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 Post subject: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:01 pm
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Location: Colorado
Anyone have recommendations for an inexpensive synthetic bag for cold Colorado winter camping? Price is an important factor. I am currently looking at the Mountain Hardwear Lamina -30 or something equivalent.

Recommendations welcome. Thanks! Pedro

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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:32 am
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Location: Dethbridge, AB
I have the Lamina -30, kept me toasty in the back of the truck last season. Price was important as well which is why I opted for synthetic over the down. Don't think I'll be doing that again. I got mine through Moosejaw when it was on sale (plus free shipping to Canada is rad). It's pretty much limited to car camping or other 'base camp' style trips. It's heavy and doesn't really compress down at all and so takes up a ton of pack space. I think next time I'd spend the $$$ and look into something like the Wraith SL -20 instead. Doing so would also allow for building a good, easily adaptable sleep system (liners, overbags, pads, etc...) vs one big bag that is overkill for many nights. Just my :twocents: But then, if you want a winter bag for under $200 (20% off at Moosejaw right now) it's kinda hard to beat.


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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:56 pm
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Location: Meyers, CA
I would also recommend down. Even here in the rather wet Sierra, I only own down bags. The weight and compressibility are still much better than synth. The price sucks, but if you take decent care, it should last basically forever.

One way to save some coin is to buy a less warm bag. For shorter tours bring a second $10 ensolite pad and that will add a bunch of warmth through better insulation w/ the ground. Unless you are climbing Denali early season -30 bags are overkill (although sweet for the back of the truck in cold climates).

Also, consider building snow caves. Even a shitty snow cave should be well over 0 degrees and a good one should be near 30, which is freaking warm for winter in the mountains.

Finally, shivering works too.


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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:23 pm
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Location: Missoula, MT
Just got the Mountain Hardwear Banshee SL 0 degree. I'm recommending down as well if you can swing it. Needs a waterproof outer layer though...

The North Face Nova is another good one. -20 degree is overkill in my opinion. I just sleep in my shell/pants if need be...

The durability and warmth of highly compressible synthetics is not the same as down. It just isnt...

*If you are just car camping...this post is invalid ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:51 am
Posts: 650
What kind of camping will you be doing? If you are car camping, disregard the following info.


0º down bag. I used to think that down would be a bad thing too and worried about getting it wet, but in CO, you don't really have to worry about it getting wet unless you really screw up. Use a good pad and sleep in a tent and you will be good.

BTW it rarely gets to -30 in CO, just saying, I know it sounds nice to have extra warmth but the weight and bulk will be a pain in the ass.

Have you ever seen a -30 synthetic bag? I doubt it would even fit in your pack, and I doubt that you would want to haul it very far. I have a -20 down bag and rarely use it very far from the car because of the size/weight. -30 synthetic bags are what they recommend for Ranier and Denali, and that's about all they are good for besides car camping.

Here's what I use: a 5 degree western mountaineering versalite down bag (overstuffed) Then if I expect it to be really cold I'll be carrying a down jacket, down booties, maybe down pants (don't own any yet), for hanging out which I will also sleep in and add a lot of warmth. Also, a vapor barrier can be a great option for keeping the bag clean and dry over multiple days and add about 5-10º to the bag.

Another recommendation is to stay away from the Gore dryloft/windstopper bags. Breathability is far more important than dry coatings, especially in CO. And they add unneeded weight.

Check Wilderness exchange in Denver for some good deals on bags. Don't know what they have right now but they usually have some great deals on new and used bags. For example: http://www.wildernessexchangeunlimited. ... d-4439.cfm


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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:01 pm
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Location: Colorado
I have been running under the impression that bag ratings are somewhat exaggerated. Meaning that if a bag is rated to -30 degrees, it will keep you alive at -30 but not comfortable, and conversely that a -30 degree type bag would be comfortable at around -10+/- degrees. I don't plan on being out in -30 weather.

I have never been camping in winter, but I generally run pretty warm. I am going to be using a 4-season tent and not a snow cave. Most likely the temps would be 0 to +15 when camping, but Colorado tends to change weather in the blink of an eye. I was looking into synthetic bags for cost mostly, with the dry factor as a bonus, and the weight/stuffability as a detractor.

Please feel free to set-me-straight on temp rating and recommendations. I just don't foresee myself spending $400-$600 on a bag this year.

Gracias...

Pedro

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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:39 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
I've heard Western Mountaineering is one of the best.


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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:44 am 
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Location: Colorado
Nachoconqueso wrote:
I've heard Western Mountaineering is one of the best.
And all $400-$800... Please read the whole thread.

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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:39 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
PedroDelfuego wrote:
Nachoconqueso wrote:
I've heard Western Mountaineering is one of the best.
And all $400-$800... Please read the whole thread.


sorry


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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:51 am
Posts: 650
PedroDelfuego wrote:
I have been running under the impression that bag ratings are somewhat exaggerated. Meaning that if a bag is rated to -30 degrees, it will keep you alive at -30 but not comfortable, and conversely that a -30 degree type bag would be comfortable at around -10+/- degrees. I don't plan on being out in -30 weather.

I have never been camping in winter, but I generally run pretty warm. I am going to be using a 4-season tent and not a snow cave. Most likely the temps would be 0 to +15 when camping, but Colorado tends to change weather in the blink of an eye. I was looking into synthetic bags for cost mostly, with the dry factor as a bonus, and the weight/stuffability as a detractor.

Please feel free to set-me-straight on temp rating and recommendations. I just don't foresee myself spending $400-$600 on a bag this year.

Gracias...

Pedro



You could buy two of the one I linked and still be under $400 ;) There are many nice down bags out there for under $400.

Or buy that one or a similar one plus some down outerwear and be good to go. If you are sleeping in a tent, down is perfect. If you still need more warmth, boil some H20 and put it in a nalgene and keep it in your bag over night. Crazy how much heat it'll put off and it can last almost all night.


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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:01 pm
Posts: 800
Location: Colorado
I just got a emailed coupon from Wilderness Exchange @ 12:54pm today... Spooky... I think I may go down there today and have a look.

Any advice on Marmot bags?

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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:01 pm
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Location: Colorado
Mr. Gnar,

Many thanks for the recommendation! I went down to Wilderness Exchange and got the Kelty + my discount coupon and got a 0 degree down bag for just over $150! The people at WildX were super cool and very knowledgeable too. Good to support the local retailer.

Thanks for all the input people, SB.com rules!!! :thumpsup:

Pedro

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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic Sleeping Bag Recommendations for Winter Camping
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:57 am
Posts: 152
Location: Canada
As an FYI for canadian's in this same sitch - MEC brand down bags are great. I've been running a raven model -12 mummy bag for a while and love it. Compresses to about 9-10L in a dry sack and covers my 6'2" frame perfectly all for $109CDN....it is only 575 fill though. For more weight loss/compressibility you've got get more spendy.

As mentioned, you can always go lighter/higher on the bag rating if you sleep layered. Plus it sucks stripping down half naked and having to dress again in the morning in the snow. Call me lazy or dirtbag but don't call me cold ;)


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