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  1. #61
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    ... and not giving your body sufficient nights to adjust to your surroundings.
    To the person who defined Western Mountaineering sleeping bags as tight fitting: Look carefully at the inner dimensions on their web site. I count 4 bags with a 59” shoulder girth. A fraction of the total offerings.
    As I can't find another quote regarding the fit of WM bags, I assume you mean my reference to WM bags being "fitted". I feel you misunderstood my point, and as a result, misquoted me, though "tight-fitting" could be misconstrued as being synonymous with "fitted". As Zalman pointed out regarding the shape of WM bags, a "fitted" shirt starts out with similar shoulder dimensions and tapers through the torso. I wasn't speaking of shoulder girth only and was trying to make a point about the amount of material used, which WM uses less than the Kelty does due to the more fitted construction of their mummy bags. If you will actually look at all the specs, you'll see that WM doesn't have one regular size mummy bag with a hip girth as wide as 58", as is listed for the Kelty Cosmic 20.
    "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

  2. #62

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    Whatever you settle on for a bag or quilt, don't discount the amount of heat you can get out of a 1 liter Nalgene bottle full of nearly boiling water placed in a thick wool sock Or, one of those oxygen activated hand/foot warmers.

    If I'm cold when I get in my hammock, even with my winter quilts, it can take forever for my micro environment to warm up enough to be comfortable. If I bring a Nalgene full of nearly boiling water inside a sock and place it next to my femoral arteries, I'm asleep within minutes and it's surprising how long that thing puts out heat, even on those long winter nights. I know, a Nalgene is heavy and boiling a liter of water uses up precious fuel (unless you use a campfire to heat the H2O) but, it works for me.

    If I was starting on a thruhike in March, I'd plan to have a sleep system that would keep me comfortable down to the lower expected temperatures and a Nalgene or a few chemical hand/foot warmers for those unexpected lowest temperatures.

  3. #63

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    I agree with you on the Hot Hands solution---I never thought I'd go that route but last winter I started carrying hot hands packets and they work. (For us old geezers). On my upcoming planned January trip I'll be carrying 5 packets (10 pouches) of the things. I'm old and weak.

    Regarding the hot water bottle---this last resort indicates your sleeping system is not right for the conditions you're facing. The bag is too light and the sleeping pads could be inadequate.

    The last thing I want in my goose down sleeping bag is a container of water. Think about it---containers leak, even Nalgenes. There's always a chance tossing and turning could loosen the lid. And a wet down bag means the trip is either over or you'll be dead soon. I keep Water and Down as far apart as possible---but that's just me.

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by orthofingers View Post
    Whatever you settle on for a bag or quilt, don't discount the amount of heat you can get out of a 1 liter Nalgene bottle full of nearly boiling water placed in a thick wool sock Or, one of those oxygen activated hand/foot warmers.

    If I'm cold when I get in my hammock, even with my winter quilts, it can take forever for my micro environment to warm up enough to be comfortable. If I bring a Nalgene full of nearly boiling water inside a sock and place it next to my femoral arteries, I'm asleep within minutes and it's surprising how long that thing puts out heat, even on those long winter nights. I know, a Nalgene is heavy and boiling a liter of water uses up precious fuel (unless you use a campfire to heat the H2O) but, it works for me.

    If I was starting on a thruhike in March, I'd plan to have a sleep system that would keep me comfortable down to the lower expected temperatures and a Nalgene or a few chemical hand/foot warmers for those unexpected lowest temperatures.
    look into 40below bottles for this - way better than nalgene and they make great kozies for them...

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by D2maine View Post
    look into 40below bottles for this - way better than nalgene and they make great kozies for them...
    Those 40 Below bottles---made by Hunersdorf---are great if you love the strong stink of plastic in your drinking water. I had one for a year and had to ditch it due to the foul chemical smell. Beware.

    P1000509-L.jpg
    My Hundersorf bottle on a trip in 2015.

    But I did figure out a neato way to add a cord loop to the thing---
    TRIP 170 002-L.jpg

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Those 40 Below bottles---made by Hunersdorf---are great if you love the strong stink of plastic in your drinking water. I had one for a year and had to ditch it due to the foul chemical smell. Beware.

    P1000509-L.jpg
    My Hundersorf bottle on a trip in 2015.

    But I did figure out a neato way to add a cord loop to the thing---
    TRIP 170 002-L.jpg
    washed mine a few times, no issue after that...weird yours did that..

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by D2maine View Post
    washed mine a few times, no issue after that...weird yours did that..
    It was so strong I couldn't stand it. "Very funky plastic smell" in this review about says it all---

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-r...SIN=B001OPJI44

    Thing is, after soaking the bottle in baking soda solution . . . and then vinegar . . . it still stank.

  8. #68
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    I sleep cold too. I just bit it last year and got a 0 WM down bag. It was a lifetime investment. But I figure that if I get hot, there are ways of cooling off easily enough. Just fluff it and let some air in to cool off, or unzip and throw a leg out, etc. But if you are cold... you are just cold and miserable and being cold makes me have to go to the bathroom, so now I'm up and outside and freezing even more... it's just not worth it to me. WM is a one and done solution, but it can't be done cheaply. Totally worth it in my opinion.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lnj View Post
    I sleep cold too. I just bit it last year and got a 0 WM down bag. It was a lifetime investment. But I figure that if I get hot, there are ways of cooling off easily enough. Just fluff it and let some air in to cool off, or unzip and throw a leg out, etc. But if you are cold... you are just cold and miserable and being cold makes me have to go to the bathroom, so now I'm up and outside and freezing even more... it's just not worth it to me. WM is a one and done solution, but it can't be done cheaply. Totally worth it in my opinion.
    It's fun to see other backpackers learning the lesson I discovered back in 1980---get the best down bag you can find and scrimp on everything else. As you say, IT IS a lifetime investment---but it's more than that---it's the ticket price for a life outdoors in the winter mountains of North Carolina or Virginia or wherever you find yourself.

    My first bag was a -10F North Face called the Ibex---and it lasted me 20 years of living outdoors on a permanent basis. Up until 2001---when I upgraded to a 0F rated Marmot Couloir. I remember fondly when I had to come up with the $320 to afford that NF bag---but without it I could not have lived outdoors in the NC winters. I think I have a pic of the beast when it was nearly new as I hitchhiked to Greensboro with my pack in 1982 and showed it off to my parents. (My pack is behind me).

    018_18_00-XLfff.jpg

    Getting hot in a zipped up bag is easily solved---unzip the thing and use it like a blanket. I used my North Face winter bag all year long and for all 4 seasons---just keep it off to the side.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lnj View Post
    I sleep cold too. I just bit it last year and got a 0 WM down bag. It was a lifetime investment. But I figure that if I get hot, there are ways of cooling off easily enough. Just fluff it and let some air in to cool off, or unzip and throw a leg out, etc. But if you are cold... you are just cold and miserable and being cold makes me have to go to the bathroom, so now I'm up and outside and freezing even more... it's just not worth it to me. WM is a one and done solution, but it can't be done cheaply. Totally worth it in my opinion.
    I so agree! I finally bit the financial bullet and bought a WM Puma (-20)!. My Kelty Cosmic Down 20 is now my spring - fall bag.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  11. #71
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    Just did some backyard testing, and found that wearing fleece PJs instead of thin long underwear makes a huge difference for me. A second ridgerest CCF pad may have helped too, but I've done that before and not noticed much difference (in warmth ... or cushion, ha ha). A tale of two nights:

    40F overnight low. 1P tent (hybrid single/double wall), RR Solar (R 3.5), synthetic mummy EN comfort = 14F, Duofold thermals (poly inner, poly/merino outer). Was just adequate/cool ... not cold, but not warm enough to sleep soundly.

    27F overnight low. Same tent, same bag. Added RR Classic (R 2.6) under RR Solar. Wore fleece PJ pants, fleece 1/4 zip pullover, instead of duofolds. Was TOASTY and slept soundly.

    If I had a WM or FF bag of the SAME rating instead, could I have been toasty with just the duofolds? Possibly. But would that be because they rate conservatively? If not, what would it be? I don't doubt such a bag would be smaller and lighter for a given temperature rating. But if you are new to winter camping and aren't sure it's for you, what's the problem if you aren't ready to buy the very best bag possible? If your kid wants to learn guitar, do you buy them a Martin or Gibson right away? What's wrong with starting on a Yamaha?

    Those interested in the relative effects of pad thickness and clothing worn on the insulation value of a sleep system (bag, pad, clothing) may enjoy reading the paper given by KSU's McCullough, Issues Concerning the EN 13537 Sleeping Bag Standard (presented 6/22/09). Interesting quote:

    The data show that the insulation of the system components is not additive.

  12. #72
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    Just did some backyard testing, and found that wearing fleece PJs instead of thin long underwear makes a huge difference for me. A second ridgerest CCF pad may have helped too, but I've done that before and not noticed much difference (in warmth ... or cushion, ha ha). A tale of two nights:

    40F overnight low. 1P tent (hybrid single/double wall), RR Solar (R 3.5), synthetic mummy EN comfort = 14F, Duofold thermals (poly inner, poly/merino outer). Was just adequate/cool ... not cold, but not warm enough to sleep soundly.

    27F overnight low. Same tent, same bag. Added RR Classic (R 2.6) under RR Solar. Wore fleece PJ pants, fleece 1/4 zip pullover, instead of duofolds. Was TOASTY and slept soundly.

    If I had a WM or FF bag of the SAME rating instead, could I have been toasty with just the duofolds? Possibly. But would that be because they rate conservatively? If not, what would it be? I don't doubt such a bag would be smaller and lighter for a given temperature rating. But if you are new to winter camping and aren't sure it's for you, what's the problem if you aren't ready to buy the very best bag possible? If your kid wants to learn guitar, do you buy them a Martin or Gibson right away? What's wrong with starting on a Yamaha?

    Those interested in the relative effects of pad thickness and clothing worn on the insulation value of a sleep system (bag, pad, clothing) may enjoy reading the paper given by KSU's McCullough, Issues Concerning the EN 13537 Sleeping Bag Standard (presented 6/22/09). Interesting quote:
    Nothing wrong with starting with the Kelty. As I've tried to explain, its capable, but it needs help. There are several things that can be done to increase your body heat which will get the down in the Kelty to fully loft. Agreed with the more stout sleeping layer, both notable for lack of layers. If you're hiking and want to take less weight/bulk, then you simply find ways to create the heat you need to get the insulation to take you through the night. As many have said, the pad is integral because the bag doesn't insulate you on the bottom. Like many who've slept in a hammock without bottom insulation, it can get cold quick. I do think some components can be additive, but to what degree they are depends.
    "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

  13. #73

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    The data show that the insulation of the system components is not additive.


    Context being everything, we don't know the basis for this conclusion.

    However, as a stand-alone, blanket (haha) statement it is IME not correct: I have stacked a 50deg down summer quilt and a 40deg CS Apex quilt and slept warm at 14F.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    Context being everything, we don't know the basis for this conclusion.

    However, as a stand-alone, blanket (haha) statement it is IME not correct: I have stacked a 50deg down summer quilt and a 40deg CS Apex quilt and slept warm at 14F.
    The author meant additive in a literal sense, as opposed to multiplicative, etc.
    Here's greater context:
    The insulation of the bag system can vary greatly depending upon which auxiliary products are used. To illustrate this point, a recent study was conducted where levels of clothing insulation, mummy bag insulation, and pad thickness/insulation were systematically varied to determine the effect on system insulation (McCullough, Zuo, & Huang, 2009). Data for synthetic bags are shown in Table 1 and data for down bags in Table 2. The data show that the insulation of the system components is not additive. In other words, a person cannot add clothing insulation and pad insulation to the insulation value of a bag measured according to Option #1 to determine the total insulation value of the system. Although linear and quadratic equations can be used to estimate the impact that clothing and pads can make on a bag system (McCullough, Zuo, & Huang, 2009), the individual insulation values cannot be added up with accuracy. Therefore, the insulation values for a sleeping bag system are more difficult to use in product development than data measured for the bag alone.
    tl;dr: "It's complicated" (nod to Hail Caesar)

    Your example is an interesting one. There's a formula that Enlightened Equipment appears to use for stacking quilts that adds the insulative value of the component quilts (vs. 70F baseline) to get at total insulative value. They would look at your down summer quilt as being worth 20 degrees of insulation, and your apex as being worth 30, for a total (additive) value of 50, which you subtract from 70 and get 20F. That you were warm at 14F would be a bit unexpected, by EE's method.

    IDK about quilts in terms of the McCullough et al study, but that study basically found that the end result for sleeping bags is not the simple sum of the component parts - implying there's an interaction effect between bag warmth, bag type (down/synth), type of bedclothing (none, long underwear, or fleece) and pad thickness (0-2.5", by 0.5" increments). A quick glance at the data seems to indicate this effect can be positive or negative - the total insulative value may be more or less than the component parts, depending on the particulars.

    This might relate to whether stacking sleeping pads produces additive r-values. Building insulation might be additive, but pads maybe not. Suppose you had four R=1.3 pads (e.g., klymit static v2) ... does anyone really think it would result in an R=5.2 level insulation if you stacked them and used them in winter? I don't. And the data suggests that the insulative value of going from a 1" self inflating pad to 2" self inflating pad is not double. Most of the insulating advantage is in that first inch of thickness, according to that study, anyway.

    So it's complicated. One can read up and reason away, but our models of how all this works still reflect only a small fraction of the complexity of real-world situations. Right now, at best they can give us clues as to what some of the main drivers are. For me, it has been helpful to learn what a boost in comfort I get from fleece PJs versus regular long underwear. They found in the study that in terms of CLO value, fleece was 1.13, long underwear, 0.43. That's 2.6x as great. So that was a clue that I put to work in my system, and it really helped.
    Last edited by Time Zone; 01-11-2019 at 11:05.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    As many have said, the pad is integral because the bag doesn't insulate you on the bottom. Like many who've slept in a hammock without bottom insulation, it can get cold quick.
    Yeah, it shocked me that hammocks needed bottom insulation below 70F ... until I experienced it!

    In this case, there were (in the main) 3 independent variables moving. But it stands to reason that only 2 mattered - I was warmer at a colder temperature, so clearly the change in sleepwear and adding a 2nd pad were the key factors in improving warmth (lower temp could not have helped). What is left uncertain is how much the 2nd pad helped vs. the fleece PJs. I really can't be sure. I suspect the fleece PJs were the big factor, based on prior experience with 2 pads. But I could be under-estimating the effect ... that prior experience was above 40F. [I had done it previously to test comfort, not warmth - btw, it didn't help much in the comfort department!]. Perhaps at sub-freezing temperatures, that 2nd pad makes a bigger difference than I think.
    Last edited by Time Zone; 01-11-2019 at 11:07.

  16. #76
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    Without a few facts: weight, fabric construction, etc. the effects of youre clothing are hard to interpret.
    Weight comes into play when you realize that a warmer, lighter bag offers a weight savings over extra warmer clothing.
    I have a baseline clothing inventory for 3 season use in the Rockies from northern New Mexico to Jasper, Alberta between late August to early October. I can wear all of the clothing inside my WM 33 ounce, 20 F Alpinlite Long sleeping bag if needed. My current observed and measured low temperature with the minimum system is 15 F.
    I can add warmer Merino wool long underwear, a 5 F WM Antelope bag and a generic CCF pad for moderate winter conditions.
    And. The first down bag I ever purchased back in the 70s will perform similar to either of the 20 F WM bags currently on the market. The interior dimensions of the older bag match the Ultralite. I now prefer the extra internal space of the Alpinlite.
    Wayne

  17. #77
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    Yeah, it shocked me that hammocks needed bottom insulation below 70F ... until I experienced it!
    LOL, and it shocks me that this is so, well, shocking. I mean, take your pad away from the ground at 80 degrees and see how cold you get. Doesn't happen as quickly as in a hammock due to breezes that don't exist on the ground, but rather, the ground ends up acting like a heatsink over time - like a waterbed with the heat out, if you've ever been unfortunate enough to experience that.

    Its just so easy for folks to forget or just not realize that a pad's primary function is insulation.
    "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

  18. #78

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    With some budget bags (around the 20-30 rating) and quilts, I've found down shift and placement can be an issue. Ie: if things move around, you'll all of a sudden have a really warm arm and no down on your core...
    This is where shifting some down, making sure your bag/quilt is cinched right if possible, or doing something like laying a puffy on your core (as mentioned above) would help significantly.

    If you're lacking loft in key areas and have some cold spots or spots in the bag where it feels like pretty well fabric only, you know you're going to have problems with lower temps

    Agree that you just need something warmer though.

    Had a friend on a winter trip freeze his ass off the first night and we had a good laugh after when we saw why (or at least I had a good laugh). His bag had continuous baffles, meaning you can shift the down around, and he was lying on top of 80% of the down and there was hardly anything on top!

  19. #79

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    Off-topic, I know, but this thread drift is hitting on subjects near and dear to me(though I suppose that could be anything sleep system related!).
    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    Context being everything, we don't know the basis for this conclusion.However, as a stand-alone, blanket (haha) statement it is IME not correct: I have stacked a 50deg down summer quilt and a 40deg CS Apex quilt and slept warm at 14F.
    Agree, and I've used my 50F and 30F quilts together at 4F. Used my down hoody as a pillow. Was just experimenting, but this is something that I'd give some thought to if I were an early starter on a thru hike, since my two quilts weigh less than my EN 10F bag, and one could be sent home when no longer needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    I mean, take your pad away from the ground at 80 degrees and see how cold you get....Its just so easy for folks to forget or just not realize that a pad's primary function is insulation.
    So true, and summer temps with even an uninsulated torso length pad vs a tent floor will really drive that point home.

  20. #80
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    Just discovered multiquoting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Weight comes into play when you realize that a warmer, lighter bag offers a weight savings over extra warmer clothing.
    True, but I think we all recognize that weight and $ are a tradeoff for a bag of a certain warmth rating. If we instead ask (just making up numbers here), is a 20F, 2 lb, expensive bag warmer than a 20F, 3 lb, cheaper bag? IF both are consistently rated, they should be equally warm. So a lower end bag can work if you willingly take the bulk/weight hit. Dressing warmly enough and having a good enough pad should be equally important for both bags to achieve their rating. If buyers of higher-end bags are more consistent in doing that, it would not surprise me.
    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    LOL, and it shocks me that this is so, well, shocking. I mean, take your pad away from the ground at 80 degrees and see how cold you get. Doesn't happen as quickly as in a hammock due to breezes that don't exist on the ground, but rather, the ground ends up acting like a heatsink over time - like a waterbed with the heat out, if you've ever been unfortunate enough to experience that.
    Not a waterbed, but a pre-hiking years frontcountry camping experience with an inflatable mattress. Mattress, not pad - i.e., 8" thick, uninsulated. Mid spring in TN, not at elevation - froze! Yeah, heat sink indeed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    With some budget bags (around the 20-30 rating) and quilts, I've found down shift and placement can be an issue. Ie: if things move around, you'll all of a sudden have a really warm arm and no down on your core...
    This is where shifting some down, making sure your bag/quilt is cinched right if possible, or doing something like laying a puffy on your core (as mentioned above) would help significantly.

    If you're lacking loft in key areas and have some cold spots or spots in the bag where it feels like pretty well fabric only, you know you're going to have problems with lower temps

    Agree that you just need something warmer though.

    Had a friend on a winter trip freeze his ass off the first night and we had a good laugh after when we saw why (or at least I had a good laugh). His bag had continuous baffles, meaning you can shift the down around, and he was lying on top of 80% of the down and there was hardly anything on top!
    My 20F goose down bag has those continuous baffles. I didn't even realize what that implied until recently, probably since it has not become too thin on either the top side or the bottom side. But I recently was checking out a 0F bag that had clumping/clustering down. By holding it up to a brightly-lit window, you could see the clumps and voids in each baffle.

    The opposite of what you describe (with too little down on the topside) can be an issue too. If by design, a bag has most of its insulation on top (and I'm seeing this more), if you are a side sleeper and the bag rolls with you, your backside may get cold. If you can roll within the bag, you'll probably be OK but you may end up breathing into your hood.

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