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  1. #1
    Registered User Mr. Clean's Avatar
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    Default looking for a good bag!

    I have an L.L. Bean 20* synthetic bag that I've been using for a while here in the Whites and I like it, but it takes up a lot of room in my pack and I'm thinking of going to down, mostly for the size, but also for the weight. I'm not ready to dump $250 - 300 or more on a bag, either. A friend has an EMS bag, but hasn't really tried it yet. Does anyone know if they are any good, worth the money? I'm open to other brands as well. Some say Campmor has okay bags. Can I get a decent bag for $200? 250? I'll be using it mostly for overnights and the occasional weekly hike. Thanks.

    Getting ready for another great season of backpacking -
    Greg P.

  2. #2
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Campmor makes a 20 degree down bag for like 109 bucks I think that weighs 2 lbs 4 oz. You can't do much better than that money wise, but of course if you've got more money to spend I'd check out better quality bags (i.e. Western Mountaineering). They'll cost you, but its a great investment.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  3. #3
    Sobo in 06 Sh33p's Avatar
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    Default Mountainsmith bag on ebay

    There is a Mountainsmith Vision 15* bag on EBAY for $169... the auction ends in like 3 hours... There is also a Whisp 30* for around the same price...
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW
    Thats the link for the Vision

  4. #4
    Springer - Front Royal Lilred's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A-Train
    Campmor makes a 20 degree down bag for like 109 bucks I think that weighs 2 lbs 4 oz. You can't do much better than that money wise, but of course if you've got more money to spend I'd check out better quality bags (i.e. Western Mountaineering). They'll cost you, but its a great investment.

    I have the campmor bag and it's a good bag. Kept me toasty on a couple of very cold mornings. I recommend it. I awoke at muskrat creek shelter to my washrag being frozen solid as a rock. I was quite comfy all night in nothing but my lightweight longjohns.
    "It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America." - Daniel Boone

  5. #5
    Registered User The Will's Avatar
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    Default

    Bags by Western Mountaineering and Feather Friends are grade 'A' and well worth the investment. But if your sticking in a price range the cost of those bags I'd so some serious sale shopping.

    sierratradingpost.com
    mgear.com
    rei.com

    Others that I don't know the web address for would be Mountain Miser and Northern Mountain Supply.

    Get a high quality down, atleast 650 fill power, and you will likely have purchased a product that will endure for a lifetime.

  6. #6
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    I just bought the campmor 20F bag. Haven't had it in the woods yet but the stitching quality is very good. It fluffs up to almost 5" of loft. The long was $120.

    There's a nice WM bag on clearance for $255 at:
    http://www.backcountrygear.com/catal...ail.cfm/WE2400

  7. #7
    Registered User Moose2001's Avatar
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    Default Bag

    I'd also suggest taking a look at Marmot bags. Good quality bags at a moderate price. Accurate temp ratings, IMHO. I have the Marmot Sawtooth 20 degree bag and I love it. Very warm and comfy. The only thing I don't like about it is no draft collar but that's just a minor thing.
    GA - NJ 2001; GA - ME 2003; GA - ME 2005; GA - ME 2007; PCT 2006

    A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.
    —SPANISH PROVERB

  8. #8

    Default RE EMS Sleeping bags

    Can't vouch for the more recent releases, but I had the misfortune of buying 2 EMS synthetic bags about 4-5 years ago. Both were semi rectangular designs that were about 20 degrees above the temp rating and had the worst zipper designs imaginable. I think they would snag just sitting in the bag. They were the PLL 20/45 and the PLL 20 I believe. My dogs however seem to like them when car camping in SNP.

  9. #9
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    I've had a pair of the Campmoor 20F down bags for about 8 years and they've been quite durable and well worth the money. Although I've used them in the upper teens, I would not recommend them for regular use below freezing. I have finally saved up enough money for a new Western Mountaineering Versalite which is pure heaven, but of course at 3 X the price of the Campmoor bag.

  10. #10
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    Default bags

    i have two that i really like -- the first by rei --- the kilo plus, a zero degree. i've used it in the 20's and was comfortable, and it weighs in around 2 lb ll oz. it's down, and i got it over a year ago at the rei fall sale. i've heard lots of good things about the 20* version, the sub-kilo, too. it seems to be a very good value.
    my other bag is by mtn. hardwear --- the phantom 32. it's my summerish bag, and very efficient in design. also on sale.
    i've heard very good things about western mountaineering, and may some day buy one of their bags, but for now, my bags will do, and they're good bags for the money.

  11. #11
    Registered User Mr. Clean's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the replys.

    I'm interested in the Campmor, REI sub kilo, and the marmot sawtooth bags, but I just read something else on here somewhere about down bags being cold in a hammock because of compressing the down under you. I have an older Hennessey and my synthetic so far seems to works great with it. I know I could get an under quilt, but since I get in and out at least three times a night, I think trying to reposition a bag and quilt each time would be time consuming. Is it? Like I said before, I like the performance of the synthetic, but I'd like to make some more room in my pack....wait, maybe thats not such a great idea.
    I guess maybe I'll try getting a compression strap for it for now and see how that works, and keep my eyes open for any good deals. Thanks again.
    Greg P.

  12. #12

    Default

    i've heard the same thing and i'm still planning to get the campmor 20 and use it with my hammock. (also what you could do is get creative and turn some of your old bag into a custom underquilt and since i'm getting a much lighter bag i'll be carrying less and staying warmer) (i hope)

  13. #13

    Default

    Almost a year since this thread was started. Many more members, much more experience. I will be in the market for a new bag soon, have been searching around.....

    ...Any other advice, anecdotes?

  14. #14
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    I splurged and bought a Western Mountaineering bag five years ago. Worth every penny. My model is the Aspen (20 degrees, under two pounds), which is a semi-rectangular bag. I squirm a lot in my sleep, and the footsacks for mummy bags constrict my freedom of movement. That was my primary reason for the semi-rectangular selection. On the Trail I found that during warmer nights I only needed a quilt, and my bag did that much better than could a mummy style.

    The greatest dividend has come since I came home, however. We use my sleeping bag as a down quilt during the winter. It's not as big as a queen comforter, but as I sleep warm and my wife is cold--no, wait, she's not, she just sleeps that way!--it always ends up over her and not over me, anyway. Being able to dial down the nighttime thermostat a few more degrees all winter has probably paid for the bag and then some. (Just wish that her d*** puppy hadn't chewed on the zipper! Fortunately near the top. Still makes a great summer bag.)

    Price of the Aspen in 2001: $275. Now $300. Only 9% increase over five years isn't bad. And it is American made, if that is a contributing factor, too.

  15. #15
    GA - Central PA 1977
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    Default

    Please bare in mind that ALL sleeping bags temp ratings reflect their use in ideal conditions..Good ground insulation from a pad,no air movement from being in a good tent/shelter,etc....Of course this brings up yet another advantage of external frame packs..A place to put your sleeping bag..Then you aren`t killing yourself running around trying to find one that compresses to nothing just so it squeezes into the bottom compartment of your pack..Weight wise I don`t think you`ll find a whole lot of difference between a high quality synthetic and a lower end down bag to worry about

  16. #16

    Default

    Who says you can't lash a sleeping bag to the outside of an internal fram pack? Pack covers still work the same. I'm partial to the Packa.

    www.packa.com

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saimyoji
    Who says you can't lash a sleeping bag to the outside of an internal fram pack? Pack covers still work the same. I'm partial to the Packa.

    www.packa.com
    Try this one:

    www.thepacka.com

  18. #18
    GA - Central PA 1977
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saimyoji
    Who says you can't lash a sleeping bag to the outside of an internal fram pack?
    You CAN..But it just throws the center of gravity further off your bodies natural line if you lash it to the outside (Away from your body)...Maybe the top would be the best place to try that

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