Apr 7, 2013 at 7:11 pm #1301423
Hello. My current sleep system consists of a WM Versalite (10 degrees, 32 oz) and an Exped Dowmat UL7 (R = 5.9, 21 oz). I'm planning to take my girlfriend backpacking more regularly, which gives me an excuse to purchase another sleep system.
I'm a slightly cold sleeper but have been very toasty with my Versalite and Dowmat UL7 in the low 30s. Living in Northern California, I have many coastal options that keep me out of snow camping in the foreseeable future, which means my setup is probably overkill much of the time. If I purchase some equipment for my girlfriend, I'd like to piece together a system that compliments what I have and reduces weight. Most of our trips would be in warmer weather where she will be very comfortable with the Versalite and Dowmat UL7, probably temps no colder than the high 40s (she is a very cold sleeper).
I'm considering purchasing a WM Summerlite (32 degree, 19 oz) and an Exped SynMat (R = 3.1, 16 oz). I like the idea of having the option to zip our bags together on pads that are similarly sized when we are together. This system would weigh 18 oz than my current one when I'm solo.
I've done some searching on BPL and have read some interesting topics on R value, but I'm still not clear on how the R value compliments the temp rating on bags. Specifically, how is the performance of the Versalite different with the Dowmat vs. the Synmat? I'd like to make sure that the combo of a 32 degree bag and 3.1 R-value mat keep me warm with just a baselayer in the 40s. And I'm curious how I could develop alternate pairings like the Summerlite with the Dowmat or the Versalite with the Synmat to optimize weight for the temp.
I'd love your feedback on whether this system of bags and mats provides good flexibility and performance for the weight, or whether I should really think about quilts.
Thanks.Apr 7, 2013 at 7:59 pm #1973874
The R-value of a mat is how much body heat it retains between you and the ground. A higher R-value will keep you warmer in lower temperatures, so it's gonna be a better use of weight than your sleeping bag in my experience. Obviously, you need a warm bag, but for example, I can get by with a 20º bag to about zero if I'm using my X-Therm mat (high R-Value) and I can't do that with my Z-Lite (low R-Value).
So, A little more R-value goes a lot farther than sleeping bag degrees.Apr 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm #1973888
I'm still not clear on how the R value compliments the temp rating on bags. Specifically, how is the performance of the Versalite different with the Dowmat vs. the Synmat?
The sleeping bag provides insulation above and to the sides, but not beneath you. That's the role of the pad. For example, take a zero degree bag snow camping; if you only have the 3.1 R-value mat under you, you will probably feel cold coming from the ground.
I'd like to make sure that the combo of a 32 degree bag and 3.1 R-value mat keep me warm with just a baselayer in the 40s.
For myself that would be sufficient; for a cold sleeper you might want to add a thin CCF pad to the Synmat.
And I'm curious how I could develop alternate pairings like the Summerlite with the Dowmat or the Versalite with the Synmat to optimize weight for the temp.Apr 9, 2013 at 10:40 pm #1974746Apr 10, 2013 at 6:13 am #1974784
Thanks for that article link, Jeremy – very helpful.
I'm also curious as to which other bag companies would be zipper compatible with WM bags. Does anybody have insight on this?Apr 10, 2013 at 9:12 am #1974851
If the cute hiker from my trip needs to share a tent this weekend, I'll let you know. For science!Apr 10, 2013 at 9:30 am #1974857Apr 10, 2013 at 10:12 am #1974874Apr 10, 2013 at 11:17 am #1974896
Yes Jeremy, thanks for the link. I've been down a deep rabbit hole since I clicked on it 2 days ago. :-/
From that link, I uncovered these relevant links:
The basic equation is (R value of Pad * .18 for side sleepers or .35 for back sleepers) + (R value of Bag * .82 for side sleepers or .65 for back sleepers).
I get that. What I'm missing are the R values for WM bags and then a table for converting the combined R value to a temp rating. I believe the temp rating is available on the sleeping bag primer on page 30 of http://www.mammut.ch/images/Mammut_Sleep_well_pt1_E.pdf, but I can't get a good read of the chart because the pixel density is too low (the image blurs as I zoom in).
I do have the EN13537 standards test results for the WM bags, can I back into the R-value using the EN13537 degree ratings?Apr 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm #1974964
I'd point you to Richard Nisley as this goes outside my knowledge. I also have some uncertainty regarding the units. Specifically, I don't know if the sleeping pad values mentioned are in US units or SI units. Per wikipedia, the US unit value = 5.68 times the SI units. There are probably other factors at play as well.
In your PDF, please refer to page 32 as well. "K·m²/W" is the SI unit, the value of which I suspect* you may be able to derive for your bag as follows:
R-value = (31.81 – $EN_COMFORT_RATING) / 36.36
(Use degrees Celcius)Apr 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm #1974966
@pgasbyLocale: North Carolina
I ponder sleep systems and have an interesting setup this weekend.
I have a 20 degree 850 fill down bag and a 40 degree 600 fill down bag. I have an Exped Synmat 7 (with pump – not UL version). I've been comfortable in the 40 degree bag in the low 50s with a light base layer. Comfortable in the 20 degree bag down to 21 with a mid base layer, 100 weight fleece and hat.
This weekend is supposed to be 38 on our trip. The question is do I take the lighter, smaller 40 degree bag and stretch it with extra clothes – or the 20 degree bag and be cozy with less clothing. I tend to carry dedicated sleep clothes so taking stuff to sleep in with the 40 degree bag may offset the benefit of the smaller bag…
I'm still dialing in what works in what temps – but will say that I really love the Synmat 7 – makes me want to look at the UL version as the only thing I don't like is it's a bit heavy – but the 21 degree night was the best nights sleep I've had since I started camping a few years ago… I'll take the weight, however, as I sleep so much better on it as a side sleeper who tosses around a bit…Apr 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm #1974968
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
…..a sleep system:
" nice sleep system, very nice!" ;)Apr 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm #1974977
On a side note, if you assume the R-value of 3.1 for the SynMat UL 7 is in the US units and work backwards:
31.81-((3.1/5.68)*36.36) = 11.97 (equivalent EN comfort value in degrees C)
It suggests that the R-3.1 pad is "comfortable" down to about 54 F. If you sleep warmer, or find the "lower limit" ratings are a more accurate measure, you could easily go lower. (Many have.)Apr 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm #1975068Apr 10, 2013 at 6:08 pm #1975091
Thanks, Jeremy. I lit up the bat signal for Richard. Let's see if he'll chime in!
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