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Adding overfill to a Summerlite
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Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Adding overfill to a Summerlite on 07/12/2013 17:44:00 MDT Print View

I have a Summerlite bag and, as mentioned by others, it is a good 40 degree bag. But, for me is cool to cold below that. I had WM overfill (2 oz) the bag after too many cold nights; I would say that it is now a 35 degree bag and weighs about 23 oz. I also have a Marmot Helium that weighs just under 28 oz. I mostly use the Helium. For an extra 5 oz, I have a warmer, roomier sleeping bag; a fair trade off to my way of thinking. I only use the Summerlite now in warm weather and I use it largely as a quilt. I would not buy another Summerlite.

Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
ratings are worth it on 07/12/2013 18:20:41 MDT Print View

rog, read the two, actually three including me, posts above you. en ratings are specifically designed to handle the variation of body temps etc, for you, probably, you sleep warm. The purpose of the en rating is to let you compare bags with some hope of accuracy. For example you can take the low comfort rating and say, my experience shows me that I sleep comfortably at that temperature, so most bags with en ratings in that low comfort range should be in the ballpark for me. The high comfort rating allows a cold sleeper to say, my experience shows me that the high rating is what I need to use. That is why en works, and work it does.

I'm not saying it's incorrect as you said I wrote, how can I state something more explicitly clearly? I am saying it is not the full comfort rating, but rather the low comfort rating, and i showed a chart of their actual comfort ratings to show it to readers explicitly. How can I say this in a way that it will register in a non defensive manner in someone's brain? This is just a fact, it's not an opinion.

You can see 3 people here, one after another, who had these bags and wondered why the stated rating did not correspond to reality or their experience, ie, the bags were most certainly not comfortable as rated, because wm uses the incomplete ratings listing, for reasons almost impossible to figure out given what a good company they are, the cause is what I said, it's not an opinion, it's because wm is showing the lower comfort rating as the bag rating and not showing the full en rating range. This is not a criticism of you or your experience, it's a fact, and your experience actually is another concrete demonstration of why you want access to the full ratings range data, which wm has, but does not display.

Hopefully this will help some other people avoid errors, for my case, I never had to learn it the hard way, being corrected here before I needed to know the stuff, but there is no reason for wm not to show this data, it's as I've noted, weird that they do not.

While nothing is perfect, we have these tools and we might as well use them, wm clearly has the data, unless that euro gear site payed to have the bags rated themselves, which I doubt. en is kind of like hydrostatic head for fabrics or materials, it's a standard, that is based on objective, non subjective testing, and is a useful method of comparison, I wish more of the smaller gear companies would list that type of thing.

Edited by hhope on 07/12/2013 18:23:06 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Adding overfill to a Summerlite on 07/12/2013 18:21:21 MDT Print View

With the Summerlite and the kit posted by the OP I would be warm down to about 25f EXCEPT that I use a mat designed for that temp, an Exped DM7.
An Ultralite on top of a Neo Air will NOT keep you warm at 25f either.
(I have a Neo Air, fine down to close to 32f but not below by itself)
When you have a warm SB and a cold mat, you will end up sweating at the top and shivering below.
The more you sweat the less effective your bag will be making you colder still.
To wit, a very thick down jacket is not going to keep you warm if you don't wear a hat and have no pants on...

Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
foam sandwiches? on 07/12/2013 18:33:53 MDT Print View

I stocked up on a variety of thicknesses of lawson foam, that way I can make sandwiches for my pad as temp goes down. 1/8", 1/4", the r value adds up nicely. Since one part of my own personal hell would certainly be being forced to sleep on neoairs, I can't comment on them in cold climate, I'm sticking to the prolites from now on. And that is most certainly completely individual and non testable re preferences and what works for one.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Internal furnace on 07/12/2013 18:57:08 MDT Print View

Rog hit the nail on the head about the internal furnance.

I know what works for me from experience and Rog knows what works for him.

Franco also has made a great point about bottom insulation.

I moved to the US last year so I am still trying to figure out what works for me here, these days I tend to err on the side of caution.

Edited by stephenm on 07/12/2013 19:08:28 MDT.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: chuckle on 07/12/2013 19:02:42 MDT Print View

I think you have it wrong, the you are quoting the Comfort Rating, that is for the average woman:

Comfort Limit The first number is based on a standard woman having a comfortable nights sleep

Lower Limit The next number is based on a standard man at the lowest temp to have a comfortable nights sleep

Extreme Rating The last number is a survival rating for a standard woman

Using that method, the Summerlite is EN Rated to 35.6*F for the average man. I have owned a Summerlite before I switched to quilts and I find that about right, it was good to ~35* for me. WM Does rate it at 32* so they are a little optimistic, but right in line with Marmot's bag.

The Ultralite is EN Rated to 15.8*F for the average man, which is actually warmer than WM rates it. I used to own a Ultralite too, and found it comfortable to the 17-18*F range. Mine was one of the older non Super versions without the draft collar.

To try and hold them to the Comfort "woman's" rating certainly isn't fair to WM since they are not marketed as Women's bags.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: chuckle on 07/12/2013 19:11:34 MDT Print View


Very interesting what you say about women's rating, I was going to post that earlier but got distracted by having to feed the cat and bringing more drinks out to the porch :)

Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
more info on 07/12/2013 19:35:09 MDT Print View

More information, thanks for noting that, however, all you have to do is read this thread, here, today, now, to see that the ratings are of real use as standards to judge, and thus it's very strange to see them not used, and to see somewhat defensive reactions about something so elementary and non controversial, but that's how us geeks are I guess, it's the same in any realm of geekdom.

If we look at this as a sort of vote, you have I think 4 people who find that the summerlite is a 40 degree bag, a few who find it a 32 degree bag, and that's roughly what the en ratings note.

Note the use of the word 'standard' there? That means average, ie, not a hot sleeper and not a cold sleeper. I've been very careful to be very precise in my language but it doesn't seem to really do any good, people are just going to read what they want to see I guess. Just from the posters on this thread, and my own experiences, it seems pretty obvious that if you are a male cold sleeper, then the bag rating of 40ish upper is exactly right, if you are an average man, ie, a medium temp sleeper, then 35 is ok, and if you are a warm sleeper, you can go to 32 or below provided you have an adequate pad. You'll note, by the way, that the lower comfort is higher than the 32 listed, so even there it's not accurate.

The purpose of showing the en rating is so that you can say, ok, yes, I know where I stand on this scale, so I can decide what bag to buy based on that data. I don't see why this point is so difficult to comprehend, but I think I'll let it drop since one can only say something so many times, if hasn't registered by now, it won't ever register I assume.

The summerlite bag page does not say a word about it being a men's or woman's bag, which is all the more reason to use the full en rating for that bag, how is a woman to know after all?

bpl does well in educating but the problem of thinking that if something works for you it works for everyone is also something that is a weak spot here in my opinion, but that's life.

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 07/12/2013 19:56:39 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 09/08/2013 16:24:58 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Adding overfill to a Summerlite on 07/12/2013 20:11:46 MDT Print View

And that's why I always add 10f on to a bags rating :-).

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
en on 07/12/2013 20:48:01 MDT Print View

summerlite... tested as a 35.6F bag for the "average" man

Temperature Rating. EN 13537 tested:
T comf: +6ºC
T lim: +2ºC
T ext: -14ºC

of course ratings are very personal ... but as a general comparison between bags, they are pretty valuable

the name brand in terms of "warmth" is fairly irrelevant ... its a simple matter of insulation and shape ... now brand might buy you other goodies, but all the positive BPL thinking in the world wont make a (insert favorite brand) bag "warmer" than a "cheaper" bag that is en-rated substantially warmer ...

to understand more go here ...

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: more info on 07/12/2013 21:28:24 MDT Print View

Harald, WM does *not* use the EN lower limit rating when listing their bags. They use their own rating, which happens to be close to the EN lower limit. I called WM to get the EN ratings. They do not put a lot of stock in the EN ratings but pay the testing fees so they can sell in Europe. They do not sell the full line oversees, so they do not have ratings for all of the bags.

Now I happen to agree with you that they should list the info for full transparency and disclosure. I asked for the info so that I could make a more informed decision on their bags, but I'm also interested in seeing the WM rating.

Ultimately, it's all an estimate and YMMV. 3 posters here were cold with the bag. We would need to know more about their layers, pad used, shelter type, etc. to draw a conclusion. And regardless, each person will have their own experience. The EN rating is a nice consistent system, but I don't automatically assume it's more correct than the WM rating. And regardless, I'll need to carefully evaluate how far I can push it by trying it in the field..

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: en on 07/12/2013 22:03:18 MDT Print View

If you find that you're comfortable at comfort limit in one bag, then you should be comfortable at comfort limit in other bags.

Or if you're comfortable at 10 degrees warmer than comfort limit in one bag, then it should be the same with other bags

It's just a way to do fair comparisons between different bags

And if you don't know whether you sleep warm or cold, you can just assume comfort limit if you're a woman or lower comfort limit if you're a man and it should be close, or you could get 10 degrees lower than you think you'll need just to be safe

This is better than some manufacturers being more or less conservative so you don't really know anything

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: more info on 07/12/2013 22:17:54 MDT Print View

"If we look at this as a sort of vote, you have I think 4 people who find that the summerlite is a 40 degree bag, a few who find it a 32 degree bag, and that's roughly what the en ratings note".

Make that 5 people who find it a 40° bag. I am planning to sell mine for that very reason. It just isn't warm enough for *me*. Might be for others though...and may have been for me too 20 years ago when my metabolism was different.

Not to knock the bag or the company. Both need no introduction to excellence. I'm guessing WM rates it the way they do because that's the way their competitors rate theirs. WM would be shooting themselves in the foot to rate otherwise if the competition didn't do the same.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Choosing sleeping pads. on 07/13/2013 08:23:04 MDT Print View

The choice of sleeping pad one uses should be based more on the anticipated soil surface temperature than on anticipated air temperature. If the soil surface is, say, 65 degrees, you need less pad than if the soil surface is at freezing. And, at least for the pad materials with which I am familiar, air temperature has relatively little effect on the pad one needs to be comfortable. In most situations, and certainly for the mountains of the western US, summertime soil surface temperatures at night are usually well above nighttime air temperature lows and so we can get by with fairly thin pads. For sleeping bags, however, air temperature is the more important factor and one can be cold when lying on warm soil or a thick pad. I have not had any experience with Neo-Air pads or their ilk so can't comment on them but for CCF pads and Thermarest-type pads where convection is not an issue, anticipated soil temperature is the critical factor when choosing a bottom insulation layer.

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: Re: more info on 07/13/2013 10:31:10 MDT Print View

My experience with WM bags is they have excellent craftmanship but I have always found them to be cold and I need warmer rated bag. I also find them cut very tight making it hard to wear lits of extra layers to sleep. So if you are a cold sleeper get a warmer model.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Re: more info on 07/13/2013 12:12:33 MDT Print View

I found the Summerlite and Ultralite a bit tight
and not suitable for layering, but the Alpinelite and Puma are more than sufficent for layering.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: more info on 07/13/2013 13:22:21 MDT Print View

"I found the Summerlite and Ultralite a bit tight and not suitable for layering..."

I can wear my WM Flash jacket in my Summerlite without feeling at all tight. But, I'm 6' and only a hair over 150.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: more info on 07/13/2013 13:26:50 MDT Print View

Rusty, is yours a regular or long?

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: more info on 07/13/2013 15:48:35 MDT Print View


My Summerlite is a long. I had a regular length Highlite and it was too tight, lengthwise, for my liking.

Edited by rustyb on 07/13/2013 15:49:24 MDT.