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View Full Version : What sleeping bag should I bring?



dancingbear
03-20-2013, 20:44
okay so im starting my nobo thru in may, and ill be starting with my rei travel sack - which has been my go to summer sack. but i know as i get farther north and fall starts to creep in that i will need to switch bags somewhere in NH. what kind of bag should i switch for?

leaftye
03-20-2013, 20:50
Have you considered a backpacking quilt? One with a footbox that vents and can open completely will have a wider range of comfort. By open completely, I mean it can open like a comforter. Shifting down around can help a lot too. A quilt weighs less and packs smaller than your summer bag, and it'll probably cost less than a new cold weather bag.

moldy
03-22-2013, 12:54
I would switch to a 20 degree sleeping bag. I would pick down if I could afford it.

dancingbear
03-23-2013, 11:12
I've herd of them before but never really looked into them, any specific one that you would recommend?

leaftye
03-23-2013, 11:35
EnLIGHTened Equipment is the best deal around, and several of us around here have an EE quilt. They use a baffle system that allows the ultimate flexibility in shifting down.

Mountain Laurel Designs also makes quilts with a foot box that opens. There are a few companies that make hammock top quilts, which are very similar, but are built narrower because they're used in hammocks.

I assume you'll be looking at 20F quilts. If you're going to spend much time near that temperature, make sure you have something good to cover your head.

Tree Nerd
03-27-2013, 21:35
+1 on the EE quilts....I did a lot of research on them and actually picked out the one I wanted, but a deal came along on a bag that I couldn't pass down.

Tree Nerd
03-27-2013, 21:36
*pass up lol

Garamon
03-27-2013, 22:45
Another +1 on EE quilt. I've got a Revelation 30. I've only been able to test it a few times into the 30s here in South Texas but I've been plenty warm with it.

Razor
03-28-2013, 09:44
When in May do you plan to Start?

leaftye
03-28-2013, 10:11
Let me expand on headgear.

I wish there were down hoodies with extra thick hoods so they'd be perfect for sleeping in quilts. One big part of ultralight philosophy is to sleep with all your clothing on, and this would be perfect. Unfortunately no such jacket exists unless you make your own.

So we're left with separate headgear.

I think the best all around choice is the Rayway Bomber hat. It's a very lightweight puffy hat with synthetic insulation that covers the entire hairline and ears with a strap to keep it on. The bad part is that you have to make it yourself. I once found a cottage company that sold completed hats, but it must have quickly gone away because I've never found it again despite many attempts. I like this hat from 25F to 45F if my head is in a bivy, and in slightly warmer temperatures if my head is exposed.

I don't like knit synthetic, wool or fleece beanies because they are heavy and have a lot of bulk for the warmth they offer. They are useful when humidity and cold conspire to collapse insulation though. There is another solution though.

Blackrock Gear makes down hats. One of them is made with non breathable silnylon. Normally this would be uncomfortable, but when the conditions would normally collapse insulation, the vapor barrier created by the silnylon will protect the insulation from moisture. Most of their hats are made with breathable fabric. They are all very light.

When it gets really cold, like sustained temperatures below and well below 20F, a down balaclava is very nice to have. These are made by Downworks, Goosefeet Gear, Jack R Better, Zpacks and Nunatak.

garlic08
03-28-2013, 10:59
My 6' long EE RevX 30F quilt is just long enough that I can wrap it over my head (I'm 5-9) and cinch the upper drawstring around my face. That was a surprise feature--I'd counted on a warmer hat. I love the thing. I used it all last summer, including some 30F temps and wet snow in the North Cascades in early June. It's the best gear purchase I've made since the Tarptent Contrail.

dancingbear
03-28-2013, 16:35
Thanks for all the info guys! i think im going to take a ee 30 bag

dancingbear
03-28-2013, 16:36
im graduating school so earliest would be like in the mid to late 20s, but for sure before june

leaftye
03-28-2013, 16:45
Keep in mind that an EnLIGHTened Equipment quilt might take a while to receive. I think delivery times are a lot faster now, but I'd still order 6 weeks before it's needed unless Tim (the owner) tells you different.

Tree Nerd
03-28-2013, 16:58
Thanks for all the info guys! i think im going to take a ee 30 bag

Finding the right sleeping equipment was one of the hardest decisions for me to make about my gear because there are so many different, styles, options, price ranges, etc.

My words of advice are, dont just go get an EE quilt because everyone says they are great. Many people swear by quilts, but at the same time, many people swear by bags. Quilts and bags both have their strengths and weaknesses and you need to look into those. I would highly recommend that you do your research before you make your decision. I had this dilemma when I was trying to find what I wanted to get, after weeks of research (checking reviews, comparing functionality, prices, opinions of other hikers, etc.) I decided on going with an EE Revolution, 6' length, reg taper, 20 degree, with 30% overfill, and different materials for inside/outside shells (cant remember what the materials were); since they put the changes in for the 2013 products, several of these offers are not available anymore. I was pretty dead set on this, but due to my financial situation, my final decision came down to price and a deal came up on a mummy bag that I couldn't turn down. Another thing you have to consider is that these quilts by EE take several weeks to be made and shipped out; if you plan to go with one, make sure to give yourself enough time to get it before you plan to leave for the trail.

You have to take everything everyone on here says with a grain of salt and make your own decisions based on your own wants, needs, style, and price range.

Good luck in your search!