Will my sleep system do the trick?
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Rutherford Platt
(tunaboy999) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Will my sleep system do the trick? on 05/12/2011 21:25:45 MDT Print View

I'm new to light backpacking and am just putting together my big 3. I’m going to use this setup for summer trips to the Colorado Rockies or Wind River Range in Wyoming, as well as camping in the Northeast April-October. The following items are in the mail:

Tent: Tarptent Double Rainbow
Pack: Six Moon Designs Traveler Pack with Gossamer Sit Pad
Sleep system: Marmot Helium to be used with existing ¾ Thermarest Explorer (22 oz!)

At 3.4 pounds, I’m not sure I’m happy with the sleep system I have put together. I ordered the Marmot Helium, but wonder if I would be better served by a 30 degree bag instead (Hydrogen?). On the other hand, the 15 degree bag could come in handy especially at high altitude in the Rockies. I just can’t decide if the weight penalty of the 15 degree bag is worth it. The sleep pad is another problem -- alternatives to the heavy ¾ Thermarest just don’t seem very appealing (thinner & less comfortable or expensive and frail).

Suggestions are welcome!
-RVP

Edited by tunaboy999 on 05/13/2011 07:24:41 MDT.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Sleeping Bag on 05/12/2011 21:33:03 MDT Print View

In my opinion a 15 degree is way too warm for Summer even in Colorado and the Wind River range. I have a Marmot Atom 40 degree bag. It's all I use between June and September in the high country. I always like the versatility of being able to layer a down sweater and balaclava if I really need to extend the warmth of my bag. Much more flexible since I can use the down sweater and balaclava during the day on my hike if conditions warrant.

As far as sleeping pads I see a number of people on this site going really light with half length pads and very thin pads. About all a thin pad is doing is providing minimal protection and only work with back/stomach sleepers. For side sleepers like myself I opt for the BA Insulated Air Core. Thick enough 2.5" to provide the comfort that a side sleeper won't get with a thin foam pad. It weighs the same as your Thermarest. I guess I am saying that sleeping pads are a very user specific thing depending on how you sleep and the level of discomfort you can tolerate.

Edited by randalmartin on 05/12/2011 21:37:56 MDT.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
It kinda depends on 05/12/2011 21:37:19 MDT Print View

How do you sleep? warm, cold, inbetween and how well do you handle a little discomfort if a little cold. I have went to a 30 deg. bag that some others on here feel is a 35-40 deg bag and have been comfy with extra layers down to the low teens I sleep warm and handle a little discomfort pretty well.

James Byrnes
(backfeets1) - M

Locale: Midwest.... Missouri
sleep system.. on 05/13/2011 02:14:22 MDT Print View

I carry a digital thermometer to record low night temps. One night the temp outside the shelter (sublite sil) was 40*F , inside at chest height 53*F. (I hang a Mylar space blanket inside to form a double wall effect.) My point is that your shelter can help retard heat loss to wind and can be factored in to your system.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Will my sleep system do the trick? on 05/13/2011 07:07:47 MDT Print View

I find that a pillow makes more difference than a thick pack for sleeping. A closed cell foam pad like the Riderest, Z-rest or just a gold ol' blue foam pad will save you some weight without too much investment and they won't leak :)

And you will find that having more than one sleeping bag is good if you hike more than one season. It is better to error on the warm side with a bag, but somewhere along the line you may want a 30F bag for mid-summer stuff.