Apr 22, 2005 at 12:18 am #1216089
Hi all, I’m looking for an ultralight sleeping bag to cope with about 32F-0C. I live in Australia and for most of my hiking thats about all the insulation i’ll need. So far i have seen the Marmot pounder, which seems to be a good choice. Its rated at 40F and with clothing on or possibly a thermolite reactor liner i could probably get it down to freezing. I’ve also seen the western mountaineering pound bag which seems good as well. The parameters i would like to set would be under $200, temperature at freezing, weight below 2lb and preferable closer to 1lb. i dont really care what filling. Im also considering buying the pertex vapor bivy, so im not sure if maybe that will lower the temperature rating as well.Apr 22, 2005 at 3:14 am #1336833
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
I own the WM HighLite (850 fill power high quality down – only 16oz in regular length).
It is generally accepted that WM conservatively rates their bags by ~5deg F, so the WM HighLite bag is “really” a 35deg F bag.
The WM HIghLite bag’s fabric is very delicate & requires care to avoid damage. The bag’s zipper has operated fine with no fabric “snags” in my experience.
With a poss’mDown sweater and a windshell (in addition to normal clothing), 25deg F is “do-able” in my experience & I consider myself a “cold sleeper” – even at home, indoors, I like to wear socks to bed for ~8-9 mos. of the year.
My sleep pad is a 3.7oz GossamerGear NightLight Torso pad & my pack with remaning gear in it is under my legs & feet.
On cold nights, most of the night, I wear a cold weather fleece balaclava during winter when sleeping.
I sleep in an ID eVENT Unishelter bivy in cold/cool weather, so there is not much air mass to heat up.
Price might be a bit above your stated max however, but it’s worth every penny? [not sure of the “Down-Under” price.]
Nunatak makes bags similar to WM, but with more choice & they make to order so custom bags are NOT a problem – more choice of outer fabrics too, from lightweight fabrics similar to that used in WM bags, several Pertex fabrics [including Quantum], to Epic fabric.
Nunatak may be more expensive however – but appear to be well worth it – didn’t know about them last year when I purchased the WM Highlite, or I might have purchased a Nunatak bag. Either seems, to me, to be a good choice.
Hope this info helps.Apr 22, 2005 at 3:43 am #1336834
Neil JohnstoneBPL Member
Have a look at the PHD Minimus (www.phdesigns.co.uk).Apr 22, 2005 at 5:25 am #1336836
Matthew L.BPL Member
@gungadinLocale: Pittsburgh, PA
I also love my WM Highlite. It is so light and wonderfully warm and comfortable. I also thought about the Nunatak Sub Alpine (35 or 40 degree) which is a center zip, 14 oz. sleeping bag that can be ordered in a variety of materials. The only thing I didn’t like was that it only had 5.5 oz. of down compared to the WM Highlite’s 8 oz. I wonder if it is as warm. It also costs a lot more. I have heard super things about Nunatak, though.
http://www.nunatakusa.comApr 22, 2005 at 6:44 am #1336837
@naturephoto1Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Have a look at the Feathered Friends Vireo at http://www.featheredfriends.com. This is part of Feathered Friends layering system of sleeping bags. It can be ordered in choice of materials, colors, down quality, overfill, etc.Apr 22, 2005 at 6:48 am #1336838
I have been eyeing of the nunatak ghost for quite a while. Its seems to be the perfect option but just too expensive. I think i might just end up spending the money and going for it. i would still buy the vapr bivy though. at this point in time im basically trying to get my 3season pack below 5lbs hence the need for an UL bag. Keep the sugestions coming though because its always nice to hear about new companies that offer more inovative products.
on another similar note if i were to wear full clothing with a 32F bag with a vapr bivy what sort of temperature is it possible to get down to?Apr 22, 2005 at 7:50 am #1336839
Under the ‘Articles – Techniques’ section on this site, is an article titled Clothing and Sleep Systems for Mountain Hiking that discusses the three layer sleep system. I have read elsewhere that the bivy will add 5 to 10 degrees F to the bag rating. The additional insulation would depend on your clothing.
As far as the original post, I just ordered the Nunatak Arc Alpinist quilt/bag myself, but I plan on many trips between 0 and 35 F. Their Arc Ghost would be in your temperature and well within the weight range (under a pound) albeit $80 to $100 more than your posted price. These bags are custom made to order, so expect a 4-6 week delay (and is likely the reason behind the higher cost compared to competition).Apr 22, 2005 at 8:44 am #1336841
David NeumannBPL Member
@idahomtmanLocale: Northern Idaho
I have a Montbell U.L. Down Hugger #5 bag that weighs 17 ounces. While they use 725 fill goose down, I have found their use of vertical baffling above the torso and several other innovations to effectively keep me warm. The bag is rated at 28.4 to 42.8 degrees (I don’t know how they come up with those numbers). I use a bivy and with the use of additional clothing when needed, such as a Thermarest jacket, Capilene long bottoms, down booties, Chameece hat, have been warm. I also place my torso pad in the bivy and place my pack under the rest of my legs. The bag I use cost $200. I suspect spending double that would get you a better bag, but for the price it is worth considering.Apr 22, 2005 at 8:59 am #1336842
@cbertLocale: N. California
And have found it to be surprisingly warm and comfortable for it’s weight and lack of zippers.
Not sure how they came up with those temp ranges either – for me it seems more like approximately 30.768 degrees up to about 46.4998 degrees is good!
I’ve noticed the version I have has been on sale numerous places and on ebay recently for around $150 or so (paid about $200 for mine on sale last year). The only negative I’ve noticed so far is the “downproof” fabric is not all that downproof, but if you are gentle with it, seems reasonable enough.Apr 22, 2005 at 10:27 am #1336843
I have no experience with this bag, but it is the subject of serious criticism in a thread on the lite gear talk forum at backpacking.net.Apr 22, 2005 at 1:56 pm #1336847
Dylan SkolaBPL Member
@phageghostLocale: Southern California
yes, it’s amusing to see those kind of figures in a temp rating.
But . . . Japanese company; whoever did the North American site probably just converted from nice round metric numbers, i.e.
-2 deg C = 28.4 deg F
6 deg C = 42.8 deg FApr 22, 2005 at 6:03 pm #1336849
alan genserBPL Member
i just bought a pounder, ordered one after handling it in the store, & believe that the ratings are ‘rather’ optimistic, but i also new that if was going to be camping out in weather approaching 40deg, that i’d more than likely have additional insulation along for the ride.
the guy complaining in the other forums was shocked that he was cold in silk pajamas in the bag at 50deg..oh well.Apr 24, 2005 at 3:45 pm #1336873
Duane HallBPL Member
@pkhLocale: Nova Scotia
Well, since you’re inclined to look at Marmot bags already, why not consider the Hydrogen bag? This is rated at -1 C and from my experience, this seems accurate.
One pound five ounces I believe.
CheersApr 25, 2005 at 1:41 am #1336879
@ryanLocale: Rocky Mountains
I’d have to agree, based on my own personal experience, that the Pounder is pretty optimistic, but the Hydrogen’s rating more accurately reflects comfort along the range of high end bags on the market.Apr 25, 2005 at 1:47 am #1336883
Al ShaverBPL Member
@al_t-tudeLocale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
I own 2 bags whose names appear in BPL forums: 1lb.12oz. Western Mountaineering Ultralight-25 degrees with light clothing on and mid teens with another layer on. RAB Quantum Elite Topbag <rockrun.com> 14oz. no hood,no down in bottom of bag, 35 degrees if you wear a down hood (which you should be carrying anyway). My favorite bag with the best warmth to weight ratio- I”ve never heard mentioned on this site: The North Face Beeline 900,900cu.in. fill down,no zipper, Pertex Quantum fabric. Kept me toasty on John Muir Trail at 11,000ft. 35-40 degree camps. $300 is pricy, but not for many nights of blissful sleep from a 1lb.3oz. package.
Cheers, AlApr 27, 2005 at 4:53 am #1336923
I use a Mountainsmith Wisp, down bag, rated around 30F. Weighs about 20 or so ounces. Compacts nicely. I paid around 250 US, but recently I have seen them on ebay for around 140US. Used it in the A’Daks and Whites in early fall with no problems.Apr 27, 2005 at 6:28 am #1336925
@ccorbridgeLocale: Southern Oregon
Has anyone had any experience with the Western Mountaineering Pod 30? I sleep in a hammock on a Exped Downmat short. So I already have down insulation under me. The Pod 30 at about a pound (top down only bag) seems like a good option. I’m also considering the Sierra Designs Wicked Fast which is another top down only model. Anyone with any experience with it?Apr 27, 2005 at 6:46 am #1336926
I’ve decided that the nunatak ghost is probably the right option for me. I’m just wondering why there isn’t more talk of quilts and top down bags?Apr 27, 2005 at 8:27 am #1336929
@rgorhamLocale: White Mtns, NH
Rated at 35*F and weighing in at 20 ounces is the WM Caribou. List price is $240 for the 6′ version, $250 for the 6’6″. I had no problem getting my local dealer to knock 20% off of list, making the net price $192 for one, and $200 for the other.Apr 27, 2005 at 1:15 pm #1336931
@craig_shelleyLocale: Rocky Mountains
I’ve owned a pounder for a few months. I bought it from REI and got a 20% discount. It is well within the price range even without the discount. It is now becoming available from other sources. However: The weight of my bag was 544g (without stuff sack about 1.2 pounds) rather than one pound. It is extremely thin. I have slept it in at about 40. I used everything I had to stay warm enough to pretty much sleep at this temperature: ID Hot Sox, 200 weight fleece pants, Montbell Thermawrap Jacket, fleece gloves, and fleece hat with a thin balaclava keeping the hat from coming off. I also had on very thin SmartWool Ultralight hiking socks, lightweight capilene underware (top and bottom). The air was quite still. I had a small 5×8 ID SilTarp that I slept under. I certainly wasn’t hot. I was cold enough that I woke up at night because I felt somewhat cold.
If you have a lot of back up clothing, will only sleep at 32F when the weather turns much worse than expected and you need to survive, then consider it.
I would only use it for a backpack where I felt it was unlikely for the temperature to drop below about 55F and the historical lows were about 40. That’s my personal opinion based on a limited number of short backpacking trips this spring and late winter in the desert near Grand Junction CO.
CraigApr 27, 2005 at 1:26 pm #1336932
@craig_shelleyLocale: Rocky Mountains
I have a Horse Thief, which is a top down only bag. I use the mummy shaped Primaloft insulated air core Big Agnes pad. It is a nice bag. I’ve slept in it at about 25 (in a tent with one other person), but used all the clothes – literally – in my backpack to stay warm. I think it is rated for 35, which is about right but you would need clothes on to stay warm at that kind of temperature.
I have mixed feelings about these top down bags. The advantage of being able to rotate with the bag is not insubstantial. I prefer sleeping on my side and even with the larger girth of the Big Agnes mummy bags, this is hard to do.
However, the Big Agnes Horse Thief is the bag I’ve used most often over the last four months of desert camping since I bought it.
CraigApr 27, 2005 at 1:50 pm #1336934
I agree with another post that the Mountainsmith Wisp is a great bag for the money. Backcountrygear.com has them for $155. I was comfortable in the 30’s. Only weighs 1 lb 8 oz in the long, couple ounces less in regular. Lot of bag for the money.Apr 27, 2005 at 1:53 pm #1336935
I tried the Sierra Designs Wicked Fast but because I turn on my sides a lot I was pulling up on the opposite side of the bag to where I would lose some insulation around my backside. The bag was a little too tight for me which didn’t help.Apr 27, 2005 at 2:10 pm #1336936
@mitchellkeilLocale: Deep in the OC
I am the guy who posted the extensive critique of this bag on TLB. Let me first say that I am an experienced packer who generally sleeps very warm. I wore silk long underwear and a hat primarily to protect the bag under test conditions so that I could return the bag should it prove (as it did) to be grossly over rated. I slept in my Sarvis 1+ tent as well. So you can imagine my suprise that for most the night, when it did not get below 51 degrees, I was extremely uncomfortable and cold. This site did an extensive review of the Andromeda Strain bag by ID in which it was commented on that this bag had a overall loft of 1.75 inches and was rated to 40 degrees. the testers found that this rating was only effective if one wore essentially all of one’s clothes in the pack to achieve comfort at 40 degrees. THe Pounder is approximately 1.25 inches in total loft if that and is sewn together in a series of 10 inch bats that are then sewn through to the inside of the bag. This makes for a very cold bag under most circumstances. I would rate it as a 55 degree bag at most. Marmot’s marketing folks clearly had their eyes on our lightweight community when they wrote the copy for this bag. My experience discussing this bag with them after I got it and used it was more than frustrating, it was downright exercise in obsfuscation and weaseling.
So to those of you who listen to the experience of other members of this community take a warning about this bag. $169.00 is a lot to spend for a mistake.Apr 27, 2005 at 3:57 pm #1336940
@davelisakLocale: Grand Canyon hiker
I tried out a Nunatak Ghost quilt last month and met up with some of the limitations one can face ‘at the edge’ of a bag or quilt’s rating. I was at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, where, even in March, one rarely encounters night-time temps below the upper thirties. Unfortunately, rarely doesn’t mean never. The temp dipped to the mid-20’s, probably 26 degrees F. I bundled up in long johns and a WM flight jacket, and was lying on a full-length, insulated pad. Despite these “extra’s,” and despite being a very warm sleeper, by 11 pm I was shivering non-stop. Part of the problem, perhaps a big part of it, was the Ghost quilt’s internal baffling was insufficient to keep the down from migrating quickly and resolutely away from the top of the quilt. As a result, I would awaken to find that most of my torso was being insulated by two layers of Epic fabric, with nothing between them. That’s not going to keep you very warm at 26 degrees. The upshot: I spent most of the night taking walks along the Colorado. Not a bad way to spend a sleepless night, if you have to spend one that way. But not very restful either.
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