Looking for the lightest sleeping bag | High Sierra Topix  

Looking for the lightest sleeping 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

Looking for the lightest sleeping bag

Postby justm » Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:35 pm

Does anybody have any recomendations on a lightwieght ,down, 30-40 deg. rated sleeping bag for the sierras.



User avatar
justm
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:16 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Looking for the lightest sleeping bag

Postby oldranger » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:03 pm

justm

I think it is really hard to recommend a bag unless we know how big you are, how warm you sleep, how much you roll around in your sleep, and how much you want, ah make that are willing to spend. Though Markskor has a saying about buying the best and you won't be sorry. That is why we both have outrageously expensive Western Mountaineering bags, he has a Badger and I use an Alpinlite. He is a big guy and I am a runt but still like a roomy bag and I don't sleep as warm as I used to. I think others will give some good alternatives if you provide a little more information.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
User avatar
oldranger
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2164
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:18 pm
Location: Bend, Oregon
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Looking for the lightest sleeping bag

Postby markskor » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:31 pm

Have to agree with my good friend and nemesis OldRanger here.
I still say always buy the best (always plan for overkill) but...
A few pertinent questions:
Height...Weight?
Do you want a full zipper and the ability to open it up in warmer climes...or are you happy in a half-zippered (or no zipper at all) cocoon?
What are the lowest temperatures you will endure? Most bags rated to 30º actually really mean that you will freeze at 30º, not that they will be comfortable at that temp. Myself, I would not attempt the higher passes, even in summer, with anything short of a bag rated to ~25º. (My Badger rated to 15º)
Where do you intend to backpack...highest elevation?
Do you sleep cold...in a fetal ball or spread out?
Is a Draft Collar or Draft Tube needed?
Is this an occasional bag or a long term investment intended for years to come?
and the big question:
How much can you spend comfortably and not have the wife go ballistic?

Added: It is the Sierra not sierras.
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: Looking for the lightest sleeping bag

Postby JWreno » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:26 pm

I have the Marmot Hydrogen bag and think it is pretty warm for its
weight. I looked at the Feathered Friends bags but I needed a big
wider cut. I do have a lighter 40 degree bag but I wouldn't use it
when I know I will be sleeping about 12,000 feet.
User avatar
JWreno
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:55 am
Location: Reno
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Looking for the lightest sleeping bag

Postby justm » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:44 pm

Thanks for everybodys ideas. I'm really wondering about the western mountaineering bags, I've never bought anything from that company? I'm 5'9-163lbs tend to sleep hot and would like at least a partial zipper, My current bag is a Sierra Designs down bag rated for 30 deg, and weighs about 2lbs 8oz. Best bag I've ever had and will continue to use it. Backpacker Mag came out with it's gear guide issue, best all around lightweight bag is Vaude Ice Peak 150, 1lbs 2oz rated at 35 Deg. This is what got me thinking about a lighter bag! Anybody ever tried a Vaude Bag?
User avatar
justm
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:16 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Looking for the lightest sleeping bag

Postby hikerduane » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:57 pm

That is very light, be sure to check our the measurements at the chest and hip area so you aren't too restricted. Most bags, at least WM should give three figures. My WM Caribou, long is a 35 degree bag, weights 1.5 lbs, full zipper and has been used at temps to the upper 20's. Comfortable at the mid 30's, not a conservative rating as most people say the WM bags are. Vaude is a good brand, haven't heard anything about them for quite awhile. Do some looking online, you may change your choice.
Piece of cake.
User avatar
hikerduane
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:58 am
Location: Meadow Valley, CA, Carson City, NV
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Looking for the lightest sleeping bag

Postby justm » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:57 pm

Thanks for your info on WM bags, I'm going to look into that bag you have, it sounds as good as the Vaude bag ( the Vaude bag they say costs 180.00) I guess WM are pricey, but I'm willing to pay for good stuff. Thanks !
User avatar
justm
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:16 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Looking for the lightest sleeping bag

Postby hikerduane » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:19 pm

Not sure if my WM Caribou can do it again, but the first time out with it, I was motorcycle camping without a shelter on a quick trip away and back, I got rained on slightly and the next morning had water puddled up on the bag. When I got home, I weighted it again and the weight had not changed. I have noticed I can see thru the needle holes now as I am sure I have stretched it some with the way I sleep. I have had mine for almost seven years now.
Piece of cake.
User avatar
hikerduane
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:58 am
Location: Meadow Valley, CA, Carson City, NV
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Looking for the lightest sleeping bag

Postby Hetchy » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:14 pm

I used a Western Mountaineering UltraLight 20 degree Bag (Regular) for the entire Pacific Crest Trail last year. Weighs 1lb 11 ounces. Zippered to within 5 inches of the toe-end. Many thru hikers use this bag or the Marmot Helium. I swear by WM Bags as I have used a WM Antelope Goretex 0 degree for over 15 years in early season and it has never lost it's "Mojo".
Some of my fellow thru's had used their WM ultralights on multiple Long Distance hikes without any noticeable loss of loft.
Though I almost never wash my down gear it became a neccesity after 150 days of sleeping in it naked (sorry if thats too much info!). I used the Nixwax Down wash in a front loader washer. I dried it in a standard gas dryer alternating between Low Heat and Fluff every 20 minutes or so. Near the end of drying the bag I tossed in some tennis balls (5 would do the trick) to break up the down clumps. Many other hikers found this trick brought their WM Bags right back up to "as-new" condition.
I have heard a few Long trail veterans and Triple Crowners send their bags back to WM to have it re-downed after 5,000 miles.
Mine has 2665 on it and it sleeps just as warm now as when I bought it.
The Zipper Never Stuck even once on my bag.
Don't be afraid to go into an outdoor store and climb inside the bag to test the fit. I did before I bought either of my bags. Yes, You will get wierd looks but when you are gonna plunk down 400 bucks it is well worth the goofy looks.
I am a short 5'7 and 3/16" and broad shouldered, so the WM Ultralight is a smidgeon tight on me. Thus I don't wear sleep clothes which would compress the down. I also tried the Alpinlight mentioned above which is not much heavier. "Ounce madness" made me choose the Ultra but it has performed beautifully for me. I must be honest.. I might have gone for the slightly larger Alpinlight if I had a "do-over".
The only thing I did not like was the velco draft stop tab hooks my hair/beard sometimes. And when I use the bag open like a quilt the cord lock for the draftstop can tickle my neck.
The dark color really aids drying. I dried my bag every chance I got whether it seemed wet or not. It was part of my morning ritual on the trail.
As a side note, the surest way to make the thunderclouds appear and block the sun in the Sierra in June is to unfurl your WM Bag on a rock to dry. :nod:
YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) :D
You can make more money, but you can't make more time.
User avatar
Hetchy
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:51 pm
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains Ben Lomond
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Looking for the lightest sleeping bag

Postby justm » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:55 pm

Thanks for the info on WM bags!
User avatar
justm
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 9:16 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Looking for the lightest sleeping bag

Postby rayfound » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:12 pm

Well, I use a MUUUUUCH cheaper, less awesome bag than the WM... I picked up the LaFuma Warm n' Light 800g bag... its fine for me... rated for 30 and as I generally sleep in fleece pants, socks, and a shirt or jacket.... I am sure I would be comfy in it down to the rated temperature, given that I use a tent. I've been close to that number.

That being said... the one thing that bugs me is that its tight. I'm a tosser/turner/side/stomach sleeper, so a tight bag is tough for me. if you are a lay-down and sleep on your back type, a tight bag is probably OK. For me, what I found was that with as snug bag, I have to consider it more of a piece of clothing than a sleeping bag. and have the bag rotate with me, not me inside the bag. A couple benadryl before bed helps a bunch too!

so, I guess what I am saying, is that one of the ways that bags are made lighter without sacrificing warmth is to just plain make the bags smaller... so if size/comfort is an issue to you, as others have said, make and effort to "try on" any bag you're thinking of. I am sure everyone would trade a couple ounces in the pack for a better nights sleep.

This is all the more important when buying the higher-end bags... you could spend well over $300 on some of the nicest bags, and finding out its not comfortable for you would be a huge drag (as opposed to me spending $96 and being willing to deal with what I get, because at that price/weight... there aren't many options)
User avatar
rayfound
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:44 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker


Return to Outdoor Gear Topix



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests