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Sleeping Bag help

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Ray52

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Sleeping Bag help
« on: October 10, 2007, 05:44:07 AM »
Can any of you reccommend a good sleeping bag for late fall into winter backpacking in Big Bend?  I'm specifically shopping for something for a late November/early December hike on the OML.  Also would appreciate any negative experiences you've had as I shop primarily on the internet and have more than one or two white elephants in my closets.

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SHANEA

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2007, 08:18:38 AM »
Unresounding YES!  MontBell Super Stretch Down 800  I've got two of these bags now - #7 50 degrees and #3 30 degrees.  Light, extremely well built, and very comfortable if you like to move around while you sleep - they stretch.  I can actually sleep on my tummy, which I prefer.  A little pricey, but nothing like being comfortable after a long days hike.  #0 is my next one to get.   The Down 650 would probably also be good... 
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 08:20:17 AM by SHANEA »

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Offline STARLITDARKNESS3

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2007, 09:33:00 AM »
Yikes....  they sure cost more now than I remember.   But you have to be able to sleep comfy (in camping terms). 
"Are we there yet?"  ... by my Kids

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Offline Al

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2007, 09:57:08 AM »
Can any of you reccommend a good sleeping bag for late fall into winter backpacking in Big Bend?  I'm specifically shopping for something for a late November/early December hike on the OML.  Also would appreciate any negative experiences you've had as I shop primarily on the internet and have more than one or two white elephants in my closets.

Ray, you need to buy the best bag you can afford.  For winter camping, although this winter may be mild, it is always better to have a bag that is rated for colder than the weather will be.  I use a bag rated at zero degrees even though it doesn't get that cold in Big Bend.  The good news is you can open the zipper as necessary to regulate your comfort.  If you don't have enough bag you will not sleep or you'll have to wear a bunch of clothes in the bag which can be uncomfortable.  A extra pound or two for a low temperature rated bag is worth the weight in my opinion.

Synthetic bags are heavier than down but they are cheaper and still work if they get wet.  As far as brand?  I'd look at good retailers you can trust.  I have a bag from L.L. Bean that I've used for many years but am probably going to replace this year.  With what?  I don't know yet, like you I'll shop around on the internet.

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Offline cjacob

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2007, 10:10:35 AM »
Ray,

Another good option is if near a REI or Whole Earth Provisions is to go and test them in the store for size.  I have a 48-50 Chest and some large bags are to small.

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Offline Al

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2007, 11:38:38 AM »
Ray,

Another good option is if near a REI or Whole Earth Provisions is to go and test them in the store for size.  I have a 48-50 Chest and some large bags are to small.

Excellent point and another good reason to go with a good retailer, particular if buying over the internet.  Make sure you will be allowed to return the bag no questions asked.  I'd be sure and buy the bag with plenty of time to return and replace as necessary.

Al

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Offline 01ACRViper

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2007, 12:17:01 PM »
i have an REI downtime +10 and am very satisfied with it, especially since it cost me less than  $150  :eusa_dance:

i'm not sure if they make that model anymore, i think the mojave might have replaced it.

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Offline Hiker79

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2007, 12:21:17 PM »
You might want to add a bag liner to your shopping list.  Liners can lower the temp rating of the bag 7-8 degrees and are alot easier to clean than the bag itself.

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SHANEA

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2007, 12:27:52 PM »
You might want to add a bag liner to your shopping list.  Liners can lower the temp rating of the bag 7-8 degrees and are alot easier to clean than the bag itself.

Agreed - but, on a stretch bag unless the liner also stretches or is really big, then it defeats the purpose of the stretch bag.  I gotta tell you, I've never slept better in the desert or the mountains than in one of these bags, unless it's in the R2D2...   :azn:

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Offline Sanjuro82

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2007, 12:55:07 PM »
I have two bags that I use for my backpacking needs.  Both are excellent and have served me well.  One for wet weather and the other for dry.  I've found that a 15 bag covers my needs pretty well.

Big Agnes Encampment 15F
Polar Guard Delta fill
http://www.bigagnes.com/str_bags.php?id=e

Marmot Pinnacle Reg 15F
800 Fill Goose Down
http://marmot.com/fall_2007/equipment/sleeping_bags/backpacking/pinnacle_reg

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SHANEA

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2007, 02:42:23 PM »
I'll take a look at that one but fear it might be out of my $$$$$$.

Amortize it over 25 trips. 

BTW - u and I need to converse Ray52, we need to go to Caddo in November.   10th would work really good for me?????? 

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Offline Al

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2007, 06:31:22 PM »
I do remember your glowing review of your bag Shane.  I'll take a look at that one but fear it might be out of my $$$$$$.  I'll be checking REI's website for your model Viper.  Living in Orange has its advantages, proximity to great Cajun food, large and plentiful mosquitos, and water, water, everywhere, but also makes shopping for quality outdoor gear somewhat difficult. 

By the way, my current winter bag is a -10 deg down model, veteran of many snowy nights in the Smokies, and at approx 30 years old still in great shape.  Are any of you old enough to remember Holubar products?  Great gear in its day, but I think there may be something out there now which will pack smaller & lighter and provide the same warmth.  Ideally I'll be able to actually try one on before buying it since one of my white elephants is a Kelty bag and supposed to fit a 6 foot tall man.  I'm exactly 6 foot tall but find this bag at least a couple of inches too short.  Ayway...I appreciate the responses and please keep them coming.

Sounds like you already have a great bag unless you want to spend Big Bucks!

Al

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SHANEA

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2007, 06:39:29 PM »
Sounds like you already have a great bag unless you want to spend Big Bucks!
Al

Come on dig deep, pull out the plastic and charge it!  Help stimulate the economy!   :azn:

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2007, 07:47:37 PM »
ShaneA I thought you were previously a starving ex college student.  The MontBell bags are good.  As well as Marmot, Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends.  I own 5 or 6 bags (don't tell my wife), some 30 plus years old, and for the money down is the way to go and definately for the desert.  My favorite bag is a Western Mountaineering Ultralite rated to 15 degrees but I have taken it down to 5 degrees and been very warm.  It is a bit narrow but they have a wider version, the Alpenlite.

All that being said the REI bags are an incredible deal for a solid bag especially the Sub Kilo bags.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline cjacob

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Re: Sleeping Bag help
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2007, 09:11:44 PM »
"Amortize it over 25 trips."

Shane, you've met me.  Do I look like I have 25 trips left in me?  Maybe one to Caddo though.  I'll pm you on that.

Al, yes my old bag is still a good one and I carried it for my first hike of the South Rim a couple years ago, but it takes a lot of space in my pack.  I don't think I'll have any room to spare when I hike the OML so pack size is a major consideration.  I believe it was you who previously reccommended packing a lawn chair and while I'm not doing that, I would like to find a stool of some sort.  

Sanjuro/Viper tell me more about your bags.  My price range isn't absolute, but I hope to get something for $150-$200 since I'm still paying for that Baylor Dad sticker on my rear window. How tall are you and what length are your sleeping bags?    

Do not for get girth.  There are a lot of bags that the chest area is small yet VERY long.

 


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