Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
MYOG: Transforming a Mummy Sleeping Bag into an Arc Top Bag
Display Avatars Sort By:
Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
MYOG: Transforming a Mummy Sleeping Bag into an Arc Top Bag on 04/26/2006 10:24:04 MDT Print View

Companion thread to

Make Your Own Gear: Transforming a Mummy Sleeping Bag into an Arc Top Bag

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Nice... on 04/26/2006 10:40:13 MDT Print View

Nicely done, very nicely done.

However it's not something I would 'buy' a down bag to do unless I found a late model one on a nice closeout. (I'm not lucky enough to have a retired down bag ;) )

Also, something I might look into is replicating with a synthetic bag I have. Which would make it into a great (simpler) DIY project for scouts, as registered scouts and leaders can get some killer deals at

hmmm... things are acting strange... I think I managed to post this comment in while the article and everything was still getting uploaded... there WAS a post by carol just before I posted here

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Bag into Topbag on 04/26/2006 11:08:08 MDT Print View

Simply put, a great article and a credit to BPL. If I didn't already have a topbag...

Jason Shaffer
(PA_Jay) - F

Locale: on the move....
excellent myog article on 04/26/2006 11:22:04 MDT Print View

Kudos to Jay Ham and BPL for a well done article. I'm very much looking forward to this series of top bag articles, and bpl making its way back to its roots.

As for synthetic arc bags, I've always thought the North Face Propel would be a really good candidate. Zipperless, moderate loft, pertex quantum shell, polarguard delta fill. Unfortunately, TNF has added a footbox vent for 2006, but 2005 models are still easy to find.

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Watch Band Clips on 05/18/2006 21:03:10 MDT Print View


Those watch band clips look pretty cool. Can you recommend a source for them?

EDIT: I found a "GCR3/4" center-release buckle at OWF. Is this comparable?

Best Regards,


Edited by MikeMartin on 05/18/2006 21:13:25 MDT.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Watch Band Clips on 07/27/2006 19:12:48 MDT Print View

Jay - I've got the same question. The OWF items look close, but I can't tell if yours are less bulky. Since I'll be lying on top of them, I'd like to find the clips with the lowest profile possible...


Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
DIY buckle info on 07/27/2006 20:20:04 MDT Print View

gcr 3/4 at owf is about as flat and light as it gets. The 1/2" gcr mini watch band buckles are really tiny and need reeeeally thin web- too small and fumbly too IME. The 3/4 work pretty well with a single thickness of the regular 3/4 grosssgrain webbing. Webbing can be doubled with the gcr 3/4 for items like a SUL sternum strap where a more constant pull is exerted and you want zero slippage. I protoed them as a main straps recently on some packs and some broke. Lesson learned.
So- good, for low stress (like a watch band...) and not good for higher stress. Alternate idea for pad attachment is to just sew on a small grossgrain tieout loop and then use really small bungee, like avialable at the wallymartweirdworlddontbeatyourkidsinpublicmart. drum roll...2gm ea for the gcr3/4. buy a few more than you need and look closely at the middle bar and push on it to see if it's weak, some are better than others, most OK. Yes would work OK as a pad strap. When is someone going to come out with CF pack hard ware?

Edited by mountainlaureldesigns on 07/27/2006 20:21:41 MDT.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
DIY buckle info on 07/27/2006 21:08:17 MDT Print View

I have some of the OWF buckle - GCR 1L. They weigh 3.2 grams and the 1" version is 3/16" thick. My item looks just like what Jay used. I don't know if his is the 3/4" or 1". I did a quick look at the article but didn't notice the size.

I make my own button's and use them a lot when I can and they are always lighter.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
buckles on 07/27/2006 21:18:03 MDT Print View

Gentlemen, I thank you both. I'll grab a few of the GCR 3/4 from OWF right away.

Ron or Bill, do you have any insight as to which buckles/ladder locks work best with grosgrain? There are a few applications that seem like grosgrain would work as well as webbing, at a lower weight.


Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Buckles and stuff on 07/27/2006 22:39:34 MDT Print View

I have had no luck trying to use Grosgrain with anything that requires that material to grip. The Grosgrain slips through the plastic hardware items under pressure. I was using light 3/4" webbing and hardware and just found some light weight webbing in 1/2" and 5/8" size. I found both 1/2" and 5/8" light nylon webbing and buckles and ladder locks from Quest that works good. I got and order from them today. If you look at the Quest web site their product number for the webbing is #2000 for the 1/2" and #2006 for the 5/8" webbing.

Michael Shelley
(Savvycfi) - F

Locale: Mountain West
Using a BA Bag on 08/04/2006 14:12:48 MDT Print View

Has anyone thought about using a Big Agnes bag as the victim for this transformation? I have a Lost Ranger that I am considering since it already has no down on the bottom … just would have to remove the full length zipper, hood etc.
Thoughts anyone?

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
BA Bag mod on 10/02/2007 17:51:14 MDT Print View

Has anyone tried this yet with a BA bag? I too have a couple of them that would seem like a good choice. I am still working on my sewing skills, but this seems like a good winters project.

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: BA Bag mod on 10/03/2007 13:46:12 MDT Print View

Well looking at my horse thief, you get a couple problems. The first would be the lack of width because it is already a top bag, and also the lack of any insulation at the feet. These could be solved by making a squarish compartment in the bottom of the foot area. I personally think that the best idea would be to A either use the top bag fabric as a draft stopper or B, drop one layer of the pad sleeve to drop 1-2 oz.

Joshua S
(joshualee101) - F - M
Transforming a Mummy Sleeping Bag into an Arc Top Bag on 12/03/2007 15:39:06 MST Print View


Edited by joshualee101 on 02/11/2008 00:17:53 MST.

Matthew Pullan
(Skyaddict) - F - MLife

Locale: Steiermark
Converted Vango Venom 150 on 02/17/2012 05:24:17 MST Print View

I just finished converting a Vango Venom 150 this morning, and I'm really pleased with the results.

Vango Venom 150

I wouldn't touch this sleeping bag with a barge pole normally. As you can see from the photo, it's ridiculously overbuilt. However, I found it in TK MAXX (a discount store chain in the UK) a few years ago. Someone had taken it out of it's stuff sac in order to look at it, and then just left it on the shelf. Not knowing where the stuff sac had got to, the staff marked it down to £10.00 (from about £50.00). I found the stuff sac on the shelf nearby (but forgot to show it to the shop assistants, oops). Anyway, at £10.00 who cares. I thought it would make a good overbag for my Skywalker 2. Then last year I found this article and began to think. Because of the construction (as can be seen), the bag could not just be turned round so the zip area is beneath the sleeper. It had to be removed, and completely re-sewn. I removed the hood first (very straight forward) and hemmed it up. Then cut down the back panel by the zip, and sucked out the down using a vacuum and some organza netting. I cut out the v section and hemmed it up. It needed binding at the bottom where it is impossible to hem, this adds some strength aswell. Then I put the down from the hood and back panel into the top sections as I cut down by the zip (again, a cardboard tube and organza helps suck up the down, then you just blow it back into the bag). Then I just sewed the two panels back together. It went much better than expected, I'm really starting to get the stitch balanced now. Here's a picture of the back:

Venom Back

Manufacturer's claimed weight, 580g
Min Temp +7 c
Cost new, over £50.00

Weight after modification, 390g
Min Temp, about 5 c
Cost £10.00

Thanks for a great article Jay!

Edited by Skyaddict on 02/17/2012 05:28:33 MST.