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Confused on sleeping bags ratings and weight
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Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Confused on sleeping bags ratings and weight on 09/19/2005 20:56:54 MDT Print View

I'm looking for a 15 - 25 F lightweight down bag. I also will purchase a sleeping pad, but I'm confused on the high variability on weight for similar down bags: Is the weight of 650 fill down that much different than 775 or 900? How is it that a Wicked Fast or Marmot Hydrogen weighs 1/2 to 1 lb less than some similar (to this neophyte)bags? What am I giving up, is the shell much thinner or easier to rip?
Is there a good tutorial on this?


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Confused on sleeping bags ratings and weight on 09/19/2005 21:56:41 MDT Print View

The higher the "fill power" of the down, the less is needed to achieve a given warmth. Thus, everything else being equal, a 900fp bag will be more efficient -- and ligher weight -- than a 600fp bag. What are you giving up when you buy a high fp, ultra lightweight bag? Moolah -- and lots of it!

This REI website has good info. on choosing a sleeping bag:

Finally -- an important caution! There is no standard for temperature rating. Warmth is subjective. Also, gear makers all assign their own ratings. Many are "optimistic" with their ratings -- you may freeze if you take them too literally.

Western Mountaineering, Montbell, Golite -- and REI (more or less) -- are pretty honest.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Confused on sleeping bags ratings and weight on 09/19/2005 22:00:31 MDT Print View

While reading and analyzing on your own, you might also want to describe your type of hiking/camping (e.g. car camping or backpacking, three season or four season, etc.), your height and weight, how heavy of a pack you want to lug, and (of course) your budget -- and folks will gladly give you their recommendations.

Edited by ben2world on 09/19/2005 22:09:42 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
sleeping bags on 09/19/2005 22:07:02 MDT Print View

Benjamin hit it on the nose. No need to add more to this.

Alan Amaya
(archeopteryx) - F
lighter sleeping bags on 09/19/2005 23:15:06 MDT Print View

If you compare one of the lightest bags to a bag that's a pound heavier but has the same temp rating and is from the same company, these are some things you may notice: The hood is smaller or even missing, there are fewer draft tubes / drawstrings, the zipper extends only halfway down the bag, the bag fits more tightly (and sometimes the 'regular' size only fits up to 5'10" instead of 6'), the insulation is lighter (this is fill power), the fabric is lighter (sometimes the weight of the fabric is given in ounces per square foot). I think the weight difference between otherwise identical 800 and 900 fill power bags will be negligible. This thread claims that at least part of the difference between 800 and 900 down is simply the measuring technique used.

Edited by archeopteryx on 09/19/2005 23:18:27 MDT.

Nicholas Couis
(nichoco) - MLife
Chech the latest EN test for comfort for the most honest figures on 09/21/2005 03:27:20 MDT Print View

I bought a Wicked Fast bag this year and have used it for the season in Europe.The rating is way out.This is not a 0 degrees celcius bag.Check out some European web sites and look for the EN test, comfort figure for the rating you are looking for. Also if you look at the Mammut catalog, i don't know if they have it on there web site, but they are finding durability problems with 800 and higher loft down.