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Old 08-24-03, 09:19 AM   #1
N_C
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What kind of sleeping bag do you use?

When doing self contained touring where you camp every night what kind of sleeping bag do you use?

Even in July and August it can get quite chilly at night, at least in Iowa it can any way. So what kind of light weight sleeping bag do you use that keeps you warm enough?

When my wife and I camp where we haul our gear in the Jeep we have a nice warm 4.5 pound Coleman sleeping bag. It does the job nicely.

But when self contained touring taking a big bulky 4.5 pound sleeping bag along is out of the question I'm sure. I'm looking for something that will keep me as warm as a bag that size but weighs much less.

Thanks.

John.
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Old 08-24-03, 09:49 AM   #2
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Hi,
get a mummy bag. I like them cut large; but that adds some weight. There should be a lot of bags going on sale soon. I have had good luck with LL Bean stuff, this is just an example of a decent bag http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/sto...Id=1&langId=-1
I love this one
http://www.campmor.com/webapp/commer...22&prmenbr=226
Here's another wide one from a good company
http://www.campmor.com/webapp/commer...40&prmenbr=226

Having spent a few miserable nights; my habit is to get a bag rated 10 or even 20 degrees cooler than what I am expecting. First night I spent on a mountain
the temp dropped into the 30's and the wind howled. This was in August.
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Old 08-24-03, 07:13 PM   #3
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I have ghad good luck with kelty synthitic bags. they are light and warm. It will stuff into a small stuff sack and ride nice on the rear rack.

I believe i paid about 90 dollars for the bag and used it 3 long tours. Each of about 3-4 months each. The bag was wam enough int he mountians. This bag was warm enough down to 30 or so degrees. I also recomend a thermarest. I started with out one and about half way throught thre first long tour i bought one and the comfort and warmth factor was wel worth the price.
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Old 08-24-03, 07:37 PM   #4
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Yup,
Thermarest makes great pads. They are especially desirable if you get a down bag. The tough part is deciding which Thermarest to get. The thick ones are huge rolled up.
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Old 08-25-03, 05:24 PM   #5
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north face cat's meow. the best sythetic out there. I tried all the brands, and none of them had a better feel then the NF, and the cats meow is slightly baggy in the shoulders, so you can change clothes in it on a cold morning. snythetic so its still warm when wet. temp reading is right on. below 20 degrees F, its a tad chilly. did I mention its less then 3lbs?

I'd go synthetic if there is any chance of rain on your trip. I went backpacking and we got caught ontop of a mountain in a crazy storm, and a friend was soaking and hypothermic and he was able to get into his bag (a sythentic) and not worry about getting it wet and having it be useless.
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Old 08-25-03, 05:54 PM   #6
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I bought 2 North face sleeping bags, one for wifey, and for Sis. They are the best we own (mine is a custom, but it is nothing fancy at all). They are down, btw. But there are several good companies, and a couple that are better (but the cost!). While it's true that down gets useless when wet; we used them for years. But what that means is you need to be careful about letting it get wet. A waterproof stuff sack, and a good tent; and you'll be fine. I think the real advantage with down is that you can get the bag squished down to such a small size. That can really help if space gets to be a problem. You do need to be careful when buying a bag. Cold spots that develop from shifting insulation
are a sign of shoddy construction.....and genuinely unpleasant. Every year backpacker comes out with an annual gear issue; that might help our friend.
But having started camping back in the stone ages (the 60's) I think many of the bags on sale nowadays are wonderful.
Take a look at these....http://www.westernmountaineering.com/thebags.htm
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Old 08-25-03, 07:20 PM   #7
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I winter camp here in Minnesota and use a Western Mountaineering Bristlecone Bag, and absolutely love it! I have been out in it down to about -5, and was as warm as toast. I've also taken my son and daughter out in the winter, and they've have a ball. (Separate trips) We also own 3 North Face Goliath bags. I've put one of the bags into a second, and they sleep like a baby.

My Bag.



Here's another company to consider for an excellent down bag.

http://www.featheredfriends.com/

(I got the Western Mountaineering bag over the Feathered Friends bag because it was a little roomier, but you wont go wrong with either company).
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Old 08-30-03, 05:43 PM   #8
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For summer camping, I use a Western Mountaineering Iroquois that is rated to +38F and in winter I have a Marmot Wizard +20F synthetic. I also do some backpacking so they do double duty. The WM iroquois is nice as it is about 1lb 9oz and packs real small.

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Old 08-30-03, 06:18 PM   #9
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I have a Woods bag with 3M Thinsulate Liteloft insulation. It is 34" X 78" rectangular with a hood. It weighs just over 2.5 lbs. It packs into a bag 7"dia X 15" long. It claims to be good down to -5C, but I think that should be taken with a pinch of salt. I bought it at Canadian Tire for $100 Cdn. They also do a slightly lighter one for $80 Cdn. I also use a Thermarest - mine is a full length, but I think head to hip length would be just as good.
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Old 08-30-03, 08:36 PM   #10
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I use a North Face Blue Igloo 20 degree down bag. I also carry a cool max mummy liner, and many nights, just pull the bag over me when I get cold. That way, I have sleeping gear that will take me from hot and humid (minnesota) to freezing cold (minnesota). I don't worry about getting the bag wet, it is somewhat moisture resistant (it's got pertex on the outside), so I survived a night in colorado after I got hit by some sprinklers in it.
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Old 09-01-03, 09:08 AM   #11
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I use a eight year old Haglöfs Travelite (no longer in production). It is very thin and light, 700g or so, and is very small packed. Comfort temperature +10C (or +5C... can't remember, but it should be +10). I have used it for ~200 nights, everything from tentless camping in Spain to high in the Alps. Some nights have been very cold and I will get a warmer bag next time, but I can't complain about the quality.

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Old 09-01-03, 06:19 PM   #12
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I've been using a Slumberjack So-Lite. It's an inxpensive, lightweight, synthetic-filled bag. I got it from www.campmor.com. They have a wide selection of bags in all price ranges... and every once in a while, there's a real bargain. Check them out.
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Old 10-08-03, 08:16 PM   #13
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I don't have alot of experiance with this but I've camped a bit when I was survival camp for cadets. We of course used down army mummy bags with a cotton liner, I don't know how heavy they were but we were quite comfortable in the -30 celcius temp with them, you could probably get them cheap at a surplus store.
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Old 10-18-03, 07:13 AM   #14
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I just use a 2lb backpacking bag. However I invested in a self-inflating pad that roles up to be about 32"x4". I used that for a 9 day trip and slept great. The pad also had an inflatable pillow feature that worked well.

MBD
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