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20 Deg bag or 40 Deg bag?

Old 03-30-09, 08:29 PM
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20 Deg bag or 40 Deg bag?

I am looking to buy a new sleeping bag. My current one is about 35 years old . You probably figured I have not done any camping in a while.

I don't want to spend a whole ton of money. I am looking at Campmor at this two bags:

A twenty degree


and a

Forty Degree

The 20 Deg is about 1lb 3 ounces heavier and the stuff size about the same. I will mostly be camping in fairly warm weather but do plan on touring YSP, which I understand even in August can get pretty cold.

Any thoughts on which one I should buy?

I was thinking of maybe going for the light bag and if I need more warmth just buy a liner but on the other hand that is just more junk I need to carry.

Last edited by spinnaker; 03-30-09 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 03-30-09, 08:37 PM
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REI deal of the day is a cheap bag:
https://www.rei.com/product/767275

they have a big selection of 3 season bags.

Why a rectangular bag? Much colder for your feet. Also, I've done most of my touring with a down bag - for the warmth, it's lighter & stuffs smaller. And since you are bike touring, not backpacking, if it gets wet by accident, just go to a laundromat or hotel and stick it in the drier on "air".

I've been hailed and snowed on in August in Yellowstone (YSP?) I'd go with something warmer than 40, you can always unzip when it's hot, then you can use it on colder trips too.
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Old 03-30-09, 08:57 PM
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I thought that a rectangular would be more comfortable. More room to move around.

I consider synthetic because in case I got it wet and cost. I never really considered that I could go to a laundromat.
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Old 03-30-09, 09:07 PM
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I'd consider spending a little more and getting a 20 degree down mummy bag that'll be lighter and stuff much smaller than the 40 degree model you're considering. That's what I did 35 years ago when I got my current bag and it's been used on quite a few trips every year since then. And, unlike you, I'm not yet in the market for a replacement.
Mine has yet to get wet except when being washed, but bike campers are usually not in as bad a predicament as backpackers if their sleeping bag should happen to get wet. We're usually not as far removed from laundromats and locations where emergency shelter could be found. And I find the compact stuffed size of down bags to be particularly useful for the bike camper.
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Old 03-30-09, 09:14 PM
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Spin, I know that North Face is better at rating their bags then say Slumberjack (of which I own a couple) but take those ratings with a large grain of salt and I figure add at least ten degrees to the stated rating for MOST people for most bags. With Slumberjack add even more.
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Old 03-30-09, 09:21 PM
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I recommend getting the Campmor 20 down bag, either mummy or rectangular. Both are lighter than the bags you currently list and will pack smaller. I have the Campmor 0 down bag and find the quality of it very good given it's price. I would buy another. On-line reviews of the Campmor bag are also very positive. The 20 vs 40 -- 20 is the better bet. If too warm, easy enough to open the bag, but if the temperatures drop unexpectedly, it is so much nicer to have a warm bag. I also recommend buying a bag liner to help keep the bag clean; silk is nice, and I've found the Kelty Poly/Cotton Blend Hostel Liner also nice inside a sleeping bag (or on top in warmer weather).
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Old 03-30-09, 10:21 PM
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Pretty much what was already said but especially recommend the liner. The liner will keep your bag cleaner and make it more comfortable since the liner will feel more like cotton as compared to the bag which will feel like...nylon. You really appreciate the liner on days you are not able to shower since the liner will feel a lot less sticky. I put mine in the stuff sack w/ my bag so it doesn't take up any more room. I really recommend a down bag as it will compress to a much smaller size compared to a synthetic and will last five times longer. At least that's the way it was years ago. Maybe synthetics are a lot better now. I also have been in many wet places but my bag has always stayed dry. This will help to keep it dry:
https://www.outdoorresearch.com/site/...y%20Sacks.html
Mummy bags are smaller, lighter and keep your feet warmer but for a lot of people, they are too constricting so put on some socks and go for the rectangular if you think you will sleep better.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:02 AM
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Where or what is YSP?
I would say that a 40F bag isn't warm enough for high altitudes in Summer or even lower altitudes in Spring and Fall many places. Personally I wouldn't consider a rectangular bag, but it is your choice. A 32 F was OK for everything we saw on our XC tour in 2007, but I have been chilly in it at times on other trips.

I usually go with synthetic, but it isn't that hard to keep a down bag dry. I might be more inclined to go with down if my daughter didn't have an allergic reaction when she sleeps in the same tent with one.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:57 AM
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I'd go with the 40 deg bag and if it gets cold just put on extra clothes
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Old 03-31-09, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
I was thinking of maybe going for the light bag and if I need more warmth just buy a liner but on the other hand that is just more junk I need to carry.
Aren't you gonna have at least one set of winter clothing for this trip? Forget the liner and just sleep in them if it gets too cold. The liner wouldn't help that much anyway. Otherwise, go for the 20 degree bag.
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Old 03-31-09, 11:09 AM
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I recently purchased a Marmot never summer 0 degree down bag. great bag.

Definitely go with a down bag.
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Old 03-31-09, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum
Aren't you gonna have at least one set of winter clothing for this trip? Forget the liner and just sleep in them if it gets too cold.
A liner can be useful, but layering is definitely the way to extend the temperature range. I tour with a 3-season quilt and have a combo of clothing layers that will keep me warm on the bike down to freezing so the combination of the two is good to well below freezing. My layers for sleeping in extreme cold are

3 season quilt
merino wool hat
Marmot driclime windshirt
merino wool long sleeve T shirt
cycling knickers
merino wool long underwear
socks
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Old 03-31-09, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl
REI deal of the day is a cheap bag:
https://www.rei.com/product/767275

they have a big selection of 3 season bags.

Why a rectangular bag? Much colder for your feet. Also, I've done most of my touring with a down bag - for the warmth, it's lighter & stuffs smaller. And since you are bike touring, not backpacking, if it gets wet by accident, just go to a laundromat or hotel and stick it in the drier on "air".

I've been hailed and snowed on in August in Yellowstone (YSP?) I'd go with something warmer than 40, you can always unzip when it's hot, then you can use it on colder trips too.
I spent the weekend with this bag in the Payson, AZ area; ~4700 ft, low 36 + 10mph wind. Every bit of my body was toasty, and nearly too hot, except my feet (which were a bit cold). On top of that, the bag is extremely tiny when compressed.
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Old 03-31-09, 12:05 PM
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Man American temperatures are messed up. At first glance I thought, "at 40 degrees, you need an air conditioner not a sleeping bag"
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Old 03-31-09, 04:00 PM
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I concur with the "Nun".

After purchasing one of those overpriced Exped downmat sleeping pads last fall, it finally dawned on me that I was already carrying all this warm clothes and that I could rely on a lighter, smaller sleeping bag if I wanted.

I made it - quite comfortably - through several teen and twenty degree nights with a 40 degree sleeping bag, while wearing some extra layers of clothes and nuzzled into the downmat. My sleeping bag now weighs one pound. I carry the same clothes as before. Seems like progress to me but I do reserve the right to change my mind, probably when the downmat deflates.
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Old 03-31-09, 04:26 PM
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I grabbed this one because it's cheap. I suggest, synthetic (wet down, yucch), 20 degrees (Murphy's Law) and semi-rectangular. That hood you won't use most of the time. But you'll love it when you do.

https://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___80627
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Old 03-31-09, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by robow
Spin, I know that North Face is better at rating their bags then say Slumberjack (of which I own a couple) but take those ratings with a large grain of salt and I figure add at least ten degrees to the stated rating for MOST people for most bags. With Slumberjack add even more.
I couldn't agree more. The a 20 degree temperature rating doesn't mean you'll be comfortable at 20 degrees. It means you have at least a 50% chance of waking up alive if the temp dips to 20 degrees overnight.

Ok, I'm exaggerating a little.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by late
I grabbed this one because it's cheap. I suggest, synthetic (wet down, yucch), 20 degrees (Murphy's Law) and semi-rectangular. That hood you won't use most of the time. But you'll love it when you do.

https://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___80627
7 pounds -_-
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Old 03-31-09, 05:12 PM
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Down is our of the question. It is just too expensive for what might be one tour with camping.

Yes I am aware that the rating is the survivability rating. That is why I am leaning toward the 20 deg bag.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:39 PM
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Hey, I just bought that same North Face 40 degree bag last week! But I got it for indoors because my 10 degree mummy bag was too warm for that use.

Having slept in it for a few nights in indoors temps in the low 60's, I can definitely say I will NOT take it on any outdoor camping trips north of Biloxi. It's pretty thin, it has no flap to keep cold air from coming in at the zipper, and the big rectangular foot area takes a long time to warm up my feet.
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Old 03-31-09, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Boston Commuter
Hey, I just bought that same North Face 40 degree bag last week! But I got it for indoors because my 10 degree mummy bag was too warm for that use.

Having slept in it for a few nights in indoors temps in the low 60's, I can definitely say I will NOT take it on any outdoor camping trips north of Biloxi. It's pretty thin, it has no flap to keep cold air from coming in at the zipper, and the big rectangular foot area takes a long time to warm up my feet.

Thanks for the tip.

Maybe this one then?

https://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___47676

It has a draft tube and is semirectangular which should keep my feet warm pplus give me a little room to move around.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
I thought that a rectangular would be more comfortable. More room to move around.
I can't do a mummy bag for that exact reason, I can't stand my feet restricted.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:20 PM
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Sorry - I can't help myself

So - a guy can bring the 40 degree 7 pound Slumberjack and I can bring the 7 of the 40 degree one pound Marmot bags and carry the same weight. That means I'll be warm down to -240 F......
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