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John West
(skyzo) - F

Locale: Borah Gear
Down sleeping bag with synthetic overquilt on 10/25/2011 11:53:57 MDT Print View

I'm planning on doing a bit of winter backpacking these coming months, and am trying to minimize the gear I need to buy.

I have most of the clothing and supplies I need, and one of the last things I've been putting off is a a sleeping bag. Where we will be doing most of our winter backpacking is around 7-8,000 feet in the Wallowas, and according to the Snotel readings at 7400ft, overnight temperatures in Dec-Jan are usually around 0F. Instead of buying a new bag, I was going to sew up a 30F quilt anyways made with 5.0oz climashield apex for summer use, and was thinking that maybe I could combine it with my SD Nitro 30, and get down to around 0F with clothes?

We would be inside a tent, and my pad is a torso ccf and a full length neoair.
Do you think this would get me close to my target temperature of 0F?


Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Down sleeping bag with synthetic overquilt on 10/25/2011 16:55:20 MDT Print View

Someone more knowledgeable than me will hopefully come along and comment. Until, you have my comments. I remember reading something about combining down and synthetic insulation. Basically, you want to make sure that the dew point is in the synthetic insulation, not the down. I forget the ramifications for what you are proposing, and I'm too lazy to think about too much, so hopefully someone will enlighten us.

Jeff M.
(Catalyst) - M

Locale: Costa Mesa, CA
Re: Down sleeping bag with synthetic overquilt on 10/25/2011 18:59:21 MDT Print View

I'm considering doing something very similar. Basically combining my SD Nitro 15 with my 25 degree down quilt or a synthetic quilt I'd make (similar to yours) and clothes. I don't know if using synthetic insulation requires special considerations as previously mentioned. I'm interested to see...

Edited by Catalyst on 10/25/2011 19:00:05 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Down sleeping bag with synthetic overquilt on 10/25/2011 21:29:28 MDT Print View

You will stay much warmer with a synthetic bag and a down quilt inside. It works much better to both fill all the empty air space in a bag plus adding loft instead of just adding loft on top.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
bag on 10/25/2011 22:03:03 MDT Print View

generally a summer quilt adds about 20F or so ... thats also what big agnes claims

youll want synthetic over the down, just make sure it doesnt compress the down

for winter you likely want a margin of error ... ie dont depend on everything working perfectly to reach yr target temp ... things can get colder, or your other bad things happen ...

John West
(skyzo) - F

Locale: Borah Gear
Temps on 10/25/2011 22:33:47 MDT Print View

I will definitely give it a test run or two before I take it out into the 0f weather at 7000+ft, not a place I would want to be cold.

In my SD nitro 30, I can sleep comfortably with just a base layer on at 25f. I am a fairly warm sleeper. So I figured with the 30f quilt over top of it, and wearing a micro-puff hoodie, soft shell pants, and down booties, I would hope I could make it to 0F.

Do I need a vapor barrier? I would really really rather not, but if it is needed, I guess I will have to use one.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
vbl on 10/26/2011 08:38:40 MDT Print View

IMO its useful to bring a vbl the first time or two just in case ... a garbage bag or a heat sheets bivy is a good light one that you can use for other stuff

you shouldnt "need" one though for condensation in bags issues with an overbag... but it helps if temps are lower than expected

Edited by bearbreeder on 10/26/2011 08:47:03 MDT.

William Zila
(Ultralightwillinn.m) - MLife

Locale: Albuquerque
Warm sleeper on 10/26/2011 08:42:48 MDT Print View

I'm also a warm sleeper and wearing just a base layer I'm good in my 5.0 ounces climashield apex quilt down to 25

Jeremy Osburn

Locale: New England
Just a couple thoughts on 10/27/2011 10:32:02 MDT Print View

Mostly I agree with everyone else. Test if first, synthetic quilt on top, and make sure it doesn't compress the down bag. One big thing that is important is that your pad arrangement is backwards you need a full length ccf and your second pad can be whatever you would like it to be.

The VBL thing is very tricky, there are two ways to do VBL, clothing or bag liner. I didn't like the bag liner when I used it last winter, I am going to try clothing this winter. VBL is only necessary if your trip is longer than 3 nights. You would be surprised how quickly a bag dries out in the sun hung up on ski poles, skies, a dry rock, snowless tree branches...

You want to be very careful with wearing alot of insulation inside a sleeping bag. I tried that with booties once and they were soaked the next morning and frozen 10 minutes after taking them off. Then they got a free ride in the bottom of the pack for the rest of the trip. Anything you wear inside the bag you will need to wear outside the next morning until your body temp dries it out.

Synthetic insulation works when wet not frozen.

I am a warm sleeper as well I take a WM 5 above bag down to -10F with expedition weight base layer, thick wool socks, and a great hat (don't forget the hat it does wonders for microclimate). It is very easy to dry out base layers while you are putting your boots on in the morning.

My layering this winter is going to be VBL pants, shell pants on the bottom (puffy pants in between when resting), and VBL jacket, synthetic zip up, shell jacket on top (puffy jacket under shell jacket when resting). My hope is that with vbl clothing I can wear all of this inside the bag down to around -20F. We shall see.

Edited by earn_my_turns on 10/27/2011 10:35:11 MDT.