Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

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

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 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

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#110655 - 02/03/09 09:35 PM Sleeping bags...dare I ask?
Gadgetech Offline


Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Upstate, SC
I really need to get a bag since I plan on camping soon. I am going to camp with a meetup group in the area and will be doing some beginner stuff in march / april time frame. I really like the western mountaineering bags but I just can't decide which one. I was asked by one outfitter what I thought the coldest I would sleep in and my reply was 0 degree once I get more experience as I would like to travel out west some. We can have nights that get below 20 in the mountains around here in the winter months so I thought about the badger which is a 15 degree bag, large cut (which I will need) but I'm afraid I'll roast in the spring and fall. I plan on purchasing a lesser expensive synthetic bag for the summer months as I probably won't camp much during those times. I would imagine the spring and fall temps to be anywhere from 30-50 at night in the mountains.

Give me some feedback in terms of what degree bag I should look at. I am pretty set on WM bags based on my research which is not to discount other bag manufacturers, just that I have made my mind up on this one...I think. Uh, yeah.

Top
#110674 - 02/04/09 08:57 AM Re: Sleeping bags...dare I ask? [Re: Gadgetech]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I do the majority of my camping in the Sierra or extreme southern Cascades. You are hitting the shoulder seasons, where, on some trips, a summer bag may be ok for the weekend, but things can change in a hurry. I have used my WMCaribou bag on mid Spring snowcamp trips and in the Fall. If you have a good warm coat, you can get by. I have been out in mid Oct. and had temps in the mid twenties but I had a 25 degree bag. You may be asking too much out of one bag. Also, the rule of thumb, is get a bag, ten degrees warmer then what you expect to be exposed to. A 15 degree bag for a 25 degree trip, etc. I have had my 5 degree Antelope Super DL on a mid Spring trip and the overnight temp only got to 32. I was roasting when I went to bed, but the down will adjust, so I only suffered for a few hours. By morning I was fine. Enjoy your shopping and decision.:)

Top
#110676 - 02/04/09 09:31 AM Re: Sleeping bags...dare I ask? [Re: Gadgetech]
jpanderson80 Offline
member

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 292
Loc: Memphis, TN
WM bags are "adjustable" in a small way... In the BADGER model, since the down is contained in continuous baffles, the down can be pushed on top of you if you are very cold and off to the side or under you if you are hot. I use this feature for each night to be sure I match the temp with my bag & down to get a good combination. It's nice because my 20*F bag will serve all my needs throughout the year here in the south. The full zipper makes a nice vent too!
_________________________
I always forget and make it more complicated than it needs to be...it's just walking.

Top
#110687 - 02/04/09 11:46 AM Re: Sleeping bags...dare I ask? [Re: jpanderson80]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6769
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
If you're going to backpack in the Rockies in summer, you really need a 20* bag. At high altitudes, clear nights are often frosty, and it can snow at any time. Last summer when I was in the Wind Rivers, it snowed down to 10,000 ft. on August 15. All the nights for the week after that were below freezing. My WM Ultralight Super (with me wearing a heavy base layer, balaclava and a vapor barrier inside) was a bit marginal a couple of those nights.

On the other hand, if I'd put the jacket on I could undoubtedly have withstood a colder night. I'm an unusually cold sleeper.

The continuous baffle bit may be fine for those who stay in one place for sleeping, but I do a lot of tossing and turning. As a result, I have to work at evening up the down along each baffle every night so I don't freeze when I turn over!

It's easy to use a warm bag as a quilt on warm nights, or just leave it open. However, we don't get the hot muggy nights out here in the Northwest that you get where you are, and during some of those you might drench the bag with sweat even if you just sleep on top of it. For your situation, I can't see any way out of having a light summer bag and a heavier shoulder season bag.


_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#110696 - 02/04/09 12:36 PM Re: Sleeping bags...dare I ask? [Re: OregonMouse]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
I think that WM makes some of the best looking bags out there. They are just impressive to look at and they are great bags too. With that being said, I think that you can get a bag with close to the same weight (I said close) and for a lot less money, especially if you are going to end up having to have two bags any way...I use a Marmot that is rated a "zero" degree bag so it is probably around 10-15 degrees. I works great and weighs in around 2 lbs. I think...I think that I paid around 150.00 for it but I got it on a web site (which one I don't remember) that was clearancing them out and only had a couple of them left... Hope that helps...sabre11004...

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

Top
#110700 - 02/04/09 01:11 PM Re: Sleeping bags...dare I ask? [Re: Gadgetech]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
I have WM bags too; what sold me on them is their reputation for --- if anything --- understating their temperature ratings, and I wasn't dissapointed.

For a general use bag in the types of conditions you're talking about, I'd be inclined to err on the safe side and get a 20 degree rated bag. If you get one with a full length zipper, you can open it up in warm weather and use it like a quilt (that can be nice in not-so-warm weather too).

It's tough to estimate what the right bag is without knowing all the variables, including your metabolism (how warm or cold you tend to sleep), what kind of shelter you use, what kind of padding you use underneath, amount and type of clothing you have along that you're willing to wear in the bag, the range of conditions you could reasonably encounter, and how close you're willing to flirt with the edge of discomfort/danger for the most extreme cold nights.
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

Top
#110702 - 02/04/09 01:19 PM Re: Sleeping bags...dare I ask? [Re: Gadgetech]
Berserker Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 493
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
I hike primarily in the Southeast, and my advice would be to buy a bag rated at the temperatures you expect to be in the most. This is probably something you will not figure out until you get out a few times. When I started hiking my first inclination was to buy a 0 or -10 deg bag. Now 7 years later, the coldest temperature I have ever even been out in was 12 deg, and I don't plan to do that again. So, I would recommend maybe a good 15 deg bag as a starting point, and then if you get into hiking you'll probably want to get additional bags for different scenarios.

Note that how you sleep (i.e. are you a cold or warm sleeper) as well as your shelter can make a big difference in your comfort.

Just for your info I have 3 WM bags: a Caribou (35F), an Ultralite (20F), and a Versalite (10F). I use the Caribou about 2/3 of the time, and just wear clothing inside of it if it's going to be cold. I use the Versalite the rest of the time. The Ultralite will probably get sold. I have also hiked out West a few times in the summer (Southern Utah and Sierras), and the Caribou was sufficient for these trips.


Edited by Berserker (02/04/09 01:28 PM)

Top
#110712 - 02/04/09 02:46 PM Re: Sleeping bags...dare I ask? [Re: Gadgetech]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Three comments:

As mentioned above, continuous baffles are a great feature because they give you a degree of flexibility.

When choosing a bag I prefer to compare the amount of loft instead of temp ratings. It's a much more objective comparison. Temp. ratings can be all over the board and some manufacturers make some pretty wild claims.

Lately I have adopted a two bag system. A summer/fall weight bage inside an overbag. Not the lightest solution but cheaper and more flexible than buying a dedicated winter bag.
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

Top
#110731 - 02/04/09 09:35 PM Re: Sleeping bags...dare I ask? [Re: Trailrunner]
Gadgetech Offline


Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Upstate, SC
Well all the advice is excellent. I think I will purchase the Badger as it is a 15* bag. I do not have any doubts that I will need a summer bag though. The sleeping bag is one area where I will spend some dough and WM seems to make a bag that's worth it. Also, the large size of the Badger will work well for me. In regards to hiking in the summer months when it is muggy, I don't think I'll do much of that. I also plan to ask some of the folks I'll be hiking with what they recommend. The guy I deal with at the local outfitter recommends the badger and he camps a lot in the area but I do like to hear advice from others.

If anything I sleep on the warm side but don't put out the heat like I used to. Being diabetic also requires some consideration as I have read that it tends to aid in colder extremities.


Edited by TitanDriver (02/04/09 09:36 PM)

Top
#110808 - 02/06/09 11:33 AM Re: Sleeping bags...dare I ask? [Re: Gadgetech]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Given your location in South Carolina, I would start with a 30-F bag like the Megalite. That's the bag I use from March through mid-November in the Southern Appalachians. It's warm enough to take well below freezing (if you have the right clothing), but not so warm that I need a separate summer bag. It is comfortable in a wide range of conditions.

For winter use, I have a WM Antelope 5-F bag. If the nighttime temps are above 25 or so, I roast in this bag.

My personal opinion is this: the "conventional wisdom" of the 15 or 20-F bag being the all-purpose holy grail is not correct for where we live. It may be the perfect 3-season/summer bag in the Rockies, or in New Hampshire, but it's both too warm and too cold at the same time around here -- too warm from April through Sept, and too cold in the winter. It's probably perfect in March and October, though.

Hope this helps.

--Ken
_________________________
--Ken B

Top
#111000 - 02/09/09 09:57 PM Re: Sleeping bags...dare I ask? [Re: kbennett]
Gadgetech Offline


Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Upstate, SC
Well, I threw out conventional wisdom and went with a 0 degree bag.


Edited by TitanDriver (02/09/09 09:58 PM)

Top
#111016 - 02/10/09 11:55 AM Re: Sleeping bags...dare I ask? [Re: Gadgetech]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Ouch shocked

-Barry

Top
#111101 - 02/11/09 09:04 PM Re: Sleeping bags...dare I ask? [Re: BarryP]
Gadgetech Offline


Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Upstate, SC
Originally Posted By BarryP
Ouch shocked

-Barry


Ooh, you didn't land on your head did you?

Sorry crazy

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Aegismax Nano 2 Sleeping Bag from Aliexpress
by walkingnatur
11/27/21 03:48 PM
Dajo Gear, wow service
by Rick_D
11/20/21 05:00 PM
Keychain Flashlight tech
by DustinV
11/04/21 01:33 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Featured Photos
Spiderco Chaparral Pocketknife
David & Goliath
Also Testing
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 47 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
jeepmaxx, Dean Woods, jul37, jhytr, robischult
13085 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
Backpacking.net
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

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

Backcountry Forum
 

Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of BackcountryGear.com, Amazon.com, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!
 
 

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