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Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Mammut bag primer on 02/02/2007 08:04:13 MST Print View

Thanks Brett. I will continue to read everything I can get my hands on. This should help me figure out the relative temp ratings of a sleep system. Maine can be weird as far as weather - sunny and nice and then whammo! I'm trying to prepare for the worst, so to speak, without killing my base pack weight.

I am thinking I'll get a lafuma extreme bag due to budget, but waffling between the 600 and 800 because of the lofting issue mentioned above. My husband is a cold sleeper (even in the house!) so I have to take further measures for his comfort when I get his bag. I may get a 600 for me and an 800 for him later. He can try mine for fit, etc. and decide. We're the same height but different weights.

I'm also looking into getting fabric for bivy bags and having a neighbor sew them for me. That way I can have silnylon bottoms and breathable ripstop tops for a fraction of the cost. I wonder, though, if it would be worth the weight to line the bag completely with black, very lightweight nylon or polyester? Since both the silnylon and top ripstop are light colors I wondered if the black would help keep body heat in. Am I right in figuring that 3 yards of 1.1 oz silnylon would weigh 3.3 oz or did I miss something? If I'm right, the total weight of the fabrics before cutting them down would only be 9.9 oz per lined bivy bag. After cutting, sewing, and seam sealing could such a bivy end up around 8 - 10 oz?

Thanks again for your help. BTW, I posted the page on the website for sponsors and donors to view the finances of the filming project. I will email you the link, username and password. It's still in the works but you can view it.

Edited by jmcmichen on 02/02/2007 08:06:10 MST.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Mammut bag primer on 02/02/2007 10:11:24 MST Print View

I wondered if the black would help keep body heat in-Color makes no difference in keeping body heat in. Body heat is long wave infrared radiation.

Edited by richard295 on 02/02/2007 13:12:21 MST.

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re:Mammut bag primer on 02/02/2007 13:00:01 MST Print View

Thanks Richard. Oh well, guess I can save the extra weight then. :-)

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
Re: is this lafuma brand bag ok? on 02/04/2007 07:16:06 MST Print View

I got my gr1000 and it looks pretty nice. It packs very small, and looks like it is well built. I think I got the long version, but the toe box is so small that I don't think it adds much weight. It says 2lb 3oz on it, and claimes 30 deg rating. Not bad for $40!

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: Lafuma bag on 02/04/2007 08:59:27 MST Print View

Hi Jaiden. I think that's what I'll get for my husband. He doesn't mind a little extra weight if he's not freezing! And for $40 you just can't beat it!

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Lafuma bag on 02/11/2007 22:16:06 MST Print View

I got two, in LH and RH, so I can zip them together and share some bodily warmth!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Mammut bag primer on 02/11/2007 23:54:16 MST Print View

> I wondered if the black would help keep body heat in.
Nope. Won't do anything for body heat.

> Am I right in figuring that 3 yards of 1.1 oz silnylon would weigh 3.3 oz or did I miss something
Yep, you missed something ...
1.1 oz means 1.1 oz per square yard, but the fabric is wider than one yard.
Also, '1.1 oz' does NOT mean the fabric will weigh 1.1 oz/squ yd when you get it. That is the weight of the base fabric, BEFORE any coatings or treatments are applied. 1.1 oz silnylon will weigh about 1.4 oz/squ yd at least.
Ah, the strange wonders of fabric measurements!

Note: if you buy from overseas the quoted weight will probably be the finished weight: only in America do the suppliers fake it like this. Wierd.

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: mammut primer on 02/12/2007 12:30:59 MST Print View

Good idea, Joe. And thanks for the lesson, Roger. I'll have to learn more to guestimate the final weight if I decide to try making a bivy (having one made, actually - I'm all left thumbs when it comes to sewing).

For Brett and others following the filming project, we have gotten our Federal Tax ID Number to help assure donors that we are legitimate. Thanks for the emails of support and donations - everything helps!

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: Sleeping Bag Purchase on 02/17/2007 16:30:46 MST Print View

Hi everyone, just wanted to let you all know I found a buy I couldn't pass up. A Mountainsmith Recon +20 bag for $67 at REI Outlet (regular price $175). It's heavier than I wanted and a little more expensive, but at that price..... With the 20 degree rating, I probably won't need a bivy while in a tent either, so the extra 10 ounces should be just a tradeoff there. I'm posting this purchase on the website full-disclosure page - thanks for the donation, Brett!

I'm still looking for the right buy for my husband. He's not thrilled with mummy bags, but rectangular are so heavy! Any suggestions?

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Jane, stretchable bags for husband. on 02/18/2007 06:29:16 MST Print View

Jane,
Glad you found your bag!

You said you are looking for a sleeping bag for your husband, but he doesn't like mummy bags (constrictive I suppose?) and rectangular bags are too heavy. I have two suggestions of expanding mummy bags for you.

I've mentioned both of these before, but the point here is that these both have variable girth.

1) Synthetic: Snugpack pertex bags
Mentioned above.. Most Snugpak bags have an expanding stretch baffle system. This is basically a flap and extra zipper which runs the length of the bag. You can unzip the bag fully, open the baffle, engage the second zipper, and the bag expands by 8" at the top and 4" at the bottom. This makes for a huge bag, about 68" in circumfrence at the shoulders. I can easily fit myself and my GF in these bags.
You can get these on sale occasionally. I have 5 bags from this company, due to a shipping error; and so have an extra Micro (800g, 5'C, baffle, pertex), and an extra Travelpak Lite (700g, 7'C NO baffle, no pertex). The 'low' temp I quoted there assumes you are wearing an insulation layer.
OEM:
http://www.snugpak.com/20_outdoors/21_05_micro.htm
Reviews:
http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Sleep%20Gear/Sleeping%20Bags/Snugpak%20Softie%20Chrysalis/

2) Synthetic or Down: Montbell bags with the "Super Stretch" system.
These have a series of inner and outer circumfrential stretch baffles which allow the entire bag to stretch lightly to conform to the user. The long bags stretch at the shoulders to about 75" Montbell has the world patent on this system, so no one can copy it. There are actually numerous benefits of having stretch baffles, one of which is that the inner baffle pulls the inside shell away from the outer shell, continuously and automatically maximizing the space between the shells, and therefore the loft. I get more than 2" single layer down loft from my #7 alpine (460g, 10'C).
OEM:
https://www2.montbell.com/america/asp/products/Spg_itiran.asp?cat=1105
Many reviews online; never seen a bad one.
I own three of these bags and I love them. I toss the #7 in my pack even if I'm staying in a hotel!

For volume comparisons, Western Mountaineering's excellent wide mummy bags$$$ (wish I had one) are cut with up to 66" at the shoulders, but do not have stretch baffles, so you are always heating the extra interior volume.

Knowing your preference for synthetic, Jane; I'd recommendt the Montbell Burrow Bag series, if you want to pay that much, then the Snugpack second.

Edited by Brett1234 on 02/18/2007 06:46:14 MST.

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: Stretchable Bags on 02/18/2007 08:54:18 MST Print View

Once again, thank you Brett for the info and the links. My husband and I have debated constriction versus weight versus cost versus temp rating until we're both dizzy. I think we're going to watch for a sale on the snugpak bags - and in the meantime I'm going to try my hand at sewing a lighter weight rectangular bag myself. I think I can manage a box (famous last words, eh?). I'll even add a draw cord at the top so he can cinch it around his face or shoulders if he gets a draft. Should I also put velcro for about half the bag so it can be opened in warm weather? I'm not up to zippers. Velcro is venturing into choppy waters.

My plan is to use 6 oz Primaloft Sport (2 layers on top, one on bottom), 1.1 oz nylon ripstop for the inner layers and the top, and 1.1 oz silnylon for the floor, all available from Thru-Hiker.com. If I've read my clo ratings, extra weight added to silnylon by impregnating the silicone and seam sealing, and guesstimated correctly all around, I should be able to assemble a winter rectangular bag for under 3 pounds - with the proper amount of swearing, of course. It helps that he's my height, so the bag doesn't have to be longer than about 6 feet total. It may not end up the prettiest bag out there, but if it's warm to at least 30 degrees and he likes the room for under 3 pounds and under $100...... At least swearing doesn't cost anything! :-)

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Lafuma on 02/18/2007 22:04:07 MST Print View

I did try out my Lafuma this weekend. Quite possibly the snuggest fitting bag I've ever tried. No way the "warm up" system works with me. It ran out of gas between 30-35 degrees, and rather than put on long underwear, I got in my down bag. It will make a good summer bag though.

Edited by skinewmexico on 02/18/2007 22:05:06 MST.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
another vote for down, and w-i-d-e on 02/18/2007 23:01:04 MST Print View

Thanks for the test report Joe. I also dislike constrictive bags. Snugpak (synth) or Montbell (synth or down) both have full length expansion baffles. I've packed and unpacked my aprox. 1 lb Montbell#7s about 20 times now, with no visible change in loft. Im sold on down.

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: Lafuma Bag on 02/19/2007 17:42:26 MST Print View

Joe, thanks for the test results. I'm glad I decided against the lafuma since we'll only have one bag each for quite a while. Brett, I'll be watching for a Snugpak on sale - drop me a line if you see one, eh?

Jason Gott
(JasonGott) - F
Mountainsmith bag at REI Outlet on 02/21/2007 17:07:41 MST Print View

Hi all,

I'm new to backpacking and looking for a relatively cheap but decent 3 season bag. I've been eyeing up that Mountainsmith Recon 20 degree polarguard 3D bag at REI Outlet. I would need the long (I'm 6'0"), and it's ~ $80. I haven't been able to find any info about it (user reviews, opinions), but I'm very interested in it. I was also considering one of the Lafuma bags at REI Outlet (GR 1000 or GR 1400). Does anyone have an opinion on that Mountainsmith bag, and whether it's too good of a deal to pass up? - or are there better options for that price? Any info or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks much,
Jason

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: Mountainsmith bag on 02/21/2007 18:40:32 MST Print View

Hi Jason! Brett is probably one of the people you should talk with. He's provided several links and pieces of info earlier in this thread that may help you as they did me. The tip that synthetic bags lose some of their loft (i.e. warming capacity) over time made me rethink my original choices. The Lafuma bag was too long for me but might be great for you. The only bad thing - well, sorta bad - I've read about the Lafumas was a post where a guy complained that the foot box was too small. Can you visit a retailer to put your hands on a Mountainsmith or Lafuma before you buy one online?

Anyway, welcome to BPL! Good luck!

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Jason, bag thoughts on 02/21/2007 19:29:10 MST Print View

Jason,
Miles is selling his Campmor 20' bag in the gear swap forum. I recommend down if you have a drybag for storage, and a tent/tarp to keep it dry:
See this thread:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/6369/index.html?skip_to_post=45322#45322

I also have synthetic bags, but I'd only carry it if I was in a truly isolated and wet/damp situation, Lost Coast beach camping for example.

The choice of bag should not be made in isolation, but rather as part of your sleep system, which is composed of one or more of the following: a ground sheet, tent or tarp, closed cell mat, open cell mat, worn clothing(insulation), bag cover(bivy sack), pillow, and bag liner. Each of those components can add a little insulation, while serving other purposes (dryness, physical comfort, vapor barrier, bug protection, etc.) So consider again, do you really need a heavy 20'F bag? Maybe where you camp you do; Im just raising other aspects of this decision for you to conisder.

If budgets are tight, do what I did for my first down bag, lo those many months ago when I saw the 'light', eat cheap lunches for a while to make up the difference in cost!

Frank Ramos
(frprovis) - F
making a 2 person sleeping bag from primaloft on 02/21/2007 20:17:03 MST Print View

Jane: you might want to reconsider your plans. First, Primaloft is not the best choice for sleeping bags. In clothing that will be worn in wet weather, Primaloft is a good choice, because rain always leaks into clothing somehow or another when it is raining and primaloft is the best insulation under those conditions. But sleeping bags are seldom faced with that type of moisture. The big problem in makign your own sleeping bags or quilt with synethic insulation is quilting. If you tightly quilt a bag, then you lose loft and make cold spots. But if you loosely quilt, then Primaloft is much less durable than continuous fiber. So I'd recommend you use Polarguard or Climashield instead of Primaloft. The latter is available from Thru-hiker.

Second, insulation under you does little good if you have mattresses while 6oz of Primaloft on top is unlikely to keep a woman warm to 30°F, even when sleeping with a man, unless she is hardened to the cold. So if you are going to use 9oz of Polarguard or Primaloft total, I'd say put it all on top and forget about anything underneath. Also, anything you put underneath, especially Primaloft, is going to be torn to shreds unless you are very careful about quilting.

Finally, the simplest solution is just to get a 2 person quilt kit from ray-way.com, with the alpine upgrade (6oz of Polarguard). Jardine says 6oz of Polarguard is good to 20°F. I say it is good to 45°F for the average person, after loss of loft due to repeated stuffing into a backpack. However, two people sleeping together probably brings the temperature rating back down to 35°F. Add some clothing and you should be able to meet your 30°F goal.

I have no experience with sleeping together with someone in a bag or quilt, so I don't know all the gotchas involved with this. I imagine draft leaks are a major problem, and I don't know how I would solve the problem, unlike with a 1 person quilt where the problem is easy to solve.

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: Primaloft on 02/22/2007 07:51:25 MST Print View

Thanks for the info, Frank. I'll take that into consideration! Just when I think I've got a handle on something there's so much more to learn.... :-)

Jason Gott
(JasonGott) - F
Re: Jason, bag thoughts on 02/22/2007 08:58:21 MST Print View

Thanks for the info Brett and Jane!

I understand your point Brett, but my situation is a little different. I should have qualified the phrase 'new to backpacking' by saying I'm going on my first trip ever with a friend this May to the Boundary Waters (northern MN). He has all the gear I need except for a sleeping bag (tent, self-inflating Thermarest pad, backpack, etc). We'll be canoeing / portaging, which is why I thought synthetic fill might be a smart choice - plus, it's cheaper. Average lows are about 40F that time of year up there.

There's a chance that I'll get more into backpacking, and want to buy the rest of the requisite gear; but even if I don't, I have occasion for a sleeping bag a few times a year, so I want a decent all-pupose bag. I'm really just looking for the best bag I can get that will work for this trip at the cheapest price. So far, I've considered some Keltys, the Lafumas, and the Mountainsmith. Oh, there's also a Sierra Designs Orcas Island 30 degree down bag at REI Outlet for $90 (orig $210) - but that's the absolute limit of what I'm willing to spend.

Jane - I've been to a few local outfitters and never come across a Mountainsmith or Lafuma brand bag. I hopped into an REI Polar Pod, and I really wouldn't want anything more constrictive that that - so I'm kind of leary of the Lafuma now after reading Joe's comments. I'm relatively thin (6'0" 170 lbs), but don't deal well with feeling overly constricted.

Add to all of this that I'm a horrible decision maker (I hem and haw about all the little details), and I'm having a tough time choosing, which is why I posted here. I really appreciate your input, guys - thanks!

Jason