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By Danomcq
Mar 26, 2013
Canon ct
So I have mammut down bag EN rated to zero and a custom down quilt from enlightened equipment which had a claimed rating of zero. The quilt has a good 4-5 inches of loft but not sure I'd take it thost low without serious clothes under neath it. Anyway I've trolled and googled and the only ones I can find who have experience with layering is survivalist types not climbers. Anyone one here have experience with one bag on top of the other??

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By todd w
Mar 26, 2013
get a sleeping bag liner.

less bulky and will probably do a better job.

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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Mar 26, 2013
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protec...
I own an older polargaurd delta wide/long and a newer primaloft sport form integral designs. Both 20 degree bags. I have slept out in the open with a solid 15 mph wind in the low teens and been very very warm. I could probably take it down to zero F comfortably with long johns.

Only happens car camping as taking both bags would be too heavy - the car doesnt care though.

If im packing light and its very cold then i take the 20 an sleep in my puffy.

What are you doing that makes you think of stacking bags?

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By Danomcq
Mar 26, 2013
Canon ct
I've been wanting to do the president traverse in NH in winter. I got that mammut thinking the "us Fahrenheit rating if -17 " would be sufficient, but it's. EN eating, the more reliable one is around 0. But that back country quilt wraps all the way around my bag with me in it

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By Greg Springer
From Minneapolis
Mar 26, 2013
Friends big puppy
how heavy are the two combined? For sub-zero camping I'm usually fine with my 0 or 10 degree bag with a liner in it, and the liner weighs a few ounces so that might be a better option for you.

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By Danomcq
Mar 26, 2013
Canon ct
The 2 bags together are heavy,.. 75 oz or so but it gives a good 8" of loft,...

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By Joshua Newton Smith
From Asheville
Mar 27, 2013
I prefer layering for many reasons. I get a ton of different configurations out of 4 bags.
I have a 35 degree down, a 15 degree down, a silk liner and a gortex bivy. Honestly i have never used all together for anything more than a fit test, since the set is good to well below zero and i have been camping in Montana in the winter.
I like that the system doesn't take up a single spot unless i choose for it to, because sometimes packing the layers separately adds balance, and padding for items.
Excluding the Bivy, the layering is really close to same weight as a larger bag, but allows you to adjust the temp by opening the zippers in different ways, which is awesome.

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By erik kapec
From prescott, az
Mar 27, 2013
enjoying the static, grappel and a smoke on Dana.....
adding a ground tarp and folding it over yourself helps hold in a good amount of heat too. Just make sure you leave room for moisture to evaporate. For a while I brought a fleece blanket and put it around me which worked really well. Using spare clothes makes things a tad warmer as well. But layering bags is nice just a lot of weight and lost room in whatever your carrying them in.

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By Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Mar 27, 2013
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+1 sleeping bag liner.

Big time heat for low oz.

The other part of doing this is that it makes things modular in your pack

Adds great temperature: cocoon.at/eng/show.php?doc=fra...

I used one of these after a rainy attempt at Mt. Baker that ended with me soaked in my sleeping bag. The liner helped get me warm again.

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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Mar 27, 2013
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protec...
Danomcq wrote:
I've been wanting to do the president traverse in NH in winter. I got that mammut thinking the "us Fahrenheit rating if -17 " would be sufficient, but it's. EN eating, the more reliable one is around 0. But that back country quilt wraps all the way around my bag with me in it


I have one friend thats attempted to summit washington in witner and said it was f'ing cold. I would take your zero and sleep in your puffy to save the weight. Though the two bags together aren't that heavy considering sub 5lbs for winter is solid stuff. Biggest problem is makign sure not to compress the insulation so i would use the quilt as an overbag. Scope the weather the week before and go from there. If it gets much below -10 i would take both, anythign above use your puffy and zero bag and maybe a liner if your so inclined.

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By Danomcq
Mar 27, 2013
Canon ct
Rock fencer,... I know it's cold as fuck, hence this thread. Last two times I was on Washington windchill was below -50.

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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Mar 27, 2013
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protec...
Danomcq wrote:
Rock fencer,... I know it's cold as fuck, hence this thread. Last two times I was on Washington windchill was below -50.


yeah, my friend did a small slide show at the gym. Looked miserable...more power to you for that suffer fest!!

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By harpo-the-climber
Mar 27, 2013
Hi D, my comment is not related to your question, I am just wondering how you like your EE quilt and what width it is. How big are you, what width is your quilt, and how does cover you when you are sleeping?

I am thinking of getting a EE Revelation but I am not sure what width to get. I will be getting a 30deg or a 40deg and using it in the summer in the Sierra. I am 5'11" with a 42" chest and broad shoulders, pretty skinny elsewhere. I will only be using one thin synthetic or down puffy along with a base layer under it. Tim at EE says I should get a regular width if I don't move much, a wide width if I move a lot or sleep on my side. I do move while I sleep and occasionally sleep on my side but am wondering if I could get away with a regular width?

Danomcq wrote:
So I have mammut down bag EN rated to zero and a custom down quilt from enlightened equipment which had a claimed rating of zero. The quilt has a good 4-5 inches of loft but not sure I'd take it thost low without serious clothes under neath it. Anyway I've trolled and googled and the only ones I can find who have experience with layering is survivalist types not climbers. Anyone one here have experience with one bag on top of the other??

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Mar 27, 2013
Rumney
The problem with layering one sleeping bag on top of the other is reducing the loft of the lower sleeping bag, compressing it reduces its functionality. Liners don't compress so they offer their rated insulating factor regardless of the weight from above. Bivy bags also don't weight much and can work fine as covers over the sleeping bag without compressing it. My gortex bivy buys me about 10F of warmth, but also traps moisture. Yes, gortex traps moisture like any opther material, it just allows it to escape faster than standard nylon, etc. Over a long night your liner and/or bag could get wet even without a bivy/cover over it (just food for thought).

A 25F bag with a silk liner will get you into the teens comfortably (assuming you're not a cold sleeper and the sleeping bag is actually performing at its rated specs). Putting two 25F bags together will not get down to zero, and might only be marginally more effective than a liner.

There isn't a way around getting a colder bag. I stopped winter camping because it was just too big a PITA to be comfortable - especially over multiple days.

Fwiw, having a good sleeping pad under you is very important, something 4 seasons with a good R rating is critical otherwise you lose a lot of heat into the ground and also becomes another source for condensation to occur. They even make down insulated sleeping pads now that weigh a pound or two.

Cold weather camping is serious shit.

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By Greg Springer
From Minneapolis
Mar 27, 2013
Friends big puppy
Anyone prefer doubling up on sleeping pads in sub-zero conditions? I haven't tried it yet, i also wish that I would have bought a sleeping bag with the sleeping pad sleeve in it.

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By Danomcq
Mar 27, 2013
Canon ct
Harpo,
I love my EE quilt though I have a much different one than you want. I have a wide 0 deg with 30% over fill. I got it wide so my wife and I can use it together. It's not wide enough to wrap the two of us but we can use it as a blanket together.

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Mar 28, 2013
Rumney
Greg Springer wrote:
Anyone prefer doubling up on sleeping pads in sub-zero conditions? I haven't tried it yet, i also wish that I would have bought a sleeping bag with the sleeping pad sleeve in it.


Pads are notorious for not being very grippy. I can't imagine getting more than an hour of use from stacking them before they slipped apart and you were left on only one. You could buy a wide cheap foam pad and put a higher quality pad on top of it, foam pads tend to be less slippery than most modern sleeping pads. But foam pads are bulky.

I think Big Agnes makes pad and bag setups, and I want to say thermarest now makes sleeping bags with pockets for their pads.

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By Chris Rice
Mar 30, 2013
Vapor Barrier Lining. Not for all conditions of course but adds a ton of warmth and still allows you to turn over inside the bag - the fleece liners always get tangled up on me. It's a bit different sleeping in one but it is warm.

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By ldsclimber
From Queen Creek AZ
Apr 1, 2013
S'up?
The US military Sleep system is based on layering bags. It consists of a summer bag, a spring fall bag and a gortex bivy sack. When used as a single unit with an insolation pad i slept warm in the snow.
i now have 5 degree WM and a 40 degree WM that i do the same with and i have never been cold. cheers

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By Miike
From MA/CT border
Apr 1, 2013
my foot
ldsclimber wrote:
The US military Sleep system is based on layering bags. It consists of a summer bag, a spring fall bag and a gortex bivy sack. When used as a single unit with an insolation pad i slept warm in the snow. i now have 5 degree WM and a 40 degree WM that i do the same with and i have never been cold. cheers


the Latter Day Saint Climber sums it up well. Layering works if done right.

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By Ryan Hill
From Oakland, CA
Apr 1, 2013
I spent 4 winters working outside in Utah's high desert and loved my layered system. Rather than spending 100s of $$* on a -20/-30 bag I stacked my summer and fall bag. With a (admittedly crappy) 0* TNF Snowshoe and a MHW Phantom 32 (about 4.5lbs total) I was comfortable down to -10F. With a bivy and sleeping bag liner I was comfortable down to -20F. This was sleeping on a Thermarest Z-Rest. My last winter I started bringing out a Therma-Rest Pro-Lite and using it on top of a cheap, blue foam pad. By far the best combination I have tried and very warm on the snow. I usually slept with my shoes at my side to keep the pads from sliding apart.

I'd suggest a hot water bottle to help ward off the really bitter nights. A boiled 40oz Kleen Kanteen in a wool sock will stay warm for about 9 hours. Placed between your thighs it will keep your toes (my trouble spot) warm all night long. They are heavy, but worth hauling around IMO.

  • Holy crap, the Phantom bags went up in price. I think I spent $180 on mine back in 2003. REI has them for ~$400 now!

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By Danomcq
Apr 1, 2013
Canon ct
I was issued that layering sleep system,...heavy as hell,

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Apr 2, 2013
Rumney
Danomcq wrote:
I was issued that layering sleep system,...heavy as hell,


Yet another issue with layering bags, the cumulative weight and bulk.

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By Danomcq
Apr 2, 2013
Canon ct
Military stuff as a whole is heavier though, my military issue solo tent, eureka I think, is around 8 Pounds. A freakin one man tent

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By Dan Bachen
Apr 2, 2013
Another consideration is your pad system, I've found that I can get away with a lighter bag if I layer sleeping pads in winter. I use a closed cell foam on the bottom and an inflatable air pad on top. If its really cold I throw a space blanket on the floor of the tent. I've taken an old ~10 degree down bag comfortably below zero with this system, and it's much less weight than carrying two bags.

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By ldsclimber
From Queen Creek AZ
Apr 2, 2013
S'up?
When i take both of my down bags with a nice pad, minus the bivy (which avoids condensation that could make for an epic night), it still weighs less than most synthetic bags of half the rating. However ive only done that with a tent so there is more weight there. i have a family of 6 so buying an $800 bag isnt going to happen soon. Till then cost trumps weight for me.

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