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How many bags do you have?
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Johnny Gish
(jtgish) - F

Locale: Coppell, Texas
How many bags do you have? on 03/31/2007 02:43:56 MDT Print View

This is crazy to me but I am considering spending $935 on sleeping bags. All my trips are in the Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada and New Mexico and Texas(west). My trips are normally from March thru October. Starting with the Arc Edge 40(285) then the WM Megalite 30(325), then the Maromot Helium 15(360). Do most have an arsenal of bags or am just stupid?
Just want to hear what others have before I commit financial suicide.
BTW, Im single with no kids.

Gordon Dunn
(Egads) - F

Locale: South East
Re: How many bags do you have? on 03/31/2007 05:41:35 MDT Print View

I use a WM 20* bag, JRB 30* quilt, a silk liner, & a WM Vapor down jacket in my sleep system. This provides a range of ~5 to 10 below thru the 90*s.

Cost $860

I understand

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
JT, learn from my mistakes on 03/31/2007 05:57:03 MDT Print View

I did the same thing. I now own 8 bags. BUT that was before I learned about Montbell bags. All I really needed was a Montbell 3-season bag, and a #7 to use alone in summer or put inside the other one to create a 'winter bag'. My system is now a #3 long and a #7 long.
For your requirement down to 15F, Id choose a #2 long and an old Alpine (zipperless) #7 (1 lb). Total cost about $440. $340 for the #2 and another 100 for the #7 direct from Japan (I can mail it to you or search froogle).

Carry the #7 in summer, the #2 in three season, and both in winter.

If you normally carry an insulation layer and are willing to sleep in it; I bet a #3 would be fine for the outer later; That will save you $50 or so..

These Montbells with the super stretch system will give you MUCH more room than any of the bags you mentioned. Room for layers, room for 2 in a pinch, etc..

Edited by Brett1234 on 03/31/2007 05:59:23 MDT.

Travis Hohn
(JustAGuy) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Simplicity on 03/31/2007 09:09:58 MDT Print View

To make a long, boring story short, I went from having 3 bags, Marmot Arete 40*, Feathered Friends Swift 20*, and a Sierra Designs Cloudripper 15* down to just one. I got cold a couple of nights using the 40* bag when I should have used the 20*. I wanted to simplify my life,so I sold the other bags and now just carry the FF Swift for everything ( I don't camp in extreme cold..yet ) If its warm..I unzip it and use it like a quilt, if its cold I uze the zipper...if its really cold, it has room for me to add a layer of down clothing without compromise.

And since I spent almost $400 on a bag...I need to use it to justify having it. If it stays home most of my trips then do I really need it? But hey, if you have an extra $1000 to spend on sleeping bags , more power to helps keep the gear swap forum alive :-)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: How many bags do you have? on 03/31/2007 10:04:39 MDT Print View

Given the three bags above, I see two options:

1. Buy the Arc Edge 40 and the Megalite 30. For colder temps down to 15, use the Arc as a liner inside the Megalite. That should be more than warm enough.

2. But a good quality 30F bag with full zip (can't remember if the megalite has full zip but the WM Summerlite has a full zip). In 40-50F, simply unzip the bag and use like a quilt. You will not overheat. For colder temps (to 15F), just wear your insulation layer to bed. For most average sleepers, WM bags are 5F warmer than rated -- so your clothing only needs to boost temps by another 10F -- and that's pretty do-able.

As for my bags, I do something pretty similar to Option 1 above. I have two bags:

1. MontBell down bag -- full zip -- 21oz -- 30F
2. MontBell hoodless down bag -- full zip -- 14 oz -- 50F

Summertime, I use the hoodless down bag (aka Thermal Sheet) either like a quilt or as a bag. The 50F rating is spot on for me. For colder nights, I take the 30F down bag -- also using either like a quilt or as a bag depending on how cold the night is. I have used the two together down to 17-19F and slept comfortably.

Edited by ben2world on 03/31/2007 10:08:47 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: How many bags do you have? on 03/31/2007 10:19:55 MDT Print View

3 Bags.

Western Mountaineering Highlite for coastal trips and such in California

Western Mountaineering Ultralite Sierra's in the summer

Western Mountaineering Apache for winter camping in the Sierra's

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Re: How many bags do you have? on 03/31/2007 10:59:44 MDT Print View

One bag: WM Ultralite Super. In the summer I can use it as a blanket, redistributing the down to one side if it is too warm.

My retired bag goes in the car as an emergency blanket or for car camping.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Well... on 03/31/2007 11:10:27 MDT Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 11/01/2013 09:33:26 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: How many bags do you have? on 03/31/2007 16:02:58 MDT Print View

Western Mountaineering Ultralite with 2 oz. overfill-good down to ~10* with my clothing system.
Western Mountaineering Highlite-I've had it down to 19* with ALL my clothes on and a bivy bag. Not on purpose, just got caught out in a cold snap in early September in the Kern Basin and had to make it work. Pleasant surprise!

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: How many bags do you have? on 03/31/2007 18:40:17 MDT Print View

I have 3 bags (actually four; the latter is an old REI whose down is rated at 500 and weighs 3 lbs, so I seldom use it.)
1. Marmot Arroyo, 1.5 lbs, 30 deg.
2. MB Ultralight Super Stretch Hugger #5, 1 lb 2 oz, 35 deg
3. MB Thermal Sheet, 14 oz, 50 deg.
Using these alone or in various combinations I have just about every weather condition covered within reason...I'm not inclined to do anything below zero. I also use a vapor liner in very cold weather to boost the effective range of the bag(s). The Thermal Sheet is on sale now at MB at a $60 savings, and I recommend it as a way to extend the range of another bag.

Patricia Combee
(Trailfrog) - F

Locale: Northeast/Southeast your call
Lots of bags on 03/31/2007 19:22:32 MDT Print View

Lets see, at last count:
Golite feather for cold spring and fall night and mountain camping.
Western Mountaineering Highlite for the rest of the time.
Sierra designs 20 degree synthetic for cold car camping.
LLBean Mt Washington 40 Degree synthetic just because.
and a cheap rectangular 40 degree bag for when the electric goes off.
Crazy Crazy, Crazy.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: How many bags do you have? on 04/01/2007 07:59:35 MDT Print View

I only have two: a Marmot Hydrogen (30) and Mountain Hardwear Phantom 45. With good insulated clothing and sleeping pads, I can stretch down to the 20s. If I were to buy another, it would just be a light quilt to supplement the Hydrogen, but I don't do enough winter camping to justify it yet.

Edited by mlarson on 04/01/2007 10:11:20 MDT.

David Neumann
(idahomtman) - M

Locale: Northern Idaho
Three at the moment on 04/01/2007 08:43:00 MDT Print View

Western Mountaineering Highlite, Nunatak Arc Specialist quilt, Feathered Friends Swallow.I just bought the quilt and haven't had a chance to use it yet in the field. If it works as I expect, I may sell the Highlite. I think it is reasonable to have more than one system depending on the trip and conditions to be encountered.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
my "quiver" of bags on 04/01/2007 09:34:45 MDT Print View

1, Nunatak custom Arc bag (equiv. to the Specialist) ----my summer SUL sleeping system which can be added as a top bag to augment warmth for some Winter applications w/ my
2. Marmot Hydrogen--- before the Nunatak, what was my main UL bag.
3. Old 1st generation Marmot GTX Pocket Gopher (still in great shape after 30 years!). I sealed the seams and could use this in a pinch for a bivy.
4. Down Works custom tapered rectangular bag for use w/ a coupler for 3 season conjugal sleeping.
5. a custom winter bag from a tiny, obscure cottage concern called Down Home. This has uber loft, GTX shell, the worlds finest down control baffle system and a unique hood. This has been to Alaska, Andes, Himalayas...

So you might say I'm prepared for most occasions

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: my "quiver" of bags on 04/01/2007 09:48:50 MDT Print View

I haven't used a mummy bag for a personal trip where I wasn't intentionally testing a bag for a product review or was in deep freeze winter conditions (< -15 deg F), in 40 months or so.

A lot of this in the past 12 months has been a newfound appreciation for synthetic fill and the process of testing the new synth quilts that are coming out this year here. So, I have an 11 oz quilt that I'm using for "real summer" (warm!) conditions, usually paired with a cocoon pullover or the new vest. For most "3-season" conditions down to freezing, I'll use the 20 oz version of the same quilt, with a cocoon hoody and cocoon pants.

For temps down to about 10F, I'll use the same clothing with both quilts, layered.

Below that, I use the 11 oz quilt over a 23 oz down quilt, and add a down balaclava and VB clothing. That gets me to 0-10F or so depending on my puffy clothes.

Then it's time to build snow shelters or haul out Mr. Warm: A WM Kodiak SMF, which has the girth to wear a puffy parka and pants to bed. I used this, VB clothes, a patagonia DAS parka, and ID primaloft pants for a crossing of yellowstone in winter where the temps dipped to -37F, and slept "comfortably cool".

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: How many bags do you have? on 04/04/2007 10:01:29 MDT Print View

I wouldn't say you are crazy... but I think you could find a cheaper combination. You mentioned the edge, so you are quilt friendly. If it was me, I would purchase I warmer quilt and lose the Megalite. You won't pay too much of a weight penlty on the warmer trips where you are carrying more than you need and you are simplifying the choices you have to make when you are packing.

For colder conditions I would think consider whether you want to use multi-piece system (e.g. so combination of bivy, overbag, quilt, high loft clothing) or a sleeping bag.

Historically I used a Ghost quilt until I expected conditions consistently under around 30F and then switched to a Western Mountaineering Versalite. But in the last two year, due to a number of reasons I have been using my quilt, even in the dead of winter (down to 0F with high loft clothing). I love the warm and comfy Versalite, but the quilt + clothing has provided adaquate comfort and is lighter more compact.