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  1. #1
    Senior Member jacobs's Avatar
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    Ultralight/small sleeping bags!

    I'm looking at doing some really lightly packed touring this fall (smallish Deuter backpack and maybe a handlebar bag). Anyone have any ideas for a sleeping bag that packs up REAL small? Thanks!

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    I use a Feathered Friends hummingbird that I use for 3 season use. It packs up really small for both touring and backpacking. A bit pricey, but it has held up well through a lot of use.

  3. #3
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  4. #4
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    You really don't want to carry a backpack on a bike all day

  5. #5
    Senior Member jacobs's Avatar
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    I really don't want this thread to turn into something about how I shouldn't do this.

    I work as a messenger, with a bag on my back ALL day, every day, full with far too much heavy stuff. I'm not worried about it. I'm also going to be touring on a track bike, if you want to try and dissaude me from that as well.

    I just need a sleeping bag that will pack really small! All I'm going to be bringing is the sleeping bag, some tools, a change of clothes or two, a little food, maps, and a paperback.

  6. #6
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    You really don't want to carry a backpack on a bike all day
    I agree. Some folks do though-so to each his/her own.

    I've read of some folks raving about Macpac products. If I recall they are available in Europe (?UK), and their sleeping bags packed size should meet the OP's requirements.

    I'm not sure what the Macpac's filling material is, but I would avoid down for the OP's use. Packing & traveling light, would seem that the sleep system may not weather storms as well as folks who tent. You don't want down to get wet. With that written-down bags are the way to go for warmth+packability (provided your 100% certain you can keep 'em dry). Higher feather count down provides better insulation, as well as smaller packed size.

    In the US I bought a very nice down bag (click here to see), which packs to the size of around a 2L soda bottle, and weighs (according to spec's) just shy of 2 lbs. This paticular model is rated at 40F, but with the silk bag liner I bring, a hat, socks, gloves etc. can go lower. They have a similar model (click here) rated at 20F-weighing in at 2lbs even (again according to spec's).

    [edit] Oops, seems Macpac is a NewZealand company-my mistake. Click here to see their sleeping bag lines. The "adventure sport" line seems really nice.
    Last edited by Camel; 05-22-05 at 03:15 PM.

  7. #7
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    I just noticed you're in Boston. Check out EMS for the bags above (REI may have similar ones-I've no experience w/there bags though). If you'll be camping (as opposed to hosteling), you may want to add in a sleep pad. The newer thermarest lightweights (click here) run about a pound, and pack to the size of a nalgen bottle. They also provide for some nice comfy sleep.

  8. #8
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    http://www.rei.com/product/47605132.htm?

    REI down bag. +45 deg rating (supper weight). Packs extremely small in it's own builtin stuff sack in the foot of the bag. Very lightweight.

  9. #9
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    If you have money then get a feathered freinds or western mountaineering down bag (or any other high end down bag). If you don't have a lot of money get a compression sack and any 45 degree bag. The difference between a light weight and a not so light weight summer bag is about a pound or so... not much. Do your reasearch. BTW... Granite Gear makes the best compression sacks, completely bombproof.
    Scott

  10. #10
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    The best synthetic bag that I've seen is TNF Propel. I think it weighs 1 lb, cost ~130(?), good to 35/40F
    check out campmor:
    http://tinyurl.com/c5ysq

  11. #11
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    Depending on where you go and if you are sleeping indoors or outside, fall touring in New England can get chilly unexpectedly. My experience (I tend to sleep "cold") is the temp ratings on sleeping bags are optimistic. Some combination of bag liner (silk or flannel), mylar reflective "bivy sack" on the outside and a dry thermal base layer can turn a marginal bag into a warm and toasty sleep. The idea is to minimize loss of body heat, as that's what is keeping you warm. Down will give you the most insulation for the least weight and size; the higher "power" ratings provide more insulation per pound but the ramp up in price is steep.

    If you are going to be outside, you will want some sort of a ground cover to keep the bag clean and dry - Tyvek sheeting is lightweight and is popular with the ultralight backpackers. A self-inflating sleeping pad (thermarest or similar) will make the ground more comfortable and more important, reduces heat loss from contact with the ground. You will also want at least a tarp to keep precipitation off of you. If getting the bag wet is likely, consider one of the advanced synthetic fills as they retain insulating abilitywhen wet. Use a compression sack regardless to get the bag size down to something that will fit in your messenger bag/backpack/pannier or whatever.

    A good backpacking store (EMS is all over New England) or outdoor club that has some expertise in lightweight backpacking should be able to give you plenty of information on what you need. Also info on line at the ultralight backpacking sites and equipment reviews. At this time of the year, the stores are pushing summer weight bags; they may have last year's warmer bags better suited to the fall on closeout.

  12. #12
    Geriatric Member 48x16's Avatar
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    I work for a mountaineering company.
    If you want something on the cheap for the spring/summer/fall then get the Marmot Trestles 40. If you want something beautiful and awesome then get the Western Mountaineering Highlite or Mitylite.

    REI is ****.

  13. #13
    Geriatric Member 48x16's Avatar
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    also, Outdoor research makes the best compression and stuff sacks. GG makes good ones but O.R. is the best in the industry.

  14. #14
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    I used a space blanket on a tour I did in the 70's (one of those aluminum foil things)
    '
    It was the most uncomfortable thing

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    The Lafuma 800 Extreme is nice and light. It packs very small.

    Weight: 0,760 kg
    Packed size: 15 x 26
    Size: 80 x 210
    Insulation: Thermolite Extrême 100 g/m²
    Temp +12°/ Limite comfort : +8°/ Extrême :-6°

  16. #16
    Geriatric Member 48x16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurdd50
    I used a space blanket on a tour I did in the 70's (one of those aluminum foil things)
    '
    It was the most uncomfortable thing
    Uncomfy but ultra lightweight! You were way ahead of the trend!

  17. #17
    royal dutch of dukes
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    i have a macpac backpack... i picked it up while travelling in new zealand last year... god what a beautiful thing. too bad they aren't really known here, but try ebay -- occasionally macpac products are sold, but rarely, because macpac is known as one of those "pass on to your children" companies.

  18. #18
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacobs
    I'm looking at doing some really lightly packed touring this fall (smallish Deuter backpack and maybe a handlebar bag). Anyone have any ideas for a sleeping bag that packs up REAL small? Thanks!
    On the deuter: I use one for commuting(1700cc??) and it is really comfortable. I ride a mnt bike for commuting so enjoy the backpack; however I don't like it when I go to use drops?? It seems to push forward toward my neck and interferes with my vision and bumps my helmet. Not a lot but might get annoying on a long tour.
    Check out snugpak for a really small bag and decent price.

  19. #19
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    The mainline companies are getting better but are not there with lightweight items. Check out the quilts and bags at fanaticfringe.com, nunatakgear.com and gossamergear.com For an incredible lightweight shelter look at the one at gossamer gear. For state of the art information on this lightweight items, check out backpackinglight.com

  20. #20
    No longer in Wimbledon... womble's Avatar
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    If you want the smallest possible size, you're going to have to go with a down bag. A number of companies do ultralight down sleeping bags, if you can afford them:

    www.featheredfriends.com
    www.phdesigns.co.uk
    www.westernmountaineering.com
    www.rab.uk.com
    Marmot make some ultralights- the Hydrogen and the Helium are worth looking into.

    I've got a RAB Quantum which is about the size of a litre carton of milk and is rated down to -8C.

    All of these companies offer a fair number of options (water resistant covers, fill options, etc), and PHD offers completely customised bags. PHD is probably the maker of the smallest ones- the Minimus(?) weighs a pound and is rated down to 5 celcius. That would be fairly safe temperature estimate- PHD doesn't optimistically pad it's ratings like the big outdoors manufacturers. On the downside, it doesnt have a zip or collar.

    One thing to note with down is that the US and the EU use different tests for verifying down fill. This leads to the US figures being around 5-8% higher than EU figures for equivalent down. Also, the new 900 ratings used by Marmot and others are mainly due to a change in the down preparation for the US tests.

    If you don't want to splash out on down, snugpack is a good and inexpensive synthetic option. Down is cheaper in the long run though as it will last far longer.
    Last edited by womble; 06-07-05 at 11:13 PM.

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