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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
36oz fill
58ounces total but more in Event?

Western Mountaineering Puma Super DL
35ounces fill
58 ounces total in DriLoft fabric

Western Mountaineering Big Horn Super MF
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.



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.