WhiteBlaze Pages
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$10 for printed copy(paperback). $6 for interactive PDF. $2 for printable PDF.
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1

    Default Sleeping Bag Temperature Rating and Selection

    We are looking to buy 4 sleeping bags for our family. We all have some now, in various conditions and are looking to go lighter, either WM or Mountain Hardware. The question is, do we go with a 32deg bag or 40-45deg bag. We live in PA but will/do travel around the US, through spring/summer/fall mostly. Buying 4 bags is a big cost so we want to get the most versatile. Concerns would be too hot in summer and not warm enough in the shoulder seasons. Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-09-2011
    Location
    Monroe, WA
    Age
    53
    Posts
    189

    Default

    For the last 25 years I've always used a 30 deg. bag. If I were going hiking in Florida in summer I'd certainly change my gear but for mountains in pretty much any part of the USA a 30deg. bag is the Swiss Army Knife of sleeping bags. I've an older Feather Freinds bag that was cut pretty slim (rated 30deg) that I put inside my Marmot 30deg. bag and that takes me into the few winter trips I make. In the summer if it is warm you just open up the bag (get a full zipper) until I'm comfortable. You can also extend the temp range with more clothing.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-09-2011
    Location
    Monroe, WA
    Age
    53
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Oh... forgot to say I've hiked allover the USA. I've hiked Maine to Harpers Ferry in Sept-Nov, the southern section of the PCT, Smokies in TN, Alaska (summer), Colorado, Utah and now I live right on the edge of the Olympics in Washington state. I've always carried the same sleeping bag.

  4. #4

    Default

    I'd go with the warmest bag you think you'll need thru-out the year camping. I was out a couple years ago and saw snow in southeastern Tennessee on April 30th. This sounds crazy but my three season bag is a Marmot 0F and my winter bag is a -15 WM Puma. It's nice to have the geese around when you need them, and if it's too hot, well, put it off to the side unzipped---by morning I bet it will on top.

    If I could have only one bag for year-long living out, and if I didn't have a place to keep extra gear (like now), I'd have to have my -15F Puma. Overkill until you need it.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-28-2008
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Age
    68
    Posts
    4,908

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I'd go with the warmest bag you think you'll need thru-out the year camping. I was out a couple years ago and saw snow in southeastern Tennessee on April 30th. This sounds crazy but my three season bag is a Marmot 0F and my winter bag is a -15 WM Puma. It's nice to have the geese around when you need them, and if it's too hot, well, put it off to the side unzipped---by morning I bet it will on top.

    If I could have only one bag for year-long living out, and if I didn't have a place to keep extra gear (like now), I'd have to have my -15F Puma. Overkill until you need it.
    Like he says. When in doubt, go warmer.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    Like he says. When in doubt, go warmer.
    Plus, in the old days when we were all dirtbagging it, we couldn't have a bag for each month of the year. Example---"Here's my 50F bag for just the month of July. Oh, here's my September bag rated at 40F. October? I like my 35F rated bag. Look, here's my November-December bag, rated at 25F. Winter? Well I don't go in the winter but if I do I take my 50F bag and my 40F bag and 35F bag and cram them all together for a hellish night of discomfort."

    In the old days when we were hard-core hobos pumping nylon thru the world, one bag and one bag only would have to suffice. In all seasons.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-31-2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Age
    42
    Posts
    4,276
    Images
    17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by theshadowshop View Post
    We all have some now, in various conditions and are looking to go lighter, either WM or Mountain Hardware.
    Quilts.

    Quote Originally Posted by theshadowshop View Post
    The question is, do we go with a 32deg bag or 40-45deg bag.
    A 32F quilt will weigh the same as a 40-45F bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by theshadowshop View Post
    Buying 4 bags is a big cost so we want to get the most versatile. Concerns would be too hot in summer and not warm enough in the shoulder seasons.
    That's more reason to get quilts. You can get a warmer quilt for the same weight, but the range of comfort into warmer seasons favor a quilt, especially if it has a footbox that can be opened.

    Take a look at this quilt:
    http://enlightenedequipment.com/revelation.html

    For $250 each, you could get a 0F quilt that weighs about 2 pounds or less. Obviously it will weigh much less if you get one rated for the temperatures you mentioned...it could be about 1 pound.

  8. #8
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-23-2008
    Location
    Athens, GA
    Age
    54
    Posts
    2,856
    Images
    7

    Default

    What Tipi Walter says is true - for the most dyed in the wool adventurer/outdoors person - or someone that spends more nights out than in (like he does) but the OP wanted advice on spring, summer, fall bags for (presumably) lightweight backpacking for a whole family -- a -15 degree bag for $800 is just not appropriate at all for this use:

    Without knowing you better, I would suggest something synthetic - even though down is usually better for backpacking - kids and families aren't quite as careful - people get lots of backpacking done with synthetic bags and when they get wet, things are still probably ok. Check out something like the Marmot Axiom 25 degree bag. Since my guess is that you'll be out mostly in nice weather, you shouldn't get too hot in these but You would probably also be comfortable down into the 40s which is probably good and you could extend these if you really wanted to with down sweaters, caps and or vapor barrier liners. These will probably run you about $125 each - - which should be a good buy. I'm not a big Mountain Hardware fan. I AM a WM fan but not sure I'd outfit a whole family with WM down for 3-season use. I also don't presume that you are "cheap" or "inexperienced" - this is a quality bag -- I wouldn't choose it for a thru hike but wouldn't be surprised if someone did - I think you'll get a lot of wear out of these.

  9. #9

    Default

    Buy separate summer bags. They can be inexpensive synthetics. Survival is more of an issue the colder it gets, so buy good cool weather bags. Down is, by far, more versatile (comfort-wise over a wider range of temperatures) because you can redistribute the insulation by holding the bag parallel to the ground and shaking the down away from the top center (for warmer weather), or turning the bag over and holding it in the center of the bottom and shaking it for more insulation on top. The lack of a side block baffle makes this more effective, as you can almost completely shake the down from bottom to top and vice-versa.
    The warmer the temperature rating of a bag, the closer synthetic comes to the weight of down - that's why I suggested synthetic for summer (as well as price).
    If length of service, weight, and bulk are low on your priority list, and cost is high on it, buy two sets of synthetic bags.
    Beware of storing any insulated article (bag or clothing) in stuff sacks as they will lose loft faster than if you leave them hanging loose or laying out on a flat surface. Most bags come with a large, breathable storage sack which is fine, too. Take the bags out of the stuff sacks when the trip is done and let them loft up - they'll last longer.
    Compression sacks are very hard on gear, so I never use them. Some do, because they can use a smaller pack, but it isn't worth it, dollar wise, in the long run.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  10. #10
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    DFW, TX / Northern NH
    Age
    64
    Posts
    8,060
    Images
    27

    Default

    I'm down to one bag, a 35 WM Caribou. It's good (for me) to perhaps 25 with base layer, socks, cap, etc. I honestly just don't hike in temps below that, and if it should get colder I'd still survive it by putting on all my clothes. Women and kids tend to "sleep colder" though than adult males. If I was considering early spring or mid to late fall hiking in New England or hiking at higher elevations out west, I might opt for a 20 bag.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-01-2006
    Location
    Bastion, VA
    Age
    57
    Posts
    3,603
    Images
    125

    Default

    Have you thought abot mating differt temperature bag together. Say you & wife sleep together. Buy mateable bags one with colder & warmer ratings. Sleeping on insulation in a sleeping bag pretty much negates its loft/insulation value. Thus the need for sleeping pad for insulation. So get a 0" bag & 30"bag. when cold 0 side on top, when warm flip it over to light side. Granted it only works great if you go with semi-rectangel as opposed to mummy so will gain some weight overall but might be worth it to extend season finantially

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    east killingly, ct
    Posts
    1,196
    Images
    270

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I'd go with the warmest bag you think you'll need thru-out the year camping. I was out a couple years ago and saw snow in southeastern Tennessee on April 30th. This sounds crazy but my three season bag is a Marmot 0F and my winter bag is a -15 WM Puma. It's nice to have the geese around when you need them, and if it's too hot, well, put it off to the side unzipped---by morning I bet it will on top.

    If I could have only one bag for year-long living out, and if I didn't have a place to keep extra gear (like now), I'd have to have my -15F Puma. Overkill until you need it.
    if your looking for bag advice then tipi is the guru to get your advice from. he knows his stuff when it comes to staying warm. if your going to buy a bag make sure it will cover your needs. it would suck to by the new bag only to go out on a trip where the temps are a tad colder than expected[it hapens] and you freeze your butt off. layering your clothes mite save ya but thats not the intent for buying the new bag.....more is better, not enough sucks....

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    east killingly, ct
    Posts
    1,196
    Images
    270

    Default

    my first nite out was in a 20 degree slumberjack that was 3yrs old and borrowed from a friend. we slept out on mt greylock during the thanksgiving break back in the day. unforeseen the temp got down to 5 degress one night according to my L L Bean thermompass. luckily i brought a small wool baby blanket[son was just born] to layer inside the sleeping bag. i was fine thru the nite. we stayed out there thur, fri and sat nite. what a good time. point being you can improvise at any time if you just think a little.....

  14. #14

    Default

    "I concur." I was on top of Mt. Rodgers in the middle of April with my 45 MH lamina during a snow/freezing rain storm with crazy winds. It was a cold night with all my clothing spent regretting my decision to not carry my 20 bag. However, the next night was so pleasant others where "cowboying" it under clear skies and much warmer temps.

    Side note: I am contemplating ditching the 20 bag buying a 32, and carrying a +20 liner so save space/weight. I figure if it gets to cold, you can always throw on another layer of clothing.

  15. #15

    Default

    Thanks for the advice, I think well look at a 30-35deg bag and go with a liner or more clothing for lower temps. Now to find a good deal on some bags. Leaning toward WM bags. Thanks again

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-20-2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania, United States
    Posts
    271
    Images
    9

    Default

    Hello! I am on a budget for my own gear being a student. I couldn't imagine having to equip a whole family!

    Anyways, I made out pretty well with STP (www.sierratradingpost.com). Look around on the site and see what stuff it has to offer. Once you know what you want just wait for the right coupon (such as 35% off) and pull the trigger. You'll be pretty lucky to be able to pick up anything for less. You'll come by the coupon by searching around the internet or enrolling for the email updates. Its a great deal to get some quality gear at dirt cheap prices. The only catch seems to be is that the stuff is a season or so older but many of the stuff is equivalent to the current model.

++ 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
  •