Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Good summer JMT sleeping bag?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Ryan Teale
(monstertruck) - F

Locale: Almost Yosemite
Good summer JMT sleeping bag? on 09/22/2009 02:02:44 MDT Print View

I have a Mountainsmith Wisp 30 degree and Mountainsmith Vision 15 Degree. These would be comparable to the Marmot Hydrogen and Helium at 24oz and 33oz respectively. I took the 15 degree bag for my JMT trip this year from Aug. 21-Sept. 5. My 30 degree bag has seen a lot of use and lost a little loft and needs a wash.

I experienced below freezing temps near Donahue pass with frost on my shelter. Frost in the meadow at Mclure(Evolution Valley). Also had a frosty night at Guitar lake with my breath frozen on the shell of my bag and the mesh of the shelter near my face. I think I would have been fine with a 30 degree bag and my Montbell Ex. Light down jacket to add warmth instead of just serving as my pillow.

I did have several nights of sweaty feet and legs with the 3/4 zipper and bag draped over my upper body.

Alexander Laws
(goldenmeanie) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
bagged on 09/22/2009 08:53:53 MDT Print View

Thanks again all for the replies and excellent advice! I admire all of you for having made the trek!

Well, I will probably go with a quality 25-30 degree bag and a MB UL down inner jacket.

Now... I am wondering what pack would be appropriate for this kind of hike. I used to have a Granite Gear Vapor Trail and I did like it... and I am thinking about getting another one for this trip... but I know that I will be carrying a bear canister, and from what I remember of the pack (sold it about a year and a half ago) I am wondering if it is large enough. I will certainly be resupplying, and traveling with my buddy. Is a Vapor Trail enough for this trip? Or should I be looking at the larger(barely) capacity Ozone...

I plan on getting as light as I can... but I do like certain comforts and will be using a tarp tent (GG-the one) and trekking poles (GG-lightrek 4) and a near 1 1/2 lb. sleeping bag (depending on purchase)... so I am not quite ultralight as most of you may be.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Vapor Trail on 09/22/2009 10:12:28 MDT Print View

The Vapor Trail should be fine for this trip. If you like the pack then use it. There are lighter options but I think the Vapor Trail weights in at 32 oz. Not ultralight but it is lightweight.

Think about what you have in your pack: Tent, ground cloth, sleeping bag, kitchen, some clothes, water and a bear canister. It's not that much stuff. Just make sure the bear canister fits comfortably in the pack. The Vapor Trail has a nice extension collar. It is a nice pack for the JMT in my opinion.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Vapor Trail on 09/22/2009 11:45:33 MDT Print View

Light weight down bag, gg the one as shelter... sounds like you will have a reasonably compact load. If you are careful in your food selection and don't bring lots of misc things, the vapor trail should have enough volume for you. I have used a VT with up to 10 days of food + my standard three season kit


Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
WesternMountaineering Megalite on 09/22/2009 11:47:41 MDT Print View

My WM Megalite is good to its rated 30 F. and I've ben comfortable in it several times (W/poly long johns & balaclava) to the mid 20s F.

It's wide enough to accomodate a vest or jacket and pile pants if the temps drop below the 20s F. "Multiple use" of clothing is the lightest way to go and the Megalite permits this W/O extra clothing compressing the bag's insulation.

The Megalite is wide enough to make a great quilt in warmer weather when unzipped and the foot hooked over the end of a full length mattress. This is the most comfortable way to sleep I've found. To me, with a 42 inch chest. the Megalite is not wide but just right.


Alexander Laws
(goldenmeanie) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
bags on 09/22/2009 13:17:47 MDT Print View

Thanks Scott and Mark! I Just nabbed a brand new blue Granite Gear Vapor Trail for $76... I guess I can't complain about that price! Happy to have it back ;)

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
WM Summerlite on 09/22/2009 17:27:28 MDT Print View

I'm +1 on the WM Summerlite. I did a hike about a month ago in the Sierra at elevations from 6000' to 11,500'. The full zip Summerlite was great because at low camps (i.e. hot), I could unzip it and lay it over me and still be comfortable. In the higher camps, I was generally comfortable just sleeping in long johns with the bag zipped, but I did wear a Patagonia down sweater one night just 'cause I thought it'd be quite cold. I'm 6'0", 200# and the down sweater works fine for me in the Summerlite.

I figure between my ~1# Summerlite and my clothing I can handle the summer temperature ranges found in the Sierra.

Alexander Laws
(goldenmeanie) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
In the bag... on 09/24/2009 00:17:11 MDT Print View

Thank you all again for all of the advice!

I pulled the trigger on the Mont-bell 800 Fill UL Down Hugger #2 Rated at 25 Degrees. Weighs in at an honest 1lb. 12oz. (according to all of my research). I even got it at 20% off.

I know there are lighter bags, and I was looking at the WM Summerlite and the Marmot Hydrogen... But, I AM a cold sleeper and figured I could manage the extra weight for a good nights rest. Besides, I hear those Marmot bags are usually 2 or so ounces heavier than their claimed weight. That Summerlite looks awesome, but It's bucks-y... and like I said, I am a cold sleeper....

Anyhow, this justifies purchasing a second lower elevation 'true' summer bag or quilt next summer for the warm nights i see on my other trips. At least that is what my evil little shopper tells me ;)

Again, thank you for all of the insight! Truly appreciated!

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
30 degree bag plus Montbell Down Inner parka and pants on 09/25/2009 14:52:44 MDT Print View

I recently completed the southern half of the JMT. On several days at elevation there was frost on the ground. I took a chance with a run of the mill 30 deg bag but I took Montbell Down Inners as insurance.

I used these on several nights and they did the trick.

Steven Thompson
(stevet) - M

Locale: Northeast
Re: Good summer JMT sleeping bag? on 09/25/2009 20:48:31 MDT Print View

I hiked the JMT last of August/first of September. Carried my WM Apache. One first night was below freezing, otherwise warmer. I didn't fully zip the sleeping bag once.

Not so much a recommendation (though it is a great bag) as a note that you probably get by with a 20-30F bag.