Oct 20, 2009 at 3:44 am #1240407
I need to get better-half a winter sleeping bag (15*) she can use car camping with our scout troop. Weight not an issue so synthetic is fine and cheaper. She's 5'4.
ChuckOct 20, 2009 at 8:09 am #1538037
Does your wife enjoy camping. e.g. is should going to use the bag for a few years to accompany you and your son or is she going to continue once scouts is done. If this is a long term activity down while expensive upfront is cheaper in the long run.
As to what bag in particular… how could will it get? Will she be supplementing the bag with clothing and if so what? Does your wife sleep cold?
–MarkOct 20, 2009 at 8:49 am #1538053
Depends on how little you're looking to spend. I've got a GoLite Adrenaline 0 degree bag (nice and toasty!), men's regular (so plenty of room) that I'm selling for $250. A great, warm down bag at a synthetic price. FWIW.
DougOct 20, 2009 at 11:11 am #1538120
Since you are just going car camping get something that is comfortable and warm. I'd say the cheaper the better since weight isn't an issue.
I have a 20 degree bag from alpine designs I bought from sports authority. Its 30 bucks, weighs 3.5 pounds, and has good construction. Its perfect for car camping but i would probably get a rectangle instead of a mummy for added comfort (though the mummy will be warmer).
My favorite part about the bag is that it has a separate zipper for the footbox so I can be fully enclosed and vent my feet to get to the perfect temperature.Oct 20, 2009 at 11:53 am #1538136
I would probably get a warmer bag especially if synthetic, like 0dF.
I know it says non down but..
Campmor 20dF down bag is still fairly light and cheap – $120, if she can deal with a 20dF bag.
Warmer Campmor down bag 0dF – $150
Eureka Casper 15dF synthetic bag – $60-$80
The mens version is tight.
Various slumberjack bags all about $60-80.
The REI outlet has a few womens 15dF bags for about $100.Oct 20, 2009 at 12:23 pm #1538146
@hikin_jimLocale: Orange County, CA, USA
If it's just a few times, you might consider renting. Buy a liner and then just rent the bag.
If you want to buy, Sierra Trading Post has a Marmot (good brand) Sorcerer for $60.00.
I typically think of 15F as a little light for a winter bag. I usually think in terms of 0F for a winter bag. Of course your the best judge of the conditions where you'll be camping.
Beware of brands that aren't really backcountry type brands. I've seen cheap knock off bags with a 30F rating (yeah, right) that I wouldn't take out in 50F weather.Oct 20, 2009 at 12:52 pm #1538158
Keep mind that a lot of bags are "optimistic" about the temp they can be used down to. I sleep warm, but didn't find the campmor 20F worked well for me below 30F. Some women sleep really cold. So my Versalite which I can use without clothing to below it's rated 10F is just about right for my wife in 35F temps wearing mid-weight fleece and a heavy hat.
You might also think about supplementing the bags warmth. I have been know to take the down duvet from our bed and spread it over my wife and daughters sleeping bags to give them extra warmth on car camping trips where we suspected their sleeping bag wasn't going to be warm enough.
On the renting -vs- buying… depends on the number of trips you are likely to do and the rental rates. Some clubs make equipment available for free or very low cost. My BS troop have a free gear locker and stanford's club will rent a 0F bag for $6 for a weekend.
–MarkOct 20, 2009 at 1:07 pm #1538165
If a 15-degree bag will work in the conditions you expect, two particluarly nice options that are both reasonable and accurately rated are the Marmot Women's Angel Fire (600-fill down) for $209 and the Marmot Women's Trestles (synthetic) for $99.
Each can be had rather easily at a 20% discount with a bit of shopping, and from experience I can say both will keep an "average" sleeper warm pretty close to their rated temperatures.Oct 20, 2009 at 1:55 pm #1538178
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Like Mark suggested, we just take our down duvet from home when we are car camping. Of course it IS 6" of Hungarian down, and king size, but it is toasty down to almost any temps we may encounter. If you don't have one of these, then maybe just get a thick king size synthetic duvet from a bargain store and add it to whatever sleeping bag you may already have? The only reason to spend a lot of money on a sleep system is if weight and compactness is an issue, which it isn't!Oct 20, 2009 at 2:21 pm #1538189
Be aware that women sleep colder than men. If you want to avoid optimistic ratings, buy bags that comply with the EN13537 rating system:
This way you know that you have a standardised system and won't be buying a bag that is dangerously over rated.
P.Oct 20, 2009 at 4:06 pm #1538236
Alas… it appears there is variance in EN 13537. Depending on what lab did the test might result in different ratings :-(
–markOct 21, 2009 at 2:17 am #1538368
Hello Mark. I took the time to read the papers that the article you posted referred to. Although there can be variation, the standard is designed to keep people alive. So far, I have not used a bag with the EN rating that has been what I would call under insulated.
I do consider it good practice to always wear dry thermal underwear, a beanie (hat), socks and use a thick mat in winter. In saying this, I might possibly be dressing in the same manner in which the manikins are being dressed and therefore the temperature rating is accurate for me. In summer the rating variation is not such an issue as the temperature will not generally have you hypothermic but in winter it's a different ball game.
As far as I can tell, the rating system is a big leap forward however it does need some work. Anyone with winter camping experience will do fine as they have learned not to cut it too fine with ratings.
P.Oct 21, 2009 at 7:40 am #1538409
> As far as I can tell, the rating system is a big leap forward however it does need some wor
I agree EN 13537 was a huge leap forward. I am sure that the variance can be largely addressed over time. I was just suggesting that two bags eval by different labs to have identical EN 13537 ratings might not have the same performance characteristics in the field.
–markOct 21, 2009 at 8:12 am #1538413
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
The main criticism is that the EN 13537 standard produces an accuracy of “ONLY” 1.8 C and not to the specified 1.0 C accuracy because of inter lab variability”… yawn!
The alternative is to let anarchy rein as it does in the US. Here the marketing departments specify the temperature ratings based on what they think will sell the most units. FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) helps to maintain the status quo.Oct 21, 2009 at 9:51 am #1538441
@ramblerLocale: On the AT in VA
I might have what you want. I sent PMOct 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm #1538475
> produces an accuracy of “ONLY” 1.8 C
Ack! I misread the report. Sorry that I was promoting FUD.
–MarkOct 21, 2009 at 2:29 pm #1538525
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
What you really have here is a turf war between the Institute for Environmental Research at Kansas State University (which is responsible for the older ASTM F 1720 test method and headed up by Dr McCullough,) and the several European test labs which test to and support the newer EN13537 test method.
Sure, it might be good in the long run to tighten up some of the issues like the exact definition of the thermals layer etc in EN13537, but these things don't detract from the measured fact that many American manufacturers' claims of bag performance are just so much hog wash.
The fact that EN13537 specs have error bars at all is an improvement anyhow.
CheersOct 21, 2009 at 5:44 pm #1538592
Thanks all. In mid-Atlantic 15* is pretty cold for us. Anything below that and I would supplement her bag with fleece liner plus clothes.
We are active scouters who camp out 9-10 weekends a year plus weeklong summer camp, plus family camping so renting wouldn't work. I don't see her hiking in real cold weather hence my criteria.
Unfortunately she will not get in a used bag, she's not a snob, but fairy germaphopic:) In hotels she brings own satin pillowcase.
She has a WM Highlite for milder weather but says fabric too slippery. I'll look into some of the suggestions given so thanks so much.
ChuckOct 21, 2009 at 8:13 pm #1538628
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
OK, sounds like you could buy here a nice down quilt for Xmas, to go over her bag. (Brownie points?)
CheersNov 5, 2009 at 4:26 pm #1543183
well don't leave us hanging
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