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#182855 - 02/12/14 09:05 PM Sleeping bags?
Swizzle Offline
member

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 101
Loc: Southern Adirondacks of New Yo...
I did a search for diy sleeping bags in the make your own gear forum here and I'm not seeing any?!? I've bought sleeping bags for myself on several occasions and they are either way too long or i buy a kids size and they are just a little too short and very tight. I'm 5'2" and a bit husky so I can't help but think that I could make my own and find that happy medium. Any help would be awesome. Thanx, Jason

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#182872 - 02/13/14 09:17 AM Re: Sleeping bags? [Re: Swizzle]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
It's an awful lot of work for a little gain. You can find various sizes and widths in Western Mountaineering bags - choose the side the zipper is on, etc.

A little extra length is a good thing. Has to be somewhere to put stuff you don't want frozen in the morning. I've ruined a camera battery leaving it out.
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"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#182874 - 02/13/14 12:04 PM Re: Sleeping bags? [Re: Swizzle]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 829
Loc: Torrance, CA
Are you interested in quilts or just bags?

Ray Jardine sells quilt kits though they are synthetic insulation. http://www.rayjardine.com/ray-way/Quilt-Kit/index.htm

There seems to be so many different sizes of bags available on the mass market that people find it is not worth it to make the bag. Plus, if you don't have a system, dealing with down can be quite messy.

I think someone on here made a bag for her grandchild. There should be a thread in the hiking with kids forum or the MYOG forum.

Also, Tim at Enlightened Equipment will customize a quilt to your specs for a little up charge. He also has a ton of sizes available. You might not even need customization. I think a short/wide quilt would fit you perfectly. http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/ The Enigma short fits up to 5'4". The wide fits me and I am more than a little husky.


Edited by BZH (02/13/14 02:02 PM)

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#182885 - 02/13/14 01:46 PM Re: Sleeping bags? [Re: BZH]
Swizzle Offline
member

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 101
Loc: Southern Adirondacks of New Yo...
hmmm...now I'm not so sure. I was also checking out the Klymit pads and how they work inside a regular sleeping bag. I'm not really so concerned with the weight as the mass of the bags that I've previously had and currently have now. Seems like every trip I go out my pack is stressed to the max and I'm afraid of a blow out. I just want something that's warm and packable. I see Walmart has a new ultralight and packable bag but I've heard a few bad reviews about the innards shifting about during the night. I'm wondering how it would work with a Klymit pad? I'm not afraid to put on a sweater and I often carry a wool hat even in the middle of summer and extra socks as well that I've used as mittens on occasion. I've heard some people say that even though its a 20 degree bag it should be rated more to 40 degrees. If I go with a quilt then I'm going back to my full sized sleeping pad which really wouldn't be a bad thing I suppose but if I can cut down the mass then I'm gonna cut it down. Just want that happy medium between the mass, and comfort.

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#182908 - 02/14/14 12:52 AM Re: Sleeping bags? [Re: Swizzle]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Cheap, light, warm.

You only get two. Never all three. And light usually also means less bulk.

Down will always be lighter and more compact than a same-rated equivalent synthetic bag.

You're right that most bags are not rated accurately. Some are - Western Mountaineering for one. Marmot has EN rated bags, so if you read the EN rating you see that the comfort rating is different for men than for women, and that the stated rating is often not the actual rating - but they tell you that. My 0 degree Never Winter bag cost me around $130 on a closeout at Sierra Trading Post, but the EN rating says that it is actually a 17F bag - and that is accurate for me, because I had it down to 15F and was fine.
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"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#182949 - 02/16/14 05:57 AM Re: Sleeping bags? [Re: lori]
Swizzle Offline
member

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 101
Loc: Southern Adirondacks of New Yo...
What's the chances of getting all three for around 2 pounds in weight?

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#182951 - 02/16/14 05:42 PM Re: Sleeping bags? [Re: Swizzle]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Originally Posted By Swizzle
What's the chances of getting all three for around 2 pounds in weight?
2 lbs each ? If so that's not too difficult as long as you stick with down. E bay sometimes has great deals on down bags.
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#182967 - 02/17/14 05:22 PM Re: Sleeping bags? [Re: Swizzle]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Swizzle
What's the chances of getting all three for around 2 pounds in weight?


I have a 22 oz down quilt that costs $240. It is warm below freezing for me. If that's cheap to you, that's great. If it's not, good luck...

It is cheap for ME because I use it all the time - just used it on the coast, will use it again next weekend on a camping trip, will use it another 12+ nights backpacking in July and August, as well as a number of weekend overnights in May and April. Figuring how much it increase my comfort on the trail plus my comfort each night I use it, I figure it is the cheapest item in the pack. Anything that keeps me in the backcountry comfortably is worth that $240.

The other qualifier is that all things are relative. I much prefer spending the money one time for a light, warm down quilt and sleep comfortably for years than spending $100 on something less warm, bulkier, and heavier that I won't be so comfortable in. I won't be packing extra clothing items to make up for the lack of warmth, and won't be uncomfortable either while on the trail packing it along (no unnecessary pounds in the pack) or at night (no need for extra layers while sleeping). I know that with proper care my quilt will last me "forever" (likely til the end of my backpacking career). YOU may find that your budget just won't stretch to fund a high quality bag. I have a lot of other things I use the quilt for. It fits in the Search and Rescue pack and it also works with my hammock, as well as opening flat to work as an extra layer on the bed - as it did when the heater died on the coldest week of the year.

Your personal equation may be different - you may have different priorities.

Spending $500 on a bag that IS WARM to the rating stated is not only lighter than a cheaper bag, warmer than a cheaper bag, and comfier - it can mean not having to spend more money on other things to make the cheap bag work, and not having to replace it in a few years (synthetics wear out pretty quick with frequent use; the more times you compress and re-stuff and re-pack one the more quickly the fibers break down resulting in a not-warm-enough bag).

Spending the extra dollars on a high quality down item, rather than the low quality gear (800 fp is high quality, 650 fp has lots of feathers and consequently will have more weight and bulk than an equivalent bag with 800 fp down) is worth it to me as well. But it may not be the same for someone who is out two or three nights, every once in a while.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#183053 - 02/20/14 11:40 AM Re: Sleeping bags? [Re: Swizzle]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Most people that make their own sleeping equipment usually stick with quilts...no zipper or hood and much easier to sew. Sewing a sleeping bag is a little more entailed, but doable...if you are good at sewing. Of course, adding down makes it more difficult. Do a google search on diy sleeping quilts and you will find a lot of information. You can always use that to make it a sleeping bag.

For buying a bag...I have found that the kelty down bags seem to run a little shorter than advertised. Cost is, of course, relative. You won't find a warm bag that is under 2 lbs that is less than $200. Well, unless it is super clearance, used, or 5 finger discount.
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#183301 - 02/26/14 04:02 PM Re: Sleeping bags? [Re: finallyME]
Swizzle Offline
member

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 101
Loc: Southern Adirondacks of New Yo...
I have the lightweight wally world bag at a pound and a half and I see people saying the temp rating is more like 45-50 degrees then the suggested 32 degrees on the bag. I should note that I also take a warm winter hat with me on every trip even in summer as well as wool socks and that alone seems to help add a few degrees to my bags. I'm thinking that the kylmit inertia xl sleeping pad used with the wally world bag would help to improve its temp rating by a few degrees as well. I always have a dry sweater that I bring with me as well. The socks and hat add very little weight and I usually end up wearing the sweater for a few hours on cool evenings before bed. So I don't consider the sweater as extra bedding weight.

I should also add that the coldest trip I've been on to date was in the 20's F at night.


Edited by Swizzle (02/26/14 04:04 PM)

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#185401 - 05/27/14 01:04 PM Re: Sleeping bags? [Re: Swizzle]
Hikers Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/20/14
Posts: 2
Size does matters in getting a good sleeping bag. I tried once before a sleeping bag for me and shared it with my husband, we had a terrible sleep at night since we had a long hike in Colorado. But now, we got new sleeping bags that best fit us both. Thanks for this forum, we learned a lot.

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#185470 - 05/30/14 07:10 AM Re: Sleeping bags? [Re: Swizzle]
The Chef Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/28/14
Posts: 11
Here is a thought.
You may need to try multiple womens bags at say an REI or a Backcountry gear store.
If you find a bag you like and fits but does not have the temp rating. Get some down pants and jacket- light weight of course.
I had a 1lb bag rated at 35 degrees.
Temps went below 20 . I have Montbell down pants and a good fleece shirt and I stayed warm with no issue.

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