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Winter Sleeping Bag
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Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Winter Sleeping Bag on 11/27/2006 22:12:51 MST Print View

I need a winter sleeping bag both for several specific events which require a -20F bag and also for family piece of mind. If you were going to spend the big bucks ($600-$700), what would you buy? Any others to consider? Is the 850 down in the WM really better than the FF 800 fill?

Feathered Friends Ptarmigan
$649
-25F
36oz fill
58ounces total but more in Event?

Western Mountaineering Puma Super DL
$640
-20F
35ounces fill
58 ounces total in DriLoft fabric

Western Mountaineering Big Horn Super MF
$575
-25F
38oz fill
55ounces total in microliteXP. Need a bag cover/bivy?

The bighorn Super MF is the cheapest, most down and lightest. Is the shell fabric less suited to winter?

Edited by Pivvay on 11/27/2006 22:14:39 MST.

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Winter Sleeping Bag on 11/27/2006 23:47:53 MST Print View

Hi Chrisopher-

For a sub-zero (F) sleeping bag, I think you'd be better off without an eVent or Dryloft shell. A waterproof/breathable shell on a down sleeping bag can be useful in conditions near freezing -- especially for short trips. But at -20F, conditions will surely be dry, and any membrane will just inhibit the breathability of the bag and contribute to moisture accumulation.

For longer trips in just about any temperature range/conditions, a WP/B shell on a down bag usually causes more problems than it solves.

Cheers,

-Mike

Edited by MikeMartin on 11/28/2006 00:48:01 MST.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Valandre Freja on 11/28/2006 11:20:47 MST Print View

What about the Valandre Freja (-22F)? Pretty light, agressive cut and no WP/B shell.

A.J. Lacomba
(ajadkbot) - F
Re: Winter Sleeping Bag on 12/13/2006 14:13:31 MST Print View

After trying out countless synthetic bags and a few down bags, I finally purchased the 3.5 lb, Big Horn Super MF and have been very, very happy. After much reading, I decided I wanted to have the warmest, most breathable down bag I could find and this bag was it. I am a very cold sleeper by nature and have never, ever been cold in this bag so far. (Coldest temperature I have used it in is about -5 deg F in the Adirondacks). In very cold weather (less than zero F), I noticed the condensation freezing in the outer layers of the synthetic bags I tried. I haven't found that problem with the Big Horn. The shell fabric seems fine. If I'm in a leanto or other shelter where I might get wet, I sometimes bring a bivy with me (which bivy depends on conditions I expect). However in a tent it's just fine by itself.

I'm sure any sleeping bag you listed is an excellent product, for me the deciding factor was the shell fabric. I wanted something breathable and would manage the water/weather proofness by using different methods (kind of like layering).

This has been my experience with the Big Horn, of course YMMV. I don't work for any outdoor retailers, just a very satisfied customer. I'm now looking at getting their meltdown jacket.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
VBL for any winter bag on 01/11/2007 01:40:59 MST Print View

Whatever ya get, get a Vapor Barrier Lining (VBL) for trips over 3 days. Otherwise the moisture accumulation in your bag will progressively ruin your insulation & leave you dangerously cold.
Stephenson's Warmlight sells 'em, as does a few other companies.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: VBL for any winter bag on 01/14/2007 17:50:24 MST Print View

Got the Big Horn SMF today. Managed to fit it in a Golite Dawn on the ride home from the store. It's predicted -9 to -11 tonight and -6 tomorrow night so I'm hoping to try it out in the next couple days.