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#135889 - 07/06/10 02:11 PM lighening up one step at a time, bag choices
alanzilla Offline

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 1
I'm slowly upgrading gear and its time for a new bag. I'm currently using a north face alutian 20 that was a gift a couple years ago, which initially was used for basic camping, not backpacking. It doesn't compress well, seems quite heavy and a little too tight by the feet. I recently found a great deal locally on a chinook wildfire, both the 32* and 20*. They look a little more roomy, and the 32 long weighs 2.5lbs, and the 20 a pound or so more. At 6'2 I prefer a long bag. I plan on doing some later season trips this year. I mainly hike in the Whites in NH and the ADK's in NY as I grew up there. Any experience on these? Both selling for <100. What temp rating do you prefer for fall hiking?

#135894 - 07/06/10 03:11 PM Re: lighening up one step at a time, bag choices [Re: alanzilla]
lori Offline

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
2.5 for a 32* bag. Wow. That's synthetic? You'll save some weight simply by switching to a down bag.

ETA: wow, I guess I got used to 800-900 fp down... I thought the wildfire was synthetic.... it's 650fp down.

I had in mind the WM Summerlite, which weighs a pound. I'm wondering if it's also made of different shell material tho.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

#135913 - 07/06/10 09:10 PM Re: lighening up one step at a time, bag choices [Re: lori]
balzaccom Offline

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1772
Loc: Napa, CA
It really depends where you are hiking, but I usually want a bag in the below 32 range for fall hiking---and that's in the SIerra Nevada. It will get below freezing there pretty regularly in October...

check out our website and blog:

#136111 - 07/12/10 02:46 PM Re: lighening up one step at a time, bag choices [Re: alanzilla]
finallyME Offline

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
For spring, fall, and sometimes summer, I prefer a 20 degree bag.
Oh yeah, this is in Utah above 7000.

Edited by finallyME (07/12/10 02:47 PM)
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

#136124 - 07/12/10 04:10 PM Re: lighening up one step at a time, bag choices [Re: alanzilla]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6518
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I also prefer a 20* bag for 3-season hiking. At high elevations in the Rockies and even in the high Cascades it can freeze or snow even in mid-summer, and in the fall it can get down in the teens. Lots of folks, though, get 30-degree bags and layer on more clothing inside.

Unfortunately, there are three items everyone wants in a sleeping bag that just won't go together: warm, light, cheap. You can pick only two! Start saving your money for a really good down bag: Western Mountaineering, Marmot, Montbell, Feathered Friends, Nunatak, Valandre. It's a big investment but, properly cared for, it will last a lifetime.

If you can't afford a higher-priced down bag, for now look at the Campmor Down Sleeping Bag. It's more a 25* bag than a 20* bag, but it's definitely lighter than the 20* bag you're looking at, which probably also has an overrated temperature rating (as do most inexpensive bags). Many on this forum and others recommend it to those whose budget does not lend itself to Western Mountaineering, et al. (Mine doesn't either, but I bit the bullet and it has been well worth it!)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#136239 - 07/13/10 11:56 PM Re: lighening up one step at a time, bag choices [Re: OregonMouse]
300winmag Offline

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
With your height I'd suggest A Western Mountaineering Megalite 30 F. bag (in long) due to its greater girth. I'm 5' 10" and have one. I like it B/C I can wear my down "sweater" jacket inside on cold nights W/O compressing the bag's down. This is true "double duty" use for a down jacket.

For my legs & torso (and to protect the jacket and bag from body oils) I have lightweight to medium weight long underwear, depending on the lowest expected temps. And don't forget fleece gloves for 15 F. mornings. (Yes, it can happen in High Sierra valleys even in August.)

Also the Megalite's width makes for a good quilt when fully unzipped on hot nights. Just hook the foot over your full length mattress and use as a quilt. Feels as comfortable as home. smile
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."


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