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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question for you lightweighters..... I have a cheapo sleeping bag from Walmart. Its light, but only rated to like 30 degrees. I know I want to get another one for my pack trips this summer and some hunting trips early and late in the year, but need some advice on bags.

What would be an "acceptable" weight for your bag? I've looked at some of the Cabelas bags, and it seems that for "guaranteed" warmth, you either pay a ton or pack a heavier (7-10 lb) bag. Is this pretty much a standard situation for an affordable ($100-150) bag? I've read some reviews about the lighter bags with less fill that compress super small and it sounds like they just get freezing cold.

Would you buy a "used" bag? I've thought about going to some of the outlet or discount places or even the Heber Goodwill store to pick up a decent bag but don't know if thats even a good idea. Do you guys hit the sales to get great bags or last years models for a really discounted price? I could spend the money with tax returns on some high end bag but I'm still just a kid so packing a little extra weight doesn't bother me but its not my "ideal" situation.... know what I mean? I'd like to get a good comfy (read as warm) bag for around $100 bucks or so but want to still keep the weight of it as low as possible....

Thanks for the advice in advance.
 

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The ones I have looked at have been really expensive for the lighter weight cold weather bags. I bought a cabelas XPG sleeping bag that cost me $129.00 a couple years back. It has been a good sleeping bag, even though its a little snug around the shoulders & kind of restricts the rolling around, but your a smaller guy, so that doesnt matter much.It weighs in at less than 4lbs I have looked at a few goose down bags that are in the 200-250 dollar range that look pretty nice, But i guess it depends on how much you are wanting to go to justify spending that kind of money. I have slept in my bag in near zero degree weather & Im still here to tell about it, even though i didint sleep much that night!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I was looking at their Summit bags.... kinda liked em, but heavy... or heavier I guess. The XPG Backpacker bag with low fill was what i looked at until I read the reviews and I really hate it when my feet get cold....Seems some of Cabelas temp ratings aren't quite right according to some of the reviews on there, so I could see how being in near zero temps would keep you awake. If Wendy was with me, we'd be packing up and heading home I'd imagine. :D The light weight is good, but I want something to keep me warm and I would be willing to pack a little more since I'm not going to be doing weeklong end to end trips on the Highline trail or anything. I also looked at their 3-D bags... and might wind up looking into those. Ninety Nine dollars for a warm 5 lb bag doesn't seem too terrible to me.... but I hope I don't run into problems compressing it into the bottom of a pack. Hopefully I never camp in anything even close to zero, but at least their reviews seem ok. I'd just have to get a bigger stuff sack I guess.
 

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Yea, I agree, cold feet are the worst. My bag is rated at 0 degrees, But I think that is the "death rating", not the comfort rating :lol: . I like those northface goose down bags that are waterproof, But 400 bucks, wowza!!! Bass pro shops has a new bag coming out that looks pretty cool, for a **** good price too. I just might have to order one!!!! http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/store ... 00_350-3-2

I think I would go with the highest temperature rating you can stand to carry though. Ive been in the high uintahs in July & August, & the temps have gotten down well below freezing at night, Not to mention, 40 degrees in a rain storm can feel pretty cold. :shock:

You may want to pony up a few extra $$ for a bag with a Kevlar lining, Just incase you have one of those rampage bears invade camp!! :D
 

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Try Recreation Outlet. I got a decent bag rated to -5 there for my son in scouts. It was so nice, I went back and bought one for myself. I've used it now for 3 three years (~18 nights/year), including camping in January every year, and several backpacking trips. It ran for about $59. Keeping the feet warm in the winter - the key there is a pair of socks, then a chemical hand/foot warmer, and a wool pair of socks over that. No matter what sleeping bag you have - that will work wonders.
 

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GaryFish said:
Try Recreation Outlet. I got a decent bag rated to -5 there for my son in scouts. It was so nice, I went back and bought one for myself. I've used it now for 3 three years (~18 nights/year), including camping in January every year, and several backpacking trips. It ran for about $59. Keeping the feet warm in the winter - the key there is a pair of socks, then a chemical hand/foot warmer, and a wool pair of socks over that. No matter what sleeping bag you have - that will work wonders.
I picked up a couple of mummy bags a couple of years ago for around $60 each. I'm not fashion conscious enough to care that they were "last year's model".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Loke said:
GaryFish said:
Try Recreation Outlet. I got a decent bag rated to -5 there for my son in scouts. It was so nice, I went back and bought one for myself. I've used it now for 3 three years (~18 nights/year), including camping in January every year, and several backpacking trips. It ran for about $59. Keeping the feet warm in the winter - the key there is a pair of socks, then a chemical hand/foot warmer, and a wool pair of socks over that. No matter what sleeping bag you have - that will work wonders.
I picked up a couple of mummy bags a couple of years ago for around $60 each. I'm not fashion conscious enough to care that they were "last year's model".
No doubt... right there with you. I just want to be warm while saving my back as much as possible. Thats not bad at all for a bag... if I can get one for even up to 150, I'll be a happy camper. Thats a great idea about the handwarmers Garyfish... I'll make sure and try that.

Stevo, thanks for all the advice... Kevlar bag, LOL... thats pretty good. I was just going to post up on here to see if anyone has actually run into zero degree temps or close while out camping say... May through October? I plan on going at least a couple times and hopefully more than that this year. Ptarmigan in September, then elk hopefully with EHF after that... plus whatever time I can steal away in the summer. I may camp in the DF area too for a weekend of fishing with my daughter or the wife.
 

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My kid said that he was warm and toasty on the Klondike Derby, and I was fine on the Winter Games camp out. Other than my face got cold and the other leaders in the tent with me could raise the dead with their stereophonic snoring.
 

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Rat....you might check with Kirkhams....I'm not sure what they have anymore. But I bought 4 heavy sleeping bags quite a while ago. I got tired of freezing in my Field & Stream bag from K-mart.
No way are these for backbacking, but there damned warm and Kirkhams has a lot of cool stuff anyway.... 8)

btw....these sleeping bags are still in excellent shape..
 

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The small compactable, warm, light sleeping bags are pricey. I am currently looking for a better sleeping bag for backpacking as well. I have noticed that most of the bags that fit my criteria are around $300 :( I have been putting this off for some time now, but I am tired of getting cold in my "30" bag when it is 40 degrees out.

I am sure there are some decent bags out there for around $150 bucks, but the ratings on these bags seem very generous for what they really are. Ketly makes some decent down bags for around 130-150 bucks. For me, size, weight and warmth are the features I am looking at. I want a bag that will stuff down to about the size of a 2 liter bottle and have an accurate rating of around 20 degrees and weighs less than 3lbs, preferably 2lbs.

Do you want a down bag, or a synthetic bag?

If you are going to be in wet conditions, I would recommend a synthetic bag. In dry conditions, down trumps all.

Just to let you know, a high quality down bag will have a fill rating of 700+. Basically means the down is top notch and will keep you warm when you need it most. The higher the fill rating, the higher the price unfortunately.

I am looking at Western Mountaineering right now. I hear nothing but good things about them, but they do come with a price tag. They should last 15+ years though if taken care of.

Good Luck

Check the link below for some options.

http://www.sleeping-bags.us/
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, I was looking at a lot of synthetic bags on Ebay and just on outlet sites. They look good but most are filled with "hollofill" which I guess is a really thin, light synthetic material and it doesn't insulate as well as the next two types, four hole and seven hole insulation. I found a pretty good bag with 4 hole filler material and it wasn't a bad price... a little heavier but still, thats ok. What do you guys expect a bag to weigh when you're looking? A lot of the bags I'm seeing are like 4-6 lbs when they're stuffed.... is that too much? I don't have anything around that I know is five pounds to pick up but it doesn't sound like much... I guess the weight idea is that it eventually puts a good strain on your back and legs right?? Any thoughts?? Thanks for the link RNF. .45, I'm going to have to check out Kirkhams... they're right down the street from me and I see it every morning driving to work... I keep thinking I need to get in there and look.
 

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3# - comfortable at 20 and if I wear my smart wool socks and under armor I'm comfortable another 10 or so. Mine are down- very compressable. I don't worry about the theory of down getting wet. It's in a water proof backpack and in a water proof tent.
Just make sure you get one that is large enough for you. Don't get one that feels like a boa constrictor has you in it's grasp. Long enough and wide enough to adjust your sleeping postion if you need to. Also get a decent light weight self inflating sleeping pad. There are a few out there. Thermarest makes a very good one. Again if you can wait for the sales you will save yourself an incredible amount of dinero.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Packfish said:
3# - comfortable at 20 and if I wear my smart wool socks and under armor I'm comfortable another 10 or so. Mine are down- very compressable. I don't worry about the theory of down getting wet. It's in a water proof backpack and in a water proof tent.
Just make sure you get one that is large enough for you. Don't get one that feels like a boa constrictor has you in it's grasp. Long enough and wide enough to adjust your sleeping postion if you need to. Also get a decent light weight self inflating sleeping pad. There are a few out there. Thermarest makes a very good one. Again if you can wait for the sales you will save yourself an incredible amount of dinero.
Solid advice... thanks man. I think I'll use what I've got for now and hit these sales when they come up unless I run into something fantastic in the mean time. Thanks for reminding me about the sleeping pad... I had no idea how important that barrier between me and the ground was until I forgot the pad one trip....that made for some cold nights. :oops:
 

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Another option for a good deal on a high end bag is the REI garage sale. The have an incredible return policy and they have these sales every few months to sell all their returned products at a huge discount (I recently bought $220 Lowa boots that were not even scuffed for $50). A lot of the stuff is barely used, some of it is thrashed. They get really crowded but it's usually worth it.
 

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If you're using your bag for backpacking, I along with RnF and Packfish recommend keeping the bag 3lbs or less. To get a warm enough bag for that weight, you will have to use down. As long as you'e in a decent tent or bivy sack, the weather here is not damp enough to require the use of a synthetic bag.

I have bought great down bags (Marmot, Western Mountaineering) on Ebay for less than $175. I recently bought the Marmot Helium (a 25 degree bag) that weighs about 1.5 lbs for $150 on http://www.steepand cheap.com.

Beware of temperature ratings. In my experience all ratings besides those of Marmot and Western Mountaineering or OVERLY OPTIMISTIC. For example, most claimed 0 Degree bags are good to about 20 degrees.

If you are just looking to car camp, I really like my Coleman Elk Hunter. It's a big wide canvas and flannel bag. With 3-4 inches of foam underneath you in a warm tent, it's really toasty.

For backpacking I have a Western Mountaineering Megalite. It's rated to 30 degrees but I added 2 oz. of overfill to take it to a 25 degree bag. With fleece tights, wool sacks and beanie, I've been warm to 15 degrees. It weighs 1 lb 9 oz. I also have a Marmot Pinnacle for nights that are colder than 15 degrees.

If you don't backpack, you probably don't need 900 fill goose down (and can save lots of money). 600 fill goose or duck down will be more than adequate for car camping. You also don't really need to get a mummy bag if you're car camping. http://www.rei-outlet. com can also have some good buys.
 

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Now that the new insulations are so popular, Quallofill is not very expensive. and it it easer to clean.
 
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