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What are your sleeping bag(s) for different temps?
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John Adams
(scsjohn) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
What are your sleeping bag(s) for different temps? on 01/02/2008 09:32:31 MST Print View

I have been wrestling with this for few months now? And over the past 4 years I have changed many times.

I live in the midwest and temps range from -20 deg F up to 105 deg F. I currently use three different sleeping bags. Above 35-40, I use a JBR No Sniveller. (I've added the omnitape to the edges and can enclose the quilt.) This weights about 22-23 ounces.

For temps between 15-45, I use a WM alpinlite. (I haven't actually slept in the bag, but have set up my "system" with this bag.) It weights 33-34 ounces.

For temps below 15, I use an EMS Mountain light 0. It weighs 52 ounces.

Am I wasting time, energy and $$ on three different configurations---all to save on weight? I sleep warm and hate sweating in my bag, so I guess it's also for comfort.

Anyone else have 2-3 different bag setups? Any suggestions?

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Sleeping Bags on 01/02/2008 10:14:10 MST Print View

First off let me say that I am a cold sleeper

Above 35 I use a Western Mountaineering Summerlite

From 35 to 20 I use a Western Mountaineering Ultralite (near the lower end of the tempreture range I add clothing as needed)

Below 20 I use a Mountian Hardwear Phanotom 0

If I were going to have only one bag, I would take my Western Mountaineering Ultralite. It has a full zip for warmer nights and I have used it on nights down into the teens without a problem.

I also alternate pads accoriding to the weather conditions I am expecting

Edited by Mocs123 on 01/02/2008 10:16:06 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Wide Temperature Range on 01/02/2008 10:14:12 MST Print View

My set up for three-season and mild winter use:

MontBell Thermal Sheet - 50F
MontBell Down Hugger No. 3 - 30F to 50F
The two combined - 15F to 30F

Tommy Clapp

Locale: GSM Area
range on 01/02/2008 10:35:17 MST Print View

I am experimenting right now with different quilts for winter. I am a cold sleeper, I do sleep properly clothed for each condition and have experimented with using rain gear as a vapor barrier.

45+ JRB Shenandoah, MLD Superlite bivy

35+ JRB No Sniveller, MLD Superlite bivy

25+ Golite Feather bag, MLD Superlite bivy

15+ Golite Feather bag, JRB Shenandoah, MLD Superlite bivy

5+ Golite Feather Bag, JRB No Sniveller, MLD Superlite bivy

I have tested all but the 5+ setup. here in east TN it rarely gets that cold and the chances of me being out in that temp would be unlikely. I would love to go to quilt only. with both quilts together i get around 4" of loft which should take me to 5+, but I haven't tried it and it is heavier than the Golite alone. I have the golite at 33oz stuffed and I have the 2 quilts together with down JRB hood at 37oz. Anyone have suggestions or tips on combining quilts?


NOTE# I am trading in the feather for the Ultra 20 and shaving 10oz. it should make the setup lighter and more efficient.

Edited by TCXJWAGONEER on 01/04/2008 19:25:30 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Bag Configurations on 01/02/2008 11:09:49 MST Print View

Arc AT (9.75 oz.) for ~35F(2C) and up.

Arc AT + clothes for ~35F to ~25F. Untested at this moment and perhaps too ambituos.

WM Versalite (37 oz) for ~25F(-4C) and lower.

I had a Marmot Hydrogen to bridge the gap, but got rid of it in hopes of using some insulating clothes to help with the AT...unfortunatley, the temps have dropped too far and I won't be able to test it out until next spring.
I've had my Versalite down to -2F(-18C) with no problems in a heavy fleece top/bottom and feel it can go much lower with my parka and pants.

Edited by Steve_Evans on 01/02/2008 11:12:16 MST.

John Adams
(scsjohn) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
So I'm not crazy on 01/02/2008 11:31:15 MST Print View


I was thinking of switching to the versalite for my winter bag, but didn't know how low I could take it. Like I said before I sleep warm and am sometimes hot in the EMS 0, but was worried about taking a 10F bag down to below zero.


Thanks for your postings on using different setups.

Please keep the ideas coming until this topic has been overdone.



Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
South on 01/02/2008 12:47:18 MST Print View

"I have tested all but the 5+ setup. here in east TN it rarely gets that cold and the chances of me being out in that temp would be unlikely."

It was -6 on Mt LeCont and Clingmans Dome yesterday (12 was the high). It was 6 degrees when I checked Purchase Knob about 8:00Am this morning. I don't blame you, I don't go when it is that cold much either, just too cold for my Southern blood.

Tommy Clapp

Locale: GSM Area
Re: South on 01/02/2008 13:00:13 MST Print View

Yeah, I have been out when it gets cold here in TN, but I haven't planned a trip that cold in least not on what website were you looking at to find temps on those locations?


Edited by TCXJWAGONEER on 01/02/2008 13:03:51 MST.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: What are your sleeping bag(s) for different temps? on 01/02/2008 14:07:39 MST Print View

I am a warm sleeper. I use a NunatakUSA Ghost Quilt when I expect the temp to be above 25F. I am comfort using it down to around 10F when wearing all my clothing (and safe but chilled below that). If I expect the temp to be below 25F I switch to a MW Versalite which I can use with just my base layer down to 0F, and to -20F with all my clothing.

Of course what you are on top of is just as important. I use the BA insulated air pad down to around 20F... and then add a foam pad. If I did a lot more winter trips I would switch to a down air matress.


Edited by verber on 01/02/2008 14:09:10 MST.

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
"What are your sleeping bag(s) for different temps?" on 01/02/2008 14:46:12 MST Print View

I use a Lafuma 600 (synthetic) for anything above 45F. 20 oz.

I use a Sierra Designs 15F bag (8 years old - name?) for anything that will stay above 0F.

For anything colder than this I use a USMC Bivy system rated down to -30F... But I have only gone car camping with mild hikes in and that systems tops out at nearly 11 pounds. So it is anything but light weight.


John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: What are your sleeping bag(s) for different temps? on 01/02/2008 15:01:29 MST Print View

MontBell DownHugger Super Stretch #7 (comfortable for me down to 40F)
Gossamer Gear Nightlight Torso pad if weight concious, if not then the MontBell UL Comfort System Pad 90

Spring and Fall:
Western Mountaineering Summerlite (comfortable for me down to 22F)
MontBell UL Comfort System Pad 90

Borderline Winter:
Feathered Friends Winter Wren w/ 2oz overstuff (comfortable for me down to 10F)
Big Agness Insulated Air Core 72" mummy pad

Montbell DownHugger Super Stretch #0 (comfortable for me down to -10F... beyond that I wear extra clothing)
Exped 70" Downmat 9

I sleep very warm and the temperature ratings are for a minimal amount of clothing for that season.

Edited by Quoddy on 01/03/2008 07:25:38 MST.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: "What are your sleeping bag(s) for different temps?" on 01/02/2008 19:24:42 MST Print View

For anything down to 25° I use a North Face Beeline, rated at 30°. Below that I go with a Mountain Hardware Ultralamina Thermic Micro, rated at 15°. I have an old REI Volcano, rated at 0°, but I've only used it once or twice in 20 years.

I always use an Thermarest Prolite3 Womens pad. I tend to sleep cold.

Edited by redleader on 01/02/2008 19:28:07 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Temps on 01/02/2008 19:56:02 MST Print View

I have another link at work, but here are a couple of the links I have here at home

These are for yesterday (always one day behind)

Purchase Knob Webcam

Look Rock Webcam

Joyce Kilmer Webcam

This website used to have forecasts for every shelter on the AT (I am not sure where from, but the couple of timse I remembered to check with my actual recorded temps they were fairly accurate) but hasn't been updated as of late.

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
I use 3 different quilts/bags on 01/02/2008 20:21:01 MST Print View

I think I'm a pretty normal sleeper as far as temperatures go, but I like to sleep warmly. Here's my sleeping insulation arsenal -

Summer - Nunatak Arc Ghost customized with an ounce less down for a summer quilt. Good to about 45 F for me.

Fall/spring - Western Mountaineering Ultralite (with 2 oz) overfill. Good to about 20 F for me.

Winter - Sierra Designs Mist (rated to 0 degrees). 10-20 F (never had it any lower, and I can't say that I want to camp out much below that.)

I vary the pads I use widely, as I sometimes sleep in a hammock with an underquilt (and add a GG Thinlight if needed); sometimes use a BA Insulated Aircore; sometimes (rarely) a RidgeRest, and am going to be playing with a GG Nitelight Torso and an 1/8 inch thinlight for summer or supplemental winter use with the BA. I also have a P.O.E. Hyper High Mtn pad that is nice for winter.

I'm still experimenting, and will probably go with a Nunatak Arc Alpinist sometime in the future instead of the WM Ultralite, since I really like sleeping under a quilt, but I want to play a bit more with the Ghost and different sleeping headgear before I commit to a hoodless quilt for colder temperatures.


Edited by RiverRunner on 01/02/2008 20:29:24 MST.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Bag system on 01/02/2008 20:32:57 MST Print View

I have been thinking about this lately also because I realized I did not have a summer bag. I think I will be going with a WM Summerlite for down to 35F because it has a full zipper so that it can be used as a quilt and vented in warmer temps. I can then wear my Patagonia Expedition Weight layer inside to even help to drop that number.

For cooler temps I have an old Marmot 20F bag that is old enough to drink. That is pretty bang on for 20F with a tshirt and short so I am assuming that with the EW layer I would be able to close in on 10F and I really don't want to go lower than that.

My suggestion to you is to get a two bags. On about 35-40F and the other about 20F. Make sure that one of them is 60" girth and the other 64" girth that way if you need to go lower than 20F you just take both bags and stick one inside the other. That should get you down to 0F easily.

I was thinking about using a quilt but I am a side sleeper and sleep about 1/4 fetal so I don't think a quilt is for me. It would be nice if they made a quilt like the JRB No Sniveler that also had a built in hood and that would zip up on two sides so that you could use it as a bag, quilt, or vest.

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
Re: Bag system on 01/02/2008 20:44:35 MST Print View


That is the reason I went with the Ghost with less down, because I wanted a wider quilt due to being a side sleeper & likely to draw my knees up. It works well for me.

Tom at Nunatak can work with you to customize the width of a quilt to suit you. Another option is to make your own - really easy with synthetic, but of course not as light as down. I made an oversized Ray Jardine quilt from one of his kits before I got the Ghost, but it weighs about 12 ounces more.

Kenneth Knight
(kenknight) - MLife

Locale: SE Michigan
Re: What are your sleeping bag(s) for different temps? on 01/03/2008 02:14:14 MST Print View

My workhorse sleeping bag is actually still my Nunatak Arc ALpinist I had made years ago. I think mine is the third they ever made after Don Johnston and Ryan Jordan. 5" baffles and somewhat puffier. I intended it to be used in colder conditions down to around 10°F and colder if wearing proper clothing. It has worked pretty well over the years. Layer my even older Back Country Blanket on top (originally designed to be used in combination with my WM Iriquois for winter use here in Michigan) and it's even better.

The AA has also proven pretty comfy even when it gets quite warm outside. Well into the 40s if not 50. This is because I can open it up so much that I don't feel as if I am overheating. It's not the lightest solution for warmer weather but it's whatI have and I think it is more comfortable than the Iroquois which was originally my warm wether bag.

Once it gets consistently above 55-60 a simple silk liner is more than enough. However, I have sometimes elected to take a BMW Quilt instead especially if I am going somewhere where I think rain is likely which usually means cooler seeming temperatures than a silk liner would handle.

As a rule I am not one o those who likes to wear puffy clothing to sleep so I don't really go for designing a sleep system where I must wear puffy clothing inside wht is a lighter sleeping bag. I've done it but it just isn't my style even though it is more efficient gear weight wise. I'm willing to wear "standard" clothing (pants, shirt) but if I can avoid doing that I will.

One last thing: the AA is wearing out. It has never been quite the same since I tore and burnt a set of holes in it a couple years ago when packing it inside my kifaru Paratipi with wood stove. Maybe I sleep a tad colder now too but I think the bag has lost loft even after the repairs were made. I'm not sure what will replace it.

** Ken **

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
What are your sleeping bag(s) for different temps on 01/03/2008 04:22:28 MST Print View

90F to 32F, Montbell Super Stretch Down Hugger #7

I follow the BPL principle of wearing my insulation layer to bed; which allows me to carry that 1.2 lb sleeping bag.

I have never needed my MSSDH #3, so my GF uses it. I could layer the #7 inside the #3, but I don't ever expect to be out in such conditions.

Edited by Brett1234 on 01/03/2008 04:23:48 MST.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Sleep System on 01/03/2008 09:31:43 MST Print View

7 oz Custom Bivy, 10 oz Custom Primaloft quilt (72 x 48), and clothing as needed - 55 and above

Custom 18 oz XP 20 degree quilt(56 x 84), Insulated Pullover, and 7 oz custom DWR Bivy .... 55 to 20.

20 to 0 ..... 18 oz Custom XP quilt, Insulated pullover, Insulated Vest, Balaclava, Custom Bivy, and 10 oz Custom Primaloft quilt.

Below 0 - Holiday Inn

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Bag system on 01/03/2008 10:54:41 MST Print View

Does the quilt work for you if you have it drawn close and are tossing and turning from side to side?

To Pamela

Edited by bpeugh on 01/03/2008 10:55:30 MST.