Touring - Sleeping bag suggestions..
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I want to buy a synthectic, reasonably lightweight sleeping bag for touring this spring and summer..
I was wondering if anyone has ever tried Mountain Equipment Co-op's Nomad or Nighthawk sleeping bags. They are cheap, but I am afraid if, at 1.5Kg, they might be a bit on the heavy side.
Another alternative I am looking at is the North Face Cat's meow sleeping bag. It is a bit more expensive (about 70-80 Canadian $ more) than the former ones, but seem to be lighter and warmer. Any suggestions/comments?
03-03-03, 05:55 PM
I have the cat's meow. I like it a lot. i went backpacking, it got wet, (Feet pressed against the side of the tent) and the insulation warmed it right up, and I didn't even realize it until to morning. It is also mad light for a synthetic bag. Mountain hardware also has a synthetic sleeping bag with Polargard 3D. form what i hear, it is also very good.
The fit of the bag is good, it has plenty of room for your shoulders, and I can easily put on a pair of pants and change my underwear without leaving the bag. The temp rating on the cats meow is also right on. it is good until 20 degrees F, but after that, its pretty chilly.
If buying from an actual store, I would reccomend actually getting in the bag in the store to make sure it fits. A bag that is too short or tight will be uncomfotable, and a bag that is too big will not be as warm since you have more space to heat.
just a few things to think about. Personally, I like the cats meow a lot. if there was one thing i didn't like is that the lining gets smelly quickly. After a week of camping without showering, I smelled horrible, and so did my bag, and even after airing it out, on the next trip, the bag smelled horrible. I think that an anti-stink lining is in order. However, I'm sure that this is common on other bags, I just noticed it especially with this one.
I also have a Cats Meow I've had for numerous years and need to replace but like it alot as to features temp rating etc.The seams did start unravelling fairly quickly and I should have sent it back for repair/replacement as I understand they are good about warrenty issues but I never did I just duct taped it lol.You can usually find it on sale if you are patient.
03-03-03, 07:59 PM
I have the MEC Gosling and the Cygnet, which are relatively the same design just different fill. I have had them for many years and have had no problems and I have used them a lot! I like the barrel design as you can open them up to use as a duvet at home or while camping and they can be zipped together as one large bag that is comfortable for two. The price is great and MEC stands behind their stuff they will replace it or give you your money back if you are not happy. They are also an ethical co-op and environmentally friendly. Considering it is only an extra 300-400 grams, it is better to stay warm then to worry about weight.
03-06-03, 10:42 AM
DOWN, DOWN, DOWN!
The advantages of down vs. synthetic bags include:
-Superior insulating qualities
-Compresses to a small package
The advantages of synthetic vs. down include:
-Insulates when wet (good luck sleeping in a wet bag anyway)
For your first bag, definately buy from an outfitter who will give you personal fit advice; get in the bag, test it out, and make sure it's what you want--this investment will last you a good long time!
I suggest you examine your finances and assess your ability to keep your gear dry. Follow the good advice of the posters on this forum and good luck!
03-06-03, 11:59 AM
I prefer down over synthetic any day and two out of three of my sleeping bags are down. Considering that you are living in British Columbia and will be cycling in a temperate rainforest type of climate - go with synthetic. Unless you are certain your panniers are downpour proof and your tent will never leak, synthetic will be the better choice over down. Take Braumeister advice and get fitted correctly, then again if you go for the large bag, $5.00 and 200 grams more, you can always put some cloths at the bottom of the bag and you will have some warm cloths to put on in the morning. This is nice on those chilly mornings! Also, a sleeping pad is very important part of a warm and comfortable nights sleep. For canoeing I use two long pads, but for cycling I have one that is about 1.4 metres long to put under my torso and use my panniers and other gear to keep my feet off the ground. The way I look at is the better you sleep at night the more fun you will have during the day. :)
03-08-03, 09:00 AM
I use an inexpensive synthetic bag made by Slumberjack. Its called a "So-Lite." It's filled with Quallofil, rated to 40 degrees, packs very small, and weighs less than 2.5 lbs. I took it cross country a couple summers ago, and it worked well. I have to admit that I did get chilly once or twice in the mountains (slept with tights and a hat), but I sure didn't miss the extra bulk of a warmer bag on the plains and through the south.
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