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What is your SUL sleep system?
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Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
What is your SUL sleep system? on 01/23/2012 15:57:57 MST Print View

Just had my first trip with a tarp (cuben) and working on my sleep system. I have a Kooka Bay pad and pillow at around 14oz, but am trying to move away from inflatable so that the morning pack up can be even quicker with less hassle.

Suluk 46 Padded Ground sheet. This is my ground sheet and my backpack frame rolled up. (2.23oz)

GG Nightlight Sleeping Pad (Torso). This fits folded up into a pocket on the backside of my pack. (3.43oz)

MYOG Cuben/WPB Quilt (12oz)

Klymit Pillow (3oz)


I could go without the pillow and save a good bit, but for now a nonclothes stuffed pillow is required for my sleep.

Opinions would be welcomed, but also would like to know what your SUL sleep system consist of

Edited by Micronorton on 01/23/2012 16:41:44 MST.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

SUL Sleep on 01/24/2012 16:53:52 MST Print View

Quilt: 14.0oz Down Quilt (Virga Outdoors Wendego) - 35F Rated w 7.6oz 900fp down and M55 fabrics

Pillow: None. I have a 0.9oz Kookabay pillow but only seem to sleep mediocre on it so lately I've been leaving it at home. I sleep just as well using a stuff sack with clothes, stuff sack with platypus's or just tossing my shoes under the head end of my pad.

Pad: Not sure what to do. I've got a 16oz Exped SynMat UL which works well but it's heavy. I've also got the Suluk 46 PG Sheet but that's not really a warm enough pad except for summer. My future SUL strategy might be a thicker CCF pad combined with really smart sleeping spot selection (soft ground, a little slope). For non-SUL trips I'll bring the SynMat.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: SUL Sleep on 01/24/2012 17:19:53 MST Print View

Dan, what's the lowest temperature have you used the Synmat at?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: What is your SUL sleep system? on 01/24/2012 17:27:00 MST Print View

Current sleep stuff:

Pad- GG nightlight torso (3-4 oz)

Bag Cover- Equinox bivy (~6 oz)

Bag- RAB top bag (~15 oz)

For a pillow, I put my rainshield jacket on top of my shoes.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
What is your SUL sleep system? on 01/24/2012 18:55:24 MST Print View

My SummerUL sleep system;

Pad: Inertia X Lite Torso = 6.5 oz
Bivy: MLD SL Bivy = 5 oz
Quilt: MLD Spirit 45 (M55 shell) = 13.5 oz

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Synmat on 01/24/2012 19:31:55 MST Print View

"what's the lowest temperature have you used the Synmat at?"

I was in an un-heated alpine hut a week ago. It was steady at 25F inside the hut and I had the pad on a wooden bunk.

I could easily feel the heat escaping through the pad. It wasn't radical, but I wouldn't have wanted it to be any colder or the pad would have been a real problem.

I thought the pad would be fine in these conditions, because it's R3.2 and my old NeoAir (R2.5) has handled similar conditions with better results. There's been quite a bit of raving on BPL about the Synmat UL on many aspects, including that it's significantly warmer than the NeoAir. Through about 5 nights of cold weather use with the Synmat UL, my experience is that the NeoAir is easily warmer.

While I'm on the topic, the Synmat UL is also quite a bit more slippery both on the top (which I don't mind) and the bottom (which I do mind). It's not a bad pad, but the NeoAir is the better idea (ie. NeoAir's reflective baffling is warmer and lighter than Expeds syn insulation). The only thing that saves the Synmat UL is that I do like the vertical baffles better, so I think I'm more comfortable.

Edited by dandydan on 01/24/2012 19:34:25 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: What is your SUL sleep system? on 01/25/2012 01:37:37 MST Print View

For the past year or so it has been a Marshall Cuben Quilt @ 11 oz and a trimmed down Sukluk 1/2" torso pad 2 oz. That works well down into the high 30s F for me. I wrap my shoes inside my down jacket for a pillow. I did a couple trips in December with a full size Neo Air, a 1/8" Sukluk full size pad to protect the NeoAir, and a 1 oz air pillow. I was somewhat cold at 28F. I am getting too old for the foam pads. For Christmas I got a torso sized NeoAir, but haven't tried it out. I have to play around with the air pillow to get the right amount of air, but may keep it. Not sure on the pillow yet.

When it gets much below freezing I bring the Marshall Quilt and a Nunatak Arc Specialist, with an insulated BAC full length pad. But I sleep extremely cold, more so than most people.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
My set ups on 01/25/2012 06:18:09 MST Print View

My main SUL 2 season set up:

Space blanket ground cover: 50g
Trimmed 3/4 foam pad: 225g
Häglofs Lim 50 syth bag: 460g
MYOG pillow: 50g
Total: 785g (about 27.7oz)

The above I am able to sleep warm and comfy down to about 8C (46F), ideal is around 10C (50F). I only take the pillow half of the time or so and just use either natural materials or clothing as a makeshift pillow. Add my Ti Goat Ptarm bivy (200g) and a syth vest (210g) and I can push this set up down to around 4-5C (39-41F). I should add that I sleep slightly warmer than most people, however.

When it is very warm out (20C and above at night), I can go with my most light weight sleep system:

Garbage bag ground cover: 42g
No pad or natural materials as insulation: 0g
MYOG nylon liner: 250g
Total: 292g (10.3oz)

I have also mixed and matched a few other combinations, like take the sleeping bag but leave the pad, which worked out quite well that one time, which I documented on my blog:

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Synmat on 01/25/2012 11:55:44 MST Print View

Dan, thanks for the review on the Synmat, I was concerned because I can't use a NEO below 40* (I think I sleep colder the even Nick), and the Synmat looked rather thin.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"What is your SUL sleep system?" on 01/25/2012 12:21:31 MST Print View

15oz./30F quilt (Stateless Society)
torso length CCF pad (GG)
ground sheet (painters drop cloth or polycro sheet)
empty pack w/ jacket for pillow

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: "What is your SUL sleep system?" on 01/25/2012 12:44:43 MST Print View

I've had this setup into the upper 20's (w/ no additional clothing)

Katabatic Palisade 17.5 oz
MLD SL bivy 6.5 oz
Neoair medium 12 oz (tried a small, it was too small :))
Flexair large pillow 0.7 oz

36.7 oz total, not too shabby for a mid 20-ish setup, the bivy is used as my SUL shelter is a poncho/tarp

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: SUL sleep system on 01/25/2012 13:38:58 MST Print View

Under a tarp or mid:

20 oz synthetic quilt (old BPL Cocoon 60 with 5 oz Climashield XP added, 6 oz in footbox)

7 oz foam mat (cut down normal ridgerest with 1/8" Thinlight glued on top), 8 oz Thermarest Prolite XS when doing trips in the national park (harder ground in designated sites)

Pack under feet

Rain gear wrapped up on top of shoes for pillow

Hooded fleece or puffy to suit temps

This is good down to mid-low 20s with the right puffy and clothing. Below that I go to a full length pad and down bag.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Bag ratings on 01/25/2012 15:58:27 MST Print View

To those of you that contributed, what is your "official" comfort rating on your bags, btw? I left mine out as well, it claims on the maker's website that it is comfort rated to 13C and extreme temp is 1C.

I am especially interested in more detail of your set up Mike, mostly because you say there is no additional clothing involved! And I thought I was a warm sleeper. I will usually wear my base layer, sometimes though when I am pushing my system past 7C I will wear all my clothing other than rain gear (if any). I have found that humidity plays a part in how cold it "feels", I am sure there is a scientific explaination. But sleeping at say 5C on a hill vs. sleeping next to a lake is much different.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Bag ratings on 01/25/2012 16:20:37 MST Print View

Over the years I have just ignored the ratings, they aren't even close for me. And for someone who lives and hikes a lot in places like Maine, Minnesota, or Alaska they probably see them as too conservative. In the summer here, 115 F is fairly common and folks are in the grocery store enjoying the climate controlled environment and I need to wear long pants and a jacket to stay comfortable.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Bag ratings on 01/25/2012 18:13:30 MST Print View

the Palisade is "officially" rated by Katabatic at 30 degrees, I believe this is a little conservative (I think others have come to the same conclusion); in my experience adding a bivy adds some additional warmth- so between the two getting into the 20's isn't that difficult (albeit I do run towards to the warm end of the scale)

if I knew it was going to be in the low to mid 20's I'd probably add a thinlight pad to the neo, I find the neo is good to a little below freezing and not much more

Christopher Yi
(TRAUMAhead) - F

Locale: Cen Cal
Re: What is your SUL sleep system? on 01/26/2012 01:56:16 MST Print View

16.70oz. Katabatic Gear Chisos w/ 2 oz overfill, 9.1oz total down.
15.10oz. Cheap 1/2 foam pad or 16.40oz Exped Synmat UL7

For my pillow I've been using my down jacket in a stuff sack, but that was with a warmer bag. Since there's going to be times where I wear my puffy to sleep, I'm looking looking for a new pillow option, eyeing the Wallyworld water wings at the moment. Lately I've been waking up more sore on the UL7 compared to the foam pad, which I don't see how that's possible. If that keeps up, I'll probably switch to a 1/4" or 3/8" pad. I just picked up an HMG tarp this winter to see what tarping's about, so I've been looking at bivies lately. Most likely going to go with a Katabatic Gear Bristlecone, read good things about it and it'll integrate with my quilt. Previous shelter is a Tarptent Moment. So with my new/upcoming setup, I'm looking at about 2lbs with the quilt, new pad, and adding a bivy.

I've only gotten to use my Chisos once so far since winter, but it was in the low 20s. Wore my Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket, synthetic tee, midweight longjohns, nylon hiking pants, 2 pairs of Smartwool socks. I was just a little less than comfortable. My feet never warmed up either. I think if I had down booties, I would've been fine. I was sleeping in the back of my Jeep with the windows slightly open on my 1/2" foam pad. I was using the tuck method, and and my sleeping position was a little awkward so I kept getting drafts. I also had altitude sickness so that didn't help.

Edited by TRAUMAhead on 01/26/2012 02:10:11 MST.

Michael Trefzger
(michaeltrefzger) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
SUL Sleep System on 01/26/2012 09:58:20 MST Print View

I'm not sure if this is totally sul but here's what I'm using these days.

Ruta Locura Wasatch Bivy: 4.35oz
MLD Spirit 45: 12.5oz (or JRB Sierra Stealth: 15.25oz)
Thermarest Prolite XS: 7.9oz
Padded Ground Cloth: 3.5oz
Exped Air Pillow: 2.9oz

Total: 31.15oz (or 33.9oz)

Due note that I have not yet had the chance to use the Wasatch Bivy yet but I plan to rectify that soon.
For my uses I find this system is good down to the low 40Fs with the spirit quilt and down to 32F with the Sierra Stealth.
I'm thinking about lightening this system up a bit by purchasing the Kookabay Pillow and TaperLite Airmat. Anyone have experience with the Taperlite? The idea of shaving off 4oz without sacrificing comfort is a very appealing concept. Also, any word on Kookabay production. I checked their website today and they are still closed for the holidays.?

James Jones
(maniacjwj) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
SUL Sleep system in Colorado on 05/04/2012 16:25:05 MDT Print View

Western Mountaineering Highlite 35 degree Highlite 16oz
Cocoon Silk sleeping bag liner (supposed to add 9 degrees) 4.5 oz (last weekend, I could tell the difference when I pulled it up over my ears)
Gossamer Gear Nightlight Sleeping Pad (torso length 3/4" thick) 3.65 oz
Shoes in my RikSak
Painter's drop cloth under all of it (6' x4.5') 1.55 oz

I stick my 02 rain jacket under my legs (actually this weekend, I curled up and put my sleeping bag foot IN my zipped up jacket). In the summer, I put my thermal jacket in my rain jacket then put both under my legs.

The Nightlight Sleeping Pad keeps me warm underneath but it does nothing for comfort. Backpacking is an adventure in hiking under sleep deprivation. All to be out in nature and looking at the wonderful views.

(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
My ul on 05/07/2012 22:38:49 MDT Print View

Myog M50/apex quilt, neoair sm, cuben pillow sack, polycro groundsheet.

Total 20oz

Edited by KalebC on 05/07/2012 22:39:42 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: My ul on 05/08/2012 08:19:41 MDT Print View

KC I know what a neo small weighs :), so I need to know what your quilt weighs? also any other details about the quilt including what you think a realistic rating would be would be much appreciated