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  1. #1
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    Default Sleeping Bag Recommendations

    Hey all, sorry if it's been asked already but I am prepping for my 2018 AT Thru Hike starting in March. I am in looking to update my sleeping bag and in need of a new one. I am looking for something that is lightweight and will keep me warm. Even though I am a fan of mummy bags I am open to all options. Hope you can share various bags, companies, and other options that works great on the trail. Thanks

  2. #2

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    Quality bag that will last a long time: Western Mountaineering

    Decent bag at an affordable price: REI Igneo or the new Magma bag

  3. #3
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Yes. Asked and answered a zillion times. The answers are nearly always the same. The quilt people will be along shortly to try to change your mind.
    All sleeping bags are not created equal. There are form fitting models for the pencil slim and wide body jumbo jet models for the wide body or side sleepers.
    There bags with conservative, accurate or laughable temperature ratings. Only you can determine if the temperature rating is accurate for you.
    The R rating of your sleeping pad figures into the overall bag+pad comfort quotient. So, buy a bag in the fall through early spring and test it outside at or below the temperature rating of the bag. Replace and try again if needed. You already missed this spring testing season. If you live in Florida or along the Gulf Coast you can't test the bag under AT conditions. You'll have to travel.
    Good luck.
    Wayne



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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soumodeler View Post
    Quality bag that will last a long time: Western Mountaineering

    Decent bag at an affordable price: REI Igneo or the new Magma bag
    All you need to know.
    Wayne


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    Beginning or end of March? Makes a big difference. Beginning of March can still be full on winter. Like you might want a zero degree bag some nights. End of March, you're probably good with an honestly rated 20 bag like a Western Mountaineering Alpinlite or similar, but you could still see really cold nights (teens and lower) in GSMNP in early April. Wear everything you have or bail to town if weather forces you to.

    Used to be thru-hikers started a NOBO on or after April 15 with a 20 bag because of the late winter conditions at higher elevations in the southern Appalachians. They "walked with spring" through GSMNP and southern VA, and hiked into autumn in New England, finishing late September/early October. Now they hike through late winter in the south (dealing with winter storms and cold) and finish before autumn in New England (dealing with summer crowds in the Whites and bugs), missing the best of both seasons in their respective areas. Puzzling. But just an observation. HYOH.

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Good catch. Without the right information it's hard to make the right choices.
    Wayne


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    Mummy bags are very efficient, with lower weights and volumes than a roomier option. If your sleeping style fits the contours and tapers, then mummy is the way to go.

    WM is a huge favorite here and has a passionate following, for many good reasons. However there are other high end manufacturers that should be considered, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear and Feathered Friends come to mind. SteepandCheap.com occasionally has Marmot and MH at discounts approaching 50%. They just featured some about a month or so ago.

    BTW, I am one of the quilt users, mummys constrict my style. Quilts require a bit more skill to use effectively and aren't for everyone.

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    Ok, here is more information. I am 30/M/5'5"/ from NJ and like to sleep at any position (back, sides, stomach). Yea, I missed the winter/spring to test out the new bag.

    I attempted my NOBO thru hike and started on April 8th 2016 but failed due to injury, made it a quarter of the way. The bag that I used I've had for many years and lost it's R rating, a bit heavy, and bulky when in it's stuff sack. For the first week and half to two weeks I was cold/shivering at night but as the nights got warmer I was fine. With buying a new tent and pack, I used the old bag to save money. Now with planning to reattempt I have decided to go ahead with a new sleeping bag.

    I haven't decided on the exact date yet for my reattempt start but I am thinking mid-March? Have to relook at the bubbles, I like the social aspect. Also I know they have bags made out of down and synthetic. Also some bags have bottom one fill and the top the other fill. Whats the best to go for?

    Hope this information helps.

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    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Down is the warmest, lightest option, but not the cheapest. I'm a rotisseie sleeper and I prefer a quilt because the mummy bags I tried left me feeling claustaphobic...unless its deep Winter, then I use an Eddie Bauer -30 bag.

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    +1 on Western Mountaineering. They are expensive, but worth it. I used a semi-rectangular Sycamore (+25F) for my thru hike beginning March 17th and it was perfect for me. It had room to move around and it fully unzipped to become a quilt in warmer weather. It's a good choice if you get claustrophobic with mummies.

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    I also have the Sycamore. I have had mine down to about 20* and been very comfortable (dressed appropriately in 150wt woolies, etc.) and could probably stretch it a little further if I wore more. As Bansko said, it can be opened up like a blanket, or used as a quilt in warmer weather, but it also gives me room inside to keep my clothes, gas canister, electronics, etc. when it's colder. Excellent bag.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

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    Give Montbell a look. The Super Stretch Down Hugger. Light, warm, and cozy but not cheap. I couldn't be happier with mine. You could expect to pay around $300, but they have seasonal sales. Guaranteed by company.
    Montbell.com

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    Quilt person here - why buy a sleeping bag when the part that you sleep on basically does nothing for you? I recommend that you look Enlightened Equipment. 950 fill isn't cheap but it's amazingly light and packs well.

  14. #14

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    For a through hike, I would recommend you splurge for Western Mountaineering bags. The quality will pay off in the long run. For me, I like a wider bag, the WM Alpinlite. You will roast in this bag in the summer, however, so swap out for the WM Caribou. I own both of these bags and they are fantastic!


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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayne View Post
    Quilt person here - why buy a sleeping bag when the part that you sleep on basically does nothing for you? I recommend that you look Enlightened Equipment. 950 fill isn't cheap but it's amazingly light and packs well.
    950 fill down is a hoax.
    I buy sleeping bags for those times when I need all of the parts of a proper sleeping bag.
    Wayne


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayne View Post
    Quilt person here - why buy a sleeping bag when the part that you sleep on basically does nothing for you?
    Answer:

    It's not because I'm opposed to new (and lighter) gear ideas; no, it's because I turn in my sleep. A quilt insulates best when both edges are tucked under you. Every time you rotate you drag the quilt with you, exposing the opening to the cold night and venting out all the air your body has warmed. The abrupt change in temperature forces you awake until you tuck both ends under you again in your new position. I tend to sleep on my side, but alternate between left and right. A quilt in low temperatures would interrupt my rest repeatedly, making for a miserable sleeping experience. When a mummy bag turns with me there's no sleep-disturbing chill.

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    What degree would you'll recommend for a give or take mid March start at Springer? I did some browsing and here are some bags that I saw.
    Western Mountaineering ~ 20F ~ 1lb 12oz
    Western Mountaineering ~ 25F ~ 1lb 11oz
    Marmot Sawtooth 15 ~ 15F ~ 2lb 11oz
    North Face Hyper Cat ~ 20F ~ 1lb 14oz
    Big Agnes Boot Jack ~ 24F ~ lb 6oz

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownEaster View Post
    Answer:

    It's not because I'm opposed to new (and lighter) gear ideas; no, it's because I turn in my sleep. A quilt insulates best when both edges are tucked under you. Every time you rotate you drag the quilt with you, exposing the opening to the cold night and venting out all the air your body has warmed. The abrupt change in temperature forces you awake until you tuck both ends under you again in your new position. I tend to sleep on my side, but alternate between left and right. A quilt in low temperatures would interrupt my rest repeatedly, making for a miserable sleeping experience. When a mummy bag turns with me there's no sleep-disturbing chill.
    Say what? How do you sleep with a blanket at home? Do you constantly need to tuck it under you to stay warm? Im a rotiserie sleeper and I've never had the issue you speak of with a quilt. I rotate underneath the quilt.

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    I agree with egilbe in that I can turn under my quilt with no problem and I don't tuck it in, whether in my hammock or when I have to go to ground. I quit using sleeping bags several years ago.
    Blackheart

  20. #20
    Registered User DownEaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Say what? How do you sleep with a blanket at home? Do you constantly need to tuck it under you to stay warm? Im a rotiserie sleeper and I've never had the issue you speak of with a quilt. I rotate underneath the quilt.
    I grab the covers in my sleep, so I turn them with me. At home I've got king-sized top sheets and blankets that are tucked far under the mattress, so (usually) they resist my unconscious efforts to wrap them around me. And even when I do pull the bedding loose, they're long on both sides so I rarely get uncovered.

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