Sleeping bag advice needed

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Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby wildcat on Thu 06 Sep 2007 13:33

I'm ready to buy my first "good" sleeping bag. Till now I have only used the bulky $10 walmart special sleeping bags.

I want to hear yalls suggestions.

The winter temps here rarely get below low 30's at night. Occasionally we get a cold snap that drops us into the teens. Normal night temps are low to mid 40's. Should I go with a 40 degree bag and just bring along a fleece liner for the nights I expect it to go lower?
I want the lightest weight, smallest packable size I can get, but i'm not willing to pay out the nose for it. I intend to spend about $80 tops.
I'll be sleeping in a hammock or in a tent mostly.

I've been looking at the Slumberjacks at my local Gander Mountain. Are they pretty good bags?

Any and all suggestions appreciated.

Thanks
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby LD on Thu 06 Sep 2007 14:48

For years I struggled along with cheap bags. Heavy, cold and easily torn up. When my son reached the wise old age of around 15 he caught me in the sleeping bag dept at Wally-World looking at the $12.95 sale bags. With wisdom beyond his years he confronted me.

"Dad, you buy one of these every year and gripe about it for the whole year. You have bought one every year that I can remember and have spent a fortune on them. If you think you are going to continue camping for another year or two why not spring for a good bag?"

I paid $80 for a sleeping bag that night. Light warm and durable. I have been happy with it every time I used it. My son is 32 now and I am still using that bag.

I do not know about Gander Mountain. Someone probably produces them for Gander with their label sewn in. Check out the materials and construction quality, like you would anything else. You will probably have to live with it for a while so make sure it is what you want.

I am a cold sleeper, so I use a bag rated lower than the expected temp in my area. I have found my zero bag is about right for 30F. It weighs 5 pounds and is worth every ounce. Normally it is 1/4 of my total pack weight.

I find sleeping in a hammuck in cold weather very cold indeed!

Air beds also freeze me in cold weather. They suck all the heat out of your body!

I prefer a closed cell pad in a tent, with a thick layer of leaves piled under the floor.

My wife prefers a feather matress with a down comforter. No kidding, she uses this rig in our truck camp!

:toldyou:
LD
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby wildcat on Thu 06 Sep 2007 15:29

Thanks LD. The bags i was referring to at Gander Mountain are Slumberjacks.

I guess I ought to spring for the 0 degree bag. I can always unzip it if it's warmer. I have to do this right the first time. I can't afford two $80 sleeping bags.
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby ssj on Thu 06 Sep 2007 16:14

I use a Western Mountaineering bag. http://www.westernmountaineering.com/ It was expensive but a really quality bag. I intend to use it for the rest of my life.
Steve
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby wildcat on Thu 13 Sep 2007 14:38

i think i've made my choice. Bass Pro Shops has the Slumberjack Lattitude 20 F regular for $50. I'll see if that keeps me warm on them cold nights. I'll sew up a fleece mummy liner after i get it.
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby totallycustom on Thu 13 Sep 2007 19:22

My advice from spending most of my life in the mountains here in Washington is that you dont want to cheap out. You will regret it in quality, comfort and weight.

In the scouts we had to use synthetic mummy bags because if they got wet we could get it dried out and even a little wet they would keep you warm.

Now my wife and I use only down bags we have a plethora of different one for different temps but tend to use the warmest ones most.

This is my bag http://www.rei.com/product/731682 it is a little over 2 lbs but is quite small and warm. I used it for 9 days this august in the san jaun island sea kayaking.

http://www.rei.com/product/746296 we have a similar pair of these also in a little better 40* version and its a good summer bag ,really really small.

-TC-
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby ironcross on Thu 04 Oct 2007 01:33

check out some of the online hiking gear clearence sites. you can get some good deals on brand name outdoor gear (emphasis on backpacking stuff) as they tend to clear out last years merchandise at good prices. i have a Kelty Lightyear down bag i got for $80. it will outlast the synthetic bags at retaining loft (ie insulation), lighter, and packs smaller. try:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com
http://www.campmor.com

hint: learn the brandnames for outdoor stuff i suggest Kelty, Mountainsmith, Outdoor Research, Marmot definately others worthy. North Face to me can be hit or miss. go to the local (and undoubtedly overpriced) hiker store check out the stuff in person then watch the sites till you see a price and product to your liking.

nothing is worse than freezing cold at night!
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby wildcat on Thu 04 Oct 2007 13:20

Yesterday I placed the oder for a Slumberjack Lattitude 0 degree mummy :naughty: bag at Campmor. 57 dollars delivered. :yoman:
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby totallycustom on Thu 04 Oct 2007 18:41

I think you may be hit or miss with Kelty products also, they are on the lower end scale of outdoor gear. I have found most of the kelty things I have looked at lacking in many areas.

-TC-
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby grey_wolf on Thu 04 Oct 2007 20:30

I don't know if you ever heard about a british company named Snugpak... I have 4 (right, four) sleeping bags from they and I ever think I was wrong to choose. My advice is to get an Snugpak Merlin from ActionGear. com. Here's the link:

http://www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame. ... ults%2Etam
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby James on Fri 05 Oct 2007 20:19

Some resume of what we said in other threads

People that find dry conditions will generally go for a down bag. People that expect humid conditions or careless gear are better with synthetic as it dries faster, and works even when wet, when down is useless when wet. But the difference is that a down bag takes half the space and weights half, so a good bivybag can enlarge the down experience... Down can last a life time, synthetic less.

Yeah, Ok, I like down a lot ;D only one way to keep hot: :air: :burning: :rollin:
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby ironcross on Sat 06 Oct 2007 15:55

down is the way to go! it is nice to see even with the modern miracle fabrics that nothing compares to mother nature for loft, insulation, compressibility, and endurance.

having spent time in the military where raining= good training. when you are wet that theory about wool and synthetics insulating when wet is more theory than reality. a wet synthetic bag is not going to be fun.
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby Turtle on Tue 15 Jul 2008 01:13

Gents, My first post here, and I just wanted to pass on a thought that someone much wiser then I, was kind enough to pass along to me. What if you were out alone, as some of us favor this, and you were to become ill or injured, with soaking wet clothes, and perhaps the best you could do is to climb into your sleeping bag, maybe your bivy, and if you are very fortunate, some how rig your tarp, your bag has to be capable of keeping you warm, and alive, possibly without the benefit of a fire. Maybe not comfortable, but alive. Sleeping/shelter systems as life support.
Regards, Jim

PS. Thank you for your wonderful forum.
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby rg598 on Mon 18 Aug 2008 21:30

Jim, I think you are exactly right. That is why I carry a MSS (US Army Modular Sleeping System). It is synthetic, so it is bulkier than a dawn one, but so much easier to maintain in the field.

It is by no means cheap, about $250, but for that price you get two bags and a bivy, which you can use in combinations to suit just about any weather and temperature.
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Re: Sleeping bag advice needed

New postby Nwwoodsman on Tue 19 Aug 2008 16:23

I would hilly recomend a Wiggys sleeping bag, they are made in usa, synthetic, and carry a lifetime worenty! Thats what really got me, and they are priced reseanably. They are about the same wight and commpressabilty as other synthetic bags, and the zipper is a huge plastic one, almost impossible to jam.
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