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#134517 - 06/01/10 05:54 PM need advise on a new bag. H2O proof?
David W Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/01/10
Posts: 6
Loc: USA, Campbell, CA(for now)
Hi, firt time user here. Im looking for some help choosing a new bag. Want a waterproof shell for wet conditions (south east Alaska) Looking at the Mountian Hardwear Spectre SL 20 w the conduit sl shell and the Marmot Helium Membrain 15 w thr prop Membrain. My concern is breathability, MHW lists thr conduit sl as having 30,000 MVTR, can't find any specs on Marmot's Membrain. Any input wld b great. Thanks, David

P.S. I will be in a tent.Want the waterproof for condensation and as emergency backup.


Edited by David W (06/02/10 12:25 AM)

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#134525 - 06/01/10 09:30 PM Re: I need advise on a new sleeping bag [Re: David W]
ohiohiker Offline
member

Registered: 07/20/07
Posts: 127
Loc: Ohio
Anything waterproof is going to have significantly reduced breathability. This will likely wet your insulation more than a normal sleeping bag shell when used in a tent. Just get a normal, breathable, non-waterproof shell with DWR (durable water repellent). It will be cheaper, lighter, and warmer. You can also buy DWR spray or wash-in.

Get a tent where the condensation is manageable through ventilation and not being easy to brush up against the walls or drip on you in a hard rain.

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#134532 - 06/01/10 11:10 PM Re: I need advise on a new sleeping bag [Re: David W]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

David,
As you are new to the forum, you may not be aware of the search feature that you can use to look for old threads on all kinds of topics.

There have been several threads in the last few weeks about sleeping bags. Try using the word bag or sleeping or both and set the time frame to 6 months and search only in the title.

There's a lot of good information already here.
_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

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#134539 - 06/02/10 12:28 AM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: David W]
David W Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/01/10
Posts: 6
Loc: USA, Campbell, CA(for now)
thank you ohio

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#134553 - 06/02/10 01:45 AM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: David W]
David W Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/01/10
Posts: 6
Loc: USA, Campbell, CA(for now)
Update-

I guess that is the question, waterproof or not? I've never owned a waterproof bag. i think of myself as somewhat gear wise but having some input on the pro's and con's is definitly helpfull. Im lucky right now that i can get both Marmot and Mtn Hardwear stuff pretty cheap, thus my choices. But i am by no means well off and it's still a big investment. + if i make a bad choice my wife will kill me.

A nice guy at REI told me to come here after i cldn't get any answers from anybody, and that i cld get some really good info from good people.

The Marmot Pinnicle looks good too. ? Opinions on wich manufacturer makes a "better" bag? Realizing that's subjective. Ami going the right way with down or is synthetic a better choice eventho it's heavy....r. So many choices, and options, so so little money =)

I will definity do the search thing and look at any info i can find there, thank you.



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#134554 - 06/02/10 01:57 AM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: David W]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
As mentioned, anything waterproof is not going to be all that breathable. The two properities generally do not coninside with one another and the latter tends to be rather subjective.

Personally, I would opt for a regular down sleeping bag which goes down to your desired temp rating-- the majority of bags these days come with DWR-- which is all you need to protect against condensation.


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#134556 - 06/02/10 02:02 AM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: David W]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
David,

What are your expected low temps when using this bag? Where, other than Alaska do you plan to use it?

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#134559 - 06/02/10 03:53 AM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: ChrisFol]
David W Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/01/10
Posts: 6
Loc: USA, Campbell, CA(for now)
15-20's probably the lowest, im 6-1 n use a tall bag so im always either touching the tent walls with my head or feet.

For now im gonna be in the seirra's with this bag, (already have a warm weather bag)
Yosemite, Sequoia, Tahoe area's. Sort of higher altitudes, 4000ft-ish n up. So it gets coldish.
I have been caught in a few storms that dropped down to 5-7deg with sideways snow. (Volgelsang peak, Yos--Desolation Wild Tahoe) but that wasn't planned and we survived. I do some snowshoe trips in winter, not alot but a few.
I have a silk liner and some mts lj's + down booties i use when it gets cold.

Been looking at past forum post's and there's alot of WM n FF's fans here. See that the FF's use E-vent. Wish i cld afford one of those.
Im alittle paranoid about things getting wet,past bad experience, wife says im scarred for life.

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#134565 - 06/02/10 10:09 AM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: David W]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Waterproof down bags are typically used in hostile cold climates, where it's subzero weather - they are heavy and typically used with a vapor barrier inside. You do not want vapor barriers in above-freezing temps unless you have nothing else with you - this is why mylar sheets are called "emergency blankets." They will keep you warmER than you would have been, but they will make you sweaty. Not using a vapor barrier in a waterproof sleeping bag will gradually wet out the insulation.

In the Sierra (where I go all the time as well) you need breathable. I have a synthetic quilt with a really good DWR shell that if I use above freezing needs to be dried really well when I get home; the perspiration of the person using it gets on the INSIDE of the shell (it's also somewhat translucent, I can see droplets). Needless to say, the quilt only goes when I know it will be cold.

The ways to combat condensation really have to do with site selection and the shelter you use. Double wall tents are going to have the condensation on the underside of the fly - that's the way they work. Having a well ventilated tent will also help a lot - that's the way tarptents (single wall, lightweight, very good in the Sierra) work. Setting up in a marsh, meadow, grassy area, creek bottom, or similar is going to result in a lot of condensation, whereas getting up on duff (dead pine needles usually) out of canyon bottoms, will decrease the condensation.

We camped in Lyell fork (Yosemite) off Tioga Road on the first night of a JMT outing. My tarp was wet top and bottom the following morning, suspended six feet in the air between two trees, and while I did not get anything in the hammock (including the hammock) dripping wet, I put the quilt out on the rocks in the sunshine which is something you can do most of the time - our Sierra Nevada is quite mild, relatively speaking. Especially in summer. Other than that one time, I have had zero condensation in my hammock setup, generally because I am putting it between young trees - away from water, sometimes over rocks, bear clover, etc. where the tents can't go.

It's actually difficult to wet out a down bag. Droplets on the DWR shell aren't going to do it. Brush 'em off.

If you are truly, honestly concerned - get a Montbell sleeping bag cover. Weighs 6 oz or so, breathable, adds a layer of protection. About $120 most places I've seen it. I know someone who uses it with a tarp and has been happy with it.
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#134580 - 06/02/10 03:20 PM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: David W]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
David, you'll here a lot expert advice here fer sure, but you have to realise that the members of this group come from everywhere and their specific experience depends largely on where they had those experiences. All but one of my bags have goretex or Drylight shells. I simply have not experienced the dreaded "bag condensation" problems noted by others. I definitely think its worth the cost and weight water proof breathable sleeping bag shells. I think you are more apt to get the bag wet from soaking up moisture in your tent than from persperation. It can be pretty warm in South Alaska in August, and damp. You might consider a synthetic bag instead. I made the mistake of going to Alaska with too warm of down bag and sweated in it. (that was over 35 years ago and my equipment has changed a lot.)
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#134583 - 06/02/10 04:33 PM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: Jimshaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Or instead of trying to make your sleeping bag have a waterproof shell, you could consider instead finding a regular sleeping bag and then aquiring a moisture proof micro-bivy sack.
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#134586 - 06/02/10 05:24 PM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: phat]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Feathered Friends will make you a bag with an eVENT shell, which is more breathable than other waterproof fabrics.

_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#134588 - 06/02/10 05:39 PM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: OregonMouse]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
Feathered Friends will make you a bag with an eVENT shell, which is more breathable than other waterproof fabrics.



I believe that Feathered Friends only offer the eVent material on their Zero degree and below bags-- which is a little overkill for the OP's expected temp range. However their Epic shell is just as good IMOH, and their +20 and +10 degree bags costs less than the ones the OP is currently looking at, but are much better quality.

I own both a +20 Swift and a -25 degree Peregrine and they are top of the line quality sleeping bags, and without a doubt I would purchase both bags again in a heartbeat.

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#134675 - 06/03/10 08:29 PM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: ChrisFol]
David W Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/01/10
Posts: 6
Loc: USA, Campbell, CA(for now)
First let me thank u all for responding, that's pretty awesome. Ive read all and definitly taking all advise given.

The reason im limited to mtn hardwear and marmot bags is price, i can ge both those bags i mentioned for about $200 inc tax and shipping. Also north face but ive heard thats not a good idea these days.

Im looking into a light wieght bivy option as suggested, any recomendations from those make's? At the same time it's another iteam to carry n im really tryn to lighten up.

How much did those FF bags u mentioned run you? n do they have the epic shell?

Any opinions on the marmot pinnicle 15?

Also the Mtn hardwear sprite solo tent?

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#134679 - 06/03/10 11:38 PM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: David W]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

One thing to remember about the Marmot and the MHW's is that if they don't work out quite the way you wanted, they'll be an easy resell on this forum.

Then again, you hate to go through the angst of researching and making a decision and then having to go through it all again.
_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

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#134683 - 06/04/10 01:17 AM Re: I need advise on a new sleeping bag [Re: ohiohiker]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
David,

You can put your zipped up (breathable?) rain parka over the foot of your bag to keep it dry if it touches the tent wall.

The best DWR I've found is REVIVEX, a spray-on DWR used by Gore Tex garment manufacturers. I use it on my down bag. Two coats works best. Tectron DWR is the next best. I've purchased both at my local REI store.

Do NOT use the Nikwax "wash-in" down water resistant stuff, even the one labeled as made for down water repellancy. Reports are that it makes your down loose its loft. Down has the natural oils from the gooseto help it repel moisture. To retain these oils use only the products specifically labeled as "down wash" products. Never was down garments with detergents.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#134685 - 06/04/10 01:30 AM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: David W]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By David W


How much did those FF bags u mentioned run you? n do they have the epic shell?


My FF Swift cost around $390 with Epic. Depending on your dimensions, you could get a FF +20 degree bag for about $340 with Epic. The +10 degree bags start at $420.

If you have a doubled walled tent, then you do not need a bivy. A bivy is generally used with a tarp, which is a much lighter option to a tent.


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#134831 - 06/08/10 01:46 AM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: ChrisFol]
David W Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/01/10
Posts: 6
Loc: USA, Campbell, CA(for now)
Thanks for the help everyone, i liked the shell idea. "why didn't i think of that moment".

Still don't know what im gonna do.

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#135311 - 06/19/10 06:53 PM Re: need advise on a new bag. H2O proof? [Re: ChrisFol]
longhair29 Offline
member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 1328
Loc: Floridad
Feathered Friends offers eVent fabric as an option on ALL their sleeping bags even the Osprey/Kestal +30 degree series.

I asked about eVent when I was shopping for one, I have a Kestral, sized long in Epic. And eVent is also an option for their down Jackets, Parka's and down pants.

I have a Nightfall, +45 degree, 800-fill power down bag from Sierra Designs which weighs about 2.5-Lbs. The shell is their own Dry Zone WP/B fabric. I call it my hybrid bag, I bought half off at Campmor years ago.


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