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#198631 - 07/01/17 09:00 AM newbi
ernie Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/01/17
Posts: 4
Loc: illinois
just bought an osprey aether pack ,was wondering what kinda sleepning bag fits,have not ever been backpacking before ,so any gear advice is helpful,thank you

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#198632 - 07/01/17 12:34 PM Re: newbi [Re: ernie]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: Portland, OR
First question: have you ever been camping or hiking much, or any, in the past? This is the best place to start with, for our understanding who we are giving advice to.

Which sleeping bags fit in your pack is of minimal importance until you know what temperatures you will encounter. You're going to have a wide variety of choices no matter what the answer to that is and their costs will also cover a wide range. Eventually, how bulky it is will be a factor, but not to begin.

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#198633 - 07/01/17 02:14 PM Re: newbi [Re: ernie]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1339
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Virtually any bag will fit in the pack. The larger question is, will there be any room for anything else?

Normally, the pack is the last thing you buy; you then get one that holds your gear and has a suspension sufficiently robust to handle the weight of that gear plus the consumables (food, water, and fuel.)

Having said that, which size Aether pack did you get? If it fits you well, that's a good pack (and fit, not brand or model, is all that matters. Don't let anyone tell you differently.) Knowing the size pack will also help us advise you as you go.

As far as sleeping bags, just about any down bag should fit into the pack with plenty of room left over. It should also be able to hold any 20 - 30 degree from a reputable manufacturer (all bets are off if you dip into the bullet-and-bait big box stores, or Walmart.) Kelly, Thermarest, Sierra Designs and others you find at REI or the local shop should also fit.

Finally, in case no one told you, the divider between the sleeping bag compartment and the main pack can be detached at two corners and dropped against the side of the pack. At that point, your whole pack is available to hold it (or, if you bag didn't fill the sleeping bag compartment, it's now open to hold other stuff.) You do not have to divide your load to protect the bag; it will do just fine if other gear stacks directly on it.

Now, about sleeping bags (that might be your next purchase?) There are two types: down and synthetic. Down lasts longer, weighs less, is more compressible and costs significantly more. Synthetic bags are more affordable, weigh more, take up more space, and don't last nearly as long. "Warm when wet" is something you'll often hear inexperienced sales people talk about. It's nonsense. Neither type of bag will keep you warm when it's soaked. The bigger question is how did you let it get that way? It's hard to get a bag wet when it's in a stuff sack inside your pack which has a pack liner, pack cover, or poncho protecting it in the rain. You might get some dampness on the bag inside your tent (assuming it has a decent rain fly), but that shouldn't be a big problem. The way you get it wet is to leave it on a rock while you take a day hike, and the rains come; or you spend considerable time in the water recovering from a dunking, or have to swim a river. Those can be avoided with experience and planning.

Sleeping bags also come in two basic shapes: mummy and rectangular. Mummy typically has a hood; rectangular usually don't. So, for cold temps (say, below 50, based on my own experience) you want that mummy with its hood. The hood adds a lot of warmth (by preventing heat loss through your head), and the mummy shape means you're heating up less dead air space. In warmer temperatures (above 50, for me) a rectangular bag is fine - a quilt is even better. You use a quilt (also hoodless) like the covers on your bed at home: just pull them over you, and let arms and legs stick out as you prefer.

Sleeping bags are only as good as the pad under them - but that's another post; I've probably overloaded you sufficiently for now. smile

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#198635 - 07/01/17 05:50 PM Re: newbi [Re: aimless]
ernie Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/01/17
Posts: 4
Loc: illinois
thanks for the reply,have done mostly car camping and hiking.3 season.

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#198636 - 07/01/17 06:05 PM Re: newbi [Re: Glenn Roberts]
ernie Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/01/17
Posts: 4
Loc: illinois
thanks for the reply,not knowing what i'm doing i already got the pack ,it's a med.70L went to rei just to try out to see if one would fit my large gut,found out it has a changeable hip belt and was on sale 25% off.

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#198637 - 07/01/17 06:28 PM Re: newbi [Re: ernie]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: Portland, OR
If you've camped before and hiked, then you're halfway home! smile

As Glenn already pointed out, the two main categories of sleeping bag are down-filled or synthetic-filled. If you can afford down-filled, all I can say is get one!

Once you've got that far in your decision-making process, you'll be confronted by "temperature ratings". The best advice here is, first, do not believe the number, because it is always overly optimistic. If it is an "EN-Rated" bag, the number is a bit more reliable, but still optimistic, and at least the EN ratings are consistent across all manufacturers and models. An EN-rated bag claiming "25 degrees" will be almost exactly as warm any other EN-rated bag that claims "25 degrees". My rule of thumb is to figure out the coldest night I expect to face, based on the season, the elevation and the forecast, then carry a sleeping bag rated about ten degrees below that, for comfort.

The next thing to know about sleeping bags is how well you'll fit inside it. That's its length and 'girth'. Girths vary a fair amount. If you are especially big around, you'll need a bigger girth. Lengths are pretty standardized. Regular length is generally good up to 6 feet tall. If you're very tall, pick an extra-long bag.

Try not to get a bag so big you'll swim around in it. Too big bags will be heavier and bulkier than necessary and won't hold your heat as well.

The last really big thing to consider is weight. You'll have to carry the dang thing! Overall, down-filled bags are warmer per pound than synthetic ones. A down-filled bag will tell you about how much loft it has per ounce of down as a number: usually 650, 750, or 800. The higher the number the pricier the bag, but the less the whole bag will weigh. Less weight for the same warmth is A Good Thing.

As for getting a bag that fits into your pack, sleeping bags can be compressed, especially down-filled bags. There are special compression sacks you can use to smash them into remarkably small sizes. And just because there is a place in your pack a sales person called a "sleeping bag compartment" doesn't mean you have to put a sleeping bag there. Pack your pack any way that works best for you.

That should give you some ideas to chew on. laugh

P.S. If you can by chance get ahold of any of the books by Colin Fletcher, titled "The Complete Walker", nab it and read it. The equipment shown will all be outdated, but the general advice is still the best, most sensible introduction to backpacking I know of.


Edited by aimless (07/01/17 06:32 PM)
Edit Reason: Added a postscript

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#198640 - 07/01/17 07:21 PM Re: newbi [Re: ernie]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Can't think of a thing to add to the advice already given, except for more explanation of the EN13537 sleeping bag ratings.

I "sleep cold
, so I always look at the "comfort" rating.

Where do you expect to backpack? Look at the low temps for the areas you plan to go--not just the "average" low but at the record lows for the months you expect to be out.. I generally plan for about 5 degrees above the record.

If you plan to be out both summer and winter, especially in areas with hot summers and cold winters, you may need two bags. Of course you can always unzip or even lie on top of a warm bag, but carrying the weight of a zero degree bag for hot summer nights is something else again.

BTW, I'd keep that pack clean and keep the tags and receipts until you have most of your other gear. That seems an awfully large pack to me. With REI, you have a year to return it, no questions asked, if it turns out not to fit your gear or to be comfortable for you when fully loaded. Do wait, though, because if you end up with a bulky synthetic bag and/or a bear canister, you might need that size.

There's lots of advice on gear selection and other advice, including gear lists, on the home page of this site.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#198641 - 07/01/17 07:22 PM Re: newbi [Re: aimless]
ernie Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/01/17
Posts: 4
Loc: illinois
awesome ,thank you

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#198642 - 07/01/17 07:31 PM Re: newbi [Re: aimless]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1339
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I warmly second the recommendation to read Fletcher. Complete Walker IV (co-authored with Chip Rawlings) is the most current, and contains the most information about packing light. Complete Walker III, written by Fletcher only, is probably the best written - but packing light was just coming into fashion, and the gear makers weren't offering light gear yet (and cottage makers were just starting to spring up.

Fletcher talks about the feel-how, not just the know-how. I learned to backpack using the original Complete Walker.

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#198654 - 07/04/17 12:10 PM Re: newbi [Re: ernie]
the-gr8t-waldo Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Tacoma, Washington
Originally Posted By ernie
thanks for the reply,not knowing what i'm doing i already got the pack ,it's a med.70L went to rei just to try out to see if one would fit my large gut,found out it has a changeable hip belt and was on sale 25% off.
you might check out the pack manufacture's site. often they have larger belts available.....understandably, retailers like REI shy away from stocking any add on equipment.... another book worth mentioning is Mike Clelland's "ultralite backpacking tips"


Edited by the-gr8t-waldo (07/04/17 12:15 PM)

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