WhiteBlaze Pages 2023
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
AVAILABLE NOW. $5 for interactive PDF(smartphone version)
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-07-2016
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Age
    66
    Posts
    72

    Default Down/Condensation and Bag Measuring

    Iíve been away from all manner of camping for a few years and have never owned a quality down bag. Coleman Peak 1 bags always worked for me.

    I have an Enlightened Equipment quilt that Iíve used 14 times in nighttime temps ranging from 77F to 14F. Iíve used it by itself and on top of my synthetic bag. Every single time Iíve used it in the morning the top layer of the quilt is damp and the bottom layer isnít. I have never experienced that with synthetic bags. I deleted a paragraph about sleep configuration, the bottom line being tent condensation has never been a problem.

    Is this the normal wicking properties of down? If so, Iím guessing my synthetic bag traps that moisture and Iím just not aware of it. Bummer.

    For now Iíve decided on a bag from Western Mountaineering (Terralite or Megalite) to use for motorcycle camping. My normal procedure will be the same as hiking; get an early start, then stop in the afternoon and first thing set up the tent and air out the bagÖwhich might have been drying the bag based on current info. Iíve had to stop in the rain and set up camp and have never had a problem with a synth bag. Now if itís raining Iím wondering about not having any outside drying time for a down bag. Iíve done a bit of reading this last week and I might stick with a synthetic bag.

    -------------------

    Western Mountaineering provides measurements for their bags. As far as the girth measurement goes, if I open my bag, lay it flat and measure zipper to zipper will that give me a rough guess to compare? Iím a side sleeper and want to buy the right bag the first time.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    65
    Posts
    1,520

    Default

    Condensation on the outside of the bag is just standard, it happens every time as long as the temperature drop between inside and outside, plus the relative humidity are between certain limits.
    Only on very dry and windy nights in airy sertup no condensation will happen.

    Given you have no much weight concern when travelling by motorbike, it would be better to stick with the synthetic bag, which might handle the repeated handling in damp/wet condition better in the long-term than a down bag might do.
    Down is pretty sensitive to mechanical damage when packed/stuffed in wet condition, so its highly advisable to air out the damp down items every morning, if possible.

    To buy the perfectly suitable bag, its highly recommended to try out the bag in the shop.
    Modern down bags (as most other hiking stuff) tend to be designed to be as lightweight as possible, that means to be cut as slim and tight as possible to save weight, so its wise to give the numbers in length and width a good margin to be comfortable.
    (I've done some mistakes recently by buying a down bag according to the numbers only, and ended up with a bag that was too short and too narrow for my comfort).

  3. #3
    Garlic
    Join Date
    10-15-2008
    Location
    Golden CO
    Age
    65
    Posts
    5,564
    Images
    2

    Default

    Ditto the above. There's a greater temperature gradient across the down insulation. The outside gets colder than the synthetic bag. So more dew forms on it. And maybe it's different fabric so it feels different when it's damp.

  4. #4
    There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't.
    Join Date
    01-02-2009
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    153
    Images
    179

    Default

    My experience with motorcycle camping is not recent, but I've always been attentive to size of packed materials. Were it my choice, in conditions where I'd carry a bag for lower than 40f, I'd go for the more compressible, ie down, bag.
    Give me a mile of trail and I can show you the forest. Give me a mile of runway and I can show you the world.
    Long Trail Completed 2021.
    Collegiate Loop 2022

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-07-2016
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Age
    66
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Thanks for the info.

    One among many good things about Western Mountaineering is they make some bags as right or left zip. I want a right zip and that's one thing I won't comprise on.

    The synth bag I have now works, but guess I'm looking for something lighter. Funny how when I was carrying a pack I wasn't too worried about bag size/weight, but now that I'm putting it on a motorcycle I am.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    65
    Posts
    1,520

    Default

    I've travelled by motorcycle months on end, 100.000km total.
    Whenever I was in need of a down bag (and yes, I did a few trips in winter), I found riding too cold to be comfortable.

    In summer heading south, a light synthetic bag was just perfect. Synthetic bags can be washed more easily, which is important considering all the sweat, body oils and insect repellent that eventually end up smeared onto the bag in summer.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-07-2016
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Age
    66
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Thanks Leo...those are good points. I didn't think of explaining this earlier but now I realize I should have: my riding will be on a dual sport bike, and I only get on the pavement as a last resort; into town for food/gas/etc. I ride things like the New Mexico Back Country Discovery Rout.

    I was in Cloudcroft NM the last week of Sept 2022, camped at 8.5K feet for 3 nights, and the temps were around 25F. And serious dew that created ice everywhere. Melted pretty quick though.

    I hate riding on pavement.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    65
    Posts
    1,520

    Default

    Never heard of having this kind of "New Mexico Back Country Discovery Rout", sounds amazing.
    What bike you are riding?

    We did a Sahara expedition-style trip once, starting from back home in Austria in February, and yes, the down bag was more than welcome on this trip.
    My bike was a Yamaha SR500.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    65
    Posts
    1,520

    Default

    Later:
    Did a little Google research, and yes, this is some tough stuff.
    Now I well understand your need to pack as small and light as possible, and a down bag would be the way to go.
    As you described in your initial post your way dealing with the camping side of your trip, it all sounds as good as it can be done.
    There will be days/nights when your stuff is wet due to ongoing rain, no help there (aside of a good gas stove that can provide you with any amount of hot drinks).

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-07-2016
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Age
    66
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Leo here are a couple links to rides here in the US you might find interesting. These places sell maps and GPS tracks/routes:
    Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR) for Adventure Motorcycling (ridebdr.com)
    TransAm Trail Ė with Sam Correro
    That Sahara trip sounds fantastic.
    As far as a bag goes, I'm seriously thinking about the WM Badger MF. I found an authorized dealer that their site says they have them in stock. I'll call them tomorrow.
    I have a DRZ400S (street legal dual sport) and a YZ250FX (purely dirt bike). Matter of fact rode the YZFX today.

    I had the original JetBoil and recently upgraded to the MiniMo. I like it a lot better; the pot is wider and makes for easier eating. I try not to eat out of it as it's one more thing to clean and I always try and buy single serve freeze dried. But something I end up with a 2-serving and eat it for 2 meals. And yes, I did try it to see if it'd heat up my Elixir tent...and it did a bit. I'm not sure but I think the Mini uses less fuel to do the same task.

    Apologies as I realize this is a hiking site and I'm talking motorcycle riding here. 8 yrs ago I was hiking, playing baseball, playing hockey, riding road bicycles (custom Merckx frame I had built when I was in Germany), and riding dirt bikes. Then my body wore out...I've had both hips replaced and doing a multiday hike just doesn't sound appealing. At all. So I do it on a motorcycle.

    As my screen name says...I'm Still Moving.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-07-2016
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Age
    66
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Ordered a Western Mountaineering Badger MF 15, 6'6", right zip from Moosejaw.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    65
    Posts
    1,520

    Default

    StillMoving - perfect thing to do. Wish you all the best!

    There are too many topics just the same, in hiking and bike travelling, so I dont see any issue in discussing it here (and hopefully the mod doesn't ,either).
    Western Mountaineering usually makes very good stuff, as noted already its good advice to try out the bag in person, as far as the size goes.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-07-2016
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Age
    66
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Got the Badger MF the other day. Every stitch is perfect, every seam is perfectly aligned. The bag is a thing of beauty. It came with what looks like a 14L stuff sack and a large storage sack.

    Iím 6í tall and bought the 6í6Ē right zip bag. I hate sleeping in a hat or a hood pulled tight around my head, Iím an absolute side sleeper and prefer to scoot down in the bag and use the top part of the bag to cover my head when necessary. This works perfect for me.

    The bag is plenty big for me to draw my knees up a bit.

    The Badger in a 14L Sea to Summit compression e-vent dry sack weighs 2lbs 14.4oz. The sack weighs 4.8oz so that leaves 2lbs 9.6oz for the bag. The website lists the bag at 2lb 8oz. Iím very happy with that.

    I bought the bag from Moosejaw in MI, I called before I paid to make sure it was in stock, and they shipped very quickly. Iíll certainly buy from them again.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Age
    62
    Posts
    103

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StillMoving View Post
    prefer to scoot down in the bag and use the top part of the bag to cover my head when necessary.
    Consider this. Walk to a mirror in a bathroom, get close and breath on the mirror. This is the amount of moisture per breath that condenses at room temperature. The same thing happens if you breathe into a balloon or an unopened grocery bag (clear ones for vegetables) and let it cool to room temp. Stick that bag into the refrigerator and substantially more water will condense. Repeat this 840 times per hour and reflect on the moisture going into your bag and the outside temperature of your bag.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-07-2016
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Age
    66
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Yep...understood.

    I lay on my side and when necessary I cover my head with the top of the bag, then make a hole for my face. IE: face is uncovered/partially uncovered but all of head is covered. I've tried that many times using the drawstring hood and it just doesn't work for me.

    Never explained that one online before. HAHA

    On the other hand, my tent is the other bag.

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    65
    Posts
    1,520

    Default

    When I was younger and still had my full hair on the head, I always kept my head uncovered, unless it was way below freezing, in which case I used the hood of the bag.
    Now being old and bald, I always wear a balaclava while sleeping. This keeps my head warm while still sticking it out of the bag.
    As a positive side effect it keeps the head area of the bag clean.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-07-2016
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Age
    66
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Kind of interesting...I never really thought too much or put it on paper of how I sleep while camping. I know what works and I just do it.
    Yeah I'm getting old...I'll be 66 soon...but still have hair, at least for now. But man I can't stand sleeping in a hat of any type. But again, the weather and bag can dictate some things.
    I like that WM Badger (15F) so much that on Fri I ordered a Caribou (35F) and I'll carry that during my Apr-May trip. I'll also have my EE 50 degree quilt and wool base layers just in case.
    FWIW the Badger stuffs down fairly small in a 14L dry stuff sack. And fluffs up quick enough.
    I know there's a couple different terms for bag temp rating. What I can say is the Badger was too warm for me at 35F which was in town at 2200. I'd bet it was colder where I was out in farm country, but I have no objective data. I was sleeping in gym shorts, Exped Dura 5R, MSR Elixir in bed of truck.

    Getting back to that condensation thing: It would take a long explanation about me and all the tents I've owned and still own but...I have zero condensation problems when I use my Elixir 1. None nada zip. Just because you think you have good vent doesn't mean you do I guess. Or maybe it has to do with the size of the tent. Unsure.

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    65
    Posts
    1,520

    Default

    The biggest variable when it comes to condensation when selleping under the open sky is the weather.
    Here in the Alps we typically have lots of dew over night which makes you completely soaked through if you sleep under open sky, and if sleeping in a tent (any tent, as far as my experience goes) it will soak the tent completely, inside and outside, and your bag inside the tent to some extent.
    But then at times we have a southely wind we call "Foen" which is untypical warm and very dry, and during Foen nights just everything stays bone-dry.

    Things will change completely as soon as you take cover unter trees or any kind of roof. But we've discussed this before, I think.

    Have fun!

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-07-2016
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Age
    66
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Leo you've living the dream being by the Alps. I'd love to get back to Lauterbrunnen. Maybe. I've seen a little bit of Europe...actually more of Europe than the US, so I'm trying to focus my trips on here.

    Got the WM Caribou today. Again, every stitch looks perfect.

    The Caribou in a 10L StoS e-vent bag weighs 1lb 11oz, the bag itself weighs 4oz, so that leaves 1lb 7oz for the Caribou...which is exactly what the WM site states.

    I need the 10L bag because I also will put my EE quilt in there. The EE quilt I have is rated at 50F, and it's a long wide. It will in fact wrap all the way around the Caribou and I can clip the quilt together without using the extra straps but...with me in there it does pull a bit and I might use/modify the straps just to keep from potentially tearing something.

    Looking at the weather forecast I may not see freezing temps here again this year so not sure if I can really test the bag and/or quilt combo. I'm half tempted to take a trip to NM. I'll be there the end of April and the night temps are forecast for low 30s. I'd really like to try this before I commit to carrying.

    I'd imagine there's some formula for using a 35F bag and a fully wrapped around 50F quilt, but there's nothing like practical experience.

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-01-2017
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Age
    73
    Posts
    154
    Images
    1

    Default

    Just easy walking in damp conditions, my down jackets feel like there outsides get soppy easily. Leaning towards the material.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •