View Full Version : Warmer Sleeping Bag or Down Pants?

10-23-2014, 21:04
I'm planning on starting early March for a NOBO thru. Right now I have a good quality 30* sleeping bag but I don't feel that it's going to be adequate. So, rather than shelling out more big $$$ for a 0, 10 or 20 degree bag I thought I'd just get some good down pants and down booties.

So my question is, wouldn't wearing a down parka, down pants and booties essentially make a 30* bag into a 10 degree bag?

Is sleeping in down clothes not recommended because of moisture issues?

Putting my $$ into some down pants and booties seems like the better choice. At least I could wear them around camp when it's freezing and not have all my down in a sleeping bag not being used.

10-23-2014, 21:30
I think you make a very good point here, yes the down garments inside the bag will lower the degree level. Purchase price of pants and booties is sure much lower than new 0-10 degree down bag. Also like you mentioned, pants can be worn for dinner time. I will also add that a 30 degree bag in early march mite lead to freezing your azz some, but the garments in conjunction with some good merino base layers should work. If all else fails, just get up and jog in place around 4:00am , then jump back in the sack. :)

10-23-2014, 21:42
My WM Flash jacket and pants turn my 32f bag into a 20f bag, (for me...)
However the Flight stuff is on the light side so it depends on how much down you have inside your garments,
Roughly my top and bottom have the difference in down between my 30f and my 20f bag. (about 7oz)

Teacher & Snacktime
10-24-2014, 09:41
Last January I slept in an open shelter in NY in 17*. I had a 20* Kelty Cosmic Down Bag and 2 pads (one CCF and 1 inflatable). I wore fleece pants and top and my down jacket in the bag. I was perfectly comfortable....no heat or moisture issues. Of course YMMV. (I may have actually had 2 down jackets on...can't quite remember)

10-24-2014, 12:00
Insulation is all about loft. Wearing a down jacket and pants inside a snug sleeping bag will loose much of the loft by compression, so it might not work as well as you hope it would.

What I would do is get a good liner (like maybe a summit-to-sea Reactor) for the bag and good mid weight thermal tops and bottoms. A decent hat and socks and you should be fine. Use your tent instead of shelters too.

10-24-2014, 14:34
Do a little research on vapor barrier. With the temperature you will see in March it would be my choice in stretching the bag a bit, and will need to stretch that at least 10 degrees. I have had great results using my cuben fiber rain suit and MYOG booties.

10-24-2014, 16:04
on all of my thru's I started in mid feb, I had a Mountain Hardwear Lamina 30 degree bag " which is Synthetic" ( Synthetic is the only Kind of bag I will use on AT ) and I used my tent every night, with thermal tops and bottoms no liner and I was perfectly warm and comfortable every night except for a couple of nights in the smokies, but everybody gets cold in the smokies.

10-24-2014, 16:17
"Insulation is all about loft. Wearing a down jacket and pants inside a snug sleeping bag will loose much of the loft by compression, so it might not work as well as you hope it would. "

Well, not exactly.
It is about trapping the heat you produce. It has been tested that you can compress down to about half its maximum loft and retain the same heat.
Anyway it also depends on how snug one is inside his own sleeping bag.
It just happens that at about 160 lbs I have room inside my bags so puffy clothing fill that empty space for me.
Obviously is the bag is tight without any extra clothing it isn't going to be comfortable with.