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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 10-08-2007, 01:11 PM
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Flack_Jacket Flack_Jacket is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 21
One Sleeping Bag for Year-Round Use

I am trying to find a good sleeping bag that could be used pretty much year 'round if one is even made, without spending a fortune. Any info would be of help. Thanks!!
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2007, 01:41 PM
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Quoddy Quoddy is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 447
Since sleeping bags are based upon a general temperture range for it's insulation, it means that trying to use one bag for many temperatures will mean having poor results for most. If you don't plan on any winter or cold weather camping you could get by with a bag in the 25 to 30F range with a full zip that would let you vent off some of the heat in the warmer weather. Don't expect it to be really comfortable though.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2007, 03:25 PM
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Zvolen Zvolen is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Central California
Posts: 93
I agree with Quoddy, the problem with a one bag system is it will be inadequate for one of the major seasons. For instance if you get a bag for a winter temp rating of 15 -20 degrees it will be much too heavy and warm for the summer, the opposite will happen if you get a bag that is not warm enough.

I would try to find out during what season you get out the most and buy a bag based on that temp rating and could always supplement during the other seasons.

Good Luck
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:43 PM
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Flack_Jacket Flack_Jacket is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Thanks!!! I guess it's time to do my homework.
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2007, 05:40 PM
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WildGene WildGene is offline
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Backpack: Osprey Exos 46
Sleeping Gear: Jacks R Better No Sniveller Quilt
Shelter: Hennessy Ultralite Explorer Hammock
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 94
Though the other posters are quite right about finding a bag that matches the temps for most of your trips, I have a 32 degree bag - Big Agnes Horsethief - that I use all year. Here's how:

With no insulation on the bottom I can handle warmer night temps while wearing boxers. As it gets colder I add heavier underwear from Smartwool - starting with microweight then lightweight and finally midweight.

And though more down insulation from a low rated bag would be lighter than bring along thermals, I like the cloth feel from them compared to direct skin contact with the inside liner of the bag.

Of course there are sleeping bag liners that can work the same way though inside the bag they tend to bunch up on me while sleeping.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2007, 05:09 AM
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WildlifeNate WildlifeNate is offline
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Backpack: Osprey Atmos 50
Sleeping Gear: DIY down quilt
Shelter: ENO Doublenest Hammock, WB Bugnet, GG Tarp
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nacogdoches, TX
Posts: 1,610
This will be largely dependent upon your geographic location.

I've worked at gear shops in Indiana and SW PA, and we've typically recommended a 20 deg bag as a good all-rounder that would get you through most winter conditions. However, I also worked in a gear shop a little farther north in MI, and a 20 deg bag was really only good for 3-season use. If you wanted to camp in the wintertime, you needed something in the 0 deg range.

Farther south, away from the mtns, and 20 deg is probably more than necessary for most conditions. In deserts or at altitude, you'll need a warmer bag, at least for winter.

The only caveat is that in warm, humid climates, you'll probably eventually get something else to use in the summertime. Carrying a 20deg bag around in the summertime when nighttime temps might not drop below 65 or 70 is senseless. It won't take much experimentation to realize that fact.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2007, 11:54 AM
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Flack_Jacket Flack_Jacket is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
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Well, I reside in Michigan, and was thinking of getting a 20 degree bag or lower, and then looking for something else for the summer since the summers here in Michigan can be brutal, due to the high humidity. Thanks once again!!
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2007, 07:44 AM
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RouX RouX is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: NOVA - Northern VA
Posts: 19
First thing would be to figure out what price range you would like to stay in. After that are you looking for 3 season use? If you are going to do some winter camping in Michigan there is probably no way your can get away with one bag for everything. Foremost is price though. After that I am sure many of the gear gurus here can give you some stellar recommendations.
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  #9  
Old 10-12-2007, 04:02 PM
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Grannyhiker Grannyhiker is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Backpack: SMD Comet
Sleeping Gear: WM Ultralight/KookaBay custom insulated air pad
Shelter: Tarptent/Gossamer Gear Squall Classic
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 418
The answer to this question really does depend on the climate you live in.

Nearly all my trips are in the Cascade Range, often to high altitude, where most of the time it's pretty cool at night. I also go out in spring and fall when nights are often well below freezing. My 20 degree WM Ultralight Super is fine for me. I can leave the full-length zipper open on a warm evening (it's usually cool enough to zip up at some point during the night). Or, if it gets really cold, I can put on another clothing layer or two. So the one-bag strategy works out great in the Pacific Northwest, especially on the west slopes of the Cascades. I don't camp in mid-winter any more--if I did, I might want some kind of liner inside my sleeping bag or a breathable bivy sack over it (cold sleeper, here) for colder, windy conditions. But it usually doesn't get that cold around here to need more than extra clothing inside my 20* bag.

The one-bag strategy definitely won't work if you have 80 degree nights in the summer and below zero nights in the winter! If I were in those circumstances, I would have a summer bag and a warm winter bag that could be used (partially unzipped) in shoulder season, or some kind of sleeping bag layering system which would combine a warmer bag with a light summer bag (one of the bags would have to be big enough to fit over the other, though, possibly making one of the bags too drafty when used alone).

So if you have cold winters and hot summers, it's two bags, layered bags or move to a less extreme climate. I chose the last, but that's a lot more expensive than a second sleeping bag!
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  #10  
Old 10-12-2007, 05:16 PM
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Glenn Glenn is offline
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Backpack: Granite Gear Vapor Trail
Sleeping Gear: Western Mountaineering Megalite
Shelter: MSR Carbon Reflex 1
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Southwest Ohio
Posts: 89
I'm in Ohio, and I use one bag for late March through late November: the Western Mountaineering Mitylite. It's a semi-rectangular mummy, without a hood, rated to 40 degrees.

I unzip it like a quilt in warm weather, then start adding clothes: first a layer of midweight longjohns and a balaclava, then an insulated jacket and pants (they're just long enough that I can pull them down over my feet.) The first I used was the Patagonia Micro Puff pullover and pants; they kept me warm, inside a Seedhouse SL1 tent with the fly on, to about 20 - 25 degrees; however, I did end up wrapping a windbreaker loosely around my head for insulation. This year, I'm replacing that combo with a Montbell UL Down Inner hooded jacket and matching pants, so I'll have an insulated hood. Haven't had a chance to try it yet (they should arrive next week), but I've got high hopes.

I like not having a hood on the sleeping bag; I don't have to fight it in warm weather, when I want a blanket instead of a bag. Also, I don't have to carry the weight of a warmer bag in the summer (I just leave the clothing behind.) Since I rarely go out when it's below freezing, this system works great for me.

It also solves the problem of where to store the clothes at night: I'm wearing them all. That's also the essence of reducing pack weight: maximizing the use you get out of every item.

I don't know if this would work for you; I know I'd want a heavier hooded jacket and probably some down booties if I were going out when it was colder than 20 degrees. But, with a 25 or 30 degree hooded bag, it might work for you, too.

Last edited by Glenn : 10-12-2007 at 05:19 PM.
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