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Hess86NJ
04-19-2017, 19:08
Hey all, sorry if it's been asked already but I am prepping for my 2018 AT Thru Hike starting in March. I am in looking to update my sleeping bag and in need of a new one. I am looking for something that is lightweight and will keep me warm. Even though I am a fan of mummy bags I am open to all options. Hope you can share various bags, companies, and other options that works great on the trail. Thanks

soumodeler
04-19-2017, 19:13
Quality bag that will last a long time: Western Mountaineering

Decent bag at an affordable price: REI Igneo or the new Magma bag

Venchka
04-19-2017, 19:35
Yes. Asked and answered a zillion times. The answers are nearly always the same. The quilt people will be along shortly to try to change your mind.
All sleeping bags are not created equal. There are form fitting models for the pencil slim and wide body jumbo jet models for the wide body or side sleepers.
There bags with conservative, accurate or laughable temperature ratings. Only you can determine if the temperature rating is accurate for you.
The R rating of your sleeping pad figures into the overall bag+pad comfort quotient. So, buy a bag in the fall through early spring and test it outside at or below the temperature rating of the bag. Replace and try again if needed. You already missed this spring testing season. If you live in Florida or along the Gulf Coast you can't test the bag under AT conditions. You'll have to travel.
Good luck.
Wayne



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Venchka
04-19-2017, 19:36
Quality bag that will last a long time: Western Mountaineering

Decent bag at an affordable price: REI Igneo or the new Magma bag

All you need to know.
Wayne


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4eyedbuzzard
04-19-2017, 19:42
Beginning or end of March? Makes a big difference. Beginning of March can still be full on winter. Like you might want a zero degree bag some nights. End of March, you're probably good with an honestly rated 20 bag like a Western Mountaineering Alpinlite or similar, but you could still see really cold nights (teens and lower) in GSMNP in early April. Wear everything you have or bail to town if weather forces you to.

Used to be thru-hikers started a NOBO on or after April 15 with a 20 bag because of the late winter conditions at higher elevations in the southern Appalachians. They "walked with spring" through GSMNP and southern VA, and hiked into autumn in New England, finishing late September/early October. Now they hike through late winter in the south (dealing with winter storms and cold) and finish before autumn in New England (dealing with summer crowds in the Whites and bugs), missing the best of both seasons in their respective areas. Puzzling. But just an observation. HYOH.

Venchka
04-19-2017, 19:46
Good catch. Without the right information it's hard to make the right choices.
Wayne


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Hosh
04-19-2017, 20:03
Mummy bags are very efficient, with lower weights and volumes than a roomier option. If your sleeping style fits the contours and tapers, then mummy is the way to go.

WM is a huge favorite here and has a passionate following, for many good reasons. However there are other high end manufacturers that should be considered, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear and Feathered Friends come to mind. SteepandCheap.com occasionally has Marmot and MH at discounts approaching 50%. They just featured some about a month or so ago.

BTW, I am one of the quilt users, mummys constrict my style. Quilts require a bit more skill to use effectively and aren't for everyone.

Hess86NJ
04-19-2017, 21:26
Ok, here is more information. I am 30/M/5'5"/ from NJ and like to sleep at any position (back, sides, stomach). Yea, I missed the winter/spring to test out the new bag.

I attempted my NOBO thru hike and started on April 8th 2016 but failed due to injury, made it a quarter of the way. The bag that I used I've had for many years and lost it's R rating, a bit heavy, and bulky when in it's stuff sack. For the first week and half to two weeks I was cold/shivering at night but as the nights got warmer I was fine. With buying a new tent and pack, I used the old bag to save money. Now with planning to reattempt I have decided to go ahead with a new sleeping bag.

I haven't decided on the exact date yet for my reattempt start but I am thinking mid-March? Have to relook at the bubbles, I like the social aspect. Also I know they have bags made out of down and synthetic. Also some bags have bottom one fill and the top the other fill. Whats the best to go for?

Hope this information helps.

egilbe
04-20-2017, 04:59
Down is the warmest, lightest option, but not the cheapest. I'm a rotisseie sleeper and I prefer a quilt because the mummy bags I tried left me feeling claustaphobic...unless its deep Winter, then I use an Eddie Bauer -30 bag.

Bansko
04-20-2017, 08:50
+1 on Western Mountaineering. They are expensive, but worth it. I used a semi-rectangular Sycamore (+25F) for my thru hike beginning March 17th and it was perfect for me. It had room to move around and it fully unzipped to become a quilt in warmer weather. It's a good choice if you get claustrophobic with mummies.

TwoSpirits
04-20-2017, 10:39
I also have the Sycamore. I have had mine down to about 20* and been very comfortable (dressed appropriately in 150wt woolies, etc.) and could probably stretch it a little further if I wore more. As Bansko said, it can be opened up like a blanket, or used as a quilt in warmer weather, but it also gives me room inside to keep my clothes, gas canister, electronics, etc. when it's colder. Excellent bag.

Chillfactor
04-21-2017, 16:06
Give Montbell a look. The Super Stretch Down Hugger. Light, warm, and cozy but not cheap. I couldn't be happier with mine. You could expect to pay around $300, but they have seasonal sales. Guaranteed by company.
Montbell.com

Jayne
04-21-2017, 16:56
Quilt person here - why buy a sleeping bag when the part that you sleep on basically does nothing for you? I recommend that you look Enlightened Equipment. 950 fill isn't cheap but it's amazingly light and packs well.

Rex Clifton
04-21-2017, 18:33
For a through hike, I would recommend you splurge for Western Mountaineering bags. The quality will pay off in the long run. For me, I like a wider bag, the WM Alpinlite. You will roast in this bag in the summer, however, so swap out for the WM Caribou. I own both of these bags and they are fantastic!


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Venchka
04-21-2017, 19:07
Quilt person here - why buy a sleeping bag when the part that you sleep on basically does nothing for you? I recommend that you look Enlightened Equipment. 950 fill isn't cheap but it's amazingly light and packs well.

950 fill down is a hoax.
I buy sleeping bags for those times when I need all of the parts of a proper sleeping bag.
Wayne


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DownEaster
04-23-2017, 15:07
Quilt person here - why buy a sleeping bag when the part that you sleep on basically does nothing for you?
Answer:

It's not because I'm opposed to new (and lighter) gear ideas; no, it's because I turn in my sleep. A quilt insulates best when both edges are tucked under you. Every time you rotate you drag the quilt with you, exposing the opening to the cold night and venting out all the air your body has warmed. The abrupt change in temperature forces you awake until you tuck both ends under you again in your new position. I tend to sleep on my side, but alternate between left and right. A quilt in low temperatures would interrupt my rest repeatedly, making for a miserable sleeping experience. When a mummy bag turns with me there's no sleep-disturbing chill.

Hess86NJ
05-07-2017, 21:26
What degree would you'll recommend for a give or take mid March start at Springer? I did some browsing and here are some bags that I saw.
Western Mountaineering ~ 20F ~ 1lb 12oz
Western Mountaineering ~ 25F ~ 1lb 11oz
Marmot Sawtooth 15 ~ 15F ~ 2lb 11oz
North Face Hyper Cat ~ 20F ~ 1lb 14oz
Big Agnes Boot Jack ~ 24F ~ lb 6oz

egilbe
05-07-2017, 21:32
Answer:

It's not because I'm opposed to new (and lighter) gear ideas; no, it's because I turn in my sleep. A quilt insulates best when both edges are tucked under you. Every time you rotate you drag the quilt with you, exposing the opening to the cold night and venting out all the air your body has warmed. The abrupt change in temperature forces you awake until you tuck both ends under you again in your new position. I tend to sleep on my side, but alternate between left and right. A quilt in low temperatures would interrupt my rest repeatedly, making for a miserable sleeping experience. When a mummy bag turns with me there's no sleep-disturbing chill.

Say what? How do you sleep with a blanket at home? Do you constantly need to tuck it under you to stay warm? Im a rotiserie sleeper and I've never had the issue you speak of with a quilt. I rotate underneath the quilt.

BuckeyeBill
05-08-2017, 10:11
I agree with egilbe in that I can turn under my quilt with no problem and I don't tuck it in, whether in my hammock or when I have to go to ground. I quit using sleeping bags several years ago.

DownEaster
05-09-2017, 02:16
Say what? How do you sleep with a blanket at home? Do you constantly need to tuck it under you to stay warm? Im a rotiserie sleeper and I've never had the issue you speak of with a quilt. I rotate underneath the quilt.
I grab the covers in my sleep, so I turn them with me. At home I've got king-sized top sheets and blankets that are tucked far under the mattress, so (usually) they resist my unconscious efforts to wrap them around me. And even when I do pull the bedding loose, they're long on both sides so I rarely get uncovered.

LittleJimmy
05-11-2017, 14:23
+1 on Western Mountaineering. They are expensive, but worth it. I used a semi-rectangular Sycamore (+25F) for my thru hike beginning March 17th and it was perfect for me. It had room to move around and it fully unzipped to become a quilt in warmer weather. It's a good choice if you get claustrophobic with mummies.

+1 (Buy cheap, buy twice)

Femadog
05-11-2017, 15:03
I'm a quilt guy but I use a hammock :-) I also use the quilt with a Thermarest xlite when I'm above timberline and have to go to ground. It works great. Like others have said, I just spin around underneath it. If you're concerned about it lifting, have the manufacturer install pad clips that hold the quilt edges down around the mattress. You can use shirt stays to do the same thing. It makes the quilt and pad a single unit.

If you look at quilts, I have to suggest you look at Loco Libre. George custom builds absolutely great quilts with the ability to customize as you wish. I have one of his 20 degree Ghost Peppers (and a Habanero UQ) that have worked great down into the 20's. The Ghost pepper weighs 20 ounces. Other manufacturers to look at include Hammock Gear Burrows, EE, Jacks R better. Mostly cottage industry folks with great customer service (but usually long lead times, other than some comapnies that are starting to make and stock the more popular configurations.

YMMV

Huntmog
05-17-2017, 17:52
Agree with those saying quilts are in fact better for restless sleepers. But that's my opinion... from my own experiences. I guess I'm confused by the disdain for quilts - Is that from actual personal experience or from some old guard mentality?? I used mummies for years...and slept like hell. I switched to a quilt and I sleep so much more soundly. Why? Because I struggle with movement AND temperature. Mummy bags would end up twisting with me until it woke me up. Or I'd wake up sweating. A large and wide quilt literally is like my comforter at home...if I'm hot I kick a leg out. If I'm cold I strap it down.

Again...i say this from actual personal experience with both. Everyone is different but if you have the chance I HIGHLY recommend testing a quilt (and not the Costco one) and making your own decision.
Ps get a good pad with a quilt and it literally feels like home!!

emilialovve
05-23-2017, 08:55
Hi there! Interested in the Western Mountaineering bags, however I prefer a rectangle shape because I sleep on my stomach and flip flop often. The rectangular bags are pretty big! 6' is the smallest, I'm only 5'1 and the bag I have now is a "short" Kelty and is the perfect length! Any ideas were I can find a shorter version of these awesome bags? I don't need the extra weight!

BuckeyeBill
05-23-2017, 11:27
Hi there! Interested in the Western Mountaineering bags, however I prefer a rectangle shape because I sleep on my stomach and flip flop often. The rectangular bags are pretty big! 6' is the smallest, I'm only 5'1 and the bag I have now is a "short" Kelty and is the perfect length! Any ideas were I can find a shorter version of these awesome bags? I don't need the extra weight!

Try REI. Here is a selection of Kelty Bags (https://www.rei.com/b/kelty/c/sleeping-bags-and-accessories?r=b%3Bc&origin=web&pagesize=90&ir=brand%3Akelty%3Bcategory%3Asleeping-bags-and-accessories&page=1&gclid=CjwKEAjwu4_JBRDpgs2RwsCbt1MSJABOY8anbAdbfZL8 7JcZSOTVXAcf3PBWUH-9d-HfnzqXQYktlhoCrQHw_wcB&s_kwcid=PS_Google%7C401_1139357%7Ckelty+sleeping+b ags%7CNB%7C66cb97f3-49d2-43f1-9cc0-8ccdffae2efa%7Ckwd-111176723).

DownEaster
05-23-2017, 14:50
Layering works for clothing, so it should work for sleeping systems as well. Here's what I'm bringing on my 2018 NoBo through-hike:


Marmot Cloudbreak 30 synthetic mummy bag (31 oz.)
silk mummy inner liner (3.4 oz.)
SOL Escape Bivvy outer liner (8.3 oz.)

This works for me because I don't need a lot of room; I've got short legs and fit in all of these. The Escape Bivvy is there for two reasons: (1) emergency use if something bad (drop in a stream sort of bad) happens to my sleeping bag, and (2) cold in the GSMNP, which proudly features icebox-style shelters they want you to use instead of your own snug tent. The Escape Bivvy is narrow, but the Cloudbreak 30 is a narrow mummy bag that's contoured to keep the weight under 2 lbs. so it fits inside this bivvy. And while I fit inside all of these, actually getting into bed will constitute my nightly limbering-up exercises: the Cloudbreak 30 has a left zipper; the Escape Bivvy has a right zipper; and the silk liner has no zipper.

I may use all three layers at the (late winter) start of my hike, omit the bivvy after the Smokies, then in summer sleep in the liner on top of the sleeping bag.

Venchka
05-23-2017, 15:50
Hi there! Interested in the Western Mountaineering bags, however I prefer a rectangle shape because I sleep on my stomach and flip flop often. The rectangular bags are pretty big! 6' is the smallest, I'm only 5'1 and the bag I have now is a "short" Kelty and is the perfect length! Any ideas were I can find a shorter version of these awesome bags? I don't need the extra weight!

Look at the TerraLite and maybe the Sycamore.
WM is also making quilts.
Wayne


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JFKinYK
05-23-2017, 16:32
There usually a marmot Helium on BPL classifieds for around $240 or so. It's 2lbs 2 ozs I think? Down, but water resistant coated. Rated to 15F

AngryGerman
06-20-2017, 01:40
IMO the Western Mountaineering Summerlite is an awesome three season bag. 32 degree bag weighing in at 18-19oz if you prefer a sleeping bag.
If you are a cold sleeper and those nights get down to or below 32 degrees you can wear clothes to sleep in. Before I switched to a quilt my most recent three season bag was a Summerlite. I used that baby in conjunction with my base layer all the way down to 15 degrees! Above 32 degrees I usually have to keep the zipper open so I don't sweat through. I've woken up with frost at the bottom before if I don't vent!
Top quilts are an entirely different topic. I hammock and ground/shelter sleep with absolute comfort utilizing a top quilt. The quilt doesn't allow drafts in and can be easily modified/adjusted if warm or cold. If in the hammock I wear clothing too when it gets cold and on those really cold nights; sub 15 degrees; I add an under quilt if hammock hanging.

The proper answer is to know your sleeping habits then choose. Then go out and use your gear. Decide whether or not that 20/25 degree bag is worth the extra weight and comfort vs. that 32 degree bag. Folks go overboard on the temp rating vs. weight, comfort etc. when in reality they rarely need a bag rated for the temp they have. Equate this to back pack sizing or food selection. Folks always go crazy big when in reality all is needed is a little.

Lyle
06-20-2017, 12:03
Pretty certain it was Feathered Friends who, back in the 1970s had an ad campaign going that was based on the following Statement (or something quite close):

"Feathered Friends, we make the most expensive bags available. If you find a more expensive brand, let us know, we will gladly raise our price!"

Tongue in cheek, for sure, but they DO make quality gear and you pay for the quality. Personally, I have Western Mountaineering and Marmot down bags, but would not hesitate to buy a Feathered Friends, either.

jensaito
09-03-2017, 11:59
Look at Marmot Phase 20 - my friend is using it. This is a classic mummy bag complete with the cozy down-filled hood. The internal stash pocket keeps headphones or earplugs close by, and the full-length zipper has a draft tube to prevent wind from penetrating. Very comfortable, reliable and lightweight - 1.5lbs.

AllDownhillFromHere
09-03-2017, 13:37
+1 (Buy cheap, buy twice)

Buy cheap, afford the rest of your trip.

Cheyou
09-03-2017, 18:46
Buy cheap, afford the rest of your trip.
Ha ha I'm with you.

Ethesis
09-03-2017, 19:28
Buy cheap, afford the rest of your trip.

That made me smile.

TTT
09-03-2017, 20:08
As a person who lives in a hot climate, I'll also be one of those idiots joining you on a hike in the snow in early March. My sleeping bag is a Zpacks 20 degree long with wide top. (extra room in case I need to stuff a fat chick inside to keep me warm) It's untested as it's mid-winter here and I walk around without my shirt off. It's very puffy and jamming it in its stuff sack takes ingenuity.

AllDownhillFromHere
09-03-2017, 22:58
Western Mountaineering ~ 20F ~ 1lb 12oz <--- for a 5'6" person, $485
Western Mountaineering ~ 25F ~ 1lb 11oz <--- for a 5'6" person, $470
Marmot Sawtooth 15 ~ 15F ~ 2lb 11oz <--- ~ $200 on the REI sale
North Face Hyper Cat ~ 20F ~ 1lb 14oz <--- $240
Big Agnes Boot Jack ~ 24F ~ 2 lb 6oz <--- $190

I'd probably go with the NF bag, for $50 more than the BA or Marmot, you save half a pound or more. I've also personally had good luck with NF bags.

Ethesis
09-04-2017, 13:44
Pretty certain it was Feathered Friends who, back in the 1970s had an ad campaign going that was based on the following Statement (or something quite close):

"Feathered Friends, we make the most expensive bags available. If you find a more expensive brand, let us know, we will gladly raise our price!"

Tongue in cheek, for sure, but they DO make quality gear and you pay for the quality. Personally, I have Western Mountaineering and Marmot down bags, but would not hesitate to buy a Feathered Friends, either.

i love the quote.

That said, I actually bought a Loco Libre quilt.

My wife will probably buy a Magma.

We both have down bags, but my Marmot and her older REI are heavy and not that warm.

we both have lighter quilts (at 16 ounces of 850 fill) and those are fine for warmer weather. But layering up for colder weather gets into real weight quickly. Just changing out base layers added more than a pound. (So we skipped the heavier base layer approach).

Or the secondary quilt layer was a pound each.

It is so easy to take something too light for the weather and turn it into a four pound system when a two pound bag or quilt would have been warmer.

Shrewd
09-08-2017, 21:01
I can happily recommend MidAtlantic Mountain works and Loco libre quilts


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Ethesis
09-10-2017, 22:39
I can happily recommend MidAtlantic Mountain works and Loco libre quilts


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and it looks like the lead time is reasonable.


http://www.locolibregear.com/current-lead-times-1.html

assuming he delivers within the estimates.

Engine
09-11-2017, 06:59
Consider an EE quilt, we used Enlightened Equipment Revelation quilts (10* for Caboose and 20* for me) in temps from 8* to 65*. They were perfect for a one size fits 98% of the nights solution. I do love Western Mountaineering bags as well, I have a Caribou MF that's practically a work of art. Can't go wrong either way really.

jjozgrunt
09-24-2017, 11:46
Ok here is my take. Bare in mind I come from a place where in winter if it gets below about 45F it's bloody freezing. I got a 30F quilt from EE and I bought a size larger and wider quilt in 50F for warmer temps. They fit inside each other and use the double straps for winter. Together they give you 10F and the flexibility of using one or both in the early part. It snowed on 2 of the first 3 days this year, started 12th Mar, it was 95F when I left Australia. I was warm and toasty with both then and on warmer nights I just used the 30F one. together both came in under a kilogram, 2 lbs. Some people don't like quilts, some have never tried them, I move around a lot in my sleep and they have been the answer for me. A good insulated pad is a must for cold weather if you use quilts.

SwathHiker
09-28-2017, 05:07
If you like to move around, Montbell Super Spiral Down Hugger bags are great. They are VERY stretchy and you can sit cross-legged in them. They aren't cheap and they aren't rated correctly. The 30 degree bag is really an EN 40 degree bag but for most people works as well as most 30 degree bags. Read the fine print. The have an awesome 900 fill power bag at EN 24 that is perfect, weighs about a pound and a half, but costs $550. They are cozy because they HUG YOU and fill in the drafts but STRETCH very wide to sit up and flip around on your side, etc. If you are poorer, Klymit makes a decent substitute 650 fp down bag that weighs 2.75 pounds and is a 20 degree bag, for about $170, and often cheaper than that on Amazon. I prefer these to my Western Mountaineering and my Marmot high end bags because they aren't constricting. Forget the Summerlite bag from WM for much of the AT as it won't be warm enough for a thru-hike without extra liners you'll have to carry probably nearly all of the time, unless you really sleep warm. In addition to the Montbell 800 and 900 Fill Power bags, I also like the Montbell 650 fp bag too and used it for several hundred miles on the AT. It's nice because it's still very very lightweight. The Montbells are notoriously LIGHTWEIGHT. But the 650 FPs, the outside shell is taffeta, that soft brushed fabric usually only found on the inside of SOME bags, rather than slippery, shiny stuff. The higher FP versions of their bags though are made of special ballistic nylon with high tensile strength and aren't that soft taffeta stuff, but I am told are still super super soft. I haven't yet pulled the trigger myself on the 900 fp bag but I am leaning that direction since it's a pound and a half and a 24 degree bag. It's a Backpacker Gear of the Year winner too. And the following year the Klymit 20 degree bag that's also got stretch seams, but sells for only $170, won that title. Look hard at those two brands. Skip the NEMO spoon bags, which give you the same EFFECT - room to move around - with the added weight penalty of at least a half pound, and an inflated price.