Recommend me a 15* down bag | High Sierra Topix  

Recommend me a 15* down bag

Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.
User avatar

Re: Recommend me a 15* down bag

Postby rlown » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:02 pm

so, i looked at all the bags, and it's like 500 buxx min to play. Depending on body shape or space desires. For me with a 15 degree bag, I expect to have a hood and a throat baffle. That's if it really gets that cold. All my sub 20's have the baffle and it helps. But TJ, you know that.

One of the bags had tie-offs for the sleeping pad ?!? My reliable REI 15 i simply outgrew. after 20 years. And I agree with Mark; A good bag will last you for life. He's lived in his badger more than anyone else I know. But then, he's not 22 anymore.

So, it's a hard call. I stand behind my recommendation (but factor in your own body type, etc). I'm 6'2" and 200+ YMMV.



User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5325
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Recommend me a 15* down bag

Postby maverick » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:10 pm

Rlown wrote:

So, it's a hard call. I stand behind my recommendation (but factor in your own body
type, etc). I'm 6'2" and 200+


++ :lol:
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8028
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Recommend me a 15* down bag

Postby rlown » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:18 pm

so the ++ was the important part of Mavs message. The laugh was about not having a hood on a 15 degree bag. i guess.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5325
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Recommend me a 15* down bag

Postby longri » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:19 pm

rlown wrote:so, i looked at all the bags, and it's like 500 buxx min to play.

If money is the issue, and it really shouldn't be if you plan to use the bag a lot, you can sew one yourself and save about half the cost. It's a tradeoff as to whether the pride of sleeping in your own sloppily sewn creation outweighs the $0.50/hour wage you will effectively have paid yourself to make it.

rlown wrote:A good bag will last you for life.

No, it's not true. I've worn through two bags and I'm pretty sure I'm younger than Mark. One of them I can still use in benign car camping conditions. The other simply disinigrated from so much use. It kept the cooler insulated for a while and then when the duct tape couldn't hold the tired old feathers in any longer I had to toss it into the garbage can. My first bag: RIP.
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Recommend me a 15* down bag

Postby rlown » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:24 pm

wow.. that was a quick response and hidden as well. nice.

I disagree with everything you just stated. we don't own sewing machines, and all my bags are intact since my first in '82. edit: '76
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5325
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Recommend me a 15* down bag

Postby longri » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:52 pm

rlown wrote:wow.. that was a quick response and hidden as well. nice.

I disagree with everything you just stated. we don't own sewing machines, and all my bags are intact since my first in '82. edit: '76

What do you mean by "hidden"?

I don't own a sewing machine either. I borrow. But my point was merely that it is an option. When one considers the value of their time it isn't really a savings. A bag, amortized over a lifetime of travels (whatever "lifetime" means), is generally a pretty good deal. I don't know how many nights I got out of my first bag even leaving out the days and nights all it did was keep the cooler a little cooler. So many places, so many nights, way too many to count. It was like a friend... but into the garbage can it finally had to go.

I wonder why your bags have persisted while I have reduced two of mine, one to garbage, the other to car camping. They were both good bags but nylon, steel and goose down can only take so much.
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Recommend me a 15* down bag

Postby freestone » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:47 pm

I own the Versalite, and never had a cold night in it, even in late October. The only problem is all the down weight is in the bag, and sooner or later you have to get out of it. This year, I went with a bag with less fill (Valandre Mirage) and wore a down sweater with hood to sleep in.

Another consideration is the comfort of the hood, and how well the draft collar works. I found the Versalite hood system and draft collar somewhat cumbersome, but did the job. The Mirage hood system fit me much better, but did not have a draft collar, only a zipper baffle. I was annoyed by both bags with Velcro tabs, and strings falling onto my face.

In summary, consider a quality high loft bag with a higher temp rating, and make up the difference with a quality high loft down garment(s). This will reduce pack weight with no sacrifice to comfort or risk of hypothermia.
User avatar
freestone
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 570
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:42 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Experience: Level 1 Hiker

User avatar

Recommend me a 15* down bag

Postby Hobbes » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:19 am

Ditto on WM, FF and Katabatic. The key is the quality of the down - you should be looking for something between 800-900FP. Some of the newer fabrics, like M90, are also extremely light, durable and water repellent.

Like Bluewater, I made my own quilt (from the Thru-Hiker kit). It was more about just doing it, rather than trying to save any real money.

Speaking of money, I don't get the effort @ (false) economizing. It's a 500 mile r/t for me just to get to Lone Pine, so that's $100 in gas right there for every trip. Whether the bag lasts 30 years or just 10 years, at $500, it's only costing you $50 per year. Amortized over just 10 nights, that's $5. A Big Mac costs that much.

You could spend a bundle on backpacking, and it still wouldn't come anywhere near the cost of surfing (new boards cost $600+, and most avid surfers probably get 2 per year), golfing, not to mention boating, sailing or RVing.

Avoiding being either cold or wet is 90% of the game. Money spent reducing/eliminating these factors is a pittance compared to the value of your time.
User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Location: The OC
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Recommend me a 15* down bag

Postby markskor » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:06 am

Hobbes wrote:Speaking of money, I don't get the effort @ (false) economizing. It's a 500 mile r/t for me just to get to Lone Pine, so that's $100 in gas right there for every trip. Whether the bag lasts 30 years or just 10 years, at $500, it's only costing you $50 per year. Amortized over just 10 nights, that's $5. A Big Mac costs that much.

I suppose that the "Economizing" all depends on how serious you are about backpacking. Some/many here only get out an average of 10 days per year...10 years is only 100 bag nights. Any decent bag bought today should last at least 100 nights. Hard to rationalize $500 or even $5/day just for a bag when you do not use it that much. Factor in the tent, pad, backpack, etc and you are essentially spending ~$20/day, not counting food or transportation to and from trail-heads...
Add in all expenses, for novice backpackers who do not get out much, a 10-day trip will cost you ~$500 each...Agreed, can get a bit pricey.

However, some (like me) average ~100 bag nights a year...easily , well-over 3,000 backpack nights, so far, and counting. A long time ago I figured out that I liked going solo, that good fishing means high altitude, and being cold sucked - bought a WM Apache. (Think it cost me ~$400 back in the '80s…big money!) From the very first night out I was always warm in it...not sort of warm. I never had to worry about drafts, or losing large quantities of feathers, or weight. I felt safe... toasty and proud. I honestly thought that bag would last forever…might have too but some basshole “borrowed” it out of my tent Camp 4…(never stay there again)…sigh…even at 12 years old, that bag was still worth taking…there were more than a few good years left in it.

Economizing at first…(kids etal), I bought a NF Cat’s something, and then a Marmot Helium…both good enough bags but really not the same. Spoiled, 14 years ago, bought my WM Badger (they must be making the Apache smaller now?) and again I was a happy camper.
Much like Longri above mentions, I realize that any bag really won’t last forever…but another 10 years seems likely.
Good equipment, if well-taken care of, lasts…Great equipment - even longer.
Hobbes wrote:Avoiding being either cold or wet is 90% of the game. Money spent reducing/eliminating these factors is a pittance compared to the value of your time.

+1
Mountainman who swims with trout
User avatar
markskor
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:41 pm
Location: Mammoth Lakes
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Recommend me a 15* down bag

Postby longri » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:56 am

Very good points on the economics, Mark.

I think I'm finally at the point where my bags will last for a lifetime. This is partly due to the fact that my expected remaining lifetime isn't so long any more. But it's also because I am spoiled. I have four down bags all in excellent condition, plus my car camping bag which gets the brunt of abuse, and even an additional dedicated down bag (that's in pretty good condition but older technology) exclusively for draping over the cooler. Spoiled!
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Recommend me a 15* down bag

Postby markskor » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:33 pm

Longri,
Unfortunately, having two college-aged boys means a lot of my gear stash (read sleeping bags plus...) also left the nest. Thus I lost my dedicated "keep the cooler insulated" sleeping bag...(my cooler now cringes at the thought.)
Also lost two tents, a few backpacks, pads, stoves...headlamps still keep disappearing on holidays...(long-boarding son to blame there.)

But, being spoiled too, just managed to keep three bags...three packs, a few tents...just the bare necessities.
My secrets to maintaining a sleeping bag's longevity:
Never take the down bag out of its stuffsack unless you are inside the tent,
at home, let the bag live expanded...in its large cotton sack.
Bathe before bed and always wear clean socks at night,
Wash the bag as little as possible...every 5+ years or so.
Mountainman who swims with trout
User avatar
markskor
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:41 pm
Location: Mammoth Lakes
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Recommend me a 15* down bag

Postby longri » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:59 pm

I was right with you until the "bathe before bed" part.
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

PreviousNext

Return to Outdoor Gear Topix



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

cron