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Sleeping Gear The Sleeping Gear forum is for the discussion of sleeping gear (bags, mats, quilts...).


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  #1  
Old 01-04-2011, 07:48 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Sleeping Gear Choices for 15-20 Degrees F (Cold / Winter)

For those who do backpacking trips in winter (cold) weather, what sleeping gear do you typically use for 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit?

Reality
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2011, 11:08 AM
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richwads richwads is offline
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I've always taken my old NF Superlight down bag (rated at 5 degrees) for winter camping. A caveat - I sleep cold and am comfortable at 40 in a 20 degree bag, with no base layer.

The lowest measured temperature I used it in was 10 degrees at Lava Beds National Monument in January. I was cold with a wool baselayer. Those were all cold nights. Basically, for several nights I squirmed around all night to generate almost enough heat to keep from shivering.
But I didn't die .

I think I'll retire the old bag and get a zero degree bag for any future winter trips at these temperatures.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2011, 02:48 PM
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Owenm Owenm is offline
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Used a TNF Cat's Meow 3D for maybe a dozen years.
Haven't been down to 15, but I've had a Marmot Arete 40 degree bag into the upper 20s with boxer-briefs and a wicking t-shirt(+bivy & ThermaRest Z-Lite small). Plan to use it into the teens with a liner and socks/baselayers.
I'm a very warm sleeper, and am not about to recommend that for anybody else.
If 15-20 were typical for me, I'd be buying a Marmot Helium Membrane, or some other 15 degree bag of good quality, but I live in Alabama, and am rarely out for more than a night or two.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:59 PM
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SSDD SSDD is offline
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Well 15-20 deg with a Sub kilo and 2/3 length aircore pad with my sleep socks, a base layer top and boxer-briefs and a beanie.
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2011, 03:40 PM
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jongreyfox jongreyfox is offline
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Ive been looking into building my own Modular Sleep System for hammock camping. i have a synthetic recon 3 bag for general three season use but also want somthing heavier. so I looked into the Carinthia Brenta, they are a European milspec gear maker. They say its good down to -10 F and pack down small(9x9in) and is only 4lbs, at $140. So Im thinkin with that plus a fleece linner, and my recon 3 and PU bivy id have winter hammock camping along with any other weather situation pretty well covered, and yes im using big winter tarp also. So,What do you guys think of this idea/bag I know it will be heavy but im shooting for under 10lbs all together

PS. Im using a ridge rest solar deluxe with DIY closed cell foam side extensions in order to insulate shoulders down to hips.
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2011, 07:20 PM
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Drift_Woody Drift_Woody is offline
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My go-to down bag for those temps is a 20* WM Ultralight, supplemented by a Montbell UL down jacket and Sierra Designs primaloft booties. I also carry a fleece pullover and Northface Red Pointe primaloft vest in addition to base layers. Underneath is an Exped Downmat 9 pad.

That combo is probably good down to 10* but that hasn't been tested yet. In combo with the Primaloft booties are lightweight Teva sandals, which also serve for creek crossings. In warmer weather I usually take crocs, but the booties can't fit in them (I like to doff my boots in camp).
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2011, 08:02 AM
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tonto tonto is offline
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$5 Of Camping Comfort

The very first point I should make is...I'm really, really cheap.
So the bag I "choose" to use in winter has nothing to do with any rational analysis or decision on my part.
I use an LL Bean down mummy bag I bought at a Thrift Store for $5.
There's no info on the bag except LL Bean and Stuffed with Prime Goose Down.
I would speculate it's a 20 deg. bag with 650 down and weighs in at about 2.5 lbs.
Being an Assistant Scoutmaster, I do my camping in NC & VA once a month, every month of the year.
The Southeastern U.S. tends to be wet in the winter.
Even the snow here is usually damp because of thawing and freezing cycles.
In the past I've used a synthetic 20 deg. mummy and avoided down.
Last month I used the down bag on an AT section in Shenandoah NP (see my trip report "Snowy section of the AT").
I slept in a trail shelter at 18 deg. using thermals, wool socks, and fleece beanie and was very comfy.
This weekend I camped at Cape Lookout Nat. Sea Shore on the outer banks of NC.
I was in a tent and used the same sleeping gear as my Shenandoah trip.
Temps were 35 deg. and I was again very comfortable.
I'm positive I'll be switching to the down bag for winter camping.
I'll just have to be extra careful about keeping it dry.
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2011, 12:20 PM
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HighMiler HighMiler is offline
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Backpack: Trailwise External-Frame with various bags
Sleeping Gear: Down-filled Quilts
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Still using my old 4-pound Bugaboo down-filled bag in my 1-pound North Face bivy sack. Both were new in '72 -- bag was rated then for below zero fahrenheit. Laid on the floor, it still lofts about 11". I have yet to experience being cold in this combo -- it kept me warm in an ice cave up high for a number of days and nights. Worth the weight.
I use it as a quilt mainly, but when I do zip in, I fluff all the down to the topside. I can do that because I had it made with no baffle along the side. I sleep mainly in micro-fleece long johns, long-sleeved top, & balaclava -- used to use a beanie, but they started popping off my fat head.
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2011, 02:13 PM
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hatidua hatidua is offline
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For 15-20* weather, I'm still happily using a 22 year old TNF "Superlight" from back when they were made in Berkeley.

For Winter (15-20* isn't what Winter is like in CO), I'm typically in a Mountain Hardwear "Big Bang", which is rated to -15*, or if I'm headed out and it's forecast to be cold (daytime high's in the single digits, nights getting really fairly cold), I'm in a Mountain Hardwear "Ghost", rated to -40*. There have been nights when I've been very happy to have the "Ghost" bag along!
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2011, 03:04 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Winter is a season not a temperature (range). In Arizona, winter can be 70 degrees F (as only one temp example for that locale).

So, please understand that not all temp variables are covered for every location.

For clarity, share what's used for 15-20 deg F temps. The winter is added to facilitate searches - as it is often associated with cold (and cold is also a relative term).

By the way, I've been in -40 (...) and I still understand that even +50 degrees F is cold enough to kill.

Thanks for all the great participation.

Reality
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