PDA

View Full Version : Sleeping bag suggestions



Scout
2005-03-19, 19:00
Hey all, I am looking for some sleeping bag suggestions. I am in the Army and therefore have access to the modular sleeping bag system which includes 2 bags and a gortex bivy cover. It is heavy (I would guess over 10 pounds but I am sure Rock has the exact weight).

I am looking for a lightweight replacement that would do the trick.

I hike in all weather although not very regularily (only manage to get out a few times a year).

Looking at REI for some ideas.

What do you suggest?

Scout
2005-03-19, 19:12
Kelty LiteYear +25 (http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&productId=47857149)
Kelty Mojave +15 (http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&productId=47857149)

Lots of options out there...most seem to weight between 2 and 3 pounds. Does the material matter all that much?

Figured I could get a +25 bag and then carry a poncho liner to put inside it for the nights it is cooler?

REI is having a 20% off sale right now so I will save anywehre from $30 to $40 on one of these bags...

Scout
2005-03-19, 19:26
Well, I just widened the search and found some other bags that are even lighter weight...all the way down to 1lb 5oz!

Sgathak
2005-03-19, 20:01
Sleeping bags are a bit of a fascination, and a dread of mine...

Current issue 3 peice bag - 3lbs for the green bag, 4lbs for the black bag, and I think 1.5lbs for the bivy.

I once was a Wiggys fan... NO MORE! The gear will work - bar none - but the "ultralight" set up can weigh up to 10lbs! Plus, the owner of the company is an @$$hole of epic proportions - Ill never give him another penny.

Well... one big smack down argument with Wiggy showed that he uses a product used for furniture fill as his main insulator. From this pillow stuffing, has evolved polarguard classic (heavy but durable) PG High Void (like in the USGI bags), Polarguard 3d - lighter and more durable than PGHV, and PG Delta - lightest, but least durable.

Montbell uses a similar fill to PG Classic, but not exactly. The fibers are solid core, like PG Classic, but are of different deniers. So, they are quite durable, but trap alot of warm air. As an insulation, this one is one of my favs currently.

Primaloft is an insulation made entirely differntly than Polarguard or any variantions. Its made to be a synthetic downlike product. It is probably the least durable of all the synthetic insulations, but is the warmest while it is still in good shape - and the warmest while wet. If you can take care of your bag - its a good option, especially if you foresee sleeping in the wet.

Other insulations out there are chopped staple fibers, I dont really reccomend them.

Down is king if you have the money and the ability to keep it dry.

If your at all a do-it-yourselfer, I have found some good luck with basic polyester quilt fill (high loft) from the fabric store. In fact, I found one that uses a blend of poly and merino wool - very light, very compressible, looks promising. Should be a bit better than cushion fill.


As for makers - Id give Montbell a look see. Seirra Designs has some great options, and Mountain Hardwear is always worth a look see. If your considering down, try Feathered Friends.

Just Jeff
2005-03-20, 09:34
I am looking for a lightweight replacement that would do the trick.

If you really want lightweight, try a quilt or backcountry blanket. Only a few makers sell them...check out Nanutak, Feathered Friends, and www.jacksrbetter.com.

A synthetic quilt is super-easy to make with very rudimentary sewing skills. I hear the down ones aren't too technically difficult to make (all straight seams), just a PITA to work with the down. Check out www.thru-hiker.com for kits.

If you go colder than the quilts are rated for, you could get a lightweight summer bag and put the quilt inside it for more topside insulation.

SGT Rock
2005-03-20, 10:28
I guess I would want to know how much you wanting to spend (should be practically unlimited since you saved all that combat pay;))?

What sort of features or range are a must?

And how light do you want it?

I recommend Western Mountaineering, Marmot, Nunatak, Feathered Friends as good companies to look at. If you want a quilt, the Nunatak and JRB would be great.

jimtanker
2005-03-20, 15:01
Slumberjack Ultimate +20.

I love mine and it compresses down real small. Dont let the price fool ya.

Slumberjack Ultimate at Campmor (http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=38505750&memberId=12500226)

Scout
2005-03-20, 17:27
Well Rock - even though I saved "all that combat pay" I still am a bit...frugal :damnmate:

I am looking for LIGHTWEIGHT but COMFORTABLE! I would rather something weigh a bit more and offer more comfort than just be lightweight and less cumbersome.

That being said, I am open to any ideas or suggestions.

Never heard of the Quilt - maybe like a poncho liner/poncho combo? Hmm...

I certainly like the price of the Slumberjack (http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=38505750&memberId=12500226) for only $70.
Size 82 in. x 32 in. x 14 in.
Fits To 5 ft. 11 in.
Fill Weight 1 lb. 8 oz.
Loft N/A
Avg. Total Wt. 2 lbs. 13 oz.
Stuff Size 6 in. x 16 in.
Temperature 20°F
Mateable Yes, with long left (item# 68545)
Insulation ThermoliteŽ Extreme
Inner Shell Polyester Taffeta
Outer Shell 227T nylon Diamond ripstop

For the little hiking that I do, I am looking to get lighter on the weight while maintaining comfort.

ROCK - Thinking about a ground cloth - how about the Evasion maps? We were issued about 4 or 5 sheets covering the primary areas that we flew in Iraq and Kuwai. The maps are made of Tyvek and fold down to a 6"x8" or so. Have you seen these?

I am also enjoying all the reading about ION stoves and alternate ways to prepare meals! (cozy's and such)

SGT Rock
2005-03-20, 18:52
Well Rock - even though I saved "all that combat pay" I still am a bit...frugal :damnmate:

I am looking for LIGHTWEIGHT but COMFORTABLE! I would rather something weigh a bit more and offer more comfort than just be lightweight and less cumbersome.

That being said, I am open to any ideas or suggestions.

Never heard of the Quilt - maybe like a poncho liner/poncho combo? Hmm...

I certainly like the price of the Slumberjack (http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=38505750&memberId=12500226) for only $70.
Size 82 in. x 32 in. x 14 in.
Fits To 5 ft. 11 in.
Fill Weight 1 lb. 8 oz.
Loft N/A
Avg. Total Wt. 2 lbs. 13 oz.
Stuff Size 6 in. x 16 in.
Temperature 20°F
Mateable Yes, with long left (item# 68545)
Insulation ThermoliteŽ Extreme
Inner Shell Polyester Taffeta
Outer Shell 227T nylon Diamond ripstop

For the little hiking that I do, I am looking to get lighter on the weight while maintaining comfort.

If you want a synthetic, this would probably work for you, I prefer to go with down. For Example: http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/bagdetail.cfm/WE2201

Same rating, but 14 ounces less weight. Of course it costs a lot more. But this bag should last you forever. I haven't owned a Thermolite bag, but my understanding is it won't maintain it's rating over years of use.

As to comfort, that will be more an effect of your pad.

For a down quilt, JRB makes some cool ones: http://216.83.168.206/index_files/Products%20List_files/No%20Snivelling%20Quilt.htm



ROCK - Thinking about a ground cloth - how about the Evasion maps? We were issued about 4 or 5 sheets covering the primary areas that we flew in Iraq and Kuwai. The maps are made of Tyvek and fold down to a 6"x8" or so. Have you seen these?

Yep, I've seen them. They could work. Wouldn't be much different than a leftover tyvek sheet. I made one into a groundcloth that incorportated a small 1' fold for a "footbox" since that is the part that you normally roll off of.

Sgathak
2005-03-21, 03:37
Thermolite is some of that "chopped staple" I refered to earlier. Its a decent insulator when new, not quite as light as primaloft, probably just as durable - maybe more so - and it suffers from fill shift. And compressive breakdown, like all synth insulation. However, its cheap and a good buy for the money in most cases. The Slumberjack bag mentioned earlier is a good example of Thermolite done right (I just hate the color scheme... Cabelas used to offer that bag in plain OD).

If you want to split the difference between synthetic and down, Slumberjack has a bag called the Ellesmere. Thermolite on the bottom and down on top.

Slumberjack is now making some models with a Merino wool liner... gotta get my hands on one to see if its worth it. So far it looks like its just 1 summer bag, but Ive heard there supposed to be others upcoming as well.

Scout
2005-03-25, 13:25
I really like the AlpinLite and some of the other suggestions as well. I guess now it comes to how much I want to spend.

Am I right in thinking that Down is good if you keep it dry but synthetic is better if you get it wet?

I don't think I have ever been able to keep a bag dry (during the rain). Maybe I need to get a better tent? :-)

Scout
2005-04-10, 11:45
Slumberjack (http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=38505750&memberId=12500226) for only $70.
Avg. Total Wt. 2 lbs. 13 oz.
Stuff Size 6 in. x 16 in.
Temperature 20°F
Insulation ThermoliteŽ Extreme
Inner Shell Polyester Taffeta
Outer Shell 227T nylon Diamond ripstop


I am buying one now. We shall see how it works.

Thanks for the help.

Rage in a Cage
2005-04-11, 00:58
Scout, please be sure to post how the bag works out for you. I am always looking for inexpensive gear for friends and others. Thanks

Scout
2005-04-11, 05:48
Wilco!

Also bought some pots, stakes and stuff sacks...

Basilio
2005-04-11, 11:19
Hi Scout, you mentioned that you are in US troops. I have a question related to this one. Do you go in for hiking by order or to meet your own desires, I am just kidding. You mentioned about looking for something to drop some weight. But what temperature do you prefer? When looking for a tent you should also decide upon its temperature. Regardless to time of year you usually walk or backpack. I'll seehow I will be able to help you, but if you ask for a certain hint in this respect I'd advise- Slumberjack Ellesmere I think satisfies all of your requirements. It has a special system that reduces the amount of space around your body, leaving less space to be warmed by body heat.


:damnmate:
Nice collection of smiles you have round here.

Basilio
2005-04-11, 11:26
Hi Scout, you mentioned that you are in US troops. I have a question related to this one. Do you go in for hiking by order or to meet your own desires, I am just kidding. You mentioned about looking for something to drop some weight. But what temperature do you prefer? When looking for a tent you should also decide upon its temperature. Regardless to time of year you usually walk or backpack. I'll seehow I will be able to help you, but if you ask for a certain hint in this respect I'd advise- Slumberjack Ellesmere I think satisfies all of your requirements. It has a special system that reduces the amount of space around your body, leaving less space to be warmed by body heat.


:damnmate:
Nice collection of smiles you have round here.

Scout
2005-04-12, 06:19
I purchased the Slumberjack Ultimate. It is about the same weight as the Ellsemer but packs up a bit smaller. Also, the cost was only $69.

I will let everyone know how it works out.

+20F is the temp extrteme I am looking at right now. Just need to get some gear of my own instead of using all the Army's stuff (not that it is bad to use FREE stuff).

Oh, I hike on my own. I am a pilot now and no longer have (as much) a requirement to get out and hike for my job.

Basilio
2005-04-15, 08:14
Nice choice Scout and seems like for reasonable price. Works perfectly for solos, much better then having a tent, though I could only guess how much are shelters common over there and how is hiking popular in general.

Scout
2005-04-15, 14:33
I also have a tent.

I will carry a tent and a sleeping bag usually.

festgeo42
2005-04-16, 11:24
lots of good lightweight stuff out there. I just purchased a Mountainsmith Wisp (long) on eBay...hasn't arrived yet, so I can't talk to its performance, but they are available from retailers as well as closeouts (Mountainsmith is now out of the sleeping bag business). This weights 1 lb 8 oz., 750 down fill, 30 deg F rating, and DWR finish. Supposedly, it is comparable to a Marmot Hydrogen (over $ 300). You can get one retail for $ 149 at Gearx.com

good luck

Scout
2005-04-29, 17:17
Ok - I received the sleeping bag and I am VERY happy with it.

The colors are a bit unique.

The bag is lightweight and has its own stuff sack.

The bag easily stuffs into the sack with no effort.

It has a zippered foot box that you can open to let some air in (it has a screen-type mesh on it to keep criters out and your feet in).

I slept in it one night on my living room floor and was comfortable.

Looking forward to carrying this on my hike in June/July!

jimtanker
2005-04-30, 15:13
To save maybe a little weight I shed my tent for a tarp. I got a silnet extension tarp (4.5X8) from campmor. When the weather is going to be nasty I use a bivy sack too.

I started with my army poncho and bivy sack and slowly bought civilian when the money came around. Went from a thermarest 3/4 to a ridgerest 3/4 and saved a few pounds there. I think that a true ultralight camper would groan at my pack but for the money the weight is very bearable. With 5 days of food I'm weighing in at around 23 pounds.

I look back and cant see how my pack ever weighed 55 at one time. I just dont see it.
:confused:

Scout
2005-05-01, 03:52
Money vs Lightweight - its all a trade off for me. I guess in the end you make some compromises and deal with it along the way.

I am slowly converting from military gear as well. I like the suggestion about the tarp - my tent weighs about 4 lbs and what a difference it would be to dump it in place of a lightweight tarp. I assume the tarp is extremely water proof unlike the poncho? (the poncho was ok, but sucked after it got soaked.

What about a Tyvek tarp? I stilll have 4 evasion maps left over from Iraq (made of Tyvek) and can custom shape them into a specific size...??

What type of Bivy sack do you use?

SGT Rock
2005-05-01, 07:41
Tyvek does not have the same water-resistance level as sil-nylon. It can work, but it might not work in as hard a rainstorm as some other fabrics can.

tinny3
2005-05-07, 06:35
i was going to say the same thing I have the ultimate 20 and love it. the price is very low and the comfort and quality is high.---Tinny--

Scout
2005-05-09, 16:42
yeah - i couldn't pass up the price to weight ratio. I could have spent hundreds more and saved a pound...but not this time.