Sleeping bag: nice synthetic or cheap down?

1:20 a.m. on November 30, 2008 (EST)
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Hey guys, I'm looking at getting a new sleeping bag (and maybe a new pad too, not sure). Anyway, my price range is in the 150 range, maybe 160 or 170 if it provides a major leap up. I'm looking for a bag that I can use year round- ie somewhat comfortable unzipped in the summer and usable with a liner/lots of clothes in the winter (down to 0 or so). So I'm thinking 20 range, but I'm really not sure because my only experience with bags so far has been a cheap Slumberjack synthetic mummy (the Ultimate), which says 20 but definitely isn't actually usable at 20 without layers.

So after a little research, it seems like my price point is right where the nice synthetics sit and where the cheapest 600-fill downs begin, if they're on sale.

So what am I better off with? 15/20 degree bag or a cheaper 30 with a liner? Cheap down or snazzy synthetic? Or just get a cheaper synthetic and use the savings toward a really nice pad? I'll be using this mostly for weekend camping and backpacking in the Midwest, with the occasional extended backpacking or canoeing trip thrown in.

Thanks in advance for your replies.

1:40 a.m. on November 30, 2008 (EST)
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Also, specific model suggestions would be great.

3:56 p.m. on November 30, 2008 (EST)
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Golite makes a bag called the Feather which weighs 9 oz and packs into a soccer ball size stuff sack. Go the www.golite.com Oh, and its down. Rated to 20 degrees. Used mine for three years.

5:19 p.m. on November 30, 2008 (EST)
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Too pricey at $300... Thanks for the recco though

5:29 p.m. on November 30, 2008 (EST)
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MPgear.com,in seattle,has a sierra designs 30degree 800 fill 1lb 7oz bad for around $160.00.Have used this bag down into the upper twentys in a good tent,no mesh walls,and slept very warm.Like most ultra light bags it is "snug" fitting so if you are tall or large it may not work for you.Iam 5'10" and 170lbs and it fits ok.

6:05 p.m. on December 3, 2008 (EST)
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If you look around, you can probably find a great, used 800-fill down bag on E-bay, or on the clasifieds here for around $120, that'll weigh 2lb or so, and go to +20F. Just find one with a lot of pictures, that shows everything, and go for it. Marmot Helium's can be had for $170.

3:42 a.m. on December 15, 2008 (EST)
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Mountain Hardware UltraLamina 15 Can Be had for about 160 at Zappos. Just bought one there last week......already owned an UltraLamina 32. Great Bag, although the 15 may be a bit warm in summer being it only has a half zipper

6:13 p.m. on December 17, 2008 (EST)
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I have trouble keeping warm at night. My suggestion is plan to spend more money and get a bag rated 10 to 20 degress colder than you think you will need. I use a down bag rated at -20 when sleeping in the mountains in the summer. It seems just about right for me. Be careful of cheap bags claiming low temp ratings. You will get what you pay for. And a good sleeping pad will add 5 degrees to the bag rating.

Good luck

September 2, 2014
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