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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
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  #1  
Old 20 Mar 2009
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Question Sleeping bag, not freezer bag.

Having just spent gone for a spot of camping, here, in Estonia and hainvb spent the night in a tent pitched on snow, with only a dog for company, I can say that I froze my proverbials off!!!

I have a Mountain Equipment Firewalker II that was is said to have a 15 to -7 comfort rating (on one label), or 15 to 0 on another label. Either way, when sharing the tent with my better half, we slept comfortably at about -2 to-3. This time it was about the same and it was NOT nice!!!

So, looking for WARM sleeping bags (4 season) for use in places like Estonia etc, all year round.

Preferences:
  1. Have right and left zip options for zipping bags together
  2. Preferably synthetic in case it gets wet on the bike.
  3. A decent "-" temp comfort rating
  4. Pack relatively small for biking around (relative to other similar bags, not to a 2 season!)
  5. Decent price: I cannot afford to shell out £100s of notes. Range between £150 and 200 (€160-220)
Suggestions?
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Last edited by Warthog; 21 Mar 2009 at 00:39.
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  #2  
Old 20 Mar 2009
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I guess you won't find synthetic bag with these requirements. If there are any these will be big and heavy when packed.
I have The North Face Mammoth, that is rated -7 but I have no wish to go out camping in winter in it. Around here it is good in summer, though. I have used it in near 0C and that is as low as I want to push it (it was cold).
Manufacturers comfort ratings are wishful thinking, IMO.
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Old 20 Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebaseonu View Post
I guess you won't find synthetic bag with these requirements. If there are any these will be big and heavy when packed.
I have The North Face Mammoth, that is rated -7 but I have no wish to go out camping in winter in it. Around here it is good in summer, though. I have used it in near 0C and that is as low as I want to push it (it was cold).
Manufacturers comfort ratings are wishful thinking, IMO.

I tried mine out this Monday just gone, in the Nature Reserve, just North of Aegvidu, off the No 13 road: cold!!
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  #4  
Old 20 Mar 2009
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You ARE using a pad underneath, right?

I've been using a down bag for the past 3 years - haven't had problems with wet weather yet (a good tent with proper ground cloth is key - a cheap tent, well, they let water in). You can always bail on the camping and find a room if you do get wet - that's easy to do when you've got wheels.

A 2nd, lighter bag that zips open - or even a good down quilt - to throw over the top to use when you are doing it in really cold weather may be a better way to go then getting a limited-use 4-season bag - usually only a functional bag when it is really cold. Great if you are a mountaineer or winter camper - but sort of an oxymoron with motorcycles.

That's my suggestion.
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  #5  
Old 20 Mar 2009
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My answer for having a warm winter bag is simply to double up the bag with another. Both are cheapie sacs and I find that to around -5° to -8° its fine. I also wear long u/wear in the sl/bag. And I use a quill type air mattress which is also a cheapie, but actually the smallest , lightest and most effective IMO.
I have a down sac but I now prefer synthetic stuff. When backpacking in winter I used to use my rucsac over my feet and legs ( i.e.over the sl/bag) to boost insulation. You could do this with your bike stuffsac. You can gain a useful few degrees like this.

As an extra, I use a hot water bottle to get me warm when I enter the sac. The bottle is just any old bottle, plastic or glass, which I find lying around, or in a roadside bin. Looks bad if anyone sees you of course. So no need to carry anything extra.

Warmth aside, the long winter nights are the most annoying thing about winter camping; 12-13 hrs in the tent in a Scottish winter were really too much.

I agree about M/facturers ratings - nothing short of lies!
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Old 20 Mar 2009
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I have a Therma rest mat, and I also laid some of my bike kit under it too. In the case of Monday night putting my Argentine poncho in the bag over me, rather than over the bg as previously was what made the difference between a tolerable night and a very unpleasant one!

Second bag is an option too, I have a lighter summer bag I could use, but then you are loosing space, possibly more than by just carrying a 4 season.
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Old 20 Mar 2009
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I use a Helsport Raudfjorden (check out Portal - English | Helsport | Portal - English | Helsport) which I've slept in down to -20 centigrades. It's rated to -35. Didn't freeze at all. It has a 90 cm zip which makes it useable even in warm weather. You simply can't get a warm enough sleeping bag, especially when you want to camp in the colder parts of the year.
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Old 21 Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indu View Post
I use a Helsport Raudfjorden (check out Portal - English | Helsport | Portal - English | Helsport) which I've slept in down to -20 centigrades. It's rated to -35. Didn't freeze at all. It has a 90 cm zip which makes it useable even in warm weather. You simply can't get a warm enough sleeping bag, especially when you want to camp in the colder parts of the year.

Thanks!!

in terms of rating and zipping together these seem to tick a lot of the boxes I had in mind. Packed size and weight seem reasonalbe for the specs. Only the price is unknown!!
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Old 21 Mar 2009
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Down is the only way to go if your criteria involve both warmth and compactness.

As for waterproofness on the bike it should not be a problem. I've carried a down bag on numerous very wet canoe and kayak trips with no issues. Seal it up in a plastic bag and put that inside a serious waterproof canoe/kayak bag with a roll top closure. Not so much as a drop of water ever reached the sleeping bag even during a capsize in a fast moving river.

As for possible tent leakage, my down sleeping bag has a gore-tex shell which makes it very water resistant.

Science solves all problems sooner or later.

Normw
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Old 21 Mar 2009
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I carry a small plastic tarp that goes inside the tent. It is big enough to lay on and have it wrap around me. Long underwear and socks are a must too.
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  #11  
Old 21 Mar 2009
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Hi,

Problem with warm synthetic bags is they are heavy and bulky. Down, IMHO, is far superior and not that difficult to keep dry. I use down bags for hillwalking, ski-touring, motorcycling and canoe camping and I live in Scotland, which is one of the wettest cold places around!

Just keep it stuffed into a good quality dry bag and it will be fine.

A silk liner weighs virtually nothing and makes a bag significantly warmer also.

Try alpkit.com for very competitively priced down bags.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #12  
Old 21 Mar 2009
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A bit more

If you decide on down, then check out Down sleeping bags and down jackets, Alpkit outdoor gear for alpine activities including climbing, camping, mountaineering and trekking. Also remember that air trapped is insulating you from heat loss upwards. To use two bags, one inside the other, they'd have to be stiff enough not to pack down thinner. That means a down bag can't cope with a blanket or other bag thrown over it. In extreme cold eat a bit of carbohydrate so your body can heat itself and run around a bit to warm up then jump into the bag. Bags only insulate , not heat! Linzi.
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  #13  
Old 21 Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
A silk liner weighs virtually nothing and makes a bag significantly warmer also
I struggle with liners. I must be pretty fidgety because I end up all twisted and tied. A clean and dry set of thermals work for me. A woolly hat makes a big difference and well.

The "comfort rating" on my sleeping back is an out and out lie. Or maybe it was tested by a penguin !!
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Old 21 Mar 2009
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Rectangular or Mummy shape?

I am about to buy a new bag.
I have never tried a 'Mummy' shape bag.
They look as though it takes some getting used to and restrict turning.
Any comments?
TIA
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Old 22 Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
I am about to buy a new bag.
I have never tried a 'Mummy' shape bag.
They look as though it takes some getting used to and restrict turning.
Any comments?
TIA
Yes, last year I got myself a new synthetic shaped bag. Turning is more difficult. also it seems to insulate better above than below so is obviously more susceptible to compression air loss. it packs smaller. I usually have my sheepsking below me so the underneath cold is not a problem, and i also use a camping bed so off the floor in th eevent of tent leaking ( so far so good my 4/5 year old 15 euro tent has yet to let me down ) I usually also carry a fleecy blanket. which gets used depending on the conditions. around for more heat, under only (doubled) for comfort, or above only with bag below when hot.
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