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Sleeping Bag

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Sleeping Bag
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2016, 10:20:54 AM »
Good to take your time in thinking all this through and thanks CC for that review of the Kelty bag and you are correct that the main reason it is so reasonably priced is the quality of the down used.

I have the Kelty Cosmic Down 20.   It served me very well in early January 2015 when the temperature dropped into the mid 20s.  I slept in my smartwool longjohns with a hat on.  I also zipped up my down jacket and pulled it over my feet for insurance.  There was frost on everything and our water bottles left in the bear box were half-frozen when we woke up. 

This bag seemed to be priced fairly low compared to most other down bags at this rating.  The reason is that it uses lower quality down so is not quite as light as some of the more expensive options and probably doesn't pack down quite as compactly.  If I were taking multi-day backpacking trips on a regular basis, I might look into another option, but for me this bag was perfect.


Hang10er just know that quilts are not for everyone.  It takes some adjustment and fiddling especially when colder to eliminate drafts from around the sides using the straps to attach the pad to the quilt and you will also have to have a separate down hood when below freezing for sure.  Read the tips for using quilts page at Enlightened Equipment to get an idea.  Some folks never get used to them or just want to be able to jump into the bag, zip it up and pull the hood closed (I am one of those).  I think they are probably best used in temps above freezing but lots of people also use them in winter conditions too.  Enlightened and Katabatic are the current state of the art in quilts, with Enlightened amazingly priced.

Here are two pages for sleeping bag reviews at Outdoor Gear lab one for backpacking sleeping bags and one for more Ultralight bags/quilts.  Outdoor Gear Lab does a pretty good job but I do not always agree with them but is not a bad place to start.

As to pads, it becomes a bit more important with a quilt and a closed cell makes it sometimes more difficult to use a quilt due to the stiffness.  Being careful to clear the sleeping area helps but small thorns are difficult to get all of them, even with a tent floor but every layer helps.  The biggest mistake I see is people carrying their inflatable pads on the outside of their packs (I will say the same thing about flexible water containers like Playtpus too).  Put those things inside and away from sharp things.

Again many folks carry two pads, an inflatable and then a thin closed cell to give more R-value or protection or stiffness to the pack or as a backup when the inflatable goes down or all of the above.  The scary thing is how expensive the best inflatables are, hard to get one for less than $100, for a pad!   :banghead:

Here is an interesting thread on using multiple closed cell pads.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline Robert

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Re: Sleeping Bag
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2016, 02:04:18 PM »
I hope Geezer did not jinx me. I have one of the earlier models of that mattress, the Prolite 4, that has lasted probably 10 years or so of Big Bend trips and never had any issues.  It is my "go to" mattress for backpacking trips and I have no plan to upgrade to one of the lighter models (it has squared off corners and has full length). I also use it in my camp chair.

I have to agree with Geezer on pads in the desert.  I have come up with my two pad system which has never "let me down" for 8 years now but others never seem to find thorns in the desert with inflatables  :eusa_doh:

"Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus" If you are thinking about multi-night packpack trips using an inflatable, you will sooner or later spend three or four nights sleeping on a deflated pad with the desert rocks poking through into your softest parts. Such an experience drove me to closed-cell pads...The most experienced desert hiker I know got five cactus spines in his Therma-Rest inflatable recently and spent three nights sleeping on rocks.


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Offline elhombre

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Re: Sleeping Bag
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2016, 05:11:26 PM »
ME pretty well covered everything, but I want to add our personal experiences just to add a few other things about the quilts my family uses.  We went with the REI airrail pad because it has a high R value (4.7 maybe).  A must for a quilt.  Second, I spend a good amount of time cleaning the tent pad sites off when we find a campsite.  Thirdly, we always use the thick 10mm brown/silver drop clothe plastic tarp that Home Depot sells for a ground cover.  Heavy, but worth it.  We use Ty-vek house wrap  custom made sheets when in Colorado; much lighter but there are a bunch less prickly things to deal with.  Just sticky tree sap.

I'm with Robert in that I don't want to say anything about leaks..........  :eusa_whistle:  Ever since we moved our pads to the inside of our packs  :great:

Get the next longer quilt than Enlighted Equipment suggests.  That way you can sleep with it over your head.  But as Mule Ears states, we often sleep with our warm hats on.  It's nice because we can pull it over our eyes and get a few more hours of sleep. 

There is a learning curve to the quilt.  Especially at BB where the start of the night is breezy and cool.  Then warm at 1:00am.  Then final just cold in the predawn hours.  Only time I had temperature problems, it was operator error. 
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 08:45:48 PM by elhombre »
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

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Offline Geezer

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Re: Sleeping Bag
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2016, 07:45:44 PM »
"So, when do must people get their bags poked by cactus?" My friend collected his five thorns on a windy evening in BBNP. He had picked out a nice big cleared spot and searched the ground for thorns and sharp rocks. Then he spread his thick (and heavy) Academy Surplus blue tarp. Then he put a  big rock on his pad so the wind wouldn't blow it around and sat down with the other end to blow it up. About the time he was through, a really big gust came along, got under the pad, rolled the rock off, and blew it into a prickly pear. We counted five big thorns sticking out.

But really, a lot of times you don't know where the thorn came from. It just won't hold air and you cant even find the hole.

Good luck!

Geezer

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Offline dprather

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Re: Sleeping Bag
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2016, 12:24:30 PM »
I'm glad I'm not planning to head back to Big Bend before November because the more I look, the more options I come up with.

For bags I originally had just the Kealty but now I've added the Enlightened Equipment Prodigy quilt and the Big Agnes Encampment (15 degree) to my list.

For the pad, I'm having trouble not looking at inflatables.  I'm on the heavy side weighing about 210.  So, when do must people get their bags poked by cactus?  Moving on the trail or when actually set up?  I'd think some careful clearing of the ground and using a tent would help minimize the chance of having a pad punctured.

I'm not sure when my Big Agnes air core got harpooned.  I'm not even sure it happend at the Bend.  I have just taken to extra precautions. 

Another el-cheapo suggestion, one that works great against the sharp stuff: go to a construction site where they are using TYVEK wrap...ask the nice man if he has any left over (they usually do)...tell them you will use it as a ground cloth in your Big Bend adventures...I have walked away with rolls and rolls of the stuff for free.  TYVEK is as useful as duct tape.  It is a very strong barrier between your air mattress and whatever is beneath it.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline Homer67

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Re: Sleeping Bag
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2016, 02:00:20 PM »
I've really enjoyed my Mountain Hardware Phantom 32. It's a nice, light 800 down bag that packs to almost nothing. I have a nice liner if I need more and sleep in my silks if need to. I recently got a BA Insulated Double Z; we've had very good luck with our regular Double Z's.  I'm a bit wary of using it in BB and usually just use a z-lite and a 3x7' tyvek strip for a tarp. I've enjoyed sleeping on the ground and just setting up the siltarp for wind/rain cover when I've needed it.

I'm thinking of dropping $20 and trying out the polycro ground cloths from GG, one package of each size. There probably isn't much weight difference there.

When out with the guys I enjoy cowboy camping, but backpacking with Sandi and baby means a tent, another sleeping bag (2 of the same) and 2 z lites/2 double Z's in my pack; Sandi carries baby and almost all baby concerns in the child carrier. This stuff gets a little pricey, but it's not too bad absorbing it over time. At the moment I'm trying to absorb a BA Fly Creek UL3 HV by Oct for Olympic. Man, it's gonna be great.
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

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Offline Hang10er

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Re: Sleeping Bag
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2016, 10:29:26 AM »
I know REI has good discounts and sales and being a member has rewards. 

I've also found a website called MooseJaw that carries a lot of brands that I see recommended here on BBC.  They offer some great prices too.

Disclaimer: I don't work for either. 

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Online Reece

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Re: Sleeping Bag
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2018, 09:32:37 AM »
It's my own fault for introducing my granddaughter to backpacking. At 24 she's taking things in hand and taking her own trips but being short on gear, she comes to grandpa to borrow things. I don't know what she did to my Kelty 20 degree Cosmic Down bag but when I washed and dried it after her trip, some of the down had shifted leaving some panels nearly empty. This bag is 8 years old, used maybe 20 times and washed only 3 times. I use a commercial size laundry and dryer balls to break up the lumps.

Is there a way to shift the down back? I can't seem to get it to move. This bag is box baffle construction. Time for a new bag?

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Offline badknees

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Re: Sleeping Bag
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2018, 09:57:17 AM »
It's my own fault for introducing my granddaughter to backpacking. At 24 she's taking things in hand and taking her own trips but being short on gear, she comes to grandpa to borrow things. I don't know what she did to my Kelty 20 degree Cosmic Down bag but when I washed and dried it after her trip, some of the down had shifted leaving some panels nearly empty. This bag is 8 years old, used maybe 20 times and washed only 3 times. I use a commercial size laundry and dryer balls to break up the lumps.

Is there a way to shift the down back? I can't seem to get it to move. This bag is box baffle construction. Time for a new bag?

You could wash it then put it in the dryer with a pair of tennis shoes. I've had luck in the past doing this with down items.
Not all those who wander are lost.
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