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rgardn12
09-23-2012, 13:58
Now that the weather is getting a bit cooler I've been looking at my cold weather gear and how bulky it is. I downsized my pack a year or so ago from a 55L-ish to a 43L and my bag by itself is almost the whole pack! I have an REI Polar Pod 20* that I got on sale and its a good bag but it's MASSIVE. Right now in its storage bag its about 18" x 24". I have not purchased a compression sack smaller than the "storage bag" it came with because I don't want to damage it...

Any suggestions or advice about compression of these bags, other bags I might want to look into (warmer, lighter, more compact), etc would be greatly appreciated.

rgardn12
09-23-2012, 14:02
EDIT: its a 25* Polar Pod

Moose2001
09-23-2012, 14:05
I believe the REI Polar Pod is a synthetic stuffed bag. Those NEVER pack down, or compress, as well or as small as a down bag. The first thing you should do is use that bag for car camping and go out and buy yourself a high quaility down bag. You can't go wrong with a Western Moutaineering bag.

rgardn12
09-23-2012, 14:27
I would LOVE a WM bag unfortunately being just out of college I am not making NEAR enough money (or spending enough time out on the trail) to justify spending $400 on a bag.

Any one who has MYOGed a down bag, I'd love to hear about it because I am kind leaning toward that. At least then I could customize it to my exact needs, not have to spend all the money at once, and get the experience.

Old Hiker
09-23-2012, 14:39
Kelty Light Year XP Sleeping Bag: 20 Degree Synthetic - Steep and Cheap has it for $67. 3 pounds, 7 ounces. 10x16 stuff size for the long. Copied from the web site @ 1437 - on for 15 more minutes.

Snowleopard
09-23-2012, 14:45
Any one who has MYOGed a down bag, I'd love to hear about it because I am kind leaning toward that. At least then I could customize it to my exact needs, not have to spend all the money at once, and get the experience.
Two sources for quilt kits:
Down: http://thru-hiker.com/kits/quilt_kit.php AYCE, who runs thru-hiker is very helpful with knowledgeable advice.
Synthetic: http://www.rayjardine.com/ray-way/Quilt-Kit/index.htm Synthetic insulation will probably be too bulky for cold weather use, but might be OK for 20F to 25F. A quilt will be a little less bulky than a sleeping bag.
I haven't made these, but a down quilt/sleeping bag always seemed too much work to me.

The EMS mountain light down sleeping bags are decent quality and when on sale are a bargain. I have the -20F bag and like it. Feathered Friends, etc., are better quality but more expensive. http://www.ems.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3705267&f=Brand%2F1012633&f=PAD%2FInsulation+Type%2FDown&fbc=1&lmdn=Insulation+Type&fbn=Insulation+Type%7CDown

rgardn12
09-23-2012, 14:59
I was just looking at some of those bags, the 15* one on sale caught my eye. I also just happened to find a link to Enlightened Equipment. The RevelationX 20* in 6' (Half Taper) is 1lb 5.75oz at $190 and the 10* is 1lb 8.25oz for $200!!! All Day.

http://enlightenedequipment.com/revelationx.html

The site doesn't give any specs for compression though and I don't know much about the company. Any good or Bad info?

jeffmeh
09-23-2012, 17:35
I was just looking at some of those bags, the 15* one on sale caught my eye. I also just happened to find a link to Enlightened Equipment. The RevelationX 20* in 6' (Half Taper) is 1lb 5.75oz at $190 and the 10* is 1lb 8.25oz for $200!!! All Day.

http://enlightenedequipment.com/revelationx.html

The site doesn't give any specs for compression though and I don't know much about the company. Any good or Bad info?

If I were in the market, that would be my first choice. I have heard great things about the product, and the price makes it an outstanding value.

Drybones
09-23-2012, 20:34
I was just looking at some of those bags, the 15* one on sale caught my eye. I also just happened to find a link to Enlightened Equipment. The RevelationX 20* in 6' (Half Taper) is 1lb 5.75oz at $190 and the 10* is 1lb 8.25oz for $200!!! All Day.

http://enlightenedequipment.com/revelationx.html

The site doesn't give any specs for compression though and I don't know much about the company. Any good or Bad info?

I'd be very sceptical of those ratings if I were you.

rgardn12
09-23-2012, 20:52
just out of curiosity... why would you be skeptical? Not saying your wrong but I just want to understand your reasoning.

Snowleopard
09-24-2012, 15:12
Enlightened equipment is run by Tim Marshall who posts on http://www.backpackinglight.com His stuff gets good reviews there. I'd guess that his quilts temp ratings are reasonably rated, but he doesn't have the resources to do the EN rating that the bigger companies do. You can get a good idea of the rating by comparing the loft of this down quilts to the loft of sleeping bags by the better companies (e.g., http://featheredfriends.com/Picasso/Bags/Product/20Degree.html ). Sleeping bag loft is measuring a double thickness (top and bottom), so the 2.75" loft of the enlightened equipment would be slightly better than the 5"/2 loft of the FF Swallow.

At colder temps, below 30F, my prejudice is for a sleeping bag rather than quilt because of air leaks, but I haven't used a quilt so it's just prejudice.

archie
09-24-2012, 17:20
I just recieved a revelationX 30* quilt from Enlightened last week. I spent three nights in it this weekend in temps of 33*,29* and 27*. I was not at all cold during any of those nights. I did wear a thermal layer and I seem to sleep warm, But I thought the rating was accurate, at least for me.

I also recieved exceptional customer service and immediate communication from Tim. I have never dealt with this comany before and I do not know them, so it is an unbiased comment.

I feel the product is an excellent value.

Clark

rgardn12
09-24-2012, 18:09
I appreciate the comments helps me out a bunch. I agree Snow that I think I'd prefer a hooded bag to keep my head warm, but with how good the ratings and my problems with my face getting EXTREMELY cold even in a hooded bag a baclava of some sort would fix the issue.

Archie, thanks so much for posting as that is the exact bag (except 10 or maybe 20*) I am looking into. Just out of curiosity what size did you order and how large are you? (I am right at 5' 11" 200lbs so I don't want to order the 6' bag reg half taper and need a 6'6") does the listed weight seem fairly accurate? Does the bag cinch around your chest or closer to your neck? and how small does your 30* bag compress?

I know its a ton of questions but I really appreciate it! Again thanks in advance for all the help!

rgardn12
09-24-2012, 18:10
*** EDIT: How good the ratings seem for the Enlightened Equip and my problems

WhoDey
09-24-2012, 18:20
I have one of Tim's earlier 20 degree quilts when he was automatically over-stuffing them. I am 5'10 and a slim 140lbs but I ordered the wide version. My reasoning was so I could add all my winter clothes under the quilt and take the quilt down to as low temps as I would ever be out. As far as temp rating goes I would say they are spot on. Keep in mind that a quilt you need to make sure to avoid drafts, which is another reason why I got the wide. I don't compress my quilt. I put it in the bottom and let my gear compress it as needed. I use a ULA Ohm and my winter gear fits wells with food for almost a week. Keep in mind that a good hat and pad are required at these temperatures.

rgardn12
09-24-2012, 18:35
I rarely venture out in the wilderness when night time temps are forecast below the freezing mark, but thats why I thought about going "extra-warm" with a 10* quilt. As far as pads go, I have a Therma-rest Prolite. I

I have thought about leaning my bag "loose" in the bag but I am kind of afraid it may get damaged. I use to carry a few blades with me, not so much anymore, so I was always concerned about snags, tears, etc. I am sure its unlikely to happen, but have you ever had a problem with a bag/quilt getting damaged (rain soaking through, abrasions, etc)?

rgardn12
09-24-2012, 18:38
And that Ohm (3,900 w/ extra removable pockets) is actually a good 1000ci larger than my Ospery Hornet 46 (2600ci) but weights exactly the same.

WhoDey
09-24-2012, 19:50
I line my pack with a trash compactor bag so I have never had a problem with it getting wet. I have also never had any of my bags or quilts get damaged by any sharp objects. I don't really carry anything sharp, I guess my cook kit but that all goes inside my pot. With a little planning on how you pack it really becomes a non issue IMO. I am not sure the Prolite on its own will get you below freezing. An R value of 2.2 is best suited for temps above 40 I believe. I use an Exped Synmat UL7 down to freezing and then supplement with a a foam pad for lower temps. The Ohm is really only about 2500ci in the main bag and I tried a Hornet and they seem to be similar in size.

Rocket Jones
09-24-2012, 19:54
+1 on the blue foam pad. Dirt cheap at Wally World and you can cut it down some. Makes a nice insulated sit pad too when the weather gets chilly.

I did a test last year and found I stayed warmer with the blue foam on top of my Neo Air Trekker than with the blue foam beneath.

FWIW, a Ray Jardine synthetic quilt took me down to the mid 20's fairly comfortably. I was wearing hat, gloves, thermals, and good socks.

rgardn12
09-24-2012, 20:12
I also have a 3/8" foam pad, but because of how bulky and difficult it is to secure the roll is to the exterior of the pack I typically don't carry it. I know its not as good by itself as the Prolite, thats why I typically carry just it.

I just can't bring myself to carry both though, out of shear annoyance.

rgardn12
09-24-2012, 20:18
I have looked at the Thermarest Ridgerest SOLite (R of 3.5, weight 14oz vs 30oz for prolite + foam) do you think that pad could "suffice"? to the twenties with a 10* quilt and a good headcover?

rgardn12
09-24-2012, 20:20
**EDIT: Excuse me got the stats mixed the SOLite is R=2.8, the SOLAR is 3.5 and 19oz.

leaftye
09-24-2012, 20:58
The ratings for EnLIGHTened Equipment are solid. There's little reason to doubt them when you know the fill power, fill weight and volume the down fills. You get more information than any sleeping bag manufacturer offers, even the beloved Western Mountaineering.

Fwiw, I used my 0F EnLIGHTened Equipment quilt down to 17F. As expected, I stayed warm. I wore the same hiking base layers that I wear on hot days, thin socks too. Head gear was the only additional clothing I wore. I did get a few unpleasant drafts because it was quite windy and because I had gained weight since having the quilt custom made. When I bought it, Tim was going full custom in every way, so it's my fault for having a quilt made in dimensions that were based on my losing weight, not gaining weight. My extra girth made it harder to keep the quilt properly tucked when I moved around. Those drafts are something to consider though. I don't know how cold you want to go, but you might want something that does a better job of blocking drafts than a quilt when it gets below 20F. Even if you stay warm, the drafts might jar you too awake during the night. I suppose that's not a problem if you don't move while you sleep.

Rocket Jones
09-24-2012, 21:46
Another option, if you have the sewing mojo, is to add the Jardine-style draft blocker to your quilt. Basically it's a 4-6" wide piece of fabric sewed around the perimeter of your quilt that you can use to tuck under you when it's drafty. Works well and weighs almost nothing.

WhoDey
09-24-2012, 22:32
Well I am a pretty cold sleeper (not much body fat) and anything below freezing I like to have an R value of about 5 just to be safe. I also like having a foam pad with my inflatable in case the inflatable fails, that way I can at least survive. For your first trip I suggest making sure you have a bail out option, or even better is to test at home before.

MuddyWaters
09-24-2012, 23:17
Tims quilts are the best deal out there currently, bar none.

You can trust the ratings are calculated well.

Tinker
09-25-2012, 06:26
Here's a source for hoods. http://katabaticgear.com/shop/category/hoods/
I use a hoodless bag year round, but I wear a hooded down jacket to bed in cold temps, along with down pants and booties. A system is more versatile than a bag alone, but the shell and liner of the clothing adds a bit to the total weight. I have used a bag like a quilt (used to sleep with my son when he was little and draped the bag over both of us), but I have not entertained the use of a quilt, other than for hammocking, but I have my own system for that already.

leaftye
09-25-2012, 06:51
Hoods also sold by
Downworks
Zpacks
Goosefeet


I prefer a Rayway bomber hat unless it's quite cold.

trapper
09-25-2012, 08:39
I have looked at the Thermarest Ridgerest SOLite (R of 3.5, weight 14oz vs 30oz for prolite + foam) do you think that pad could "suffice"? to the twenties with a 10* quilt and a good headcover?
exped down mat 7. under 2lbs other than not wanting to spend more money i don't see why you would carry two pads? its like sleeping in your bed at home very comfortable

archie
09-25-2012, 11:12
Archie, thanks so much for posting as that is the exact bag (except 10 or maybe 20*) I am looking into. Just out of curiosity what size did you order and how large are you? (I am right at 5' 11" 200lbs so I don't want to order the 6' bag reg half taper and need a 6'6") does the listed weight seem fairly accurate? Does the bag cinch around your chest or closer to your neck? and how small does your 30* bag compress?

I ordered a 5'6" wide quilt but only because he had one ready to ship. I would have preferred a 6' reg. I am 5'7" and almost 200lbs. The quilt is long enough for me, barely, although I sleep on my stomach. A 6' should be more than adequate for you if you sleep on your back. The weight is 19.25 on my scale and listed at 19. The quilt has an elastic drawstring at the top that could be cinched, though I did not use it. I stuffed mine in a 9x13 roll top sack and had room to roll the top, easily.

Hope that helps!

Clark

jeffmeh
09-25-2012, 12:42
If you are 5'11" tall, you the recommended length for the Enlightened quilt is 78", per the website.

http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/sizing.html

archie
09-25-2012, 16:22
Jeff,

You are correct. Make note, however, that the 78" quilt is called the 6'. My quilt, called the 5'6", is 72" long. Just wanted to make sure there was no confusion for the OP should he decide to go this route.

Clark

jeffmeh
09-25-2012, 16:46
Jeff,

You are correct. Make note, however, that the 78" quilt is called the 6'. My quilt, called the 5'6", is 72" long. Just wanted to make sure there was no confusion for the OP should he decide to go this route.

Clark

Thanks for the clarification. It is confusing indeed. If I were going to put in an order I would call the company to confirm.

rgardn12
09-25-2012, 18:12
I really appreciate all the stats archie. And advice from everyone else.

At this point its a matter of saving money to purchase one... I've heard a ton of good things and will probably do a full review once I get one. (although it may be Jan/Feb before I get it and use it.)

Thanks everyone again!

Drybones
09-25-2012, 18:33
just out of curiosity... why would you be skeptical? Not saying your wrong but I just want to understand your reasoning.

The 15 degree bag at 1 lb, 5.75 oz aint goin to happen. I have an 850 down bag (long) that weighs 1 lb 10 oz and is rated at 40 degrees...It's comfortable for me to about 50. IMO, it takes about 2 lbs of quality down to achieve 20 degrees. I have a 1 lb 15 oz, 20 degree rated bag with 750 down that I had to add 4 oz of down to in order to make it comfortable at 20 degrees.

MuddyWaters
09-25-2012, 19:05
The 15 degree bag at 1 lb, 5.75 oz aint goin to happen. I have an 850 down bag (long) that weighs 1 lb 10 oz and is rated at 40 degrees...It's comfortable for me to about 50. IMO, it takes about 2 lbs of quality down to achieve 20 degrees. I have a 1 lb 15 oz, 20 degree rated bag with 750 down that I had to add 4 oz of down to in order to make it comfortable at 20 degrees.

Depends a lot on fabric wt as well as down quality. 20F WM ultralite has 16oz fill, weighs 29oz, and reportedly EN tested to something like 17F I recall.
The ultralite girth is similar to the summerlite, 59" I think.

Could a 56" wide quilt with no full lenght zipper, and no hood weigh 7 oz less than the Ultralite? Zipper is about 3oz, hood is probably 2oz, and the rest is probably the other 2oz. Yes.

skinewmexico
09-25-2012, 23:36
Who makes a 40 degree bag that is that heavy, with 850 down? I've had my Marmot Atom down to 40, and it weighs a lot less. Any hoo...............I wouldn't buy the 10 degree bag. Get a 20 or 30, with sufficient width, and add clothes to take it lower if needed. And a good pad is the most important piece of gear you need for cold. If you're worried about carrying bulk by adding a CCF pad, order a 1/8" or 1/4" CCF from Gossamer Gear. It also works to add a bivy (6 oz) when it gets really cold. Go ask these questions on BPL, you'll get a ton of answers from actual quilt users. And a lot of EE users. And Tim will probably answer your post.

Drybones
09-26-2012, 08:09
Who makes a 40 degree bag that is that heavy, with 850 down? I've had my Marmot Atom down to 40, and it weighs a lot less. Any hoo...............I wouldn't buy the 10 degree bag. Get a 20 or 30, with sufficient width, and add clothes to take it lower if needed. And a good pad is the most important piece of gear you need for cold. If you're worried about carrying bulk by adding a CCF pad, order a 1/8" or 1/4" CCF from Gossamer Gear. It also works to add a bivy (6 oz) when it gets really cold. Go ask these questions on BPL, you'll get a ton of answers from actual quilt users. And a lot of EE users. And Tim will probably answer your post.

It is a Marmot Atom. Have to say I'm really disappointed in that bag. Doesn't make sense to buy a 40 degree bag, a 30 and a 15 work best, hind sight 20/20. The specs say 1,8, actual is 1,10. I have a Marmat Pennacle the specs say 2,12, actual is 3,2. I will say the 15 Pennacle is probably good to 10 degrees if not lower.