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  1. #1

    Question Help finding a sleeping bag

    I'm in the market for a new sleeping bag. I'm looking at either a coleman sleeping bag or a slumberjack sleeping bag ... I have no idea what makes one sleeping bag better than another! I hike a few times a year in mild to moderate temperature zones (40 degrees is about the lowest). I don't get super cold but I don't want to wake up cold either. I'm fairly strong so weight may not be an option for me. Help!!

    Thanks,
    Jason

  2. #2

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    If weight is not a concern for you and this isn't a bag for a thru-hike then you have a lot more flexibility when choosing a bag. It looks like both products contain synthetic fill which means it is cheaper, heavier, and retains heat when wet. If this is for just weekend/weeklong hiking then quality of construction and durability isn't as much of an issue as compared to using it for five months straight.

    With that in mind and you are sure to stay in moderate weather I would recommend the SuperLight 30. Should be warm enough for you and it weighs less than 3 lbs.

  3. #3

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    You could almost get away with a fleece bag....

  4. #4
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    you could get away witha flecce bag..I use my flecce bag in temps down into the 20's along with long johns and fleece pants jacket if needed..thier cheap ..easy to clean..and the dry fast and even insulate when damp..I like the kind that unzip from the feet and the top... that way if your feet get to warm you can ventilate them

    cost about $20...packs tight...It's all I ever use...but I sleep real warm

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    Both Coleman and Slumberjack are pretty low end companies, but if you aren't worried about weight or packability who cares. I would NOT trust a bag rating from either of those two companies. Might wanna check out my old company's (Campmor)
    down bags...priced just over a hundred bucks for some real solid bags. I wouldn't recommend a synthetic bag, can't argue with nature ya know?

  6. #6

    Lightbulb an inexpensive solution

    you could obtain two fleece bags from walmart ect., remove the zippers, sew the bags together and use them as a blanket. Should be very warm and light.

  7. #7
    Section hiker 733 AT miles poison_ivy's Avatar
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    Default coleman bag ratings...

    I have a Coleman bag and I have to say that the bag rating is the most accurate of any I own. It's a 20 degree bag that is so warm and toasty, we unzip it and use it on our bed during the winter. I've taken it car camping and I've never been cold with it. Obviously, it's way to heavy to take backpacking.

    I tend to be a cold sleeper and my two backpacking sleeping bags do not keep me warm down to their ratings.

    Don't discount Coleman because it's a low-end company. Since they aren't worried about weight, I think they can stuff enough fill in there to make sure the ratings are correct.

    --Ivy

  8. #8
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    Default Help finding a sleeping bag

    As you may or may not know the choice of a sleeping bag/quilt is one of the most important decisions you will make for your wilderness experience. I suggest you buy the best bag you can afford even at the experience of everything else. If you wake up shivering, a few dollars won’t seem very important. Be careful when you say that weight is not important, because no matter how young and strong you are eventually weight will be important.

    Bag ratings are subjective. Most bags are rated assuming use inside some kind of tent or wind/draft proof shelter wearing some kind of clothing. What counts is loft. Down is the king here. Down is also very compressible and lightweight. The problem with down is that if you get it wet you are in trouble. I hike in the southeast and rain/humidity is a constant concern. I have a TheNorthFace down bag that I like, but I feel limited sometimes on when I can use it. I also have a Wiggy synthetic bag that is above all else rugged. Although it takes twice the space in my pack and weighs more I find myself using it more than my TNF. If you live in the west, down may be the best choice. In addition, what you wear on your head is important. The old saying “If your feet are cold, put on a hat.“ is true.

    You might consider getting two bags. I have a fleece bag that I use as a liner. This gives me the option of using the Wiggy and the fleece in the winter, the Wiggy alone in the spring, and the fleece in the summer.

    There is also nothing wrong with a lighter bag and wearing clothing to sleep in. The rule of “never sleep in you clothing” is not necessarily correct. True if your clothing is sweat soaked or wet you will probably be warmer in the bag without it but there is no sense shivering inside your bag with dry clothing in your pack.

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    The problem with companies like Coleman and Slumberjack is that being lower end companies...they don't use some of the better synthetic insulations available. This basically means that the insulation will break down quicker, shift, seperate quicker and the rating will be affected. I am not saying they lie about their ratings, and obviously ratings depend on about 12 different conditions besides the actual sleeping bag. I have found, in 10 years experience both on the trail and working in the industry, that down typically (not always) is more dependable than synthetic.

    I was not trashing Coleman...I used a Coleman Feather 442 stove for 5 years without a single problem, and do feel the company has good products for their market.

  10. #10
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    All good points on sleeping bags but don't forget quilts either...you can as suggested sew your own even out of Walmart fleece or spend big money and get one from FF or Nunatak...realize that in a sleeping bag the insulation you actually are lying on is compressed and doesnt keep you warm, that is why you have to have a pad of some kind to sleep on....the quilt acknowledges this fact and doesnt wast the insulation or weight on the bottom....but if you are set on a sleeping bag save your money and get a Marmot or Western Mountaineering, countless times I have read (and personally experience) extreme conservation in their ratings.
    Start out slow, then slow down.

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