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Old 05-12-13, 09:14 PM   #1
cyclingchief
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sleeping gear

I am new to bike touring. I have a tent, using backpacks as panniers and have everything I need for my ride from Pitt to DC this summer. I am interested in some opinions about sleeping gear. I am going in July, and I am from Arizona so 70 degrees and below require a sleeping bag to be comfortable. Looking at the temp ranges in that area, I know I will need a bag and an inflatable mat, but I want something that is not bulky and will fit on my back rack. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-12-13, 10:34 PM   #2
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Down filled ..
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Old 05-12-13, 11:02 PM   #3
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Down filled ..
And air filled
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Old 05-13-13, 02:46 AM   #4
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Plus one to both of the previous comments. Sleeping bags comes down to how much you want to spend as well; whether you can cope with bulky bags during the day as well as temperatures. I now use a MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 which is a good temperature range for myself in my tent in my conditions, but what really sold me on it was that it packs down some small. Just love that aspect, well and the weight and the fact that it "hugs".



As far as a mat goes I use an Exped Synmat UL 7S which again packs down small, but is not durable and hence I have a love hate relationship with it and Exped

Andrew
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Old 05-13-13, 07:25 AM   #5
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For summer sleeping you might consider down quilt instead of a bag. I got one from enLightened Equipment for a summer trip last year and am very happy with it. It's lighter and cheaper than a comparable bag. I also live in AZ and the quilt has become my main piece of gear. I go for durability in pads (because I live in AZ) so I use a closed cell foam Ridgerest.
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Old 05-13-13, 07:56 AM   #6
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I am going in July, and I am from Arizona so 70 degrees and below require a sleeping bag to be comfortable.
Doing the GAP & C&O are we? The average low in Cumberland, MD in July is 62. Factor in the likely humidity and you very well might find yourself sleeping on top of your sleeping bag. I would not take a very warm bag or very thick mattress. I would go with a synthetic bag if you have concerns about keeping down dry in possible heavy thunderstorms that can be common in July.
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Old 05-13-13, 08:19 AM   #7
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I've never tried a quilt, as recommended by andrewclaus, but I've heard good things about them.

For the past few years I've been using a 40F down-filled Big Agnes bag. They're notable for having insulation only on the top. The bottom is uninsulated and has a sleeve for an inflatable air mattress. (I use the Big Agnes Air Core.)

I also carry a Sea to Summit "Reactor Thermolite Liner." I like a liner for several reasons: 1) Adds warmth when it gets too cold for my 40F bag; 2) Good by itself when it's too warm for my 40F bag; and 3) Helps to keep the sleeping bag clean, and the liner can be readily laundered.

Last edited by Derailed; 05-13-13 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 05-13-13, 09:08 AM   #8
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Light synthetic at most for that area and time, for reasons mentioned by Indyfabz. HUMID. NeoAir fan myself.
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Old 05-14-13, 12:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cyclingchief View Post
I am new to bike touring. I have a tent, using backpacks as panniers and have everything I need for my ride from Pitt to DC this summer. I am interested in some opinions about sleeping gear. I am going in July, and I am from Arizona so 70 degrees and below require a sleeping bag to be comfortable. Looking at the temp ranges in that area, I know I will need a bag and an inflatable mat, but I want something that is not bulky and will fit on my back rack. Any suggestions?
OP: This bag is on sale and works well at well under 4 pounds. Keep you toasty when cold yet breaths well on warm nights. Easily repacks small and neatly into its provided stuff sack. Perfect for sitting sideways on the top of a front or rear rack with the included/integrated strap. PM if you want a picture of it on the rack.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This tent is on sale and is very nice for single touring. In its stuff bag it easily fits vertically in a pannier or lash to top of the rack. It is only 1 pound 11 ounces. Easy to set up and quick to repack for departure.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Both of the above checked for tall tourers and are good to go up to 6 foot 5 inch riders

/K
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Old 05-14-13, 04:42 PM   #10
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...This tent is on sale and is very nice for single touring. In its stuff bag it easily fits vertically in a pannier or lash to top of the rack. It is only 1 pound 11 ounces. Easy to set up and quick to repack for departure.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
/K
The Lightyear 1 weighs 2 pounds 11 ounces "minimum" and three pounds "packed" (assume that means stakes, lines, stuff sack).
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Old 05-14-13, 04:47 PM   #11
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... & how claustrophobic you are .. lightest bags are called 'mummy bags' for a reason .

.. but you might emerge a Butterfly in the Morning..
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Old 05-14-13, 05:40 PM   #12
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I would just pick up a fleece sleeping bag at Wal-mart for those temperatures. A good down sleeping bag is an investment and should be purchased with all your trips in mind and not just a single weeklong trip.
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Old 05-14-13, 06:15 PM   #13
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If you have an REI store (at home or near your starting point) that rents sleeping bags it would be a good chance to "try before you buy" a bag for this warm weather tour.
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Old 05-14-13, 06:38 PM   #14
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NB: Clear skies in the desert dont keep the days heat .. it getts quite cold, at night, on the High Desert.
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Old 05-15-13, 08:18 AM   #15
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I also like a bag liner. I use a Cool Max Travel Sheet and carry it along with some other insulation. If it's warm enough, I just use the bag liner. Then I also have a military poncho liner that I'll use, too, if it's a little chillier. If I'm prepared for cooler temps, I'll bring my summer weight bag, and if I think it'll get downright cold, I'll bring the heavier-duty bag. All my stuff is synthetic, so it doesn't pack as small as I'd like, but I'm cheap, and I also tend to avoid camping in too cold of weather, so it's not that bulky. I think carrying multiple pieces of bedding bulks up your gear as well, but it's also more versatile. I went for a long weekend a few weeks ago and took the summer-weight bag, the bag liner, and the poncho liner. Temps dropped lower every night, and I think I started out the weekend in the bag liner and ended the weekend sleeping under every piece of bedding I had. But I was comfortable every night, so it was worth it. If I had only packed for the coldest night, I would have had only my heavy-duty bag and bag liner, which would have left me choosing between too warm and too cold on the warmer nights. Also a light, wool base layer might not pack too large and might be useful if temps drop lower than what your bedding is good for.
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Old 05-15-13, 09:12 AM   #16
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This works for me for warm weather touring....and it's roomy

If there should be a freaky cold night, I just put on my rain suit.

Alps Summer Lake
  • 55 Degree - 1 lb. TechLoft+ Fill
  • MicroFiber "Sheet Top"
  • Compression Stuff Sack Included
Shape: Rectangle
Dimensions: 33" x 80"
Weight: 2 lb. 7 oz.
Zipper: #8 Separating


http://www.alpsmountaineering.com/al...e#.UZOkfvUo5D8
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Old 05-15-13, 09:32 AM   #17
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I once camped along the C&O canal path in June and it was warm and humid and the mosquitos were hungry. They couldn't bite me but their buzzing drove me mad; I had an early model bivvy sack, and the netting wasn't very far from my face. You need a covering which provides for ventilation, mosquito protection as well as rain protection.
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Old 05-15-13, 09:40 AM   #18
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I keep destroying sleeping pads. Oh how i loved my exped. I switched to the car camping extra tough thermarest and it survived an 8 mo tour.
Bring a sheet of some sort. aka bag liner
For a summer weight bag synthetic is fine. I'd totally vote down for a bag to keep you warm at 10k feet.
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Old 05-15-13, 10:34 AM   #19
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I just weighed my tent (2 man kelty with aluminum poles),air mattress and summer sleeping bag and their sacks

9 lbs 14 oz

Cost $1.17 per oz :-)
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Old 05-15-13, 11:08 AM   #20
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This tent is on sale and is very nice for single touring. In its stuff bag it easily fits vertically in a pannier or lash to top of the rack. It is only 1 pound 11 ounces. Easy to set up and quick to repack for departure.
It's a well-liked tent. It's not that light. It's more like 3 lbs of real weight.

http://www.campmor.com/sierra-design...r-1-tent.shtml

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The Lightyear 1 weighs 2 pounds 11 ounces "minimum" and three pounds "packed" (assume that means stakes, lines, stuff sack).
Yes.
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