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adamussg
01-31-2015, 14:34
Hi! I'm pretty new to the forum so hello to ALL!!! I am heading to Springer in the first week of April and planning to hike to Pennsylvania. I am gearing up now (finally) and am looking into what sleeping bag I should get. I understand down is warmer, in most cases lighter...but is junk once it gets wet(if it does.) I also know you should really use a liner with down. I know synthetic will keep ya warm even if wet.. is a lil heavier, but it's washable so no liner needed.
I'm leaving the first week of April and am wondering if a 20 degree bag is overkill... Or not warm enough... I'm trying to go as light as possible... for as cheap as possible. So far here is what I'm looking at.

North face wasatch 20 degree 89.99 3.05lb

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Camping/Sleeping-Bags%7C/pc/104795280/c/104770080/The-North-Facereg-Wasatch-20degF-Sleeping-Bag/1804772.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fslee ping-bags%2F_%2FN-1100675%2B4294733647%2FNe-4294733647%2FNs-MIN_SALE_PRICE%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253BMMcat104795280%26 WTz_st%3DGuidedNav%26WTz_stype%3DGNU&WTz_l=SBC%3BMMcat104795280%3Bcat104770080

The REI Lumen 20 degree $110 2lb 15oz

http://www.rei.com/product/879591/rei-lumen-sleeping-bag-special-buy#tab-description

And last but not least I'm checking out a used REi down (down time)bag that weighs 2lb 9 oz and will probably go for $120-$130

So as you can see, I'm trying to stay around 3lb or under... but would like do do so spending a MAX of $130

Can any experienced hiker give me any advice as to their preference between synthetic or down? And which deal would you go for? Are their any other suggestions you can make in my price range?
I understand when it comes to gear it's all about personal preference... But am looking for any advice you can give. :) I'm am soooo stoked to be doing this!!!!

Thanks for taking the time to read this... and I look forward to any advice you may give. :)

Lone Wolf
01-31-2015, 14:45
i always carried a north face cats meow 30 deg. bag. i would always leave springer the last week of march, great bag. never got cold. i always sleep in a tent though

fastfoxengineering
01-31-2015, 14:49
Unfortunately, I don't have much experience with budget bags. I have an $80 apline design from sports authority. 20* synthetic and it's toasty warm. bulky and heavy though. I don't even want to know what it weighs.

For long distance backpacking, I would suggest down. Don't worry about the moisture. Nowadays, most thru-hikers are probably carrying down quilts/bags over synthetics. They pack smaller and give more warmth per weight. New DWR coatings and modern fabrics have greatly enhanced the water resistant properties of down products.

Most expereinced long distance hikers will have a down bag/quilt in their pack. Mostly due to the weight savings over a synthetic bag. Also, a down bag is not that hard to keep dry. Store it in a quality dry bag and only take it out when you get your shelter setup. Just take the necessary precautions and it will never get wet.

I also feel most hikers prefer a set of lightweight long underwear (tops and bottoms) over a liner for your bag. Keep them stored with your sleeping bag if you like. That way, when its time for bed, you always have a "clean" dry set of pajamas to put on before climbing into your bag. Throw them in the washer with your laundry. Much cheaper than buying on of those liners too. A set of long underwear from eastern mountain sports can be had for $40 right now. Liners usually run $60+. Even walmart synthetic long underwear work for the budget minded hikers. $20 for a set.

Again, I have not much experience with budget bags. I took the advice of others and put alot of my gear money towards a high quality sleeping bag to begin with. However, I understand where you are coming from.

I think it would best to browse the used gear forum for a nice used down bag. Might be a little more money than the bags you have listed but I think you'll be glad you spent it.

For a brand new, off the shelf, budget bag. The Kelty Cosmic series has a proven track record of being a solid, reliable bag on the cheap. Check them out.

Oh and 20* should treat you well your whole trip. As long as you don't sleep too hot or too cold.

What kind of sleeping pad are you using?

Old Hiker
01-31-2015, 14:56
I have a Marmot Trestle 30* I like that has worked well. I also have an EMS 20* I'll be taking for my next try. I'm doing down for weight and warmth, but making sure I keep it dry with waterproof stuff sacks, etc.

I wanna say I had a Cosmic, but it wasn't that warm. It's been a couple of years or so.

Found these:

http://www.amazon.com/Kelty-Cosmic-20-Degree-Sleeping-6-Feet/dp/B009PRNUM4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422729807&sr=8-1&keywords=down+sleeping+bags

http://www.campmor.com/Product___41049 (same as Amazon)

http://www.kelty.com/p-862-cosmic-down-21.aspx

Feral Bill
01-31-2015, 14:57
Hi! I'm pretty new to the forum so hello to ALL!!! I am heading to Springer in the first week of April and planning to hike to Pennsylvania. I am gearing up now (finally) and am looking into what sleeping bag I should get. I understand down is warmer, in most cases lighter...but is junk once it gets wet(if it does.) No real risk, it's easy to keep a down bag dry. In 45 years using down, I've never got it wet enough to matter.I also know you should really use a liner with down. Nope, never used one yet. I know synthetic will keep ya warm even if wet. Don't count on it. is considerably heavier and bulkier, but it's washable as is down so no liner needed.
I'm leaving the first week of April and am wondering if a 20 degree bag is overkill... Or not warm enough... I'm trying to go as light as possible... for as cheap as possible. Down lasts vastly longer, thus cheaper in the long run. So far here is what I'm looking at.

North face wasatch 20 degree 89.99 3.05lb

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Camping/Sleeping-Bags%7C/pc/104795280/c/104770080/The-North-Facereg-Wasatch-20degF-Sleeping-Bag/1804772.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fslee ping-bags%2F_%2FN-1100675%2B4294733647%2FNe-4294733647%2FNs-MIN_SALE_PRICE%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253BMMcat104795280%26 WTz_st%3DGuidedNav%26WTz_stype%3DGNU&WTz_l=SBC%3BMMcat104795280%3Bcat104770080

The REI Lumen 20 degree $110 2lb 15oz

http://www.rei.com/product/879591/rei-lumen-sleeping-bag-special-buy#tab-description

And last but not least I'm checking out a used REi down (down time)bag that weighs 2lb 9 oz and will probably go for $120-$130 Check it out carefully for thickness and consistent fill.

So as you can see, I'm trying to stay around 3lb or under... but would like do do so spending a MAX of $130

Can any experienced hiker give me any advice as to their preference between synthetic or down? And which deal would you go for? Are their any other suggestions you can make in my price range?
I understand when it comes to gear it's all about personal preference... But am looking for any advice you can give. :) I'm am soooo stoked to be doing this!!!!

Thanks for taking the time to read this... and I look forward to any advice you may give. :)It's better to carry a heavier bag than the very best than it is to stay home.

Dochartaigh
01-31-2015, 14:57
Just some thoughts: in lots of down bags now, the down itself is DWR coated and sheds water a lot better than the non-treated type of down. I also remember doing research at one point about the insulation properties of (regular non-coated) down vs. synthetic insulation when it's wet, and the difference between those two was something small like 8%...so no matter what, if you get either wet you're in for a not-so-pleasant time. Synthetic does dry faster from what I've experienced through the years, and is usually a lot cheaper.

I personally go with down all the time now. It gets stored in a dry bag in my pack, and I trust my tent enough to never soak me in a deluge of water, and plus down is lighter, packs down smaller, and personally keeps me warmer than any synthetic ever has.

For the exact type and brand of bag, I really can't chime in. I'm usually not camping or hiking when it's in 20 out, and use down quilts anymore.

adamussg
01-31-2015, 14:58
Thanks for the advice!!! I'll have a thermarest neoair xlite...:) I'm gonna check out the used gear forum if I can find it! :) You guys rock!

rocketsocks
01-31-2015, 15:01
i always carried a north face cats meow 30 deg. bag. i would always leave springer the last week of march, great bag. never got cold. i always sleep in a tent though
This was my favorite bag (not that I've owned many) and older version from the 90's, loaned it to a fella in need and well...I guess he still needs it, oh well, great bag as it were.

Connie
01-31-2015, 17:40
Consider this:

If you have two sleeping bags, or, a sleeping bag and a quilt, for example, the EMS Pemi 20 is good value: 650-fill down, 2.5 lbs. The temperature range is: 15 F to 29 F. If you choose a 20 F sleeping bag, you will need a "warm weather" sleeping bag or sleeping quilt.

Many people like their sleeping bags wrapped around them, however it means a "summer" and "shoulder season" sleeping bag or sleeping quilt will be necessary.

In my experience, I can get more temperature range, over three seasons, with a 20 F sleeping quilt than a sleeping bag.

Either way, you will need insulation from the ground, either a CCF foam, a sleeping pad, or, a sleeping air mat.

I like a cold weather XTherm air mat and a "summer" air mat. I have been looking at Sea to Summit for the warm season air mat, either that or NeoAir. I have only one 20 F sleeping quilt. This "sleeping system" works for me.

yerbyray
01-31-2015, 23:12
i always carried a north face cats meow 30 deg. bag. i would always leave springer the last week of march, great bag. never got cold. i always sleep in a tent though

I still have one in pristine condition and love it. Use a trash compactor bag and common sense and down will serve you well