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Overfilling a Phantom bag (need advice)
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James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
Overfilling a Phantom bag (need advice) on 04/14/2010 17:37:06 MDT Print View

So I got a phantom 32 bag and I love it, but I want to overfill it to give it a bit more oomph when it comes to cold weather. I'm going for a week long in the sierra's in late august and it should get to be around the mid-high 20s so I'm looking at ways to make the bag more efficient. I am tent camping and I do have a decent pad setup (about 4 in R value) and I'm also using a thermolite reactor liner.

Now I'm thinking about overfilling the bag with about 2-3 ounces more to give it more warmth.

I just have some questions before I order the down and go forward with this. Basically I want to know if anybody has previously overfilled this bag or a similar bag and what would be the best way to go about it. Is it better to undo their seams, fill, and re-sew the same edges myself or would it be better/stronger to cut into each baffle and resew there?

Also how much down should I get? Is 3 ounces too much? 2 ounces not enough?

Any help in this would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by jdemonaco on 04/14/2010 17:38:03 MDT.

David Franzen
(dfranzen) - F

Locale: Germany
Re: Overfilling a Phantom bag (need advice) on 04/14/2010 19:51:23 MDT Print View

refering to someone very knowledgable on this forum:

You will pick up ~2.6F for every ounce of [800 FP] fill that you add.

see http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=27480&skip_to_post=227472#227472

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Re: Overfilling a Phantom bag (need advice) on 04/14/2010 22:19:49 MDT Print View

Another option would be to convert it to a quilt. You could save weight & add warmth due to optimal down placement.

James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
Thanks for the info on 04/15/2010 04:41:30 MDT Print View

So I think I'll put 3 ounces in then which, according to that math, will put it just under 24 degrees.

Now I just need to figure out how I want to gain access into the baffles without messing up the bag completely haha.

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Thanks for the info on 04/15/2010 06:40:31 MDT Print View

+1 on Bender's idea quilts are the way to go

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Overfilling a Phantom bag (need advice) on 04/15/2010 09:05:22 MDT Print View

The Reactor liner weighs 8 ounces. I'd ditch that, open your bag along the zipper, and add 4-5 ounces of down. Some people like quilts. I personally don't find them nearly as versatile as a bag. Undo stitching along zipper, stuff the down, and sew the zipper back in place. You'll cut 3-4 ounces from what you're already carrying, won't add more weight, but will have a much warmer bag.

Misfit Mystic
(cooldrip)

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Overfilling a bag on 04/15/2010 09:51:09 MDT Print View

Hi James, yes Brad is right in that the easiest way is to pull the zipper seam and fill the baffle openings created along this seam. Is the Phantom a full-length zip? Is there a cross-block baffle on the seam opposite the zip, or is there none, which would allow shifting down from top to bottom? If there is a full zip and no cross-block baffle it becomes much easier; the baffles can be filled from one side. If there is a cross-block baffle, the fill must be added to top and bottom. If the zip is not full-length, there will be a seam below the zip that must be opened to access the lower baffles. Overfilling the hood and footbox will be another magnitude of difficulty, and something I wouldn't try personally; you would move from one or two open seams to the bag nearly de-contructed if opening the hood and footbox dependant on their design and pattern.

Not sure of the zipper size, but if it's a five or bigger, you could replace it with a #3 while you've got the old zip removed. The weight loss of the lighter zip will offset the additional down to a certain extent.

Worked with down before? There are a few tricks to make the job easier; read Roger Caffin's MYOG article on down quilts and bags as he has detailed all the problem spots and how to deal with them.

James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
Thanks a lot! on 04/15/2010 21:34:35 MDT Print View

Thanks guys, a lot of great info here.

The zipper is 3/4 length so I'll have to unseam a little, which means i might as well go into the foot box. Also there is a seam opposite of the zipper so I'll most likely completely remove the zipper and replace it like you said, that's a great idea!

I don't want to go with a quilt though, I sleep sitting completely still so a sleeping bag works great for me and I think it traps a lot of heat.

As for the reactor, depending upon what kind of performance I get out of the overfilled bag I might ditch it down the road but for the meantime it will be nice to keep as a backup in case I get cold in the middle of the night.

Anyways, thanks a lot guys, I really appreciate it. when I get the down and some time to work on this I'll post progress!

Ivo Vanmontfort
(Ivo) - MLife
overfilling my 'la fayette' on 04/18/2010 15:51:54 MDT Print View

I filled my ‘la fayette’ (Valandré) with a extra 100 gram down (3 oz)
I used
this homemade gear
Then I blow the down into the bag with my breath