Gerry down bag ?

10:04 a.m. on May 14, 2009 (EDT)
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I've got a chance to buy a Gerry down bag from a guy but he does not know the temp rating. He says that it is circa 1978 and has been been closeted for the last 25yrs but that the loft is still great. He said that the down fill weight is 36oz but that is all he knows. Anyone have an idea what the temp rating might be? He lives about 1.5hrs away so I want to make sure it's worth the drive to go and get it.

Gary C.

10:18 p.m. on May 14, 2009 (EDT)
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No one has an opinion about Gerry bags?

10:46 p.m. on May 14, 2009 (EDT)
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I can't have an opinion about a brand I don't know... however, 36 oz fill weight is on the heavy side. The Campmor 0 degree bag has 550 fill power down and has 30 oz of fill - it weighs in at a total of 3 lbs 12 oz. (Remember there's a lot of material involved, and the material on the older bag could be heavier.) If he's asking twenty bucks it might be worth it... the campmor 0 degree bag is about $180 and by most reviews I've read, it's a good budget bag.

If the bag has lower quality down... could very well be a very heavy 30 degree bag.

Just for comparison's sake... I have a quilt made with 800 fp down that weighs 20 oz. It's rated to about 25F. Since I've been comfy to freezing, I believe that rating to be accurate. The higher quality, the lighter the down.

3:41 a.m. on May 15, 2009 (EDT)
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Gerry is a brand that disappeared long ago. Only some of the veterans like Bill S will even remember the name.

I guess my question is why are you interested in a 30 year old down bag when there are so many good ones on the market today? Then again, my bag is over 20 years old, now that I think about it.

As an example, a modern Western Mountaineering down bag with 37 oz of 850 fill power down is rated at -25F.

8:48 a.m. on May 15, 2009 (EDT)
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The "Gerry" brand was the marque of the immortal Gerry Cunningham of CO, who was among the real pioneers of lightweight recreational backpacking. The products made when HE owed the company were GREAT and "cutting edge" at that time, some are still superior to much of what is now available.

HOWEVER, Gerry sold the company and commencing in the early '70s, the "Gerry" brand rapidly went "downhill" in quality. I bought a jacket in 1973 and a "softpack" in 1975 and used them hard and they were pretty sad; at this point, the original Marmot Mountain and Feathered Friends began shipping their fabulous gear to guys like me and that ended my problem as I just gave the "Gerry" stuff away.

A 1978 vintage "Gerry" bag or whatever, I would buy it ONLY if it were absolutely NEW condition and no more than $75.00. There ARE some excellent bags available used that are from 35 years ago, a "Snow Lion", "Marmot Mountain Works", "Feathered Friends" and "Sierra Designs" are all topnotch down bags and I WOULD buy any of these, used, in a heartbeat, if they are in NEW or nearly new condition.

11:37 a.m. on May 15, 2009 (EDT)
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With all the usual disclaimers about temperature ratings and not knowing the condition of the bag, 36 ounces of down should keep most people warm to 0F. At the right price, the bag may serve you well assuming it's in decent shape. Double check the zipper, especially if it zips open from the bottom as well - that's the part I've had the most problems with. Also look over the stitching on the baffles to see that none has pulled out.

Gerry was a top notch brand in it's day. By 1978 the brand was not as good as some others, but a Gerry bag was far from junk. The price comparison to the Campmor bag is a good starting point. The Gerry bag will be perhaps slightly better quality.

All my bags are as old as the above and they all work perfectly. The only significant advantage to a newer bag is less weight.

More information on Gerry.

http://www.oregonphotos.com/Gerry1.html

2:57 p.m. on May 15, 2009 (EDT)
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Last thing I had from the company was a thing called a Gerry Tube. Remember those? I tube like a toothpaste tube, but clear with a clip at the bottom and a cap on the top. I put, peanutbutter and jelly, butter, cooking oil etc in them. Have not heard the name Gerry in about 30 years.

3:50 p.m. on May 15, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks' for the input guys, as usual I could have worded my question better but I think you have given me what I needed. I have a light wieght down bag and wouldn't use a cold weather bag very often so I don't want to spend the big bucks for a new one. I found out I'm going to be down his way in a couple weeks anyhow so I told him I'll wait till then and if he still has it I'll go look at it. I had never heard of the company and wanted to make sure it was a decent make. He only wants $35 and for my occasional use it sounds like I can't go wrong. I knew that for $35 if I drove all the way down there just to look at the bag I would have ended up buying it whether it was what I wanted or not.

Gary C.

5:11 p.m. on May 15, 2009 (EDT)
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If the bag is in decent shape, $35 is a great price.

9:13 p.m. on May 15, 2009 (EDT)
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NO question, for that price, if it is clean and in good condition, then, it is a very good buy.

July 29, 2014
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