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#27715 - 09/13/12 10:34 AM Sleeping bag for October trip
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
what would you take having these options

REI Halo +25F

Mountain Hardwear Wraith SL -20F

got nothing in the middle, which means, would you take the extra 2 pounds to be on the safe and warm and dry side of things (the MHW is a conduit shell bag), or is it still warm enough to chance it in the thin bag, layer up if it gets cold?

I've been out there in September with the Halo bag, and it was alright except for one night when at Trai Camp condensation settled on the top of it and soaked the down on my chest!

will be using either an MSR Twin Sisters Tarp tent, or full 4 season tent, together with my new Exped downmat.

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#27743 - 09/13/12 10:12 PM Re: Sleeping bag for October trip [Re: Fishmonger]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1116
Loc: NorCal
I'm biased toward lightweight. You might look into a bag liner for the Halo, but it pushes you closer to the weight of the MHW without the insurance. I recommend looking for practicable ways to minimize condensation with ventilation.

Everyone's comfort level is different and bag ratings are not standardized, so your experience is the best guide. Good luck.

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#27748 - 09/14/12 05:53 AM Re: Sleeping bag for October trip [Re: SierraNevada]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 999
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
I have a similar dilemma in Nov when I go to the Mexican volcanoes with Richard P. The coolest place will be the 14k hut at Orizaba. I have a +20 REI Subkilo used in the Sierras and a -30 Marmot Cwm, a real beast. So I need to either get a silk or other liner for the Subkilo, or a 0 bag. I am leaning toward a 0 with a semi-rectangular shape so I will not feel so mummified. Harvey

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#27749 - 09/14/12 06:45 AM Re: Sleeping bag for October trip [Re: SierraNevada]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
I looked at liners, but the weight added puts me close to the warmer bag, and then there's that condensation issue which can be difficult to control unless I sleep in a half open tent, which then asks for the warmer bag again

Currently I think I am taking the -20F bag (conduit shell, so no condensation issues), and the MSR tent, which is pretty large and if I leave the door open, I am probably as well vented as I can be short of sleeping without tent.

Both bags have full length zippers and I usually leave that open and use them as blankets to control heat buildup when it isn't very cold. I think I usually spend 90% of the nights unzipped.

Meanwhile I really lean towards taking the heavier tent. I just recently purchased it and am really dying to try it out. Love the 3-person version that I used with 2 people, so I bet the 2-person EV2 for me alone will be all luxury. The lighter MSR has no floor, and I am not really a fan of tyvek as my only floor on a longer hike when moisture is a constant threat, plus the MSR would require that I take my heavier Black Diamond flip-lock poles, which are almost a pound more than my carbon poles, and suddenly the heavy tent isn't that much heavier...

A +10F or +5F bag with either tent would drop the weight enough for me to shrug off the differences between the tents, but it's just not enough weight saved over the warmer bag, which I know will work perfectly even if I just sleep in the open.

In the big picture, the weight of the bag/tent combo is less important to me than the performance and comfort. I lost about 15 pounds since my last trip and and am in much better cardio shape that a pound or two more in my pack don't really matter - I'm just a perfectionist when it comes to getting my stuff sorted for a given trip.

Time to make up my mind so I can focus on more important things like figuring out how to get from Lone Pine to Yosemite without wasting a full day in Mammoth. If I understand correctly, the Sept 30 weekend is the last two dates the YARTS bus goes over Tioag Pass this year, but the CREST bus doesn't run on Saturday or Sunday...


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#27753 - 09/14/12 08:46 AM Re: Sleeping bag for October trip [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7392
Loc: Fresno, CA
Harvey, I like the silk liners, used one this last trip. Keeps the bag from getting too filthy so I don't need to clean it, and keeps me separated from a dirty bag, if that is the case.

I think a liner really adds sleeping options. When too warm, I can unzip the bag, but keep the silk over me. It enhances the zipper adjustment options.

With my setup, a 20 degree GoLite bag and the silk liner, in the Sierra I slept sans-tent most nights, head sticking out, just wearing a fleece cap. Couldn't even wear a shirt most of the time. It would have to get much colder before I put my head inside the bag full-mummy style, or needed much clothing.

If you'll be inside a hut at 14K, you won't need a huge bag, since the hut will stop all wind circulation.

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#27754 - 09/14/12 09:25 AM Re: Sleeping bag for October trip [Re: Steve C]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I use my down jacket + added down pants (that weigh ounces compared to a bigger bag) Feathered Friends down booties (without the hardshell, they weigh a few ounces)Over Therma silks, and it turns my +20 bag into a 0 degree bag comfortably (sleeping in a silk cap adds to the warmth)
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#27756 - 09/14/12 10:53 AM Re: Sleeping bag for October trip [Re: Bee]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7392
Loc: Fresno, CA
I like Bee's options. Even though I really dislike winter camping, I would think some light down clothing with the lighter bag would increase your options. The clothing could be worn while still moving about your camp if the temps got really cold, and could be used inside a bag as well.

Condensation is less of a problem when it is really cold, since it remains icy, so can be shaken or swept off a bag and out of the tent.

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#27758 - 09/14/12 11:35 AM Re: Sleeping bag for October trip [Re: Steve C]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 999
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
[quote=Steve C]
If you'll be inside a hut at 14K, you won't need a huge bag, since the hut will stop all wind circulation. [/quote]

Last time I was there in winter 1997 , orizaba was windblown and it took two people to open the hut door. Inside I was comfy with a cheap rectangular Campmoor 0 deg bag. But now I am older.

I have no intention of taking my -30 bag in a wheelbarrow. The silk liner and/or clothes inside makes sense.I had a night at Lake Ediza about 5 years ago, 18 deg in August, fleece top and rainpants on legs, plus socks of course, and did sleep. So improving the ancillaries with the +20 makes sense.

Sorry to be hijacking, but at least it is on same topic

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#27927 - 09/22/12 07:30 AM Re: Sleeping bag for October trip [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
problem resolved - I'm going to Isle Royale in October. Sierra was a little too risky, given I just recovered from a compound fracture of my arm and a skiing-related knee injury. Failure was a very likely outcome heading out to the Muir Trail this late in the season, so I'm saving the gas and go local instead, visiting some moose and wolves at the very end of the season in that park - I'll be on the last boat back to the mainland...

This change of plans saves me enough vacation time to be serious about another April push on the Mountaineer's Route next year, when the -20F bag will be just right...

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#29767 - 02/04/13 07:07 AM Re: Sleeping bag for October trip [Re: Fishmonger]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
Just as a followup on this - that REI 25F bag was too cold during some nights even on Ilse Royale (windy, 25-30F, high humidity), so after I got back I kept looking for a good deal on that packable 0F bag that was missing in my gear closet.

About two weeks ago I scored a Marmot Couloir 0F on SteepandCheap at 50% off. Very nice bag. About 3 pounds, almost as lofty 800+ fill. Not very roomy, but for the most part it will do the job even in spring in the Sierra. It has a nice long zipper that works so much better than the Mountain Hardwear zipper on my -20F bag ($%@#!!), nice footbox and easy to close hood and draft tube. Love it already. Will test it in April in the Sierra.

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#29770 - 02/04/13 08:35 AM Re: Sleeping bag for October trip [Re: Fishmonger]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7392
Loc: Fresno, CA
Sounds like a great bag! 0 degree ought to work well in a snow camping situation.

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#30518 - 03/24/13 07:34 AM Re: Sleeping bag for October trip [Re: Steve C]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 198
Loc: New York
Fishmonger, for what its worth, when I climbed Iztaccihuatl on Jan 1st; I used a WM 32*F bag sleeping at 13.5k and with a layer of clothes on underneath and hat, it was fine. I'm always a fan of lighter bag and if necessary wearing another layer (which you already have with you anyway), thus saving weight.

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#30533 - 03/24/13 04:41 PM Re: Sleeping bag for October trip [Re: nyker]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
I was wearing lots of layers on Isle Royale, still froze.

I now own a 0F Marmot bag to cover the middle ground. It's only a few ounces more than the 32F, but cut much tighter. I don't sleep very warm, and I'd like to reserve the layering inside the bag for freak emergencies, rather than to make that a daily procedure (at least during longer trips).
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