Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 
Backcountry Gear Clearance and Sale

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#191750 - 08/30/15 10:37 PM Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout
ajreynolds Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/09/15
Posts: 7
Loc: So. California
My son is new in scouting and I'm trying to equip him with reasonably priced gear. Right now I'm looking at sleeping bags. We're in southern California. We're not sure if he's allergic to down, so we want to stick with a synthetic bag and I think a 20 degree regular size bag would be the right choice for him. We want to try to keep it around $150 or less. The bags I'm looking at right now are the North Face Cat's Meow and Mountain Hardware Lamina 20. Both are on sale for the same price and specs are similar. I haven't found many reviews on forums about the Lamina 20, anyone have experience with it? Any other similar bags I should be considering?

Thanks very much.

Top
#191755 - 08/31/15 06:16 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: ajreynolds]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1343
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I didn't look at any of the specifications, but REI-brand sleeping bags were always a good choice for scouts: rugged, durable, and lower cost. (Of course, that comes with a weight penalty - but they're young and strong; just keep them from dragging too much other junk - like clean underwear - along, and they will still carry a fairly light load.

I don't know how tall he is, or how he is built, but REI offers 3 youth bags, if the adult regular bags are too large. Unless he'll only be camping in mild weather, don't buy a bag that is too large "so he'll grow into it." If it's too oversized, there will be too much dead air for him to heat up, and he'll sleep cold as a result. (If you do go that route anyhow, he can fill up some of the space with extra clothes - but that's just additional pack weight and damned inconvenient.) Buy him a bag that fits now, and then replace it in a couple years if he outgrows it. If there's a younger sibling, the bag can be passed down; if not, he can always sell/give it to another newer scout when he outgrows it.

Top
#191756 - 09/01/15 12:22 AM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: ajreynolds]
ajreynolds Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/09/15
Posts: 7
Loc: So. California
Thanks for the insights.

Top
#191761 - 09/01/15 10:57 AM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: Glenn Roberts]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
I didn't look at any of the specifications, but REI-brand sleeping bags were always a good choice for scouts: rugged, durable, and lower cost. (Of course, that comes with a weight penalty - but they're young and strong; just keep them from dragging too much other junk - like clean underwear - along, and they will still carry a fairly light load.

I don't know how tall he is, or how he is built, but REI offers 3 youth bags, if the adult regular bags are too large. Unless he'll only be camping in mild weather, don't buy a bag that is too large "so he'll grow into it." If it's too oversized, there will be too much dead air for him to heat up, and he'll sleep cold as a result. (If you do go that route anyhow, he can fill up some of the space with extra clothes - but that's just additional pack weight and damned inconvenient.) Buy him a bag that fits now, and then replace it in a couple years if he outgrows it. If there's a younger sibling, the bag can be passed down; if not, he can always sell/give it to another newer scout when he outgrows it.


This is a great answer, Glenn. Sounds like you've been there!
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

Top
#191777 - 09/02/15 05:21 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: ajreynolds]
topshot Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 241
Loc: Midwest
Since you're talking synthetic, I'd agree that you can buy one that fits him now if needed since only the really good ones will keep close to their temp rating for more than a couple years (because the insulation loses its loft fairly quickly - make sure you stuff it only as much as necessary and for as little time as possible).

FWIW, the Cat's Meow has been well regarded for a while for a decent economical synthetic bag.

Top
#191795 - 09/08/15 02:45 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: ajreynolds]
kd6hul Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/08/15
Posts: 10
Loc: West Virginia
You might want to take a look at the modular sleep system that the military uses. You can find them surplus and cheap in a variety of places, even Amazon, and it gives you a lot of options. There's a summer weight patrol bag rated to 40, a intermediate bag rated to 10, and when ypu zip one into the other, they rate at -10. If you include the Gore-tex bivy, -30 and waterproof. I use one here in WV, used the same in California when I lived there, and am very happy with it. Super durable, easy to clean and fits me well. BTW, that temp rating is what the bag will protect your body heat down to, not what you will be toasty warm at. Add 15 degrees for toastiness, so a 20 degree bag will protect you down to 20, but keep you comfy down to about 35. YMMV.

Jeff

Top
#191799 - 09/08/15 08:19 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: kd6hul]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1343
Loc: Southwest Ohio
What is the weight and bulk of that system?

I'd definitely recommend looking at them, but if it's very heavy, or very bulky, think long and hard before you get it. It's an adult bag, which may be oversized for your son (see my previous post.) Also, for a 100 pound kid (typical 13-year-old), you need to hold his total pack weight to 15 - 20 pounds (which is what a kid-size pack will be engineered to carry comfortably), and as a result that pack won't have a huge amount of room. Also consider that the troop gear is probably toward the heavy end (for valid reasons of durability, cost, and risk management), and that parental budgets will also lean toward heavier gear. At that point, a 5 or 6 pound sleeping system may be affordable, but bust the budget on the boy's ability to carry weight. (Yeah, I know, having a 13 year old struggle along under a 30-pound load builds character. It also leads to back problems, hip problems, and knee problems due to his still-developing bones and muscles - but not too commonly, because it usually drives him away from backpacking and Scouts long before the irreversible physical damage occurs.)

Top
#191812 - 09/09/15 08:03 AM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: Glenn Roberts]
kd6hul Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/08/15
Posts: 10
Loc: West Virginia
Yalid point.. weight depends on what parts you carry, between 3-10 lbs. It comes with a compression sack that brings all three bags down to a 10 inch dia. roll. The bag fits me well at 6'4" with clothes and boots on. When zipped together, all bags open with one zipper pull. All three bags would be too heavy for a kid, I think, but the patrol bag or intermediate bag by itself would be okay. And it would last a really long time; these bags are super durable.

Jeff

Top
#191822 - 09/09/15 04:36 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: kd6hul]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1343
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Such a system might even serve more than one purpose (from a parent's view.) With the right Scoutmaster, who could teach the Scout how to properly use a bivy sack, the parents might not have to buy - and the boy wouldn't have to carry - a tent. (Of course, he might need a tarp, if that's not part of the group gear, so you'd have to consider tarp plus bivy versus tent for both weight and price.) However, with a bivy, you have to consider when he'll be using it: being shut up in a bivy in August can get a bit warm and damp on a clear night. That can be managed - again, gotta have the right person to teach him.

I spent several years happily camping with a weatherproof bivy and a tarp because it was lighter, more versatile, and fit more spots than a two-person tents. Then the manufacturers realized that you could make a lightweight solo tent that weighed less (Hubba, in my case), and I haven't used a bivy sack since.

My guess is the patrol bag and bivy combo weighs 5-6 pounds? That would be competitive with a synthetic 40 degree bag and a mid-range tent, and certainly something to consider..

Top
#191830 - 09/10/15 10:39 AM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: Glenn Roberts]
JPete Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario
Glenn got ahead of me.

I saw this post and thought about the scouts I've seen on the trail as well as my own experience. Almost every scout I've seen on the trail, myself included, has been obviously and seriously overloaded.

I kept on, probably because I was already hooked, but many, probably most, did not.

Glenn is right on target. I have not seen the US military sleep system, but heard it works well. I also use the bivy and tarp system, mostly out of habit (tents were too heavy when I started).

Used bivys on two AT thru-hikes and they worked well for me. But there is a learning curve.

When it's hot I just sleep on top of the sleeping bag or on top of the bivy itself.

It's the rare all night heavy rain that's a problem. In daytime you just get up and walk. At night, if you have to get up for a run, getting back in without soaking everything involves having a spare jacket and a well-placed tarp and ground cloth.

It's also a trick getting sleeping bag and pad organized. I use the pad inside the bivy. I put a water bottle in the bottom of the sleeping bag and, standing up, I drop the bag and pad into the bivy. This works well, but it's a problem in heavy rain since it's very hard to do under a tarp.

Light tarps are cheap and easily rigged with light cord and hiking poles.

If the sleep system is available cheap, I'd go for it.

Hope this helps.

Best, jcp

Top
#191839 - 09/10/15 06:04 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: JPete]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1343
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I mostly left the sleeping bag inside the bivy, and just stuffed the whole package into the bottom of the bag. (I usually zipped the face cover closed, to keep condensation or other moisture on the outside of the bivy. Rain was never an issue; I always used a 6x8 or 8x10 tarp, so the only moisture was the occasional light stuff that blew in. )
The pad would be inflated and inserted at camp, the removed and deflated for hiking.

Top
#191889 - 09/15/15 04:57 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: ajreynolds]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
The two bags you posted are good options. Kelty also has some good options in that range.

Here are my thoughts on scout sleeping bags. To start, I am a scout master who likes to backpack and take scouts backpacking. I also know that backpacking makes up a tiny percentage of scout campouts. The majority of the time, your scout won't be backpacking. So, here is my best, better, and good suggestions.

Best-
Buy a dedicated backpacking sleeping bag in the 20F range.
Buy a HEAVY duty canvas covered bag in the 20F range.
Buy a winter bag.
The majority of the time, he will use the canvas bag, like 95% of the time. It should also withstand the destruction that he and other boys will do to it.

Better- (this is what I did for my boys)
Buy an MSS sleep system (this is the army's current issue setup). It comes with two sleeping bags that nest inside each other, and a gortex bivy.
Buy a dedicated backpacking sleeping bag.
The army system is great for scouts. You can buy them for around $100 all over the place online. In the winter, you bring the whole system. In fall and spring, you only bring the bivy and heavy black bag. In summer, the bivy and light green bag. You save the nice backpacking sleeping bag for when you are backpacking, and he has a bivy for when the tent he is in (during any campout) leaks.

Good-
Buy the army MSS sleep system and a poncho liner.
When he backpacks, he only takes the green bag and the poncho liner. And, depending on where/when he backpacks and his other clothing...he can probably skip the poncho liner.

As a scoutmaster, I have 3 sleeping bags for myself. One backpacking quilt that I made that is good to below 20F, and weighs close to 2lbs. One old army mummy bag that is canvas covered and good to below 20F, and one mummy bag that weighs around 8 lbs, and is good to -25F. 95% of the time, I use the old army bag. I do plan to replace my winter bag with either an MSS system, or a Wiggy's -25F bag. I also hope to replace the homemade quilt with another homemade quilt, but filled with down. smile


Edited by finallyME (09/15/15 05:03 PM)
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#193389 - 01/29/16 02:18 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: finallyME]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
This is a great string, and there will be more scout parents who will soon have the same questions. A lot depends on what is currently available on the market, and what is being closed out from last years (or the year before's) gear.

However, I thought I'd offer a couple of posts addressing questions about the MSS/EWCS gear.

http://woodtrekker.blogspot.com/2014/05/us-military-modular-sleep-system-mss.html

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/u.s.-armed-forces/modular-sleep-system-mss/

Both reviews are worth reading before you spend the money and stick your kid in one.

Personally, I really like the 2 - 2.5 lb/15 degree gear that you all guided me into, and I didn't spend a lot on it when I got it from REI on clearance.

Top
#193396 - 01/29/16 02:55 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: Steadman]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I should have looked at this thread sooner. As a parent and grandparent who has always been on a low budget, I would like to contradict the advice about getting a bag that fits the youngster now. Children do grow, and those of scouting age are going to shoot up in the next few years! This year's bag that fits will likely be far too small next year!

It's easy to solve the "dead air" space problem by tying a cord around the lower part of the bag. I did this with my kids and also with my grandkids. Be sure to remove the cord for storage!

While a good down bag will last a lot longer, you're looking at a synthetic bag. Those have a life of about 5-6 years before significantly losing their loft (i.e. what was a 20* bag becomes a 40* bag). Even so, it's a good idea to get a bag large enough to fit the youngster during its useful life!


Edited by OregonMouse (01/29/16 02:56 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#196357 - 08/15/16 10:33 AM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: ajreynolds]
jeffmontgome Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/15/16
Posts: 3
Hey,

I know this question is kind of old, but since the discussion still goes on, I will add my 3 cents.

I use Coleman Trinidad warm weather sleeping bag for my summer camping trips.

For colder weather I have two more sleeping bags. One is a 3-season sleeping bag, another one is a 4-season sleeping bag.

There is definitely no need to spend 300 or 500 USD for a summer sleeping bag. Don't get fooled by the "amazing features". A warm weather sleeping bag can be as simple as it can be...


Cheers..

Top
#196362 - 08/15/16 02:07 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: jeffmontgome]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Depends on the "summer"! In the Rockies, it can freeze and snow any month of the year. For example, five years ago, in Wyoming's Wind Rivers, for two Saturdays in a row it snowed (almost a foot was reported in Titcomb Basin) and the temperature went down to 15*F (20*F at Elkhart Park). (If my dog hadn't gotten sick, I would have been at 11,000 feet for the second storm.) I would not go out in either the Rockies or Cascades with anything less warm than a 20* bag, plus plenty of warm clothing.

Of course if you live in Ohio or Alabama....

In other words, your "summer" sleeping bag needs to be suited to where you are backpacking.


Edited by OregonMouse (08/15/16 02:07 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#196394 - 08/21/16 06:04 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: OregonMouse]
jeffmontgome Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/15/16
Posts: 3
Agree. By "summer" I meant summer NOT in the mountains. For mountains I use a different sleeping bag (a 3 or 4-season one).

Totally agree with your line - "In other words, your "summer" sleeping bag needs to be suited to where you are backpacking."

Cheers


Edited by jeffmontgome (08/21/16 06:04 PM)

Top
#196442 - 08/26/16 02:43 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: ajreynolds]
Linton23 Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/14/16
Posts: 4
I am in a similar spot my boys are in scouting and Florida gets some cold weather and we avoid summer camping. I got lucky and got 2 nice 40 degree bags mummy bags at an auction that were brand new. My oldest is fine even down to the low 20's with good layering, thermals, sweat pants an long sleeve shirt but my youngest is more likely to be cold. I got him a suisse sleeping bag that's rated for 20 from our Kmart going out of business sale. In warmer campouts we just take to 40 degree bags and use them as cover sleeping on camp pads. My youngest also loves using a hammock with bug netting when its warmer. We do a lot of car camping drive to the spot and camp or canoe to the site and camp so weight has not mattered much but we just started backpacking and now I am looking for myself a lighter sleeping bag. I got an alps mountaineering 0 degree wide as I am not small and its great for car and the canoe but it does not pack down and weight right at 8 pounds but it sleeps warm and I have had it down to 20 degrees on a dock in a swamp in the open air. I would find out from the scout leader what kind of camping they do and buy accordingly. Look for great deals online and locally. I got all of us 65 liter backpacks from amazon for more than half-off last year. My tents I got from Kelty on a discount end of the year sale. The troop may also have some loaner gear for them to start out in as well and have him ask some of the other scouts about there gear.

Top
#196546 - 09/11/16 10:18 PM Re: Sleeping bag for a Boy Scout [Re: Linton23]
AAONMS Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/11/16
Posts: 1
Loc: Fruit Cove, Florida
In addition to the above, here are a few others, listed in no particular order:
http://boyslife.org/section/outdoors/guygear/
http://scoutmastercg.com/category/gear/
http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/

As B-P said: Good luck and good camping…

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Bivvy Sack combo Arrangement
by Jim M
10/18/17 01:58 AM
what is the lightest framed backpack around 40L
by toddfw2003
10/16/17 07:23 PM
a worthy challenger to the msr pocket rocket2
by the-gr8t-waldo
10/16/17 01:28 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Napa Fires
by balzaccom
10/11/17 07:43 PM
Backpacking the Ouachita Trail thanksgiving
by toddfw2003
10/05/17 11:54 PM
Rockfalll on El Capitan in Yosemite
by balzaccom
09/28/17 09:47 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
alcohol stove comparisons
by Bike_packer
10/03/17 08:56 PM
Can footprint plasticizer harm tent ground-sheet?
by Weston1000
09/10/17 02:24 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 19 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Blackbuzzard, LivelyLiz, Weve, Tones21, Pasquale
12424 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com