Ledge Sports sleeping bags

6:53 p.m. on March 8, 2007 (EST)
(Guest)

I've recently gone on a few backpacking trips and am looking for a small, lightweight, good quality backpacking sleeping bag (o - 30 degree on a student's budget. Anything's probably better than my 0 degree fullsize mummy weighing roughly 6 lbs. I've found several for around $100 with well-known brand names and have read many positive reviews about them, but while searching for a bag I came across the brand Ledge Sports.
I found a 20 degree bag ("Featherlite") in a store for $60 and have found them much cheaper online. I have only been able to find a small amount of info about the brand and found a thread on Trailspace.com from about a year ago about this brand. I'm just wondering if there's any new info.
I am also open to any other suggestions that might help a new backpacker. I'm also looking for a good quality, light weight sleeping pad.

9:16 p.m. on March 13, 2007 (EDT)
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For a pad, if you are on a budget, a Ridgerest, Z-Rest or similar closed cell foam pad will do fine. The inflatable ones, like the Therm A-Rest, cost a lot more.

As for bags, there is a big difference between a 0 bag and a 30 bag. On a budget, look for a synthetic bag-down will be lighter, but more money. For deals, look at some of the online dealers like REI, EMS, Backcountrygear.com and Campmor. If you know what you want, eBay can be a good source, but you see a lot of off-brand stuff there as well, which I would stay away from. Spending a few extra bucks on a name brand bag will be worth the money.

My guess is the Ledge Sport bags are low end bags made in China. Probably okay for occasional use, but better bags are out there.

12:55 p.m. on March 14, 2007 (EDT)
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On sleeping pads - kind of depends on how comfortable you are on soft/firm/hard as a concrete slab. Tom noted that inflatables cost a whole lot more than closed cell foam, to which I will add that they weigh more as well (couple pounds for a full-length Thermarest vs half pound for full-length closed cell foam pad). If you are comfortable sleeping on a very firm surface (less than hard concrete, but harder than a waterbed), then closed cell foam is an excellent choice. But no need to get the brand names (Thermarest makes Ridgerest and Z-rest). You can get the generic blue foam sleeping pads at mass market stores (one of the very few camping-related items I recommend visiting mass market stores to buy) - WalMart, KMart, Target, Big 5, SportMart (oops, they changed names to their parent company Sports Authority), local sporting goods shop (not the specialty backpacking stores, but the ones that sell fishing and hunting gear). These have gone up in price in the past couple years, but are still under $10, compared to the name brands which are $50 or more. They come in several thicknesses - 1/2 inch to 1 inch. There are even waffled varieties that basically imitate the Ridgerest.

One thing about the closed cell pads is that when you advance to snow camping and need more insulation, you can double up the pads and not much increase in weight or cost and get lots of insulation from the cold snow and ice. I use a combination of a 3/4 length inflatable with a blue foam pad in places like Antarctica, Denali, and winter backcountry travel in the Sierra and Tetons. The inflatable is added instead of a second blue foam because it is more compact, even though much heavier.

If you insist on a soft pad, you will probably have to go with an inflatable. Do NOT get an air mattress. They may be soft when only partially inflated, but the air circulates in them and convects your body heat away from you - not as bad as sleeping on a cot where your back is essentially exposed to the air, but still much colder than a foam pad. Get a name brand inflatable that has foam, down, or Primaloft inside to restrict the air flow. Thermarest (part of Cascade Designs) is the best-known and has been around the longest of the filled inflatables (my oldest is about 30 years old). Other major manufacturers have started making very similar inflatables in the past 3 or 4 years. Disadvantages are cost, weight, and they can get punctured, necessitating a repair in the field (which is usually difficult, since slow leaks are really hard to find the 3rd day out on a week-long backpack).

July 28, 2014
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