- Dec 6, 2017 at 4:16 am #3505800
Adam GBPL Member
I’m trying to sort out my winter sleeping system. I would mostly camp in the Pacific Northwest with temperatures to around 0 F, sometimes lower. Perhaps I would camp in the Sierra Nevada.
I currently have a Thermarest Z Lite Sol with a XTherm on top of that. That seems to insulate me quite well from the bottom. My summer quilt is an Enigma 20F. I tried using the quilt while wearing my Rab Neutrino Endurance jacket (which I love for standing around camp), but I was too cold. I think it was a combination of inadequate insulation when my arms/legs compressed the down when they poked out and also drafts.
I think I need a sleeping bag. I am a side sleeper, but sometimes I end up sleeping on my belly or back. I realize that the down is compressed on the bottom, but I think that may be helpful if I’m thrashing about. I was thinking of the Western Mountaineering Versalite or Antelope or the Feathered Friends Snowbunting. I worry that the Antelope will be too cold. They don’t have hydrophobic down, and I wonder how they would hold up for longer trips (e.g. 7-14 days). A synthetic bag with the quilt may be an option, but I somehow doubt it will provide enough warmth since it won’t overlap with the quilt 100%.Dec 6, 2017 at 6:26 am #3505823
Edward John MBPL Member
Mike has an elephants foot half bag for sale cheap Have you thought about just adding in that as an additional layer in your system?
For general cold I find the boost of a half bag plus a parka is usually more than enoughDec 6, 2017 at 6:48 am #3505824
Ralph BurgessBPL Member
Have you seen that Enlightened Equipment do a bag version of the Enigma, called Conundrum? You can get that rated as warm as you want, and it can still open up and work with the same attachment system as their quilts, which might be nice if that’s what you’re accustomed to using in summer. I think if I were going to splurge on a system for the conditions you’re going out in, the Conundrum with a thin synthetic Enigma quilt (in a wider fitting) over the top would be a nice setup.Dec 7, 2017 at 8:38 am #3506037
Chris CBPL Member
Both Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends the same goose down from Poland and is not hydrophobic because neither brands saw any benefits. I have both their bags and lean towards less added chemicals anyway. Never have had a problem with moisture in the bag. I have a WM Puma in GoreWindstopper with a footbox overfill. If I could do it all over again, I would opt for the -10F Bristlecone Semi Rec or -10 Lynx Mummy in Microfiber. The microfiber they use feels great, is more pliable so it’s easier to stuff, weighs less and costs less–not that I think about the costs anymore. WM’s full collar feels great. My FF Nano Swallow does not have a collar and I miss having one even in 50F weather.
Enlightened Equipment’s Convert can be fully zipped (no hood) and fully opened and can be custom ordered down to -10F with varied lengths and widths. Call them and ask for their recommendations for your height, and sleep style. Their 850fp down is duck; 900 & 950 is goose. All their down is DownTek Treated. Convert’s zipper does not open up if you zip it half way down and move around.
I, too, am a side sleeper and have yet to find the perfect sleep system. Some have recommended sleeping bags that have a middle zipper like Nunatak’s Alpinist and The North Face’s Inferno. I’m getting a FF Winter Wren 25F soon and will see if the center front zipper is more comfortable. I’m pretty sure I’ll like the wider foot portion-50″ width–while I turn to sleep on my side. I wonder if FF would custom make a Winter Wren to a lower rated bag.
What are you using for a pillow? So far, it’s just been my clothing in a soft fabric stuff sack.Dec 7, 2017 at 7:51 pm #3506104
As you said, your mattress system is good. I use a similar two layer setup with a Thermarest Trail Pro mattress over a Ridgerest CFC pad for anything below -10 F.
Last year I bought an LL Bean -20 F. 750 fill goose down bag. (Sold out for this season with only 0 F. bags available.) :o( The good news is that these bags all use down treated with Down Tek DWR.
This bag is the best designed winter bag I’ve seen and I’ve seen many and owned 3 winter bags so far. Plus the price is amazing even at the $419. full retail. (OK, 750 fill isn’t 900 fill but it is still way above the 500 fill “standard”.) I got mine on an amazing one day double sale for about $269. Bean stands behind their gear and clothing 100% and everything I’ve ever bought from them has lasted far longer than I expected.
BTW, My 3 season bag is a WM Megalite so I do have a high bar for quality in my sleeping bags and the LL Bean winter bag easily meets it.Dec 7, 2017 at 11:19 pm #3506126
Mike MBPL Member
I love quilts and own several, but purchased a 0 quilt a couple of seasons ago and while I think the loft was adequate to 0, drafts were an issue in the cold. I’ve gone back to a sleeping bag- I went with a FF UL Lark w/ 3 oz of overfill, which should put in the 0-ish range. I went back and forth between the Lark and Snowbunting and decided to save a little weight with the Lark (even with the overfill).
Comparable bags from WM will serve you just as well; it’s a bit of a tough pill to swallow $ wise, but I know of several FF and WM bags still on the job 20 years later.
I use the same pad system and agree you’re good to go there.Dec 10, 2017 at 10:24 am #3506627
Seth DBPL Member
You could get a wide width synthetic or down 40* quilt to layer over your 20*. You should hit 0 no problem with that.Dec 11, 2017 at 3:14 am #3506771
Your idea of a synthetic over quilt is good. Most of us know that our perspiration migrates as vapor out through our sleeping bags and condenses in the colder outer layers. And, like you, we know a synthetic overbag would be the best way to capture most of that moisture (unless we use a VBL bag inside our down bag).
So In guess I could use my overstuffed WM 20 F. Megalite bag with a synthetic overbag to get to -20 F. The problem is the weight and bulk.
That said I’m now having my tailor sew up a silnylon VBL with a shock corded drawstring top opening and maybe later add a 24″ Velcro closure on my bag’s zipper side if I can’t stand getting in and out of the VBL drawstring top.
BTW, before I sold it, I had a Mountain Hardwear -20 F. synthetic (Polarguard Delta) bag that had a full length side expandable zippered gore. With it open I could get my WM down bag inside and zip the MH bag up without compressing the down bag. THAT combo would have been good to at least -40 F. But I’d need a sled and dog team to haul both bags.Dec 11, 2017 at 2:07 pm #3506869
Edward BartonBPL Member
Eric and others, for a VBL, I would consider going with a sil nylon jacket and pants/socks instead of a VBL bag. You want to have the option to keep your insulated jacket and pants on while you sleep in that environment, and you can’t do that effectively with a VBL bag layer because your body moisture would become trapped in those layers. VBL clothing worn over base layers mitigates this, and you can continue to wear the system during the day if temps are cold enough, or change them out inside your bag. Skurka wore this type of setup during his Northern Midwest long hike, including during the day, and reported it worked well.Dec 12, 2017 at 5:28 am #3507032
Very good point on the option to add extra insulation over a jacket & pants VBL suit. I was about to begin cutting my silnylon for a VBL bag. Now I’ll buy a pattern for pajamas from a fabric shop and get to work. Looks like there is enough material for a suit with an odd bit of piecing here and there. I realize it means more seam sealing but hey, I’m retired and have the time.
Still even a VBL suit requires a dedicated base layer. I’m looking for polyethelene so it will dry fast (or freeze fast!).Dec 12, 2017 at 6:41 am #3507046
Ralph BurgessBPL Member
Would Tyvek overalls work for a VBL suit?Dec 13, 2017 at 12:27 am #3507170
I don’t think Tyvek has a high enough hydrostatic head to keep my sweat inside a suit when I am laying on it.. Plus it’s heavier and bulkier although better feeling against the skin than silnylon.
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