PDA

View Full Version : sleeping bags: opinions wanted!



inky
09-15-2014, 08:11
I'm buying a new sleeping bag for my 2015 thru hike (planning to leave on May 1).
I tend to sleep a little cold, so i want to make sure I get one that will be warm enough but not too warm for the weather I'll be starting out in.
Opinions? Suggestions?
Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Coffee
09-15-2014, 08:24
My suggestion isn't for a specific brand or temperature rating, but rather one related to fit. Make sure that your bag fits properly. If there is too much room, you can end up carrying a bag of a certain rating but it won't work down to that rating due to the extra airspace. This is particularly problematic for moderately tall and skinny people ... people who are on the border of needing a long bag but are then left with a lot of extra space near the feet and sometimes a wider bag than desired. Of course, I comment on this because this suboptimal scenario is what happened to me. My Marmot Helium 15 degree bag is only comfortable for me down into the mid 20s, and only then if I'm wearing down socks and my down parka in addition to smartwool base layers. So try on the bag before buying, whatever temp rating you decide to go with. A bag is a major investment.

garlic08
09-15-2014, 08:36
Get the best one you can afford. The bag is not the place to skimp on quality--take it from a miser. Keep an eye out for sales of Marmot bags--I got my Helium for a steal at Steepandcheap.com.

Temp rating, size, style, and insulation type are extremely personal choices, based on one's experience and experiences--for every ten responses here you'll get eleven opinions. You'll be fortunate indeed to get it right the first time. Good luck.

Just to throw out another opinion, I recently switched to a down quilt from enLightened Equipment for summer use and really like it, and wouldn't hesitate to bring it on a May AT start.

Gambit McCrae
09-15-2014, 09:09
I am a Montbell fan for life. I have three of their bags but need to get out of their long bag. Montbell bags hug you with their lofty down, using a spiral elastic design. Super comfy, and the stretch in the bag allows me to sit crosslegged sitting upp on cold days. Something no other bag will stretch to. A little pricey, but you will thank yourself along the way :)

illabelle
09-15-2014, 09:15
I have a 15* Big Agnes bag, the kind with the sleeve for your air pad, and no insulation on the bottom. I don't use the sleeve for two reasons:
1) if I need to sit up for some reason without unzipping and coming partially out of the bag (like to get a drink of water, or to reach for my phone), the WHOLE pad has to bend with me. That is annoying.
2) my pad (regular size) fits tightly in the sleeve, so when I get in the bag, it doesn't relax around my body. Instead it "tents" around my body, creating large air spaces that are hard to heat.
So I use my bag on top of the pad, adjusting when I turn so that the uninsulated bottom stays on the bottom. My next bag will not be this style.
I tent to be cold as well, so if it's cool, I often have my fleece vest and down jacket in the bag with me as well. Sticking my lower legs into a zipped up jacket is real helpful.

HooKooDooKu
09-15-2014, 09:24
For warmer weather (above freezing), I would suggest looking at the Mountain Hardware Ultralamnina series. This is a synthetic bag that packs down smaller than down bags costing hundreds more.

Example:
Marmot Plasma 30:
Weight: 1lb 6oz
Stuff Size: 7x15
List: $490 (Campmor currently sells for $440)

Mountain Hardware Ultralamnia 32:
Weight: 1lb 14oz
Stuff Size: 6x10
List: $255 (Campmore current 'Hot Deal' for $190)

overthinker
09-15-2014, 15:23
Get a quilt rated to 20*. You'll be hiking in mostly warm weather, so a quilt should do you just fine. And a 20* rating should be more than enough. People rave about enlightened equipment, but I like my Hammock Gear quilt a lot - they're marginally lighter than an equivalent from EE, and noticeably cheaper.

Feral Bill
09-15-2014, 15:32
A warm sleeping bag can be unzipped to make a quilt for when weather heats up. This works shockingly well, and you can use one bag for almost all weather.

Patrickjd9
09-15-2014, 19:23
I have a 15* Big Agnes bag, the kind with the sleeve for your air pad, and no insulation on the bottom. I don't use the sleeve for two reasons:
1) if I need to sit up for some reason without unzipping and coming partially out of the bag (like to get a drink of water, or to reach for my phone), the WHOLE pad has to bend with me. That is annoying.
2) my pad (regular size) fits tightly in the sleeve, so when I get in the bag, it doesn't relax around my body. Instead it "tents" around my body, creating large air spaces that are hard to heat.

I bought the Big Agnes pad several years ago, planning to buy such a bag later, but never did. I suspected there were reasons why they didn't catch on.

I like the pad, even though it is heavy.

inky
09-17-2014, 09:58
Thank you everyone for all your input! Lots to think about :)

Angie J Romans
09-17-2014, 19:42
I got kelty ignite dridown 20 degree sleeping bag...I love it because it packs down pretty small for the price and keeps me warm at this point in the season. But, what helped me decide on what bag to buy I pretty much went with something that was good quality but also weighed light and packed down small. My bad weighs 2lbs so I'm content