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#129455 - 02/24/10 04:08 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: Glenn]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6368
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Another Western Mountaineering Ultralite fan here. It does have a full-length zipper, so I can ventilate or use it as a quilt on warm nights. Most nights in the Rockies or the high Cascades aren't that warm, at least not by 2 am!

I learned as a child to take the sleeping bag with me when I turn over. I therefore could not use the Big Agnes setup--I'd end up with the sleeping pad on top!

If your budget won't run to a high-end sleeping bag, there's always the Campmor 20* down bag, which is more like a 30* bag, I'm told, but is easy on the budget and not too heavy. Start saving up for a Western Mountaineering or similar bag (top-of-the-line Marmot or Montbell, Feathered Friends), though; they're well worth it! (Watch for full-length zipper models!) Watch also for sales and percent-off coupons. REI does not carry WM bags. WM bags are rarely on sale but some firms retail them for less than others. Keep checking the TLB sponsors listed in the left column of this forum page. These are all reliable firms.

For any sleeping bag, be sure to check your girth measurements (over your insulating clothing and your arms) against the girth specs for the sleeping bag. If the bag is too tight, you'll get that straight-jacket feeling, you'll compress the insulation and will be less warm. If it's too big around, you'll have a lot of extra dead air space to warm up, which takes a lot of extra body heat on cold nights.


Edited by OregonMouse (02/24/10 04:12 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#129462 - 02/24/10 06:29 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: OregonMouse]
Tangohkr Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 57
Loc: Arizona
Quote:
Another Western Mountaineering Ultralite fan here.



Me too. I own a WM Ultralight and a Marmot Lithium. I love both but use the WM way more. I even use the WM as a comforter in the winter here in N. AZ.
_________________________
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Helen Keller

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#129464 - 02/24/10 07:17 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Hey, Mouse, from one WM fan to another: I've always wondered if the "excess space to heat up" is a bit overstated. My down bags always tend to fold down and around me, so there really isn't any extra air space - or so it feels. Any thoughts on this strictly personal, strictly unscientific feeling?

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#129471 - 02/24/10 09:13 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: Glenn]
taM Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville, TN
Originally Posted By Glenn
Hey, Mouse, from one WM fan to another: I've always wondered if the "excess space to heat up" is a bit overstated. My down bags always tend to fold down and around me, so there really isn't any extra air space - or so it feels. Any thoughts on this strictly personal, strictly unscientific feeling?


I've spent enough uncomfortable nights in bags that didn't fit me to be fully convinced that a too-large bag can mean a very un-fun trip, not to mention the feeling of knowing I'm carrying around more bag than I need.
_________________________
Light, Cheap, Durable...
pick two

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#129472 - 02/24/10 09:17 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: rionada]
Roocketman Offline
member

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 203
Originally Posted By rionada
I'm going to have to agree with Keith. I've owned several high quality synthetic bags and none lasted more than a year (I did use them alot - roughly every other weekend and more). They were from reputable manufacturers (Sierra Designs and North Face - from when NF was good) and I was able to return them when they lost their loft. I eventually talked them into a swap for down bags. That was 15 years ago and I still own those down bags and they still function wonderfully. I have since switched to a WM Ultralight to save weight.

If you don't use them too much and you store them properly - I'm sure that you'll get your moneys worth out of the synthetic bag, but over the long haul I think down wins the race.

rionada


I too agree with the loss of loft and warmth of synthetic bags, well, the ones I have owned.

The last one was great for the first year I had it. It was a 40F bag for bicycle camping. I stored it in the large storage sack I had. Cost about $60.

The second year, it was cold, and the loft had decreased.

I wasn't able to get any refund or adjustment from the manufacturer, but the dealer took it in as a "return" and I got back some of my money.

The down summer bag I got from SteepAndCheap was just $100 or so and I still use it more than 5 years later.

$60 for 1 year. minus the "refund" SYNTHETIC
$100 for 5 years and still going strong DOWN

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#129473 - 02/24/10 09:27 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: taM]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I've never had a problem of getting cold in a bag (unless it was a 40-degree bag on a 10-degree night - not the bag's fault, right?) I suppose I've just been lucky to never have had a bag that didn't fit. So, it just made me curious and I thought I'd ask.

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#129530 - 02/25/10 11:11 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: Glenn]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6368
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Before I got my WM Ultralite, I had a Marmot Hydrogen. Unfortunately that bag did not come in "short" so I had a lot of unneeded space at the foot, which meant I often had cold feet even with my dog available as a footwarmer. However, the Hydrogen wasn't warm enough anyway when the temp got below freezing, even with all my insulating clothing on.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#129542 - 02/26/10 01:10 AM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: AKLoganTX]
longhair29 Offline
member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 1328
Loc: Floridad
I have two high quality down sleeping bags for sale one of which is a brand new Arroyo never used at all.

Arroyo +30, size long, Marmot

Pinnacle +15, size long, Marmot

I'm asking $150.00 for each.


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#129549 - 02/26/10 07:37 AM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I tried both the Hydrogen and Helium, and found the limit on both to be 5 or 10 degrees higher than the advertised rating. I didn't have any problem with excess length, though. I found the half-zips to be particularly annoying.

After I got my first WM bag (a Mitylite, for summer), I quickly decided to get a Megalite, and I've never been tempted by any other bag since. (Well, there was a one-night-stand with an MSR Ventra, but my Mitylite knows all about it and has forgiven me; there will be no future transgressions.)

My wife, who rarely camps, liked the Mitylite well enough that she made me get her one for when the power goes out in the winter. Since then, she's started using it when all the kids and grandkids come home at Thanksgiving, and we end up sleeping on the sleeper-sofa - she doesn't have to make it up with sheets and blankets. Now, that's an endorsement for WM!

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#129593 - 02/26/10 05:54 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: Glenn]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6368
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I'd agree with that 5*F estimate, Glenn!

In other words, the Marmot Helium would be a 20* bag, but be sure to get the model with the full-length zipper so you can ventilate it in warm weather.

The Western Mountaineering Ultralight (if not too narrow for you) will go down lower than its 20* rating; it's a very conservatively rated bag. If I start getting cold, I just snug up the draft collar a little tighter, and I'm cozy warm! And, as mentioned, I'm a really cold sleeper. Their Alpinlite is a wider version of the same bag.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#129746 - 03/01/10 01:55 AM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: AKLoganTX]
billk Offline
member

Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 1196
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Another vote for Western Mountaineering. I have both the Ultralight (with the draft collar) and the Summerlite, neither of which I could really afford when I bought them.

Another advantage to the WM bags, besides their quality, is the fact that they stand behind their products. The first time I used the Ultralight, I managed to snag a seam on the stick that was supporting my Ray-Way style tarp tent, and by the time I realized it was snagged, I had broken the thread. My own stupid carelessness, which I admitted to WM when I sent it back for repair. They quoted me a very nominal fee to repair it, but then they fixed it for free, saying, "Well, maybe the seam was loose." Pretty good customer service.

I think the Ultralight would be fine for me at 20 degrees, although I haven't used it in weather that cold. I used the Summerlight (rated 32 deg) at 24 degrees last September, and can tell you that this is a very bad idea. It's also a bad idea to place too much confidence in weather forecasts.

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#132235 - 04/17/10 07:44 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: billk]
forsciguy Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/10
Posts: 17
Hi,
It seems like everyone really likes the WM ultralight, but I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the Mont-bell UL Spiral Down Hugger #1? It is listed at $329 (though I have seen it for $300) and it is pretty similar to the WM ultralight which is listed at $385. The Ultralight is 1#13oz compared to the Montbell which is 2#s, but the Montbell is rated to 15 degrees to the 20 of the ultralight. I think I would be fine saving $85 at the cost of 3oz more, as long as it is a good bag (which from what I have found it seems to be). Has anyone used this bag or other montbell bags?

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#132237 - 04/17/10 08:22 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: forsciguy]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By forsciguy
Hi,
It seems like everyone really likes the WM ultralight, but I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the Mont-bell UL Spiral Down Hugger #1? It is listed at $329 (though I have seen it for $300) and it is pretty similar to the WM ultralight which is listed at $385. The Ultralight is 1#13oz compared to the Montbell which is 2#s, but the Montbell is rated to 15 degrees to the 20 of the ultralight. I think I would be fine saving $85 at the cost of 3oz more, as long as it is a good bag (which from what I have found it seems to be). Has anyone used this bag or other montbell bags?


You can't go wrong with Montbell bags.

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#132239 - 04/17/10 11:04 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: ChrisFol]
forsciguy Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/10
Posts: 17
Thanks! I was hoping to hear that! From what I have been reading a bag is not something that you want to skimp on (which is why I went from originally looking at an $80 Marmont Synthetic from Dick's to the 20 degree $120 Campmor to the higher end down bags from WM and Montbell. Pricey, but I hope worth it). That $85 will now go into my Double Rainbow (although I am still in my research phase, this looks like a really good 2 person).

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#132241 - 04/17/10 11:21 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: forsciguy]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By forsciguy
Thanks! I was hoping to hear that! From what I have been reading a bag is not something that you want to skimp on (which is why I went from originally looking at an $80 Marmont Synthetic from Dick's to the 20 degree $120 Campmor to the higher end down bags from WM and Montbell. Pricey, but I hope worth it). That $85 will now go into my Double Rainbow (although I am still in my research phase, this looks like a really good 2 person).


Don't get me wrong, you can get by without spending a fortune on a high-quality down bag; people have doing it for years. My father-in-law still goes out with an old 6lb REI synthetic bag, my brother-in-law has an REI Sub-Kilo and both of them have zero problems. However, I always say that if you can afford such a quality down bag, and camping/backpacking is something that is a permanent thing, then they are well worth the cost. FWIW, I have two (3-season and winter) Feathered Friend sleeping bags and if something happenend to them both, I wouldn't hesitate to spend the same kind of money again to replace them.

As for a light two-person set-up, have you thought about tarps? A 13oz, 8x10 tarp from Campmor only costs $70 and will easily fit two people+2 lots of gear.

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#132244 - 04/17/10 11:52 PM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: ChrisFol]
forsciguy Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/10
Posts: 17
I have thought about the cost vs weight and figured it would be much more enjoyable to spend a little more money for quality things that will last and provide the best experience while I am out there. I hiked to havasu pai about 2 years ago (right before it was flooded and closed) and it was a bad hike because I had heavy crappy gear. I think I would enjoy things much more if I could enjoy my surroundings instead of constantly thinking about how uncomfortable I was. I also kinda like the idea of seeing how much weight I can trim off. The last time I camped I was cold and uncomfortable (in OR). I just moved to VA and left behind my bag and pad and since I am going camping next week I figured it was time to get some new (much better) gear. For the last week or so I have spent about 5 hours a day checking the forums and camping gear...i love researching stuff! And like Cutlery Knives, Speakers, mattresses, and a few other things it is worth putting in the money to get the best you think you will need since they will last a very long time.

As for the tent, as Mark Verber said "I could easily live without my "walls", but the walls give me psychological comfort that makes the trip more enjoyable." There is just something about being in a tent that I like. Granted I am new to this game and may find I will become more comfortable with a tarp in the future. For now though I am all about a tent. (that is another reason I figure spending money on light things will be good...since I know I will want a few more extra things that will add some weight.)


Edited by forsciguy (04/18/10 12:25 AM)

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#132256 - 04/18/10 09:24 AM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: forsciguy]
grit Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 207
Loc: Happy Jack, AZ
I recently spent the night out in this Montbell bag and it was toasty. Temps, however, were only in the mid-30's, so I'm unsure of it's performance at the 15 degree rating. I was also inside my Cloudburst Tarptent on top of a 3/4 length Thermarest. By the way, I lucked out and got my bag, the long size, for $170 at a storewide 50% off store closure sale.

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#132259 - 04/18/10 10:10 AM Re: Lightest 20 degree sleeping bag??? [Re: forsciguy]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Couldn't have said it better myself.

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