View Full Version : in search of the perfect sleeping bag

09-01-2011, 18:24
Ok so after doing my first solo overnight and purchasing the Eureka spitfire 1 tent I am in search of the perfect sleeping bag to continue updating my gear for a thru-hike in the future. I am looking for recommendations for bags that meet the following criteria.

-my current bag compress into a 9x20 inch sack. I feel it is waayyy to big as it took up the majority of my pack. I am looking for something that compresses down to about half that...about the size of a football would be nice.
-I am generally a warm sleeper and think a 20 degree bag would be good.
-the lighter the better but I would settle for something in the 2-3 pound range
-cost is not an issue, although it may take me a while to save for it, I am willing to do so.

I have been looking at a High Peak Viper Down 20 degree bag but can't find how much it compresses.

What do you guys recommend?

09-01-2011, 18:31
Check out Western Mountaineering and Nunatak.

09-01-2011, 19:13
Western Moutaineering are legendary. If you are unsure of your gear order a Go-lite Adrenaline bag from REI and take advantage of their great return policy.

09-01-2011, 19:36
Montbell or Western Mountaineering....

Jersey Tim
09-01-2011, 19:40
Like they said, if cost truly is no option -- we're talking $300+ here -- Western Mountaineering is pretty much the last word in sleeping bags. Warm, light, compressible, and made in the USA.

09-01-2011, 19:41
The WM Ultralite (same 20f rating ,not necessarily comparable...) is a 1lbs 13oz bag that compresses down to 7"x13".
Now because WM uses higher loft down (around 850 vs the 600-650 of the High Peak) it can be that much lighter and more compressible, by about 40% or so.
(The WM shell is also most likely a lot thinner and lighter).
This also means a lot more expensive too.

Jersey Tim
09-01-2011, 19:42
Of course I mean "if cost is no object".

09-01-2011, 19:54
Get a quilt...

lemon b
09-02-2011, 11:38
Welcome to the club elytis. I have a collection of bags. They I got over my fear of getting down wet. Even though I know the really important thing is the pad.

09-02-2011, 12:41
If there were such a thing as the perfect sleeping bag, there would only be one for sale. And for every ten posts here, you'll get eleven ideas.

Marmot makes a good down bag, too, with fewer options and for a slightly lower price than WM.

09-02-2011, 13:15
That high peaks bag is 20% feathers (bad) and 650 fill down (OK but there's better). I don't think it's worth what Amazon charges ($116).
For money is no object, Feathered Friends bags are very good.
Check EMS and REI and campmor for sales. A down bag will be lighter for the same warmth and more compressible.
If you can sew, a quilt made with climashield insulation works good.

Buffalo Skipper
09-02-2011, 13:15
Get a quilt...

I just ordered a winter top quilt from Hammock Gear. 20 rating. Weights 20.1 oz with 900 fill Hungarian goose down. $229.00. Available with your choice of overstuff and in long (extra weight and cost). I expect this to pack down to about the size of a small loaf of bread. I ordered mine with 1 oz of overfill and long. Each of these are made by hand and to order. The quality of these products is unbeatable.

Though top quilts are often associated with hammocks, they are in no way limited to hammock use. The same reasons why they benefit someone in a hammock will benefit a tent/ground sleeper. Do a little research and you will learn about this approach.

Find Hammock Gear at:

Also check out the Jacks. Their reputation is just as flawless, and they have a good selection of not only top quilts, but also wearable quilts.

If you are interested in synthetics (as opposed to goose down), out Arrowhead Equipment, who specialize in both down and synthetics (Climashield). I own an AE summer underquilt (for a hammock), and the quality is no less than the products I have purchased from Hammock Gear. Synthetics, of course, will weigh a bit more.

The owners of these cottage businesses are not just random people. They are real Americans who are avid outdoorsmen and backpackers. Their products are hand made in the USA and they stand by their work. Any of them will gladly speak to you via email or over the phone to answer any questions you may have. Get can get in touch with either through their respective websites.

09-02-2011, 19:08
I agree that a quilt is a nice way to go. At the moment I only have my GoLite RS 1+ Season quilt. However, my replacement quilts should have went in the mail yesterday...

I have a 50 F Burrow coming that I had Adam use some M90 from Thru HIker and also 1 oz of over fill. Total weight should be 12 oz. (Which is less than half the weight of the GoLite quilt, and will probably be warmer!)

I also have a 20 F Cuben Fiber Phoenix UQ coming too! (Bummer Monday is a holiday as it will only delay my order more...)

Saying that... I love my Marmot Helium and wouldn't trade it for anything. Probably not even a WM or a FF, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want to add one of those to my collections.

IMO, FF, WM and (yes, even) Marmot make some fine bags... can't go wrong with any of them...at least if they fit you...

If you want some extra girth, check out the Montbell bags.

For a good budget bag, I have heard great things about the Campmor down bags (20 & 0 F I think).


I just noticed that Hammock Gear is having a 20% off sale on their in stock quilts only. Check it out!

09-02-2011, 22:30
Western Mountaineering, Montbell Spiral down huggers UL, or the ultralite Marmot bags are all quite good. All have top quality 800-fill down, and with reasonable care will last for twenty years.