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Author Topic: Couple's sleeping bag  (Read 2131 times)

Online kinguq

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Couple's sleeping bag
« on: November 09, 2017, 12:03:07 pm »
Due to changing life circumstances my wife is now able to join me on the occasional winter camping trip.

We prefer to sleep together. On summer trips we use a single rectangular down bag zipped to a fleece blanket bottom that I made. For winter I was thinking of using three down bags (Cygnets), one on the bottom and two on top.

The problem I see is that there is no good way to tighten up the top of the bag around our necks as you would with a single bag, which might make for a drafty bag.

With a single bag, I have taken to putting a zipped-up polarfleece jacket over my head. I can breathe fine inside it, and it prevents me from putting my head inside the bag, which inevitably happens if I don't use it. In the morning the jacket is a bit frosted, but it dries very quickly by the stove.

So for the double bag, I was thinking that a simple fleece blanket, perhaps sewn into a short bag, over both of our heads would do the trick. This would keep our heads and faces adequately warm, preventing us from putting our heads in the bag, seal up the top of the bag somewhat to reduce heat loss.

Anyone else use a double bag setup, or have any ideas for doing so?

Kinguq.

Online Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: Couple's sleeping bag
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 01:17:45 pm »
We use a double quilt for 3 season use though not for winter, there is too much opportunity for drafts if one person has to get up in the night.

For our 3 season double I made up a down filled triangle and sewed it to the underside of the quilt so that it hangs down between us at about shoulder level. You could try a piece of fleece as a prototype.

As our quilt is a WM semi-rectangular bag I also made up a bottom sheet with matching zipper and pockets for our pads.
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Offline Moondog55

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Re: Couple's sleeping bag
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2017, 03:25:43 pm »
The best set-up I have seen [ but not used Mrs Moondog DOES NOT CAMP; Her emphasis] is the big double overbag from Nunatak

https://nunatakusa.com/quilts-and-jackets-with-synthetic-insulation/155-dual-gamut-climashield-apex-couples-quilt.html#/shell_fabric-0_8_oz_sq_yd_pertex_quantum_orange/gamut_temperature_rating-50f_10c_2_5_oz_climashield_apex/gamut_length-65/gamut_dual_footbox_width-57/gamut_dual_overall_width-78/liner_fabric-0_66_oz_sq_yd_membrane_black/new_quilt_straps-none_/gamut_pad_integration-no_thanks

How would you feel as a couple using the single bags but with a big quilt over the two of you?
This double overquilt is the solution favoured by one of our local experts and others who use it have good feedback

The base has a pocket to take 2 pads obviously
I personally see no point in using a good down bag as a base if I am also using a thick sleeping pad.
I have a Nunatak synthetic overquilt in 100GSM; as a solo it only adds about 8 degrees C to my bags lower limit, I have a feeling it would add a lot more for a couple.
You can also use a coupled down bag in the same way as you suggest in your question by making a base that fits the outer bag but the problem I see there is getting the outer bag big enough to not compress the inner bags lost and at the same time not being ridiculously heavy
Similar to Bothwell Voyageurs solution really

Offline chimpac

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Re: Couple's sleeping bag
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2017, 04:39:55 pm »
I sewed up a double bivy that serves to keep pillows and bedding in place.
I used water proof material to make a bag from foot to knee and 3" tub like sides from knee to head. I made a pocket across head end to keep the pillows in place.
It is sewed a bit smaller than the quilts or sleeping bags so there will be extra bedding at the edges and maybe warmer. 
I have yet to sew on  the netting I use that covers from head to knee, which is the top open portion of the bivy. I always sleep under a tarp therefore I can hang the netting from tie points on the tarp.
I like to use a light strap tied to the upper edges of the 3" tub sides at waist level to keep bedding and the bivy edges in place.
 If I want extra protection from a leaky tarp I can pull a poncho rain coat over top of the netting.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 04:49:16 pm by chimpac »

Online kinguq

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Re: Couple's sleeping bag
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2017, 06:18:44 pm »
As I mentioned I made a bottom sheet of fleece that zips on to one of the Cygnets, which makes an excellent lightweight and compact couples' bag for 3 season use. The bottom sheet has elastic straps to hold the sleeping pads in place. Works very well.

I have two more Cygnets that zip together into a double bag. My idea for winter would be to put this inside the setup described above. This would give us the option of having 2 layers of sleeping bag on top and one plus the sheet beneath, or 3 layers on top and just the sheet beneath. The latter setup should be very warm but I would worry about cold coming in at the joint between the sleeping bag and the sheet. Have to try it out.

Of course we could use the two single bags inside the double, but that would kind of defeat the purpose.

My main concern is the top of the bag, where I fear we will get drafts. I will try the fleece blanket idea however to see if that works. Any other suggestions are welcome.

Kinguq.

Offline Ron

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Re: Couple's sleeping bag
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2017, 02:00:09 am »
I'd really like to see some pictures of your setup, if you don't mind?
One question that does come to mind is the way you two sleep together; huddled up real close or with some room? How are your sleeping habits; calm or toss & turn?
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Offline Moondog55

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Re: Couple's sleeping bag
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2017, 06:13:51 am »
So you have 3 sleeping bags?
What's the rating on the Cygnet? -10C so -25C combined? Do yours have a minimal hood or fully open?
If there  are 2 on top and one underneath I don't see  a problem with drafts except as you say at the top opening. Interesting query and honestly I have no idea what will work best. Fleece isn't windproof so sewing a secondary layer of fabric over the fleece would help there

Offline APPaul

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Re: Couple's sleeping bag
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2017, 08:30:29 am »
Quote
Of course we could use the two single bags inside the double, but that would kind of defeat the purpose.

This is exactly what we do. I have a Cygnet, zipped to another MEC summer bag (like how you have done with the fleece) and inside this big envelope my wife and I each have summer bags that are usually only partially zipped up. We found that having the solo bags in the big shared bag is more comfortable. You can unzip the inner most of the way if you are hot or wanna spoon, but still pull it up around your shoulders if you are cold. Trying to pull the communal bag around your shoulder is difficult and kinda a competition with the other person all night.


We use this for shoulder season trips mostly, in winter we usually use our winter mummy bags. However, if the temps are mild in the winter, we sometimes do the communal bag thing and just wear mountaineering style down jackets. That is the most comfortable as you can move around, spoon, put your arms out, etc...

Online kinguq

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Re: Couple's sleeping bag
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2017, 09:19:50 am »
"I'd really like to see some pictures of your setup, if you don't mind?"

Well, I'm a bit discouraged about the photo thing, after losing all the photos from every post I ever made here because of the Photobucket fiasco. But I will get it together at some point...

"What's the rating on the Cygnet? -10C so -25C combined? Do yours have a minimal hood or fully open?"

The Cygnet from Mountain Equipment Coop is apparently no longer made. Two of ours are about 25 yrs old, the other about 10. They have been fantastic bags. Nearly rectangular (barrel?) with no hood. Could get left or right zippers at the time. Closest I can find on their website is this. https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5025-514/Drake-Sleeping-Bag-0C

I don't recall what the rating was on the Cygnet, but I have slept down to -30 comfortably and -40 wearing a parka with two of them, one inside the other. By the way  how do you figure the temperature rating to -25 with two -10 bags? Just curious.

"Fleece isn't windproof so sewing a secondary layer of fabric over the fleece would help there"

The point of the fleece is that it is porous enough to breath through, but retains some heat so your face doesn't get cold. We will be in a tent so wind won't be an issue.

"We found that having the solo bags in the big shared bag is more comfortable. You can unzip the inner most of the way if you are hot or wanna spoon, but still pull it up around your shoulders if you are cold. Trying to pull the communal bag around your shoulder is difficult and kinda a competition with the other person all night."

You've convinced me to try this configuration. Thanks.

Thanks everyone for the comments.

Kinguq.


Offline Oldand Fat

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Re: Couple's sleeping bag
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2017, 05:59:06 pm »
Kingqu
I am really glad you wife will make DF this year it was nice meeting Her a couple of years ago. In the lounge for the Al sing along.
I made a down cover to increase my Raven to -40°C. This could fairly easily be doubled to make a 2 person bag. The plans unfortunately were lost in a computer crash. But if you wish to have a go at Making this project. I can send you the DFers name that developed the plans by personal message. I will post all the other information here on this form. The down is in Toronto.
Here is the website:http://www.featherind.com/purchasing-information.html
Kind of give you an idea of the cost.
Good luck and
Stay safe
OAF/ Dave
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Offline Moondog55

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Re: Couple's sleeping bag
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2017, 07:02:55 pm »
There was a formula posted over at BPL a while ago

x -(70 – y)/2 = z

x = first bag (higher rated/lower degree)
y = second bag (lower rated/higher degree)
z = rating of doubled bags
Although this doesn't account the dead air trapped between layers

Offline Dave Hadfield

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Re: Couple's sleeping bag
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 08:05:41 pm »
I've been using the same 2 MEC Cygnets, one inside the other in winter camping, since about 1987. Great bags.

But the only way to seal up the top between you that I can think of is to sew on tabs with buttons or toggles. And even then there are going to be leaks.

At -40C you really don't want any leaks down your back at all.

You might consider each in your own Cygnet so that you can drawstring it tight, under another one spread out double-size, which is zipped to a blanket underneath you. That would be sorta like sleeping together...

I also use a sleeping hood, Canadian Army surplus. Very good piece of kit. It's fleece inside -- very snuggly.



Dave

Offline Paul_the_Pike

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Re: Couple's sleeping bag
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2017, 09:39:26 pm »
We have been using a Feathered Friends Condor (20 F, -7 C) bag for winter cold camping. This is combined with their groundsheet, hoods, and two Downmat 9 pads. It has been comfortable down to 0 F, -18 C without any extra blankets and sleeping directly on the ice. A light fleece blanket is nice to have for around the shoulders as the hoods aren't the greatest design. Anything above 20 F and we're too warm though.

If we wanted to go colder (which I try to avoid- been there done that kind of thing for me) I'd either toss in another down throw blanket, or use a couple light summer bags inside and think we'd fair comfortably well at -40.

There is tons of extra room in the bag for putting clothing and gear at the sides and near the feet which I find as a huge plus in winter. The thing is the size of a queen bed, and pack weight is under 8lbs for the entire set-up for two.