Sleeping Bags

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by clive-hunter, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. clive-hunter

    clive-hunter New Member

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    I am looking at purchasing a sleeping bag for hunting, does anyone have any suggestions or tips of what to look for in a sleeping bag ?
     
  2. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009

  3. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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  4. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Would reccomend a high quality down sleeping bag. It will be lighter and pack smaller than any other type of insulation and keep you more comfortable when you are sleeping in it.

    It will cost you initially, but will last much longer if taken care of than any synthetic. It will end up being cheaper in the long run. This is my experience with 20 years of alpine climbing and various other outdoor pusuits (hunting, hundreds of miles of open ocean sea kayaking in the north pacific, hiking, etc.) buying several different types/makes of bags over the years. I will no longer buy anything but high quality down with a water resistant/proof membrane laminated to the outershell.

    Should look for a minimum 700 down fill power with an exterior shell that has a laminated water resistent/proof embrane (simliar to Gore-Tex, but typically much more breathable for sleeping bags).

    A couple of years ago, I picked up a Mountain Hardware bag for summer kayaking (want something quite watertight) that is 800+ fill power, has a very breathable/watertight shell. But the feature that really stands out is that the outside baffle seams are not sewn, so there is no exposed thread to pick up moisture and transport it to the insulation. Instead the baffles are heat welded to the shell. This is actually stronger than sewing and much more impervious to moisture.

    Moisture is the enemy with any sleeping arrangement and down is no exeption. However, in many years of using different down bags in a wide variety of conditions, I have yet to get one seriously wet. Take care of your stuff and keep your bag dry at all times no matter what kind of bag you have. It could literally save your life, so take good care of it and don't scrimp on the initial purchase.

    Just my .02.

    Good luck,

    Jon
     
  5. HUAINAMACHERO

    HUAINAMACHERO Well-Known Member

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    clive-hunter: welcome to the site, hope you enjoy it.
    jmden,
    I am interested in a sleeping bag also, read your post and find it very interesting. Could you recommend any specific brand and model that matches all the specifications you stated? How much does your sleeping bag weight and how small does it pack?
     
  6. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Depending on whether you are backpacking or setting up a base camp by your truck and whether the weather is mild of really cold you have some options.

    If you are going to be close to your vehicle then you can use extra sleeping pads to be more comfortable and prevent heat loss to the ground. There are the square floor foam pads that are used in shops on concrete floors for people who have to stand on their feet all day. These are very good for sleeping pads and cover over rocks and twigs while giving a good firm insulation on the ground. About this time of the year K-mart and Target will have a sale on cheap synthetic bags for about $20 each. I normal put one under me and then unzip the other so that it looks like a blanket and will put it on top of my down bag as a extra layer.

    The other thing that is useful is a fleece sleeping bag liner from REI. I often just use it instead of a bag. It is very easily washable so using it keeps the down bag clean.

    If you wear a knit cap to bed it keeps your head warm and that improves the that rating of everything else.
     
  7. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    The models offered by the various top brands and their various features seem to morph from year to year, so typically you just need to get on the net and start digging. Often each manufacture has a wide range of bags in term so construction, materials and cost. However, if you look for what I call the 'basics' of at least 700+ fill power and watertight/breathable (w/b) shell in any of the top manufacturers, you should be good to go. Welded baffle construction is a plus. (Personally I don't think that just a DWR [durable water repellent] coating on the shell is best way to go. I think a w/b laminate is going to be a better choice in the long run, albeit more expensive...it will also have a DWR to keep the shell fabric from 'wetting out'. Once a shell fabric 'wets out', the laminate can't breathe to release moisture. That's what a DWR is for.)

    Might check out the offerings from Feathered Friends, Western Mountaineering, Marmot, North Face, Mountain Hardware, etc., with the first two mentioned probably being the most notable in terms of their bag construction as it is the focus of their operations. I've got a -30F custom made FF bag I've had for about 10 years that is the cat's meow when it's cold. If you know the 'basics' of what you are looking for, you can peruse the net and often find good deals on models that are from previous years, etc.

    Not sure if you guys are familiar with a magazine called 'Hunting Fool', (pretty expensive--I can't afford it--my father-in-law gets it), but it is an outstanding publication and they typically have a 'gear section' every issue that reviews the latest gear. Much of the gear reviewed comes directly from the alpine mountaineering sport as do the brands mentioned above. My point is, and not to diss many big 'hunting' retailers (one perhaps starting with a 'C' who does have alot of good stuff), but the alot of the best gear for hunting will come from the offerings designed for alpine mountaineering. You just have to know what you're looking for and why. Just my .02.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  8. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    In addition to a good bag the Clark Jungle Hammock makes for a good tent replacement as well as some good sleeping (if you have trees to tie it too) and it's not very heavy.