View Full Version : Southbound Sleeping Bag Advice

01-16-2015, 13:40
Hey everyone, I am planning a Southbound Thru-hike for 2015. For financial reasons I will only be purchasing One sleeping bag for the entire hike.

The two bag I am trying to choose between are:
-- Big Agnes Lost Lake SL 30 -- a 30 degree bag
-- Big Agnes Bellyache Mountain SL 17 -- a 17 degree bag
I know most people are going with 20 degree bags but I am going to get a good deal with big agnes so these are my most affordable options.

I figured if I go with the 30 degree bag I can supplement with a liner and clothes if it gets cold. This will allow me to split up my weight and not carry more than I need during warmer sections. My concern is whether the 30 degree bag will be warm enough for the whole hike.

If anyone has any insight I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

virginia jen
01-16-2015, 22:11
When are you starting, and how fast do you plan on hiking ?
I hiked sobo last year. June 7 - Nov 24th. I started with a Marmot 20 bag. There was a few mights in Maine I was glad I hadn't brought my 40. I switched to a 40 bag from home for Mass-> mid VA. Then picked my 20 back up from home. I added a S2S extreme reactor bag liner in Damascus. It helped a lot. But there was easily 5 nights that I froze (by froze I don't mean was cold & slept. I mean I shivered all night & had to stay curled up in tight ball, then knees cramp up, and hardly sleep & it's miserable).

So I'd go with the warmest bag you can get. Just use it like a quilt when it's hot. And don't get rid of your DEET before Maryland. NY, NJ,& PA had enough mosquitoes at night that you had to use DEET or hide under the sleepingbag. And it was too hot to hide under sleepingbag.

01-17-2015, 02:51
Thanks so much for the reply. I am really glad to get a response from someone with first hand experience.

I will be starting in the middle of June and will be playing the speed of the trip by ear. Being that I will only have one bag my concern is carrying a lot of extra weight when i don't need it. Being freezing cold, however is obviously worse than carrying an extra half pound. Do you remember when/where you were when you did get cold. Do you remember how cold it got?

01-17-2015, 11:32
Well I took a 30 degree Mountain Hardwear Ultra Lamina on both my NOBO's and I started Mid Feb, with no liner and I was perfectly warm most SOBO's start in summer and end in late fall the only cool weather you will see will be in the last month.

I would suggest you go with the 30 degree bag with no liner to start and you can alas pick a liner up someplace down the trail.
Most folks get so Tangled up with the sleeping bag they forget abut the sleeping pad a good QUALITY pad will add warmth to your bag.

If you don't want a serious answer don't ask the ****ING QUESTION.

01-17-2015, 12:16
Im not sure what made you thing I don't want a "serious answer." Im sorry if I offended you in some way. Lets try to stay positive

01-17-2015, 12:58
I hiked from June 19 to November 7 in 2013 with only an old 20 degree bag. There were some cold nights down south, but by then I had my puffy jacket and some other warm clothing which helped a lot. I never used a liner.
I would recommend the warmer bag. Its easy to unzip if it's too warm.

Nick P
01-17-2015, 16:15
My 30 degree Marmot down bag was fine, from Maine in late June until Mt Rogers in November and temps in the teens. After that, even a liner and all my clothes weren't enough.

01-17-2015, 16:53
I went sobo starting in mid-August, so with your July start you can expect warmer temperatures than me even if you hike really slow. I started with a 40 deg bag, and then switched to a 20 degree after the Whites. I would have done well with a 30 degree bag the whole way, except for a day or two in November and December down south that would have been a little uncomfortable (but doable). With your schedule, assuming you're not a really cold sleeper, a 30 deg bag should be good the whole way.

virginia jen
01-18-2015, 17:38
From Roan Highlands south the weather was an issue. Not all the time, for sure (plenty of tshirt days). But end of October- Nov 24. My 20 down & 40 synthetic actually weighed the same (2 lbs 3 oz). The liner added 8 oz. Well worth the extra warmth. Slept comfortable on the Smokies on a 10 night with puffy jacket & bag liner.(weekenders had thermometer). Couple nights after that, it was 10 in the sun on Walyh Bald at 2 pm...that night before at Wesser was the coldest night on trail...don't know temp, but cold as ****.