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furrymurry


Oct 29, 2004, 1:40 AM
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I'm planning on spending a few weeks up in Colorado this January climbing around and such. I'd like to do a few overnights on some peaks if possible (might be looking for partners later), and the rest of the time I'll probably be camping out anyway. As of now I've got a Mountain Hardwear 15 degree down bag, which I'm afraid is insufficient for anything in the winter. If so, what would you recommend? Or do you think I could get by with what I've got? I'm pretty sure I want to go with down, I have the experience I believe to be safe with it and I feel the pros far outway the cons, is DryLoft worth it? Basically, what are your thoughts?


oregonalpine


Oct 29, 2004, 2:18 AM
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Check out Western Mountaineering (WesternMountaineering.com) , they make some great down bags for winter, and use Dryloft on many of them. This will definitely be my next bag


*thriller*
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Oct 29, 2004, 2:23 AM
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another option would be to get an overbag. They're much less expensive than an entirely new bag, but it's more to carry. one option in this case would be a synthetic overbag to go with your down bag to get the benefits of both.

that's just the opinion of a canadian who's done some winter camping though - i haven't ventured into mountaineering...yet

-ian


climbhigh23


Oct 29, 2004, 2:54 AM
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i'd go with this:

http://www.rei.com/product/3033184.htm

actually, i did go with that. i added that to my mt. hardwear 20 degree trekker - works great. you can probably find it cheaper if you look - just make sure your 15 bag has two sets of zippers so it zips in. get yourself a good compression sack, stuff both bags together, smash the hell out of them, and you're good to go. :)


cryder


Oct 29, 2004, 5:41 AM
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I went through a pretty exhaustive search just a few months ago looking for a decent down winter bag.

I settled on the Mountain Hardwear -15F Big Bang SL with a conduit cover. It has a sewn in zipper baffel that can be expanded to loft more air (it really does work well). The real kicker, was bang for my buck... I picked it up at REI on sale for $105. I think its normally in the $375 range (still a good value when you look at all the $600 bags out there). I was pleased with the breathability, and waterproofness on a snowy night spent out in the open at altitude a couple of weeks ago.

As for drawbacks, it's a bit bright for color, and the down is 600 fill power versus the more refined 700 to 900 fill bags out there. However, I will note that 600 fill down is a bit more stout for regular compression and abuse then the ultra fine / high loft fill.

Hope that helps.

- n -


sharpie


Oct 29, 2004, 3:29 PM
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Convertable bags are ideal for Colorado...

I personally have a convertable Sierra Designs down bag (http://www.sierradesigns.com/...stomconvertible.html)

Big agnus also makes a good convertable system ( http://www.bigagnes.com/str-bags-ba.shtml)

And, so does Feathered Friends (http://www.featheredfriends.com/...&CatId=1&selection=4).


therealdeal


Oct 29, 2004, 3:47 PM
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Western Mountaineering.

There is nothing that comes close...


usmc_2tothetop


Oct 29, 2004, 3:59 PM
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http://www.ems.com/navigation/subcategory.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302848912&fromTemplate=navigation%2Fsubcategory.jsp&bmUID=1099065460485


Partner yannbuse


Oct 29, 2004, 4:44 PM
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Just got to say..... love the RAB bag. A little english company based out of Sheffield called RAB, makes some awesome gear. I am not aware if they sell their stuff out here, but its worth looking into.

Yann


sharpie


Oct 29, 2004, 5:03 PM
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This is a pretty sweet bag too, I think I'd have to open a new line of credit to afford it though...

http://www.rei.com/...REI_SSHP_CAMPING_TOC


couchwarrior


Oct 29, 2004, 5:09 PM
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Dryloft sux but everyone has to pimp Gore because the public looks for it on the tag. Go with a Pertex shell, unless you think you'll be spilling big mugs of water all over your bag on a daily basis.


furrymurry


Oct 29, 2004, 6:54 PM
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One thing I've heard in opposition to Dryloft and other coatings is that they prevent moisture from getting out as well. So if you sleep with your socks and boot liners to dry them you might run into trouble. Is this so? Is this why you recommend pertex over dryloft?


couchwarrior


Oct 29, 2004, 7:02 PM
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I think breathability trumps waterproofing any day of the week. I crank out a few cups of moisture a night while sleeping and I need that to pass out of my bag forthwith. Pertex or even ripstop is sufficiently waterproof to prevent most external moisture short of complete immersion, and much more breathable to boot.

Just my $0.02 and someone else might state the exact opposite. I'm not a Gore fan but there are many who are. I did a 13 day winter traverse of Yellowstone with a taffeta shelled bag and fared much better than my friend with the Dryloft shelled bag. Mine stayed lighter and warmer while his retained moisture. We had sufficent time on most days to air and sun dry the bags and mine responded more quickly.


slobmonster


Oct 29, 2004, 8:04 PM
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Check the listings on RC.com's "used gear/great deals" forum.

I'm selling a bag there...


alwaysforward


Oct 29, 2004, 9:43 PM
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All things considered, why go down?

Example:
http://www.mountainhardware.com/...leId=1115&styleId=95


cgailey


Oct 29, 2004, 9:49 PM
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In reply to:
Western Mountaineering.

There is nothing that comes close...

There are several.

If you are looking in this price range, WM bags are a good choice, but Feathered Friends and Valandre both make exceptional bags. Keep in mind that you will pay more, much more, but in the long run they are often worth it. The best "major brand" bag line out there is Marmot. They have some great winter down bags with Dry loft shells...but you'll pay for those too.

To make things simpler, get yourself a decent bivy sack...something fairly light, and wear your down jacket and some of the extra clothes you bring with you to bed. This should get you through all but the absolute coldest temps...as long as you are out of the elements. The bivy will add quite a bit of warmth to your bag.


furrymurry


Oct 29, 2004, 11:20 PM
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I actually have a bibler bivy already. Do you mean use it even if I'm inside a tent? Or just dig into the snow and use the bivy alone as my shelter?


punk


Oct 30, 2004, 12:18 AM
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read it through good stuff there and it applied to all bags


fbn


Nov 6, 2004, 12:56 AM
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Hello,
I spent three years in new york I spent almost every weekend
sleeping outside winter and summer.

I find that I am a cold sleeper, I also found out that I can't stand
a regular length bag. I found these things out the hard way by buying
several bags that I didn't like. A kelty -15 polygard, a campmor brand
down bag -15, and finally a -40 North face Darkstar bag. I was cold
and uncomfortable in these bags in extrem cold. I was on mount
washington during extrem cold conditions a guy had a new Darkstar
and froze his butt off in -10 to -20 conditions.

I had big amount of money at one time and so I just went ahead and bought the best bag I could find. It was the Stephenson's Warmlight bag.
It is handmade in the USA, has two tops and a down filled air mattress.
Once you go to this bag, especially the air mattress you have a hard
time going to another bag. It is as comfortable as a bed at home. I have
had some trouble with the air mattress at times but for me it is worth it,
If I was going on a big expedition I would take a back up pad with
it.

I find that even dryloft restricts mosture flow out of the bag and your
body, especially with wet clothes they put off a lot of mosture.

Here is the practical thing to consider, you hike and climb all day
you sweat a lot, often your clothes are soaked. The only thing
you have to dry yourself out is your body heat, your sleeping
bag and maybe a hot water bottle. If you have something that
restricts mosture flow it will lead to non drying of your clothes
and getting your bag's insulation wet. As a pratical consideration
you want excess capacity of warmth to dry your clothes out at
night.

I have before had all my clothes soaking wet and my down
jacket soaking wet and climbed into my stephensons bag
in the winter on the presidental range in NH and mangaged
to dry everything out, except my down jacket, I did get it
dryed out some, but not all the way. This took about 3-4 hours.

I suggest to get the warmest bag that you can afford and
buy a tent. Buy two layers of sleeping pads with a normal
sleeping bag, when going out in winter ground insulation
is very, very important. Hot water bottles also work especially
if you have to make do with a lower rated sleeping bag.

I spent nights in my dryloft sack with a sleeping bag and
spent nights in my little walrus one man tent. The tent is
a 1000 times better than the dry loft sack, in the winter I
would wake up and there would be a layer of frost between
the inside of the dry loft sack and the outside of the sleeping bag.
With the tent I did not have this problem, mosture left me and
my bag much more easly.

A bivy sack if used should only be used for a day or
two before you have a chance to dry it out totally. For
a longer trip you should only use a tent as your sleeping
bag will gain mosture night after night, unless you can dry it
out. Also if you happen to get soaking wet most of that mosture
will stay with you in the sleeping bag.

The stepehensons is rated with both tops to about -60, over
rated like all sleeping bags but with this excess warmth it
is much more easy to dry out your clothes.

The old timers used a good quality sleeping bag with down and
a good quality tent and was careful to keep outside water off
the bag. Unless you need to go ultra light this is the best way
to go, and if you are planning to go ultra light when it is
really cold I wouldn't plan to be out beyond a few days,
with a bivy sack system.

Two cents worth.

Dan


walllizzard


Nov 6, 2004, 1:23 AM
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Try the EMS Mt LIght 20'/ 0' bags. Both are made with 750 down and have pertex shells. and are a great buy for the price, they have had several good reviews. If you want to go with synthetic try and find one of the Primaloft bags, not sure who is makeing anything inot the 20-0' range but Primaloft is the bomb. Marmot also makes great reasonably priced bags too, anything from them is good.


timd


Nov 6, 2004, 3:44 AM
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TAKE A LOOK AT THE MARMOT LINE OF BAGS, ALSO BIG AGNES IS A GOOD CHOICE AS WELL.


cgailey


Nov 6, 2004, 5:25 AM
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In reply to:
I actually have a bibler bivy already. Do you mean use it even if I'm inside a tent? Or just dig into the snow and use the bivy alone as my shelter?

Yes. A bivy will add quite a bit of warmth to an existing bag, and with the added warmth of a jacket, etc, you can stay pretty toasty in a "3 season" bag. If you are still cold, or just want an extra measure of warmth, a winter bag is nice. I wouldn't go with anthing rated below -20 though unless you plan to sleep naked in an open bivy during a gale...you'll just be carrying extra weight.


Partner cliffhanger9
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Nov 6, 2004, 5:42 AM
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some good thoughts there..

this is precisely why we have a Gear Guide

I encourage all the pople above to write their review to the Gear Guide so that everyone can share your experiences in one central location.


franko


Oct 27, 2005, 9:01 PM
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If price is no problem but weight is, try:
http://www.warmlite.com/start.htm




I bought one of their sleeping bags in 1975, after a friend bought a bag and a small tent from them. All 3 units are still in good condition after countless nights in the Cascades.

Jack Stephenson, the founder & equipment designer, is a bright but somewhat loony man. You will notice that the catalog is full of references to how dumb his competitors are and how brilliant he is. Don't let that put you off the gear. He is an offensive jerk, but the gear performs as advertised. If the products had been promoted by someone who knew something about dealing with the public Warmlite would be the industry leader by now, instead of an obscure boutique shop.


climbingaggie03


Oct 27, 2005, 9:37 PM
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Right now I have a down bag (rei kilo plus) and it works well for me. I think that breathability is more important than water proofness, unless you are planning on spending nights in a cave w/o a bivy. Layering sleeping bags works well, but can be heavy.

What I want to do is make a Ray Jardine quilt, on his website it says that you can make a quilt out of synthetic that will really keep you warm down to 0 degrees farenheight and weigh less than a sleeping bag. I dunno for sure cause I haven't made mine yet, but It looks good to me.

Like someone else said, ground insulation is ultra important, using a full length closed cell pad with a 3/4 length thermarest is comfy and warm, but kinda heavy.

Depending on what you take, and where you go, you probably will be ok w/ a 15 degree bag and some clothes, although if there is a cold snap, you might spend a night shivering.

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