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#156801 - 11/04/11 08:53 PM Winter bag choice
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I'm thinking about buying a winter bag. I'm thinking about either a WM Puma or their Lynx or maybe a Feathered Friends bag in the same temp range. My question is this--do I go with the -25 or just -10? My current bag is +12 and good for Yosemite, but I'd like a bag I can use without my overbag and parka tossed over it. Most likely I won't be anywhere except the Sierra and maybe Yellowstone.

I sleep cold or so I think, so that is a factor. As for price, I am looking online for a used bag and have seen a couple of Pumas. I like the color better too.

Any thoughts? Jim, what do you have, I can't remember?

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#156804 - 11/04/11 09:05 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
davids31 Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 7
Loc: Cullman, Al
Eastern Mountain Sports just released their new -20 bag with the new vertical baffle technology and it is on sale tight now. I have the 15 degree version and really like it, especially for the value. The temp rating seems to be accurate too. Here is the link
http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11218917 Save yourself some money and get just as good of a product as the expensive options.

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#156809 - 11/04/11 10:18 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Tom, can you pick when you go the Yellowstone? If so, maybe the -10 bag to save money and weight/space. I have a WM Antelope Super DL, long, 5 degree bag, never been cold in it, even down to -7 in the Truckee area. I've always heard good things about FF.
Duane

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#156813 - 11/04/11 10:59 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Tom I have a WM super Kodiak but it was way too large for me and I modified it with two internal elastic straps that hold it close to me. Fit is as important as any rating and I mean I've seen guys freeze in a -40 bag when I was toasty in my -5 bag with my jacket over me. You have to try on a bag and it must have a well engineer foot box so that your feet do not poke through the insulation, especially if you sleep barefooted like I do. The body must fit you just snuggly enough to stop internal drafts without making yu claustrophobic, The hood must be good and it must close down to a small hole, and it must have those shoulder pad thingies to insulate your head area from your neck and chest. A single draft tube is not a good idea unless its overstuffed - mine is.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#156819 - 11/05/11 01:11 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Jimshaw]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Thanks Jim, Now I remember you talking about modifying your bag. I do get a bit claustrophic in a bag, so a bit of room for me is good. I think one of the stores around here has WM bags, so I may go up and start looking at them. May not see a Puma, but something close.

Duane, I have no idea when I'll get to Yellowstone, just a nascent plan to go in winter for a week or so, maybe next year in March? I think there will be plenty of snow there then. I was there years ago as a kid, but that was in summer.


Edited by TomD (12/18/11 05:47 PM)
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#156820 - 11/05/11 02:02 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Tom, as a kid, our family was thru Jellystone a few times in the summer that I can remember in the '60's. We got to experience the cubs just outside the car window etc. I was there as an adult two nights in the summer it burned, fire started a few days after I left for MN.
Duane

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#156842 - 11/05/11 03:54 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: hikerduane]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I also have a WM Super Antelope 5-deg bag and get cold at 20-deg. Goes to show that there is a lot of individual differences in what is "warm" when we sleep. I personally do not like the way the WM "draft collar" works- it is not a real draft collar, rather a double draw-tight system. This saves weight but I do not find it as warm as my old Marmot Agille bag (which was unfortunately stolen) that had a true draft collar. My WM bag is a short, but not proportionately narrower, so I really have trouble getting it warmed up and keeping it from being drafty. Be careful what you wish for with respect to roominess. For a winter bag you may also want a little extra length so you can stuff clothes down at the foot.

I have an old snap-off hood from a down jacket that I wear inside the bag when it gets cold- it really adds warmth for a few ounces.

For long term winter camping (say 10+ days out) I think I would prefer a synthetic bag, particularly in high humidity conditions (such as lots of time in a snow cave). Ice crystals build up inside a down bag and reduce loft and synthetic bags dry faster. I have not done winter camping for a while and the advise for synthetic bags in winter may not be current thought. We used to recommend a double bag- light tight-fitting 45 degree down inside a roomy 20-deg synthetic. The ice crystals tend to build up on the outer inch or so of the bag.



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#156845 - 11/05/11 05:54 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I'd like to suggest an experiment.

Take a piece of cord, and size, and tie it lightly around the middle of your thighs, around your sleeping bag so that it pulls the bag lightly to your body and see if in ten minutes your are not warmer. A better way is a 1/16" diameter elastic cord sewn just inside the inner cover of the sleeping bag so the nylon liner is held next to you, thus stopping drafts. By putting two of these in my WM bag One below the knee and one just below my hip joint), it became a warm wonderful bag with the ability to expand in most any direction that I want to push and I can wear what ever I want inside it and it always is the right size.
Jim
P.S. balaclava for wearing inside bag AND a pair of fleece gloves kept strictly for the sleeping bag.
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#156874 - 11/06/11 04:01 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: wandering_daisy]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
WD, your advise on double bags seems to still be up todate. A down bag if used, inside the synthetic bag so any moisture is driven thru the down into the synthetic. There is a discussion on this on Backpacking Light.
Duane

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#156951 - 11/07/11 06:45 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Jimshaw]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Anyone experiment with a fur ruff on a sleeping bag? My lips and nose get cold even with the baclava on and I thought maybe it would help.

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#156966 - 11/08/11 12:16 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Heather-ak]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Heather
I have used pieces of fur over my face and rolled up to breath through and tried various ideas. The trouble with a fur ruff - say coyote - on a mummy bag is that it would interfere with closing it down. There are US military cotton face masks for extreme cold. My problems was breathing air at -40. A tent really helps a lot when its minus 40 because your breath and body can heat it and it can buffer the outside temperature.

I always imagined a fur tube about ten inches long and 3 inches across the inside with fur at least an inch long, the idea being that your expelled breath warms the fur and then the air you take in is warmed in turn. however a piece of rabbit fur over your face is a great help when its so cold that your lips freeze together.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#156987 - 11/08/11 02:09 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Jimshaw]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Jim,

I had thought of a piece of fur, but I roll around at night. I hadn't though of the idea of attaching only on two sides like that though. That would be enough to keep in place. The other idea is to attach it around my head or to the face mask - you know the whole warm vs. claustrophobic. wink I'm hoping to find a cast-off piece of wolverine (it doesn't gather condensation like other furs.)

Thank you for something to think about. thanks


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#156989 - 11/08/11 02:17 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Heather-ak]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Heather. Check out www.wintertrekking.com
it is a Canadian/Northern US site for deep winter camping. There is a lot of info on sub zero clothes (mostly traditional wool) and sleeping systems. Lots of posts on the forums about using fur ruffs on anoraks (which are often made of cotton). I learned that the whole "cotton kills" in winter doesn't apply when the temps are below zero.

Check out this company as well for some interesting clothes-
www.empirecanvasworks.com
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#157041 - 11/09/11 10:33 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Jimshaw]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I have a couple of the army face masks. I really like them, especially for sleeping. They have a detachable mask that covers the nose and mouth that looks exactly like a dust mask. The mask also fits under my goggles really well.



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#157044 - 11/09/11 10:55 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: finallyME]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
If it's gonna get that cold, I better stay home and keep the heat on and water flowing.
Duane

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#157088 - 11/09/11 03:42 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Oh and Tom, if it was me, I would get the -25. But that is just me. I haven't camped in your location in winter before. Right now I have a bag rated to -25, but it is a cheap one, and I picked warm and cheap, not light for the two out of three choices you get with a sleeping bag. It is a little over 8 lbs and probably stuffs to around 50 liters. It is not a problem right now because it fits on my sled and my dog has no problem pulling it. But I would want a more compact one in the future. Although I don't have money for one right now, I am trying to decide how I want to replace it. I think I might end up with a down WM 20F bag and a synthetic outer bag for winter only. Maybe a Wiggy's outer.

Sorry, I don't think I helped you at all.
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#157109 - 11/09/11 08:31 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: finallyME]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
FM
I got one of those vacume sealer things and I can buy long rolls of tube and seal and end. You simply stuff the sleeping bag into tube, pull a vacume and heat seal the end. Then you inexpensive warm sleeping bag would also be small grin if not light, or would it be lighter and how much?
Jim grin
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#157114 - 11/09/11 09:08 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: finallyME]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Actually you did. Now I need a dog and a new sled.

I'm looking for a used bag on Craigslist using a free program called Craigslist Reader from a company called CraigsPal. It works great, especially if you are looking for a specialty item like a deep winter bag. Prices tend to be a lot cheaper than eBay where people get overzealous about buying things-made that mistake myself at first. Talking people into shipping is iffy, but I've found ski boots, bindings and other stuff and got them shipped. If you come across as genuine and use PayPal, people tend to trust you. Some can't be bothered, but again not everyone needs or wants a -25F bag, so that is a bonus.

I saw a WM Puma for $300, which is a real bargain; saw another one for $400, so they are out there. If I was ready to buy, I'd have scooped up one of them.

Wiggys-people either love his stuff and him or can't stand him. There was a big discussion about him a while back on Trailspace. Personally, no experience with his gear and I don't like his politics, so he off my radar. I'd look for a used Integral Designs bag if you want synthetic. They get rave reviews-ID got out of selling bags when the company was sold recently, so you won't see them on their website, but the bags must still be around somewhere.


Edited by TomD (11/09/11 09:20 PM)
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#157145 - 11/10/11 11:04 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Tom you mentioned you were somewhat clautrophobic in a bag? I am too. I have had a Puma on and found it very good - roomy enough but not too restrictive. Were I to buy a single dedicated bag It would definately be the Puma. I do like it.

As it is however, I do very well in my one to two deep winter trips a year in my versalite, inside a cheap synthetic barrel bag. I still want that Puma, but haven't been able to justify the bucks for it. yet.
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#157147 - 11/10/11 11:38 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Jimshaw]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
FM
I got one of those vacume sealer things and I can buy long rolls of tube and seal and end. You simply stuff the sleeping bag into tube, pull a vacume and heat seal the end. Then you inexpensive warm sleeping bag would also be small grin if not light, or would it be lighter and how much?
Jim grin


Jim, I think my stuff sack works better than a vacuum sealer. The vacuum sealer works great...once. But when I have to pack up and move, then I don't have the sealer.
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#157149 - 11/10/11 11:48 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By TomD
Actually you did. Now I need a dog and a new sled.


You know, you can always borrow someones dog. laugh

Originally Posted By TomD
Wiggys-people either love his stuff and him or can't stand him. There was a big discussion about him a while back on Trailspace. Personally, no experience with his gear and I don't like his politics, so he off my radar. I'd look for a used Integral Designs bag if you want synthetic. They get rave reviews-ID got out of selling bags when the company was sold recently, so you won't see them on their website, but the bags must still be around somewhere.


I am one of those in the middle. I don't love him, but I also don't hate him. But, his ultima thule looks really convincing. Since I don't do that many winter trips a year (2-3 max), and I generally don' carry the bag, I don't want to throw down the money for down. The ultima thule is also lighter and more compact than my current bag (and costs $175 more). I don't have the money to get anything this winter, so at least another year thinking. Of course, before I replace my winter bag, I will replace my summer quilt with a 20F down bag, so maybe next winter won't see a bag change either.
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#157161 - 11/10/11 04:23 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: phat]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Price. Always a consideration. That's why I'm looking for a used one. I have seen a few where the ad says "only used a few days" or something like that. I suspect they were used for that one big mountaineering trip, then the person gave up on winter camping.

I also need a new pair of winter boots, so time to start looking for those, and snowshoes. I've got a big parka and insulated pants although I'd love to have one of Kevin's cotton anoraks with a big fur ruff- http://www.empirecanvasworks.com/arcticanorak.htm
But, I wouldn't get that much use out of it to warrant the expense.


Edited by TomD (11/10/11 04:24 PM)
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#157165 - 11/10/11 05:51 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: finallyME]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
I have the Wiggy's Antarctic and I don't think it is a -60F bag. However, two things: 1. I sleep really cold and 2. I didn't know there was a second around the body tighen down "strap" and was using woolsocks to make a kind of draft tube around me. He doesn't believe in an insulated draft tube below the head area, but he did put in a tightener. I was on the trip for almost three weeks and never noticed. AARG.

Another note - I took this bag on my last winter overnight and we (I was not driving) crashed into a ditch on the way there. So in the chaos I didn't notice my sleeping bag had gotten wet from an exploding water canister. It was about 0 - 15F that night and while I was chilly, I wasn't hypothermic.

Another thing - the bag is FREEKEN huge - like no room for anything else in my backpack huge.

(oh and on a side note for those of you who remember the whole is could my feather alergic husband handle a feather sleeping bag - he slept under a high end down blanket at his parents and was miserable. I checked after the second night (the first night he told me he was sure it wasn't down) and it was down. He got better the third night after I kicked the blanket out - so I made the right decision for us, I think. (no feather sleeping bags frown ) )

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#157166 - 11/10/11 05:53 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
I love the empire canvus works stuff, I just can't find a good reason to spend that kind of money - I've been watching their facebook for sales.

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#157167 - 11/10/11 06:00 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By TomD


I also need a new pair of winter boots, so time to start looking for those, and snowshoes. I've got a big parka and insulated pants although I'd love to have one of Kevin's cotton anoraks with a big fur ruff- http://www.empirecanvasworks.com/arcticanorak.htm
But, I wouldn't get that much use out of it to warrant the expense.


I bought a swiss anorak for $6 to try out the cotton outer jacket. It worked the one time I have used it. I also have a wool jacket my wife sewed from a blanket, and wool pants that I bought at a surplus store. I can't believe how well they work. I still do need snow shoes, and boots for standing around below 0F. I plan on making the boots though. I might look at renting snow shoes from REI this winter.
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#157179 - 11/10/11 08:13 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: finallyME]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Those anoraks show up on surplus army gear websites every so often. I guess if you are handy with a sewing machine, you can tailor them to fit right. I might check one out just for grins.


Edited by TomD (11/10/11 08:15 PM)
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#157251 - 11/11/11 09:50 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

A cotton anorak is really easy to sew.. that's how I got mine.

Tom, for good winter muks you can't go wrong with the Canadian Forces winter boot - That's what I use. You can find them pretty easy online in surplus sales and ebay. Try to find somewhere that will sell you an extra pair of the liners. I have no doubt the empire canvas stuff would be awseome, but the army muks are cheap and keep me warm. smile This is very different from the US army "mickey mouse" boot - this is a nylon shell mukluk with a rubber footbed. they breathe a bit and work well in deeper snow.

They typically come without a footbed, so to mine I add a plastic "waffle" bed, with an insulating feltbed overtop (keeps bottom of feet warm and not moist)

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#157261 - 11/12/11 01:50 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: phat]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Thanks Phat. I'm also thinking about Steger Mukluks just for really cold weather, but I might get something else like what you suggest. I want something I can wear with snowshoes.
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#157326 - 11/13/11 04:51 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Heather-ak]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Heather,
Is the tightener the same as my inside elastic straps? If so please help me get the word out about how awesome they are and how any winter bag should have one.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#157350 - 11/13/11 09:13 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Jimshaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
Heather,
and how any winter bag should have one.


Sure. says the little guy and gal.. some of us don't have problems keeping the bag snug smile

Of course my evolutionary ties to the walrus mean I also have a natural insulating layer...

_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
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#157417 - 11/14/11 06:15 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Jimshaw]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
It is an inside string - I can't remember if it is elastic or not. I think I would like a baffle too (insulated tube.) Now that I think about it though, as an outer bag the string is better than a baffle. (I put my 40 degree 0 degree bag (my rating vs. their worst case rating) in this bag.)

Way off topic, in another thread a BCF hike was mentioned. It would be very, very cool (pun intended) to have a winter version. Anyone game? With enough notice, I could possibly make it (I'd have to talk the hubby into it, but since Wandering_Daisy wasn't a serial or any kind of killer for that matter, he'd prob. be more confortable this time.)

Thoughts?

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#157429 - 11/14/11 07:45 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Heather-ak]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By Heather-ak
In another thread a BCF hike was mentioned. It would be very, very cool (pun intended) to have a winter version. Anyone game? With enough notice, I could possibly make it (I'd have to talk the hubby into it, but since Wandering_Daisy wasn't a serial or any kind of killer for that matter, he'd prob. be more confortable this time.)

Thoughts?


I think it might be neat. but the problem really is that there's winter and there's winter. Assuming an overall low level of talent, we're snowshoeing, and winter on the coast is different from winter where I am. - my kind of winter requires special gear and a somewhat well, perverse outlook on life wink

Personally, while it's a neat thought (and if people really wanna freeze, I'd consider hosting a small party) I'd really rather get people here when they can see more cool stuff (without skiing skills and avalanche concerns)
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
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#157432 - 11/14/11 08:26 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: phat]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Points well taken. I just have a hard time finding winter camping partners - I was considering doing a trip alone this early December, but re-thought it and decided it wasn't a good idea.

I do enjoy winter hiking and camping now that I don't freeze... less mosquitoes and the ground is more soft (aka snow.) So you have me worried about the freezing part.

Other people's thoughts? Phat does have an extrememly good points... (hate to fly anywhere and find out personally I don't have the skills and/or equipment! or get a bad situation with someone else who doesn't)

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#157437 - 11/14/11 09:06 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Heather-ak]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Heather, no matter the season, you could come down here to Kalifornia. There are a number of experienced, allseason bpers I go with, although this last year not so much. I guess about 3 group trips, most about five people, except mtnsteve's Winterfest in late January outside Lassen NVP where over 18 people showed up at one time or another. Most I bp with are down in the valley, close to the bay area or Sacramento. Some are even young like yoself.:)
Duane

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#157455 - 11/15/11 08:55 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Heather-ak]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By Heather-ak
Points well taken. I just have a hard time finding winter camping partners - I was considering doing a trip alone this early December, but re-thought it and decided it wasn't a good idea.


So do I.. Which is why in winter I'm almost always solo. Most of my friends who will go out in winter are backcountry skiiers, which I'm really not, so I tend to snowshoes and solitude.


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#157489 - 11/15/11 02:29 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: phat]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Yosemite is a great place for beginner winter camping. I've been there several times near Badger Pass, once with two other people (Jim Shaw being one) and the other times alone. If you get bored, you can drive down the hill into the Valley and check out the sights or even go shopping. It is good for snowshoeing or backcountry skiing.
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#157520 - 11/16/11 12:29 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Heather-ak]
Jimshaw Offline
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Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
heather
On one of my early trips it hit 40 below. Its not really fun - yer too scared to sleep. I think if I was you I'd look real hard at snow caves. That is pretty much contrary to my normal avoidance of snowcaves, but in such extreme environments they are pretty darned nice. I think in Alaska you are likely to find the right conditions for snow caves.
Jim smile
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#157632 - 11/17/11 05:35 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Jimshaw]
Heather-ak Offline
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Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Actually, where I am we don't normally get enough snow. I'm trying to remember how much snow we had the end of winter last year - at most three foot.

I've never winter camped solo (plenty of day hiking though.) I'm thinking about baby-stepping it and if it isn't ... freekin cold (warmer than 0F) I think I'll do a car camp at our building lot this December. Worst case at that temp the car will still start without the battery warmer and engine block warmer going.

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#157654 - 11/18/11 07:33 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Heather-ak]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Heather, Do you live in Town? Can you just camp on the backpoprch to try it out? Theres no shame in coming in after midnight. Lots of little 3 hours test "out back" might help you gain confidence and tune in your gear. Like I'm about to go pitch and nail a cheap tent to my deck. I get a kick out of stopping on the way home from town and visiting friends and crawling into their tents. I like having a tent set up - I was born in the year of the rat ya see... Anyway maybe set up a semipermanent tent outside and experiment at different temps.
Have fun
Jim
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#158097 - 12/01/11 12:54 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: finallyME]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Anyone know anything about a Marmot Alba? It is a -10F down bag-looks like this one-
http://flagstaff.craigslist.org/spo/2688995021.html

I'm thinking if I can't find a Puma at a decent price, this might do for me, at least for the Sierra.
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#158136 - 12/01/11 03:58 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Jimshaw]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
I am about 25 miles out of town - have 5 acres where I live now. I am going to pitch our big car camp tent out there soonish. I have winter camped before (even taken a class) but never alone. I'm not real sure I can talk the husband into letting me winter camp alone anyways - the line (surviving something vs. not) is so much thinner in the winter here. I am working on ideas for getting the hubby to come along with - i.e. hot tenting.

(I had to go check what Chinese year I was born: Year of the Rabbit are romantic, talented, and successful. hahahahaha! I wish.)

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#158241 - 12/03/11 04:41 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Heather-ak]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
"hot tenting" with your spouse sure sounds romantic grin
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#158493 - 12/08/11 07:38 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: billstephenson]
Steadman Offline
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Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
Does hot tenting involve swapping the tent for some , less comfortable, place (like "hot racking") or putting a stove in the tent? The latter might be more enticing than the former.

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#158496 - 12/08/11 08:06 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Steadman]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Everything you want to know about hot tenting-
www.wintertrekking.com

These are pretty much the gold standard for hot tents from all the praise for them I have read-
http://www.snowtrekkertents.com/

This company makes a lightweight hot tent-
www.titaniumgoat.com


Edited by TomD (12/08/11 08:11 PM)
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#158569 - 12/10/11 01:53 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I don't understand why they aren't getting the fresh air intake for the stove from outside of the tent.

They way they have those set up the fresh air is drawn from inside the tent, which means the tent is always sucking in cold air from the outside causing cold drafts and then sucking the air that is heated inside into the stove and blowing it out the exhaust pipe.

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#158571 - 12/10/11 02:15 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: billstephenson]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I believe the answer is that they want fresh air to avoid any carbon monoxide problem, plus rigging up some kind of vent would be cumbersome. I don't think the amount of air being drawn in is all that much. Plus, don't forget, the stove itself is hot so it acts like a radiator, not like a forced air heater.


Edited by TomD (12/10/11 02:17 PM)
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#158575 - 12/10/11 03:14 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Well, this article disputes what I've said pretty well:

http://woodheat.org/the-outdoor-air-myth-exposed.html

I have some doubts about their conclusions and concerns based on the implementations that they studied, and especially as they pertain to tents, but after considering those doubts I have to conclude that it may not make a spits worth of difference either way as far as heat efficiency goes. However, the outside intake might be of value if there ever were an issue with wind and reverse pressurization.


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#158576 - 12/10/11 05:37 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: billstephenson]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I don't recall this being discussed on wintertrekking, but I don't follow all the stove discussions that closely. Here are two articles on hot tenting on the site-
http://wintertrekking.com/equipment/hot-tenting/
http://wintertrekking.com/safety/hot-tents/


Edited by TomD (12/10/11 05:39 PM)
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#158590 - 12/11/11 06:05 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I read those (quickly), and I still think a closed system might be more efficient, but it would not be as simple.

In any case, I'd try it their way first wink

It looks like it'd be pretty nice for car camping around here. I wonder how well charcoal would work in those stoves?
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#158599 - 12/11/11 08:47 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: billstephenson]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I don't think they use charcoal for two reasons-they would have to haul it in and wood is plentiful in the boreal forest and concerns about any gases charcoal might give off when it burns. I looked on the site, but couldn't find a definitive answer.
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#158643 - 12/12/11 05:38 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: billstephenson]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Bill
Pressurization? Are we not talking about a tent?

ANyway the real reason they do it that way is because thats what the British Expeditionary forces did it in Canada and modern hot tent campers up there wear the same clothes made of the same material and use the same tents and stoves. No one is interested in changing or in pressurised tents or in any new fangled way of doing anything. The companies sell to the traditionalists and have an image to maintain.

Someone wrote in a year ago saying that he and his girlffriend were going camping and how do you heat a tent. A bunch of people told him you do not heat a tent, you carry the right gear to stay warm.

The subject of the thread is "winter bag choice" not "how to avoid buying a winter bag".
Jim
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#158670 - 12/13/11 03:13 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Jimshaw]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
Pressurization? Are we not talking about a tent?


I was talking about using an outside air source to supply the firebox inside the tent, as opposed to sucking air from inside the tent. I contended it would be more efficient. The article I linked to contends it is not, at least as it pertains to buildings. I remain unconvinced.

But I'd still like a warmer sleeping bag too wink

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#158845 - 12/16/11 11:30 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
twinmike Offline
member

Registered: 03/25/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Holbrook, AZ.
If you are still for a better sleeping bag I suggest you look at the newer materials out there. Some are much better than goose down and are not affected by Moisture. One company fits inside a two litre bottle and is good for -10. There are new models that even heat themselves
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#158846 - 12/17/11 12:12 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: twinmike]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
For those who want to know what I bought, I found a Marmot Alba -10F down bag on Craigslist. It will be here in Monday. I've seen a few Pumas, but the cheap ones got snatched up quickly. It's not Goretex, but Goretex doesn't work in really cold weather anyway. If this bag fits into my BD Winter Bivy, I'm set.
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#158856 - 12/17/11 12:16 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
TomD said'
"but Goretex doesn't work in really cold weather anyway"

Well Tom there are some differing opinions on that, smile I suppose space is pretty cold. You tossed out an idea as simple fact that a lot of pro-goretex folks do not agree with. It is true that the "northern" campers don't use it, but thats because they are very much into traditional only. wink

I think it would be wrong to send the message goretex doesn't work in the cold without a great deal of research and arguements. The breathable fabric people go to great lengths to bring in outdoor writers - like Jason - and demonstrate to them in their laboratoryies, how things work. There is al too much false science around with atitude replacing experience.

Now that I've said that I hope you aren't offended - its not a personal thing, just a lot of misinformation gets mixed up with reality to a point where the (maybe) misinformation seems correct.
Jim smile
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#158865 - 12/17/11 02:20 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Jimshaw]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
No offense taken, but from everything I've read, Goretex doesn't perform well, if at all, in subzero weather if you are working hard and generating a lot of moisture-the reason being that moisture freezes inside the jacket or bag and prevents the liner from breathing. In my case, I haven't been in sub zero in my Goretex parka to test those results, so I based what I said on what the experience of others has been.

I do know that Goretex doesn't seem to work all that well in muggy weather either (cold and humid), at least mine didn't, but maybe it is better now.

In any event, my new bag just has some DWR coating of some kind, so at least for me, it is a moot point. My MacPac bag isn't Goretex or any of the other fabrics like it either and I've never had any problems with it at all, so I don't expect any with this bag under the conditions I intend to be in.
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#158885 - 12/17/11 11:25 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: twinmike]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By twinmike
If you are still for a better sleeping bag I suggest you look at the newer materials out there. Some are much better than goose down and are not affected by Moisture. One company fits inside a two litre bottle and is good for -10. There are new models that even heat themselves


Better than goose down in what way?

I very much doubt that there is any bag that fits in a two liter anything that works to -10. Plenty of bags make outrageous claims, many of them are lies.

If you're meaning that synthetics stay warmer when wet - that's only partially true. Both types of bag are miserable things when truly wet through.

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#158889 - 12/18/11 05:15 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: lori]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I'm with Lori on this. It would be interesting to see some specifics.

A wet bag is a wet bag, and it is no fun. Synthetics will simply dry faster.

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#158902 - 12/18/11 04:54 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: lori]
twinmike Offline
member

Registered: 03/25/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Holbrook, AZ.
lori, you are way out of date, down bags went the way of the dodo bird. down bags flattens way to easy and there fore has cold spots, when even a little damp it loses its insulation properties quickly, your need to check out the world of change.These new bags are warmer than down and much lighter in weight. And much smaller. Doubt it, check it out first and better yet try them.

One of the major players in the field of sleeping bags, one of many is Reflexcell, it ha one that is less then a pound for three seasons or 385 grams
For a package of 12 by 9 by just 3 inches, that can store inside your shirt.
The militaty calls them casualty blankets and they are standard for military personnel in every country that operates in high north climates. Most places they called Blizzard blankets. They also listed as biotactical tube tents, cost about $90. You can sleep directly on the snow with them.
Some have pull strings on top and bottom, they're in the survival gear pac's on every AH-64D that operates in northern climates. The army uses them because they work. The army does not use down sleeping bags.
Most of all down bags takes a lot of maintanence to stay in good shape. What you must remember is that the so called traditionalist means sticking to old rules that no longer apply. Like sticking to a horse when a car is available. Things have changed. I've talked to traditionalist to claim to have a down bag for years but only use them a few days a year. Try using a down bag everyday for a month and see what happens.
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#158903 - 12/18/11 05:36 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: twinmike]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Well, you had me going until I looked at Blizzard blankets. They are "Space Blankets" or "Emergency Blankets". We're all familiar with those, and, while you might survive a cold night with one, they are not on par with a down sleeping bag.

They can be a good addition to your sleeping gear though. I've used them over and under my bag with good results.
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#158917 - 12/18/11 06:52 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: billstephenson]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
I looked it up too. I do grant them that some of them are a little more than just space blankets, but not much. Even the on the company website they say in winter you will not be comfortable, but should be able to survive in all but the most extreme conditions. Well, my down bags and quilts allow me to be warm and comfortable even in the most extreme conditions.

Even the military applications are described as for emergency situations, most notably for casualties. I highly doubt these are being issued currently as the primary sleeping bag system for the US, or any other countries military personnel.
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#158919 - 12/18/11 07:09 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: twinmike]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By twinmike
Things have changed. I've talked to traditionalist to claim to have a down bag for years but only use them a few days a year. Try using a down bag everyday for a month and see what happens.


As a matter of fact I have used down gear many, many many times, and obviously more than you! Try every month, multiple nights per month, and on longer trips too.

I trust my down gear much more than your judgment. It has not failed me in any way you describe. You clearly have some preconceptions that are misinformed by people who don't understand how to use gear.
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#158921 - 12/18/11 08:32 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: lori]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I believe this is the current US Army Modular Sleep System-
http://www.imsplus.com/index.php?target=products&product_id=29786

The bags use Polarguard HV for insulation, but the total weight is about 7 pounds. This is a three part system (four including the stuff sack), not a single bag and it certainly won't fit in a 2 liter container.

Here is some info on the Polargard-
http://www.spgear.org/gear/4562/manatee-lg-rh.html
This reads like a TNF press release, but it does give some facts about the Polarguard.


Edited by TomD (12/18/11 08:36 PM)
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#158952 - 12/19/11 04:15 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
twinmike Offline
member

Registered: 03/25/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Holbrook, AZ.
No, not that one, but its close. The one I am talking about is half the weight of the Northface Cats meow, which is almost three pounds. I have an email here that says that implus is a discount store with look alike miliary equipment and that it is illegal to buy military equipment. It may be a look alike made in China. Here is the link to the ONE pound survival sleeping bag good to 20 degrees and a link to where it comes from.
http://www.blizzardsurvival.com/section.php/2/122f018f0a4d4b9e049dfce35c99ee4e
and

http://www.ussartf.org/survival_wilderness.htm
We work on power lines runs called peaks and we have to take our own equipment. This crew has twelve. WE don't have time to fluff things up and brush off down bags. Its stuff it and go sometims it is wet or dry. They have to earn their keep. So one of th crew found these sleeping bags. As one person said on previous chat, horses are for traditionalist but we have cars now. So I posted on general site a question on that subject. http://www.blizzardsurvival.com/section.php/4/122f018f0a4d4b9e049dfce35c99ee4e
The camping version is far warmer than Down bags. and so much smaller.
FYI, comment on this , we all started with great expectations on sleep gear and we all started to use down bags, they are great but they wear out with constant use. Two of these new bags will keep you warm as low as 0F even direct sleeping on the snow. Check them out
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#158956 - 12/19/11 04:37 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: twinmike]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
This is NOT analogous to horse vs car.

20*F isn't very cold. Like I said before those are "survival" items and would keep you alive, but not very comfortable (as per the companies website). Far warmer than down bags? You et al keep stating this without a direct comparison. Show me a bag which is lighter, packs smaller and is equally comfortable not "should keep you alive in all but the most extreme conditions."

I am not sure you have even read the links you even put. The usage of these bags by the military, as I stated earlier are for trauma cases, to prevent hypothermia. They are NOT the issued sleeping gear for the soldiers.

On the point about Mil-spec. One cannot buy US military gear (except surplus), but Mil-spec is made to the "same specifications" and thus similar enough that one could hardly tell the difference.
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#158973 - 12/19/11 08:12 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: DTape]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
If it were comfortable at all, someone would be making it and selling it for a bunch of money.

Still not buying that it works. Ain't winter gear (see thread title). I'll keep what works reliably and repeatedly, and down will last decades...
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#158977 - 12/19/11 09:26 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: twinmike]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
All I can say is that I have used down bags with great success and comfort for many years. I have one that is twenty years old' that has seen extensive use' and still functions quite well. You can't abuse a down bag and deliberately trash it, but I have used mine in work and SAR situations, not just for recreation, and I find that they are very durable, provided that they are given minimal, basic care.

Synthtics have their place, but to date I don't believe that anything equals the weight/warmth ratio of quality down.

Thinking of another thread on this forum that you initiated, I guess this makes me a traditionalist -"Ya sure, ze old vays are best..."


Edited by oldranger (12/19/11 09:28 PM)

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#158980 - 12/19/11 10:30 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: finallyME]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
My bag just showed up and it looks great and very warm. I would much rather be inside it than some glorified space blanket, but if that is what anyone wants to use, have at it.
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#158988 - 12/19/11 11:50 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: TomD]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Tom
Glad you got your bag and like it. I guess it fits you right? I know you used two bags in a bivy for a long time, this will be nice. grin

Yes Tom, there is lots and lots and lots of discussion - but where are the scientific videos? I've seen some, and I know There is a lot of material available if anyone really cared. You could start with Jason and some of his pro trips to visit manufacturers.

All, I'm afraid the laws of thermodynamics still hold today even though some wild eyed dreamers believe that they can be as well insulated with no loft. If you want to try something not traditional, try it close to home... shocked
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#158991 - 12/20/11 12:52 AM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: Jimshaw]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Jim, yes it fits. A little shorter than my MacPac bag, but it is a long. The MacPac with the overbag and bivy is probably good to about 10F or maybe less. I know I've down to near that in it at Yosemite and it was fine, but this one should be good to around -10F by itself. It has a lot more loft than the MacPac, I noticed that right away. It is only 650 ci down, but then again, I got a pretty good deal on it, so I'm quite happy with it.
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#159066 - 12/21/11 05:16 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: twinmike]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah

twinmike, lets put these nay sayers to rest. Can you share your experience with these reflexcell bags? Especially when you slept warm in one below 20F and directly on snow.

Incidentally, a tog rating of 8 is about a 30F bag.
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#159069 - 12/21/11 07:21 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: finallyME]
twinmike Offline
member

Registered: 03/25/11
Posts: 43
Loc: Holbrook, AZ.
This has turned into an emotional subject, more than I ever thought it would be. For December I used my setup nine times. I could not have used a down bag to do this. It was wet snow.I am not wanting anymore return emails from the couple of people out there that just get nasty about this subject. so will private message to you. If you think it will not cause a problem I will then post on the forum.
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#159072 - 12/21/11 08:37 PM Re: Winter bag choice [Re: twinmike]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
NOTICE:
No one should be PMing anyone with abusive comments, regardless of the merits of the arguments. If this happens let the moderators know and we will deal with it.

Finally, this thread was started by me to get the answer to one question. It is now a moot point since I bought a bag already, so based on that, and the fact that only the first few posts were on topic, I am going to do something I rarely do, and use my perogative as a moderator to lock the thread.

If anyone wants to continue this argument in another thread, as long as it remains civil, you can do so, but not here and not now.

THIS THREAD IS NOW LOCKED.


Edited by TomD (12/21/11 08:46 PM)
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Backpacking/Camping Near Savannah, GA
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Napa Fires
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10/11/17 07:43 PM
Backpacking the Ouachita Trail thanksgiving
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10/05/17 11:54 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
lightest grommets to use
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alcohol stove comparisons
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10/03/17 08:56 PM
Can footprint plasticizer harm tent ground-sheet?
by Weston1000
09/10/17 02:24 AM
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