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Old 03-09-2013, 05:04 PM   #16
vector_dumb OP
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Wow! I wasn't really expecting so many great replies and PMs

Grinnin pointed out something really important that a full zipper length helps manage a wider range of temperatures. I've been checking a lot of the bags mentioned on this thread, but zipper length isn't usually stated in the specs.

I've looked into all the bags mentioned on this thread (a number of which are model closeouts which is perfect). Can anybody comment about zipper length for any of the following bags?

Big Agnes Encampment: Suggested By Bigger Al

Sierra Designs Ridge Runner 30 Deg: Suggested By Me/Canuman

Marmot Never Winter: Suggested by UtahFox

Mountain HW Lamina 35 or 20: Suggested by Cerberus83/Canuman
(I did find a pic that made it look like a full length zip)

A plus for all of these bags is that they are light and carrying an additional fleece or cover won't be a big deal.

The gear johninvl looked really nice, but unfortunately a bit pricy for where I'm at. I need some $$ for the R80ST!
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:00 PM   #17
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Vector, Lamina bag I suggested has a full length #5 YKK zippers; however, the zipper does not go all the way around the bottom of the bag (there are 2 zippers one one side only - the zipper stops a bit higher than your ankle). Also, the zippers are not double sided (meaning you cannot zip/unzip the bag from the inside). This is not a huge deal to me but I figured I would let you know. The top "mummy" portion is tied using the cords.

The bag is super comfy and light. It comes with two sacks: a big mesh sack used for storage and a small nylon / polyester compression sack (this enables you to pack it quite small, maybe 11"x7").

I'm 6' 173# and I went with regular. I thought about the next size up, but glad I went with the regular since the fit is perfect.

Cerberus83 screwed with this post 03-09-2013 at 06:08 PM
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:47 PM   #18
Bigger Al
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The Encampment has a 70" zipper. See the description here:

https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/De...g/encampment15
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:53 AM   #19
Grinnin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vector_dumb View Post
. . . Can anybody comment about zipper length for any of the following bags?
. . .
Sierra Designs Ridge Runner 30 Deg: Suggested By Me/Canuman
. . .
Marmot Never Winter: Suggested by UtahFox
These are two that I'm also considering. Campmor has a Q&A section for the SD Ridge Runner: Q (from shopper) does zip go around foot? A (from Campmor) goes TO foot but not around.

Yesterday I submitted a similar question to Campmor about the Never Winter 30.

Maybe some gear nut will maintain a zipper-length thread.

QUESTION ABOUT SIZE:
Has anyone of normal size used a large bag specifically to accommodate liners? I'm 5'9" or so. In the '70s I had a large mummy (gift from someone who didn't want to be constricted); the extra space is NOT your friend in the cold but the bag packed so huge that I rarely took a liner. I've had a right-sized mummy; better. My latest is the slimmest-cut; there's not much space for a liner or any but the thinnest clothes. The lightest and warmest bags are snug to make them light and warm.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:06 AM   #20
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I have purchased a few bags and always seem to find features I like and dislike with each model. Size, zippers, liners, shape, weight all come into play. A good sleeping pad makes a big difference with the cold temps. I have settled into two bags, one I use for temps ranging from 50 up, and one when the temps drop to freezing. I have not found one bag to cover all types of travel. I do not like all the extra liners myself, I want to set up and pack quickly. Less is more when I travel no matter how small the item.

Visit a Bass Pro Shop, REI, or good outfitter. Open the bags up, get in, zip up, as one tag, hood shape, pull string, might annoy the hell out of you which you would not realize unless you try the bag. Once you find the bag you like, then go find it using coupons, sales, etc to try and save a few dollars.

Sleep is important when I travel, a good bag makes a big difference.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:15 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EKIN View Post
Visit a Bass Pro Shop, REI, or good outfitter. Open the bags up, get in, zip up, as one tag, hood shape, pull string, might annoy the hell out of you which you would not realize unless you try the bag. Once you find the bag you like, then go find it using coupons, sales, etc to try and save a few dollars.
I refuse to use brick-and-mortar shops for gathering information then buy online by price.

Some items I go mainly to brick-and-mortar, other items I generally shop online. I recognize that bags and pads are two items where trying them on the outfitter's floor can be very useful, but I'm taking a break from the poor information and products available at shops near here.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:41 AM   #22
RonSJC
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Just wanted to second the full length zipper idea. I've done a lot of backpacking/climbing and a good down mummy bag is warm enough and sleeping with it completely unzipped with a leg or arm out will keep you cool enough. Look for bags that say they can be zipped together to form a double. I hope they still make them. I got mine ages ago............
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:49 AM   #23
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It is unlikely that you will find any quality mummy bag where the zipper goes around the bottom of the foot. I have never seen one constructed that way. Most go within a few inches to a foot from the very bottom of the bag.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:29 AM   #24
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I've also been happy using a two bag system. [insert old joke here] Different pads, and bivvys to adjust for varying conditions.

I also use the concept of using the bags as quilts/blankets to increase the versatility and comfort.

It's loft that ultimately decides level of warmth.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:43 AM   #25
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I use this Bivy:

http://www.amazon.com/Military-Surpl...2933623&sr=1-1

With an old cheap synthetic sleeping bag I have.

Very compact and light.

Works down to 30F no problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by vector_dumb View Post
I was wondering if anybody had some advice on sleeping bag systems that would work for a broad range of temperatures. I'd like to get some gear that could work between a solid 30 degrees and 70 degrees.

I'm OK with solid but no frills gear and I'm hoping to keep things on the lighter side ~3 lbs since I'll use it for backpacking. Despite how marvelous a $500 dollar sleeping bag may be, I'll never spend that much. I'm a player between 150 and 200.

I was looking at something like a Wiggys ultra light w/ a silk liner or a lower cost 30 deg. down bag (http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___37418) w/ a liner.

I've done a bit of camping, but it was with older coleman bags. You'd freeze at the low temps, be comfortable in the mid temps, and roast in the warmer weather. I'm hoping that a bag and liner would be a good layering system that could cover the full range of temps. If others know otherwise ...

Feedback would be greatly appreciated. Might as well scoop up some winter closeouts.

FYI I'm 6'2" and 165 lbs, so it I'm usually on the colder side at low temps.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:57 AM   #26
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A few people have recommended that I check out Full Throttle Camping ... so I did!

They have the Lost Ranger 15 for 130. I did some additional research and found some interesting reviews. Here is one of the better ones:

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/revi...avis%20Crooke/

At first I was put off by how the BA bags require the sleeping pad, but I'm starting to warm up to the idea. If you get a BA bag and pad at least you are getting a system designed to work together. Also in the summer you can go without the pad and stay a little cooler. The lost ranger also has the no draft yoke which is a great idea.

Well, that's the direction I'm leaning for now. We'll see what tomorrow holds :P
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:40 AM   #27
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There is a company in Seattle called Feathered Friends located across the street from REI. They were located next to REI when it was up on Capitol Hill also. This family business has been making down bags since the sixties or seventies always located next to REI and still in business. That has to tell you something! The first bag I brought from then literally lasted 25 years. Washed in the bathtub and in the machine on gental cycle with wisk. Everybody is always worried about getting your bag wet and losing insulation properties. Well take care and don't get it wet. use a large heavy duty plastic garbage bag and put it in before you insert it into the stuff sack. You can use the garbage bag over the bottom of your sleeping bag if your tent gets wet. Whatever you do is don't purchase one of those Chinese bags with the duck or chicken feathers there is a big difference compared with a real goose down bag.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:46 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vector_dumb View Post
Also in the summer you can go without the pad and stay a little cooler.
You'll be miserable without a good pad. They really help getting a good night's sleep. For camping in hot weather, you can even use one of those inflatable mattresses that can be found at big box stores. I bought one that rolls up to a little larger than my Thermarest pad. It's heavier, but is pure luxury. I bring along my 12v raft pump, which I've wired to the bike with an SAE connector. It inflates the mattress in minutes. When I'm going light, I always take the Thermarest. However, for a summer weekend trip, the air mattress comes along.

Pure air mattresses are lousy at insulating, so are not recommended in cold weather. A lot of heat is lost through convection. On a hot summer's day, they are significantly better than sleeping on the ground.

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Old 03-10-2013, 10:52 AM   #29
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The new Big Agnes Downtek waterproof down bags are great, best of both worlds packing small and providing protection against wet down. The integrated sleeve makes for very comfortable sleeping, especially if you move around while sleeping, never sliding off the pad or carrying insulation that's not needed on the bottom of the sleeping bag.
I have years and hundreds of comfortable nights in BA bags, "Mother of Comfort" is their slogan and I have to agree.

A thread on the new BA bags:


http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=862488
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:46 PM   #30
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9SU1gFcoEA

One of several dual temp sleeping bag systems out there.
Eureka makes a few bags that are dual temp,if you are on a budget.

I have a similar design bag from Sierra Designs that they made 5-7 years ago.

I am however a Big Agnes fan over the last 4-5 years and the Lost Ranger(down)and the Encampment(synthetic) are the bags to look at.
If you are a big guy,look at the Park series bags from Big Agnes.
If you are looking a older BA bags,make sure they have the isotect baffling,the earlier bags had some problems with insulation shifting.

I too use Exped pads with my BA bags.

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