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wperrott92
01-03-2018, 19:01
I have used a 20 degree EE quilt for all of my trips over the last couple years in Arkansas/Tennessee, but would like a sleeping bag for colder temperatures. I found that the Enigma is best above 30 degrees and becomes a pain in the low twenties, and that one time in single digits/teens only gave me 5 hours of sleep. I am 6'2 220 side sleeper with a 50+ inch chest which is why I have never owned a sleeping bag. I am looking at the Nemo Sonic line of bags due to their width and can't decide between a 15 or a zero degree bag. This will be my only sleeping bag and I will use my quilt on all trips with expected temperatures above the high twenties. Considerations are that I want this to be a long term investment and I am in the military/will be stationed in different climates. I like the idea of the vents on the zero and that bag would give me two sleep systems to cover all temperature ranges, my concern is that it may be too warm in the 25 degree temperature average of Arkansas winter over the next month or two.

The 15 degree would work best for me at the moment, but I feel as if it overlaps with my quilts temperature range and am interested in future winter backpacking down to zero degrees. I've read that the sonic zero isn't the warmest zero degree bag, but I don't plan on camping in temperatures that would require dedicated 4 season tent/boots/etc.. I tend to push the comfort/safety boundaries on clothing and always hike alone if that's also something to consider. After suffering through the recent cold front that brought single digit temperatures in my 20 degree quilt I am okay with carrying an overkill bag for temperatures below freezing for a pound weight penalty. I already own a larger volume frameless pack, pyramid shelter, and adequate clothing for single digit temperatures.

Gambit McCrae
01-04-2018, 10:47
I would suggest a few things.
1- Sleeping Bag Brands I promote and being of the same body structure as you, they would be a good fit.
-Montbell
-Western Mountaineering

Montbell has a spiral stretch that is very comfy but I think the WM bags are warmer.

2-Sleeping pad is just as important as the bag. In single digits I carry my exped downmat 7 and a 5* WM antelope Bag and I am always toasty warm. The antelope is a little tight with a down jacket on...

Montbell (https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=14001&p_id=2321165)

Western Mountaineering (http://www.westernmountaineering.com/sleeping-bags/gore-windstopper-series/sequoia-gws/)

Exped Downmat (http://www.exped.com/usa/en/product-category/mats/downmat-ul-winter-lw)

I look at a sleeping bag as an investment, it keeps me warm when I need it most and therefor I don't mind spending the money on them, if you take care of it it will last you many years.

LIhikers
01-04-2018, 11:52
I doubt you're going to find one bag that will work well in all temperature ranges.
I suspect most people have one bag for winter and another for the other three seasons.
I too will suggest Western Mountaineering for a winter bag, I use the Puma and have never been cold in it.
I have a Montbell for a three season bag and can assure you it's a quality product.
I would expect their winter bags to be just as good

And like Gambit McCrae says the pad you use is just as important.
I use an inflateable pad, the NeoAir All Season. That one isn't in the product line any more but there are others just as warm.
Then, I put a foam Ridge Rest Pad on top. The cold of the ground never gets through.

wperrott92
01-04-2018, 12:27
The WM versalite would be perfect weight and temperature wise, but worried that it's too narrow.

wperrott92
01-04-2018, 12:34
The Nemo and WM are both sold by services with free returns and speedy delivery so that would be another option to try both. From what I've read the versalite is usually good from about 0-30 degrees and is more of a true zero bag despite the ten degree rating.

Another Kevin
01-04-2018, 14:39
I have used a 20 degree EE quilt for all of my trips over the last couple years in Arkansas/Tennessee, but would like a sleeping bag for colder temperatures. I found that the Enigma is best above 30 degrees and becomes a pain in the low twenties, and that one time in single digits/teens only gave me 5 hours of sleep. I am 6'2 220 side sleeper with a 50+ inch chest which is why I have never owned a sleeping bag. I am looking at the Nemo Sonic line of bags due to their width and can't decide between a 15 or a zero degree bag. This will be my only sleeping bag and I will use my quilt on all trips with expected temperatures above the high twenties. Considerations are that I want this to be a long term investment and I am in the military/will be stationed in different climates. I like the idea of the vents on the zero and that bag would give me two sleep systems to cover all temperature ranges, my concern is that it may be too warm in the 25 degree temperature average of Arkansas winter over the next month or two.

I'm about your size and weight (a bit less barrel-chested), and budget conscious. I've been pretty happy with my Marmot Never Summer. It isn't as light as Montbell or Western Mountaineering, but it seems to be pretty true to rating. (I've slept in it in negative single digits, wearing a fleece sweatsuit over my base layer, and stayed warm.)

I don't know of any bag that will really work for all seasons. I have to stop short of deep winter around here - the conditions this week are brutal, and I'm not geared for them. And the Never Summer is aptly named - it's far too warm for anything but winter. Even just on top of me like a quilt, it would be awfully warm if the temps got much above freezing.

If you really need a single system that adapts to all conditions, and both money and weight are no object, maybe Stephenson WarmLite's system (https://www.warmlite.com/product/triple-bag/) is for you. The weights aren't quite as unreasonable as they look at first, since the system includes the equivalent of bag, pad, vapor barrier liner and bivy sack. (They don't seem to have their paper catalog any more. It was quite a hoot, with naked hippies modeling a lot of the gear - Jack Stephenson was a naturist.)

wperrott92
01-04-2018, 14:46
Appreciate the input, I'm also budget conscious but the longetivity of my father's high quality sleeping bag from the 1980s leads me in the direction of investing in something with top performance and longetivity. Additionally I already use military ecws system in the service so i have a beater synthetic bag for cold temps.

Not looking/interested in subzero backpacking.

Ethesis
01-04-2018, 15:31
Are you willing to layer a sleeping bag with your quilt?

wperrott92
01-04-2018, 15:45
I don't really see the sense in that option as I have a down not synthetic quilt and if I had to layer that would mean I got a bag thats practically same temp rating as my quilt.

Dogwood
01-04-2018, 17:54
Have you also checked out Feathered Friends? FF makes a good range of cold weather bags with different measurements. FF's temp ratings are typically right on to a bit conservative just as are WM 's ratings. FF's bags are cut a bit differently too.

http://featheredfriends.com/raven-ul-down-sleeping-bag.html 64/58/40 (http://64/58/40) shoulder/hips/feet verse the 62/53/39 of the Versalite in reg lengths. One of the reasons why I like FF is because I'm also a side sleeper tossing from side to side all night and their extra hip width is appreciated even though I don't have wide hips or waist. FWIW, one of the reasons why the WM Extremlite Series are so extremely light is because they are efficient mummy cut. FF gives me a bit more size options.

wperrott92
01-04-2018, 18:00
I've considered them but I'm trying to get back out there this week so I'm trying the Nemo sonic and WM versalite due to their availability. I have a feeling that the sonic will be best at my size, not really all that concerned about it being not quite as warm as the WM/FF bags.

HerdBull
01-05-2018, 13:37
depends on the temp ranges you expect to sleep in but I have numerous bags for everything from 60 degree summer nights to -20 winter trips. I think for most people 2 bags would cover the temp range. Or a bag and a quilt. Just don't try and take the cheap way out with bags as you get what you pay for.

wperrott92
01-05-2018, 13:48
After trying both I went with the Nemo bag. The versalite seems a bit warmer, lighter, and higher quality but that doesn't matter when I don't fit in it comfortably especially due to the shallow hood even more than the width.

If I actually end up regularly doing a bunch of trips down to zero and the sonic is not adequate I may look at the WM Kodiak, I believe the Nemo bag is still great quality and makes more sense for my usage.

Venchka
01-05-2018, 14:01
The WM Badger MF should fit you.
I recently spent a comfortable night in my Alpinlite at 15 degrees. I weighed all of the clothes I wore to get to 15 degrees in the Alpinlite. My Antelope would have been equal in weight and comfy warm at a lower temperature with less clothes.
Good luck in your search.
Wayne

SwathHiker
01-07-2018, 17:30
I second what Gambit McCrae said. I've had all the different bags and far and away my fave is Montbell. The stretch baffles and thread allow you to really move around and even sit up cross-legged while still being zipped. It stretches at the baffles without thinning out your down like a regular bag, and the 900fp is super lightweight at 24.5 oz. They are much more roomy than the Nemo's. I bought one recently and returned it because the shoulders were tight. Montbells also suck in with the stretch baffles to fill in cold spots without being confining. I've had WM and Marmot and all the expensive bags and Montbell is awesome. Quilts I like Katabatic Gear, which they make in wide and very warm options. With the Montbell in colder months you can add to the temp rating with wool long underwear and a silk liner, or a Sea to Summit Reactor Thermolite liner in winter will add 7-10 degrees. Also the Monthbell at 900 fp isn't super goofy so it packs up small and doesn't poof out at the footbox to the point of rubbing on your tent to pick up condensation. The fabric is highly water resistant.

But the WM and Feathered Friends are the best and warmest. If I were going to Everest base camp, I'd go with Feathered Friends.

SwathHiker
01-07-2018, 17:32
That's "super poofy!" ... autocorrect!

wperrott92
01-09-2018, 20:49
Managed to make it to a retailer with all the bags today and realized I underestimated my width and athletic cut, can't even imagine what I would do fifty pounds ago. The WM Antelope/versalite was totally hopeless and even the Kodiak was too tight to allow any layering or gear storage, not to mention side sleeping comfort due to the shallow hood. I imagine the thermal inefficiency of the Sonic that makes it less warm than other zero bags won't make much of a difference since with me there isn't any wasted space, regardless should be plenty for winters on the Georgia AT.

Gambit McCrae
01-10-2018, 09:15
Congrats, Test it out and refresh the thread on your thoughts. I have never been a fan of the nemo brand, however I have never used their stuff either...

wperrott92
01-10-2018, 22:59
Cold front is hitting the OHT this weekend and I imagine after the initial sleet tommorow at least one of the trailheads on a main road will be treated for ice or at least a less hilly drive doable for a 4 wheel drive vehicle or a trailhead on gravel/dirt road that wont ice over too bad so test coming soon. would like to get out on hare mountain saturday/Sunday. May make this into a multi day affair by keeping extra gear in the car to be safe to experiment with different setups.

Found out I will be at ft benning after i graduate for infantry training and ranger so good practice for winter weekends on Georgia AT.

wperrott92
01-15-2018, 14:27
Got a temp of 10 degrees when I got back to my truck after the sun had been out full blast for hours last Friday at hare mountain so nightime was close to zero for sure. Every time I got in the bag after getting up I cinched everything up but would almost completely loosen the hood and draft collar after 10 minutes or so.

This was sleeping as cold as I ever would because I only hiked like a mile into camp and slept on a 3/4 pad. For about 250$ less than the WM Kodiak and ability to return for a year i don't ever see myself questioning my decision. I think the fact that I only have about as much/maybe less free space in this oversized bag as an average person in a normal mummy is a factor.

Gambit McCrae
01-15-2018, 16:15
how did you like it? Sounds like you stayed warm??

wperrott92
01-20-2018, 18:11
Compared to my EE quillt it is extremely resistant to getting wet from condensation, snow, Ice which gives me much greater confidence on trips in below freezing weather in my solomid.

Venchka
01-20-2018, 20:17
I've finally had a chance to be in my tent and sleeping bags, one at a time, on chilly nights lately. Mornings in the teens. Sleeping bag touching the coated bathtub floor. "The Horror!" Balaclava damp around my mouth. No frost or worse.
Am I just lucky? Or are the horror stories greatly exaggerated?
Wayne

wperrott92
01-22-2018, 13:39
I've had moderate issues with frozen condensation on my solomid getting on the footbox of my quilt but that was at temps below about 25 when I don't ever plan on using it. the water repellency/shell on my nemo bag isn't even comparable, it's like 10x better.

Venchka
01-22-2018, 19:57
I wonít tempt fate. No worries at all.
Thanks. Enjoy the new bag.
Wayne

Carl7
01-22-2018, 22:30
Concerning Feathered Friends winter sleeping bags, about 18 or 20 years ago I bought a Widgeon -10 degree bag. The bag has been awesome for very cold winter trips and has held up well. It is well made, but expensive. If you get out a lot in the winter, you may want to consider a better bag. It's nice if you have the space to have different bags for the seasons. I found that I got out a lot more in the winter once I had a better cold weather bag. I always felt like I was at a nice hotel in the wilderness in the Widgeon. However, one can easily still get out using two bags, one inside the other in very cold weather. It's just a little more weight.

RangerZ
01-23-2018, 00:34
Cold front is hitting the OHT this weekend and I imagine after the initial sleet tommorow at least one of the trailheads on a main road will be treated for ice or at least a less hilly drive doable for a 4 wheel drive vehicle or a trailhead on gravel/dirt road that wont ice over too bad so test coming soon. would like to get out on hare mountain saturday/Sunday. May make this into a multi day affair by keeping extra gear in the car to be safe to experiment with different setups.

Found out I will be at ft benning after i graduate for infantry training and ranger so good practice for winter weekends on Georgia AT.

Travel light and freeze at night. Good luck with the Ranger Course. I was class 9-76. RLTW!

sethd513
01-23-2018, 06:50
I've finally had a chance to be in my tent and sleeping bags, one at a time, on chilly nights lately. Mornings in the teens. Sleeping bag touching the coated bathtub floor. "The Horror!" Balaclava damp around my mouth. No frost or worse.
Am I just lucky? Or are the horror stories greatly exaggerated?
Wayne

I know when I first started winter camping, actually the very first night I went I was over bundled and my top synthetic bag was a sheet of ice, tent was all ice. Tent floor was soaked. Didnít sleep. Didnít vent properly. Spilt my coffee on my self inflating mattress and watched it disappear. And I wondered how anyone could deal with all these things for two nights. Or two weeks. It just comes with time learning not to worry about things you canít control and enjoying the trip. Just stay warm and keep your puffy dry. If you do that I think everything else should fall into place.


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