Roomy, lightweight, synthetic bag?

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    Aaron Pope



    I was looking for some advice for a new bag for my winter/spring sleeping system while backcountry skiing.

    I ski primarily in the California (Tahoe, Mammoth, Shasta) but may be doing trips the Cascades this year as well. Temps at night usually range from 0F – 30F.

    In the past, I’ve used my old 4lb, 20F bag on top of my winter, 3/4 Ultralight Thermorest. I always take my BD firstlight tent (I’ve had some interesting weather experiences over the past years and feel happy in a tough, single-wall tent). This system has worked fine, although often I wore long underwear and mid-weight fleece tops and bottoms to bed and a hat. I tend to sleep very warm.

    However, this past winter I bought a Patagonia DAS jacket and Mountain Hardwear Chugach pants. I discovered that they are MUCH warmer than my old fleece layers, and I now look forward to being able to shed some of my sleeping bag weight.

    So I’m looking for a synthetic, breathable bag with the room to wear my insulating layers. I think for my needs, I only need a 35-40F bag. The parka and pants, along with softshells and a lightweight top should keep me warm down to 0F. Down is out because it sometimes rains in the Sierras, and I need to be able to dry out the entire system while sleeping.

    I have comtemplated the Marmot Pounder, but worry that it would be too constrictive and neutralize the clothing. I’ve also considered a quilt, but have heard complaints that they create too many cold spots during the winter.

    Any advice would be appreciated.


    jacob thompson


    If your worried about losing loft and being constricted you can’t go past the quilt. It’s true that you get a draft when you roll, but you quickly learn how to turn in a quilt. If your up for it you could make one using s Ray-way kit. They are selling all their stock, and it gives you the option to cut it as large as you like. Also they are the only quilts that I have seen with the draft stopper. A fantastic idea if you ask me. you sould also go with the fanatic fringe quilts, I’ve not used one but all reports say they are good.

    Ryan Faulkner


    try the mont bell website. they have a wide variaty of temp ranges in synthetic and down bags
    I have a down bag and it is the most comforatable bag I have ever used due to the strech in the baffles

    Ryan Faulkner


    I also have a hoodless 40* bag no longer made. but it has their exeloft fill. it is very compressible and light for a synthetic fiber.

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