Looking for a good night's sleep(ing bag)

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by Jurfie, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

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    Alrighty, next topic: sleeping bags!

    I've read about down vs. synthetic; what do you have and how do you like it? Mummy or barrel? I don't plan on any winter camping, and most would be in the warmer months; what temperature rating is a good all-round use?

    My concern about down-filled is that it loses it's insulative value when wet. Has this been a problem for anyone in our coastal environment? What about safety-wise...a paddler who has capsized and needs to warm up is obviously soaked; would a synthetic be a better choice?

    Thanks for all the help and advice! 8)
     
  2. sushiy

    sushiy Paddler

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    Get the synthetic one, unless you are confident keeping it dry in any event. Synthetic keeps you warm even when it wet, down takes forever to get it dry in dump weather.
    Mummy is warmer than drum, 'cause of the less space to warm up, and pack smaller.

    If you are planning to get a hammock in the future, you should get warmer one than you think you need.

    And I would say I am happy with my 15F degree bag for all year round in this area ( San Juan/ South Gulf Islands). Night at the lakes in the mountain can be very chilly, and you witnessed this spring how it can be even into late April. So If you want to join the party next year, get a winter bag!!
     
  3. Jill

    Jill Paddler

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    I have a barrel bag Mec. Mirage rated to -5. synthetic. Lots of room , mummy bags are to confining for me. Its plenty warm and easy to wash in the machine. I also bring a sheet in case it gets really hot then I just sleep on top of the bag with a sheet. Down takes way to long to dry if it gets wet.
     
  4. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

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    Exact one I was looking at! Thanks for the reassurance I was looking in the right direction... :D

    That's the part I was worried about...the "confident keeping it dry in any event". Synthetic it is...thanks sushiy!
     
  5. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    Sleep systems

    Consider the length of camping trip that you are taking. Weekends? Five days? A week? Pretty easy to choose. I’ll bring a nice warm bag and to hell with the space it takes. Stretch that out to 2-plus weeks and your choices start to look different. I lean towards packing size much more than comfort range or weight. What can I fit in my boat? Every single drybag has a specific place that it fits and the boat is full at the start of the trip. As many items as possible must serve multiple purposes.

    I’m going to have synthetic bag, for sure, for all the water-related reasons and I am going to choose something with no lower temp rating than 35 degrees because of it’s size. It’s not important to me that I be comfy sleeping naked but it is important to me that I sleep well and have room to carry food and water. Space rules!

    So how to stay warm on cold nights? When the 32 degree bag isn’t enough I dress for the occasion. I don’t think twice about sleeping in the long underwear that I have worn for the past week plus my hooded Primaloft jacket (that stuffs very small and fits in a particular niche) with an extra set of expedition weight long johns pulled up to my knees to keep my feet warm. Not Club Med but if it allows me another day’s meals it is a good trade.

    Last summer I used a Big Agnes Cross Mountain Plus 40. Those bags depend upon an integrated air mattress for the bottom surface and insulation. Really well made. Compresses pretty small if you use the compressor option and is semi-barrel shaped which sounds good but works against it IMO. This year and next I will be using the BA air mattress with an REI Nooksack UL +35. Nice bag that packs small. More efficient than the BA and though I’m not great fan of air mattresses this one packs small.
     
  6. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I suggest that whatever bag you get that you also get one of these to put it in:

    Seattle Sports Compression Dry Bag

    I've used these bags for carrying sleeping bags for about 7 years now and have never once experienced a wet sleeping bag. The compression straps work well for getting your bag down to an easily stowable size.

    *****
     
  7. rider

    rider Paddler

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    I have 2 bags, a Eureka! Cimmaron (15F,which is -7c), bought from campmor.com, cost under 60 bucks to my doorstep,kept me warm in anything from snow camping to a night in a rain soaked homemade bivvy.
    The other one is a Eusebio Ultralight 1000 ( i think that's the model), 0c bag, compresses tiny, and actually IS ok for temps close to zero. Army&Navy used to sell them, last time i've seen them was at sports junkies, they had them on sale for 50$ or something.
    Both bags come with their own compression sack.
    If you shop online for a sleeping bag, campmor.com is definetely a site to check out closely.
     
  8. DarenN

    DarenN Paddler

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    i've got the Nomad from MEC:

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_deta ... 9089760262

    i like the barrel bag cause i tend to run around in my sleep. :)

    i've got the Outdoor Research compression/dry bag to fit it. great bag that makes the big sleeping bag get very little.

    i also have a couple other sleeping bags for different weather situations, but the Nomad is the go-to.

    Daren.......
     
  9. Just John

    Just John New Member

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    Jurfie, I'm a bigger guy. My wife and I have the MEC Cygnet down barrel bags that zip together for cozy nights. Never had a problem with the down bags getting wet but we always keep them in a compression dry bag when in the boats.
     
  10. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    I like down.

    Rules number one through ten: The sleeping bag does not get wet.

    I use a minus twenty bag on hiking trips. Taiga barrel bag. It's too warm for summer kayak trips though. So in summer I use an older military surplus bag that I've had for about 30 years.

    I've never used the synthetic bag. I'm doubtful about the claim it will keep you warm even if wet. I equate being wet with being cold.

    Has anyone here actually slept in a wet synthetic bag?
     
  11. Doug

    Doug Paddler

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    I was wondering the same thing, but maybe I'm a bit naive when it comes to kayak camping. I'd hate to have to sleep in a wet bag no matter if it was synthetic or down, and I can't see how synthetic would be warm at all even if it was "warmer" than wet down. It would probably dry faster though?
     
  12. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Re: ever slept in a wet synthetic fill bag? : No. But, I have tried to sleep in a wet down bag ... and not sopping wet, either, just damp. Could not do it. And then, could not get the bag dry. Survival situation.

    I have enormous experience with synthetic insulation; we all pretty much do. Based on that experience, I think a synthetic bag will function better than a down bag, if each is wet. What argument is there on this, if the synthetic bag fits inside the yak?
     
  13. RichardH

    RichardH Paddler

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    hehe yeah a wet sleeping bag is pretty much impossible to sleep in unless you're a robot. I had a synthetic bag (-5) that I tried to sleep in after wringing it out as best I could and no dice - matter what I did to sleep, it was just cold, clammy and awful. I ended up finding a protected area in the forest and put a bunch of layers of clothes on and huddled up under my tarp - all at 3am. Mantra is always: the bag does not get wet.

    I found down bags are much more comfortable to sleep in just because the material has no memory of the stuff sack you packed it in with. I always had to carefully roll my synthetic fill bags instead of just tossing it back in the bag. Down bags take forever to dry. period. so never ever get it wet - think cotton clothing dry times and you're half way there. They seem to dry out best if you line dry them, shaking them up every so often. If you're not absolutely certain you'll be in a dry place, leave the down bag at home. I am also being more and more impressed by primaloft - it's like down but has awesome drying times - best of both worlds, but, as always, $$$.

    -Rich
     
  14. inpayne

    inpayne Paddler

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    Similar to others, for summer paddling I just use a synthetic barrel.. Though half of it is a lighter loft than the Nomad -- the MEC Oasis 0/10.

    In the winter I use a long discontinued ~ -10 heavier mummy bag.
     
  15. inpayne

    inpayne Paddler

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    Oops, I frgot to add that my winter bag is a long discontinued primaloft bag. That's also the bag I tend to use for June-October coastal summer mountaineering.

    For the summer paddling around here there should be no need for anything technical. Pay well under a hundred for a synthetic barrel. Don't bother with primaloft for such seasons as this is paddling and you should easily have the room for an inexpensive synthetic 3 season bag.

    My Oassis has easily held up over a few years of 30+ days trips at a time. If it did get mauled, I wouldn't be picky as it's cheap to replace.
     
  16. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    Drying a wet bag would be an issue. Spread it out on the fo'c's'le perhaps...

    Usually takes a couple days in the sun plus a couple hours dryer time for the down bag after washing. I'm talking ideal drying conditions, though with a thoroughly soaked bag.

    How long does it take for a synthetic bag to dry?
     
  17. sushiy

    sushiy Paddler

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    This is getting way interesting 8) :lol:

    Last night, I washed my old synthetic one that is I think not even the "fake down", and laid in it.
    I had fleece liner with it, the misture sneaked up on my skin from the bottom through the fleece... not doable.
    So I opened the bag fully and used as just a cover, I did not feel moisture came down from the top, It seemed OK. But I was thinking, "hummm, It will be still very cold if I don't zip it up". I thought it's not good time to try it when I have cold, so I went to bed.
    I spread it on the floor over night.
    When I woke up, and something turned on my :idea: :idea: :idea:

    The moisture sneaked up on me from the bottom.
    + I did not feel moisture come down from the top.
    + I need the enclosed bag.
    + I will have all kinds of fleece clothe and moisture whicking undies when
    I go kayaking
    = I can put my sleeping pad in the bag!!

    So I did put the sleeping pad in the still moist bag, wore those kayaking undies, zip it up, watched TV for one hour feeling cozy and warm. I can say it works for some degree, because when I got out of the bag ( 'cause it was too warm.), I felt cool air around me. I can't say it is as warm as dry bag.

    Maybe we can use those compression bag ( not the compression dry bag) to squeeze most of the water out in the field...??

    I have to try it when this cold is gone.

    Oh, and when I got some info about choosing bags here;
    http://www.rei.com/learn/Camping/rei/le ... CE_CAMPING
     
  18. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    brilliant deduction, sushiy! i wonder if one could use a spare tarp the same way.
     
  19. sushiy

    sushiy Paddler

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    You mean, instead of pad? The tarp dose not have the insulation value though...
    Dose the "skin-thermal undie-fleece- tarp- wet bag-sleeping pad" gives me warmth? if so I can just wear my drysuit and slip into the wet bag, yes?
    That will give me whole a lot of security... I go paddle in the drysuit, keep it on to sleep, keep it on to go paddle again, my gasket won't ripped, no one ( even myself) can tell how smelly I am.
    I will be one happy kayaker 8)
     
  20. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    i often do not take a pad, so at the least, the tarp would stop me from getting wet.

    And the drysuit may do the same thing as well.