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Thread: Sleeping bags?

  1. #1
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    Default Sleeping bags?

    I'm looking to buy a used sleeping bag just to cut down on cost and I'm seeing lots of them in good condition for a good price, but I'm just concerned about buying a bad one as I have never purchased one before. Are certain brands better than others or are most 20 degree sleeping bags alike enough?

  2. #2

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    I guess for me buying a used sleeping bag is just too much of a risk...you don't know if they took care of it, washed it correctly, was a clean person in general etc...plus you lose the warranty aspect of new. Just my personal opinion of course.

    As far as big brands...Marmot, Western Mountaineering and Sea to Summit are the three I see mentioned a lot. Then there are the cottage industry manufacturers like Enlightened Equipement, Feathered Friends, ZPacks, Katabatic etc that are producing some high quality quilts and bags.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneDoesNotSimplyWalk View Post
    I'm looking to buy a used sleeping bag just to cut down on cost and I'm seeing lots of them in good condition for a good price, but . . .
    Used can be good if you know what you are looking for. Typically not a good thing to do if you don't know your stuff. FWIW, sleeping bags are one of the things that the REI garage sales almost always have several of at really good prices (because most people don't want to pay money for other people's dirty bed cloths). At least at REI, you can ask for assistance and advice from an employee and the products are decent. You also might do pretty well with buying from people on this site or backpackinglight.com.

    Quote Originally Posted by OneDoesNotSimplyWalk View Post
    . . . I'm just concerned about buying a bad one . . .
    As you probably should be.

    Quote Originally Posted by OneDoesNotSimplyWalk View Post
    . . . Are certain brands better than others . . .
    Of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by OneDoesNotSimplyWalk View Post
    . . . are most 20 degree sleeping bags alike enough?
    Not even close. For instance, a Kelty 20 degree cosmic down bag is nowhere close to as warm as any of the EN rated 20 degree bags. And, Kelty is a semi-reputable brand name. I can't even imagine what a 20 degree Walmart sleeping bag might test out as in an EN lab.

    Under what conditions will you be using the bag? Do you know if you want down or synthetic? It's probably worth going to your local outfitter and talking to them about bags so you can see and touch and try out and get an idea about what you want and want to look for.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    ... Not even close. For instance, a Kelty 20 degree cosmic down bag is nowhere close to as warm as any of the EN rated 20 degree bags. And, Kelty is a semi-reputable brand name. I can't even imagine what a 20 degree Walmart sleeping bag might test out as in an EN lab.

    Under what conditions will you be using the bag? Do you know if you want down or synthetic? It's probably worth going to your local outfitter and talking to them about bags so you can see and touch and try out and get an idea about what you want and want to look for.
    the Kelty Cosmic is EN rated. one would think EN rated bags would be equivalent to other bags at their rating, no?

    what separates bags like the Kelty Cosmic from other bags is the quality of materials (higher fill down = lighter weight/more cost), zippers that don't break or snag, how the bag fits, draft tubes and collars, etc.. it's pretty easy to see the difference side-by-side between one of the premium and the lesser one. not so easy if you're inexperienced and looking at a used bag by itself.

    I would say a used bag by one of the premier companies is a pretty safe bet if you can tell it's not been abused - check stitching to make sure it's not pulled. check zippers for missing teeth and the material around it to see if it catches/tears the material. elastic that has lost its stretch, obvious thin spots, frayed material and/or poorly or not at all repaired tears.

    heavy use can reduce loft and temp rating over time and one indication that is hard to disguise is look at the area around the collar of the bag. this area picks up dirt and facial oils that are difficult to completely remove. if the collar area looks like it's been dunked in bacon grease or there are unpleasant odors, I would stay away.

    however, this is the time of year that there are still some killer deals on last years new winter bags. some judicious shopping could net a new bag at or close to the price of used...

  5. #5

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    like I said above, here's a steal on a pretty good bag. Sierra Designs Zissou23 for $135...

    left hand zip.

    the ad says 600fill but that's a misprint - I have one - it's 700fill Dri-Down
    it is a Long, 64" at the shoulders, 2lbs 3oz.

    don't wait. these sold out in 2 days last time...

    http://sellout.woot.com/offers/sierr...o_cnt_wp_14_14

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    I too do not like the idea of buying someone else's sleeping bag.

    So if you're needing to save some money, another place to look for a good deal is www.sierratradingpost.com. They sell plenty of clearance stuff, and they play the "coupon" game. So if you're patient, you can usually find a coupon code from someplace like www.retailmenot.com where you usually find a code that will give you an extra 25%-35% off AND free shipping (you've got to get a code from some sort of reduced shipping because regular shipping charges from there are ridiculous).

    So as an example, Sierra Trading Post currently has the Kelty Ignite 20 bag (600 fill) regularly priced at $270 on sale for $180. Wait for a 25% off with free shipping code to come along and you can get it shipped to your house for $135.

    Sierra Trading Post also has the Zissou23. The list price is $190, but a 25% off coupon will get that down to $142.50
    Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 04-26-2016 at 14:55.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I too do not like the idea of buying someone else's sleeping bag.
    I bought my current bag used.
    I thought long about the purchase as the thought of a used bag sort of grossed me out too.
    The bag was practically new and the original owner agreed to allow me to return it if I did not think the condition of the bag was as described. I had already made up my mind that I was going to either wash it or send it off to be professionally cleaned prior to use.

    I received the bag...no smells and appeared new.
    Decided not to wash it and have been using it regularly for 3 years.

    The bag I bought was an WM Megalite. Due to the cost of the bag new I could not justify a new one.

    It worked out for me but not sure if I would risk it again.

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    Does anyone know when REI does their garage sales? I've tried finding out, but I always seem to miss them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneDoesNotSimplyWalk View Post
    Does anyone know when REI does their garage sales? I've tried finding out, but I always seem to miss them.
    Create an account with REI online. Pick your store location. You will get email announcements for store events. Plan to be at garage sales a minimum of 6 hours before the start time. Hope that anyone in front of you isn't saving space for a dozen of their friends.
    At best, it's a crapshoot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneDoesNotSimplyWalk View Post
    Does anyone know when REI does their garage sales? I've tried finding out, but I always seem to miss them.
    I think they had one within the last two months.
    From the mad-house I've heard about these sales, I don't think I've got any desire to bother trying to deal with being in those kind of lines for that amount of time not knowing what you might be able to get. I'd rather watch for the clearance events (most camping gear stores usually have them between Christmas and Easter) or the time that REI (and some other stores) have their 20% off events.

    Over the years I've been able to score some great bargins by simply watching for sales. A few examples:
    Kelty Gunnisson 3.1 $135 (normally >$200)
    MH Ultralamina Sleeping Bag $135 (normally >$250)
    Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 $275 (with matching ground sheet)

    One of the ways to really score a big bargin is when a store has an "extra X% off" and you find something good in the clearance section.

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