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Winter Sleep System/Insulation Input
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Seth Reichman
(Vandelay74)
Winter Sleep System/Insulation Input on 05/02/2011 15:00:07 MDT Print View

Such is life. We're but a few wet weeks into spring and I'm already thinking of augmenting my winter gear.

I'm looking to leverage my hooded FF Volant jacket into my winter sleep system(I'd be a fool not to) and looking to slim down on my 3-season weight as well, and I'm considering quilts or half bags (e.g. Arc Alpinist, Akulu, FF Vireo) for the first time. Obviously, a quilt will provide a lot more flexibility for all-season use, but at at least 21 oz without overfill, the Arc Alpinist is a good deal heavier than some of the half bags I'm seeing. The half bags could give me that 3-season temperature versatility with other lighter insulating clothing I own, but at a sacrifice of the versatility of the variable girth systems. Additionally, I already own a WM Caribou (purchased a long (6'6") on sale despite being 5'11" 175 lbs.) which I can use unzipped when it's warmer, or zipped with negligible loss of loft with the Volant because of its generous shoulder girth (I'm taking into account the wasted weight at the footbox and the compressed down when compared with a quilt).

Can anyone make a recommendation as to whether an upgrade will be worth it in terms of performance/versatility in winter, and more broadly, year round?

Caribou - 24 oz (estimated)
Volant - 26 oz (estimated)

Arc Alpinist -23 oz with 1 oz/sq Pertex and 2 oz overfill
Akulu - 14 oz with 1 oz/sq Pertex and 2 oz overfill
Vireo - 20 oz with Nano and 2 oz overfill (if FF still doing customization)

Other items to be used for 3/3+ season use:

MB Alpine Light Down Jacket - 12 oz (estimated)
Cocoon Pants - 7 oz (estimated)
FF Down Booties - 8 oz (estimated)


I live in the northeast and will likely be doing most of my winter backpacking there for the foreseeable future.

Cost isn't really an issue.

A couple of admissions:

-I'm a newbie to backpacking generally, BPL and lightweight/UL backpacking more specifically, and a voracious gear fiend. If there's a helpline or anything like it rolled into the subscription cost, please let me know. I haven't seen a link to it.
-I use loosely the term sleep system, since I don't have a proper tent for use in the worst of winter conditions, and haven't tried moving beyond tents (or moving beyond TP and wiping with pine cones, for that matter, but that's for a different post)
-I don't yet own a scale. Spare me the vitriol in favor of input.
-I've read Mike C's list of things you all need to know in advance before providing quality advice, but I can't remember all of them when it counts.
-While I've nearly blinded myself reading countless posts on my iPhone at work, this is the first I've authored, so if I've missed anything else, my apologies.

Thanks in advance.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Winter Sleep System/Insulation Input on 05/03/2011 11:51:32 MDT Print View

You may wish to post this in a different section of the forums as this area is for questions and comments related to the forum and website and not for gear. Good luck to you in your endeavors.

Cheers,
Sam