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Thread: Sleeping bags

  1. #1
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Sleeping bags

    I am thinking about a new sleeping bag, and received my last one as a gift. So I want to get a bit of feedback before making a purchase.

    - What type of bag do you have and why?

    - What temperature range is the bag?

    - What other factors would you consider before making a purchase?

    Thanks,
    Rick
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  2. #2
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    We've got a couple of REI bags. I forget which model, but they're comfy down to about 20F.

    We got ones filled with Hollofil, a synthetic filler. We lived in New England when we bought them, so we tried to predict the coldest weather we'd be out in and added some margin. We liked the synthetic fill, as it has some ability to keep you warm, even when wet. We also liked that they packed down pretty small (even smaller with a compression sack) and weighed only a couple pounds. Basically, shop in the backpacker's department for a bags.

    Along with the bag, a thermal sleeping pad adds a couple degrees to your comfort level. At night, sleeping on the hard ground will make you both sore and cold. The ground will act like a big heat sink and pull the heat from you. The pad (in our case a thermarest) provides a layer of insulation for you. When it gets really cold (like when I was in Death Valley last Jan.) I bring a space blanket and wrap myself up like a big burrito. It reflects the heat back into the bag instead of trying to heat the tent.

    I prefer a mummy bag, as they're smaller and warm up faster.

    Before you get in the bag at night, go for a short walk. It'll raise your body temperature so you'll warm the bag faster. I also take off all my outer clothing and sleep in a Tshirt and shorts, even in cold weather. If you let it, the bag will effectively reflect that heat back to you and keep you warm. If you're wearing all your clothes, you'll prevent the bag from doing its job.

    Also, and most importantly, if it's real cold, get yourself a little fleece hat to wear. It'll keep your noggin warm when it's sticking out of the bag.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  3. #3
    97 RT 300 km & kickin kmEatr's Avatar
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    I purchased a bag 2 years ago and it is the best one too date. I have been riding for almost 21 years and have had many bags. It is called 'the smallest sleeping bag in the world'. It's down filled, great warmth unless it gets soaked, it packs to half...yes 1/2...the size of a loaf of bread, and it's rated for 0 degrees C or 32 degrees F. I am 5ft 9 and 230lbs and wear a light fleece 2 piece and it's more than enough.....sleep like a big baby :-)

    The only place I have found this bag is Hikers Haven in Oakville Ontario Canada and it's $ 120.00.....the most I have ever paid for a bag.....but would buy another in a heart beat.

    hope this helps, need more info let me know,

    greg

  4. #4
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    I compromised ...

    And use the "layer up" technique that works so well for riding. To wit: I bought a Coleman poly fleece liner to snug inside my bag. Total cost: $16.34 including tax.

    It worked pretty darn good for the Dogwood Trail meeting. The temps were in the low 40's for the one night I was there, with a stiff breeze for part of the night, and I was completely comfortable.
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  5. #5
    Rally Rat colt03's Avatar
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    I have a 20f Eastern Mountain Sports Down Filled Semi Mummy Bag, I use that on top of a therma rest that Dave mentioned. I like the down because it compacts very well. Like Dave said, go for a walk and then strip down. I sleep in my underwear even in winter, you don't want to sleep in any clothes worn during the day that will be moist.

    HTH
    Craig Cleasby
    South Windsor, CT
    1996 K1100LT
    2004 R1150GS
    Yankee Beemers

  6. #6
    WesPeterson
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    Originally posted by KBasa

    Before you get in the bag at night, go for a short walk. It'll raise your body temperature so you'll warm the bag faster. I also take off all my outer clothing and sleep in a Tshirt and shorts, even in cold weather. If you let it, the bag will effectively reflect that heat back to you and keep you warm. If you're wearing all your clothes, you'll prevent the bag from doing its job.

    Also, and most importantly, if it's real cold, get yourself a little fleece hat to wear. It'll keep your noggin warm when it's sticking out of the bag.
    My mom was wrong, I don't know everything. This is good advice - or at least I tell my girlfriend it is especially the "take off the outer clothing" part

  7. #7
    MRU
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    sleeping bag

    Just bought a Slumberjack "Denali Quest" yesterday at Sportsmans Warehouse in Denver. At $60, a 40 degree bag that packs down to 6 x16, is washable, with a stuff sack, 33 x 84, with a lifetime warranty. I have a North Face for very cold nights, but needed a liteweight bag for summer. Time will tell, but it looks to be a good bag.

  8. #8
    Registered User rapz's Avatar
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    Sleeping Bag

    I have a Marmot down filled. Good at about 30 degrees plus. I got a right zipper and a left zipper for my wife so that they can be zipped together.
    Website: www.airheadmoto.com
    Blog: http://swriding.blogspot.com
    Current Bike 1979 BMW 100RT; 2013 BMW R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition; 2008 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic 105th Anniversary Edition

  9. #9
    Motoring Malcontent ScottM's Avatar
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    Try a surplus Store

    I've been looking for a sleeping bag, pad and tent for sometime. bought the tent from Backcountry camping on a recomendation from here. Pretty happy with it and the price was great. Went into the yellow pages looking for a local surplus store (Army Navy in the old days) and found one in Mountain View. Bought a Chinook (extra long and wide for my big a@#) for about $50. also got a long thermrest for $45. REI and others wanted $100. Pays to look around. Think I'll complete the camping kit there as well. Pretty good sets of utensils etc.
    2002 R1150R (Black)

  10. #10
    I am here to serve you. hankb's Avatar
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    Originally posted by KBasa

    Before you get in the bag at night, go for a short walk. It'll raise your body temperature so you'll warm the bag faster. I also take off all my outer clothing and sleep in a Tshirt and shorts, even in cold weather. If you let it, the bag will effectively reflect that heat back to you and keep you warm. If you're wearing all your clothes, you'll prevent the bag from doing its job.

    Also, and most importantly, if it's real cold, get yourself a little fleece hat to wear. It'll keep your noggin warm when it's sticking out of the bag.
    Hey! I wanted to say that. Dave's advice is spot on.

    Except... I take my t-shirt off too. That's hard when the temp is about 30. but it will keep you warmer. Or put a clean T-shirt on. The one you've been wearing all day has oils and perspiration in it that compromise insulation. This is one situation where less is generally more.

    I also wear a balaclava in cold weather. It doesn't fall off my head as easily.

    I have two bags, both synthetic. I use one rated to 20 deg F for winter camping and another rated to 45 F for summer camping. Both are mummy style too.

    Bags come with two classes of fill: down and synthetic. Down is lighter, compresses more and is more expensive. Get it wet and it loses all insulating value. Synthetic is less expensive but will retain some insulating value when when wet.

    There is a whole range of synthetic materials available. In general, the more expensive they are, the more they loft and the better they insulate. Looking at it another way, less (of the more expensive stuff) is required for the same insulating capability and will thus compress to a smaller package. I have camping equipment intended for backpacking because that is what I bought it for. But it also works well for motorcycle camping. We're not so concerned with weight as backpackers, but the size consideration is just as important.

    Like other things, you get what you pay for, but it is still worth while to look for bargains. One place I have done well is at Campmor. REI has good gear, but it is harder to get a bargain price there unless you hit a sale. Another site that has some good prices is www.sierratradingpost.com. (They keep sending my wife their shoe catalog. I wonder why )

    Oh yeah, I have to run a bit to warm up on the really cold nights. Walking just doesn't get my heart rate up enough, unless it is walking in snow.
    Hank Barta
    K1200RS, R100R/Velorex 700
    Beautiful Sunny Winfield, IL

  11. #11
    REBECCAV
    Guest
    Originally posted by HankB
    unless it is walking in snow.
    Although it didn't snow, Hank braved the chilly temps and actually camped at Branson this year - I trust his cold (and rainy) weather advice!

    I also shop Sierra Trading Post (hit or miss, not the greatest selection) and Campmor (almost too much selection), but I like to shop the closeouts and last years models at REI online. Also, they have a feature that lets you compare the bags side by side for weight, price, material, size - whatever. I bought my -20 synthetic mummy bag from them about a year ago and I love it.

  12. #12
    leave my monkey alone LORAZEPAM's Avatar
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    I bought a tent and two sleeping bags online for 49.00 last father's day. The bags are comfortable to about my tolerance lever for camping out. I also have a couple fleece bags that work great in the summer. A sleeping pad is a MUST as far as I am concerned. I use the cheap tent for gear storage and a nicer 3 man for sleeping when going 2up. I just bought one of these to carry the camping stuff in. I bought the 30x14x14. The yellow color should come in handy in bad weather visibility.

    http://www.basspro-shops.com/servlet...=SearchResults
    Gale Smith
    2009 Versys
    1999 R1100RT

  13. #13
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    I have a Wiggys Nautilus which I am very happy with. I am coldphobic and used to travel year round with a mummy bag rated to -30. I got tired of waking up damp. The Nautilus took care of this problem.

    Using some of the tips others mentioned I have slept comfortably in this bag down to 35 degrees. It packs well and is easy to clean. I really like the extra room of a square bag as I tend to toss n turn a bit.

    HTH.

    Best,

    Rob Nye

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