View Full Version : Is A Sleeping Bag Cover worth the Weight

01-27-2009, 14:11
I am debating carrying a waterproof/breatheable sleeping bag cover. Montbell's bag covers (not a bivy) weighs 8 oz. I know it add a little wramth and make the bag wind proof in an open shelter. And it keep the bag dry when wind driven rain enters a shelter.

My question is for thruhikers. Do you think its wroth carrying at least for March and April if not longer?

Thank you ahead of time.

01-27-2009, 14:13
If you anticipate a lot of condensation in your tent it might just be. I have one made out of silnylon that can be zippped down part of the way. Weighs about 6 ounces, which isn't a big penalty for keeping the foot end of my down bag dry.


01-27-2009, 14:41
If you ask an ultralighter like me who doesn't sleep in shelters, the answer is no. My Tarptent Contrail at 24 oz has always kept me plenty dry. I never found the need for any extra cover.

Now, if you're considering taking that instead of a tent and rely on shelters, that's a different story, risk, and hike.

01-27-2009, 15:10
I started out carrying one and dropped it.. I would say it was not worth the weight.. plus the one I had did not breathe very well so I ended up with a condensation problem anyway..

01-27-2009, 15:11
I think the Montbell cover has two issues: 1) it's too waterproof and therefore not breatheable enough, and 2) it doesn't have a mesh cover over your face. If you want to use it under a very small tarp in bad weather, it's probably perfect, but I don't think it's a great choice for shelter use.

If you want to use something in a shelter, IMHO it should be very breatheable and have mesh over your upper body. That keeps the mice and bugs out of your way, and doesn't allow any condensation inside the cover/bivy.

So yeah, a sleeping bag cover can be useful in a shelter -- keeps you on your pad, keeps your bag clean, and keeps the mice and bugs out of your face. But I think the Montbell is better for other situations.

01-27-2009, 15:27
Might be worth it if you already bought it. Can try if for a while and send it home if you decide its not. Rain blowing in a shelter is not often a problem, but dirty, muddy and wet floors can be from hikers boots and gear. In that case, I'll just use my ground cloth.

I'd be more inclined to find a bag cover which has no-see-em netting built in around the head. That can be a sanity saver. Then you can think about using a tarp instead of a tent for when you can't get to or into a shelter. Otherwise, the bag cover is sort of redundant. I'd rather be in my tent than in a shelter when the bugs are bad, even if there is pleanty of space in the shelter.

01-27-2009, 16:32
I'm with Footslogger, also, I made one out of silnylon that was just a slipcover, very ultra light, and can be used to cover gear if need be and other uses like a laundry bag, etc.

I have been 'rained on' in several shelters due to blowing and was glad I had a slipcover for the bag! :)

The Will
01-27-2009, 17:56
If your biggest concern is windblown rain which, as stated in a previous post is rarely a problem, then just slipping your rain jacket over the foot of your bag should be adequate. No weight gain and your bag is still protected.

Sure, there might be some breathability/condensation issues, as there will be in any extra-sleeping bag form of protection.

Nearly Normal
01-28-2009, 03:39
Made a ground cloth out of silnylon and sewed a footpouch for bad weather using a tarp.
Didn't work out. The foot pouch caused condensation in the bag.

01-28-2009, 22:24
I'd look at the Equinox cover, it's lighter and cheaper.

01-28-2009, 22:32

I have this and have been impressed. I just bought high end bags this past fall (WM and Montbell SS). I've used this cover with them in fall and winter temps and have had very little condensation. At 6.5 oz, and $59 I think it is good protection for the expensive bags. I will definitely carry it to help protect the bags when using shelters.

01-28-2009, 22:48
Yes, but the face is only mesh. It is meant to be used in conjunction with a tarp or other shelter of some type. I have heard of people using this type of bivy as a stand-alone shelter and just using their rain gear over their face. I would not use it like that.

One other minor negative is that unless you zip the zipper all the way shut, it tends to unzip itself through the night. Hasn't been an issue for me. Also, it isn't a full length zipper, so you have to push the sleeping bag down into the foot end of the bivy. Again, this has not been an issue for me, but may be more of one in the summer when more ventilation is needed. The size of the bivy accommodates my 0* bag without compressing it, so that is a positive.