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Lightweight Synthetic Bag?
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Alan Ellis
(AlanEllis) - F
Lightweight Synthetic Bag? on 05/08/2005 09:57:17 MDT Print View

I'm looking for the lightest synthetic bag out there rated between 20 and 35 degrees. Any ideas? Thanks.



Edited by AlanEllis on 05/08/2005 10:08:58 MDT.

Jason Shaffer
(pilgrim) - F
light synthetic bag on 05/09/2005 09:01:41 MDT Print View

Hi Alan,
Been experimenting with the North Face Fission for 6 months now and I've been extremely pleased with it. Specs as follows:

20F rating
size reg = 33.9 oz w/ golite stuff sack (my scale)
Pertex Quantum shell, Polarguard Delta fill
1/3 length zipper
uncluttered, functional drawcords
$199 retail -- permit me to squawk a bit, I got it 20% off : ) ooh, ahh...

Anyway, I've used it in conjunction w/ a BMW cocoon pullover, Vapr Bivy and Oware Tarp. Great system--with a normal array of fringe 3-season clothing, it takes me near to zero. I don't know of a synthetic bag that comes so close to the warmth:weight ratio of down. The upcoming synthetic Arc X maybe....

Be aware that my success w/ this bag in low temps is due in part to the fact that it fits me like a glove. I'm 5,9 160 lbs, and wearing a baselayer, possumdown vest and beanie, windshirt and synthetic pullover, the fit is ideal for me. The cut is slim, tho, so others may not be able to wear as much clothing inside. 59-60" interior shoulder girth according to TNF, I think. (?)

The 1/3 zipper makes the bag unsuitable for temps much above 60*F, but in the 5-50*F range it's great.

Hope this helps.

Edited by pilgrim on 05/09/2005 09:17:36 MDT.

Jason Shaffer
(pilgrim) - F
nice site, Alan on 05/09/2005 09:22:24 MDT Print View

By the way Alan, beautiful website. Looks like some great trips!

(RavenUL) - F
Lightweight Sleepingbag on 05/09/2005 09:43:38 MDT Print View

Alan, Im currently using a Montbell Super Stretch Burrow Bag #4, rated between 40 to 20 degrees.

Its light (2lbs 8oz on my scale, weighed in the original stuff sack) and made with solid materials (no vapor thin fabrics here)

It has elastic baffles that pulls the insulation to the body, reducing the space you need to heat, and the foot pocket has some neat features. You can close it off to reduce bag depth, pull the last baffle inside and cinch it down for extra foot box insulation, or use the drawstring to create "booties".

The insulation is a proprietary material called Excelloft. Good stuff. It has 2 different deniers of material inside. A heavy weight tube, and a lightweight thread. This provides the weight and compressibility benefits of Polarguard 3d/Delta class insulation... but has improved durability due to the solid core fibers.

Oh, and you can get a smoking deal on them... I bought my in the store for $80. You can get the same deal online in their web-deals section. Thats for last years models.... this years model is functionally identical, just different colors for $120.


Alan Ellis
(AlanEllis) - F
Synth Bag on 05/09/2005 10:00:04 MDT Print View

Jason, thanks for the comments on the site. and I are the exact same size. I'll check into the Fussion. I'm currently using a NF Cat's Meow which scales out at 44 oz (with the NF stuff sack). I may be able to just switch stuff sacks to a lighter one to save a couple of oz, then just eat the rest.

Edit: My dream bag is the Western Mountaineering Apache MF (32 oz, 15 degree), but that thing is $350.00. For that kind of money, I can suck up a few ounces. :-) Joe, thanks for the response.

Edited by AlanEllis on 05/09/2005 10:06:14 MDT.

DJ Wilson
(ojulius) - F
Thumbs up for Ray's Quilt Kit! on 05/09/2005 19:13:49 MDT Print View

For the price and the weight, I don't think there is a better deal out there than Ray's Quilt Kit. For under $60 you get everything plus detailed instructions! Quite a few options there as well. Also, you may want to make a querry with AYCE at his site. I've made the down quilt kit based on Jeremy Padgette's design, but you could ask him to replace the down with Polarguard or Primaloft, skip on the no-see-um for baffles and perhaps he'd lower the price?

shure on 05/11/2005 01:04:31 MDT Print View

I have used a moonestone stratus for a while. Its 27oz and works to about the 20's when new. I think that they have replaced it with a new bag that looks like da Bomb. However, if you are looking for a good bargan on an ultra light, search for the stratus. I carried it on my thru hike, needed nothing more.

Jason Shaffer
(pilgrim) - F
bag ratings in UL idiom on 05/11/2005 10:47:31 MDT Print View

One question you have to ask before buying the bag is: do I want a bag ~rated~ to 20F, or do I just want to sleep in temps down to 20F. If its really the former, then in most cases you're preparing yourself for temps down to 10 or 5F, in conjunction w/ a normal setup of clothing. If its just the former, then a bag like the Moonstone Stratus (32f rating) would be a better choice than the Fission. I'd never use a WM Apache for temps above 15, yet for colder than that I'd have to question the appropriateness of down to begin with (recalling bad winter condensation experiences, etc).

Just one of the many confusions brought on by these over-simplistic ratings.

Edited by pilgrim on 05/11/2005 11:00:50 MDT.

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
EMS Quantum/PL2 35F 1.5 lb on 05/11/2005 12:20:11 MDT Print View

EMS has a Quantum/PL2 bag at 1.5 lb and rated for 35F. They are claiming it to be the lightest synthetic bag. I suppose the Marmot Pounder can be overlooked due to it's limited usefulness but I am seriously considering it as part of a 3-season system (2lb total for the Pounder plus an ID Primaliner). The problem is that I don't sleep well if I'm too warm or cool. My Marmot Hydrogen is comfy at 40-50F, but above that I cook.

Jason Shaffer
(pilgrim) - F
EMS Quantum? on 05/11/2005 13:03:25 MDT Print View

Where did you hear about this? I can't find any info. Any details about the design, etc?

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
EMS Quantum/PL2 35F 1.5 lb on 05/11/2005 13:50:32 MDT Print View

The bag is the Velocity 35. It was shown in a 1/3 page ad in the Backpacker Gear Guide Mar/05. There is also a 5F version. Unfortunately when you go the EMS website and link in to sleeping bags from the home page you will end up in "3-Season Sleepin Bags" sub-section instead of a sleeping bags home. On the right side you can link in to Warm-Weather Sleeping Bags. or click here ;>)

Apparently EMS has started having Kansas State University do independent evaluations of all their bags, so there should be excellent accuracy in all their specs including temperature rating.

Edited by richard.s on 05/11/2005 15:25:19 MDT.

EMS Velocity on 05/11/2005 15:07:24 MDT Print View

I bought the EMS Velocity 35 last summer. I wouldn't worry about it being too warm. I slept in it last fall in 40-45 degree weather with pants and long sleeve shirt on and I woke up cold. (But not so cold that I couldn't fall back asleep in a few minutes.) I'm very happy with it and use it and for $150, you can't beat the price.

Throw out the compression sack it comes with. It's bad for the Primaloft. It's still *BEEP* small in a regular stuff sack.

James Schipper
(monospot) - MLife
synthetic sleeping bag suggestions on 05/11/2005 16:27:02 MDT Print View

You can get a kelty ligh year 3D 30deg.(2lbs 3oz) for about $75 various places on the web (just use froogle. I think the fanatic fringe quilts are great. They are rated for 30 degrees. 1lb 8oz for the 3D, 1lb 6oz for the Delta.

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Does Kelty still lie? on 05/11/2005 18:46:21 MDT Print View

re: Kelty Light Year 3D, Kelty used to lie about the weights of their bags and tents. Marmot and Sierra Designs have stopped this practice but I'm not sure about Kelty.

Edited by richard.s on 05/11/2005 18:57:28 MDT.

dennis hoff
(dehoff) - F

Locale: The Frozen Tundra
Kelty Lightyear on 05/14/2005 21:45:17 MDT Print View

I have a 2005 Kelty Lightyear 25 Long (down), and it weighs in at what it is listed at.

canyon steinzig
(canyon) - F

Locale: Nor Cal
lightest synthetic on 05/16/2005 00:17:28 MDT Print View

the northface propel is one pound and rated to 40. I have one for sale

Alan Ellis
(AlanEllis) - F
The upcoming synthetic Arc X....... on 05/18/2005 06:02:54 MDT Print View

Jason, I went back and read your previous post about "The upcoming synthetic Arc X ..."

I've never heard of this....what's the scoop?

Jason Shaffer
(pilgrim) - F
arc-x cocoon bag on 05/18/2005 08:50:28 MDT Print View

Hey Alan,
Well if it gives you any idea how much of a scoop I've got--when I saw a post titled 'upcoming synthetic Arc X', my ears perked up, thinking it might be a product release update!
I need help. Anyway here's what I know: in an article on spring backpacking in the first BPL print issue, Ryan's gear list mentions a synthetic 'Cocoon Arc X' weighing 26 oz. That must have been a very early prototype. In a thread awhile back 05 BMW Products? Ryan confirms that something similar is now in the works for fall/winter:

Cocoon PD 15oz 36F
Cataclysm PD 18oz 33F
These specs must've been published in the first print issue, too, I don't recall. They appear to be top bags w/ construction techniques similar to the Cocoon pullover, which allow polarguard delta + pertex quantum shell to match the warmth:wt of down. I like the pullover, so since I prefer synthetic sleeping bags 90% of the year, I'm very interested.

Don't hold your breath, though--I'm guessing they'll release sometime after the fall line of packs.

edit - if you haven't seen BMW's down Arc-X (MIA from site right now), check out the manufacturer's site for an idea: Arc FAQ
Also, there was talk of a Cocoon balaclava for Feb 05, but it seems not to have materialized. Would make the ideal combo.

Edited by pilgrim on 05/18/2005 12:55:01 MDT.

Alan Ellis
(AlanEllis) - F
Good info... on 05/18/2005 22:17:18 MDT Print View

Good info....thanks. I'll check it out.

Jason Shaffer
(pilgrim) - F
UL synth bag upheaval! on 05/23/2005 18:39:15 MDT Print View

Well, Alan, in case you haven't read the 05 Products update, I'd say my Fission will soon have seen better days. Cocoon Arc X (15) + Cocoon Pants (9) = 24 oz, about 10 oz lighter. Likely not as warm as above system, but w/ clothing et al plenty for your specs. Added benefit of pants around camp.