About | Blog | Forums | People | Free Newsletter
Trailspace is a product review site for outdoor enthusiasts. Use it to find and share great gear.

Sleeping bag for kayak trip

5:12 p.m. on May 5, 2009 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
21 forum posts

I'm planning some kayaking trips this year. I have never done any kayaking so I don't know what I need that's different from my backpacking gear. The first concern that came to mind was my sleeping bag. I have a 15*down bag that I usually keep nice and dry, but I'm a little worried about that in a kayak. What do people usually do?

Should I spring for a synthetic? Or do i just get a dry bag?

The trips I have scheduled will be in Pennsylvania and I don't plan on significant whitewater being be involved. I actually don't know what the expected temps are for that area yet. I have three trips planned, one in each season this year, but not winter.

Any other tips for my kayak escapades?

Thanks!

8:23 p.m. on May 5, 2009 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,249 reviewer rep
5,186 forum posts

Minimum is the drybag (you need a couple for your clothes and other gear anyway). My experience on river trips, whether kayak, raft, or canoe, is that stuff gets wet. So synthetic is extremely desirable. Primaloft is pretty much the equal of 600-700 fill down in terms of warmth for weight and compressability, plus it absorbs very little water (you can squeeze most of it out if the bag gets soaked) and dries fast, plus retains a lot of its insulating capability even when damp. If you are careful, you will quickly gain a bit of experience at keeping stuff more or less dry. But the dry bags are vital in any case.

Except, if you do not have a waterproof shell for your camera, you should have a Pelican case to keep the camera gear in most of the time. There are water resistant cameras that are inexpensive (as cameras go these days), and there are fairly inexpensive water resistant bags and cases that allow taking photos (by water resistant, I mean they will take a dunking or dousing, but are inadequate for scuba. Or you can go the whole route and get a professional-level waterproof housing for just about any camera (mucho dollars!) or a fully waterproof camera (Nikonos, for example). I have an old Nikon ActionTouch waterproof film camera (basically a P&S) that works well down to 10-15 meters, so works very well for whitewater. I also have one of the GoPros that is very simple P&S in a watertight housing (uses SDHC cards and AAA batteries) and goes on a head or helmet mount.

10:35 a.m. on May 6, 2009 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
21 forum posts

OK, great info Bill!

REI has a sale on the 20* cats meow for $115 right now. Seems like it would fit my needs. Any opinions on that one?

As far as camera cases go, I have one for my Cannon 20d but I don't think I'll bring that along because if I drop it in a river I will cry. Maybe my brother will bring his XTi. Then I don't have to worry. lol

12:45 p.m. on May 6, 2009 (EDT)
26 reviewer rep
119 forum posts
3:44 p.m. on May 6, 2009 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
21 forum posts

Thanks for the link Trav. I did take a look at that one. Does it have a full or 3/4 zipper? The site says both.

4:25 p.m. on May 6, 2009 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
21 forum posts

I looked at some reviews for the meow and it seems like most agree it's crap. But I don't really want to spend much for just a couple trips.

Maybe I'll just use a dry bag for my down and hope for the best.

6:38 p.m. on May 6, 2009 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,249 reviewer rep
5,186 forum posts

I would suggest you look at the Integral Designs website. Their gear is very high quality (made in Canada, and generally you buy direct from their shop). I have the Renaissance and have given it a thorough workout as a 3-season bag (plus a couple of snow camping trips) for 6 or 7 years now (though they are using a newer version of Primaloft that is much improved over the version I have). The Renaissance is a 20F bag (and I have used it in cooler weather just tossed out on a pad and ground sheet). They also have a 40F and a 30F bag, plus a liner that is a 50F bag on its own, in their synthetic "light and fast" line. I think for your river trip the Renaissance is the better choice. ID is far and away better quality than TNF for both synthetic and down bags (their down bags are equal to Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends, neither of which make synthetic bags).

As for the TNF Cats Meow, a friend who has one thinks it is great, but others I have talked to think it has problems. TNF has been making this bag for many years and it may be that the bad reviews stem from the period of time when TNF was having quality control and production problems. Their gear I have been seeing in the past couple of years is much better, though, as I said, ID's gear is much better.

8:19 p.m. on May 6, 2009 (EDT)
2 reviewer rep
21 forum posts

Integral Designs makes cool stuff!! I like that rain jacket too.

I must go cut up my credit card now before my wife kills me.

9:33 p.m. on May 7, 2009 (EDT)
26 reviewer rep
119 forum posts

Odyssey,

It's a 3/4 zip.

April 19, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Integral Designs Sil Wing Newer: Survey footwear suggestions please
All forums: Older: West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon today Newer: Spices & Condiments / What do you bring & how do you do it?