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3 season sleeping bag for Sierras
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Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
Re: Where at in the Sierra? on 01/23/2014 11:56:35 MST Print View

Thanks for the continued suggestions, folks. I'm really leaning towards the 20* bag now. Alex, I should have addressed that. Most of my backpacking has been on the Eastern side, out of Mammoth. 9,500+ is what I sleep at.

Billy, for 3 season I'm hoping to get to at least October. I love the fall colors in the Eastern Sierras. I'm not sure about November, but if we're talking a November like this year, then maybe. Haha

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: 3 season sleeping bag for Sierras on 01/23/2014 12:11:50 MST Print View

From what you describe I'd say 20 degree bag, for a cold sleeper and wanting some shoulder season use. And the beauty of the 20 degree bag for he sierra is you can push into winter with extra clothes, a bivysack, etc. if you decide you want to do it.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: Where at in the Sierra? on 01/23/2014 12:19:11 MST Print View

I would probably go with my 20 bag in early October with a warm forecast.

But much later or a colder forecast and I would want something warmer than a 20 bag... even inside a tent and wearing down jacket inside the bag... but I do sleep cold.

But it's so hard to say for someone else.
In any case, I'm pretty sure you would be happy with a 20 bag June thru September.


Trace Richardson
(tracedef) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Sierras on 01/23/2014 14:59:33 MST Print View

Thing about the Sierras is you can certainly get away with a 30 degree bag on many, many nights and be just fine ... but you may have some miserable nights if you get caught in a cold front or other system that comes in .... and will wish you had a 20 degree bag ... as least that has been my experience ... ymmv.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
20 on 01/23/2014 17:32:06 MST Print View

At my age I sleep colder than when I was young.
For me, a 20 degree bag IS the bag I need for 30 degree conditions. If I need to push it to lower temps, then I can use the puffy clothing to augment it.

I'm done freezing trying to save a couple ounces. I will take a warmer puffy from now on too.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Re: Where at in the Sierra? on 01/28/2014 09:16:25 MST Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/01/2014 22:37:00 MST.

brian H
(B14) - M

Locale: Siskiyou Mtns
know thyself on 01/30/2014 00:19:58 MST Print View

"the answer is within"

having read all posts above's my $0.02

the real key to your answer is you - r u a cold or warm sleeper?
not knowing can be a real disadvantage in this context.

in the end however, perhaps a better question 4u is this: If you do not have a down jacket, and thus cannot augment your bag...then is the weight difference b/t a 20 and 30 degree bag really something to deliberate? Would you risk your safety and/or a sleepless night over half a pound?

Be safe. Be warm.
happy trails.

"the race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself"

Edited by B14 on 01/30/2014 00:34:25 MST.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
WM Megalite AND down jacket on 01/30/2014 01:04:25 MST Print View

Having frozen my a$$ off in August on the PCT in a high velley (24 F. at 8,000+ ft on the way to Olancha Peak) I recommend an OVERSTUFFED WM Megalite bag. Warm at 25 F. and large enough to accomodate my EB down jacket (in my avatar).

Taking a light down jacket into the Sierras or Rockies in summer is wise. Nice around camp in the AM and just before bedtime and good enough to keep you warm when the temps drop 10 F. below your bag's rating.

But if you can get a 20 F.down bag WITH DWR treated down do it and you'll never regeret it.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
The Lost Art of Shivering on 01/30/2014 07:46:01 MST Print View

June, July, August in the High Sierra

I just take my 1.3 lb synthetic 40* bag and shiver a bit if its not enough.
During the day when I'm hiking I never regret the decision.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Re: Re: Re: Where at in the Sierra? on 01/31/2014 18:32:26 MST Print View

I'll echo the suggestions for the 20-degree bag and make a suggestion for a killer bag at such a low price that you will be able to also buy the Costco Kirkland down sweater and a really large tri-latte delight at a yuppie coffee joint: the Kelty Cosmic Down 20.

It's reviewed on this site in the BPL reviews and in several threads. You will find it under $150 and it is excellent. Several of my Scouts and adults who've spent time in the eastern Sierra (Garnet, TI, Clark lakes,Kearsarge Pass, PCT, JMT) with me will offer their endorsements whenever asked: it's warm, it's light and it's very affordable. When the weather turns to "surprise mode", it's a great bag for 3-seasons.

The Cosmic Down 20 even comes in a shrimpy-size for midgets under 5'5" that weighs 2 lb, 3 oz... and can be found for as low as $70 on sales right about now...

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: 3 season sleeping bag for Sierras on 01/31/2014 19:41:04 MST Print View

"WM Ultralite (20*)"

+1 particularly if you don't carry good insulating layers. Even if you do, the Ultralite will reliably extend your season on either end by a month. If you go that route it would be well worth your while to have WM add 2 oz of overfill to the bag.