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Old 11-16-2012, 09:03 PM   #1
markjenn OP
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Big Agnes Sleeping Bag Temp Ratings

I've been a fan of the Big Agnes pad/sleeping bag system for some time, but my recent experience - admittedly limited - is that their sleeping bags are dramatically overrated with respect to how warm they'll keep you.

I have a 40-deg Park series bag that has virtually no insulation and that I've been non-too-warm in 55-60 deg summer weather and have been almost painfully cold on a couple of 35-deg nights. Thinking I just need to upgrade to a warmer bag and wanting to stick with the BA system, I looked at a couple of the BA 15-deg bags at REI today. For a 15-deg bag, the amount of loft seemed quite minimal and when I compared the amount of insulation in the BA bag vs. other 15-25 deg bags (Marmot, Kelty and others), it was WAY less, perhaps half as much. And this is after they supposedly put all the insulation in the top half.

Anybody else had issues with the temp ratings of BA sleeping bags?

- Mark
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
I've been a fan of the Big Agnes pad/sleeping bag system for some time, but my recent experience - admittedly limited - is that their sleeping bags are dramatically overrated with respect to how warm they'll keep you.

I have a 40-deg Park series bag that has virtually no insulation and that I've been non-too-warm in 55-60 deg summer weather and have been almost painfully cold on a couple of 35-deg nights. Thinking I just need to upgrade to a warmer bag and wanting to stick with the BA system, I looked at a couple of the BA 15-deg bags at REI today. For a 15-deg bag, the amount of loft seemed quite minimal and when I compared the amount of insulation in the BA bag vs. other 15-25 deg bags (Marmot, Kelty and others), it was WAY less, perhaps half as much. And this is after they supposedly put all the insulation in the top half.

Anybody else had issues with the temp ratings of BA sleeping bags?

- Mark
Mark,

I use a "Hog Park" 20 degree polyfill bag and have been very comfortable in it with temps into the upper 20's.

A couple things to consider... With the BA system the warmth of the pad is as important as that of the bag. I use an Exped Downmat 9 which is about as warm and insulating as anything on the market. I use it year around and have not found it too warm (desert in AZ early this spring, muggy and warm in KY in August) But, great on colder mornings (High Altitude in CO this summer and KS last week).

Also, the Park series bags are huge and roomy. Great for comfort, but a lot of space requiring body heat to keep warm. If you aren't a big guy (like me) who needs the room, maybe one of their slimmer cut bags would keep you warmer.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:21 AM   #3
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This probably wont help but......... I f'd up and got a long Whiskey Park down bag and I believe iit was rated to o degrees. It is huge and roomy since it was made for a 6'6" person and I am barely 6'. Wearing synthetic long underware and a beanie, I am comfortable down to 30 degrees. I am sure if I would have bought the right size bag I would be good down to the teens. Like I said this probably wont help
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:26 AM   #4
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I've just bought one of these, waiting for it to turn up so not sure what its like yet. Reads ok thou, let you know

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-PIECE-MO...item2a21fb7fca

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Old 11-17-2012, 11:26 AM   #5
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I use a BA Yampa (45 deg) and their AirCore (the insulated one) pads. I use this bag as a mild weather bag and as a "floor space camping bag "primarily.

For me, I feel that rating is a little optimistic --more like 50deg. But I feel most bags are optimisitic (for me) --I guess I am a cold sleeper.

Mark, do you have the Buffalo Park bag? For me, the lack of a hood makes this bag cold --so I almost always wear a beanie when I am sleeping. I use BA's insulated aircore pad --but still don't find it as insulative as my older sleeping pads (therm-a-rest style).

if you decide to go with a mummy style bag, you could use your Park bag as an overbag to boost the temp rating.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:27 AM   #6
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No, my Lost Ranger is comfy/toasty at 20 degrees. I use a down insulated sleep pad.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:28 AM   #7
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Thanks for comments.

This site had a lot of comments about a 15-deg BA bag that echo mine.

http://www.backcountry.com/big-agnes...15-degree-down

I ordered a North Face.

- Mark
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:44 AM   #8
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Sleeping bag ratings are almost ALWAYS off by 10-15 degrees ,regardless of the manufacturer.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:59 AM   #9
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I think the temperature rating on sleeping bags is based on survival, not sleep comfort. In other words, a 15 degree back will keep you alive to 15 degrees. If you want to sleep you need to get a bag 15-20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature.

A couple of things I've learned over the years sleeping outside, usually without a tent, in cool to cold weather:

1. Put on clean dry wool socks when you go to bed.
2. Wear clothes, at least long-johns.
3. Wear a hat.
4. Find something to block the wind.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:50 PM   #10
markjenn OP
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Originally Posted by eddie bolted View Post
Sleeping bag ratings are almost ALWAYS off by 10-15 degrees ,reguardless of the manufacturer.
True, but my point is that I think the BA are off much more than other mfgs. BA's 15-deg bags at REI appeared to have less insulation that other mfg's 40-deg bags.

- Mark
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
True, but my point is that I think the BA are off much more than other mfgs. BA's 15-deg bags at REI appeared to have less insulation that other mfg's 40-deg bags.

- Mark
Do they both have the same fill material?
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:02 PM   #12
markjenn OP
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Do they both have the same fill material?
Yes, I was comparing down.

- Mark
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
Yes, I was comparing down.

- Mark
Different grades of down 550-800 fill etc.,need less 800 fill for the same warmth as 550 fill.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:09 PM   #14
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I love the BA. I have a 30, 15 and zero that the whole fam uses. I too made a mistake buying the "long" which isn't needed for someone 6'1". I may return to REI for regular. Gotta love that place!

The BA is definitely rating according to survival. The be 3.5" pad helps for warmth. In general, their pads suck. I've taken about 4 back as a result of multiple pinholes that seem to spontaneously arise. Again... God bless REI
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:17 PM   #15
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Also worth noting... you just may be a 'cold' sleeper. Doesn't matter that most will be comfy in a specific temp bag, you might just need a warmer one.

And as for fill ratings and materials... make sure you consider the sources. The same fill material for one manufacturer may be poorer quality than another, though they are the same amount. One bag might be all 'stems and seeds' and another .. well you get the idea.

BA has been making quality gear and has a strong vendor rep/sales network. Companies that maintain their focus on that relationship usually don't skimp when it coms to quality.
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