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  1. #1
    Member gescom's Avatar
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    Waterproof sleeping bag, no tent needed?

    After researching various camping options I found this waterproof sleeping bag made by Exped:

    PDF info sheet for the Exped IBIS WB (waterbloc)

    Exped homepage

    Wow. to quote its features:

    Bivy sack and sleeping bag in one: features of a sleeping bag AND a bivy bag together, but overall less weight, pack size, cost and condensation.
    I think this may be a good solution and alternative to a tent or bivy, at least for the crazy ultralight people on this forum. ( you rock! )

    I was looking at getting a 1 person ultralite tent but what has put me off them is the fact that the material is not UV friendly. I was reading the manual for the 'Mountain Hardware Sprite 1' tent and it stated the material would last around 3 months if exposed constantly to UV (otherwise it's quite a decent tent btw)

    I'm planning on doing some fruit picking work so I intend to stay at a place for a considerable amount of time. Having to pack and unpack a tent everyday to avoid the summer sun would be a major pain in the you know what so just having a waterproof sleeping bag like this one seems like a good idea.

    I plan to use a foam mat directly on the ground and just this sleeping bag (I bet it FLOODS with rain, and i'll be floating downstream some river when I wake up).

    Any thoughts or opinions?

  2. #2
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    Might be better off with something like a hammock. http://www.rei.com/product/696121

    You'd be able to get off the ground in case of rain.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    There are sprays for tents that give UV protection. I have put an emergency blanket (thin plastic film with reflective coating) over my tent when it has been in an exposed location for extended time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Well if it works, it works.....

    But I do find it hard to believe it will be reasonably breathable and durable. I also think of it as an all or nothing proposition -if it leaks somewhere, you're probably going to suffer mightily in the rain, whereas at least in a leaky tent you may be able to salvage a reasonable setup to sleep. Other things:

    i. no privacy for getting changed in the morning (course, that depends on where you camp, but if you do camp at campgrounds it's probably going to be a problem sooner or later).

    ii. it's raining and you want to read a book/write a journal/rearrange pannier contents, etc.... how are you going to do that?

    iii. ever heard of Chinese water torture?

    ivi. you'd still need a covering to prevent insects getting to you -might be fine, but I wonder if sleeping with effectively a mesh bag around my head would be too annoying for me!

    v. and the big one: you might be mistaken for a big maggot.

    Huuuuuge caveat here is that I've never used one, so take these comments for what they are worth. By the way, if you are that concerned about UV, why not take a tent and then set a tarp over it? I'd bet that would give it quite a bit of protection. And if you are going to be at the same place for quite a time, why not just buy a cheap large tent that does offer UV protection (with as much ventilation as possible) and leave it up? Even if it suffers damage or is stolen, at least it didn't cost you much. Also, if you are concerned about UV protection, wouldn't that be largely negated since you (or at least I do) only go in a tent mostly at night to sleep? Maybe I'm uninformed, but at least for bike touring, UV protection for my tent is low to non-existent on my list of priorities.

  5. #5
    Acetone Man
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    In general, polyester has far better UV resistance than nylon. Unfortunately, most packable shelters are made of nylon. One exception I know of is the Noah tarp by kelty which comes in 9x9, 12x12, and 16x16 feet sizes. For a season's shelter, you may appreciate the luxury of 256 square feet under the largest tarp.

    I owned a 12x12 which I used for a couple of overnighters, but ultimately returned to REI. Thing is, even though the tarps all have oodles of guyouts (pull loops along the edges, pull loops PLUS reinforced grommets on the corners, and center pullouts...) the tarp has a catenary cut which is optimized for only a single configuration. That one being the flying diamond configuration you see over hammocks. The problem is that I was never able to get a taut pitch, not even in that configuration! And neither was my buddy who is an old school tarper from his boy scout days.

    So that was my experience. YMMV of course. I'm sure if you run a guyline through every single one of those pull loops and really spend some time tweaking it, you'll get a respectable pitch. And that would be worth it for your situation, since you'll only be doing it once in the season. For my part, I'd love to have a rectangular tarp that were made to the same awesome quality and with the same ridiculous number of pull outs that these Keltys have.

  6. #6
    40 yrs bike touring
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    I have encountered this idea before and they all failed due to breathability problems. Internal condensation from sweat soaked the down greatly reducing the loft and effectiveness.
    Weight and versatility are additional questions. Separate pieces-bag, bivy and tarp can equal or beat the weights mentioned in the PDF and provide comfort over a wider range of weather and temperature.

    As mentioned above a tarp or parawing or pyramid style shelter can provide an enormous shelter space for more than mere sleeping. I have used a Megamid and a Moss/MSR 19 foot Parawing on Kayak touring trips for over 20 years with little or no fabric degradation from UV. The sil-nylon material used today may last even longer.

    A jack of all trades item like this may be the master of none of them.

  7. #7
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    When I camped for 6 weeks in the same spot in Australia, i just bought a cheap blue tarp at the hardware store and pitched it over my tent, for shade.
    ...

  8. #8
    Member gescom's Avatar
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    Thanks for your excellent replies

    Yes, a tarp or even reflective thin plastic cover which AndrewP mentioned should be sufficient to protect the tent if left out in the sun all day. I think I just stick with getting the tent!

    If anyone is interested here's the extract regarding UV from the Mountain Hardware Sprite 1 Tent user manual:
    Ultraviolet light degrades lightweight tent fabric (and almost any synthetic material). UV light will cause the fabric to fade, lose strength, and eventually disintegrate. The amount of UV damage is directly related to the fabricís exposure to the sun and the altitude at which the tent is pitched. If it is left pitched during the day, highaltitude exposure can damage a tent beyond use within a month. The best way to prolong the life of your tent is to keep it out of the sun. Pitch your tent in a shady spot whenever possible. By striking (taking your tent down) in the morning and pitching your tent late in the day, your tent will last many years.

  9. #9
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    Just get an ultra cheap tent and bin it at the end of your stay.

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