View Full Version : Warm weather bag!?!

03-28-2003, 15:25
Any suggestions for a warm weather (40F+) sleeping bag? I'm looking for something light (duh!) and fairly inexpesive.

I thought maybe a bag with a full length zipper would be nice so you could use it as a blanket on really warm (60F+) nights as well. Keep in mind I always use a silk liner.

REI lists a couple of light warm weather bags, but its not real clear if they have full length zippers.

Any thoughts?

03-28-2003, 15:38
The Western Mountaineering Highlite is a 40 degree, 1 lb (or 18 oz in long) bag with a half zipper. If you bring a silk liner, that will be good to around 60. I was a bit worried about the half length zipper and the narrow cut (59" girth), as I am 6'4" and 210 lbs. But, I don't find this a problem at all. You can get the highlite for around $220, which isn't terribly cheap. The 40 degree rating appears accurate, although I only have 3 nights in it so far. All nights were in the 35-45 degree range.

This is definitely the bag I would take on an AT hike if I started in late April or early May. I'm bringing it on the PCT this summer. Since most people will carry a set of thermals and some sort of fleece or other insulation, the 40 degree rating should be able to get pushed down below freezing.

If you want a bigger, warmer bag with a full length zipper, the Western Mountaineering Megalite fits. 63" girth, 30 degree rating. About $260, I think. On the cheaper site, Kelty makes a bag called something like the Lightspeed, which is supposed to weigh around a pound and have a 40 degree rating. But, I think the actual weight is closer to 1.5 lbs and the rating is supposedly optimisitic. But, it costs something like $120.

03-28-2003, 21:19
I'm gonna try a mid-weight fleece blanket
from Campmor, along with a 'Space Blanket'. I figure that combination is
good down to 50-55 degrees.
Campmor fleece blanket $15. Space
blanket $5. Total weight about 24 oz.


03-29-2003, 01:27
I can't claim to be an expert on sleeping bags, but while wandering around Galyans, I discovered the Lafuma Warm -N- Light 600 bag, which is supposed to be good down to 40 degrees, has a full zip, weights 1 lb 5 oz., packs down to 8 x 4 inches, and costs $99.

I admit, I wasn't planning to buy a sleeping bag--already had one!--but I caved and got it anyhow. Can't believe how small the darned thing packs into. *shaking head*

I tried it out once--I think the temperature was in the mid to upper 40s at the time--and it worked wonderfully at keeping me warm. So I've decided I'll be using that on the trail and if it gets much colder than 40 degrees, start layering up inside that bag!

I've seen socks that take up more room than this bag does! :D

-- Ryan

03-29-2003, 10:10

Given that there is a Galyans down the street this might be worth checking out. What were you wearing the one night you slept in it?


I've looked at WM bags. I was leaning toward the MityLite, but at this time I'm not sure I can justify the price. But when I win the lottery that I never play, it will be the first thing I'll buy.

03-29-2003, 10:12
Originally posted by Scamp
I'm gonna try a mid-weight fleece blanket
from Campmor, along with a 'Space Blanket'. I figure that combination is
good down to 50-55 degrees.
Campmor fleece blanket $15. Space
blanket $5. Total weight about 24 oz.


Watch how early you use this setup. I nearly froze my tail off in Southern VA with a fleece blanket in Mid-May.

03-29-2003, 10:23
For warmish weather I have a slumberjack super-guide...manufacturer rated to 30 degrees...light...and the price was about $49 bucks at a local camping store... you can get exact weights at Slumberjack.com....Kelty also makes some light warm weather bags with attractive prices... Have a look at outdooroutlet.com for deals on Kelty goods... Also Sierra Surplus have discounted bags... good luck

03-29-2003, 11:38
Originally posted by tlbj6142
Given that there is a Galyans down the street this might be worth checking out. What were you wearing the one night you slept in it?

I wore a light T-shirt and some shorts. I'd have worn less, but I figured being in a tarp, I should show a little modesty for other campers nearby. ;o)

The bag I found at the Gaylans in Las Vegas about a month ago. Not sure how that'll help, but I figured it doesn't hurt! :)

-- Ryan

03-29-2003, 18:00
Hi tljb6142,

I've got a WM Mitylite, and it's super in the summer. It's definitely a solid 40 degree bag (for me, YMMV). It unzips to become a quilt, and it's light as a feather (pardon the pun!)

I did blanch a little at the cost, but I make so much of my other gear, I didn't feel bad about splurging on one big item.

Best of luck!!


03-29-2003, 18:25
TNJED, thanks for your input.
Were you tenting or tarping?
Did you use a space blanket for a VBL
and heat reflector?

I definitely don't like sleeping cold! :(


Blue Jay
03-29-2003, 20:44
Scamp, I've tried a fleece bag with a space blanket and it does work, but there is one huge drawback. You have to wake up every few hours and throw the space blanket off for a while to let the moisture out. I go back to sleep for a while and then get cold and put the space blanket back on. It works but only if you do not mind waking up two or three times per night. Don't do it in a shelter as the noise will piss off your room mates.

03-30-2003, 21:30
Thanks Blue Jay.
I wasn't going to use mine until Pearisburg, anyway. Mid-May and inside
a tent.


03-31-2003, 11:52
I plan to take my TNF Flight. Polarguard Delta, 35*F, 2lb 4oz.

I tried the 800fill down, 600fill down, Polaqrguard 3D, and multiple designs (rectangulat, mummy, blanket, etc). Polarguard Delta in a mummy design seems to work the best for me. I'm usually one to bitch about TNF, but I think this bag is an exeption, along with some of their 300 series Polartec outter layers.

03-31-2003, 12:05
Dancing Light has a new quilt for sale. Around $160, made from Primaloft, I think. Weight is respectable. Of course, for not too much more money and for less weight you can get a Highlite. I've used their Tacoma tarp and have been very happy with it.

04-04-2003, 15:07
Stoped by my local outfiters (Benchmark) yesterday. I knew they carried Western Montaineering, but usually their stock is quite low. But to my surprise they had a MityLite in stock.

That is one sweet bag. Seems quite warm and the wrap-around zipper allows me to use it as a blanket on warm nights. I just can't get past the $225 price tag.

They also carry Moonstone. They had a Stratus (Polarguard 3D) bag that was an oz lighter. I could unzip it all the way, but not around the bottom of the bag (not a big issue). My big concern is that most the insulation was on the top (as it should be), which made using it as a blanket a bit strange. Half your back would have twice as much insulation. Of course it was only $112.

Anyone want to give me a winning lottery ticket.:D Or if you'd prefer money for college for 3 kids and enough to cover at least 2 weddings. Not sure if the 3rd is a girl or not.

04-04-2003, 18:43
We used the Western Mountaineernig Hilites on our thru-hike, and they were worth every penny. They compress so tiny that I actually had to shift other gear to the bottom of my pack to fill the space, and they are truly 16 oz (for the regular sized one). The half-zip is nice for "breathing room", and makes a nice cover when you want to keep your feet warm but let the top air out (as we often did). If you can spare the cash, it's a bag you will probably use for the rest of your life for summer trips, so maybe worth the investment? I have a friedn in the business so if i hear of any impending deals, I'll post them here for you. Good luck to you!

04-04-2003, 23:25
You were actually able to keep warm in a 40F bag on your thru? I guess you must be quite the warm sleeper.:D

Did you use a silk liner? VB?

04-07-2003, 10:12
I sent my sleeping bag home in Waynesboro, VA (just before the Shenandoahs) and had just a fleece blanket. It was early July, so I figured it would be OK. Two nights later the temps went down to the 40s! That was my coldest night on the whole trail--July 4.

Except for that one night, though, the fleece was fine for the summer.


Amazin' Grace

04-07-2003, 16:00
Okay sorry about that, Correction there, we used the Western Mountaineering Hilites AFTER Pearisburg, VA. Up until Pearisburg, we carried the Western Mountaineering Ultralites. (1lb, 12 oz, 25 degrees). I carried my silk liner the entire trip because i liked a clean bag, , but my husband didn't use one at all. Good luck!

04-07-2003, 16:20
Thanks for the update.

BTW, how did your liner hold up? Someone else posted that theirs only made it through half of the trip.

04-07-2003, 17:47
I had a Coccoon silk liner that I bought at REI. After repeated washings, it was pretty much shredded by the time I got to Front Royal, VA. Luckily, I made it into DC for the day, visited an REI, and they replaced it for free, no questions asked. Now THAT's customer service. Held up well the remainder of the trip and i still use it.

04-07-2003, 20:31
So, why did the second one last longer?

04-08-2003, 07:10
I think I am more careful with it, I wash it less and I line dry it more often, (I still wash it in the machine and occasionally tumble dry it)...for the second half of the trip, it was warmer, so letting something "air dry" wasn't as tough as it was when it was only 30 degrees out :) whereas the first one I would subject to bleaching, regular tumble loads, and high heat, just to get it clean and get on with life. Who knows, maybe this one will fall apart tommorrow? Now that I have returned to the land of regularly available soap and water, I am less concerned with using the liner to keep my bag clean than I was on the trip. But it does add a nice 5 -10 dgrees to your bag, and for the flukey spring-fall weather around here, it's a lightweight back-up to carrying extra sleeping clothes.

04-08-2003, 08:48
I used a cocoon silk liner for about a year and a half before it died. It had a large slit 1/3 way down one side which was supposed to facilitate getting into the liner. The slit was secured on the upper end by a velcro tab. I could never keep this in place and so spent most of the evenings with only my lower body really covered. I sewed the slit up before leaving for my section hike last spring. After a few days, the sewn up slit torn down the side (not the stitching, but the material itself) and eventually almost to the bottom of the liner, turning it into a sheet. I've since purchased a silk liner by integral designs and have had no problems as of yet (about 14 nights). It even has a sewn in silnylon stuff sack at the foot. Very nice.

04-15-2003, 21:50
For all you cheapskates (like me) out there, i just saw this bag at REI:

I usually dont look at REI but instead campmor(actually, i just go to the retail store:D), but happened to find this bag. Seems ok for those early august trips, but probably not for thru hiking. ust thought id share. I do plan on getting in btw.


04-16-2003, 08:05
I look at that one online, but I couldn't tell from the description if you could unzip the bag all the way so that it could be used like a blanket. Can you?

04-16-2003, 14:32
I dont think so...hmm...good point. BUT, it does have a "tube opening" at the end. If the zipper goes all the way to there, then it would work as a blanket. Although, one plus: it has slits like one of the feathered friends bags for arms and legs, so you could probably replace your fleece in the summer w\ just this bag. Becuase who wears a fleece hiking in mid august??


04-16-2003, 14:42
If you are going across the Whites in August, it might be a good idea to have a fleece or some sort of insulated pullover.

05-04-2003, 20:22
Unfortunately, my local outfitters is going out of business. But, I win. I was able to buy the WM MityLite at a discount. Can't wait to use it.

10-13-2003, 02:07
As an alternative to a silk sleeping bag liner, why not take an extra pair of silk long johns? I am a big fan of multi purpose equipment and find that a liner doesn't really suit many needs. An extra pair of silk long johns perform the same function as a liner while also offering a backup base layer if the temperature REALLY drops. I also carry an extra pair of sock liners to provide full coverage when sleeping...

..just a thought...