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Author Topic: New Sleeping Bag System for Hot-Tenting/Cold-Sleeping?  (Read 847 times)

Offline Pawistik

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New Sleeping Bag System for Hot-Tenting/Cold-Sleeping?
« on: January 10, 2019, 11:53:38 pm »
This started as a response to another post, but I decided to separate it out to a post of my own.


Hi folks, perhaps you can help me decide on what to get for a new sleeping bag/sleeping bag system.

Currently I'm using an old MEC -20°C or so down bag (Swan Dryfoot?), with an overbag (MEC "Emperor Penguin" if I recall correctly). But, I'm getting older, and that bag was a wedding gift 20 years ago (my wife uses it in summer) ::) so it doesn't have the loft or warmth that it used to. Similarly, I don't have the metabolism and tolerance of discomfort that I used to. I'd like to replace the sleeping bag with something warmer (rated for colder temperatures) for my occasional winter camping exploits. As with others, I hot tent, but 20 minutes after the fire dies it's not so different from cold tenting. Every time I head out it seems that we have a sub -30°C night, so I want a system that can handle things down to about -40°C.

I've been looking recently at the Wiggy's bags. Some reviewers love them, others not so much. I'm considering their dual bag "FTRSS" systems. Either the 0°F/-40°F Super Light or the -20°F/-60°F Ultima Thule systems. On one hand I don't want more bulk/weight than I need, but on the other hand I don't really trust temperature ratings an know that it'll lose some loft with time (despite the claims). I am probably fairly average when it comes to being a hot or cold sleeper (slow to warm up though once I get cold if I'm not active). I like the modular approach and would use the overbag in the summer for canoe & kayak camping if it's not too bulky. Price seems OK, and some of the wet sleeping bag reviews seem promising (not that I intend to sleep in a sopping wet bag, but moisture management in the winter is an issue, and there's the potential for wet sleeping systems when canoe & kayak camping).

Shipping to Canada from Wiggy's is atrocious but I can have it shipped to Montana for free where a friend can bring it across for me (then I just have to figure out how to get it the last ~400 km north).

https://www.wiggys.com/by-temperature-rating/

What's the conventional wisdom these days at the forum here on sleeping bag systems for hot tenting and hauling sled? What do folks think of the Wiggy's bags? Anyone try the boat foot bags that they sell? For those that like their Wiggy's bags, how have you found the flat hood that cinches with a draw cord? How bulky when packed have you found these bags compared to other bags of similar warmth? How have you found their sizing? (I'm 6'3", 205 lbs or so.)

Other cost-effective bags that I should be considering?

So, here's my parameters:
  • Hot-tenting/cold-sleeping to -40°C in a cold dry environment (northern Saskatchewan)
  • ~4 nights out per year, wish it were more but...
  • Usually snowshoeing and hauling gear on a 10' HDPE toboggan, meaning bulk & weight matter, but it doesn't have to fit on my back (bonus if it does)
  • Tallish guy at 6'3"
  • My current system would likely get used by my kids, so I'd prefer to build a new set-up rather than accessorize what I currently have
  • I appreciate durability
  • Less than $500 cdn, please
  • Bonus points for versatility in any system I get (i.e. overbag that can be used on it's own for bikepacking & paddling)

Cheers,
Bryan

http://pawistik.blogspot.com

There's no bad weather, just bad clothing.

Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: New Sleeping Bag System for Hot-Tenting/Cold-Sleeping?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 02:36:19 am »
I wish I could help you but I swear by down, never found a synthetic bag that lasted more than maybe 100 nights w/o loosing most of its loft... I'm a big fan of the 2 bag system when they are made to be like that(not take two bags and shove them in one an other and hope it work like you think it should lol) I currently have a -40 Integral design that is at least 14 years old, it is there relax fit but still it is a fairly "tight/snug" fit. I want to find something that would be more of a barrel shape and double bag, a bit like the Kluane Mountaineering expedition bag made in Canada http://kluane.ca/sleeping-bags/logan-double/

an other one is the Western Mountaineering http://www.westernmountaineering.com/sleeping-bags/gore-windstopper-series/cypress-gws/ this bag is the right size for confort!
I would love to try or at least see a Stephensen warm light bag, I read a bit on the concept longtime ago and it made lots of sense then, probably still does... But the are quite rare I believe!

Offline Pawistik

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Re: New Sleeping Bag System for Hot-Tenting/Cold-Sleeping?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 09:29:04 am »
Thanks, I had forgotten about Kluane. That must be the shop that I wandered into in Edmonton off of Whyte Ave in the summer of '95, before I had any sort of decent sleeping bag. I drooled over the bags on display, but my student budget couldn't come close to having that kind of purchasing power. I'm not sure it's in the budget, but I know the old adage applies, you get what you pay for.
Cheers,
Bryan
http://pawistik.blogspot.com

There's no bad weather, just bad clothing.

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: New Sleeping Bag System for Hot-Tenting/Cold-Sleeping?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 09:48:11 am »
It's the compression that kills synthetics.

Bought my wife a Taiga winter bag last year. She is very pleased with it. Excellent features for the money. Lots of loft.

You could also look at at an insulated jacket, pants and socks to wear in the bag. I prefer this option as it means I have some additional insulation when I nip out for a pee at 2am.
www.canoepaddler.net for custom made gear and fireboxes

Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: New Sleeping Bag System for Hot-Tenting/Cold-Sleeping?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 11:42:10 am »
It's the compression that kills synthetics.

Bought my wife a Taiga winter bag last year. She is very pleased with it. Excellent features for the money. Lots of loft.

You could also look at at an insulated jacket, pants and socks to wear in the bag. I prefer this option as it means I have some additional insulation when I nip out for a pee at 2am.

Taiga are excellent bag at a good price. We have two 1001 nights and love them, I wish he would made the exact same bag in a  -40c rating, it would be the ultimate imo. But I think we will go with the Cypres other than the removable hood it has most of the Taiga bag features and have enough room to layer inside if needed!!

Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: New Sleeping Bag System for Hot-Tenting/Cold-Sleeping?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2019, 11:43:44 am »
Thanks, I had forgotten about Kluane. That must be the shop that I wandered into in Edmonton off of Whyte Ave in the summer of '95, before I had any sort of decent sleeping bag. I drooled over the bags on display, but my student budget couldn't come close to having that kind of purchasing power. I'm not sure it's in the budget, but I know the old adage applies, you get what you pay for.
Cheers,
Bryan

And yes you usually get what you pay for, not always but most of the time. Buy once cry once they say.... Or I'm too poor to buy cheap stuff...
Anyhow let us know what you decide!!

Offline Pawistik

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Re: New Sleeping Bag System for Hot-Tenting/Cold-Sleeping?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 11:30:43 am »
Thanks for the suggestion of the Taiga bags. I had forgotten about them, it's been quite a few years since I've checked out their website. I also realized that I have growing daughters to ensure that we have bags for. Both kids are in (or about to be go into) outdoor programs through their schools. The 13 year old is in EcoQuest, an outdoor-based grade 8 program here in Saskatoon. And the 16 year old just got accepted into the Outdoor School grade 11 program for the coming term. The programs have a bit of loaner gear, but since we're a camping family we'll have to decide what gear to borrow from the schools and what to invest in for the family. I think this week I'll pull all the bags out and see who still fits what and where we want to fill some gaps. Likely I'll have to put my winter bag wants on hold to make sure the kids can sleep warm first. The Taiga bags may be a nice cost-effective option to fill those gaps.
Cheers,
Bryan
http://pawistik.blogspot.com

There's no bad weather, just bad clothing.

Offline Moondog55

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Re: New Sleeping Bag System for Hot-Tenting/Cold-Sleeping?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2019, 10:37:36 pm »
I know I am late to the conversation here but I have some thoughts.
I was worried about the same issues and wound up buying a big warm bag I am now never going to use as I have had to cancel my trip.
While a -40 down bag has the maximum insulation for the weight carried I really wish I had gone for a rejuvenation of my old Everest bag with a down top-up and gone with a new UL synthetic overquilt. Or bought a new but not extreme bag to use instead on my existing one, say something rated to -20C / 0F. I really stuffed up on both counts as I got myself an overquilt that really only adds 10 degrees to my rating and for another $50- and 200 grams I could have ordered one that gave a full 20 degree boost. I have talked to some very smart and knowledgeable people here and the consensus is that when the overquilt or overbag is properly sized there isn't much compression of the down in the sleeping bag so long as you stay with 800FP down and have the bag slightly overstuffed, by at least 10% but no more than 30%
MY UL overquilt has seen some use tho, it was borrowed by a mate to use on Denali where it performed as designed, the large space between his LW summer bag and the overquilt was used to store his climbing boots so they didn't freeze Ditto his extra water containers inside the boots.
My extra layer was made to my design by Nunatak and cost me $250-USD, ultralight gear isn't cheap, the functionality of the design is due to the way the overquilt has a large mattress sleeve built in to completely enclose the foot area without adding superfluous insulation under the feet, the stacked sleeping mats do that duty. I chose Nunatak rather than a local maker because the local feller couldn't get the UL Robic fabric I wanted for the shell
My sleeping bag is rated to -55C and is for sale now if anybody was interested but it seems that even for members here -55C is a little overkill

Offline hotelfive

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Re: New Sleeping Bag System for Hot-Tenting/Cold-Sleeping?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2019, 11:01:29 am »
I had this same question as well when I first got into hot tenting here in Ontario.  I wanted a super-warm bag for when the temps dipped down to ambient (I don't keep the stove stoked at night).  I ended up buying the Wiggy's -60 bag as it was one of the coldest rated bags.  Within a year of using the Wiggy's bag I ended up buying a Feathered Friends Snowy Owl -60 bag.

Here's what I don't like about the Wiggy's bag:
-heavy and bulky
-no internal draft collar (I asked him if he'd put one in for me for a fee and he refused)
-the hood system is terrible (you have to pull a draw-cord from the inside that ends up being about 4 feet long inside your bag and the hood just scrunches up around your head
-the style I got is a barrel shape so there is lot's of room inside it.  I thought I'd like this but it is inefficient for heating
-I did not find the bag warm at anything below -20C

What I did like:
-priced very well
-synthetic does have its advantages for a longer trip as there's no depreciation of warmth due to damp down (although a hot tent nullifies this as you can dry your bag out every day)
-it's nice to lay on top of when you're lazing around in the tent (I don't like laying on top of my down bag as it compresses it).
-seems well made

Having switched to the down Snowy Owl I can't say enough about that bag.  It's overkill for most nights but it's very easy to vent (I fall asleep with it wide open and slowly zip it up over the course of the night).  It was expensive as hell (about $1500 CAD) but I hope to have it for the rest of my winter camping days.  I do sleep ridiculously cold as well, hence the extreme bags.  I figure if I do roughly 10 nights a year in the winter, over 15 years that's 150 nights..works out to about $10 a night for a fantastic sleep (at least that's how I justified the cost to myself lol)

Online chimpac

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Re: New Sleeping Bag System for Hot-Tenting/Cold-Sleeping?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2019, 09:03:09 pm »
You maybe have heard me before on this subject but for those who want to travel as light as they can will use their warm day clothes to sleep in. I would like to hear reasons why that is a bad idea.
I like to put pad and bedding in a bivy.
I bought an expensive bivy to keep my pad and bag in place and sleep in under my tarp shelter but I do not like it for lots of reasons. It sweats  inside when all done up, is to hot in summer if done up to keep out mosquitoes.
I am experimenting with something that might be good for all seasons. I just sewed an open top bag with 12” sides by gathering each corner equally to make the sides and ends shorter than the bottom of the bag. When I put my bedding in it the sides are vertical and tight. I just need to attach a top full length net so it will be good for all four seasons.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 09:20:31 pm by chimpac »

Offline Moondog55

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Re: New Sleeping Bag System for Hot-Tenting/Cold-Sleeping?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2019, 12:15:30 am »
I have slept in my down clothing for decades, but the size of sleeping bag and an extreme expedition cut to allow the use of high lofting down garments to be worn comfortable inside them is also a very small and specialised market. A down parka cut and filled for technical climbing is a different item of clothing to something like the Absolute Zero parka I just sold. I don't know of any sleeping bag cut large enough to wear one of those monsters inside it. Like my bag even the FF Snowy Owl isn't that big inside despite the claims that it is an Expedition cut bag it is only 65 inches internal girth