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Multiple Use Sleeping Bags
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Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Nunatak Akula vs. FF Vireo on 07/06/2005 19:13:07 MDT Print View


That is the point of the Vireo sleeping bag system. And you can vary the insulation properties of the system by using different weight vests and jackets as the temperatures change.

Additionally if you have any question about insufficient loft in the Vireo, you can increase the loft from the standard 750+ to 800+ loft down and increase the amount of down with overfill.

My 62" Vireo was upgraded to 800+ down and 2 oz of overfill (should have about 10.1 oz of 800+ down total in this size). The loft of my bag is somewhere around 4" of loft to as much as perhaps 7" at the foot box. Additionally, the baffles are continuous and you can move the down to adjust for the temperature.

We went through this discussion on BPL not long ago ( . Brian Griffith should be receiving his Vireo, Hyperion Jacket, and Volant Hood shortly. His set-up was being prepared in 800+ down (no overfill for the Vireo) and all in Pertex Quantum outer fabric. Brian indicated that he would report in when it arrived. Last report from Brian was on June 15.

Edited by naturephoto1 on 07/06/2005 19:59:41 MDT.

Brian Griffith
Vireo Bag / System on 07/06/2005 20:51:26 MDT Print View

I did indeed receive my Feathered Friends shipment last week: Vireo Bag, Hyperion Jacket and Volant Hood all in Quantum and 800+ fill. And I got to take it out this past weekend on a family camping trip up to Long Draw Reservoir at the northwest corner of Rocky Mountain National Park at about 10100 feet.

First of all, everything looked great. I ordered the bag in blue and the jacket/hood in red. I ordered the size long bag (I'm 6'2") and the extra large jacket (thanks, Richard) and those were the correct sizes for me. They stuff incredibly small into the included stuff sacks.

I slept in the bag without the jacket the first night to see how accurate the 45deg rating was for me. I was in a fam camp style tent (REI camp dome) and was sleeping on my BMW torsolite pad. I used a silk mummy liner and slept in my shorts and Ibex silkweight longsleeve wooly top and light wool cap.

When I went to sleep I was warm enough with the top cord left open. As the night went on I pulled the cord a little tighter until close to dawn when I had gotten cold enough to pull the cord around the top of the bag sealed. Each time after making the adjustments I was warm again.

When I woke up and checked the thermometer about 0600 it read 30deg. I was warm enough all night.

One issue I have with the bag is the very slim fit around my hips. The foot box is plenty roomy, as is the top of the bag, but I definitely feel the bag around my hips and am a little afraid I am compressing some of the down in that area. But, I didn't feel any cold spots and it may just be me adjusting to the slimmer fit from my '92 EMS or mil-issue bags. BTW, I'm not a small person at 6'2 200# w/ large legs/quads.

I used the jacket in the morning over just my long sleeve sw top and was plenty warm making coffee, etc. at 30deg.

I really like the system and since the bag took me to 30deg by itself, I anticipate an easy 15-20deg for me with the use of the jacket and hood. Plus, by pulling my shoulders/arms out of the bag, I can really ventilate such that I don't see a need for any lighterweight bag.


Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Vireo Bag / System on 07/06/2005 21:08:16 MDT Print View

Hi Brian,

Glad to hear that the system arrived and it meets your approval.

One thing that you can do if it possibly gets too warm (and if there is enough room in your tent or bivy) is to pull your body a bit further out of the bottom of the Vireo sleeping bag (more down loft at the bottom of the bag) and have the jacket removed much more from the confines of the sleeping bag. Then if need be, you can vent the jacket open by unzipping according to your temperature needs. If it is still too warm remove the jacket entirely and use lighter insulation when needed.

Edited by naturephoto1 on 07/06/2005 21:12:20 MDT.

William Webber
(micwebbpl) - F
Re: Re: Down Jacket/Sleeping Bag on 07/14/2005 17:38:47 MDT Print View

Wild Things Gear makes a good half bag with an Epic shell (water resistant) and Primaloft fill. Apparently they sell quite a few to the military for use on missions in Afghanistan, where it gets quite cold. I haven't had a chance to try the one I bought, but was disspointed it is a little shorter than I hoped and a little wider. It has excellent construction, however, and Primaloft bags are hard to find.

In lieu of the Vireo mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I have a Golite Fly-Lite which is a zipperless, hoodless bag similar in configuration to the Vireo but a lot cheaper, since it uses Polarguard Delta and is mass produced. I deliberatelly bought mine a size smaller than called for so I could use it as a "long" half bag, under a jacket, and beef up the jacket warmth. I too like to sleep "arms" out although this isn't very efficient in conserving warmth. It works well with a Golite Coal parka.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Multi-use quilt on 09/30/2005 18:55:54 MDT Print View

While making a new down quilt/comforter I went nuts and decided to modify it to turn into a practical camp vest for lounging around on crisp evenings.

I will confess right here to contributing more than my share to the Bad-Ideas-Are-Us lore -- not to prejudice anyone against the following.
Having done the same thing with a synthetic quilt and having used it for a few hundred miles on the AT, I knew it might work to eliminate having to carry extra clothing for warmth around camp. So I wasn't shooting blind.

So imagine a 25 F down quilt with a zippered foot (30" #3 zipper) and zipped arm slits (18" #3) and a separating zipper from waist to collar (28"). The tops of the shoulders are closed and baffled and it has a down-filled collar that works front and back (since the back of the vest is the front or top of the quilt), and the arm and foot zips are backed by draft tubes. Weight came to 26 oz. - maybe 6-8 ounces more than I'm used to for a quilt this thick. (I'm having to guess here because no two of my projects are identical.) So it probably isn't much lighter than the combined weight of a thinner quilt rated for higher temperatures and a separate vest. However, it makes a very very warm vest, so that compensates somewhat. Of course, the bottom dragged behind, so I put a loop of waistband elastic on the foot to loop over a shoulder when wandering around camp. Sitting around, I use the bottom as a leg cover. I can unzip an arm to reach stuff when snugged down on the sleeping pad. So far, so good.

Construction was a little trickier than making a simple quilt, and the arm zip slits meant a more tedious down stuffing job since they interrupted the down chambers, but anyone who has made a quilt before ought to be able to figure out how to do this with either a down or synthetic filled quilt.

Things I've learned to avoid after making and using two of these chimera: #3 zippers are adequate for the foot when & only when backed up with snaps at the top and about 1/2 way to the foot. Otherwise, the non-locking zipper pulls wouldn't stay put. Locking pulls would fix that, but no one had them. Heavier zippers add up fast. Velcro works for the foot and arm holes if you don't mind the fiddle factor - and we all know about the farces that ensue when using Velcro. The non-sticking velcro I've been able to get so far doesn't work very well.

I still suspect that a separate vest that could be worn in bed to supplement a lighter quilt might, might, be lighter and would certainly be more versatile. In other words, I'm not sold, but I don't yet have enough data to give anyone definitive advice.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
re:multi use quilt on 10/01/2005 06:00:59 MDT Print View

Nice multi use quilt...No Sniveller...800pf down...2+ inches thich...wearaable as a serape...check gear section here or Test results due this winter by BPL...also there is a spotlite.

You might want to consider the use of Omni Tape in liew of zippers as you consider design options.

As designer owner I'm biased.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: re:multi use quilt on 10/01/2005 15:41:02 MDT Print View

Thanks, Jack
Err...what's Omni Tape?
The serape idea sounds swell, and a lot less fiddling than the vest conversion I've been using.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
omni tape on 10/01/2005 19:29:05 MDT Print View


Omni Tape is No Snag is available in sewing store in 3/4 inch width ONLY in 3 ft lengths....Omni Tape is available in 1 inch width but can be purchased in 25 meter rolls from distributors such as US Fastener.... It is really nice stuff...does not have the abrasive hook side, thus is easier on skin and super light nylons and silks... does not tend to load up with thread/strings, dust , dirt etc on the hooks like regular velcro...

Essentially it is rows of hooks with slightly taller good.


Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: omni tape on 10/02/2005 11:04:23 MDT Print View

Yeah, that's what I thought. I tried it, but found it didn't hold very well. Perhaps I got the Beta version; it was a year or two ago. Since you seem to be having good luck with it, I guess I need to get some more and see if the new produciton works better.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Re Omni Tape on 10/02/2005 12:43:45 MDT Print View


Works fine for us and a lot of satisfied customers...but then these are pretty low stress uses.

Mike Ivanchikov
(bask) - F
Re: Re: Down Jacket/Sleeping Bag on 10/04/2005 12:18:25 MDT Print View

Ross, you may also want to check out two more half bags - Bask Aconcagua and Bask Yeti.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re Omni Tape on 10/14/2005 14:11:14 MDT Print View

Got it! As you said, the no-stick Velcro is for low stress uses, but the new production is *lots* better than the first I got. Now, do I want to turn my latest robe into a serape. Easily done and we're close enough to Mexico.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re Omni Tape on 10/20/2005 10:23:01 MDT Print View

Peter Pan;
Done and done - the poncho-serape. Now, if it will just get cold enough to test it.

Thanks for the tips. The no-snag Velcro is perfect for this rig. And it saves several ounces.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Multiuse sleeping bags on 11/20/2005 17:26:04 MST Print View

Jack Tier gave me a good idea: turn a top quilt into a serape. It isn't hard of you follow his advice (as I did) and use omni tape - a Velcro product that sticks to itself and doesn't tangle with everything else. I pulled the down out of the centermost chamber, cut a simple slit in the top and bottom shells, sewed in a wall as deep as the baffels with one strip of omni tape ( two would have been better for my 2+" baffels). I backed mine with a draft tube on a 20 degree top quilt. The elastic ties that go under the pad work as belts to keep the serape from flapping around. I've used it so far to freezing. It seems more than adequate. So I don't have to carry an insulated top garment for camp. Kula! Kulai! Thanks, Jack.

Edited by vickrhines on 11/28/2005 14:16:48 MST.

Coin Page
(Page0018) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern USA
Down hood inside lightweight bag on 11/28/2005 13:17:00 MST Print View

I carry just my down hood (unsnapped from its parka) Gives me toasty goose down security and warmth inside an ultralight bag for very little weight.

Michael Wands
(walksoftly) - F

Locale: Piney Woods
No Sleeping Bag?? on 01/15/2006 20:09:23 MST Print View

I stopped carrying a sleeping bag right after I stopped carrying a tent. My dayhiking gear included a fleece beanie & WM Flight Jacket (toasty). By adding a pair of Down Pants (mont-bell) and some down sleep socks (sierra designs), I can sleep in total comfort. I can also get up in the middle of the night without unzipping and can sleep in any position without resistance when rolling over. If things get a little moist (splash under tarp), I just put on my Dragonfly pullover and my wind pants.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Sleeping bag + clothing on 01/15/2006 21:49:47 MST Print View

If you click on the info for the Cocoon Pants, Ryan Jordan claims that these pants, the Cocoon Pullover, and a Nunatak Arc Alpinist gets him down to the teens easily. I've been thinking about this apporach for the Pacific Northwest. A single body bag (like the Nunatak Raku) isn't versatile enough for rainy rest stops, and at 35oz isn't worth the weight vs/ function. The combo that Ryan suggests keeps you warm at rest stops (the pullover), warm at dinner (add the pants), and warm at night (add the bag). The synthetic component to the clothing adds a safety margin, while the down in the bag saves weight from an all-synthetic setup. If the Cocoon pants replace my smartwool leggings, it's an equal-ounce trade off. Anyone else try this setup?

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Look, Ma. No sleeping bag. & Modular solutions on 01/15/2006 23:09:01 MST Print View

Michael, it would be a more useful post if you added context.
What temperatures have you brought your bagless combo down to? Where and what general conditions?

John, using a synthetic insulated jacket and pants combo with a relatively light down sleeping bag in the shoulder seasons and Winter has been a tried and true system for me in the Pacific Northwest for several years. Served me well for alpinism in the Cascades. This heavier system has taken me to subzero temperatures( w/ a VBL).
Recently, I've been putting together a lighter system that I expect will take me down to the teens, as per Ryan. My new system--
Cutom Nunatak Arc( a lighter version of the Alpinist) + Micropuff/Cocoon Pullover +
(currently) ancient NF ski pants/Capilene leggings--eventually to be replaced by either the Cocoon or Micropuff pants).

Michael Wands
(walksoftly) - F

Locale: Piney Woods
No bag at all! on 01/16/2006 07:10:29 MST Print View

My reasons for going bagless were simple:
1. I am a solo hiker. At night being zipped into a sleeping bag made me feel like a bear sandwich!
2. I like to keep my conversion weight to a minimum. This is the additional weight it takes from doing a day hike to laying over for the night.

I hike in Texas, Arkansas & New Mexico. I have only been really comfortable down into the mid 30's using the down clothing.

Once it hits 50-55, I lose the down pants & booties and go for silk bottoms and sleep socks with the down jacket pulled over my torso like a blanket.

In Texas it can be in the 90's when you go to bed. During these times I use a modified cotton mummy liner (bottom cut away with foot pocket) and spritz it with water for evaporative cooling.

John Garberson
(Montana) - F
Re: Sleeping bag + clothing on 01/17/2006 07:06:55 MST Print View

I started hammock hangin' a couple years ago and only once used a bag or cover. I wore long underware, balaclava, fleece gloves, wool socks and booties. My outer wear was an Integral Designs Dolimitti jacket w/hood and Denali pants. With a 1/4" pad, that system kept me comfortable to the high 20s. I just dropped out the Denali pants and added an Arc Alpinist and Cocoon pants for an additional 7oz net. Although I haven't tested that combination, I expect the temp range of this system to go lower although I may be limited by the pad. On the ground, the temp range shoud be much lower.

I agree with the of the unanticipated benefits of sleeping in cold weather clothing was the ease/comfort of getting up in the middle of the night and the comfort when facing the early morning cold.