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Sleeping bag ?

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Sleeping bag ?

Postby overheadx2 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:31 am

The discussion regarding the 15 degree bag got me wondering. Of all the suggestions, none of the guys that I consider worth listening to mentioned Big Agnes bags. I have a BA bag and really like it. It seems like the perfect hybrid between a quilt and a bag. They have lots of room to move (especially for us bigger guys) with a 70" shoulder girth like a quilt, but still fully enclosed so no cold air gets in. Some one mentioned not being able to sit up with the pad attached, but you would really have to pump your pad up pretty firm for that to happen. Also, I think the benefits of never rolling off of your pad out weigh sitting up. I'm not pushing BA, just wondering what makes our more educated and serious hikers over look the benefits of more room and lighter weight when comparing BA to other conventional bags. Phil



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Re: Sleeping bag ?

Postby longri » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:11 pm

overheadx2 wrote:I'm not pushing BA, just wondering what makes our more educated and serious hikers over look the benefits of more room and lighter weight when comparing BA to other conventional bags. Phil

My impression is that they're heavy compared to other bags/quilts. They have extra material for their pad and pillow pockets and they're sized wider, things that I personally don't need. In fact, every single one of their bags is heavier than my quilt except for one, but it's too short for me. But if those features and their sizing are right for you then that's that.
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Re: Sleeping bag ?

Postby overheadx2 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:34 pm

I get why you would prefer a quilt over the BA if you could live with a quilt. I would personally prefer a quilt if i didn't move so much while sleeping and have to constantly readjust the quilt. I was more interested as to why you would prefer a regular bag to a BA backless system.
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Re: Sleeping bag ?

Postby longri » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:37 pm

I thought "backless" was another term for quilt. They do have hoods though. So comparing the BA backless bags against fully enclosed, hooded sleeping bags, I still find that the BA bags are heavier.

For example, here's a comparison of the Big Agnes Zirkel SL 20 (20°F) and the Western Mountaineering UltraLite (20°F), in 6'6" length since that's the only size they have in common:

41 oz total, 16.5 oz fill, 72.5" x 69" x 44" -- BA Zirkel
31 oz total, 17 oz fill, 60" x 52" x 38" -- WM UltraLite

If you're a large framed person the UltraLite could be too tight. But if you're skinny and six feet tall you could buy the next shorter length which weighs 29oz.
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Re: Sleeping bag ?

Postby maverick » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:58 pm

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
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Re: Sleeping bag ?

Postby longri » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:39 pm

It would be possible to mostly dispense with the gear section of HST and just have a link to backpackinglight. There is a wealth of great information and discussion there. It's my first stop when I'm trying to figure something out about gear. But there is some value and entertainment in rehashing discussions.

I think this particular thread was intended to be about Big Agnes sleeping bags, not the quilt/bag question. So in that sense the links Maverick posted (and what I'm about to add) are off topic. I personally don't mind being off topic but it's a website-specific thing as to whether that's inappropriate or not. Here on HST it's often pointed out when the thread drifts but is that actually against site guidelines? For that matter, can somebody point me to the HST posting guidelines?

Back to the somewhat off topic: I find the bag/quilt thing amusing personally since I thought quilts were a stupid-light fad for a long time. I had all kinds of great arguments for why they weren't as good as sleeping bags with zippers and hoods. Then one day I realized that I was mostly using my bag as a quilt in the summer. I was able to cut my summer bag weight by 40% with that realization. Now instead of a quilt I could have just bought a lighter bag with hood and zipper and that may have worked just as well as a quilt, maybe better.

So I don't know the answer to that: Is an equal weight bag with zipper and hood warmer than a quilt made out of the same fabric and fill?
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Re: Sleeping bag ?

Postby mschnaidt » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:46 am

I have 2 Big Agnes bags and really like them. For warm weather I have a 40 degree Yampa (2 lbs) and for 3 seasons a 15 degree Lost Ranger (3 lbs) both in long.

They are not the lightest or warmest bags out there but are priced well and are very roomy and comfortable. I use a Neoair regular pad with them. When it gets cold I add a Gossamer Gear 1/8" thinlight pad and take a bag liner which I've never needed to use.

Being a bit of a gearhead I've considered a WM bag or even a quilt but for me the BA bags provide great comfort and value. I love being able to easily roll over in either direction and never fall off of my pad.

Over the years the guys I backpack with have all bought BA bags. The only con I've heard is that the comfort rating is optomistic. I sleep warm so that isn't an issue for me.

With that said, I've never slept in a high end sleeping bag and don't know what I'm missing.
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Re: Sleeping bag ?

Postby oldranger » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:33 am

After trying a Big Agnes bag in the shop I decided that as a side sleeper the bag did not drape close enough to my body for maximum efficiency. I ended up with a WM alpinlite, which is pretty wide for 150 pounder but it enables me to roll over a billion times per night without twisting around or rolling off my exped 7 downlight lw ul. This bag works for me in a temp range of 20 to 55 degrees with it used as a quilt in the warmer ranges. As an old man my bod doesn't generate heat like it used to so early and late in the season I supplement my sleepwear with extra long underwear and an extra top layer--less than a 1 lb addition.

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Re: Sleeping bag ?

Postby markskor » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:43 am

Interesting topic...
Never having ever used any BA sleeping bags so clueless there.

A good down quilt though has always been a consideration...thoughts vs. a good down bag:
A side sleeper, I detest any outer clothing while sleeping...usually just shorts, socks (BTW, my feet often get cold), perhaps a wool cap, and a long sleeve shirt. Most trips vary and many are higher elevation (12,000+ not uncommon) Sierra and usually start in May 'till October - Temperatures vary.
Due to my cold-foot symptoms, I like/need a foot-box, hence a full-zip sleeping bag. While hardly ever zipping up (maybe 5x all summer) and using my bag as a quilt mostly, I slept comfortably all season by regulating whether a leg stuck out or whether the bag/hood covered up what. However, some nights it did get cold and zipping-up was mandatory. At those times, I was glad to have a great down bag rated to 10º.

Perhaps, if I were rich, I would consider buying a light 850 quilt ($400+) for lower elevation trips to supplement my WM Badger used then on higher ones, but at this time, just one bag seems to give me the greatest flexibility...Yosemite Valley August to Italy Pass September.
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Re: Sleeping bag ?

Postby longri » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:32 pm

markskor wrote:Due to my cold-foot symptoms, I like/need a foot-box, hence a full-zip sleeping bag.

Many quilts have enclosed foot boxes sewn to about knee height.
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Re: Sleeping bag ?

Postby sparky » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:51 pm

I have no experience with BA products, but i love my new bag and need to gush about it

I researched quite a bit before my last bag purchace. I decided on a WM alder. I couldnt be happier. It is the most versitile "bag" out there me thinks...and while not the lightest it lives up to its 25° rating and weighs in @ 2lbs....not too shabby!
It can be a flat blanket, quilt like with a foot box, or a full bag, and WM offers a zip in bottom piece to make it a couples bag. It lacks a hood, but that doesnt bother me. While i am not a big guy, it would be one to consider if you need more room than a standard mummy or quilt offers. It is an awesome bag!
Last edited by sparky on Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sleeping bag ?

Postby markskor » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:52 pm

longri wrote:
markskor wrote:Due to my cold-foot symptoms, I like/need a foot-box, hence a full-zip sleeping bag.

Many quilts have enclosed foot boxes sewn to about knee height.

Yes, seen and tried out one (quilt) as described, but one which had a snap thing/velcro as a toe-box construct.
Unfortunately, the one tried proved too drafty when cold at night (my toes again) and, those seen with a permanently sewn toe-box, too warm when hot. For me, a full length bag with a zipper allows me to construct whatever variation is warranted at the time.
Isn't a quilt with a toe-box zipper, still a sleeping bag?
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