What ultralight sleeping bag do you use for archery bivy-ing, and why?

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by Andy Backus, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Andy Backus

    Andy Backus Field Editor

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    What ultralight sleeping bag do you use for archery bivy-ing, and why?

    I'm in the market for one. I'm pretty sure I understand all the different categories of pro's and con's (but maybe there are some I haven't thought of).

    I'm looking for opinions based on personal experience.

    Weight
    Ability to handle moisture
    Price
    Size - when packed
    Min temp rating vs. actual
    High price point vs. good bargains

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    I have two lightweight bags that work well in most any conditions -the western mountaineering mitylite and the mountain laurel designs spirit quilt.
    The WM Mitylite is very lightweight and can be put in a hunting coat pocket -so light it will blow away.
    The MLD Spirit Quilt is a synthetic quilt that has a strap that goes under your pad to keep you from sliding off your pad.
    Either one of these can be used down to 40 * depending on the type of shelter -amount of clothes worn etc. when sleeping.
    Down is impossible to beat in all but the wettest conditions and will last a lifetime where-as synthetics will lose loft over time.
    A WM down vest and bag will serve you well -use the vest around camp in the AM and PM and when sleeping if needed.
    Both products are MADE IN AMERICA to the highest standards -you won't go wrong with them.
    In really cold and damp weather i use both bags together[ quilt on the outside ] -between them and my WM down jacket i can sleep comfortably down to 15-20* in a tarptent contrail.
    I would have provided links but computer is a little slow..
    Good luck -Mike
     

  3. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Hey Mike----are you pretty happy with the contrail? And have you had it in any crappy weather? I have been looking at it along with other tarps and i am trying to figure out which way to go.

    And Andy, I prefer down and always will. I just use a lightweight 3 season down bag from Sierra designs and it works great. I'd rather have a 2 or 3 pound bag and sleep warm. Also, look at some of the climbing systems---a half bag and then a down coat.

    Randy
     
  4. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    mtnwrunner ,

    Yes i've had it in high winds 30-40mph make sure the foot is aimed towards the wind.I had it in a three day downpour on a hunt and it got a little soggy and limp but all in all still performed well.
    I have a couple of tarps and never use them anymore because the tarptent is such a universal little tent.There's enough room for me -backpack -rifle etc. and can still manage to heat water for a mountain house meal in the vestibule.
    I have a floor plus wind protection -very easy to ventilate as much as you want or hunker down low in cold dry conditions.--after seeing and trying a few tents and tarps this is my -go to - tent 95% of the time.
    Mike
     
  5. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Here's a decent review on a few of the best bags out there. There is no magic pill. I looked at these and others and ended up going for the Marmot Hydrogen for late summer/early fall backpack hunting trips for mule deer and bear. 1 lb. 8 oz. and a 29F rating. Down is the only way to go for the reasons guys have already listed. Take care of it and it will last forever. I've grown tired of buying synthetic fill bags, store it perfectly, treat it perfectly, and watch the loft go down year by year--waste of money. Instead, by the highest down fill you can--I would suggest at least 750 fill power, if not 800. I think the Hydrogen I purchased was 850 fill power. 850 or 900 fill power is ever better. It will last longer, provide a better weight to warmth ratio, compacts far more for packing, etc., etc.

    Outdoor Gear Lab review of summer weight down bags: Down Sleeping Bags - Warm Weather Reviews - OutdoorGearLab

    I acquired a Tarptent Rainbow a couple of months ago and at 2 lbs. 3 oz. it has a ton of room with a 40" x 88" floor and some really cool and flexible vestibule pitching options--big enough for 2 if necessary as a typical backpacking sleeping pad it 20" wide. The Rainbow has good venting as well--many tents don't have good venting and this is absolutely essential to a well thought out tent design and will keep you much more comfortable during your time in the tent. The Rainbow does not require trekking poles to set up and this is one thing that makes it 'heavier' because the trekking pole weight is obviously not included in the weight of tents that use trekking poles for support. But, I hunt all day using my trekking poles, generally coming back to camp at night. Trekking poles, however, can be used to augment the strength of the shelter in case of snow loading, etc. I know the materials Henry uses in his tents quite well as use them in my designs as well as we buy from the same US supplier, and it is tough stuff for it's weight.

    Tarptent Rainbow: Tarptent Ultralight Shelters

    Big fan of the Thermarest NeoAir Trekker pad as a great compromise of weight and great comfort: http://www.rei.com/product/810375/therm-a-rest-neoair-trekker-sleeping-pad Would reccomend the 'regular' size 20" x 72" (actually measured at 75" in the 2 I own) and rolls up smaller than a 1L water bottle using the Thermarest bag: http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/sh...st-and-Light-Sack_10185852_10208_10000001_-1_ Buy the 1.5L 'extra small size'. This pad fits in there just fine and it is smaller than a 1L bottle when it's in there.
     
  6. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    jmden, You've got a great system going there. I've got a date on a mountain in early october with a muley and I am trying to get my system as lite as possible as I want to carry everything with me as I hunt. I've always been pretty well equipped but man, the more I look at stuff on the internet, the more I can upgrade. As the saying goes, "If you are gonna hunt Kong, you have to go where he lives." I'm pretty much sold on the tarptent contrail. I'll have my entire system down to about 30 pounds sans rifle and that is for a couple of days and that is having enough to be very comfortable. My plan is to have a base camp and then spike it from there every 2 to 3 days. Be up in the high country of central Idaho----if it hasn't all burned down..................

    Randy
     
  7. Andy Backus

    Andy Backus Field Editor

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    That's some really great info guys!

    Thanks!

    Andy
     
  8. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Good luck on your hunts this year. 30 lbs. is pretty good. I dropped 5 lbs from my gear with the above purchase this year. Not cheap, but 5 lbs is a chunk of weight. My whole sleep system, tent, bag and pad is less than 5lbs and very comfortable. I'm not sure I'm going to get down to 30 lbs, but am always assessing every piece of gear to do so. I've got 'high buck' muley hunt and black bear hunts in the last two weeks of September, so am gettin' gear up for that.

    Would you mind sharing your 30lb list of gear? I'm alwasy on the hunt for any new ideas.
     
  9. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    I'll get you a list and some photos when I have a bit more time.
    It's funny that you mentioned the 5 pound mark for your sleeping system---that was also my target goal. One of the other things that I do is weigh everything myself. I don't take manufactures word for anything---imagine that.
    I use my 10 pound trigger weight scale for the small stuff and a 20 to 100 pack scale for the big stuff. If you have a max goal of 30 pounds and you keep your sleep system and food to 10 pounds, that leaves you 20 pounds for your pack and your hunting equipment which if you have more than that, I think its too much crap. I think that Andy mentioned somewhere else that he uses the eberlestock x2 and that is what I use. Glen lists the weight on that pack as 4.5 pounds but my scale says 4.2 pounds---every ounce counts. I've also wondered what other folks do for ammo as in how many rounds would one take on a backpack hunt. Yeah, yeah, I know, everyone will say, "I just take one!" Right.
    I take 15 rounds. I have never used more than 3 in all my years of hunting but we live in substantial wolf country and I think that 15 gives me a little fudge room.
    And I always have my Ruana knife.....................

    Randy
     
  10. 270Weatherby

    270Weatherby Well-Known Member

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    Mont Bell Down Hugger #0... Super light, super warm, srteches with you = super comfortable, super small compressed
     
  11. midnightmalloy

    midnightmalloy Well-Known Member

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    Mountian hardware phantom 32*-1.4lbs super compact and 800 fill down.
    Exped UL7 med sleeping pad. 3.5" thick 16 oz and full length (get a "shnozzle bag" with this...youtube it its pretty cool)
    Sierra designs mojo 3 tent-4lbs even

    Total sleeping system weight is 6.4lbs on the trail....not bad and full setup of everything is about 6 min!
     
  12. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Ruana Knives...some of the best. I just went through Bonner the other day.
     
  13. MNhunter86

    MNhunter86 Well-Known Member

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    The Bag I use is the Marmot Flathead 20degree bag and it has served me pretty well over the last year. I've used it in the 20's and it was perfectly fine I usually wear a beanie (hat) when I'm outside sleeping. Obviously you need to be sleeping on something or else you will get chilled thru the ground. For the price I'm quite happy obviously there are higher quality bags out there but you will be paying for it. It packs pretty small mine measures about 13"x9" and weight I haven't weighed it personally but marmot say's it weighs 2lb9ozs. If your looking for a good place to purchase one sierratradingpost.com. If you sign up to recieve there flyer's they will usually send you a coupon for like 30% off your purchase. Just my two cents.
     
  14. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    jmden, you should have stopped by Ruana----it is a pretty cool place. I stopped by there last year and I had my own design and they made it. I just got it about a month or so ago and it is great. I've got three of them now and they are all a work of art. Makes you not want to use them...................
    I guess I kind of got off the sleeping bag thread but backpack hunting is a passion of mine and its nice to see what other folks are using for gear.

    Randy