Sep 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm #1279876
Yearning for a good nights rest in the back country, I've been pondering options lately. Been using a mummy bag but am curious if a bag like the Katabatic Sawatch combined with a hood would suit me better. I thrash, toss and turn throughout the night. I tend to sleep on my side most though.
If it matters, I'm also thinking something that'll keep me warm down to 25 degrees as my "32 degree" bag seems a little cool for me.
Would love to hear what you all are using and what you have used, etc. Thanks!Sep 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm #1784074
Jeffrey McConnellBPL Member
I use a quilt with a hat/balaclava and it works great. I toss and turn a lot – all night long. I've enjoyed the quilt much better than sleeping in bags. Just make sure its wide enough and you're good.Sep 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm #1784075
Randy NelsonBPL Member
I have the WM Alpinlite and love it. I got it because it's wider than the other WM 20 degree bag (Summerlite?) and I can turn inside it instead of it rolling with me. Works for me.Sep 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm #1784083
John McBPL Member
I found that as I got older I could no longer sleep in a mummy bag. I switched to a semi-rectangular bag. I'd been sleeping in the Feather Friends Peguin for a decade. After joining BPL I realized how truly heavy it is. I asked one of the MYOG people on this site to make me a new bag with the same dimensions as the Penguin at a weight of 21 oz. I love to be able to move my legs around and even be able to put my knee out to the side. It's help reduce my tossing and turning.Sep 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm #1784131
Tony CampanaBPL Member
@velodadiLocale: Lowcountry Carolina
Ditto. I could never get used to a mummy because I can't sleep on my back for very long. I purchased a Feathered Friends Puffin semi- rectangular bag and that helped me sleep more comfortably.
I am new to quilts. What should you look for in a quilt that assures warmth and a good night sleep?Sep 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm #1784137
@rayestrellaLocale: Northern Minnesota
Well you described me to a T. I switched to quilts and have not looked back. I do find that a wider pad works better as when my knees go over a standard width pad in a bag it is no big deal but with a quilt there is more chance I will open a cold spot.
I use them all the way down to 0F and have a down balaclava to keep my head warm once the temps get real low.Sep 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm #1784143
Bryce F.BPL Member
@bster13Locale: Norwalk, CT
I switched to JRB quilts with their down Balaclava and haven't looked back as well.
If I were to change anything, it'd be to up my benadryl dose to 75mg or go to a hammock and add some weight. Being light is great and all, but if I can't get any sleep, the UL hurt me in the end. GL!Sep 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm #1784164
@mad777Locale: South Florida
I'm using down quilts that I made, one on top and the other on the bottom — of my hammock as I rock myself to deep sleep. The ground is make for walking on; not sleeping on :-)Sep 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm #1784179
Elliott WolinBPL Member
@ewolinLocale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
One- and two-person homemade synthetic quilts following the RayWay design, i.e. with "draft stoppers" around the perimeter and a simple footbox, plus a fleece hat if it gets cold. My wife wraps a synthetic vest around her shoulders when it gets cold enough, although I'm in the same quilt and don't need to except when it's really cold (below 15-20 degF). Sometimes we stuff something in the gap between us.
I toss and turn all night, kind of like a rotisserie barbecue…I think it evens out the compression stresses on my tired, old body. I do this at home, too, but not as much.Sep 27, 2011 at 6:39 pm #1784191
Most recently used a Katabatic Pallisade and found it to work pretty well. It's my first quilt although I've been using my traditional mummy bags unzipped like a quilt for a while.Sep 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm #1784205
Eugene SmithBPL Member
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
20F quilt and a 32F quilt spans the year for me. I had a JRB Hudson a while back which was decent, not great, did the job fine but ultimately wasn't wide enough for me. Both my current quilts work better for me and are around 56-58" wide, they're also built with a bit more love and it shows in the quality.
I use a quilt for many of the reasons shared above, they're simpler in design and functionality, work with me and not against me. I'm a pretty solid back sleeper so bags work fine, but the flexibility of use in a quilt is appreciated. The Katabatic pad system looks pretty dialed, perhaps a bit finicky for my tastes but that's just me. I don't find the under straps on a quilt to be absolutely necessary until it starts to hover around freezing or if it's really drafty.
Happy hunting.Sep 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm #1784206
Mark HurdBPL Member
@markhurdLocale: South Texas
QUESTION: "What are you thrashing, tossn' and turn'n sleepers sleeping in?"
ANSWER: A hammock.
I used to toss and turn no matter what bag or quilt I had. Switched to a hammock with quilts and now I sleep through the night. For me the answer was not a different bag/quilt but a different shelter. YMMV.
-MarkSep 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm #1784209
@matthewbrownLocale: Blue Ridge Mtns
I use a WM Sycamore. It's wide. It's actually so wide that I can find cold spots in it if I move my foot to an unoccupied corner. But it's a thrashers dream and a nice two person quilt for me and the wife in the summer.Sep 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm #1784210
Ditto. I'm a side sleeping thrasher and the quilt and a hammock has given me a new perspective and I love it.Sep 27, 2011 at 7:31 pm #1784220
Jennifer McFarlaneBPL Member
@jennymcfarlaneLocale: Southern California
WM Caribou for the summer and shoulder seasons. It's wide, and rated to 35,I think. I have had it down to 30 with a MBDown Inner jacket and Smartwool base layers.Sep 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm #1784222
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I'm a side sleeper and have no problem with a good ol' mummy bag. Sometimes I wake up with my nose in the side of the hood, but it usually turns with the rest of me and I do move around some.
I found that a pillow made a big difference for sleeping well outdoors– I couldn't sleep indoors without, so it makes sense.
A hammock works great and provides my best outdoor sleeping experience. I'm a side sleeper in bed, but have no problem sleeping in a hammock on my back. And you can sleep on your side in a hammock with no problem.Sep 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm #1784254
Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
As a child I learned to take the sleeping bag with me when I turn over. I like being swathed in a lofty down cocoon with the draft collar of my WM Ultralight snugged up tight on cold nights–no drafts!
A warm, thick insulated air pad helps, too. I've had a bit of an adjustment with my 3.5" thick insulated mummy pad from KookaBay, getting used to the 12" wide foot, but finally I'm learning, and it's really luxurious!
It's important to have good sticky lines painted on the underside of your pad, especially with a tent with a silnylon floor. Lines/spots on the floor are not enough. The two together work fine. Unlike other pads I've had, Silnet doesn't stick to the KookaBay pad, but peels off leaving pieces of silicone all over the tent floor. I'm trying a non-silicone sealer next time!
I still toss and turn, but I do a lot less of it on the new pad!Sep 28, 2011 at 6:04 am #1784322
Erik BasilBPL Member
I'm a side-sleeper that has grown uncomfortable in mummies, so I use a Big Agnes down bag with a wide profile. In relative terms, it's light to me, because I am also way, way "over" the idea of an ultralight pad under me. Full length air pad is my game, 1.75" seems thick enough. Bag is just over 2 lb, pad is 2.5. Eeek, that sure added up!Sep 28, 2011 at 11:54 am #1784432
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
My WM Megalite has enough girth to make a decent quilt when zipped fully open with the foot of my full length mattress tucked into the foot of the Megalite.
For temps below 30 F. the Megalite has enough room for me to wear either my light down jacket or Thermolite jacket and matching pants down to the low teens in good comfort.
For general nighttime "semi-conscious" thrashing around it's a good choice.Sep 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm #1784455
Mark PrimackBPL Member
@bufaLocale: Cape Cod and Northern Newfoundland
After joining this site and weighing all my old equipment, I found my winter bag weighed over 5 lbs. As a tosser and turner I decided that a roomy bag was the way to go. I got the MB Super Spiral #1 in the long, which I didn't need for length but for roomy rolling. Good to 15 degrees and even a bit lower without putting on extra layers and weight of 2.4 lbs. Went down to a around zero with my thermawrap on and heavy wool longies. I was hoping for even colder so I could wear my FF down jacket and WM Flash down pants, but it just wasn't necessary. I used it for two five day trips last winter and half a dozen overnights. It is both roomy and has give and with my years of practice at keeping my nose in the opening while rolling around, it was delightful. I got it for $300 on sale.Sep 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm #1784482
@benwoodLocale: flatlands of MO
Definitely a quilt!!
I am a tosser and turner, and using a quilt was like a revelation to me. The quilt offers all the room you want and all the warmth you want. I have a JRB hudson quilt and it is narrower than most quilts but has a roomy footbox. some people are pretty sure they need a wide shoulder area to keep out drafts, I however don't. If I get cold I just adjust and fall right back asleep, no biggie for me.
The reason I like the JRB so much is the roomy footbox that can be opened flat if desired. It has lots of room in the leg and foot area.
just my 0.02Sep 29, 2011 at 8:28 am #1784767
Seems the quilts are popular…and, they are the option my mind has been gravitating to. However, for the restless, tossn' and turn'n sleeper, I don't understand how the cold drafts are kept at bay. I could see how they wouldn't be that big of an issue in warmer temps but at the freezing mark and below, I envision myself creating a problem draft with every shift in body position. I have two sleep issues: restlessness and an increasing cold intolerance. Both problems seem to feed the other. Are you quilt users using them in freezing temps? If so, what's your take on drafts?
Re the hammocks, I think they are fun but I've personally found them awkward feeling…and I sometimes camp in areas with few or no trees.
Re the rectangular bags, that would surely help to some degree. However, at this point, I'm not willing to carry the extra weight.
Looking forward to hearing more thoughts/experiences/ides/etc.Sep 29, 2011 at 11:24 am #1784837
Eugene SmithBPL Member
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
I'm one who tends to err on the chilly side, especially when the temps dip below 32f, doesn't matter if I'm properly layered or not I will at some point feel "chilled", but that's just me and often its all in my head. Switching to an insulated pad has helped with warmth tremendously, as does using a bivy with my quilt and being wise in my camp selection ( obvious one). Many people use quilts well below freezing, but it does require some planning and additional steps to keep warmth locked in ( ie. bivy, balaclava, down hood). The bellows effect is an area with quilts that can be problematic, more than a sleeping bag, if you make lots of adjustments or move around ridiculously at night, its possible to expel warm air through the head end of the quilt or underside. The same can occur in a bag, particlarly through the top in this case, but is less likely, especially with a solid draft collar which most mummy bags have.
Personally, if I got out more frequently in sustained cold weather <20f, I'd use a mummy bag with a full collar, but again, I tend to run on the chilly side of the spectrum and the slightest draft gets under my skin. I won't go much below 20f in a quilt, but that's about the limits of what I currently own and rarely a low temp I see during the year.Sep 29, 2011 at 11:56 am #1784848
@benwoodLocale: flatlands of MO
i don't know man, I"ve used that hudson quilt below freezing a few times. and when I toss and turn its pretty common for me to "open up" a side of the quilt and let in cold air. It doesn't seem to bother me that much and I just reposition as necessary. A bivy definitely does help with that. But in my mind, a bivy is getting similar to using a sleeping bag.
"oh man this quilt is 6oz lighter than my bag! I just gotta add this 6oz bivy to keep out drafts!"
I guess alot depends on your shelter system as well. If you are using a bivy and tarp, the bivy should help with the drafts. If you are using a more enclosed shelter you may be pretty draft free without a bivy. I know in my squall classic (if pitched correctly) the drafts are pretty much eliminated by the shelter.
If I were you I'd try to pick up a used quilt cheap or see if there are any BPLers nearby that might let you borrow a quilt to try out. I was very apprehensive about using a quilt, but once I did I was really pumped about it. Another plus for me as a tosser and turner is that if i am hunkered down in a sleeping bag my exhalation will eventually be expelled into the bag. I once woke up with a bag soaked through from interior condensation. SUCK! With a quilt this doesn't happen and keeping head warmth is a job for a hat. It works really well for me.Sep 30, 2011 at 8:03 am #1785162
Thanks, guys. You've all given some good points for which I'll have to ponder more. Though my mind has leaned towards a quilt, I'm wondering if it's for the wrong reasons…which, in my case, would be the weight savings. Been trying to get my already light load even lighter, however, outside of buying a GG Murmur pack….and a lighter bag/quilt…there's nothing I can do, or am willing to do, to drop 1/2 – 3/4 pound. That said, I'm already on the edge of my current bags warmth….a tad over actually.
So, though common sense doesn't always provide my mind with "fun", it seems to be telling me that a warmer sleeping bag would take care of some of my sleeping woes (mostly use a 32 deg WM Summerlite. Perhaps I should trade it for a 20 deg WM Ultralite or FF Hummingbird). Additional meditative practice would undoubtedly help too.
Thanks again. If anyone has additional input to give, I'd appreciate hearing it.
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