Jan 2, 2008 at 8:32 am #1226556
I have been wrestling with this for few months now? And over the past 4 years I have changed many times.
I live in the midwest and temps range from -20 deg F up to 105 deg F. I currently use three different sleeping bags. Above 35-40, I use a JBR No Sniveller. (I've added the omnitape to the edges and can enclose the quilt.) This weights about 22-23 ounces.
For temps between 15-45, I use a WM alpinlite. (I haven't actually slept in the bag, but have set up my "system" with this bag.) It weights 33-34 ounces.
For temps below 15, I use an EMS Mountain light 0. It weighs 52 ounces.
Am I wasting time, energy and $$ on three different configurations—all to save on weight? I sleep warm and hate sweating in my bag, so I guess it's also for comfort.
Anyone else have 2-3 different bag setups? Any suggestions?Jan 2, 2008 at 9:14 am #1414546
First off let me say that I am a cold sleeper
Above 35 I use a Western Mountaineering Summerlite
From 35 to 20 I use a Western Mountaineering Ultralite (near the lower end of the tempreture range I add clothing as needed)
Below 20 I use a Mountian Hardwear Phanotom 0
If I were going to have only one bag, I would take my Western Mountaineering Ultralite. It has a full zip for warmer nights and I have used it on nights down into the teens without a problem.
I also alternate pads accoriding to the weather conditions I am expectingJan 2, 2008 at 9:14 am #1414547
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
My set up for three-season and mild winter use:
MontBell Thermal Sheet – 50F
MontBell Down Hugger No. 3 – 30F to 50F
The two combined – 15F to 30FJan 2, 2008 at 9:35 am #1414549
@tcxjwagoneerLocale: GSM Area
I am experimenting right now with different quilts for winter. I am a cold sleeper, I do sleep properly clothed for each condition and have experimented with using rain gear as a vapor barrier.
45+ JRB Shenandoah, MLD Superlite bivy
35+ JRB No Sniveller, MLD Superlite bivy
25+ Golite Feather bag, MLD Superlite bivy
15+ Golite Feather bag, JRB Shenandoah, MLD Superlite bivy
5+ Golite Feather Bag, JRB No Sniveller, MLD Superlite bivy
I have tested all but the 5+ setup. here in east TN it rarely gets that cold and the chances of me being out in that temp would be unlikely. I would love to go to quilt only. with both quilts together i get around 4" of loft which should take me to 5+, but I haven't tried it and it is heavier than the Golite alone. I have the golite at 33oz stuffed and I have the 2 quilts together with down JRB hood at 37oz. Anyone have suggestions or tips on combining quilts?
NOTE# I am trading in the feather for the Ultra 20 and shaving 10oz. it should make the setup lighter and more efficient.Jan 2, 2008 at 10:09 am #1414553
Arc AT (9.75 oz.) for ~35F(2C) and up.
Arc AT + clothes for ~35F to ~25F. Untested at this moment and perhaps too ambituos.
WM Versalite (37 oz) for ~25F(-4C) and lower.
I had a Marmot Hydrogen to bridge the gap, but got rid of it in hopes of using some insulating clothes to help with the AT…unfortunatley, the temps have dropped too far and I won't be able to test it out until next spring.
I've had my Versalite down to -2F(-18C) with no problems in a heavy fleece top/bottom and feel it can go much lower with my parka and pants.Jan 2, 2008 at 10:31 am #1414555
I was thinking of switching to the versalite for my winter bag, but didn't know how low I could take it. Like I said before I sleep warm and am sometimes hot in the EMS 0, but was worried about taking a 10F bag down to below zero.
Thanks for your postings on using different setups.
Please keep the ideas coming until this topic has been overdone.
JAJan 2, 2008 at 11:47 am #1414572
"I have tested all but the 5+ setup. here in east TN it rarely gets that cold and the chances of me being out in that temp would be unlikely."
It was -6 on Mt LeCont and Clingmans Dome yesterday (12 was the high). It was 6 degrees when I checked Purchase Knob about 8:00Am this morning. I don't blame you, I don't go when it is that cold much either, just too cold for my Southern blood.Jan 2, 2008 at 12:00 pm #1414576
@tcxjwagoneerLocale: GSM Area
Yeah, I have been out when it gets cold here in TN, but I haven't planned a trip that cold in years…at least not on purpose.lol. what website were you looking at to find temps on those locations?
TommyJan 2, 2008 at 1:07 pm #1414586
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I am a warm sleeper. I use a NunatakUSA Ghost Quilt when I expect the temp to be above 25F. I am comfort using it down to around 10F when wearing all my clothing (and safe but chilled below that). If I expect the temp to be below 25F I switch to a MW Versalite which I can use with just my base layer down to 0F, and to -20F with all my clothing.
Of course what you are on top of is just as important. I use the BA insulated air pad down to around 20F… and then add a foam pad. If I did a lot more winter trips I would switch to a down air matress.
–MarkJan 2, 2008 at 1:46 pm #1414587
@cuzzettjLocale: NorCal - South Bay
I use a Lafuma 600 (synthetic) for anything above 45F. 20 oz.
I use a Sierra Designs 15F bag (8 years old – name?) for anything that will stay above 0F.
For anything colder than this I use a USMC Bivy system rated down to -30F… But I have only gone car camping with mild hikes in and that systems tops out at nearly 11 pounds. So it is anything but light weight.
ThanksJan 2, 2008 at 2:01 pm #1414588
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
MontBell DownHugger Super Stretch #7 (comfortable for me down to 40F)
Gossamer Gear Nightlight Torso pad if weight concious, if not then the MontBell UL Comfort System Pad 90
Spring and Fall:
Western Mountaineering Summerlite (comfortable for me down to 22F)
MontBell UL Comfort System Pad 90
Feathered Friends Winter Wren w/ 2oz overstuff (comfortable for me down to 10F)
Big Agness Insulated Air Core 72" mummy pad
Montbell DownHugger Super Stretch #0 (comfortable for me down to -10F… beyond that I wear extra clothing)
Exped 70" Downmat 9
I sleep very warm and the temperature ratings are for a minimal amount of clothing for that season.Jan 2, 2008 at 6:24 pm #1414621
@redleaderLocale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
For anything down to 25° I use a North Face Beeline, rated at 30°. Below that I go with a Mountain Hardware Ultralamina Thermic Micro, rated at 15°. I have an old REI Volcano, rated at 0°, but I've only used it once or twice in 20 years.
I always use an Thermarest Prolite3 Womens pad. I tend to sleep cold.Jan 2, 2008 at 6:56 pm #1414627
I have another link at work, but here are a couple of the links I have here at home
These are for yesterday (always one day behind)
Purchase Knob Webcam
Look Rock Webcam
Joyce Kilmer Webcam
This website used to have forecasts for every shelter on the AT (I am not sure where from, but the couple of timse I remembered to check with my actual recorded temps they were fairly accurate) but hasn't been updated as of late.
http://www.sophiaknows.com/atdb/weather.phpJan 2, 2008 at 7:21 pm #1414631
I think I'm a pretty normal sleeper as far as temperatures go, but I like to sleep warmly. Here's my sleeping insulation arsenal –
Summer – Nunatak Arc Ghost customized with an ounce less down for a summer quilt. Good to about 45 F for me.
Fall/spring – Western Mountaineering Ultralite (with 2 oz) overfill. Good to about 20 F for me.
Winter – Sierra Designs Mist (rated to 0 degrees). 10-20 F (never had it any lower, and I can't say that I want to camp out much below that.)
I vary the pads I use widely, as I sometimes sleep in a hammock with an underquilt (and add a GG Thinlight if needed); sometimes use a BA Insulated Aircore; sometimes (rarely) a RidgeRest, and am going to be playing with a GG Nitelight Torso and an 1/8 inch thinlight for summer or supplemental winter use with the BA. I also have a P.O.E. Hyper High Mtn pad that is nice for winter.
I'm still experimenting, and will probably go with a Nunatak Arc Alpinist sometime in the future instead of the WM Ultralite, since I really like sleeping under a quilt, but I want to play a bit more with the Ghost and different sleeping headgear before I commit to a hoodless quilt for colder temperatures.
PamJan 2, 2008 at 7:32 pm #1414636
I have been thinking about this lately also because I realized I did not have a summer bag. I think I will be going with a WM Summerlite for down to 35F because it has a full zipper so that it can be used as a quilt and vented in warmer temps. I can then wear my Patagonia Expedition Weight layer inside to even help to drop that number.
For cooler temps I have an old Marmot 20F bag that is old enough to drink. That is pretty bang on for 20F with a tshirt and short so I am assuming that with the EW layer I would be able to close in on 10F and I really don't want to go lower than that.
My suggestion to you is to get a two bags. On about 35-40F and the other about 20F. Make sure that one of them is 60" girth and the other 64" girth that way if you need to go lower than 20F you just take both bags and stick one inside the other. That should get you down to 0F easily.
I was thinking about using a quilt but I am a side sleeper and sleep about 1/4 fetal so I don't think a quilt is for me. It would be nice if they made a quilt like the JRB No Sniveler that also had a built in hood and that would zip up on two sides so that you could use it as a bag, quilt, or vest.Jan 2, 2008 at 7:44 pm #1414641
That is the reason I went with the Ghost with less down, because I wanted a wider quilt due to being a side sleeper & likely to draw my knees up. It works well for me.
Tom at Nunatak can work with you to customize the width of a quilt to suit you. Another option is to make your own – really easy with synthetic, but of course not as light as down. I made an oversized Ray Jardine quilt from one of his kits before I got the Ghost, but it weighs about 12 ounces more.Jan 3, 2008 at 1:14 am #1414664
@kenknightLocale: SE Michigan
My workhorse sleeping bag is actually still my Nunatak Arc ALpinist I had made years ago. I think mine is the third they ever made after Don Johnston and Ryan Jordan. 5" baffles and somewhat puffier. I intended it to be used in colder conditions down to around 10°F and colder if wearing proper clothing. It has worked pretty well over the years. Layer my even older Back Country Blanket on top (originally designed to be used in combination with my WM Iriquois for winter use here in Michigan) and it's even better.
The AA has also proven pretty comfy even when it gets quite warm outside. Well into the 40s if not 50. This is because I can open it up so much that I don't feel as if I am overheating. It's not the lightest solution for warmer weather but it's whatI have and I think it is more comfortable than the Iroquois which was originally my warm wether bag.
Once it gets consistently above 55-60 a simple silk liner is more than enough. However, I have sometimes elected to take a BMW Quilt instead especially if I am going somewhere where I think rain is likely which usually means cooler seeming temperatures than a silk liner would handle.
As a rule I am not one o those who likes to wear puffy clothing to sleep so I don't really go for designing a sleep system where I must wear puffy clothing inside wht is a lighter sleeping bag. I've done it but it just isn't my style even though it is more efficient gear weight wise. I'm willing to wear "standard" clothing (pants, shirt) but if I can avoid doing that I will.
One last thing: the AA is wearing out. It has never been quite the same since I tore and burnt a set of holes in it a couple years ago when packing it inside my kifaru Paratipi with wood stove. Maybe I sleep a tad colder now too but I think the bag has lost loft even after the repairs were made. I'm not sure what will replace it.
** Ken **Jan 3, 2008 at 3:22 am #1414667
90F to 32F, Montbell Super Stretch Down Hugger #7
I follow the BPL principle of wearing my insulation layer to bed; which allows me to carry that 1.2 lb sleeping bag.
I have never needed my MSSDH #3, so my GF uses it. I could layer the #7 inside the #3, but I don't ever expect to be out in such conditions.Jan 3, 2008 at 8:31 am #1414696
7 oz Custom Bivy, 10 oz Custom Primaloft quilt (72 x 48), and clothing as needed – 55 and above
Custom 18 oz XP 20 degree quilt(56 x 84), Insulated Pullover, and 7 oz custom DWR Bivy …. 55 to 20.
20 to 0 ….. 18 oz Custom XP quilt, Insulated pullover, Insulated Vest, Balaclava, Custom Bivy, and 10 oz Custom Primaloft quilt.
Below 0 – Holiday InnJan 3, 2008 at 9:54 am #1414706
Does the quilt work for you if you have it drawn close and are tossing and turning from side to side?
To PamelaJan 3, 2008 at 11:40 am #1414722
Actually, I think I will have the GF make me a quilt as I have about 5 yards of momentum laying around with six ounces of 800 and six ounces of 927 and she owes me. How should I do the bottomo though? I think that the JRB drawcord style might be the best. I am then thinking of putting a zipper on the long side so I can zip it up if need be with its 60" width. I think then if I put a drawstring on the top it will help to cover my shoulders and I could just wear a light balaclava and or Nunatak's. 2" baffles should do the job if I overstuff them the slightest.Jan 3, 2008 at 1:17 pm #1414735
I now like to always carry more sleeping bag than I think I probably need, having discovered over the years that it is better to carry a few extra ounces of sleeping bag to insure a good night's sleep rather than skimp on weight here. I usually go lighter on the insulating clothing than most people, finding that I seldom need much beyond my hiking clothing and rain gear when I'm actually hiking (I do carry Mont-Bell Inner Down Jacket when I expect temperatures below freezing and I always have warm rain mittens and a good hat too). When I'm not hiking, if I get cold I simply start hiking again or if in camp just get into my sleeping bag.
So which bags do I currently use?
40 degrees and up–Nunatak Ghost–16.2 ounces on my scale
30 to 50 degrees–Go-Lite FeatherLite–20.1 ounces on my scale (1.1 ounces above spec) plus a Nunatak Down Balaclava at the lower temperature range–3.6 ounces on my scale
15 to 35 degrees–Marmot Helium–31.5 ounces on my scale (2.5 ounces above spec) plus a Nunatak Down Balaclava at the lower temperature range
0 to 20 degrees–Feathered Friends Snowbunting with Nano shell–38.0 ounces on my scale (6 ounces below spec) plus a Nunatak Down Balaclava
My FF Snowbunting is truly an awesome bag and I highly recommend it to people looking for a very lightweight 0 to 20 degree bag (the shell material needs to be their lightest option, currently the Nano I think, if you want to keep the total weight down). I also highly recommend the Nunatak Down Balaclava. The old adage about keeping one's head warm is really true and I think ounce for ounce this piece of equipment creates more warmth for me than any other that I own and creates great sleeping bag warmth and provided it isn't raining and you don't mind looking dorky, great warmth in camp too.Jan 3, 2008 at 1:25 pm #1414737
Here are two places to check mountain temps for GSMNP.
I use an Alpinlite for colder (with a homemade bivy) and a homemade quilt for the rest. If I lived in an area that had colder temps I would definately have another system to cover that range. I can go year round without problems as long as I avoid the higher elevations.Jan 3, 2008 at 5:27 pm #1414770
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
I have a homemade quilt with .85 ounce fabric Thru-hiker used to sell. It is now my bag I use when I have to say over-night at work. It has no DWR and any condensation or dew wets out the bag horribly.
My Marmut Pounder is my Adventure Racing bag or for very wet conditions. With a layer of 2.5 ounce Climashield added, it weighs 23 ounces, but has the 15d fabric that is really nice. The new version has the Astral N-100 fabric.
TNF Hightail. Although it's rated for 15* it may be good for 20* but only I eat a few thousand calories before I go to sleep.
My Home-made 2 pound quilt. I'm sure it will keep me warm down to 10*, 5* with some good clothing and 0* with a good meal.
It also weighs less than the TNF bag so if it's going to be blow 40* the quilt goes with me. It's adjustability is a lot better than a bag but the quilt is just too warm above 35*, even when wearing underwear and a t-shirt.
It does works good with a light base layer and your legs outside with the top of the bottom just draped over.
If I was going to go hiking in 0* temps, I could easily push my quilt to -10* with all of my clothing on and my Exped Down mat. Not bad for 2 lbs.
If it is going to be below 35* I will use my prolite 3 short along with 2 GG 60" long 1/8" pads. Other than that it is just a pad or 2. I will never sleep in a camp with hard ground so I have only slept a few nights that my back was stiff the next morning.
Looks like I need to make a 32* quilt though.
I think I'll actually be making a 5 ounce and a 2.5 ounce Climashield quilt since most of the hikes I do have a lot of condensation.
Well, ok, I'll also make a 32* hodded down quilt that will weight about 19 ounces.Jan 3, 2008 at 6:42 pm #1414779
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
WM Summerlite down to high 20's with a Cocoon Hoody for backup. WM Ultralite with 2 oz. of overfill with Cocoon Hoody for backup down to ~10 degrees, although I've yet to go below high teens. Roasty toasty so far.
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