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  1. #21
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Decibel View Post
    Look into Western Mountaineering sleeping bags. Pricey but you will not regret it.
    Like all bags, pay attention to the inside dimensions of WM bags.
    If you are comfortable in the Kelty bag all zipped up and the hood drawn up around your head then a similar internal sized WM bag should work.
    Also look at the top loft of various bags. In my experience, a bag with 3 of down over your body plus the appropriate sleeping system accessories will be fine easily into the teens and single digits for a fairly warm sleeper like me.
    Until you can figure out what you need to sleep well in the teens or below you really dont know what bag is going to work for you. It wont be a quilt in March.
    Good luck!
    Wayne

  2. #22
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    I sleep cold too and haven't figured out how to stay toasty warm into the 40s either. I'm merely "OK" down to 40F in a 20F bag, but far from toasty (more like neutral to cool-ish), and being toasty is how I get the most sound sleep. I'd like to gradually extend my comfort range down to 30F at least.

    I'm looking into more pad insulation (beyond RR solar) and perhaps most importantly warmer PJs (like fleece; I had been wearing Duofolds, thinner and tighter). My pad strategy is very up in the air (so to speak) since I hate crinkly noisy pads and don't trust inflatables in winter (when failure has the greatest cost) anyway. First step will be to switch to warmer PJs. Maybe add a 2nd, thin, CCF to the RR Solar.

    At some point, even more down (like a 0F bag) gets too bulky unless you pony up for the high fill power stuff. I'd prefer not to have to get high fill power, since I live in the very humid southeast, but I don't know how I'd get a warm enough yet packable bag otherwise.
    Last edited by Time Zone; 01-03-2019 at 22:08.

  3. #23
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    I never sleep well/warm the first night or two. Anxiety or whatever plays a part. Give it a few nights and hike harder each day. You'll sleep.

  4. #24

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    For starters, the fact that you even have midweight baselayers, much less R1 anything, along at those temps does point to indeed running very cold(so where was your insulated jacket?).

    Google says your bag has a lower limit rating of 19, but a comfort rating of 30, and you already know it isn't going to work for you, even at that. You're obviously going to need something rated well below actual temps. How much so you'll have to discover yourself, but it sounds like you might be in the same boat with The Old Chief.
    The good news is that you can get a genuine 0 degree bag with 800-850 fill for the same weight as that Kelty. The bad news is that it's likely going to cost $500+ unless you catch a good sale. At least anything from a brand I'd feel comfortable buying from. Of all your gear, the sleep system is the last thing to skimp on, though.

  5. #25
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    Traditionally, a TRUE 20F bag was a good compromise for a thru-hike using just one bag - back when the traditional start date was April 15, not March 15. Allowing 2 weeks +/- to Fontana Dam, there's a big difference in weather between April 1 and May 1, especially at higher elevations in GSMNP. Average lows are probably around 30F around Apr 1 in the higher mountains, but the deviations from average can be +/- 20F. Add in cold, tired, possibly wet, etc., and a 20F bag is really marginal for a March start.

  6. #26
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    I use quilts, but hang a hammock instead of using a tent. Just remember its the same issue with quilts, but most quilt makers are cottage, not commercial, and most are of WM or FF quality but of lower price. Some recommendations:

    HammockGear.com (Econ Burrow is just of slightly heavier material, but still very light considering, probably best value)
    LocoLibreGear.com
    EnlightenedEquipment.com
    UGQoutdoor.com
    Arrowhead-Equipment.com (makes good syn quilts)
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattSin97 View Post
    I used a Klymit Insulated Static V LITE rated with an R-value of 4.4.

    https://www.amazon.com/Klymit-Insula...c+V+LITE&psc=1
    Ok, but even so I would try a different air mat such as a TR Xtherm. OR add a 1/2" closed-cell foam mat to your current Klymit air mat.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  8. #28
    Registered User ant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattSin97 View Post
    Thanks, any recommendations on quilts?
    Honestly I would not recommend a quilt for you right now. They require a little experience to use, some getting used to and if you move a lot, don't wear the right headwear, etc. it's easy to get cold/lose heat.

    There are a plethora of great makers. Feel free to try em out, but familiarize yourself with their use. If you did go that route, I'd suggest a 10 degree and if you end up finding yourself too hot, sell it and get a good 20 degree. Good gear holds it's value very well.

  9. #29

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    I had the same issue with a Cosmic Down 20. It was simply not as warm as it should have been. I switched to a REI Igneo 19, which has the same comfort rating, and was way warmer. Same pad, same tent, etc.

    One thing I did not realize is the Kelty is not 100% down, it is 16% polyester fill according to REI. I had a lot of problems getting the fill on the Kelty to spread out evenly. That poly fill may have something to do with it and the temp issues I experienced.

    I now have several Western Mountaineering bags, and the difference is amazing. Quality gear really shows - my WM Alpinlite (20*) has 21 ounces of fill compared to the REI Igneo (19*) at 16.7 ounces. From everything I have heard, WM bags can last decades with proper care, so I consider these a long term investment.

  10. #30

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    On the quilt subject: If you do try a quilt for low temps, a good pad attachment system, and enough width to completely encircle you aid in eliminating drafts. Some people are of the opinion that a quilt gives up warmth relative to a bag of equal loft, etc. That may be true due to inadequate sizing and setup, or just inferior design, but it doesn't have to be.
    There's going to be some fiddle factor with a quilt, and you'll probably want a separate down hood to go with it. Quilts attached to the pad really shine for active sleepers who twist around a lot plus end up breathing into their bag since those same "compromises" become advantages. That's one of the main reasons I decided to try quilts, and they worked out great for me. Now that I've become more of a back sleeper, it doesn't make that much difference as far as comfort, but still saves a little weight.

  11. #31
    Registered User ant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    On the quilt subject: If you do try a quilt for low temps, a good pad attachment system, and enough width to completely encircle you aid in eliminating drafts. Some people are of the opinion that a quilt gives up warmth relative to a bag of equal loft, etc. That may be true due to inadequate sizing and setup, or just inferior design, but it doesn't have to be.
    There's going to be some fiddle factor with a quilt, and you'll probably want a separate down hood to go with it. Quilts attached to the pad really shine for active sleepers who twist around a lot plus end up breathing into their bag since those same "compromises" become advantages. That's one of the main reasons I decided to try quilts, and they worked out great for me. Now that I've become more of a back sleeper, it doesn't make that much difference as far as comfort, but still saves a little weight.
    ^____ All of this

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    For starters, the fact that you even have midweight baselayers, much less R1 anything, along at those temps does point to indeed running very cold(so where was your insulated jacket?).

    Google says your bag has a lower limit rating of 19, but a comfort rating of 30, and you already know it isn't going to work for you, even at that. You're obviously going to need something rated well below actual temps. How much so you'll have to discover yourself, but it sounds like you might be in the same boat with The Old Chief.
    The good news is that you can get a genuine 0 degree bag with 800-850 fill for the same weight as that Kelty. The bad news is that it's likely going to cost $500+ unless you catch a good sale. At least anything from a brand I'd feel comfortable buying from. Of all your gear, the sleep system is the last thing to skimp on, though.
    I found the REI MAGMA 10 on sale which is rated as a 10 degree bag. It's 850 fill and just under 2 pounds at around $250. It seems like a good deal and the reviews seems pretty positive so I have that in my sights right now. I have also been looking at the quilts, but like others have said, there seems to be a learning curve to using them with some aspects, and since it's close to my start date I would need to get a ready to ship one instead of a custom. I'm still on the fence, but I'm a little weary of trying them out, especially because I'm already having problems staying warm.

  13. #33
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    WM bags look awesome, but they are a little out of my price range at the moment. I'm sure halfway thru my hike I will have wished I spent the money, I hear nothing but good things about WM.

  14. #34
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    For times where you might be just a little cold, you might want to look into adding layers on TOP of your sleeping bag.

    An early spring weekend trip last year turned unexpectedly cold. I expected temps in the mid 40's and took my Mountain Hardware 32 bag.
    It got uncomfortably cold in the middle of the night as the actual temps dipped into the mid 30's.

    I carry a puffy jacket for use in camp to stay warm, but would never consider wearing it while sleeping (my body would just compress the down leaving almost nothing for insulation).

    I draped the puffy OVER my sleeping bag, and it added just the right amount of warmth that I was able to sleep fine the rest of the night.

  15. #35
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    Try 2 pads . I get the money thing , if I slept cold I would go bag not quilt. But once cry once. Western mountain, feathered friends. If you don’t sleep well , you are in trouble.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattSin97 View Post
    I found the REI MAGMA 10 on sale which is rated as a 10 degree bag. It's 850 fill and just under 2 pounds at around $250. It seems like a good deal and the reviews seems pretty positive so I have that in my sights right now.
    I looked at it; they just show the long 6'6" version available. Reviews don't look that positive to me for a cold sleeper. But..how tall are you? If you're under 6' and slim, look at the women's long version's specs and reviews, as that's a better bag for a cold sleeper(if it'll fit you).
    6" shorter bag with 695g/24.5oz of fill vs 540g/19oz.
    Lower limit 3F vs 10F
    Comfort rating 17F vs 22F
    It does have 2" less girth at the shoulders(do keep in mind that the men's version is slim, too) and weigh 6oz more, but that's practically all down.
    And check your private messages. Gonna send you a coupon code in case you buy from REI...

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattSin97 View Post
    I found the REI MAGMA 10 on sale which is rated as a 10 degree bag. It's 850 fill and just under 2 pounds at around $250. It seems like a good deal and the reviews seems pretty positive so I have that in my sights right now. I have also been looking at the quilts, but like others have said, there seems to be a learning curve to using them with some aspects, and since it's close to my start date I would need to get a ready to ship one instead of a custom. I'm still on the fence, but I'm a little weary of trying them out, especially because I'm already having problems staying warm.
    Outdoor Gear Lab reviewed that bag and it's worth checking it out. IIRC they viewed the temperature rating as quite optimistic.

    One of the reasons for this, I believe, is that the bag is designed so that it's very lightly insulated on the backside. The down is almost all on the topside, so it's designed for back sleepers. The bag itself is pretty narrow, and as such, it's likely to roll with you if you're a side sleeper, exposing that under-insulated backside. You mentioned quilts. If you're a back sleeper, this could be a great alternative to a quilt, since you won't have to worry as much about drafts - the bag is already wrapped around you. No sleeping on straps, cords, or buckles either.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    Outdoor Gear Lab reviewed that bag and it's worth checking it out. IIRC they viewed the temperature rating as quite optimistic.

    One of the reasons for this, I believe, is that the bag is designed so that it's very lightly insulated on the backside. The down is almost all on the topside, so it's designed for back sleepers. The bag itself is pretty narrow, and as such, it's likely to roll with you if you're a side sleeper, exposing that under-insulated backside. You mentioned quilts. If you're a back sleeper, this could be a great alternative to a quilt, since you won't have to worry as much about drafts - the bag is already wrapped around you. No sleeping on straps, cords, or buckles either.
    I saw the review on out gear lab as well, but I tried not to be too let down by its warmth rating there considering they were reviewing it under winter bags, and I will will be using it as a 3- season with occcasional dips into winter temps. The bag is a narrow bag, which can be considered constricting, but I consider a greater warmth factor.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    For times where you might be just a little cold, you might want to look into adding layers on TOP of your sleeping bag.

    An early spring weekend trip last year turned unexpectedly cold. I expected temps in the mid 40's and took my Mountain Hardware 32 bag.
    It got uncomfortably cold in the middle of the night as the actual temps dipped into the mid 30's.

    I carry a puffy jacket for use in camp to stay warm, but would never consider wearing it while sleeping (my body would just compress the down leaving almost nothing for insulation).

    I draped the puffy OVER my sleeping bag, and it added just the right amount of warmth that I was able to sleep fine the rest of the night.
    Very interesting, I've never considered draping my puffy over the bag, but it makes sense. I will definitely be trying it out!

  20. #40

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    I think you need to bite the bullet and get a 0 bag. It's good to have serious overkill early on. When you've been hiking in 35 degree rain all day, you want a really warm bag.

    Save the Cosmic for when it warms up in Virginia. Depending on when you get to Maine, you might want the 0 bag back.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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