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Old 01-29-07, 07:59 AM   #1
GTcommuter
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Southern sleeping bags?

I'm torn on buying a new sleeping bag. I do most of my camping in the North Georgia and occasionally North Carolina mountains, but take trips around the southeast states and even to the coast, most camping from spring to fall with little winter camping. Most of the reviews that I read for sleeping bags are by western campers who seemingly deal with colder temps more of the year and much more unexpected cold weather.

What are reasonable ranges for a bag that handles Southern temperatures most of the year? I'm shooting for March through October or November. And do I buy for the coldest temperature I ever expect to encounter with the bag, or shoot for an average temperature and accept a few cold nights wearing extra clothes? I'm indifferent to insulation or price at the moment.
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Old 01-29-07, 08:25 AM   #2
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Here are some average highs and lows for NC. Wilmington (coast) and Asheville (western)

Wilmington, NC
March 65° 44°
April 74° 52°
May 80° 60°
June 86° 68°
July 89° 72°
August 88° 71°
September 84° 66°
October 75° 54°

Asheville, NC
Mar 45.7° 34.1°
Apr 49.7° 41.3°
May 57.6° 50.2°
Jun 66.2° 57.8°
Jul 73.1° 62.2°
Aug 78.8° 61.0°
Sep 83.1° 55.1°
Oct 84.7° 43.7°


The humidity is horrible here on the coast from May thru Sept. I've got the Marmot Atom 40° down bag and a fleece liner that adds 15° worth of wamth. The fleece liner is too hot during the summer months and I end up sleeping on top of everything...nearly nekkid
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Old 01-29-07, 08:33 AM   #3
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I think that you should consider two bags. One for summer and one for spring/fall. The issue is that any bag made to handle temps near freezing ends up being more than you need in the summer. In fact, you can usually get by in the south during summertime with a simple sheet. However, I like to to use a summer weight down bag that is rated to about 45 deg. This is very light and packs down to a very small volume. For spring/fall temperatures, go with a 20 deg bag. Synthetic or down is your choice, though a down bag will be lighter and pack smaller.
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Old 01-29-07, 08:37 AM   #4
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Having lived in the Myrtle Beach area, not too far from Wilmington, you're not going to need a sleeping bag at all after March until late October. Asheville/NC mountains can be hot too but more variable temps, a 40-degree bag would be perfect in the summer.

Mountain Hardwear makes an excellent 45-degree bag that may fit the bill. Hope that helps.
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Old 01-29-07, 09:06 AM   #5
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One bag won't work for spring/fall and summer. In Tx, Ar, Ms, etc, we have lows in the 30s during much of march, part of april, october, and november. During the summer, the lows can be in the 80s. I agree with the sheet idea. There's no need for a bag during the summer around here.
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Old 01-29-07, 11:07 AM   #6
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I've used a twin sheet sewn into a folded sleepsack (like they used to require in youth hostels). While not particularly lightweight to carry, it is plenty of cover, especially if the mosquitoes are buzzing & I want something covering most of me. That's midsummer, of course, and I've eyed the Polartec/fleece sleepsacks as a March or September addition.
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Old 01-29-07, 12:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTcommuter
I'm torn on buying a new sleeping bag. I do most of my camping in the North Georgia and occasionally North Carolina mountains, but take trips around the southeast states and even to the coast, most camping from spring to fall with little winter camping. Most of the reviews that I read for sleeping bags are by western campers who seemingly deal with colder temps more of the year and much more unexpected cold weather.

What are reasonable ranges for a bag that handles Southern temperatures most of the year? I'm shooting for March through October or November. And do I buy for the coldest temperature I ever expect to encounter with the bag, or shoot for an average temperature and accept a few cold nights wearing extra clothes? I'm indifferent to insulation or price at the moment.
Get something that you can vent. That way, you can get a bag that's good for a wide temp range. I have a bag that's good from +18 to +50 because of it's internal zippered vents. Can't remember the brand offhand, it's a bag I bought at Meijer. With a Fleece liner it'll go below zero as well and it's a mummy bag to boot! It was around $40.00 +/-. Even comes with a compression bag to stow it.
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Old 01-29-07, 12:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centexwoody
I've used a twin sheet sewn into a folded sleepsack (like they used to require in youth hostels). While not particularly lightweight to carry, it is plenty of cover, especially if the mosquitoes are buzzing & I want something covering most of me. That's midsummer, of course, and I've eyed the Polartec/fleece sleepsacks as a March or September addition.
I use a silk bag liner along with whatever sleeping bag I take. the bag liner is good by itself when it's hot, adds a bit of extra warmth when used with the sleeping bag, and is a lot easier to clean than a sleeping bag.

BTW, a tip for when it's too warm for the bag you have with you is to zip it open completely and spread it out like a quilt over top of you. You can easily adjust the warmth by how far you pull it over yourself.
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Old 01-29-07, 12:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
I use a silk bag liner along with whatever sleeping bag I take. the bag liner is good by itself when it's hot, adds a bit of extra warmth when used with the sleeping bag, and is a lot easier to clean than a sleeping bag.

BTW, a tip for when it's too warm for the bag you have with you is to zip it open completely and spread it out like a quilt over top of you. You can easily adjust the warmth by how far you pull it over yourself.
+1 on the liner idea. There are many different types available. I got a synthetic and cotton blend at Campmor for about $15 that's great for warm nights. It's not quite as small or light as the silk ones, but no biggie. And then I also carry a Marmot Sawtooth (+15f) for cold mountain nights.
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Old 01-29-07, 01:11 PM   #10
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I picked up an REI sleep sack (i think is the name) and it's rated to 55. i have a sea to summit reactor bag liner too which adds about 10 degrees warmth. the bag is semi rectangular and quite comfy. total cost for this system is $100 and it packs small and weighs less than 3 pounds. i am 6'4" and comfy with this setup. i sleep with a thin polypro layer and a hat if nessecary. hard to beat this deal.
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Old 01-29-07, 01:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTcommuter
I'm torn on buying a new sleeping bag. I do most of my camping in the North Georgia and occasionally North Carolina mountains, but take trips around the southeast states and even to the coast, most camping from spring to fall with little winter camping. Most of the reviews that I read for sleeping bags are by western campers who seemingly deal with colder temps more of the year and much more unexpected cold weather.

What are reasonable ranges for a bag that handles Southern temperatures most of the year? I'm shooting for March through October or November. And do I buy for the coldest temperature I ever expect to encounter with the bag, or shoot for an average temperature and accept a few cold nights wearing extra clothes? I'm indifferent to insulation or price at the moment.
you have already gotten several good answers. I like this bag for most summer use. I cut a hole in the end and now use it arround my hammock. it is a 30 F bag

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/revi...Coy%20Starnes/

but I think they quite selling bags. I like this one for an inexpensive summer bag. It has a foot zipper and netting but i cut a hole in the netting and can use it over my hammock. it is a 20 F bag but I'd rate it more like 30 F

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/revi...Coy%20Starnes/

this bag is great for cooler weather and you can see how I use it over my hammock.

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/revi...Coy%20Starnes/

there are a lot more reviews on the site so browse around. And dont forget the pad. In the summer I recommend the Big Agnes air core if sleeping on the ground. I like my hammocks better but sometimes they are not convient if trees are not around.

Coy Boy
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Old 01-29-07, 01:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldesfor1@ithaca
I picked up an REI sleep sack (i think is the name) and it's rated to 55. i have a sea to summit reactor bag liner too which adds about 10 degrees warmth. the bag is semi rectangular and quite comfy. total cost for this system is $100 and it packs small and weighs less than 3 pounds. i am 6'4" and comfy with this setup. i sleep with a thin polypro layer and a hat if nessecary. hard to beat this deal.
This is a great little bag for warmer weather. Packs small is lightweight and ventilates easily. I find it comfy down to the upper 40's. Any lower and you will need to pile on all your clothes or something.
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Old 01-29-07, 01:53 PM   #13
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take a look at the big agnes site-they have a large temp. range in bags,with their pad system they cann't be beat for quality and comfort.
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Old 01-29-07, 02:36 PM   #14
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I couldn't tell you if they still have them, but what I did was get an EMS summer bag. Then gott and EMS fall bag. If Icamp in ral cold one fits in the other.

Joe
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Old 01-29-07, 03:34 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the great replies. Confirmed my suspicion that I'm going to end up with two bags. I'll probably put some money into a nice 20 or 30 degree down bag for early and late season trips. The liner suggestion is a great idea and I'm thinking about working on a lighter home-made synthetic quilt for mid-range temps. Thanks for the responses.
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Old 01-29-07, 10:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTcommuter
Thanks for all the great replies. Confirmed my suspicion that I'm going to end up with two bags. I'll probably put some money into a nice 20 or 30 degree down bag for early and late season trips. The liner suggestion is a great idea and I'm thinking about working on a lighter home-made synthetic quilt for mid-range temps. Thanks for the responses.
I have a synthetic quilt made from a kit sold by Ray Jardine (www.rayjardine.com). I opted for the Alpine version so it's warmer than needed for summer use. It's definitely lightweight, but doesn't pack nearly as small as a down bag. It is nice and roomy though. Many bags are kind of cramped if you sleep on your side. The quilt doesn't tend to pin your arms at your sides. But, you have to be more careful to avoid drafts in cold weather - especially if you turn side to side in the night. I wouldn't say that it's better, or worse, than a bag - just different.
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Old 01-30-07, 07:01 AM   #17
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I'd happily suggest the Slumberjack Super Guide. It has a vent at the feet and is comfortable to me up to about an overnight low 60 degrees (F) with the vent unzipped. I sleep on top of it with a liner when the low start getting to around 75 here in SW Oklahoma.
The price is quite right as I gave near a $100 for mine two years ago. Hope this helps...
Best, John

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTcommuter
I'm torn on buying a new sleeping bag. I do most of my camping in the North Georgia and occasionally North Carolina mountains, but take trips around the southeast states and even to the coast, most camping from spring to fall with little winter camping.

Last edited by jcbryan; 01-31-07 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 01-30-07, 09:57 AM   #18
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I use a 30°F bag in the summer, because I need it in spring and fall. It weighs 31 ounces. I don't see the need for a second summer bag. Actually, I don't see the point of bags rated above 40°. If it's too hot, it's hot. I use the bag as a quilt, sleep half out of it, or completely out. I've used a winter down bag for summer car camping and it wasn't too hot.
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Old 01-31-07, 12:05 AM   #19
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Sierra Designs makes (or at least used to) a modular bag. It was a lightweight down bag that came with an additional down layer that could be zipped over the top.
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Old 01-31-07, 10:46 PM   #20
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Check out this deal. It was on Steap and cheap, but the item ended, but you can still buy it at 40% off.

http://www.sacattack.com/items/894

Only 18 ounces, and packs to 134 cu inches.
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