Sep 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm #1307965
I'm 5'3" about 115 pounds and sleep very cold. Open to suggestions on bags but I need something that will fit in a small pack, is very warm, and used (if down). I'm open to synthetics, but so far it doesn't seem like a synthetic bag will meet my needs. Weight and warmth are very important to me since I'm small.
Id like to do part of the AT next year so I need something that will be warm enough on the coldest and highest parts of the trail. If you think my EN guess is off let me know.
I'll make additional separate posts but I'm also looking for a light head lamp and sleeping pad for the same purpose. I'm fairly new to this and am not sure about an open or closed cell pad or other options.Sep 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm #2027354
Just some general advice:
A full-length air pad will do a LOT to keep you warm. I would almost say it's the most important piece of your sleep setup. Closed foam is fine, but an air pad is much better. If you're cold, I would suggest it.
Also, there's not really any such thing as "open cell" foam sleeping pads. Closed cell means water can't get in, which is absolutely the only option for a hiker. Sponges are open-cell. There's no weight difference as far as I know, and closed cell is still very cheap; a CCF pad can be like 10 bucks.
As far as sleeping bags go, down and synthetic bags with the same warmth rating are just as warm. Synthetic isn't "colder." On the contrary, for a thru-hike, a down bag can slowly lose warmth from moisture getting trapped in the down from your body. Synthetic doesn't have this problem. Of course, you can still just air out your down bag for an hour or two a day, and down will be more resistant to compression and probably lighter, too.
Your temperature rating is pretty good. I would consider going with a 15-20º bag, and bringing a down jacket you can wear in bed with some thick socks and a baselayer. Having part of your sleep system be your jacket saves weight. The coldest nights in New Hampshire get down to freezing all the way into May. On like May 20th this year, my friend almost went hypothermic in the Whites.
Here's a link to my sale of a synthetic. It's cheap enough that you can probably still get a down bag if you find it doesn't work and need to resell it. It's a good bag for a thru-hike because we do get a lot of rain in New England, and this will not lose warmth when wet. http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=82190&skip_to_post=699655
Keep in mind, this bag is probably too big for you. I don't really suggest it, but maybe it's cheap enough for a test.Sep 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm #2027359
I'm pretty familiar with hiking the AT in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont if you have any questions. I haven't thru-hiked, but I've guided trips in just about every region and climate in the Northeast and I bike long-distance, so I run into a lot of thru-hiker problems :)Sep 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm #2027376
Max 1 there are open cell pads. 2 an air pad is only warmer if its R factor is higher some are not. 3 synthetic insulated bags do loose warmth when wet. Note that the last you edited this was at 13:35 So I am commenting on that post. Sorry Teel for the thread drift, not wanting to start a beat up on Max thread but I thought I'd point a few things out. :^)Sep 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm #2027390
Ben CBPL Member
On pads, I would avoid open cell foam as will absorb water. Closed cell foam is warm, fairly light, multi-use and fairly rugged. An air mattress with no insulation is typically cold. If you can sleep well on closed cell foam, I think its the best option; if you can't an insulated air mattress like a neo-air or Exped UL is a good option. It seems most people below 30 sleep fine on foam and older people don't. I would not recommend uninsulated an air mattress except in very warm weather.
As to bags, it depends on when you plan to be on the trail and, to a lesser extent, where. A 30 degree bag is fine forthe AT in summer months. Down will provide more warmth per weight. Synthetics are a little better with moisture, but nothing does great with moisture so plan to keep it dry.Sep 25, 2013 at 6:57 am #2028011
Hi, thanks all so much for the tips. After doing more research and talking to some friends with more expereince I think I've picked a good bag that fits my needs. The Sierra Designs Eleanor 19 with dri down is what im looking for.
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