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#144008 - 12/27/10 01:54 AM Would you do this...
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
I'm planning on going on a 3 day trip in the mountains of Southern NM at the end of Jan. We're expecting lows to be no lower then 0* and thats a big if with this years warm winter in our region. Anyhow I have a cheap down bag that's kept me warm to about 30* to upper 20's but I was thinking of replacing it with a golite 3 season quilt, which are on sale atm. Well the quilt is supposed to be good to 20* and supposed to be more accurate this year then last years model. So if I take my bag and quilt I was thinking I should have plenty of loft above me right?

Is there any reason why this setup wouldn't work?

Since winter lasts about 2 months down here I cant really justify a nice down 0* bag and dont want to buy a less expensive synthetic bag but if for any reason its a better option then layering Ill go that route.

Thanks for your help.
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#144014 - 12/27/10 08:05 AM Re: Would you do this... [Re: Cesar]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
In my experience there is a learning curve with a quilt. The first time I used one in cold weather, I got really cold due to drafts and not wearing anything on my head. Were I in your shoes, I would start using a quilt in warmer weather and then work towards using one in colder weather as I gained experience. Using a 20F quilt at 0F could easily make for a miserable night.
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#144015 - 12/27/10 09:49 AM Re: Would you do this... [Re: Pika]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
I wouldn't dare take just the quilt, especially if there's a possibility of it dropping to 0*. I was planning on taking my 30* bag and the quilt to put on top. Ive heard quilts take some getting used to so I figured with my bag at least drafts wouldn't be hitting me directly. My plan was to strap the quilt to my pad so it doesn't slide off then have my bag underneath.
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#144017 - 12/27/10 10:53 AM Re: Would you do this... [Re: Cesar]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
I am very new to quilts myself and I actually purchased the new Golite Ultralite 3-season for my very first quilt. I have had it out 6 nights in the Colorado high country and the overnight temps have ranged from 18-25 degrees. The quilt performed beautifully, even at 18 degrees all I had on was a Capilene 1 baselayer, ankle socks and a fleece hat.

I would say that for me, if I added warmer layers such as a Capilene 3 baselayer, wool socks, gloves and my down jacket I could take the quilt down to 10 degrees or so. I am not so sure that just adding a 30 degree bag to this system would add the additional 10 degrees of warmth to get you down to zero degrees-- that is just my opinion.

Personally I would try it out with a bail-out option before you commit to a trip of any substantial time. Backpacking in winter, without the right equipment is not fun.

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#144024 - 12/27/10 12:07 PM Re: Would you do this... [Re: Cesar]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By Cesar

Is there any reason why this setup wouldn't work?


You might have some issues with the quilt being a little bit small to go over you and the bag completely, but in general it may be enough loft.

I actually use a setup similar to this all the time in colder weather - so if you like you can adapt the same. I have a decent down bag (about -15C rated) which I then put *INSIDE* a cheap rectangular synthetic bag for extremely cold weather.
(the synth then gets the frost layer and I don't get frozen condensation in my down...)

That's actually in *much* colder weather than what you are considering, even though that in and of itself doesnt' necessarily mean it will work for you.

If I were you, and trying not to spend a ton of money on the trip, I'd go to walmart or somewhere and find a cheap synthetic bag that is *roomy* (so it doesn't crush the loft of your down) and take two bags.

1 -> Air both bags out seperately whenever possible - during the trip. Any time I have sunny weather in camp during a winter trip and I'm not in my sleeping stuff, I have it pulled apart and laid out or hung up in the sun. ensures everything stays dry and fluffy.

2 -> take clothing, especially a balaclava to sleep in that's only for sleeping in.

but I think with proper clothing you'd probably be fine with
two bags.

If money is no object of course, go buy a good WM winter bag wink


Edited by phat (12/27/10 12:36 PM)
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#144037 - 12/27/10 07:21 PM Re: Would you do this... [Re: phat]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
Thanks for your help guys and yes money is very much an object smile especially with the holidays just over and getting my jeep fixed. I do have a cheap synthetic bag I loan out thats kept me warm to upper 30's with it just draped over me. I was initially thinking of putting it over my down bag but wasn't sure if it would compress it to much. Actually its still loaned out so need to get it back so I can test it out.

Ill try that out first and see what how it works for me then see what the budget looks like on payday. I was wanting to purchase a nice down quilt any how and with it on sale it would be a good time to buy if I can work it in the budget.
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#144130 - 12/29/10 08:33 PM Re: Would you do this... [Re: Cesar]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
You could maybe put the quilt inside the sleeping bag, but maybe buying down bibs and wearing them in your sleeping bag along with a hooded down jacket, would keep you warm AND provide you with real cold weather clothing for when you're not in your sleeping bag.
Jim.
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#145375 - 01/24/11 01:04 PM Re: Would you do this... [Re: Jimshaw]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
I ended up getting a Kelty Cormell 0* that I saw on steep and cheap for 109$. It seems they are discontinuing this model with 650 fill and now making it with 550 fill. Its a huge bag since its wider then standard mummy so has over 40oz of down so weighs over 4lbs. I figured for the price, and the few months we have winter down here, its was a good bag to start winter camping and price was right.

Anyhow we car camped at just over 8,000 feet this weekend to test some gear before our 3 day hike next week and the bag worked great. I'm not to sure how low it got at night but it actually felt warmer in the morning when it was snowing with no breeze then it did when we went to bed at it was 22* with clear skys and slight breeze. I had the bag unzipped quite a bit and did not have the hood closed tight in the least and slept very well.

Really looking forward to our 3 day hike next week especially since weather currently looks about the same as this past weekend.
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#145788 - 02/03/11 11:16 AM Re: Would you do this... [Re: Cesar]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
So last night it got down to 2* here which is very very rare so thought what better way to test my bag out and see if it will really keep me warm when I'm out. So put up my tent and slept outside. I wore a thin polyester baselayer top and bottom, fleece vest, thicker heavy weight bottoms, wool socks, and liner gloves and slept pretty warm.


I had frost on the top of my bag from my breath and when I would rotate some would flake off and land on me. brrr cold. I also noticed I had some moisture underneath the bag when I got out and compressed all the air out. Is that normal?
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#145854 - 02/04/11 08:40 PM Re: Would you do this... [Re: Cesar]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Nice, I am glad to see that this worked!


I may have to play around a little with a similar two bag set-up. I have been looking for an alternative to carrying my almost 4Lb, FF Peregrine when the conditions don't require a full -25bag and a +20 bag just isn't enough.

This could be a great way to save $400-$600 on a zero degree bag. However, the problem that I am having is finding a "cheap" sleeping bag than is less than 35oz. Anything over that and I may as well just take the Peregrine.

I guess I now scour the forums for suitable bag.

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#145865 - 02/05/11 01:45 AM Re: Would you do this... [Re: ChrisFol]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Chris, the rule, often stated here is simple-

Warm, Light, Cheap - pick any two.
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#145876 - 02/05/11 12:07 PM Re: Would you do this... [Re: TomD]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By TomD
Chris, the rule, often stated here is simple-

Warm, Light, Cheap - pick any two.


Oh of course-- I was just scouting for deals on a 30 degree bag.

There are two great deals over at REI Outlet for a +40 and +45 degree sleeping bags that are not only under 2lbs, but also under $60. Granted, these probably range more like +45 to +55 degrees but surly they should be able to add an extra 10-15 degrees of warmth?

I guess I will just order a few bags and see what works.

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#145906 - 02/05/11 11:11 PM Re: Would you do this... [Re: ChrisFol]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
To add warmth to my 3-season bag (Western Mountaineering Super Antelope) I add down pants and a down parka (or down sweater). The down pants and parka double for warm clothes in the evenings and mornings. My down parka also has a snap-off hood that is really huge and fluffy. Just wearing this hood seems to add 10 degees to my 3-season (15-degree) bag. Down booties also add warmth for little weight. Granted down pants and jacket are not cheap, but I have them anyway for other reasons than just to use in my sleeping bag. So I do not count them as a sleeping bag purchase.

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#145909 - 02/05/11 11:17 PM Re: Would you do this... [Re: wandering_daisy]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Using WDs system, when you get out of your sleeping bag, you're already wearing your cold weather clothes, smile no need to struggle into them or having to warm them up. frown Now does she sleep with her boots on? shocked Inquiring minds are curious.... smile in the old days sleeping bags had canvas liners in the bottom to protect them from crampons and nailed boots.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#145920 - 02/06/11 08:07 AM Re: Would you do this... [Re: wandering_daisy]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Ditto on the pants, sweater, and booties. I recently took a 20 degree bag to zero doing this. (Jim - my boots go under my head, as the base of my pillow. Clothes or a water bladder, often filled with air, finish the pillow.)

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#145957 - 02/06/11 03:32 PM Re: Would you do this... [Re: Glenn]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Just curious - does anyone make down pants that can be rezipped and configured into an elephants foot? That would be the cat's pajamas, so to speak...

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#145958 - 02/06/11 03:35 PM Re: Would you do this... [Re: oldranger]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
whats an elephants foot?
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#145965 - 02/06/11 05:02 PM Re: Would you do this... [Re: wandering_daisy]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
To add warmth to my 3-season bag (Western Mountaineering Super Antelope) I add down pants and a down parka (or down sweater). The down pants and parka double for warm clothes in the evenings and mornings. My down parka also has a snap-off hood that is really huge and fluffy. Just wearing this hood seems to add 10 degees to my 3-season (15-degree) bag. Down booties also add warmth for little weight. Granted down pants and jacket are not cheap, but I have them anyway for other reasons than just to use in my sleeping bag. So I do not count them as a sleeping bag purchase.


This is just what I do.

I mentioned in my first post in this thread that basically if I wear my down jacket, pants etc then I can be comfortable at around +8 to +10 degrees with my +20 degree quilt.

When I saw this post, it prompted me to explore what options are out there that can add that additional 10-15 degrees of warmth that I need to keep me comfortable down to zero and I can then leave my big winter bag at home until needed.

So far I am thinking of picking up a now discontinued Big Agnes Lost Dog (synthetic, +50DegF, under 2Lbs and under $100). It also appears big enough that it won't crush my down quilt.

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#145967 - 02/06/11 06:08 PM Re: Would you do this... [Re: oldranger]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
OR
NO, sorry. They all zip down the outside, unless you find a 40 year old pair, or get some without a zipper and put one up the inside of one leg and down the other. I have noticed that sleeping in down pants is not nearly as warm as one might think because the legs are separated by so much insulation that they don't form one warm area inside the bag, but rather two.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#145987 - 02/07/11 06:36 AM Re: Would you do this... [Re: Jimshaw]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Seems to me that in the last 10 years I have seen at least one down suit that had legs that could be zipped together to make a skirt instead of individual legs, but I might be thinking of a baby bunting I saw at the same time and it made me think about making one for myself. I wish I could remember. In many ways it would be easier to make down pants with zippers down the inseam instead of the outseam anyway...

MNS
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#145995 - 02/07/11 09:35 AM Re: Would you do this... [Re: Cesar]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
It is essentially one half of a sleeping bag, enclosing the legs and waist - works nicely on a bivvy with (hopefully) a nice warm downjacket.

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