Loc: Hervey Bay, QLD Australia
Two years ago I bit the bullet and bought a WM Versalite Super. Now I can't imagine sleeping in anything else. It's not just the weight savings that you are buying, but the thoughtful quality construction. (this is not a plug for WM - there are lots of great, well made bags - I just happened to buy from WM). My previous bag was a very nice Northface down. It kept me warm enough and was comfortable, but nothing like the Versalite. I am a toss and turn sleeper and the Versalite floats over me so I can turn inside the bag - which keeps the top on top where most of the down is. And, of course, there is the weight savings because, lets face it, your sleeping bag spends most of it's time in your pack. In my case I dropped a pound and a half out of my pack when I switched. It was pricey (I think I got it on sale for $340), but I'll have it for years, and I now look forward to climbing into it every time I go out.
i really don't think that applies to me.
He still only guarantees 3.15” loft. It’s lucky you got 4”.
Your difference is still based on $125 V Bag which we can’t buy anymore; we have to pay $165 even though we don’t want the pillow. This is as of 12/26/07 unless Bruce changes it.
Still, look at your numbers: “… 20-degree bags @ 6’6” long x 32” wide x 5” loft: Campmor 20------20oz. of 550 down-----38oz tot.wt---------$120”
“…30-degree bags @ 6’6” long x 30” wide x 4” loft: LuxuryLite V Bag-------?? oz. of ??? down----30oz tot. wt-----$125” (BTW, that $125 should be $165)
Now let’s knock some down out of the campmor bag to get it down to 4” loft. This would probably be 8oz, or 30oz total weight. Since it’s ~$8/oz for 800 down I would suspect it to be 1/3 that for 550. Anyway, the new campmor 30F bag should be ~$20 less or $100. I don’t see how the V-Bag will catch on since it’s expensive and has been tried before.
You used weight comparisons “Two 30-degree bags @ 6’6” long x 30” wide x 4” loft: LuxuryLite V Bag-------?? oz. of ??? down----30oz tot. wt-----$125 (BTW, that $125 should be $165) WM SummerLite--------10oz. of 850 down------21oz tot. wt.----$260 Difference------------------??--------??-----------------9oz-----------------$135”
I think it is worth the extra $95 (not $135 BTW) in materials and workmanship for the much warmer and lighter bag. Also the WM takes up less space in the backpack. Bruce does point out for cold nights (30F?) that you would need a coat in the V bag. You don’t have to with the WM SummerLite. I see two reasons here: 1. The top zipper of the V Bag. It promotes down shifting to the sides (instead of staying on top). That’s why top zippers haven’t been popular (though tried several times). 2. The web site even says there’s less down in the torso.
Another note. You also stated “I understand the difference in total weight due to the heavier fabric in the Campmor bag, but I don’t see how 20oz. of 550 can equal 19oz. of 850 down? And the equal 20-degree rating when the AlpinLite has a down collar and the Campmor does not.”
You’re right. They’re not equal. Two things going on here: Campmor is using a heavier bag material (though rugged) that squishes the loft of the down (thus limiting warmth); and Campmor is VERY liberal on its temperature rating; campmor actually needs more 550 down to equal the 850 down.
Back to the original poster, I do not think this V-bag is a true 35F bag. You need to wear a coat for those temps.
The V-Bag looks fine for a quilt. But aren’t there cheaper and lighter quilts out there (for same temperature)?
Bruce does point out for cold nights (30F?) that you would need a coat in the V bag. You don’t have to with the WM SummerLite.
I bought a Summerlite earlier this year, and although the lowest temperature at which I've used it is about 40F, I could tell that if it dropped much lower, I'd be putting on (at least) long johns. The Summerlite is a fine bag for it's intended use, but it has some limitations. It's a little underfilled...the down is very easily shifted to top or bottom with a gentle shake. This is a legitimate way to make a bag, of course, but the tradeoff, as always, is warmth for weight. I think my bag is typical, BTW, as it weighs just what the manufacturer states. Fill weight for the regular length Summerlite is 9 ounces...10 for the long length. It's rated at 32F, but I think that's optimistic unless you're a fairly warm sleeper, which I am not.
This has been a very informative thread with a lot of input from users of a lot of different sleeping bags. Over 15 and counting the last time I read through the whole post. Pose a question about the WM SummerLite bag and someone such as bilk chips in with an answer based on their actual experience. This is great, I have learned a lot about bags I have never used and hope to learn even more.
The last thing I want to do is hijack this thread and turn it into a “LuxuryLite V Bag” thread. I would rather hear more about other bags but I feel I must respond when I disagree with statements about something I have some experience with. So I will mount up and ride off in all directions one more time.
BarryP Quote: “He still only guarantees 3.15” loft. It’s lucky you got 4”.
It has been a long time since anyone called me “lucky”. The last wooden leg I ordered came with a knothole in it.
Of course the V Bag has a full guarantee and if my bag had not lofted a full 4-inches I would have sent it back. To quote the LuxuryLite web site: “Loft (thickness) 4” total” and this is posted right under a small picture demonstrating the 4-inch loft. The picture is a nice extra touch and I don’t know of anyone else selling sleeping bags that have done that. It would be even nicer if some of the other V Bag owners would jump in at this point with their pro and con opinions.
I don’t think it is fair to include the extra $40 for the pillow when you are comparing the price of the V Bag against other bags without a pillow. The V Bag prices are all off-season sale prices anyway and subject to change. In season and over the long haul I would not be surprised to find the average prices of a high volume dealer like Campmor to be lower. I did screw up on the price of the WM SummerLite long bag; it should have been $305, not $260.
If what you say is true that “Campmor is VERY liberal on its temperature rating” and their heavier fabric material “squishes the loft” than I can’t very well evaluate or respond to your comparison of the 20/30-degree Campmor bags to the V Bag. And this would be a good spot for some Campmor bag owners to respond. At least Campmor lists loft measurements for their brand of bags. So many others do not and that is a big turn off for me when I am shopping for sleeping bags.
I measured the loft of the V Bag with two 4-inch book stacks and a PVC pipe. I drug the bag under the pipe and had good contact with the pipe in both the upper torso and lower leg areas of the bag. I think the extra down in the lower area may be denser but I could not detect much difference in loft. This is probably why bilk and I have had comparable results at around 40-degrees, we both have 4-inch loft bags. I sleep colder than I used to, but did not need my down vest using the V bag as a quilt until the temperature fell to 30 degrees and when it bottomed out at 25 degrees, I zipped the bag up. I stayed warm on what has been my coldest night.
And so far, I have not noticed any excessive down shifting nor any other issues with the location of the top center full-length V Bag zipper. I have told my wife I need to get out more and do a lot more “field testing.” I won’t repeat what she told me.
There are several good bags out there that have half-length center zips. The Nunatak Alpinist should probably be on anyone’s ultimate bag list. It is listed with 2.5-inch high baffles, which should two-layer loft about 5 inches. The 6’ 6 inch long bag is 23 ounces and costs $411. Here is what Nunatak says about the center zip Alpinist.
“First we moved the zipper from the side to a center front location. This gives you full use of both arms while still having head and back in the sleeping bag, a must when performing camp tasks in less than ideal conditions. The center zip also gives you more effective torso ventilation. Sleeping on your sides is also more comfortable since a zipper on your shoulder sucks.”
I have found lighter weight down sleeping quilts such as Nunatak and Jacks R Better, but none as cheap as the V Bag. And I like having a back up zipper for those cold nights when I chicken out.
If you make your own you can get what you want. If you want someone else to make it for you - add their labor and profit to that. Anther option - if you are ever in China.....pick one up. I bet you could get one over there for 75.00, that would sell at REI for 375.00.
Now we could use some input from Big Agnes bag users. Anyone side sleeping in one? Or using a “normal” bag inside one of these? I have been thinking about the BA system as a winter over bag for my LuxuryLite V Bag/quilt. I am a side sleeper but I only roll over when I am awake. I know I can do this under my quilt and inside an old 32-inch wide synthetic fill mummy bag without turning the bag over. I don’t care about the hood except as a place to hold my pillow. So would a BA system work for a side sleeper like me?
I don’t see the Moon Hill model on the BA web site? The specs quoted by totem pole look great.