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Down sleeping bags for side sleepers (with stretch)
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Johann Burkard
(johannb) - F

Locale: Europe
Down sleeping bags for side sleepers (with stretch) on 01/14/2010 15:04:52 MST Print View

I was looking for a new down sleeping bag (the one I have right now is too small).

I then stumbled across these sleeping bags that claim to have stretch.

I think this might be really good for side sleepers like me but it seemed like a feature only used by Mountain Equipment. I looked at PHD, VAUDE, Salewa and Haglöfs but they don't have any stretchy down models.

What do you think? Stretch or no stretch? Is it useful for side sleepers?

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: Down sleeping bags for side sleepers (with stretch) on 01/14/2010 19:54:03 MST Print View

I've had very good luck with the MontBell Super Stretch Down 800 series. The elasticized baffles work very well in allowing you to move and stretch inside the bag and to give you room to add insulation inside the bag, but it also clings to your body so you don't have to warm up any dead air spaces.

Colin Kelley
(ckelley) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara
elastic in sleeping bags on 01/14/2010 23:30:45 MST Print View

My recollection is that Mountain Hardwear briefly tried adding elastic ("Crazy Legs" I think?) but they lost a patent dispute with Mont-Bell. So I thought it was basically a Mont-Bell exclusive.

Jon Hancock

Locale: Northwest England
ME Dreamcatcher on 01/15/2010 03:06:14 MST Print View

I've been using an ME Dreamcatcher 300 for a few years, including on the TGO Challenge in Scotland last year. Generally very well made and comfortable, but not without its faults. Looking at the page you linked to it appears that the design has been tweaked since I bought mine, so some of those may have been addressed.

It's fairly heavy for one thing, particularly for the amount of warmth it offers, and I find that the elastic stitching does seem to shed a little more down than normal. The stretchy section also doesn't come quite far enough up the body for me. As a side sleeper myself I find the system only a partial success, more forgiving than a regular mummy but still very much a fitted sleeping bag. I'm planning to switch to a quilt when funds allow.

Edited by bigjackbrass on 01/15/2010 03:07:23 MST.

Johann Burkard
(johannb) - F

Locale: Europe
Thanks on 01/15/2010 06:25:35 MST Print View

Thanks Jon (and the others). Any other experiences?

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re :"Down sleeping bags for side sleepers (with stretch)" on 01/15/2010 07:43:39 MST Print View

Mountain Equipment are a good quality UK brand Johann, but they are not what i would call a lightweight brand. I've used, and have been happy with many of their products.
I've had a Lightline Ultra sleeping bag for many years. Mine has more down than the current model, but has the stretch feature. I believe ME licensed the stretch process from Montbell.
As a side sleeper, i liked the stretch, but have since moved on to a quilt. I find a quilt perfect as there is no constriction at all.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Try a quilt on 01/15/2010 07:58:10 MST Print View

I've had the same experience as Mike. Nunatak quilts (Back Country Blanket and Arc Ghost) have solved the problem for me. Nunatak sewed some fabric (non-insulating) into the open arc to reduce drafts.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Down sleeping bags for side sleepers (with stretch) on 01/15/2010 08:08:12 MST Print View

I know this is not the question, but as a side sleeper, I think a quilt is more comfortable and it works better in a hammock if you are headed in that direction.

As a side sleeper, the problem I have with mummy sleeping bags is when it is really cold and I want to close up the hood I am always fighting with the nose hole and I have been doing that for about 30 years. For me to get comfortable I have to turn the entire bag which is a real PIA, whereas with a quilt, I can turn under it easier.

I am a real flip flopper.

Ideally a good quilt for me would be one with an extended
curved hood type section at the top to pull over my head. Then I can scrunch up a small breathing hole to the side. I can do it with a normal quilt, but it would be easier with an extended hood type area.

That said if you leave your head hanging out of a sleeping bag and use an insulated hood it does not really matter and you can turn inside a sleeping bag.

The most comfortable sleeping bags I have used are the Montbell SS series. They have 100% honest ratings IMO.

If you are 5-11 or 6-0, get the long.
Very comfortable, very stretchy, and big enough to use as an outer bag over a quilt or another slim mummy sleeping bag.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Down sleeping bags for side sleepers (with stretch) on 01/15/2010 09:37:12 MST Print View

I dunno... I'm primarily a side sleeper, and I get along quite well in a standard Western Mountaineering Summerlite, 59" shoulder/38" footbox. I can sleep "figure-4" in the bag if I want. I roll over with the bag when I sleep on my side, and the bag just sort of moves/bends with me when I curl up. I've never had an issue w/side sleeping in a standard mummy bag... trick might be rolling w/the bag, instead of trying to spin around inside of it?

David Neumann
(idahomtman) - M

Locale: Northern Idaho
Down bags for side sleepers on 01/15/2010 09:46:20 MST Print View

I agree with Don, I've had good luck with Montbell Super Stretch 800 down filled bags. I have the #5 and used it this summer on the Wonderland Trail. Very comfortable, though a little warm.

I now own two Nunatak quilts which I find even more comfortable, the specialist and the edge. Couple the quilt with a bivy and you have, in my mind, the perfect package.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Down bags for side sleepers on 01/15/2010 11:00:32 MST Print View

My wife is a side-sleeping thrasher who likes to pull her knees up to her chest. The Montbell Super Stretch series has been great. She has the 30-F and 0-F rated bags.

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: Re: Down bags for side sleepers on 01/15/2010 14:25:36 MST Print View

If you're talking about hammock sleeping, then I agree that a Nunatak quilt is the way to go, with some kind of balaclava for warmth on the head (Of course, Nunatak makes an excellent one for really cold conditions). For me, I don't tend to sleep on my side in a hammock, just lay back and enjoy the curve of the hammock itself, and a quilt is much easier to get in an out of, compared to a sleeping bag.

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
Side Sleeping / roomy bag on 01/15/2010 18:33:27 MST Print View

I side sleep, and find it hard to sleep with my feet & legs close together. I usually have 1 leg straight down, and one knee raised like stepping over something knee high. I found the Marmot bags to be just roomy enough, true to their temperatute rating, have enough room for layering if it's extra cold, and to have a good hood shape for side sleeping. They are heavier than WM or FF, but also have a durable outer fabric.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Bags/quilts and hoods on 01/16/2010 07:17:06 MST Print View

Whether you are in a bag or quilt a toss and turn sleeper who prefers hoods should consider a separate hood or one attachable to a sleep shirt or vest, or alternatively a balaclava....It will move with you...It will will not breath moisture into it because it got twisted... It can be used sepately as a trail head cover/hat...It will turn any jacket into a hooded jacket when needed... It fits better and may weigh less than comparable hood portion of a bag....It may allow the savings in weight or cost of substituting hoodless bag or quilt for a hooded item.

Remember my bias on this subject ...but these are simple facts to alternative head protection asleep or awake.


John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: Down sleeping bags for side sleepers (with stretch) on 01/16/2010 07:35:44 MST Print View

I usually move around a lot, and because of that switched from WM bags to Montbell SS. After several years of using MB's I bought my first Nunatak quilt, a Specialist, for 3 season use. I use it for both ground, often with a bivy, and also in my hammock. I've since purchased a winter version in the Alpinist size, but near Expedition in loft and fill. Nothing beats those quilts for hammock sleeping where I alternate between back and side, and I enjoy the ability to change position while ground sleeping, too.