May 8, 2005 at 8:57 am #1216133
I’m looking for the lightest synthetic bag out there rated between 20 and 35 degrees. Any ideas? Thanks.
http://www.JackieandAlan.comMay 9, 2005 at 8:01 am #1337179
Been experimenting with the North Face Fission for 6 months now and I’ve been extremely pleased with it. Specs as follows:
size reg = 33.9 oz w/ golite stuff sack (my scale)
Pertex Quantum shell, Polarguard Delta fill
1/3 length zipper
uncluttered, functional drawcords
$199 retail — permit me to squawk a bit, I got it 20% off : ) ooh, ahh…
Anyway, I’ve used it in conjunction w/ a BMW cocoon pullover, Vapr Bivy and Oware Tarp. Great system–with a normal array of fringe 3-season clothing, it takes me near to zero. I don’t know of a synthetic bag that comes so close to the warmth:weight ratio of down. The upcoming synthetic Arc X maybe….
Be aware that my success w/ this bag in low temps is due in part to the fact that it fits me like a glove. I’m 5,9 160 lbs, and wearing a baselayer, possumdown vest and beanie, windshirt and synthetic pullover, the fit is ideal for me. The cut is slim, tho, so others may not be able to wear as much clothing inside. 59-60″ interior shoulder girth according to TNF, I think. (?)
The 1/3 zipper makes the bag unsuitable for temps much above 60*F, but in the 5-50*F range it’s great.
Hope this helps.May 9, 2005 at 8:22 am #1337180
By the way Alan, beautiful website. Looks like some great trips!May 9, 2005 at 8:43 am #1337181
Alan, Im currently using a Montbell Super Stretch Burrow Bag #4, rated between 40 to 20 degrees.
Its light (2lbs 8oz on my scale, weighed in the original stuff sack) and made with solid materials (no vapor thin fabrics here)
It has elastic baffles that pulls the insulation to the body, reducing the space you need to heat, and the foot pocket has some neat features. You can close it off to reduce bag depth, pull the last baffle inside and cinch it down for extra foot box insulation, or use the drawstring to create “booties”.
The insulation is a proprietary material called Excelloft. Good stuff. It has 2 different deniers of material inside. A heavy weight tube, and a lightweight thread. This provides the weight and compressibility benefits of Polarguard 3d/Delta class insulation… but has improved durability due to the solid core fibers.
Oh, and you can get a smoking deal on them… I bought my in the store for $80. You can get the same deal online in their web-deals section. Thats for last years models…. this years model is functionally identical, just different colors for $120.
HTHMay 9, 2005 at 9:00 am #1337182
Jason, thanks for the comments on the site. Funny….you and I are the exact same size. I’ll check into the Fussion. I’m currently using a NF Cat’s Meow which scales out at 44 oz (with the NF stuff sack). I may be able to just switch stuff sacks to a lighter one to save a couple of oz, then just eat the rest.
Edit: My dream bag is the Western Mountaineering Apache MF (32 oz, 15 degree), but that thing is $350.00. For that kind of money, I can suck up a few ounces. :-) Joe, thanks for the response.May 9, 2005 at 6:13 pm #1337191
For the price and the weight, I don’t think there is a better deal out there than Ray’s Quilt Kit. For under $60 you get everything plus detailed instructions! Quite a few options there as well. Also, you may want to make a querry with AYCE at his thru-hiker.com site. I’ve made the down quilt kit based on Jeremy Padgette’s design, but you could ask him to replace the down with Polarguard or Primaloft, skip on the no-see-um for baffles and perhaps he’d lower the price?May 11, 2005 at 12:04 am #1337217
I have used a moonestone stratus for a while. Its 27oz and works to about the 20’s when new. I think that they have replaced it with a new bag that looks like da Bomb. However, if you are looking for a good bargan on an ultra light, search for the stratus. I carried it on my thru hike, needed nothing more.May 11, 2005 at 9:47 am #1337229
One question you have to ask before buying the bag is: do I want a bag ~rated~ to 20F, or do I just want to sleep in temps down to 20F. If its really the former, then in most cases you’re preparing yourself for temps down to 10 or 5F, in conjunction w/ a normal setup of clothing. If its just the former, then a bag like the Moonstone Stratus (32f rating) would be a better choice than the Fission. I’d never use a WM Apache for temps above 15, yet for colder than that I’d have to question the appropriateness of down to begin with (recalling bad winter condensation experiences, etc).
Just one of the many confusions brought on by these over-simplistic ratings.May 11, 2005 at 11:20 am #1337231
EMS has a Quantum/PL2 bag at 1.5 lb and rated for 35F. They are claiming it to be the lightest synthetic bag. I suppose the Marmot Pounder can be overlooked due to it’s limited usefulness but I am seriously considering it as part of a 3-season system (2lb total for the Pounder plus an ID Primaliner). The problem is that I don’t sleep well if I’m too warm or cool. My Marmot Hydrogen is comfy at 40-50F, but above that I cook.May 11, 2005 at 12:03 pm #1337232
Where did you hear about this? I can’t find any info. Any details about the design, etc?
-JasonMay 11, 2005 at 12:50 pm #1337235
The bag is the Velocity 35. It was shown in a 1/3 page ad in the Backpacker Gear Guide Mar/05. There is also a 5F version. Unfortunately when you go the EMS website and link in to sleeping bags from the home page you will end up in “3-Season Sleepin Bags” sub-section instead of a sleeping bags home. On the right side you can link in to Warm-Weather Sleeping Bags. or click here ;>)
Apparently EMS has started having Kansas State University do independent evaluations of all their bags, so there should be excellent accuracy in all their specs including temperature rating.May 11, 2005 at 2:07 pm #1337239
I bought the EMS Velocity 35 last summer. I wouldn’t worry about it being too warm. I slept in it last fall in 40-45 degree weather with pants and long sleeve shirt on and I woke up cold. (But not so cold that I couldn’t fall back asleep in a few minutes.) I’m very happy with it and use it and for $150, you can’t beat the price.
Throw out the compression sack it comes with. It’s bad for the Primaloft. It’s still damn small in a regular stuff sack.May 11, 2005 at 3:27 pm #1337243
James SchipperBPL Member
You can get a kelty ligh year 3D 30deg.(2lbs 3oz) for about $75 various places on the web (just use froogle. I think the fanatic fringe quilts are great. They are rated for 30 degrees. 1lb 8oz for the 3D, 1lb 6oz for the Delta.May 11, 2005 at 5:46 pm #1337248
re: Kelty Light Year 3D, Kelty used to lie about the weights of their bags and tents. Marmot and Sierra Designs have stopped this practice but I’m not sure about Kelty.May 14, 2005 at 8:45 pm #1337295
@dehoffLocale: The Frozen Tundra
I have a 2005 Kelty Lightyear 25 Long (down), and it weighs in at what it is listed at.May 15, 2005 at 11:17 pm #1337301
canyon steinzigBPL Member
@canyonLocale: Nor Cal
the northface propel is one pound and rated to 40. I have one for saleMay 18, 2005 at 5:02 am #1337328
Jason, I went back and read your previous post about “The upcoming synthetic Arc X …”
I’ve never heard of this….what’s the scoop?May 18, 2005 at 7:50 am #1337335
Well if it gives you any idea how much of a scoop I’ve got–when I saw a post titled ‘upcoming synthetic Arc X’, my ears perked up, thinking it might be a product release update!
I need help. Anyway here’s what I know: in an article on spring backpacking in the first BPL print issue, Ryan’s gear list mentions a synthetic ‘Cocoon Arc X’ weighing 26 oz. That must have been a very early prototype. In a thread awhile back 05 BMW Products? Ryan confirms that something similar is now in the works for fall/winter:
Cocoon PD 15oz 36F
Cataclysm PD 18oz 33F
These specs must’ve been published in the first print issue, too, I don’t recall. They appear to be top bags w/ construction techniques similar to the Cocoon pullover, which allow polarguard delta + pertex quantum shell to match the warmth:wt of down. I like the pullover, so since I prefer synthetic sleeping bags 90% of the year, I’m very interested.
Don’t hold your breath, though–I’m guessing they’ll release sometime after the fall line of packs.
edit – if you haven’t seen BMW’s down Arc-X (MIA from site right now), check out the manufacturer’s site for an idea: Arc FAQ
Also, there was talk of a Cocoon balaclava for Feb 05, but it seems not to have materialized. Would make the ideal combo.May 18, 2005 at 9:17 pm #1337361
Good info….thanks. I’ll check it out.May 23, 2005 at 5:39 pm #1337495
Well, Alan, in case you haven’t read the 05 Products update, I’d say my Fission will soon have seen better days. Cocoon Arc X (15) + Cocoon Pants (9) = 24 oz, about 10 oz lighter. Likely not as warm as above system, but w/ clothing et al plenty for your specs. Added benefit of pants around camp.Sep 11, 2005 at 6:20 pm #1341506
Just came across this thread again, and realized that new info has made my last post innacurate. As per the newsletter update some time ago, the specs for the current prototype BMW synthetic arc quilt do not correspond to those publsihed in the print mag. It is now said to weigh 11 oz (!), and the design and loft are not exactly comparable to the down-fill Arc X, since it is intended mainly to be layered OVER the Arc X or Nunatak Arc Special. Still a promising piece of gear — just thought a follow-up was in order.Sep 12, 2005 at 12:57 pm #1341535
Mmmmm…..I’ll check it out. Thanks.
A.Sep 13, 2005 at 1:58 pm #1341596
Any new ETA on the synthetic Arc?
I’ve looked at making my own synthetic quilt, but honestly if a synthetic ArcX is in the works, I’ll likely look at purchaing it. (I don’t have tons of time to sew my own stuff)Sep 13, 2005 at 3:24 pm #1341603
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
taking a final prototype with me to yellowstone this week, i’m using it as an overbag to my 15-ounce arc x. the cocoon quilt is polarguard delta, pertex quantum, and 11 ounces. For a 26 ounce sleep system, it has about 6 inches of total loft and affords the long term protection of using a synth on the outer shell of the bag. should be toasty :)
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