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  1. #1

    Default Petite/kids sleeping bag advice

    Hi everyone,

    I've started planning a thru hike that I'm aiming to do within the next three years but I love hiking either way so I'm looking for gear that is not necessarily thru hike specific.

    I'm looking for sleeping bag recommendations specifically for shorter women, although I have not ruled out quilts.

    Considerations:

    1) I'm 5"0' and petite. I've looked at kids/junior sleeping bags and I fit in many but they often don't go below 20 F. (So if anyone can find me some, that'd be awesome!)

    2) Cold sleeper so aiming for 15 F.

    3) No preference for synthetic or down. I'll happily choose a synthetic bag if cost, weight and packed size is alright.

    4) I'm not aiming for ultralight but lighter is of course better + packed size. I share my tent load + cooking utensils with my partner so I can go a little heavier on other essentials if necessary.

    Additional question: I was really drawn to Big Agnes because they have a lot of sleeping bags for petite women and a few for kids that I would fit in. But it seems you have to buy a big pad for them to be good because there's no insulation at the back?

    Can anyone vouch for these bags if they're any good (without a big pad)?

    Thank you!!

  2. #2

    Default

    Having a bag which is a little too long for you is preferable to having one which is a little too short. You can get a custom length bag made, but it's at the top end of the price spread.

    Yes, you need the big pad. You need a pad regardless.

    The "only insulation on the top" BA bags are based on the fact that crushed insulation under you isn't doing much good. An insulating sleeping mat is required no matter what, so the idea is to replace the bottom insulation in the bag with the insulation provided by the mat. This results in some weight reduction.

    The only issue I can think of with this system is the mat will keep the bottom of the bag stretched out to what ever it's width is. And that will likely leave a significant air gap along your sides. The mat would also make it harder to "snuggle" the bag around you. See what reviewers have to say about the BA system.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  3. #3
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Default

    Western Mountaineering.
    Short size. Up to 5-6 max.
    No side block baffle. Down can be shifted to top or bottom as temperatures dictate. Conservative temperature ratings. Match with an R-5 or warmer pad.
    20 degrees Fahrenheit
    Ultralight - Slim fit.
    Alpinlite - Wide fit
    10 degrees Fahrenheit
    Versalite - In between Ultralite and Alpinlite fit. Perfect in my opinion.
    Good luck.
    Wayne

  4. #4

    Default

    I'm looking for a bag that's preferably not for people over 5"6 because it would be too big and thus not as warm anyway. I'd have to stuff the bottom and possibly sides. Plus it's unnecessary extra weight for something that doesn't even insulate me well.

    I'm aware that you need a pad either way with bags but I don't intend to buy the BA pads that they recommend. I'm looking at something more of the lines of the Thermarest Zpad light or Karrimor zpad. So I'm not sure if would keep me warm with these.

    I also read that the ratings aren't accurate.

    I like Western Mountaineering, but they are a bit pricey.

    Might have to bite the bullet and fork out for one .. I'm still hoping to find a mid range one. Or one designed for kids. Like I said, BA has kids sizes would fit me well but not cold enough.

    Thanks anyway.

  5. #5
    illabelle's Avatar
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    I have a Big Agnes bag without insulation on the bottom. I do not use the sleeve for the pad.
    Two issues with it: As mentioned above, the pad stretches the fabric out which creates a substantial air space along the sides of my body and prevents the insulation from settling against me to keep me warm.
    Second, if a pad is inserted in the sleeve, the two are functionally bonded. So if I want to sit up for a moment, I have a flexible inflated wide board attached to my back. Imagine it's the middle of the night, and I want a drink of water. Either I unzip to my waist to separate myself from the board, or I sit up board and all.
    So I lay my bag on top of the pad same as other types. When I turn over in the night (often) I have to be careful to keep the uninsulated part under me. I would not buy this style of sleeping bag again.

  6. #6
    Leonidas
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    Default

    Might want to reconsider the z lite SOL, insulation is only 2.6R. Unless you are planning on only using in warmer temps, the pad will not be adequate. As stated by Vencha, a R5+ pad will probably be the better bet especially for a cold sleeper.

    A Thermarest NeoAir XTherm is only ~5oz heavier than the Zlite SOL(Both in a regular) the XTherm is 5.7R.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  7. #7
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindfulNomad View Post
    I'm looking for a bag that's preferably not for people over 5"6 because it would be too big and thus not as warm anyway. I'd have to stuff the bottom and possibly sides. Plus it's unnecessary extra weight for something that doesn't even insulate me well.

    I'm aware that you need a pad either way with bags but I don't intend to buy the BA pads that they recommend. I'm looking at something more of the lines of the Thermarest Zpad light or Karrimor zpad. So I'm not sure if would keep me warm with these.

    I also read that the ratings aren't accurate.

    I like Western Mountaineering, but they are a bit pricey.

    Might have to bite the bullet and fork out for one .. I'm still hoping to find a mid range one. Or one designed for kids. Like I said, BA has kids sizes would fit me well but not cold enough.

    Thanks anyway.
    In my opinion, I own two WM bags, the Western Mountaineering bags are the most economical sleeping bags you can buy. You only buy it once. Ask Tipi Walter how many nights he has spent in his WM Puma.
    WM makes bags for folks 5-6 and shorter. The 3 bags in my first post are for people up to 5-6. Made in the USA too.
    Good luck shopping.
    Wayne

  8. #8
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    Being a little guy, I get the whole short thing. Check out Sierra Trading. They have a Marmot Jr. Sorcerer. Several reviews by gals. Less than 2 1/2 lbs.

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