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  1. #21
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    REI built bags with more loft on top in the '70s. My granddaughter is still using the one I bought back then.
    Big Agnes makes bags that accept a pad in the bottom. No insulation on the bottom.
    Most modern bags have continuous baffles that allow the down to be shifted to the side where it is needed depending on the season. I own two of that type.
    Wayne


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  2. #22
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    I own several of the BA bags with either half or all of the underside missing down. The concept is that the pad provides the thermal barrier. They work well when attached to the pad via the integrated sleeve in the bag. If used on top of a pad with out the sleeve, you'll have cold drafts if turn over to one side.

    This system works well for my wife and daughter, both sleep like a Egyptian princess flat on their backs. I am a rotisserie sleeper and find quilts much more effective.

  3. #23

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    20f quilt, liner or summer bag, and a down jacket should be all you need and flexible enough to be comfortable
    If you just get a 0 bag or something, then you have to send it home later and get something else or carry it the whole way

  4. #24
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drapac View Post
    You mentioned the insulation being crushed and not helping (solid point). I would have to assume that the same thing would happen laying on the ground. That being the case, why don't they make any bags with less insulation on the bottom and more on the top where it would be more useful?
    Yes, this is true on the ground, too, and it's the primary reason to use a pad. Comfort is nice, but insulation is critical.

    You really are describing a quilt. A good quilt is wide enough to tuck under one's body around the edges, even side-sleeping, and there is a shaped foot sack area to keep the feet warm. There are some bags with no insulation on the bottom, I think from Big Agnes, that are intended to match with their insulated air mattresses.

    In a hammock, it can be difficult to get inside a sleeping bag, so I always just used the bag as a big quilt anyway before I got an actual quilt (which nowadays I mostly use on the ground).
    Ken B
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  5. #25

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    The main problem with a quilt is it doesn't have the Defcon 6 level of cocooning warmth when needed, i.e. zipping up and getting mummified.

    My Puma -15F bag is used 80% on all my winter trips as a quilt and it's wonderful for sleeping and tossing and turning. But when temps dip from 10F to minus 10F my "quilt" has the needed option of zipping up tight and getting cocooned. Zipping up allows you to stay much warmer in much colder temps, while unzipped you have a perfect quilt for temps between 50F down to 10F or lower.

    Some people think they don't need any bottom insulation in a down bag but you do! When you're zipped up tight and tossing around all night, the bottom becomes the side, the top becomes the side, the top becomes the bottom. When you wake up you straighten things up right.

    The worst sensation is being zipped tight in your bag and inside a zipped bivy bag and waking up suffocating at 3am and you can't find the blasted zippers to get out---because the zips have twisted around and the bag zip is behind your neck while the bivy zip is under your left ear. Panic time.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    The main problem with a quilt is it doesn't have the Defcon 6 level of cocooning warmth when needed, i.e. zipping up and getting mummified.

    My Puma -15F bag is used 80% on all my winter trips as a quilt and it's wonderful for sleeping and tossing and turning. But when temps dip from 10F to minus 10F my "quilt" has the needed option of zipping up tight and getting cocooned. Zipping up allows you to stay much warmer in much colder temps, while unzipped you have a perfect quilt for temps between 50F down to 10F or lower.

    Some people think they don't need any bottom insulation in a down bag but you do! When you're zipped up tight and tossing around all night, the bottom becomes the side, the top becomes the side, the top becomes the bottom. When you wake up you straighten things up right.

    The worst sensation is being zipped tight in your bag and inside a zipped bivy bag and waking up suffocating at 3am and you can't find the blasted zippers to get out---because the zips have twisted around and the bag zip is behind your neck while the bivy zip is under your left ear. Panic time.

    Sounds like you must be quite the toss-n-turner! I can see how that might be an issue. I guess I have been lucky in my bag/bivy sack combos in the past.

    You also mentioned being able to zip up and enclose, that is another reason I am going with the bag. Especially if I need to bed down somewhere other than a hammock for a night. I am planning on bringing an under quilt for the hammock and some kind of sleeping pad to lay inside. Probably not as good of a sleeping pad as I would get if sleeping on the ground, but something to give a little more insulation as well as an option for sleeping outside the hammock if needed.

    Overall, I don't mind adding the extra pound or two for the first couple months of the hike, in order to have all the bases covered for sleeping.

    Again, I appreciate all the replies and advice. I didn't mean to turn this into a Bag V Quilt debate/discussion

  7. #27
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    And that is why most quilts have adjustable straps that allow you to adjust the quilts volume to the conditions.

    It's good that your -15* bag suit your needs at 50*, probably not a good fit for most people.

  8. #28
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    I've been reasonably comfortable in my Never Summer down to -10 F or so, but that was wearing a fleece suit, doubled socks, balaclava, tuque and gloves, with my puffy jacket spread over the top of it, on a blue foam on top of my Therm-a-Rest pad, with a hot water bottle inside. I'm not sure, I might have even had my facemask on. I'd call that the extreme limit for that particular bag, and I'd not have planned to take it that low (temps were significantly lower than forecast). In other words, it's true to the +3 F EN rating.

    If you catch the sales, the Never Summer is a terrific bag for the price. For the relatively small amount of winter hiking that I do, I'd have a hard time justifying the price of a WM bag to myself - but I'm jealous of everyone I see using a Puma - that mountain of insulation has to be warm!

    I imagine it would perform nicely in the milder winters that the South gets. You still need to be good at winter travel. Mother Nature accepts no excuses at that time of year. If you're asking on this forum about gear for hammocking in February, I'd argue that you're not ready to start a long hike then.

    I'm not really geared up for backpacking in deep winter here Up North. If they're forecasting subzero, I try to do quick peakbags or stay home. Few people around here attempt any kind of distance in winter simply because of the burdensome pack weight. I think my traction gear might possibly outweigh my summer base weight - it surely outweighs my summer Big Three.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  9. #29
    Registered User Martzy's Avatar
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    Default Sleeping bag for February Start

    I'll be trailing you by about a week or two, hope to see you out there. Stay toasty out there!
    ~March 5th, 2017~

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martzy View Post
    I'll be trailing you by about a week or two, hope to see you out there. Stay toasty out there!
    Thanks,Good luck!

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