Sleeping Bag of Choice
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Sasha Rice
(Rice) - F
Sleeping Bag of Choice on 10/06/2005 17:58:18 MDT Print View

I am having a hard time picking which sleeping bag I would like to purchase and I am still having a hard time even narrowing my list.
I hike primarily on the Appalachian Trail during 25-40F weather under a tarp w/ a pad and groundcloth. I am looking for a sleeping bag that is barely over 1 pound and can be comfortable in these conditions.
Which sleeping bag would you personally suggest to me to consider?

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Sleeping Bag of Choice on 10/06/2005 18:10:57 MDT Print View

Firt of all I recomend you get bivy sack to add warmth, weather protection,and prevent drafts. some examples are the BMW vapr bivy but what I use is the exuinox ultralight mummy bivi.$60 6.5oz

When it comes to a bag I recomend a nunatak arc ghost

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Sleeping bag on 10/06/2005 18:59:08 MDT Print View

Western Mountaineering Highlite. 16 oz. and has a temp comfort rating of around 35 degrees (subjective). Add a bivy such as the BMW or as Ryan said the Equinox (which I own) and you have a pretty sweet set up. One bummer about the Highlite is it is for smaller type folks. Big people tend to have some problems with the bags girth.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Sleeping bag on 10/06/2005 19:13:11 MDT Print View

I love my bivy sack but there is only one problem I found. it is that it has no bug netting. but I found that having to use a headnet is well worth the money saved compared to the vapr.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Sleeping Bag of Choice on 10/06/2005 19:17:03 MDT Print View

As far as traditional bags go (as opposed to quilts and "variable girth" bags) I ended up with the MontBell Super Stretch Down Hugger. It's pretty ingenious I'd say... the stetchy-ness of the bag allows you to have a fair bit of wiggle room while still keeping you nice and toasty because it "hugs" you when you're not moving around. I got the #3 because I'm up in Canada and the late/early shoulder seasons can sometimes be below zero at night. But you could probably go with a #4 or 5... which would be lighter.

Edited by davidlewis on 10/06/2005 19:17:46 MDT.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: Sleeping Bag of Choice on 10/06/2005 19:29:52 MDT Print View

I have two montbell bags, and am very happy with them both. my super strech down hugger #2 was my first ultralight bag. I used it down to 5 degrees with nothing but a liner and a mid weight base layer. truly the most comforatable bag I have ever used due to the stretch in the baffles. info at montbell.com

my other is a 45 degree synthetic bag no longer made. I used it to 35 wearing insulating and wind layers in a bivy. the montbell exelloft is the ightest, and most compressable synthetic insulater I have seen. I agree with david that you could get away with a less warmer bag.

I would recomend any bag made by mont bell because they are very high quality and light.

The only reason I got an arc is for the weight savings. but I can tell you I know one night on the trail I will surely wish I had brought my montbell bag

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Sleeping Bag of Choice on 10/06/2005 20:02:50 MDT Print View

Also consider the Feathered Friends Vireo Sleeping Bag which is an extended half bag without a zipper. Available in choice of color, down quality, overfill, and materials.

Rich

Edited by naturephoto1 on 10/06/2005 20:04:05 MDT.

J R
(RavenUL) - F
Re: Re: Re: Sleeping Bag of Choice on 10/06/2005 20:14:35 MDT Print View

3rd vote for Montbell. Great bags. I use a #4 synthetic. Light, warm, compressible.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Sleeping Bags on 10/06/2005 20:42:33 MDT Print View

You may wish to look at the following Rock and Ice article:

http://tinyurl.com/bwsh4

Rich

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
production sleeping bags par excellance on 10/06/2005 20:50:40 MDT Print View

Marmot Hydrogen and Helium for their respective
loft/temp. and the equivalent Western Mtneering Bags (Megalite and Ultralite) have always impressed me for their design, attention to detail, and reasonable temp. ratings. Montbell comes in a little below--the elastic girth is a good idea that merits exploring but I find that their down quality and hood design is not quite up to snuff. I generally really like Montbell products--I use several of them.

For custom/semi-custom bags-- it is very hard to top Nunatak and Feathered Friends.

The French Valandre bags look awfully nice but poor exchange rates make them a poor deal.

The most incredible down bag I have ever seen was made (for me) by the defunct Down Home cottage company ( somewhere in deepest,darkest coast range Oregon) ---a Winter Bag w/ almost 9 " of loft, gore-tex shell, and the best hood design of all time--never since emulated. It is now 20 years old and has not lost any loft.Weighs in at a sliver of an oz. over 3 lbs. The only trouble is to find conditions worthy of it. Heres hoping for a seriously polar winter.
Too bad I never got an ultralight bag out of them.

Edited by kdesign on 10/06/2005 21:16:28 MDT.

Peter Surna
(PedroArvy) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne
Arc Ghost below freezing? on 10/06/2005 21:22:30 MDT Print View

An Arc Ghost below freezing?
You have got to be kidding.
See my review of this bag for my detailed thoughts which weren't impressive.
The person I sold it to didn't think much of it either.

WM Ultralight in my opinion. Quilts are lighter IF they suit you.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Arc Ghost below freezing?--qualified yes on 10/06/2005 21:40:08 MDT Print View

mileage may vary. I could see an Arc Ghost used below freezing if (1) you are slender enough for it (2) it is used as part of a system--- bivy,high loft jackets, etc. (3) sufficient shelter protection(tent, tarp/bivy combo, and terrain/ siting considerations.

I have used a Marmot bag, rated to freezing, almost into the teens (degrees F) paying attention to #'s 2 and 3.

Edited by kdesign on 10/06/2005 21:41:37 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Arc Ghost below freezing?--qualified yes on 10/06/2005 22:23:37 MDT Print View

I agree with Kevin... the Ghost can be used to 32F thought I am not sure I qualify as "thin" being 5'10", 180lbs. I have been mostly comfortable with a Ghost, medium weight base layer, GoLite Snow Cap, and wool socks. Mostly comfortable because I am a side sleeper and by the morning enough of the down has shifted so I have a cold spot where my hip is at the peak. There are four things which would eliminate this as an issue: sleep on my back (nope), 1-2oz overfill (costs money), wake up and shake the quilt to redistribute down (that's cold), or place some clothing item (like my hiking shirt) on the top of my hips.

I have used the Ghost down to 20F with a silk liner + dwr bivy, or with with a thermawrap vest, MH tempest gloves, and primaloft socks.

Edited by verber on 10/06/2005 22:24:53 MDT.


(Anonymous)
MH Phantom 32 on 10/08/2005 02:19:41 MDT Print View

I have the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32. It is down filled, with 10 ozs of fill, and rated to 32 degrees. It weighs 23.6 ounces (actual) with the stuff sack, and packs fairly small. I have only been in it down to about 40, but felt I'd be fine down to the freezing mark. I imagine additional layers and/or bivy sack would be essential to staying comfortable down to 20 in the bag. I'm also quite warm in it at 60 degrees.

-G$

John Mackey
(JohnMackey) - F
Best bag for the weight on 10/08/2005 05:51:29 MDT Print View

I really like Gossamer Gear's SleepLight Down Bag. Mine weighs 16.1 ounces. Here is what I like about it:
1. Wide girth of 62 inches at the shoulder. This is similar to Marmot's bags and wider than WM bags (which is what I don't like about WM bags).
2. No down on the bottom of the bag similar to the Ghost (except at foot box), but with full nylon enclosure. I always have trouble keeping my Ghost sealed up tight enough on cold nights to prevent drafts when I turn. The SleepLight solves this problem for me.
3. A hood, which the Ghost lacks.
4. 850+ down filling

I've slept very comfortably in this bag down to about freezing sleeping in my rain gear and with a 1.3 oz balaclava in a TarpTent Virga. My puffy jacket remained as a good pillow. Below freezing would require wearing the puffy jacket. For me, this is the perfect bag from 55 degrees down to freezing.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Best bag for the weight on 10/08/2005 05:56:25 MDT Print View

John,

good info. how difficult is it to "wriggle" into the bag? how tall are you (this will help me gauge how it might work out for me - "wriggling" into it)? many thanks, p j

John Mackey
(JohnMackey) - F
Best bag for the weight on 10/08/2005 06:38:30 MDT Print View

I really like Gossamer Gear's SleepLight Down Bag. Mine weighs 16.1 ounces. Here is what I like about it:
1. Wide girth of 62 inches at the shoulder. This is similar to Marmot's bags and wider than WM bags (which is what I don't like about WM bags).
2. No down on the bottom of the bag similar to the Ghost (except at foot box), but with full nylon enclosure. I always have trouble keeping my Ghost sealed up tight enough on cold nights to prevent drafts when I turn. The SleepLight solves this problem for me.
3. A hood, which the Ghost lacks.
4. 850+ down filling

I've slept very comfortably in this bag down to about freezing sleeping in my rain gear and with a 1.3 oz balaclava in a TarpTent Virga. My puffy jacket remained as a good pillow. Below freezing would require wearing the puffy jacket. For me, this is the perfect bag from 55 degrees down to freezing.

John Mackey
(JohnMackey) - F
Re: Re: Best bag for the weight on 10/08/2005 06:42:32 MDT Print View

Hi Paul,

I'm 6'0" and weigh 160 pounds. It isn't difficult for me to wiggle in and out of the bag. Like any other skill you get better with practice. It is easier for me to get in and out of this bag than it is to zip up most sleeping bags in the night and avoid getting the zipper stuck somewhere on the nylon. The lack of a zipper I think lightens the bag slightly and also adds slightly to the warmth of the bag by avoiding loss of heat through the zipper.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Best bag for the weight on 10/08/2005 06:53:30 MDT Print View

John,

many thanks for the swift reply. the info you provided will help me make a decision. take care, pj

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: Re: Re: Best bag for the weight on 10/08/2005 08:57:29 MDT Print View

The sleeplight looks like a nice bag but costs a fortune. If I was going to buy a top bag like this I would look into the Rab quantum top bag. You would probably sleep better at night using a down hood and this bag knowing that you saved $200

Rab Quantum Top:
14.1oz
32*
$208
purchase at mandatorygear.com

Gossamer Gear sleeplight:
16oz
32*
$395
purchase at gossamergear.com

Simalar temperature rating,Rab saves weight,and almost $200. I dont think a hood is worth that. Do you?