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#110492 - 02/01/09 12:02 AM Warm sleeping bag?
Katrina Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Montana
I just moved to Montana and will be backpacking for my job this winter. I know I get extremely cold at night, so I've always chosen a -20 degree bag. I need to buy a new sleeping bag - what do you recommend for a reliable, warm bag that's not more than $350?

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#110493 - 02/01/09 12:55 AM Re: Warm sleeping bag? [Re: Katrina]
Heber Offline
member

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 245
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
A minus 20 degree bag eh? for less than $350? I think that means that top notch down bags like Western Mountaineering are out of the picture. Why not look at a quality synthetic bag? There's a weight penalty of course when you get away from down but there is less concern about getting you bag wet. I think Wiggy's bags are considered very good synthetic bags for extreme cold. Their Ultima Thule is a -20 degree bag and I notice they are currently selling it for $275.

Sounds like an interesting job! Why won't someone hire me to go backpacking?

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#110513 - 02/01/09 12:49 PM Re: Warm sleeping bag? [Re: Heber]
Katrina Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Montana
Thanks for the reply! I am concerned about the weight because I'll be backpacking... but synthetic is not out of the question. Wiggy's Ultima Thule looks promising but heavy. Do you know anything about the REI Kilo Expedition -20 down bag for $359? Generally, it's received good reviews...

My job is working with the Montana Conservation Corps. Lucky, eh?

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#110518 - 02/01/09 02:02 PM Re: Warm sleeping bag? [Re: Katrina]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3974
Loc: Bend, Oregon
K
Have you checked with the corps for reccomendations?

Are you experienced enough to live in a down bag all summer?

Lastly - you should learn to sleep more warmly in a lighter bag. There is always something that you can do to be warmer. Never sleep naked in your down bag.

I really think you need more experience and less sleeping bag.

Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#110521 - 02/01/09 02:19 PM Re: Warm sleeping bag? [Re: Jimshaw]
Katrina Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Montana
My experience on trail crew and month-long backpacking trips is that I sleep cold, even if I wear a layer, drink warm liquids before bed, and bring a hot water bottle to bed.

I'm also guessing that a warmer degree bag is needed for backpacking in Montana during the winter and spring. So, I'm really looking for -20.

Specifically, what kind of experience would you recommend to sleep in a lighter bag?

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#110524 - 02/01/09 02:45 PM Re: Warm sleeping bag? [Re: Katrina]
grandtheory Offline
member

Registered: 01/17/09
Posts: 53
Loc: Indiana
Perhaps you could get a lighter sleeping bag and supplement it with an emergency sleeping bag/bivy.



_________________________
"The panic grabbed my leg, you know, it pulled me in."

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#110525 - 02/01/09 02:49 PM Re: Warm sleeping bag? [Re: grandtheory]
Katrina Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Montana
Thanks for the suggestion about the emergency sleeping bag/bivy. I like that idea!

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#110528 - 02/01/09 02:55 PM Re: Warm sleeping bag? [Re: Katrina]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3974
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Katrina
You did not fill out your profile. We know NOTHING about you. Many people besides yourself sleep cold. My question was not to insult you, but rather to ask - Do you have a lot of experience with down bags. The boyscout group that I worked with would not allow boys to use down and leaders had to have over 50 nights experience with down before they were allowed to use down in the winter. There is a learning curve, even in the summer - you have to keep that down dry or it soon will not be a -20 bag anymore.

As far as sleeping warm experience. Have you ever been freezing in your bag and done something to warm yourself up? Do you understand that the fit of the bag is as important as its rating? The tighter a bag fits you, the warmer you will be. Tyng a piece of cord loosely around your knees out side the sleeping bag, will keep the bag closer to you and will isolate your feet, making them warmer. Tucking excess sleeping bag under makes you warmer. I have had friends freeze in a -5 bag at 10 above because claustrophobia prevented them from putting their head inside the bag and drawing up the hood. Carefully tucking your long underwear top into the bottoms, then pulling down you fleece sleeping jacket will make you warmer. Doing a isometric exercises in your bag will generate heat. Pulling your warm jacket over your torso, wearing light sleeping gloves and loose wool sleeping socks will keep you warmer as will using all of the designed in features of your sleeping bag, like the neck collar will keep you warmer.

However how tightly you fit into your bag, wearing the right layers of sleeping clothes, and pulling a down jacket over the top of your bag are the most important.

Now people will say that tying a cord around you bag can't be warmer because of the "loft" thing. Actually the cord will sink ino the down and the down will swell around it and you will not even see where it is, but it will be warmer. Tie another cord around your waist - even warmer. I inserted two cords into my WM winter bag, one just below my knees and one just below my waist. They are actually 1/8" diameter elastic with just a tiny bit of tension, and they are just under the inner nylon layer and run from side to side being stitched down by the zippers.

Wear a balaclava. Use a GOOD sleeping pad, thin "light weight" pads are uncomfortable after a month or so...

Jim YMMV crazy
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#110529 - 02/01/09 02:59 PM Re: Warm sleeping bag? [Re: Katrina]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee

I would say look at marmot bags but they are a little out of your budget of $350.00. They will do every thing else that you need but the price for a -20 degree bag will be around $600.00...Sorry...Hope that helps...sabre11004...

The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there !!!!!! eek
_________________________
The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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#110530 - 02/01/09 03:00 PM Re: Warm sleeping bag? [Re: grandtheory]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3974
Loc: Bend, Oregon
grandtheory
quote"Perhaps you could get a lighter sleeping bag and supplement it with an emergency sleeping bag/bivy."
______________________________________________________

Well thats a grandtheory for sure. NOT! crazyYou show a picture of a non-breathable shell over a sleeper. This is the worst possible combination! crazy

The water vapor that does breath out harmlessly through your bag WILL CONDENSE and soak the outer shell and on into your bag with real wet type water vs gas like water vapor.

Never defeat a breathable shelled sleeping bag by putting anything over it that will keep it from out gassing. It would only be warmer for half a night or so - been there - soaked my sleeping bag. I also so thought it would keep off the dew - wrong.

Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#110534 - 02/01/09 03:47 PM Re: Warm sleeping bag? [Re: Jimshaw]
grandtheory Offline
member

Registered: 01/17/09
Posts: 53
Loc: Indiana
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
grandtheory
quote"Perhaps you could get a lighter sleeping bag and supplement it with an emergency sleeping bag/bivy."
______________________________________________________

Well thats a grandtheory for sure. NOT! crazyYou show a picture of a non-breathable shell over a sleeper. This is the worst possible combination! crazy

The water vapor that does breath out harmlessly through your bag WILL CONDENSE and soak the outer shell and on into your bag with real wet type water vs gas like water vapor.

Never defeat a breathable shelled sleeping bag by putting anything over it that will keep it from out gassing. It would only be warmer for half a night or so - been there - soaked my sleeping bag. I also so thought it would keep off the dew - wrong.

Jim


oh... sorry for the bad advice. It was just a thought. Thanks for the info, Jim.
_________________________
"The panic grabbed my leg, you know, it pulled me in."

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#110662 - 02/04/09 01:41 AM Re: Warm sleeping bag? [Re: grandtheory]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By grandtheory
Perhaps you could get a lighter sleeping bag and supplement it with an emergency sleeping bag/bivy.





Owch. holy crap! don't do this! That liner over a bag will leave you soaked and cold.

The only thing you should consider is putting such a thing as a vapour barrier *inside* the bag, not overtop! with something like that over the bag you'll just wet it out in many situations.

Now, one practcal alternative for the OP instead of this is to
buy themselves a lighter (like a 20F or 32F) good quality down bag, and then leave a couple of options

1) put the down mummy inside a synthtic barrel bag (cheapie from wal-mar) when colder,
and/or
2) learn to sleep in the bag with some layers on.

I sleep in -30C - and I use two bags. I don't own a -20 sleeping bag.

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