posts

I have an old TNF Cat's Meow that was in the stuff sack for years back when I didn't know not to do that. It is pretty worthless now except for a summer bag. Tennis balls work with down because they break up the clumps of down. Synthetics, depending on the product, are often made with sheets or batts of insulation and won't recover their loft once compressed.

The newer synthetics are warmer for their weight than the old bags, so I'd look for one of those or a down bag. Used down bags are plentiful online- eBay or Craigslist. Some people don't like the idea of buying a used bag, but I picked up a used Marmot in perfect condition for less than half price off of Craigslist last year. A trip to the cleaner for peace of mind, more than anything else and it's good to go.

8:36 a.m. on April 26, 2012 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Wolfman, check out geartrade.com:

http://www.geartrade.com/

The "Hiking and Camping" section is gonna get me in loads of trouble.

Here is a listing of their synthetic bags:

http://www.geartrade.com/browse/synthetic-sleeping-bags#b


8:43 a.m. on April 26, 2012 (EDT)
329 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

Theres an article about bags here somewhere. Anyway ... I don't think you can save that bag, except maybe for summer use. I have a Kelty Cosmic D 20. Its a nice bag for the bucks. Remember that Bivi I keep saying to keep with you? Roll the bag and the bivi together. It becomes a sleeping system. If you think that your bag might get wet slide it into the bivi. Remember to air out the bag afterwards!

9:44 a.m. on April 26, 2012 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
410 reviewer rep
1,055 forum posts

I've always wanted to take an old synthetic bag and attempt to turn it into an ultralight summer quilt by cutting the bottom off, stitching on velcro and velcroing it to a closed-cell foam pad.  If you like to tinker, this is an interesting idea.

1:03 p.m. on April 26, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
167 forum posts

if you don't toss and turn in your sleep you might consider using your old synthetic bag as an outer  bag over a light down bag.

i used to have a down bag rated to 10 f. most of the summer it never even got zipped up. after 26 years the nylon started to break down on my old bag. i bought a new lighweight 25 f down bag. it is so much lighter and compact than my old down bag. for all of the times when it is dry enough not to worrry about it getting wet, it is the perfect bag for me.

when it gets cold i stick it inside an older polarguard bag. i have tested this down to 0 f and i am quite toasty. best to test it out sleeping outside at home. that way if it isn't warm enough no big loss.

if you decide to go this route i recomend getting a down bag that doesn't have a baffle to keep the down for going from top to bottom. when i stick my down bag inside the synthetic i shake all of the down to the topside of the bag. down is pretty much usless underneath as it compresses so well and it is the dead air space that keeps you warm. your synthetic bag will have to be big enough to allow the down to loft up to get the best results.

when i used to winter camp with my old down bag it would get damp from touching the tent. since using a double bag my down bag stays way dryier and the moisture doesn't seem to bother the synthetic bag that much.

camp 7 used to sell "the system" that was made with a lightweight down bag and a real lightweight polarguard overbag and also had a vapor barrier that went inside the down. 

when i used to winter camp with my old down bag it almost always got damp from touching the tent wall or floor. this never happens with the doulbe bag. i even had a seam leak on my tent one night. next morning i woke up with a damp spot on the synthetic but down was totally dry.

ymmv best of luck  

4:43 p.m. on April 26, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,237 forum posts

Old synthetic sleeping bag worth saving??  No. Use it a dog blanket, a car/truck emergency blanket, a backyard kids camping bag, etc.........

As your trying to save weight there are literally ton's and ton's of light weight bags on the market.  If your trying to save weight and money just look at the literally thousands of bags that are for sale used on both Craigslist and EBay. You will save even more money if your willing to by a synthetic bag over a down bag as synthetic bags do not hold near the value that down bags hold. If you don't get the newest and bestes bag out there, and get one that's just a few years old you can get it for super, super cheap.  More so if your not determined to have a FF, WM, Marmot, Valandre'.  We here in America just love dumping perfectly great top of the line gear from last year, every year, so as to find the greatest gear of this year.  For great deals look to Craigslist in the western part of the country on Craigslist starting at Denver and moving West.

6:39 p.m. on April 26, 2012 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

if more than 5 years old get a new one

6:39 p.m. on April 26, 2012 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

donate the old one

1:55 a.m. on April 27, 2012 (EDT)
119 reviewer rep
456 forum posts

OK so the bags done fore.  I kinda thought so, but wanted to make sure.  I guess I need a new medium temp bag. 

Ape, I looked in the Seattle Craigslist, but did not find anything that I liked.  I will keep looking but am sorta under the gun here.  May 8th is coming up damn fast! 

Thanks for the ideas and help everyone.

Wolfman

2:20 p.m. on April 28, 2012 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

REI 20% sale starts May 18th

2:30 p.m. on April 28, 2012 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Callahan said:

if more than 5 years old get a new one

No real reason to put a 5yr limitation on a synthetic bags life. There are so many deciding factors such as:

  • frequency of use
  • type of synthetic insulation(some do retain their loft longer than others like continuous filaments)
  • how the bag was stored(stuff sacks are a no-no for long term)
  • if the bag was cleaned properly
10:18 p.m. on April 28, 2012 (EDT)
119 reviewer rep
456 forum posts

I have decided to hold off on a new bag for now.  I did try a few at the REI though.  I was not convinced about the Big-Agnes bags and the no insulation on the bottom.  I move a round a lot and I figured the thin part would end up on the up side sooner or latter.  But when you put your air mat in the sleeve it really keep the bag from moving with you.   Something I am going to look into on the next bag I get. 

I dug through all our existing bags and found that the one I got for my daughter actually fits me, so I am going to try it out this week outside and see how well it dose. 

Thanks for all the help.

Wolfman

11:28 a.m. on April 30, 2012 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Callahan said:

if more than 5 years old get a new one

No real reason to put a 5yr limitation on a synthetic bags life. There are so many deciding factors such as:

  • frequency of use
  • type of synthetic insulation(some do retain their loft longer than others like continuous filaments)
  • how the bag was stored(stuff sacks are a no-no for long term)
  • if the bag was cleaned properly

I like the number 5.

Oh and technology has changed so much on the last 5 years

September 17, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Seasonal tent storage... Newer: Compass maintainance!
All forums: Older: does anybody need seasonal basecamp in NE? Newer: Phone net it calle challenged poet