View Full Version : Advice on a synthetic sleeping bag

02-12-2008, 11:33
I'm hiking on the AT from Springer for a week in mid-May. Would love a down bag, but can't afford one right now. I'm looking at a North Face Snowshoe 0 degree synthetic bag that weighs 3lbs. 7 oz....I'm wondering if this is too heavy and if I can get it compressed into the sleeping bag compartment on my backpack or if I can get it compressed enough not to take up too much space. I know synthetics don't compress like a down.

Thanks for any input.

02-12-2008, 11:39
What pack do you have? Is that a women's bag? (Sometimes the women's bags are lighter.)

02-12-2008, 11:44
I climbed into the men's version of that bag and was not impressed. Zipped up, in a heated store, I should have cooked.

Put a critical eye on it before you spend the $.

Appalachian Tater
02-12-2008, 11:46
If you're on a budget, don't buy anything that says "The North Face" on it unless it is 50% or more off.

Is this a "female issue"? If so, sorry for the intrusion.

max patch
02-12-2008, 12:07
Do you really need a zero degree bag? (You don't mid May in GA.)

Thats normally a $180 bag; are you getting a great deal on it?

You can get a Campmor down bag -- either zero or 20 degrees -- for less than what that bag costs. Prob $110 for the 20 and $140 for the zero.

02-12-2008, 12:18
I have a North Face 60 Crestone Womens backpack...just ordered it

02-12-2008, 12:40

This is in the women's forum and I only answered because you asked for any input. It's a general question too.

I looked at that sleeping bag and pack to get an idea of the dimensions. That pack weighs over 6 lbs and only holds 3650 cu in. I just wanted to point out that is a huge amount of weight for a pack that size**

The sleeping bag you are interested is listed at 18" long. You can compress that some. I have two packs in the 3900 cu in size and a synthetic 20 degree bag. I have to stand the sleeping bag up, not sideways in both. A 0 degree bag could have the same problem, but it certainly depends on the bag and pack you choose. Also, synthetic bags take up space, you might be filling up your pack quickly with sleeping pad and shelter. (I think you are probably OK, but if you have say a self-inflating pad and a tent and perhaps a synthetic jacket or heavy fleece you might be pushing it.)

**Checked another outfitter. Backcountry had those specs. Other places have weights of 5lbs 10 oz and up, and also note that there is some room for expansion, about 700 ci. It's still a bit heavy though but the space issues wouldn't be nearly as much of an issue.

02-12-2008, 13:04
This North Face Crestone Womens 60 weighs about 6lbs. Should I look for a lighter pack?

02-12-2008, 13:15
This North Face Crestone Womens 60 weighs about 6lbs. Should I look for a lighter pack?My wife's pack is a Vapor Trail. It weighs 2 lbs. They now make a women's version called the Vapor Ki. You really could drop that to somewhere in the ballpark of 2-4 pounds, as long as you don't overload the suggested carry weights.

02-12-2008, 13:21
Hi just let you know you can get some petty good bags at campmor they have their own brand down bags here is a link with just one of the bags really cheap to

02-12-2008, 16:18
Thanks Alligator...alot of good info...very helpful. I appreciate the time you took to reply.

02-12-2008, 22:39
Thanks Alligator...alot of good info...very helpful. I appreciate the time you took to reply.Your welcome. If you decide to look at other packs, I'm sure some of the women on the board could provide reviews.

02-13-2008, 08:01
I have info regarding the subject, but I'm not female. It came up in the new posts. (I'm not trying to get into your "fort" gals)

I section hiked last May, starting from Springer.

I had a 'no-name' 0 degree synthetic bag (near 5 lbs.)and a 50 degree synthetic bag (1 1/2 lb.)to choose from.

From the space and total pack weight aspect, I picked the smaller bag and supplemented with a Poncho liner. (That was 2 1/2lbs versus 5 lbs.)

My sleeping system consisted of Army Surplus EWS long johns, the bag and the poncho liner if needed. I had my rain suit as a last resort, but never needed it. Temps never got below mid forties at night. I believe I would have been good at least to freezing.

I am a hammocker. I had a closed cell pad under me.

If you carry everything to be sure you never get cold, under any circumstances, you are going to push your pack weight up uncomfortable high.

I did that. I was worried about hunger. I had so much food, thrown in at the eleventh hour,( a full jar of peanut butter. A full box of powdered milk!!! What was I thinking??) that pack weight hit 40 pounds. That was a killer. Food began to disappear, beginning at Gooch mountain.

Backpacking is all about calculated risk.

Miles of Smiles

02-13-2008, 10:53
I would think by mid May you could do fine with a 20 to 25 degree bag and a silk liner (unless you are a REALLY cold sleeper, and I know I am). For the portion of my hike way up north (in NH and Maine) in late August and Sept I used the Marmot pounder plus (25 degree rating) and got it into my Gregory Jade just fine (and loved it, BTW).

02-13-2008, 11:12
I agree with most, that 20* would be fine. Will it fit in your pack? Are you purchasing from a retailer? If so, take your back pack into the store and see if it fits.

Jim Adams
02-13-2008, 11:40
kelty lightyear synthetic 20* is a decent bag for the money.


max patch
02-13-2008, 11:51
kelty lightyear synthetic 20* is a decent bag for the money.


I got a couple of those for my kids from SAC a year or so ago for $50. Sent them back; it has a half zipper which I think is stupid as it limits its usefulness in hot weather.

02-13-2008, 12:07
I know this isn't the DIY forum but -- I'll agree with J. Adams about the $$ and weight value of a Kelty lightyear synthetic....and will agree with Maxpatch about the half zip. I ended up making a sort of quilt with the lightyear by ripping out the zipper and the seam itself down to the toebox, and sewing back a crude seam.

That being said, I don't think you'll need a zero deg bag in may, and look for bargains on campmor/sierra trading post/etc.

02-16-2008, 00:36
In late April early May last year I used a Kelty 40 degree synthetic...and was plenty, warm, too warm actually. For that time of year a 40 degree should do you well and be much lighter on your load.

River Runner
02-16-2008, 03:55
This North Face Crestone Womens 60 weighs about 6lbs. Should I look for a lighter pack?

Definitely look for a lighter pack. I have a GoLite Quest that I find very comfortable. It is 4000 cubic inches and under 3 lb (2 lb 14 oz) for a framed and decently padded pack.

A sleeping bag compartment is not necessary in my opinion. It adds weight & can make the pack awkward to pack. The quest does have a large front pocket which can hold a wet tent or tarp, or raingear & first aid kit, and a top lid which is removable if you don't need it.