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Help me build a 3-season synthetic sleep system
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Jesse A
(oso101) - F
Help me build a 3-season synthetic sleep system on 09/27/2012 11:57:11 MDT Print View

As I move towards lighter backpacking, I'm excited beyond words to finally get rid of my 10-year-old, 4-lb North Face synthetic bag. But given that lightweight sleeping bags are en expensive item, I want to take my time and make the right decision.

So, I would love some input on my thought process.

The first thing to know is that I'm extremely allergic to down, so everything must be synthetic.

The second is that I use a NeoAir Xlite.

I camp in a wide range of temperatures/conditions, from the upper 20s to the 70s, including:
-muggy Northeastern summer nights with lows in the upper 60s/low 70s
-Summers in the High Sierra with lows in the 40s/30s
-Shoulder season trips with lows in the upper 20s

The upper 20s, or perhaps 25 at the extreme, are the lowest temperatures I ever camp in - this would be, say, an October cold snap in the Adirondacks.

So, what combination of bags/quilts (with appropriate layers) would best serve me through this range of temperatures?

I'm thinking about the MLD Spirit 28 quilt for covering the low end of the range. Does this seem like a good call? And how warm could I take it - what would be the warmest temperatures at which I could comfortably use it?

And then, what should I use for the remaining part of the temperature range?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Jesse A
(oso101) - F
Bumped... on 09/28/2012 09:10:25 MDT Print View

Would love some advice!

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Help me build a 3-season synthetic sleep system on 09/28/2012 09:34:01 MDT Print View

I'd do a wide 50 degree synthetic quilt and a 30 degree down sleeping bag or quilt. The high sierras are dry and a 30 degree down quilt would be perfect out there. A 50 degree wide synthetic quilt will deal with the NE summers, and would work as an overquilt/overbag for your 30 degree down sleeping bag in the shoulder season, allowing you be warm into the 20s, while protecting your down bag from internal and external moisture.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Enlightened Equipment on 09/28/2012 09:53:42 MDT Print View

I would seriously take a look at Enlightened Equipment Quilts. The prodigy line uses Climashield APEX synthetic insulation and is priced very nicely. They do great work from all of the rave reviews I have seen on this site.

Jesse A
(oso101) - F
Enlightened vs MLD quilts on 09/28/2012 18:30:43 MDT Print View

These look like some good options. Curious what the pros/cons are of the Enlightened Prodigy vs the MLD Spirit quilts. The specs and price are similar enough that I'm curious what the pros/cons would be compared to one another.

Jesse A
(oso101) - F
Re: Re: Help me build a 3-season synthetic sleep system on 09/28/2012 18:32:13 MDT Print View

Thanks, Brian, for the advice. Unfortunately I'm allergic to down, so it's synthetic only for me, lest I spend the night with itchy red eyes & producing unbelievable amounts of snot.


Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Sizing etc on 09/28/2012 18:52:28 MDT Print View

I haven't used either of those quilts but I have two BPL quilts (discontinued). I'd go for one 50 degree summer quilt and a heavier one made of 7.5 oz insulation. That should theoretically take you down to 15 degrees (supplemented with clothing). It will probably weight about 24 oz. You could go a bit lighter but I like the extra insurance. Synthetic insulation does degrade faster then down but a 7.5 oz quilt should stay adequately warm for the Sierras for a long time.
Remember since your quilt has no hood you need a warm had to keep your head warm in colder temps.