0 Degree Down Sleepingbag Suggestions

11:23 a.m. on January 20, 2013 (EST)
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I'm looking for a great 0-15 degree down sleeping bag.  I currently have a zero degree Wiggy's synthetic bag which is very warm but it is super bulky.  I like the idea of a water resistent "wrapper" so to speak for obvious reasons.  I have looked at some of the Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends offerings but I am curious if folks think there is a brand premium for those names that is not justified in quality.  I'm not afraid to spend the money for a great bag but I'd rather not pay more for a fancy label just because.

Thanks!

11:30 a.m. on January 20, 2013 (EST)
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I am a hammock camper, so i decided to get a 0F Winter Burrow top quilt  w/3 oz of overfill from www.hammockgear.com .

I love my quilt in my hammock. So, i decided to give it a try sleeping on the ground with the quilt. And I am sold all around. I much prefer the quilt design to using a sleeping bag. I was just as warm, had no drafts, and was able to move much easier. I never really cared for the confines of a sleeping bag anyway.

This quilt in particular has snaps that make it close up the footbox area, and a snap to keep it around your shoulders/head area. Or you can unsnap it and use it like a blanket. Unless you roll off your sleeping pad in the night often, i would recommend checking out quilts. They are cheaper than a similar rated sleeping bag, are lighter weight, and more versatile.

I have taken my quilt down to -7F with no additonal insulation, granted i do have a little overfill, but i feel as though their rating are very accurate. There are other cottage gear makers that sell quilts as well.

 

8:29 p.m. on January 20, 2013 (EST)
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Interesting.  I will take a look for sure.  Thanks!

10:49 p.m. on January 20, 2013 (EST)
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Western Mountaineering and Feathered friends make  a excellent product if you can afford what they have to offer. They are top quality but so are brands like mountain hardwear, rab marmot, montbell. The difference is how they are made, most of the prior brands are made in chine. Feathered friends and western mountaineering are made in the USA partially by hand. They are the up most in quality and design. My father has a feathered friends bag from his big mountaineering days, It is the pinnacle of quality for it's time. Those two manufacturers also are semi custom manufacturers. So in my opinion you are paying for the quality not just the name. However my current bag is a Mountain hardwear Phantom 15 and it is of very high quality also unless you are a sleeping bag connoisseur  you coundn't tell the difference in any but the most extreme conditions. 

10:06 a.m. on January 21, 2013 (EST)
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Those two companies are topnotch.  Part of the cost of good sleeping bags is the quality and loft of the down, but the other big thing is the internal construction and baffles to hold the down in place without cold spots.  I like companies like Marmot for sleeping bags.  They are mass produced, but of high quality.  Maybe you can add a bivy for weatherproofing your new bag.

12:04 p.m. on January 21, 2013 (EST)
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I'd add Katabatic to the list. I use a Katabatic Gear Blackwelder for my winter camping. :)

6:51 p.m. on January 21, 2013 (EST)
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If you are looking at FF & WM ya may want to give Valandre a close look as well.

8:56 p.m. on January 21, 2013 (EST)
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Sleeping bags follow one rule - warm, cheap, light - pick two.

From what I know, WM and FF are the Rolls Royce of bags; Valandre bags are also high end, but hard to find. Marmot is not far behind. I have an old Macpac I would stack up against them, but you're unlikely to find one in the US. Same for the old Fairydown (not the new made in China stuff, btw). I also have an older Marmot, as yet unused this winter, but the quality seems quite good. It retailed new for more than $400, so it should be.

When it comes to bags, I think they are less susceptible to "brand inflation" than perhaps Patagonia. No one is wearing a WM or FF jacket, for example, to show off the name; at least no one I know. I doubt most people have ever heard of it, as opposed to TNF with its store in BH (Beverly Hills).

9:45 p.m. on January 21, 2013 (EST)
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Great information.  Many thanks for all the posts.  I will check out Katabatic as that brand is new to me.

1:36 a.m. on January 22, 2013 (EST)
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I would look at some of the small cottage gear guys. They cater to the hammock guys , but most of them will do custom work for not much extra charge. They use the newest fabrics and offer wide ranges of down choices. There is so much competition now, they have some of the best one on one customer service. Im a member of hammockforums and they constsntly discuss these new brands. Imagine a cuben 850fill bag that is made to your dimensions, ill bet cheaper than the big three brands mentioned above. Just my opinion.

5:55 a.m. on January 22, 2013 (EST)
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+1 hotdogman, I see we think alike!

7:13 a.m. on January 22, 2013 (EST)
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Doing a quick search for some of the cottage guys I came across:  Nunatak, Downworks and Zpacks.  Am I missing some other folks? 

One other question, I've seen a lot of sales on Stoic gear.  Anyone have any experience with that stuff?  Given how much it's generally marked down I'm afraid it's junk but that might just be a personal bias.

Thanks for all your help everyone!

10:13 a.m. on January 22, 2013 (EST)
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Some others are Hammock Gear www.hammockgear.com , Warbonnet www.warbonnetoutdoors.com, and Jacks R Better i think their website is www.jacksrbetter.com

I have several stoic merino wool baselayers which I like, and a stoic vaporshell which I LOVE! The only con to stoic gear IMO is it tends to be more athletic cut/ form fitting. I do not prefer tighter fitting items so I get around this by just ordering one size up from what I normally would. Stoic is backcountry.com's house brand, and they have an awesome return policy so if you buy something and don't like it you can return it no questions asked.

1:13 p.m. on January 24, 2013 (EST)
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Has any one mentioned nunatak(wont let me post a link). yet?  they make a great quilt.  I have an arc ghost with added down and other customizations.  It weighs about a pound.  on cold nights I sleep with my down sweater.  and I also use a hammock(in summer).  but i like both brands you mentioned also.  I have a colder FF bag also(ptarmigan) and love it for winter.  In my opinion you can go wrong with feathered friends.  I just wish they still used E-vent fabric.  My old bag was tits till it got stolen.  I got another,  but they don use event any more and dont offer it as an option.

7:20 p.m. on January 28, 2013 (EST)
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I concur with the recommendations for Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends.  Both are great companies who manufacture in the USA with the best materials.  Katabatic Gear is also generating lots of buzz and awards for their quilt-style bags.

6:52 a.m. on January 29, 2013 (EST)
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Do Western Mountaineering or Feathered Friends bags ever go on sale?

1:36 p.m. on January 29, 2013 (EST)
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TheRambler said:

Some others are Hammock Gear , Warbonnet, and Jacks R Better i think their website is

I have several stoic merino wool baselayers which I like, and a stoic vaporshell which I LOVE! The only con to stoic gear IMO is it tends to be more athletic cut/ form fitting. I do not prefer tighter fitting items so I get around this by just ordering one size up from what I normally would. Stoic is backcountry.com's house brand, and they have an awesome return policy so if you buy something and don't like it you can return it no questions asked.

 

I have a hammock that I love to use in the summer in the sierras but I have never really used it in winter and had a couple questions. 

1. Have you ever had a hard time finding a spot to hang it?  (with deep snow creeping up to the folliage.) 

2. Also I was curious if you're ever scared that a couple hundred pounds of snow might fall out of a tree your attached to and land on your set up?

LOL side note: I seem to be the only one on this site that cant link to web sites so I had to change your quote sorry.

 

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