If it seems I'm hogging new threads, I'm sorry. None of my projects seem to be going right and I'm getting stressed out. (Any homebrewers out there? Papazian: "Relax, don't worry. Have a homebrew.")
I'm trying to build up a UL kit for northern clime, shoulder-season weather with my gal and two big dogs. For this sleeping bag, what I'm shooting for is a solid 20F down bag (still taking silk recommendations) that'll be used 50% solo, 50% w/other half. I spent a bunch of time working out design, patterns. Thought I was so smart. Out"smarted" myself.
Center, full-length zip, chin to separated zipper at foot--so I can flap it open and use quilt-fashion with companion. Pet peeve about hood design, virtually none are deep enough or insulated enough for my preferences--so I've designed a deep poofy one. Really wanted full, even loft; Cut out top and bottom "silhouette" pattern, join top/bottom w/6-inch fabric strips running full periphery. At foot, will (plan to) use 6-inch zips from bottom to top, allowing to open and flap for tandem use.
Problem: I mocked up the outer shell last night w/some old sheets, spread it out in two-person configuration, and found that the top third of the bag gets all bound up/constricted by hood section. Basically, instead of about five feet across, the bag narrows (at the chest, how convenient!) to about 2.5 feet.
1) First and most obvious is to split the hood from forehead area to bottom layer of bag along the center line. I'd rather not, because I don't see a good way of doing that without losing thermal efficiency of the hood. Very, very open to suggestions.
2) There's a wonderful site that I think I found through a link on BPL, or perhaps a link thru a link thru... by a lady who's done some great historical backpacking work. She talks about the Early Winter's hood design (yes, I know Nunatak has a separate "hood," but it's balaclava style), which was huge, separate, but also collared sorta aka old chainmail hoods. I've thought about doing that, using the collar as draft tube, cinching down neck of bag around the collar. But if there's any way to avoid doing this, I would much prefer to have an integrated hood.
3) I could do a traditional side-zip bag. Not really considering that as an option yet. I think the ventilation possibilities of full-length opening zip are much more practical, functional for me.
Any ideas on hood modifications? Any other solutions, such as flapping the top part down in some way?