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Sleeping Bag ???

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Unread 08-03-2009, 08:16 AM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington St
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Re: Sleeping Bag ???

Just a quick thought starter.. The only problem with down is drying it.. it's hard to dry and retains NO heat capability wet.. you die at this point and if you need to get warm even wet forget it..

Some synthetic materials permit wet heat performance.. look into those factors before your purchase.
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    Unread 10-08-2009, 12:40 PM
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    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: centre,alabama
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    Re: Sleeping Bag ???

    Wiggys hard to beat...
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    Unread 10-08-2009, 12:47 PM
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    Re: Sleeping Bag ???

    Mountain harware makes a bag called the cloudrest, use that bag and an REI bag liner and you'll swear off of anything else. That's what me and all the Marines here at the mountain warfare training center use.
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    Unread 10-13-2009, 05:23 PM
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    Re: Sleeping Bag ???

    If someone hasn't already mentioned, Climashield XP is a great insulation.
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    Unread 10-15-2009, 01:11 AM
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    Re: Sleeping Bag ???

    I *think* Chain was already on his hunt this year so he probably picked up a sleeping bag. Chain?

    If not, Western Mountaineering down sleeping bags are the best (with possibly Feathered Friends) for when you've gotta carry all your stuff and still like to be warm. For bigger folks (or those who don't like the sense of being confined by a mumy style bag) i'd suggest with the Kodiak rated for 0F or the Bristlecone rated for -10F. I have a Puma in DryLoft which was rated for -20F and i've used as cold as -30F on Mt. Marcy near Lake Placid, New York (February 2005). Western Mountaineering is very conservative with the temperature ratings. They've been around a long time and *have not* 'sold-out' their quality - unlike many others in the Outdoor Industry.

    I've been winter-camping for nearly 30 years and have seen a lot of brands come and go. For those brands that have remained, many (most?) simply aren't as good as they used to be or as good as their customers *want them to be*. People become so tied to their favorite brand that when an honest comparison is done they feel like they're under personal attack. I saw how prevalent this was when i worked a part-time job for a couple years selling the higher-end backpacking and mountaineering equipment. Customers would come in requesting a certain brand and when they were shown and advised something contrary to what they wanted they wouldn't believe the truth (quite common in so many areas really).

    For example, we had all seen how horribly inconsistent North Face down sleeping bags, down parkas/jackets/vests were filled - year after year - and people still wanted them simply because of the North Face logo/reputation. It is ridiculous. Incidently, TNF still make excellent double-wall mountain tents - it's what they built that good name on even though they're owned by Vanity Fair now (OK, they did make clothing 1st, but tents really sent their popularity to the moon!).

    For sleeping bags it's gotta be Western Mountaineering - they're still making 'em in San Jose, CA with excellent Quality Control and Warranty to match.


    Last edited by fmajor; 10-15-2009 at 05:10 PM.
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    Unread 10-17-2009, 10:58 AM
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    Re: Sleeping Bag ???

    My experience with many winter/snow backpacking trips under my belt is that yes down is great and light but worthless when wet. It's important to keep it dry. If you are going to be in sub 0 temps I recommend a vapor barrier liner. It seems funny to climb into a water proof bag inside your sleeping bag but it has worked for me. The problem with very cold conditions is that the vapor moisture from your body freezes/condenses on the outside of the bag. Over a period of hours your bag is wet. The vapor barrier keeps that from happening and I don't sweat inside it. The vapor barrier bag weights nothing and compresses very small. I learned about this the hard way at -20 and it wasn't fun.

    Niceville, FL
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    Unread 10-17-2009, 05:41 PM
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    Re: Sleeping Bag ???

    This is one of those "Mac vs PC" kinda discussions, but......

    In temperatures low enough to be *really* concerned about the cold, water is *usually* frozen - unless we're talking about either a huge spill inside the shelter or possibly a torrent of water entering the shelter.... Rarely will the evenings condensation develop enough liquid to completely saturate a sleeping bag (granted, there can be saturated 'areas'...).

    If someone has a sleeping bag that is so saturated with water that the insulation is compromised then they have a problem that is truly catastrophic. By this i mean to say that in nearly 30 years of winter camping and climbing i've never saturated my sleeping bag with enough liquid to compromise it's insulation - and i've made some real bone-head mistakes! Additionally, i have never met or known anyone who has. Not that i'm better or smarter than other campers (that would be a huge fib!!!!), but that it would really require alot of liquid to make that happen.

    No insulation is "warm" when wet - none. I've shivered my hiney off enough times to know that wet = cold. There is no "wet and warm" unless you're talking about a bath or swimming at the beach.

    The healthy, adequately hydrated, non-hypothermic human body *may* produce enough heat to "warm up" wet synthetic insulation a few degrees (depending on; How wet? How cold? How large of an area?), but if it's really wet, no insulation will retain that warmth.

    If the temperature of the insulation falls below 98.2F and the body cannot warm it up, it doesn't really matter whether it's synthetic or down because you're gonna become hypothermic.

    I do agree that wet down is worthless. Maybe wet synthetic is slightly less worthless. Either way, worthless is still worthless.

    Besides this one primary argument against down, there are sooo many more positives to down for sleeping bags. It lasts way longer, packs smaller, has a "warmer" feel degree-for-degree, and is lighter to carry.


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