Route Guide - iPhone / Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New - School of Rock
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Best cold weather sleeping bag?
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 2.  1  2   Next>   Last>>
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
By Robert Buswold
From Longmont, CO
Jan 4, 2011
Clear Creek Canyon, Capitalist Crag

Hello everyone,

I'm in the market for a new bag, at least -20, but hopefully closer to -30 or -40. What are your favorite cold weather bags in regard to warmth, weight, and cost?

I sleep cold, so the warmer the better - my 20 degree Kelty Lightyear sucks for me in milder weather, even in the 30s... so I've been needing a warmer bag for a while. I'm tired of suffering, it's time to live a little!

Synthetic would be nice, but I'm not too worried about getting down wet, as I use a dry sack and a tent anyway, shouldn't be a problem.


FLAG
By J. Albers
From Colorado
Jan 4, 2011
Bucky

If you are going to be out in -20 to -40 degree weather, it can be legitimately dangerous...spend the extra cash and get a good bag. I would get a down bag for a ton of reasons, the least of which is that a -30 synthetic bag is going to be huge and heavy.

I own a Western Mountaineering bag and I would buy the same bag again if I had the chance. I have had my minus 30 degree bag for 8 years and I have had zero problems with it (and I use it at least 2 dozen times every year in very cold weather). Its warm, the baffling is fantastic, and the down has lost no noticeable loft in the years that I have owned it. Unfortunately, you are going to drop $500-800 for a bag like this. Pay attention where you buy it, because you can get a Western bag "overfilled" free of charge; essentially you are adding about 4-5 degrees for free. I have the Micro Fiber bag instead of the Gore DryLoft and I have never had problems with the down getting wet. In fact, I think it is more important to transfer body moisture outwards than to keep moisture from soaking in and because Micro Fiber is much more breathable than DryLoft, I think it is a better choice under most circumstances (and cheaper too). Furthermore, if you are already using a bivy sack, then having a DryLoft bag is really going to trap moisture and soak your bag.

However, as others will probably mention, there are other good bags out there. Feathered Friends and Marmot both make high quality down products. I would NOT buy anything from North Face; the worst bags I or any of my partners have owned have always been NF.


FLAG
By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Jan 4, 2011
Stairway to Heaven

Well, it depends.

I've very happy with my Western Mountaineering bag (Puma GWS, rated to -25) but it wasn't cheap. If you're on a limited budget and you don't mind something that's a bit heavier and bulkier you could consider a store-brand -25 bag from REI or MEC in Canada for several hundred dollars less.

Also, there's quite a difference between a -25 bag and a -40. Are you planning an early springtime expedition to Denali or Logan? If so then you'll probably want a -40, but for most other purposes a -25 will be plenty warm (especially inside a bivi sack and a tent) and appreciably lighter and less bulky.


FLAG
By Wyatt H
From Casper, Wy
Jan 4, 2011

Listen to what has been said. Also keep in mind your Kelty is probably junk so don't judge ratings based on that. If you are seeing 10 or 5 degree temps, you don't need a -20 bag. You should be fine with a 0 degree with a brand like Western Mountaineering or Marmot who are conservative on their ratings.

Also note tents, bivys, and sleeping bag liners are all supposed to raise (lower?) the ratings five or ten degrees. I like to use a liner so body oils and dirt doesnt get into the down so I don't have to wash it as much.

And finally one way to make any sleeping bag luxurious when its cold out is to throw a hand warmer pack into the bottom. Those things RULE.


FLAG
By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jan 4, 2011
Bocan

Check out the EMS mountain light...800 fill with a petex shell. Comes in reg and long. I got mine on a STEAL sale for like $200, but even now they are only about four bills. I'm from NE and I can tell ya...it gets COLD and even though they are like REI now, EMS does have alot of experience and nice gear. This is a steller bag for 1/2 the price.

Here's the long. Very nice bag.

www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3981926


FLAG
By Jim Amidon
Jan 4, 2011
J TREE

Feathered Friends or Western Mountaineering........

Everything else is a waste of your money.......

I've owned Feathered Friends products for over 15 years, (the same Frontpoint Jacket) and yes you drop the dime, but my stuff has been worked hard, and still I consider my down jacket and bag as my best friends in the cold weather...


FLAG
By PTZ
From Chicago/Colorado
Jan 5, 2011
Where? Wouldn't you like to know. You have to buy me a beer, then I will tell you.

I get zero bags. then I only zip the thing up if it is freezing cold.
Down or synthetic it all works and keeps you warm.
Right now I have a Marmot and an REI synthetics, both work well.
Winter sleeping tips:
- A bag is no good w/o a good ground pad.I use my crash pad.
- for winter/cold camping always: eat before bed to have extra calories to burn on cold nights.
-Change your socks before bed. Clammy damp socks will get you.
- While camping and have to Pee. Don't hold it in get out and Pee. Your body has to work to keep those excess fluids warm.
- Don't overdress for bed. Once you get a good bag let it do its job. Too much cloths can trap warm air from circulating.
- Camp where you will get morning sun.

Good luck in the cold. We love it. Live to suffer.


FLAG
By J. Albers
From Colorado
Jan 5, 2011
Bucky

Scott McMahon wrote:
Check out the EMS mountain light...800 fill with a petex shell. Comes in reg and long. I got mine on a STEAL sale for like $200, but even now they are only about four bills. I'm from NE and I can tell ya...it gets COLD and even though they are like REI now, EMS does have alot of experience and nice gear. This is a steller bag for 1/2 the price. Here's the long. Very nice bag. www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3981926


I would have to disagree there. EMS products are similar to REI products; sub-par. Fine for some stuff, but not worth it when getting a bag for truly cold weather. EMS and REI products are cheaper because, well, they are cheaper. Just a thought.


FLAG
By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Jan 5, 2011

Jim Amidon wrote:
Feathered Friends or Western Mountaineering........ Everything else is a waste of your money.


There are other good brands like Rab, Valandre, and Marmot's high-end bags.

But I vote WM or FF. Look for used bags and get a WM Puma! I have the Lynx (-10) and have never regretted the money I spent.


FLAG
By Robert Buswold
From Longmont, CO
Jan 13, 2011
Clear Creek Canyon, Capitalist Crag

So I was able to pick up a Marmot -40 for a great price, and happy I did. Great loft, and super warm! Thanks for the input everyone! I was hoping to get WM, but the price of the Marmot was much better, and seems like a great bag.


FLAG
By jack roberts
Jan 14, 2011

I've been climbing in cold conditions longer than I care to think about and the Marmot Col (-20F) has always worked great on Denali or in the Himalaya. The Puma by Western Mountaineering is also a grat bag. Western Mtng products are high value. The down is the highest quality, constuction is likewise.

Feathered Friends make good stuff also but I've had and also heard mixed reports with their bags. The higest quality bags, made from 900 loft down may not be as warm as they intend due to the down shifting and leaving cold spots. On one of my trips to Pakistan everyone in my group but for two of us, had FFbags and complained about them being a bit cold. The two of us had WM and MM bags and were super warm. I'd purchase WEstern Mountaineering if I had the cash.


FLAG
By G Owings
Jan 14, 2011

Western Mountaineering or Valandre would be my top picks in terms of make. Unless you will be out for long periods without a VBL in extremely cold temps you will be best served by down.


FLAG
By England
From ?
Jan 14, 2011
Alpine toothpick.

It won't matter if you have a -100 bag if you don't have a quality insulated sleeping pad as well.


FLAG
By Yep
Jan 14, 2011

jack roberts wrote:
the Marmot Col (-20F) has always worked great on Denali or in the Himalaya.


+1. I don't know anything about Denali or the Himalaya (except where they are), but my Col has worked to keep me warm on countless summer (I sleep really cold) and winter outings over the last 10 years or so.

Dry clothes and socks, eating before bed, etc... all help me.


FLAG
By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Jan 14, 2011

Robert Buswold wrote:
Hello everyone, I'm in the market for a new bag, at least -20, but hopefully closer to -30 or -40. What are your favorite cold weather bags in regard to warmth, weight, and cost? I sleep cold, so the warmer the better - my 20 degree Kelty Lightyear sucks for me in milder weather, even in the 30s... so I've been needing a warmer bag for a while. I'm tired of suffering, it's time to live a little! Synthetic would be nice, but I'm not too worried about getting down wet, as I use a dry sack and a tent anyway, shouldn't be a problem.



I have been checking one out the Kashgar Down Sleeping Bag from BASK Canada. its rated to -76F

www.baskcanada.com/Featured/sleeping-bag/kashgar.htm


FLAG
By Danielyaris
From Salem, OR
Jun 12, 2011
Me in the cascades

I used to use a moonstone down 800 fill bag with a snap in liner that was supposed to be a -15f bag. I used it on MT washington at -15 and was cold. I had a good ground pad.

A couple years ago I got a new North face solar flare 800 fill -20 bag for winter use. Sub 4lbs and has a few more inches of loft than the Moonstone. Very warm with a water resistant shell too.

for dry cold I would always go down


FLAG
By mountainmaiden
From durango
Jun 12, 2011
me

Marmot Never Summer zero bag


FLAG
By Josh Cameron
Jun 12, 2011
Castleton Summit Sunset

Western Mountaineering!! "because I want only the best between the elements and myself"


FLAG
By Linnaeus
From New England/ Baltimore
Aug 25, 2011

I'm a fan for down when it comes to sleeping bags. It's help me get away with using my Marmot in temps pretty far below my bag's rating. I have a long Marmot Sawtooth 15*, and have had good luck in the Andes and in New England. Packs small and is light. I have a fleece summer bag that I now use as a liner and is comfy. Ground pad is _super_ important for cold weather camping. You won't sleep if you're shivering cold all night, and I've had my share of nights like that (mostly pre-Marmot bag).


FLAG
By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Aug 25, 2011

If you are looking for the best deal, MEC has a hybrid sleeping bag rated to -20 C. It's part down, more synthetic. Still takes up a lot of volume but saves a lot on cash.



www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/SleepingBags/SyntheticMummyBags/PRD~5>>>


FLAG
By dorseyec
Aug 26, 2011

J. Albers wrote:
I would have to disagree there. EMS products are similar to REI products; sub-par. Fine for some stuff, but not worth it when getting a bag for truly cold weather. EMS and REI products are cheaper because, well, they are cheaper. Just a thought.


They are cheaper, because, well, you aren't paying for a name brand. But if you want to throw your money away and bash REI cause its the cool thing to do go for it! REI is not the same as coleman....
I have their 30 and -20 down bags (former employee) and they have all held up to a lot of use and all of them feel warmer than advertised. Not sure what about them is sub-par or if its just "what you heard from your friend". Used mine for years and never had an issue.


FLAG
By Andrew Martin
From North Jersey
Aug 27, 2011
me

I bought a Western Mountaineering Puma (-25) about 4 years ago when I started getting into back country skiing. It has to be on of the best purchases I have ever made. The quality difference between WM and Feathered Friends and the rest of the field is very noticeable when things go south on a trip. I have had trips where it never gets above -40 at night and people I am with in -40 bags from other companies are having a real miserable time in the snow cave. Cold weather bags can save your life and are worth dropping the extra money on, go for a WM or FF and you won't regret it.


FLAG
By kinam lee
Aug 23, 2013

I think
Downhome was the best.
Now Warmlite is #1.
better than FF, WM


FLAG
By JacksonLandFill
From Transient Misfit
Aug 28, 2013
not everyone smiles

Check into an extreme cold weather sleep system used by the Army and Marines. Used they are cheap. It's a goretex bivy, outer bag, inner bag and compression sack. I have never been cold in a tent with it. Picked mine up for $125.

www.tennierindustries.com/rfi-mss.html

The only thing that would make it better is a fleece liner... which you can make yourself. Grab some polartec 300 online and jam it in there!

Rated to -50 with the ECW sleeping clothes... base layers and fleece pants and shirt should be real warm.

Works well and is cheap.


FLAG
By wfscot
From Boulder, CO
Aug 28, 2013

+1 for Marmot. I have the Col Membrain and it served me very well on Denali. The waterproof outer liner is good insurance against getting soaked by spills and condensation in the tent.


FLAG
By Moritz B.
Sep 27, 2013
Profile Pic

I can really recommend the RAB Ascent 500 sleeping bag. Really light and keeps you perfectly warm. Not too expansive either.


FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 2.  1  2   Next>   Last>>