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catskillmountainman
01-23-2014, 18:52
This will be my first post. Hi!:D

Looking into another sleeping bag, specifically for winter and shoulder seasons. Chances are this one will be down, but I use both down and synth with solid results so its not set in stone. I generally shop around for discounts, especially amazon, ebay, anyway, but lets keep this under 300 general store price. I never do any serious mountaineering, alpine hikes, nothing of that sort. Chances are, I'll be sleeping in a tent or inside a bivy, outside temperatures at worst -5F, more often 10-15F. I tend to sleep, average, not cold or warm. Would I be alright with something along the lines of a 20 degree bag, I sleep on a CCF pad 100% of the time. I generally sleep in nothing, but am willing to step up to some baselayers, wool socks, gloves, hat if it saves me money on the bag. Weight is not a significant issue, I can live with anything that beats 4lbs.

Body Type:

6'1"
145lbs.
Should I opt for long? I've always used long bags, but was never sure if this was absolutely necessary.

Any suggestions, looking for multiple options I can narrow down based on the actual deals that I find to exist. I'd be willing to double bag, but I've never done this in the past; wouldn't the synth compress the down? Would consider looking for availability of discontinued/vintage bags as well. Thanks so much!

bfayer
01-23-2014, 19:32
I highly recommend a long bag for winter hiking for anyone in your height range. In the winter you end up sleeping with more stuff in your bag, so you need the extra room to avoid compressing the insulation.

I would go for a zero degree bag and plan on layering for colder temps.

In your price range I would look at Kelty. Whatever you get make sure you do your research, some less expensive bags have exaggerated temp ratings. As you probably know with sleeping bags you usually get what you pay for.

Also for a sleeping pad, at those temps you need something in the R5 range. With a CCF pad you would need to double up and take 2 pads, if not it will be tough to stay warm at those temps in any bag.

HooKooDooKu
01-23-2014, 19:54
If you want synthetic, I haven't been able to find anything better (at least on paper) than the Mountain Hardware UltraLamina series.

For a large size, the new models are about $280. But Sierra Trading Post has a bunch of the 2012 models in stock (http://www.sierratradingpost.com/mountain-hardwear-15-f-ultralamina-sleeping-bag-long-synthetic-mummy~p~5501p/). They have the basic price set at $200. Do a Google Search for Sierra Trading Post Coupons (http://www.retailmenot.com/view/sierratradingpost.com). Sierra Trading Post regularly has coupons for as much as 35% off (if not today, wait and try again tomorrow). However, they regularly charge a shipping fee of something around $12 for an order this expensive. So that means you should be able to easily get this bag for about $142. The best I've done (since watching the web site and getting coupons in the mail from them) since Christmas was a 35% off coupon with free shipping. So I just picked up one of these 15 degree bags for $130.

I've seen some other 15-20 degree synthetic bags be a few ounces lighter (NF Cat's Meow), but nothing that claims to pack down as small as the Ultra Lamina series. So as I see it (on paper) the only choice is either the 3# UltraLamina, or a 2# down bag. Anything else is going to either pack larger or weight more.

catskillmountainman
01-24-2014, 16:26
If you want synthetic, I haven't been able to find anything better (at least on paper) than the Mountain Hardware UltraLamina series.

For a large size, the new models are about $280. But Sierra Trading Post has a bunch of the 2012 models in stock (http://www.sierratradingpost.com/mountain-hardwear-15-f-ultralamina-sleeping-bag-long-synthetic-mummy~p~5501p/). They have the basic price set at $200. Do a Google Search for Sierra Trading Post Coupons (http://www.retailmenot.com/view/sierratradingpost.com). Sierra Trading Post regularly has coupons for as much as 35% off (if not today, wait and try again tomorrow). However, they regularly charge a shipping fee of something around $12 for an order this expensive. So that means you should be able to easily get this bag for about $142. The best I've done (since watching the web site and getting coupons in the mail from them) since Christmas was a 35% off coupon with free shipping. So I just picked up one of these 15 degree bags for $130.

I've seen some other 15-20 degree synthetic bags be a few ounces lighter (NF Cat's Meow), but nothing that claims to pack down as small as the Ultra Lamina series. So as I see it (on paper) the only choice is either the 3# UltraLamina, or a 2# down bag. Anything else is going to either pack larger or weight more.

Again, anything under that 4lb. threshold I can live with. The goal is more to satisfy my own absolute need to buy everything related to my numerous hobbies at a "deal"; and two to get a bag that is going to keep me toasty at 5, 10, 15, and i can get away with 0 to -5 with a VBL, liner, or extra base layers. I have owned heavy bags in the past, along with the Military Sleep System, so anything 2-4 pounds is actually a huge step up:)

catskillmountainman
01-24-2014, 16:29
Also, thank you for the Mountain Hardwear Recommendation. What clothing do you generally wear, sleep system, and shelter? What temps, with that scenario have you felt comfortable in?

Coffee
01-24-2014, 16:43
Body Type:

6'1"
145lbs.
Should I opt for long? I've always used long bags, but was never sure if this was absolutely necessary.


I'm the same height and around 160. I have a Marmot Helium Long which is a 15 degree bag and there is a ton of room in there especially around the foot box but also around my chest area. Nice when temps are in the 30s or 40s. Not so much in the 20s when all that cold air inside the bag is hard to heat up with my body heat.

Sounds like you need a zero degree bag. If I were you, I would try to test out any bag before buying to make sure that it isn't so large that your body has tons of room in there to heat up. I'm not really familiar with zero degree bags so can't suggest anything there but wanted to pass along the word of caution on long bags and empty space, something tall and skinny folks need to look at carefully.

bert304
01-24-2014, 17:18
If you can squeeze out another 50 bucks you can check out this bag: http://www.golite.com/Ms-Z10-Three-Season-Long-P46947.aspx
It is 349.99 but worth it. I went out in 10 degrees and I nice warm

BIG TIGER
01-24-2014, 17:42
Check out Sierra Trading Post. They have both. Sign up for their daily deals. Ron

HooKooDooKu
01-24-2014, 18:01
Also, thank you for the Mountain Hardwear Recommendation. What clothing do you generally wear, sleep system, and shelter? What temps, with that scenario have you felt comfortable in?

I like to sleep in shorts, tee shirt, and liner socks. I lay on a NeoAir XLite mattress, and I'm usually inside a double wall tent (occationally a GSMNP shelter). If the weather is cool/cold, I'll include a toboggan (or two) for extra warmth.

I haven't tried my 15 bag yet, but last year I used my 32 UltraLamina. It was plenty warm for the spring thru fall weather I used it in GSMNP. The most extreme temperatures I tried the 32 bag in was an evening I believed the weather got down into the low 40's to upper 30's. With just shorts, t-shirt, and toboggan, I was a little chilled (but not much) by morning. But when I try to look at weather history for 11/09/2013 around the GSMNP area, I keep seeing low's at or below freezing (so now I'm not sure how cold it got).

So it sounds like the 3# 15 bag would be good down to 15 if you dress a little warmer than I do. But if you plan on staying is temperatures much cooler and still want to stay in synthetic, check out the UltraLamina 0 bag. The long is a little bit below 4#. But at the moment, I can't find any 2012 models of the 0 bag on clearance anywhere. Full price for the 0 is just under $300.

Hey, here you go... Campmor already has the 0 UltraLamina on sale for $270 is the size long (http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___41172). Look around for some coupons and you might easily find a 10% coupon for Campmor (I think I have one in my in-basket at home right now). With just a little big of digging, it sounds like you can pickup the 2013 model for under $250.

Shonryu
01-25-2014, 01:53
Support a cottage shop. I personally buy all my sleeping bags from Adam at Hammock Gear. Check out his Top Quilts. I'd recommend going with a wide and long for ground sleeping. If you have questions about warmth for his quilts give him a call and he can give you solid recommendations and you can even request that he add additional down to increase your warmth. For the warmth to weight ratio I haven't found a better option. Not to mention that his quilts are right in your price range.

catskillmountainman
01-25-2014, 22:49
I've found a Mountain Hardwear Lamina 0 degree long for 125.00 dollars, shipped. What is the difference between the "Ultralamina" and the Lamina bags?

HooKooDooKu
01-26-2014, 02:58
I've found a Mountain Hardwear Lamina 0 degree long for 125.00 dollars, shipped. What is the difference between the "Ultralamina" and the Lamina bags?

Weight and compress ability (and therefore the cost).
The following specs are for the 2013 models (they were improved over the 2012) in size regular.

Lamina 0: Weight: 3#8oz, Stuff: 8.5x18"
Ultralamina 0: Weight: 3#4oz, Stuff: 8.5"x15"
(that works out to a difference of 170 cubic inches... or almost 3 liters).


The difference (especially as a percentage) is greater in the warmer weather bags:

Lamina 35: 2#4oz, Stuff: 6"x12"
Ultralamina 32: Weight: 1#14oz, Stuff: 6"x10"


Given that the Lamina 0 has a full retail price of $210, $125 is pretty good... not quit as good (as a percentage) as the price I got on a 2012 model 15 Long (full retail $270, picked it up at $130).

Another Kevin
01-26-2014, 10:25
Hi, and :welcome to WhiteBlaze!

I'm your height, but a good bit heavier, about 185. I'm also in your part of the world. I'm in the Mohawk Valley a little west of Albany and go to the Catskills a lot.

For my winter bag, I went with a Marmot Never Summer, which is down rather than synthetic. It lists for $300 in the Long and at the moment I see that Moosejaw has it for $254. I need the Long, particularly in winter when you need to keep more stuff in your sleeping bag. I've been out in single digit temps in it (using a tent) and been nice and toasty in just a synthetic baselayer, balaclava, socks and glove liners, without really battening down the hood or draft collar on the bag. I imagine that I could get down to negative single digits if I wore the fleece jacket and pants that I carry anyway. I seldom sleep naked in a winter or three-season bag, in the interest of keeping the bag clean.

I find that the underpad makes a huge difference in the winter. I use my full-length ProLite year round, but in winter I add a cheap blue foam underneath it. The additional insulation down there makes the difference between sleeping warm and not sleeping because I'm freezing.

I pretty much confine my hiking to weekends and short sections, so I wind up having a pretty good idea of the weather to expect. If they're forecasting much below zero, I get to stay home. If I were attempting long distances in this part of the world, safety would mean a -20 bag and some sort of vapor barrier. (You don't get a ton of condensation in the down in 2-3 nights, but in cold weather you start to lose the race with the condensation, so you get progressively colder on a long trip as the down starts to mat.) A 0 degree bag in upstate New York is best thought of as an "extended shoulder season" bag, not "deep winter."

Synthetic works well too - I used a Kelty synthetic bag for years. But it was a little over 5 pounds and the Marmot is under 4. You can make do with a higher-temp-rated bag and a liner, but the combination is heavier than a properly-rated bag.

The Kelty Cosmic 0 is a similar bag, a little cheaper and a little heavier. You can get more expensive and a little lighter from Mountain HardWear. I have one guy I hike with who uses a Western Mountaineering bag, and I'm envious as hell, but I can't justify spending that much money on a hobby.

catskillmountainman
01-27-2014, 14:21
Thank you for the reccomendations. The never summer seems to fit my price range perfectly; I might look into the Marmot Never Summer 0. What is the Mountain Hardwear "ExtraLamina 0"? Where does that fall into play?

HooKooDooKu
01-27-2014, 14:58
The Mountain Hardwear Lamina series of synthetic bags go from "Lamina", "ExtraLamina", and "UltraLamina" in order of 'good', 'better', 'best'.

I don't know about the details/history of the Lamina and ExtraLamina bags, I do know that the specifications improved for the 2013 models of the UltraLamina. That is why you should be able to still find a few 2012 models at killer clearance prices in the range of $120 to $160 (anything more expensive is over-priced in the current market).

One way to know the difference between the 2012 and 2013 models is the duel zipper... The older models had two zippers, a 2/3 length zipper on one side, and a 1/3 length zipper on the other. The images of the 2012 models almost always show the sleeping bag laid out with the front of the bag folded down to demonstrate the double zipper. The 2013 model images almost always show the sleeping bag strait on, and you can see that the bag has only one zipper. The 2013 models are a few oz lighter than the 2012.

catskillmountainman
01-27-2014, 18:30
The Mountain Hardwear Lamina series of synthetic bags go from "Lamina", "ExtraLamina", and "UltraLamina" in order of 'good', 'better', 'best'.

I don't know about the details/history of the Lamina and ExtraLamina bags, I do know that the specifications improved for the 2013 models of the UltraLamina. That is why you should be able to still find a few 2012 models at killer clearance prices in the range of $120 to $160 (anything more expensive is over-priced in the current market).

One way to know the difference between the 2012 and 2013 models is the duel zipper... The older models had two zippers, a 2/3 length zipper on one side, and a 1/3 length zipper on the other. The images of the 2012 models almost always show the sleeping bag laid out with the front of the bag folded down to demonstrate the double zipper. The 2013 model images almost always show the sleeping bag strait on, and you can see that the bag has only one zipper. The 2013 models are a few oz lighter than the 2012.

Thanks so much for the clarification. After further research I've seen more than a few accounts of difficulty using the lamina bags rated at 0 in temperatures under 25 degrees even while using a tent, pad, and wearing baselayers. Other bags, especially the down bags, seem much closer to there advertised rating. What confuses me, is that the Marmot Never Summer, actually weighs out to about the same as the UltraLamina 0.

At 250 dollars, is the Marmot Never Summer 0 going to be relatively true to the advertised rating assuming I'm in a tent, on a pad, and wearing base layers?

bfayer
01-27-2014, 19:12
Thanks so much for the clarification. After further research I've seen more than a few accounts of difficulty using the lamina bags rated at 0 in temperatures under 25 degrees even while using a tent, pad, and wearing baselayers. Other bags, especially the down bags, seem much closer to there advertised rating. What confuses me, is that the Marmot Never Summer, actually weighs out to about the same as the UltraLamina 0.

At 250 dollars, is the Marmot Never Summer 0 going to be relatively true to the advertised rating assuming I'm in a tent, on a pad, and wearing base layers?


Any bag that is EN tested is going o be pretty close to the rating. Just make sure you don't look at the Extreme rating. EN ratings have 3 temps: Upper (Comfort for average women), Lower (Comfort for the average man), and Extreme, which means you may not die, but keeping all your body parts is not guaranteed :) (OK, kidding on the body parts but not by much).

The never summer is EN rated at 10F (lower limit). If you layer properly or sleep warm 0F should be no problem.

Also keep in mind for 0F you need an R5 pad or better if not bag ratings are out the window.

catskillmountainman
01-27-2014, 19:14
In addition, is the Kelty Cosmic 0 Down regarded as a bag in a similar class as the Marmot Never Summer. I have seen that listed here on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Kelty-Cosmic-0-Degree-Sleeping-Autumn/dp/B009PRMZMA/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1390862336&sr=8-7&keywords=kelty+0 for less than 200; I think? What is the difference between 6'6" and "Long"?

I just see that this bag by Kelty comes in at under 4 pounds. Thats a big difference from the Never Summer. Overall though, I do realize that I am going to be looking at warmth over weight every time.

catskillmountainman
02-03-2014, 16:06
Ended up going with the Marmot Never Summer 0', arrives tommorow. I was planning on going with a lower end brand, or synthetic, but for $210.00 I figured I couldn't pass up owning a Marmot 600-650 Down bag for under 300 bucks. Will be going through a series of tests once she arrives. Tent/ Open Tarp- No Clothes/ Base Layers/ Extra Clothes- 1/2 Pads; to see what I can be comfortable in. Can't Wait!