Jan 26, 2007 at 10:09 am #1221428
I saw a sale on a lafuma 30 degree bag (sales ad & specs below), 2lbs 5 oz, for $40. It's twice as heavy as the one I'd like to carry, but this one is definitely within my budget. Can some of you more experienced hikers give me the pros and cons on the construction, durability, etc., of this bag?
(begin sales ad & specs)
This GR 1000 sleeping bag from Lafuma® offers smart design features at a price that won't break your budget!
Lafuma's Warm Loft 3D polyester insulation efficiently retains body heat
Polyester microfiber lining is soft, incredibly lightweight and durable
Insulated hood features a drawcord, making quick adjustments and improving thermal efficiency a cinch
Cold-proof flap, wind-protective curve zones and insulated draft tube backing zipper keep warm air in and cold air out
Warm-Up system lets you expand or contract baffles in the chest and foot areas to provide either more wiggle room or better heat efficiency
Internal pocket keeps all your essentials within easy reach, secures with hook-and-loop closure
The bag has a full-length, right-handed auto-locking two-way zipper
Specs: Lafuma GR 1000 +30 Sleeping Bag – Special Buy
Comfort rating 30 degrees Fahrenheit
Average weight 2 lbs. 5 oz.
Shell Polyester ripstop
Lining Polyester microfiber
Fits up to 6 ft. 6 in.
Shoulder girth 62 inches
Stuff sack size 7 x 14 inchesJan 26, 2007 at 12:28 pm #1375851
@happycamperLocale: South Bayish
For $40 bucks it sounds good. If price is your #1 priority then almost anything in your price range will work (does that sound like circular logic?)
Synthetic fill sleeping bags have their place, primarily in wet/cold conditions. This bag's weight isn't too heavy for a 30' bag, especially for $40.
The bag is sized as a long at 6 ft 6 in. Are you over 6 feet tall, do you need a long or is there a regular sized option? You can save weight this way.
Is the bag really good to 30'? You might be able to guesstimate the loft from a picture. Even if it isn't it might still meet your needs.
Synthetic bags don't compress to as small a volume as down bags. Determine if this bag will fit in your pack.
Campmor.com sells their brand of down sleeping bags for cheap. You may want to check them out.Jan 26, 2007 at 1:12 pm #1375864
Thanks for the post Stephen. I'm 5'4" and will look for a shorter bag. Campmor.com sounds good too. I don't have a bag cover for a down bag and feel I would need one in Maine. Weather can change quickly here and I'm not experienced enough to compensate for a wet bag when I'm cold. Any other observations/suggestions welcome! BTW, here's a photo of the lafuma bag;Jan 26, 2007 at 2:54 pm #1375877
I ordered one of these last week for the same reasons you are interested in it. I've been looking for a synthetic bag for 3 season use, and this one doesn't weigh much more than most 40 degree bags I've seen. I haven't picked it up yet, but I figure that even if I hate it, it will work fine for me this season. Sure, it's not the lightest thing ever, but 2lb 5oz is light enough for me at my stage of things.
I guess since this is my first post after a few weeks of lurking, I should introduce myself a little. I'm buying gear to go on my first trips since boy scouts over this season. I'm hoping to get in a few 2 night hiking trips in MA/NH/VT and maybe a canoe trip in maine.
I am replacing a bag which is not suitable for backpacking at all, and I think my base weight will be around 13 pounds. While this is not UL, I am content with lightweight, versitile, durable and comfortable, but with an eye on the UL and SUL pioneers. Some of you folks really impress (and kinda scare) me.Jan 26, 2007 at 4:01 pm #1375886
@happycamperLocale: South Bayish
Check out this bag on STP. I think it is the short length but wide width. Good price for GoLite.
Or this for super-cheapo sleeping bag.
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/319,79391_Alps-Mountaineering-20-F-Sleeping-Bag-Alpine-Lake-.htmlJan 27, 2007 at 7:23 am #1375970
Thanks guys. I really appreciate the posts.
Jaiden, I think it's great that you're getting back into it. I'm pretty much in the same boat – I have stuff for day trips but not really suitable for extended hiking. I'm applying all over the place for small grants, donors and sponsors for my project to film the Appalachian Trail, but if they don't come through I'll be on a really tight budget. If I get my "wish list" my base pack weight will come in around 11 pounds including video cameras. If not, my base pack weight will probably be 13-15 since cheaper gear is usually heavier. Here's a link if you want to know more about it.
Stephen, I checked out the links – thanks for the help btw. I think my vote is still for the lafuma at this point. The Alps bag was cheaper but it also weighed almost 4 pounds. I can give up 10 degrees of warmth and $6 for over a pound of difference. If it had been a choice between a 40 degree bag and a 30 degree bag……… well, I would have had to debate it a lot longer.
Thanks again, and keep the ideas and advice coming!Jan 27, 2007 at 8:49 am #1375972
Jane, I own several bags, and feel down is your best bet for warmth/weight. You have no bag cover, but if you only open it in your tent you will be ok. The Lafuma 600(gram) bag is a 40 degree bag for $80, and you can sleep in your insulation layer to push it another 10'F (but test that before you go).
Lafuma tests via EN13537, so the ratings are no b.s.
Buy a down bag, and it will become a long lasting part of your future sleeping system. In fact, 2 of these could be used one inside the other to make one, 1.2 kg, 3 season bag for $160. Get them right/left zip and you would have more versatility.
Why don't you open a paypal account and let BPL members "email" you small donations for your trip? Just several $10 donations would get you the bag I mentioned. I'd start it off with $10 for your good cause. I think I know a few members here who would do the same..
As for a sleeping bag cover, mylar survival blankets are about $15. They dont breathe but leave the top open and use it to keep the lower half dry in your tent. (if you are using one?)
Jan 27, 2007 at 10:52 am #1375979
Brett, thank you for your post. I do have a website for the project that contains a PayPal button to donate. If you and others would like to kick start the donations, that would be really great! Here's the link:
The PayPal address is firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd rather skip the website and go directly to Paypal. If there are any problems with the process, please let me know immediately and I will remedy them.
BTW, all donors will have full access to a page on the website which will fully disclose funds received/spent and gear donated/used. So far I only have donations from family members and close friends, so there has been no need to post the page. I will get right on it when funds and gear come in!
Used gear that fits the general description on the Gear page of the website will also be gratefully accepted, posted as received/used during project, and will probably qualify donor for discounted or free DVD(s) depending on the retail value of the gear. USPS address is: Filming the AT Project, c/o DownEast Webs, PO Box 57, Jonesport Me 04649.
I have hesitated to boldly ask for donations on this site because it has given me such a wealth of info and I didn't want to turn people off. Any donations will be MOST GRATEFULLY accepted, though!
Thanks again for everything!Jan 27, 2007 at 6:17 pm #1376015
@kirkolsLocale: Florida and Seattle
Great find. I ordered two and googled a media code for an extra 10% off.
Thanks!Jan 27, 2007 at 6:53 pm #1376019
Hi Kirk, what do you google to get discount media codes? That sounds like a good thing to know!Jan 27, 2007 at 9:44 pm #1376033
Happy to hear that you are making your dream happen. I have a few gear questions for you before I offer any advice or comments…
1. When you refer to a bag cover do you mean a bivy? I am not criticizing your phrasing of this…I just want to make sure that I am on the right page and that there isn't something out there that I don't know about.
2. What time of year are you going? Is is during thru-hiker season for NoBo or SoBo or a not as busy time?
3. Looking at your segment schedule on your website it appears that you'll be stopping most nights at either a road or a lean-to…will you be staying in the lean-tos?
4. If you are staying in the lean-tos do you think you would need a sleeping bag cover and that you would be able to keep a down bag dry in the lean-to as long as you could keep it dry in your pack.
5. Have you thought about looking at the gear posting section and getting some of your gear used?
I hope I haven't overwhelmed you but I'd like to understand more fully your needs before I comment on bag/gear selection. Thanks and happy trails,
NITROJan 27, 2007 at 10:22 pm #1376034
For your clarification: a bivouac sack, bivy, bivy sack, bivi bag or even bag cover are the same thing.
For example check out Montbell’s Breeze Dry-Tec U.L. Sleeping Bag Cover.Jan 28, 2007 at 5:50 am #1376055
@kirkolsLocale: Florida and Seattle
I just typed "Uncle Dan's Media Code" in Google and found a 10% discount from Austin-Lehman (an outfitter in Billings, MT) . The media code is "austinlehman". It is a good practice to look for some sort of discount or coupon code for nearly every internet purchase.
KJan 28, 2007 at 8:29 am #1376069
Anitra, thanks for your questions and your well wishes. I'll try to answer everything, so here goes.
1. Yes, a lightweight, water resistant cover for the down bag.
2. SoBo.Ideal time weather-wise & bug-wise in Maine would be August/Sept for filming, maybe into Oct if weather holds for first portion. If funding comes through in a major way I may need to start in June/July to get more done & results edited/posted for donors & sponsors to see.
3. I think I would prefer to stay in my tent as much as possible. I'm afraid cameras might get banged up, wetter, etc in a crowded lean-to situation. I use the lean-to as a trail marker since they're easy to spot on the maps. I'm still learning a LOT about the Trail.
4. As above, would rather stay in tent, but I'm also doing a little CYA since I'm not the most skilled hiker in the world. I don't have experience with down bags, wouldn't be confident I could handle a wet bag when I'm cold, so I would rather carry a few extra ounces (bag cover/bivy) at least until I'm sure it won't wreck my project to not have one along.
5. Yes! I look at them almost daily. I'm in the stage of comparing new/used prices, debating my gear list choices accordingly, and trying to be patient until I hear back from several potential sponsors. My drop dead timeline on waiting for sponsors is mid march. By then I'll have to start accumulating gear rapidly on my own.
I am personally on a tight budget, which would naturally affect my gear choices if I'm going out-of-pocket. If any sponsors come through I may be able to get closer to my ideal gear list. In the meantime I'm cruising the used gear sales, eBay, and online outlets for any "too good to pass up" deals.
Roger, thanks for clearing that up for me as well!
Kirk, thank you for the google advice. I will employ that regularly from now on!
All questions and suggestions very welcome! Thanks everyone!Jan 28, 2007 at 11:10 am #1376097
Kirk, thanks for the idea about "media codes" I had no idea, and this is sure to save me some $$ in the future. I will always search for that now..
Jane, small donation made, "Transaction ID: 6K528631YB3987520 Placed on Jan. 28, 2007 – Filming the Appalachian Trail". I respect your position on not asking for donations. The ones here who want to donate, will.
Back to the sleeping bag subject.. I read your latest posts, and your site in more detail. You were willing to go with Marmot Pounders, a "40 degree" bag, which I happend to have researched heavily about a year ago;(read every review I could find) consensus is, it is not that warm, maybe 45' or higher. Therefore, I suggest the Lafuma synthetic "Extreme 600"(refering to it's weight of about 600g). It is a 1lb 4oz bag honestly rated via EN13537 to 45'F, for about $53, no tax if out of state, no shipping charges; great deal! ..at the same site;
That price includes Kirks GREAT tip about Media Codes.
I was really wary of down bags a couple years ago, afraid of getting them wet, so I bought Pertex shelled synthetic-fill 'Snugpaks', 700, 800, and 1400 grams. I highly recommend these bags (of course; they are what I chose), but they are expensive. But I digress from the point of my story.. I ended up discovering and buying Montbell Down Huggers, and I only use down now. Half the weight, and so comfortable! I pack them in a SealLine StormSack dry bag, which BPL rated highly, and I tested to be waterproof. But you need to trust your gear; so maybe synthetic is best for this trip.. Another good but pricey choice is a Montbell Super Stretch bag in synthetic instead of down. The stretch system is wonderful for numerous reasons.Jan 29, 2007 at 7:30 am #1376211
Brett, thank you very much for your donation as well as your research into sleeping bags. I really like the Lafuma Extreme 600 you posted. I think that's the one I'll aim for. It has a good weight and temp rating, it's definitely the right price, and it's synthetic. The mylar bag idea was a good one, too, if I need a lower temp rating for just a few dollars.Jan 29, 2007 at 4:08 pm #1376284
A note about polarguard. The temperature ratings/loft/CLO ratings given by manufacturers are all for the brand-new insulation. After a few months (and sometimes weeks) of toting a quilt or sleeping bag around stuffed at the bottom of your backpack, polarguard will lose about 40 to 50% of it's original loft. So a bag that was originally rated to 40degF will now be about 60degF. This doesn't bother me, since I'm fairly tolerant of cold and routinely sleep at sub-freezing temperaturs this past season with just 1.2" of polarguard insulation. But most people, especially at the start of the hiking season, are not so tolerant of cold. I should note that my polarguard quilt was designed to allow pulling the quilt over the head, thus saving respiratory warmth, which adds considerably to effective warmth, in my experience. (Many wild mammals, such as wolves, foxes, wildcats, have bushy tails which they use to cover their nose in very cold weather, in order to conserve respiratory warmth. Likewise, ducks and geese tuck their nose under their feathers for the same reason.)
I'm a big fan of polarguard, but you need to start with an extra-thick quilt in order to take into account loss of loft. I recommend 3 layers of 3oz polarguard for the average person for a 3-season quilt. This is equivalent to a bag rated to 0degF by the manufacturer. This much polarguard will soon compress to about 2" thick, which is what is normally considered adequate down to 20degF. A Jardine-style quilt like this will weigh about 1000 grams, and will take up about 1200cuin (20 liters) in your pack. By comparision, a down quilt would weigh perhaps 600 grams and take up about 400cuin.Jan 29, 2007 at 5:00 pm #1376293
Frank, thanks for your advice. I will take that into consideration as I put together my sleep system.
Will polargard re-loft like down? And if so, what should I do to help maintain the loft?Jan 29, 2007 at 7:45 pm #1376318
Polarguard will not readily reloft (Jardine says his experience is that it regains some of its loft, but that is not my experience) and there is little you can do to avoid loss of loft other than babying the quilt/bag. But again, this is not a problem if you just budget for loss of loft upfront. Make your quilt with 3 layers of Polarguard (about 3" thick) to start with and then it will shrink to about 2", which should be plenty for most 3-season use. Such a bag will be heavier and bulkier than down, but those are known disadvantages of polarguard. These disadvantages are offset by the known advantages in comparison to down. Namely, polarguard is quite resistant to losing loft due to absorbed condensation and is easily driable in the field, assuming it ever gets soaked.
I have used both down and polarguard in the past. I used polarguard for the past 4 years because I liked it foolproofness and I was experimenting with various flimsy tarp shelters, including for protection during ferocious summer thunderstorms. Now that I am confident that these shelters will give me adequate protection, I am returning to down.
People knock Polarguard because they buy 2" thick quilts and then the loft shrinks to 1.3" and that isn't adequate. Most of the manufacturers who advertise that they bags are good for 30deg, for example, start with just 2" of Polarguard. This is very misleading and contributes to the bad reputation of Polarguard. If you just start with 3" thick, which will shrink to maybe 2", then there won't be a problem.
Avoid any synthetic which is not made of continuous fiber insulation, either Polarguard or this newfangled Climashield that all the fabric stores are selling. In particular, that softie insulation used in the Snugpack bags is absolute crap. It will tear to shreds with heavy use and you end up with zero loft eventually.
If you want to save money, I recommend buying a sewing machine ($80 at walmart for the cheapo models, which are plenty adequate) and then make the ray-way.com (tarps, quilts, bug-bivy) or thru-hiker.com (clothing) kits. If you will be facing freezing temperatures, and aren't accustomed to sleeping in the cold, then buy an extra layer of Polarguard for the quilt, in line with the advice given above.Jan 31, 2007 at 9:41 am #1376534
I dont know the East coast, or App.trail very well, so I dont know how low you would actually be taking a 600gram bag like that Lafuma, but if you are a relative beginner, you can learn how to reduce each of the following types of heat loss(in the graphic below), to maximize the utility of your sleep 'system', which could include: from the bottom up, ground sheet, tent, pad, bivy sack, bag, liner(silk,fleece,etc..) tent fly.
It is all explained here at BPL, or ask for a short summary. Richard's recent post on three layer clothing systems is just one example showing there are some eloquent and knowledgeable writers here.
Heres the graphic from Mammut..
And a link to a great primer on temp ratings from MammutFeb 2, 2007 at 7:04 am #1376860
Thanks Brett. I will continue to read everything I can get my hands on. This should help me figure out the relative temp ratings of a sleep system. Maine can be weird as far as weather – sunny and nice and then whammo! I'm trying to prepare for the worst, so to speak, without killing my base pack weight.
I am thinking I'll get a lafuma extreme bag due to budget, but waffling between the 600 and 800 because of the lofting issue mentioned above. My husband is a cold sleeper (even in the house!) so I have to take further measures for his comfort when I get his bag. I may get a 600 for me and an 800 for him later. He can try mine for fit, etc. and decide. We're the same height but different weights.
I'm also looking into getting fabric for bivy bags and having a neighbor sew them for me. That way I can have silnylon bottoms and breathable ripstop tops for a fraction of the cost. I wonder, though, if it would be worth the weight to line the bag completely with black, very lightweight nylon or polyester? Since both the silnylon and top ripstop are light colors I wondered if the black would help keep body heat in. Am I right in figuring that 3 yards of 1.1 oz silnylon would weigh 3.3 oz or did I miss something? If I'm right, the total weight of the fabrics before cutting them down would only be 9.9 oz per lined bivy bag. After cutting, sewing, and seam sealing could such a bivy end up around 8 – 10 oz?
Thanks again for your help. BTW, I posted the page on the website for sponsors and donors to view the finances of the filming project. I will email you the link, username and password. It's still in the works but you can view it.Feb 2, 2007 at 9:11 am #1376877
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
I wondered if the black would help keep body heat in-Color makes no difference in keeping body heat in. Body heat is long wave infrared radiation.Feb 2, 2007 at 12:00 pm #1376896
Thanks Richard. Oh well, guess I can save the extra weight then. :-)Feb 4, 2007 at 6:16 am #1377072
I got my gr1000 and it looks pretty nice. It packs very small, and looks like it is well built. I think I got the long version, but the toe box is so small that I don't think it adds much weight. It says 2lb 3oz on it, and claimes 30 deg rating. Not bad for $40!Feb 4, 2007 at 7:59 am #1377077
Hi Jaiden. I think that's what I'll get for my husband. He doesn't mind a little extra weight if he's not freezing! And for $40 you just can't beat it!
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