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  1. #1
    Ceci n'est pas un vélo. mtclifford's Avatar
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    Sleeping Bag recommendation.

    Well my tent is coming in and now I am looking for a sleeping bag.

    Here is what I have been looking for:

    3 season bag rated 20-30 degrees.
    Long size since I am 6'5".
    Priced around $150-200.

    My current front runner:

    Kelty Light Year Down 20 degree bag.

    http://www.kelty.com/kelty/products....&cat=68&id=429

    Any other opinions would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    I bought this REI down bag for a winter trip last winter (I actually have the bag rated for 10 degrees). It's a very nice bag for the money, I'm VERY happy with it.

    http://www.rei.com/outlet/product/750064
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  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtclifford View Post
    Well my tent is coming in and now I am looking for a sleeping bag.

    Here is what I have been looking for:

    3 season bag rated 20-30 degrees.
    Long size since I am 6'5".
    Priced around $150-200.

    My current front runner:

    Kelty Light Year Down 20 degree bag.

    http://www.kelty.com/kelty/products....&cat=68&id=429

    Any other opinions would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Look at Big Agnes bags. Here are some deals on them . I've been very impressed with their products. The concept of putting the pad in a sleeve so that you can't roll off it is genius
    Stuart Black
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  4. #4
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Look at Big Agnes bags. Here are some deals on them . I've been very impressed with their products. The concept of putting the pad in a sleeve so that you can't roll off it is genius
    Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't that only work if you sleep in one position all night?
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  5. #5
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't that only work if you sleep in one position all night?
    I bought a Big Agness Classic series bag a couple months ago BECAUSE I sleep like a gymnast. Although it was the extra room in the Agness bags that I was originally looking for, I really like the pad sleeve thing. Maybe it`s the combination of loose fit and tied in pad, but when I roll and flop the bag and the pad stay put. I only have about ten nights in mine (in a variety of conditions), so I can`t say about durability but the design is definitely for me. As always, YMMV. I`ve used mine with full length BA Aircore and with an old 3/4 Thermarest- no problems with either.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    You might look at the Marmot Pounder Plus- It is light@ <2lbs, synthetic (primaloft), compresses to the size of a very small loaf of bread and is rated @ 20 degrees. I've been happy with mine. I like synthetic bags because there is always condensation inside the tent, and even if you keep the bag dry most of the time they still get damp. Synthetics dry easier and if they need washing do not need the TLC down requires.

  7. #7
    Crazyguyonabike
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    One thing to be very careful about with sleeping bags is that you shouldn't trust anybody else's opinions about how warm their bag is! Just take a look at any sleeping bag on the market that has more than a couple of reviews, you'll find some people who say "This is the best bag evar, I was toasty warm sleeping outside in -45C ice storm" and someone else who will say "I was freezing my butt off and it was only 40F outside in the summertime". The truth is, everybody sleeps differently, what works for one will not work for someone else. Metabolism, body type, just general sleeping preferences etc all come into it. It's really like saddles - completely personal, as far as I can tell.

    You need to figure out a couple of things: First of all, are you generally a cold sleeper (i.e. do you tend to get cold at night if you don't have enough cover)? Do you tend to get cold feet? If so, then you probably need a warmer bag - don't trust the manufacturers' ratings, they all seem to be all over the place, it's like they just make it up, there doesn't seem to be any industry standard (at least not in the USA). A bag that says 15F might feel great down to negative digits, or it might feel cold at 30F. You really have to try them out in person. It's like dating - very often you'll know within 10 seconds whether it's going to work. Sometimes it's something as simple as the feel of the fabric, or how tight it feels around you, or having the zipper snag all the time. You really need to go to a shop to play with some bags and choose one that feels good to you.

    Another factor: Are you a restless sleeper? Some people like to sleep with their legs spread apart, and for them the "mummy" design can feel really constricting and claustrophobic. For those people, the Big Agnes bags can be worth a look - they make some of their Classic bags (e.g. the Encampment) with plenty of space to roll around in, and having the sleeping pad attached to the bag can be a real plus (you tend to roll off the pad in the night). On the downside, since the pad is attached to the bag, this makes it a little harder to sit up in the bag or put your knees up. That's where playing around in the shop really tells the tale.

    One of the big choices is whether to go for down or synthetic. Basically down will compress better, be lighter, and more expensive. On the downside (ha ha) it doesn't fare so well in damp conditions - once it gets wet it loses all its insulative properties and can be tricky to dry out. The synthetic bags tend to be more bulky and heavier, but they aren't such a problem to dry out if they get wet. A lot of people like to take down if they know the weather will be fairly dry, and synthetic for places like the Pacific Northwest in the wet season. But truthfully, both can work well anywhere, if you get a decent bag that feels good and keeps you warm most of the time, then it's a winner.

    Neil

  8. #8
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't that only work if you sleep in one position all night?
    No. The pad and bag stay put when you roll over instead of the bag going with you like regular bags. It's much more like a real bed.
    Last edited by cyccommute; 07-29-09 at 01:29 PM.
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  9. #9
    Ceci n'est pas un vélo. mtclifford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    No. The and bag stay put when you roll over instead of the bag going with you like regular bags. It's much more like a real bed.
    I admit I am intrigued by the big Agnes sleeping system, however I am finding a hard time finding a decent bag in my price range. The Savery SL and the Zirkel SL seem to be the kind I am looking for but the Zirkel is very expensive, what kind of pad would you recommend with the Savery? I was going to buy a thermarest neoair, but if I can pick up a decent bag Agnes pad that matches the bag for cheaper I might be able to spend a lil more on the bag.

  10. #10
    weirdo
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    Your pad doesn`t have to be B.A. with their rectangular (Classic series) bags, but I don`t think you`d be able to get a rectangular pad into the pocket on a mummy bag, so unless the Neoair comes out with a mummy-cut pad I doubt it would work for you. Whether you use Agness pads or somebody else`s doesn`t much matter, but you DO need some kind of pad in there due to the design of the bag and I don`t know of any others that come in mummy flavor.

    There are more expensive bags available, but the Big Agness sure aren`t cheap by my standards either. If you can`t justify the price, it would be better to go with a less expensive bag than to get a Big Agness with a pad that doesn`t fit it right.
    Last edited by rodar y rodar; 07-28-09 at 02:30 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Keep in mind that a thin (low R value) mattress will require a thicker (heavier) sleeping bag to maintain the same warmth level. I have used the Exped down mattresses and the high R value allows me to use a thinner (and cheaper) sleeping bag. The total weight ends up being about the same (1lb extra on the mat, 1lb less on the bag). I have the Exped 7 and it is far more comfortable than any other camp mattress that I've used before (including Thermarest's top of the line 'luxury' offerings). Given your budget, I would take a close look at REI's offerings. If you can spend more, look into the name brands (Marmot, etc.).

    Bottom line: consider the cost, weight, and comfort of the entire system.

  12. #12
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtclifford View Post
    I admit I am intrigued by the big Agnes sleeping system, however I am finding a hard time finding a decent bag in my price range. The Savery SL and the Zirkel SL seem to be the kind I am looking for but the Zirkel is very expensive, what kind of pad would you recommend with the Savery? I was going to buy a thermarest neoair, but if I can pick up a decent bag Agnes pad that matches the bag for cheaper I might be able to spend a lil more on the bag.
    I'd buy the Big Agnes pad over the Thermarest. The Neoair seems to be trying to copy the Big Agnes (same pack size, same weight). BA has several mummy bag pads from $55 for an uninsulated 15 oz to a $105 Dual core a 3 lb hunk of lead Personally, I've used the Insulated Air Core ($80) (about 2 lb) in mountain camping and was very comfortable.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    There are too many choices, none of which do I have personal experience with.

    General considerations:
    • I'm 6'4". A long sleeping bag seems plenty long enough for me.
    • I only tour in the summer. Most nights aren't too cold, although up in the mountains it can get pretty cold. I have a 20 degree bag. It's not as warm as it used to be (10 years ago) but it's still fine. I carry clothes I can wear to bed if it's too cold - polypro tops, sweatpants.
    • Down is lighter and compresses more for the same amount of insulation, but is worthless when it's wet. I have synthetic fill - 3D. It's never gotten wet on tour. I'd like to try down for my next bag.
    • Mummy bags are lighter and warmer than rectangular. I find them a little constricting but it's not a big deal to me. Others hate them.

  14. #14
    Ceci n'est pas un vélo. mtclifford's Avatar
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    Well I am going to buy a bag today, I am still on the fence between the Big Agnes Savery SL and the Big Agnes lost ranger. Same price, same weight basically. The difference is the Lost Ranger is a classic shape, rated 5 degrees colder and down. The Savery is mummy, and synthetic.

  15. #15
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    The pad and bag stay put when you roll over instead of the bag going with you like regular bags.
    For summer use (and for this thread's purposes) that would be ok. I take it there's no hood in the bag and a very loose fit in general? Not a good idea in colder temps.

    --J
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  16. #16
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha View Post
    I take it there's no hood in the bag and a very loose fit in general? Not a good idea in colder temps.
    With a few exceptions (superlight bags for indoors or very warm nights), B.A. bags do have hoods and draft collars. Yes, they are also a very lose fit. That lose fit is the big plus for me, maybe not for all. What Cyccommute said about it being like sleeping in a bed is a good way to put it.

  17. #17
    Member crosscountry08's Avatar
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    Last summer I took a cross US tour and used the Big Agnes Classic Crystal bag and it was the smartest investment of the whole trip. I couldnt have been happier with the bag. There are cheaper bags out there I'm sure but it was well worth the money.

  18. #18
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha View Post
    For summer use (and for this thread's purposes) that would be ok. I take it there's no hood in the bag and a very loose fit in general? Not a good idea in colder temps.

    --J
    Nope. My Encampment and my Lost Ranger (current) bags have a hood, baffles, drawstrings and the whole 9 yards. They aren't as close fitting as a traditional mummy bag but they are still pretty warm. Colorado nights tend to be rather cold with temperature dipping regularly below 0C (32 F for you metrically challenged folks). I'd rather stay on the pad to keep my heat in the bag then roll off the bag and loose it to the ground. The Lost Ranger is a bit narrower then the Encampment.

    Lost Ranger



    Encampment



    If it gets cold enough for a 15 F bag to be too cold, I'll 1. add clothes underneath or 2. find somewhere else to travel
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  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    I did a bit of research on this a while ago with a friend who works at an outdoor shop. The key points were:

    1) Don't compare temperature ratings. Each manufacturer uses very different methods and semantics. Some use survival ratings, with hood done up as tight as possible etc.
    2) For a given fill and size, the lighter the bag, the less warm it is. There's no way around this. If you want to be warmer, you need more down/primaloft/...
    3) Some people like "mummy" bags. Some don't.
    4) A good sleeping mat (eg, exped downmat) can make a very big difference to your warmth, since most heat is lost to the floor, not the air.
    5) There are different grades of down, with different levels of "loft". More is warmer/lighter.
    6) Some people "sleep warm", others "sleep cold". Two similarly sized men could sleep in the same tent in the model of sleeping bag, on the same sleeping mat, and one could be cold. I sleep freezing cold

    Given all that, I'd find a bag that would suit you, then find the cheapest equivalent bag - same fill, same weight.

    For me, after one tour too many where I got bad sleep in a synthetic bag on a closed cell foam mat (while wearing all my thermals and woolens), I bought a good down bag and exped downmat. I doubt I will ever have a cold night of camping again. (Possible exception this friday night, camping in the snow on a mountain...)
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  20. #20
    Ceci n'est pas un vélo. mtclifford's Avatar
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    I ended up buying the lost ranger, figure it would give me more room.

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