- Jun 28, 2020 at 10:06 am #3655123
Hi all, first time posting here, and already amazed at how much info, education and good laughs Ive gotten from the forums. Sorry for writing a novel, but I have found through reading that y’all seem to like to know the specifics and give advice accordingly.
Little background. My husband and I are both in our 40’s, and are for the most part 3 season campers. He would love it if we were four season campers, but that’s debatable. He grew up in rural Utah, near the base of the Deep Creek mountains, and its where we primarily camp, as well as around the Great Basin area. Its extremely isolated, high desert, and even in the summer, temps can fall below freezing. We had moderate temps the first weekend in May and a blizzard two weeks later. We are not primarily backpackers, so weight and size are not the end all be all for us, however, light and compact are definitely part of our decision making, in part because we are a blended family with 7 daughters and one granddaughter and you know that when some of the kids and their extras go with us, we end up with some extra gear for them too (it would be a whole different thread to talk about the boyfriends and their first experiences as primitive campers- a story for another day).
A prime consideration for us is that I have Renauld’s Phenomenon- which is not as amazing as it sounds, and my hands, feet and face go numb, and I’m basically allergic to cold. If I get too cold, I cant warm myself up, and if I’m cold for log, it can take days or weeks for my hands and feet to not be incredibly painful and functional again. So I’m careful. My husband is a heater, and we do sleep well together, somehow over the years we have figured out how to sleep spooning and back to back without really disturbing each other and with me staying mostly warm.
For our pads we have 2 of the Nemo tensor 20in insulated sleeping pads, and we put a couple of cheap self inflating pads the same size under those for a little extra protection for the pads and us. We could invest later on in a double pad, but since we do occasionally go separately, having 2 pads works, and we have decent sleeping bags for that purpose.
So, we normally open up 2 bags and use one underneath us and one on top, maybe even adding a third on top. I have a little down blanket I keep by me in case I get extra cold, and will probably continue with that, as it doesn’t take up much space.
What we ideally would like-
*a quilt style setup with a sleeve (preferable) or at least a really good coupling combo to keep the pads together.
*I don’t like sleeping directly on the pad, so an under quilt or some sort of comfy fitted sheet.
*Warm and comfy for temperatures down into the 20s.
Here is what I am considering.
Feathered Friends Condor YF 20 degree sleeping bag with the sleeping bag groundsheet and when necessary bringing an additional down blanket for on top of us when needed. This seems to be the priciest option, so if I went this direction it would have to be perfect.
With that in mind, I have also looked at the enlightened accomplice, thinking I could pair it with the FF sleeping bag groundsheet- it would save a little bit of money, but not much.
My third option is the Big Agnes camp robber double bedroll, which is more lightweight than the other options, but then pairing it with a heavier extra down blanket. I think this is the cheapest way to go, but realistically, they are all within $200 of each other, and having medical conditions that make me miserable for long after the camping trip is over, I’m willing to invest in the best system.
Thoughts on what you like or dont like about each option? Suggestions for an extra layer of quilt or blanket? Any other ideas for a setup like this?
I like the idea of layering here, and while we haven’t taken our gear out of country, we have spent quite a bit of time exploring international natural wonders, so I’m not opposed to carrying a sleep system around the world to camp either- we have learned to travel light but the camping light thing is a learning curve.Jun 29, 2020 at 10:17 am #3655295Kevin BabioneBPL Member
My wife and I have SD mummy bags that mate (one is right-zip and the other is left-zip and that works really well for us when it’s down into the 20’s or teens. We each have our own hood and have never been cold – but your Renauld’s isn’t something to take lightly.
For an insulated sleeping pad, look at the Klymit Insulated Double pad that’s now available on Drop.com for $105. I have two of them and they’re really comfortable. At 35 ounces it’s on the heavy side, but the R-rating is 4.4 and, IME, that probably runs pretty true.Jun 30, 2020 at 6:00 am #3655432SomedaynowBPL Member
I don’t think you’ll want the Big Agnes bedroll because it’s only rated to 45 degrees. Another more budget option would be the thermarest vela 20 degree double quilt for $277. I have the 32 degree one and took it down to 30 (that’s $224). We’re very happy with it, but I have no comparisons though to the more expensive quilts. My husband and I are new at this and still trying to perfect sleeping in the cold, so it wasn’t perfect but I think it’s because I have the opposite problem as you where I overheat, then sweat, then get cold from sweating. I’m actually reducing my layers to stay warmer. Thermarest has the whole system. You can get a ground sheet for $45 or a down ground sheet for $85. I made my own sheet so I can’t comment on those options. (All prices from amazon)
We gave up trying couple our pads. We tried coupler straps plus a DIY sheet. Then added Velcro squares to the side. Then added Velcro to the bottom. All left a cold spot in the middle through the night. We just bought the Klymit Insulated pad Kevin recommended and we’re trying it out this weekend. It’s smaller than our two regular Klymit pads coupled. Klymit has another Insulated double pad that is bigger, but much heavier and more expensive. Our solo pads are the Klymit Static v ultralight Insulated, and other than not being able to make them work together, we really liked them. So I have high hopes for the drop double version.Jun 30, 2020 at 7:09 am #3655436Edward John MBPL Member
There is another way to make a wide and long mattress which I have used in the past.
You use a number of 3/4 mats joined and laid across the tent, it lessens the separation issue.
Apart from that Rogers idea of single LW down bags plus a large couples over bag or overquilt seems to me the better option if you ave different insulation needs when sleepingJun 30, 2020 at 8:29 am #3655447Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
We use an Exped syn mat duo and a Zpacks double quilt. The pad is r3.3 and the quilt is a 30. There is an r5 syn mat duo and obviously you can get a warmer quilt.
we love the syn mat. I wish we had the warmer one but we sleep down to 30 easily even with the 3.3. We never fight over the covers like we thought we would as the quilt is sized well for us.
We attached two pad forever, and two bags for that matter but since getting this system we have never looked back.
Its not the cheapest option, but very small and light, especially considering the comfort we get from it.
For a cold face try a buff, or my wife uses a pata neck gaiter that she loves.Jun 30, 2020 at 8:44 am #3655449
These are great suggestions! I keep looking for the couples solutions from others who are experienced but also a bit older because in our 40s comfort reigns supreme, while still being light. Plus as couples we have more or less figured out what works and doesn’t work for sleeping together. I’m looking into all these solutions- probably worth the investment in the double mat and keep our singles for kids to use or when going separately. One other quilt/comforter setup I stumbled on (reading up on the first suggestion, which I love!) was the SD backcountry bed down- rated to 20, but like I said, I always have an extra layer with me for warmth and do silk or wool thermals when needed to sleep in. With a good insulated pad, this option seems good too. Anyone tried it?
The Therm-a-Rest system has a lot of good qualities I think but reviews make me think it’s not quite warm enough. So now I’m leaning towards the klymit double insulated mat, And the SD backcountry bed. Thanks for everyone help me walk through way overthinking things just because I am thrifty and really enjoy camping more when I’m comfy and warm.Jun 30, 2020 at 8:48 am #3655451
Oh cool- I’m going to look into that double pad too- since I’d have to get a new one anyway, I could get the warmer one- the Therm-a-Rest has a lot of the qualities I’m looking for, as does the SD (which happens to be having a 25% off the whole site sale right now)Jun 30, 2020 at 1:50 pm #3655501J RBPL Member
I just went through this recently, my new-to-backpacking girlfriend didn’t like us being in separate quilts, didn’t like the feel of the pad material on her skin, and wanted more room that 40″ wide “double” offers. Without your special temperature considerations here’s what I came up with:
- Exped SynMat HL Duo L/W – has 52″ width at the head
- matching Exped sheet
- EE Accomplice (note: comes with a strap system to hold two single pads together)
- Then of course needed a new shelter to fit it in, went with the BA UL3 Tiger Wall. A lot of width at the head, great height, dual doors and vestibules, and easy for my newbie partner to help set up.
Hope this helps.Jun 30, 2020 at 6:43 pm #3655572Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
We used to use the Exped Mat Sheet… I guess we still use it in the summer with more skin on the pad. Its sorta fiddly, but comfy. Hmmm I wonder where we put it… haven’t noticed it in the gear?? sorta forgot about itJun 30, 2020 at 8:32 pm #3655588Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
RE: Raynaud’s syndrome
You probably do not want to risk the fourth season unless you can check your feet every two hours.
For cold nights during the other seasons, you can turn most any hard sided or soft sided water bottle into a hot water bottle, and once tightly sealed, place in the foot of your sleeping bag or quilt. I get very cold feet at night and when winter snow camping, a one liter bottle keeps my feet toasty. SInce it is sometimg hard to judge how hot the water is, you can put an extra sock over the bottle to avoid the risk of burning yourself.Jun 30, 2020 at 8:33 pm #3655589Derek M.BPL Member
@dmusasheLocale: Southern California
You can do a lot of research and still eventually come to the same conclusion that the rest of us have:
A) The best quilt for a couple is the Enlightened Equipment Accomplice
B) The best pad for a couple is the Exped SynMat HL Duo (choose your warmth and size to suit your needs)
My wife and I are currently using this combo on the CDT, in fact. We love it and this is our second Accomplice quilt and first SynMat HL Duo.
There is no need to use any straps with this combo. We used to use the straps that came with the Accomplice when we had two separate pads. The SynMat HL Duo is now a huge upgrade in comfort and functionality and it doesn’t really need the straps.
Instead of trying to get some fitted sheet to separate you from your pad fabric, invest in a good pair of long underwear and use that for your sleeping clothes. More comfortable, more multifunctional, much easier to wash, and typically lighter to boot.
Good luck!Jul 2, 2020 at 2:11 pm #3655913SomedaynowBPL Member
I’m really curious if anyone whose using the accomplice + exped had tried other double systems before? When I was doing my research I came across the accomplice + exped as the best listed option several times…but without much details on why or how much better it is than other options. There doesn’t seem to be the same detailed comparisons for double systems as singles. Or a lot of people seem to go from trying to combine two single bags/quilts and pads straight to the accomplice + exped. So it’s not clear if the benefits are from the accomplice + exped specifically or from a double quilt + double pad generally.
Maybe because I’m frugal and very new to this, I would have arrived at the same cheaper result regardless. I.e. accomplice + exped is twice as much as a thermarest Vela double quilt + drop Klymit double pad, nearly a $400 difference. But the lack of the answer to why is it the best and how much better is it, strongly pushed me towards the cheaper option. I’d love to hear people’s options to those two questions. Maybe then I can justify an upgrade in a few years. :)
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