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Nunatak ARC's and side sleeping?
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David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
Nunatak ARC's and side sleeping? on 01/06/2007 08:39:50 MST Print View

I have searched the forums and found some answers, but I was hoping for some more personal experiences. Those who use the ARC series bags and are side sleepers please give your thoughts about the model used and the coverage.

Any replies would be helpful. I am especially looking at the Arc Alpinist.

Edited by dstenberg1 on 01/06/2007 08:40:39 MST.

Valentin Zill
(Valentin.Zill) - F

Locale: Europe
Arc Edge/Side Sleeping on 01/06/2007 08:50:27 MST Print View


I own a nunatak Arc Edge and prefer to sleep on my side. It works, but it's quite difficult to fix the bag correctly, so that no cold spots occur. And forget about turning over at night: you will wake up shivering. That problem probably won't be an issue with the Alpinist as that bag, as far as I know, isn't as narrowly cut as the Edge is.


Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Arc Alpinist on 01/06/2007 09:57:45 MST Print View

David - I have the Arc Alpinist and have no problem with sleeping on my side. It's a great quilt, well designed and constructed.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Nunatak ARC's and side sleeping? on 01/06/2007 10:09:20 MST Print View

I am a side sleeper and use the ghost. I am 5'10", 180lbs. I wouldn't mind a quilt which is a bit larger, but it had been large enough for me. The problem I have run into is a cold spot developing at the peak of my hips in the middle of the night which forces me to redistribute the down before going back to sleep. I have been considering adding .5-1oz of overfill in that section of the bag but haven't do it.

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: Nunatak ARC's and side sleeping? on 01/06/2007 13:07:21 MST Print View

Hi Dave,

I have an X aka Arc Specialist with 1oz overfill and am also a side sleeper.

IME it is critical to fluff and distribute all the down at the center/top of the quilt when bedding down.

Sleeping on one's side tends to make the down slip/migrate away from the center/top of the quilt and pool up at the edges (typically where it does you no good for warmth). Sleeping on one's side tends to create a mountain peak shape. I too have to do this once again generally in the middle of the night when my 32* X turns into a 42* quilt. Fluff and redistribute brings it back to 32*.

It's a real testament to loft as a critical factor in warmth.

Jay McCombs
(jmccombs) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Nunatak ARC's and side sleeping? on 01/06/2007 16:00:53 MST Print View

I have the ghost and am a side sleeper. I sleep inside a bivy, and as long as I have adequate insulation between me and the ground I'm fine. I think the bivy really helps with draft control.

David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
another question about ARC bags on 01/06/2007 16:40:29 MST Print View

Thanks to everyone who has answered. I have another question. Is a bivy necessary? I am thinking about using a Tarptent Contrail or Rainbow with the ARC bag. Is this possible or is the bivy important to use.


Daniel Goldenberg
(DanG) - M
Re: another question about ARC bags on 01/06/2007 16:53:33 MST Print View

I've got the arc X (arc special) and have no problems with side sleeping. The Alpinist is dimensioned the same, I believe with a 55 inch width which in my opinion is highly desirable for side sleeping. The extra width vs the narrower bags like the Ghost or edge makes all the difference.

You shouldn't have any problems using it without a bivy in a tarptent.


Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: another question about ARC bags on 01/06/2007 17:52:21 MST Print View

I have an Arc Alpinist and have used it in a Contrail, BD Beta light as well as a TT Rainbow, in all cases without a bivy in some very cold temperatures so my answer is you do not need a bivy inside a single wall tent.

David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
Thanks on 01/06/2007 21:08:14 MST Print View

I appreciate the information. Thanks everyone!

(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: Nunatak ARC's and side sleeping? on 01/07/2007 01:35:34 MST Print View

David, just some personal experiences with the Arc Alpinist:

1. The Alpinist comes standard with only 2 straps. In order to best control drafts, have Tom (the owner of Nunatak) add a third strap. The third strap will keep the bag better shaped to your body and prevent almost all wind from robbing you of your precious body heat. The third strap is positioned just below your shoulders. I have never had a problem getting to the buckle.

2. Add 2 oz of overfill. The extra 2 oz makes the bag warmer, more comfortable, and will help prevent the down from slumping (since you are a side sleeper). The extra down will also maximize the loft at the peak (your hip) to keep your body warmer.

Hope the info helps.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
More questions about Arc bags on 01/13/2007 06:05:54 MST Print View

Hi everyone

I have some Arc questions too so I thought I would tap in.

Thinking about using an Arc Ghost with a Cocoon Pullover (when I can get hold of one) in the South Australian (Flinders Ranges) winter. Temperatures usually 1 or 2 degrees celcius below freezing-sometimes a few more. I am a bit of a cold sleeper so I need the extra insulation.

The ghost doesnt seem to be cut as tight as an edge, although its certainly narrower than an Alpinist. If I was wearing a cocoon underneath, would the extra circumference required cause extra potential cold spots, or should I not be fazed by this? I am thinking of either using a BMW Bivy or making one myself out of some 1.3oz silnylon and some of that DWR like Bill Fornshell did.

I am generally a side sleeper and can move about a bit at night. I am thinking that I will train myself to sleep on my back (I had to do that a few years ago when I broke my leg-you get used to it after a couple of nights), and when I am really exhausted hopefully I won't turn much at all.

I am thinking of using a 200weight fleece beanie for now as head insulation. At those temperatures I am not sure if it will be enough though-neck exposure. Should I just get a balaklava?

Hope everyone is enjoyin the North American winter! Its nice and hot here in Aus!


(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: More questions about Arc bags on 01/14/2007 01:12:44 MST Print View

I'm 5'11" and my bag is sized for someone who is 6'4"(size large). I'm one inch too tall for the medium (5'10"). At first I was bummed because the larger size is one ounce heavier. Until I discovered that on cold nights I could tuck the bottom half of my face into the sleeping bag to stay warm without compressing the down in the foot box. This technique works well on trips 2-3 days in duration. Longer than that causes the down to wet-out from the moisture in your breathe. For longer trips, you might be able to put a bottle of warm water in your bag to help dry it out when your not using it, but I have never tried it.

If your just worried about your neck, the cocoon pull over has a collar on it, just zip it up all the way. A balaclava works well too. You might take one with you until you figure out what works for you. As for the beenie, I use a PossumDown beenie (I imagine they are easier to buy where you live, hard to find here in America). The PD beenie is doubled up around your ears. Something that I do (so I don't have to carry a balaclava) is to undouble the fabric around my ears to cover the top half of my face (down to the bottom of my nose), and tuck the bottom half of my face into the sleeping bag. This technique insulates my entire head and keeps me very warm.

I do use a bivy (BMW Vapr bivy), it blocks wind and helps to boost the temperature rating of the sleeping bag.

Jay McCombs
(jmccombs) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: More questions about Arc bags on 01/14/2007 12:10:51 MST Print View

I try and plan so that if I'm wearing everything I brought on the trip I'll sleep comfortably and have a several degrees to spare. I haven't had a chance to take my Ghost bellow about 30-32 F (-1 to 0 C or so) but have been more than comfortable every time.

As far as headwear I tried to go multipurpose. I bought a smartwool shadows hoody so that my base layer essentially seals me up. I switched to a windshirt w/a hood too. As soon as the cocoon pullovers w/hoods are availabe I'm going to get one of those and ditch my lightweight fleece beanie all together. In fact unless temps are very near 0 C or less I usually pull the beanie off in the night.

So my sleep system goes something like this: light weight wool base layer(w/hood), pertex windshirt (w/hood), micropuff pullover, gore-tex paclite jacket (w/hood). On the bottom I wear some synthetic tights and my light nylon hiking pants. I wear possum down gloves, a 200 wt beanie, and smartwool hiker socks to bed (an extra pair I changed into when I get to camp). All that under the Ghost quilt inside a silnylon and epic bivy under a tarp.

The make or break for me is insulation between me and the ground. I always make a big bed of leaves or pine needles to sleep on. I use a torso sized GG nightlite pad and put my golite jam under my legs. Recently I started bringing a slightly shortened GG thinlite to add under my legs. Its an ounce and a half more maybe but I seem to sleep much much warmer. I roll it up and keep it tied to the bottom of my bag and use it as a sit pad on breaks and in camp. And I never leave home w/out my flexair pillow. That thing has increased my enjoyment of the wilderness more than any other piece of gear.

On my last trip lows were down in the mid 30's, wet, and pretty windy. I went to bed with my arms outside my quilt and never had to tighten the straps down around me. Slept very, very warm (almost too warm) with the above set up. I think I easily could have gone to the mide or lower 20's and still been fine.

Edited by jmccombs on 01/14/2007 12:13:03 MST.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Arc Bags and possum down on 01/14/2007 16:30:17 MST Print View

Duane and Jay, thanks for the advice. I am thinking then if I get a cocoon with hood that will be enough extra insulation with a Ghost at night. I still want another head layer, mainly for on cold mornings (I like to start at the crack of dawn but its often still around freezing point) when I start off. I usually start off in just my hiking shirt, polypropylene gloves (thinking of moving to possum down though) and a polartec 200 beanie. I get cold hands so covering them up, plus my head gives me enough warmth to start off with, but those layers are easily removed and stashed in a pocket once I get warm. I think the polartec 200 beanie is a bit too warm if that is its main use, so I might get a the lighter Icebreaker (NZ brand) merino wool balaklava. Should be versatile enough.

The other option I was thinking of was trying to make a Kennebec or Kinsman Pullover from, and then going for perhaps a light balaklava AND a possum down beanie. The kinsman in M weighs in at about 7oz, which is a weight saving on the cocoon with pullover (9.5), the extra 2.5ounces easily covers the 1.85 of the possum down beanie. And I will save a bit of money (skint student).

Actually Duane, the only place I have noticed in South Australia to get possum down clothing is here at BPL on the net! Crazy, I would have to buy something from across the Tasman via the US. Possums are an introduced pest species in NZ, but in many parts of Australia are threatened (so we don't get that kind of stuff here).

Thanks guys!

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Arc Bags and possum down on 01/14/2007 17:04:51 MST Print View

Try Hat 1 or Hat 2

These companies ship internationally