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2 Person Bag or Sleeping Pad?
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2 Person Bag or Sleeping Pad? on 01/13/2006 11:21:49 MST Print View

What do couple sleep in? My boyfriend and I are planning to hike the PCT and would like to find a two person sleeping option. What do most couples do? I've seen the Ray Jardine quilt, is there anything else?


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: 2 Person Bag or Sleeping Pad? on 01/13/2006 12:08:44 MST Print View

I think the best flexibility is to get two regular (single size) bags that can be zipped together. Big Agnes, Mountain Hardwear and other bags have this feature. Just make sure to verify before you buy.

(RavenUL) - F
Re: Re: 2 Person Bag or Sleeping Pad? on 01/13/2006 12:38:13 MST Print View

Go with the 2 bag idea. Its more flexibile in the event you need to sleep seperatly. You can even mate bags from different manufacturers, so long as 1 bag has the zipper on the left, the 2nd has the zipper on the right, both zippers are the same length and weight, and they seperate.

Thermarest makes straps to hold sleeping pads together. Its extra weight, but probably worth it. However, you might be able to rig something similar with a loop or two of grosgrain webbing tied into a figure 8.

Have fun

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: Re: 2 Person Bag or Sleeping Pad? on 01/13/2006 12:57:38 MST Print View

I think Nunatak offers two double bags, one, an Arc, and the other a hoodless mummy

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
re- double bag on 01/13/2006 15:07:15 MST Print View

indeed - go with the nunatak! using two singles and zipping together has the disadvantage that there is no thermal control (no zips left to play with) which is a big problem -especially since most different sex couples have typically such varying body temps...
byeond that Nunatak also has a tongue that slips in btw the two sleepers to close draft...but i guess you could improvise that on any bag.

(RavenUL) - F
Re: re- double bag on 01/13/2006 16:00:50 MST Print View

A double bag would work great, if you can guarantee that youll be sleeping together EVERY night.

Otherwise, 1 person is left without a bag, the other has a giant bag thats too big for them to heat effectivly.

David Bonn
(david_bonn) - F

Locale: North Cascades
Re: re- double bag on 01/13/2006 16:27:41 MST Print View

If you want to save a lot of weight...

Buy a barrel-style bag, like maybe a Western Mountaineering Aspen MF (25F, 1lb15oz).

Hit Seattle Fabrics or some other fabric place and buy matching zippers and enough lightweight polypropylne-type material to make a bottom sheet. That will probably end up weighing six or eight ounces, a lot of that in the zipper. Get the lightest fabric of that type you can find. If you can find the equivalent of "silkweight" polypro (or heck, even silk) you'd probably be happiest (right now I have this vision of enormous silk tablecloths I saw in a street market in Thailand, they were selling for maybe $25 and were easily large enough -- though here in the states you'd probably spend more for that piece of silk than for the sleepingbag).

Have a matching bag that you can zip together for colder sections of the hike, and have someone back home who can mail that bag to you on colder sections of the trail. Probably that sleeping bag should be a mummy-style bag that is rated a bit colder than the top bag you'd normally use, but still have a compatible zipper. You can do this with most WM bags.

WM sells a "summer coupler" that you can use. but it is heavy (1lb 4oz) and kind of spendy. Better to try to make your own. I also dislike the "summer coupler" because it appears to be made of cotton.

I and a lady friend did quite a bit of backpacking with the above setup, and it worked okay most of the time. There were three problems:

Male and Female thermostats are set a bit differently. This is a lot more noticable in colder air temperatures than it is inside at home.

The bottom sheet doesn't compress very well, and ended up being nearly as large as the sleepingbag (the above mentioned Aspen MF).

You had a big hole at the top and lost a lot of heat through there.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: Re: re- double bag on 01/13/2006 18:13:19 MST Print View

Kinda like tandem bikes,sleeping together seems like a better idea than it turns out at times. a long hike can bring out issues, please test drive your idea a couple of times. I ran into a couple on the jmt trying to trade their big bag for two singles...

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Re: 2 Person Bag or Sleeping Pad? on 01/14/2006 15:48:52 MST Print View

Joe Robbins wrote:

>Go with the 2 bag idea.

That's what works for us. We quit zipping them together a long time ago and just use them as top and bottom quilts. This allows us to adjust our temperatures easier. Using one for a bottom quilt is somewhat of a waste of weight since you could probably get by with just pads or a fleece blanket on top of pads. If you do just use one bag or a top quilt, having another bag in a box ready to ship would be a good idea.

I use a Ray-Way quilt for myself and it works great. I haven't made a two-person Ray-Way quilt.

>Thermarest makes straps to hold sleeping pads together.

My 20-year-old Thermarest straps weigh 1.0 oz. If you use a fleece blanket for the bottom you could just sew on some spectra cords to hold pads in place.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
2 Person Bag on 01/20/2006 19:00:06 MST Print View

I am faced with the same question. Right now, my wife and use a Sweetie Pie bag doubler ( with a North Face Cat's Meow. I've been thinking about upgrading to down. Unfortunately, the Sweetie Pie is not really light (compared to down). So, we are either going to get a couple down bags (big bucks) or go with the Feathered Friends doubler system. The FF system is a wide bag, like the puffin ( combined with a ground sheet ( The bag itself is pretty heavy, but the combined weight is not bad at all. I figure I can use the bag by itself when going solo (until I spend the money to upgrade). At worse, we'll have a pretty good, cheap two bag system.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: 2 Person Bag on 01/20/2006 19:51:58 MST Print View

On the AT in '03 and '04, Phriteaux and Spock used a Feathered Friends Sandpiper 30F bag with an extra 3 oz. of down (FF added it to the then 17 oz. fill) and the FF tapered rectangular bottom sheet modified into a tulip shape with the foot section closed with nothing but zipper tape -- no sheet, just tape there. The combination made a comfortable and very warm bag for 2 close friends. The tight foot section was great - warm without being restrictive. And it eliminated having a lot of room to heat up... which is normally the problem with putting a sheet under a semirectangular bag. We put out sleeping pads inside and added a fleece draft collarwith 2 slits. This rig worked fine into the mid 20s. It got no colder, so I cannot attest to its performance below that. It weighs 52 ounces in the stuff sack.

Gabe Grayum
(sauron93) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: 2 Person Bag or Sleeping Pad? on 01/22/2006 20:39:57 MST Print View

We have been using the Feathered freinds doubler system for several years. As already mentioned it doesn't always work as well as it sounds. My wife usually ends up cold. We find it to work fairly well when the wheather is mild (we mostly use if with a TNF ~25 deg down bag). When its colder (we have the FF penguin, but no hoods) its drafty. If I had $600 I'd get a couple of light down mummy's and skip the doubler most of the time.

Edited by sauron93 on 01/22/2006 20:40:30 MST.

Dan Cunningham

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
Re: 2 Person Bag or Sleeping Pad? on 01/23/2006 07:41:37 MST Print View

My wife and I use the Lafuma Warm'n Light 800 Down Comfort bags. They are retangular down bags (left and right zip) that weigh 35oz each (don't believe the numbers on their site). The have some nice options since they are retangular - you can unzip the foot box on your side to vent your feet, you can unzip them into quits on warmer nights, our feet don't battle for space.

Paired up they work quite well, but I'm not as impressed when used solo. It's a little tight around my shoulders and feels about 1-2 inches too short (6' and 195 lbs). Every time we are out together we use them paired (she steals all my heat!), so I rarely use it solo anyway.

We've had them down to 41 degrees (in tent temp) and were quite comfortable, even though the bags don't loft as well as I was hoping.

Price was right at $120 each.

Edited by mn-backpacker on 01/23/2006 07:43:07 MST.