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10/21/2020 08:11AM
Any comments on the comforter style sleeping bags which need a sleeping pad bottom. I'm wondering how warm they really are and if the cold sneaks in at the seams of bag to bottom sleeve and pad. I'm tall, little over 6'6", can't get comfortable in pure mummy bags, I need leg room and I'm a spinning side sleeper. I'm hoping that the pad sleeve style sleep system keeps me on the pad all night as I spin around in the bag and that the combo system is warm and cozy.

I've got my eye on the Big Agnes Diamond Park 0 long bag and the Exped DownMat XP 9 LW. Both are over kill for 35deg temps according to the specs but experience with my Teton Celsius 0 bag doesn't keep me warm at 35 deg. My Therme-A-rest NeoAir XTherm MAX pad did well this September and I plan to test the sleeping system at home with the NeoAir XTherm before I get the Exped DownMat if needed.
 
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GearGuy
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10/21/2020 08:51AM
My friend.....I cannot recommend Underground Quilts enough. I JUST got back from a trip a few days ago, no bullshit, we went on a super easy trip to Shell Lake out of Indian River, it got into the low 30s at night. I could not have slept better under my 20 degree quilt. I have 4 underground quilts. a 40 and a 20 degree for me, an underquilt for my hammock, and a 40 degree for my wife. They're freaking amazing. They send you a stuff sack included and you'll be amazed how small they pack down. Anyways lemme talk about the comfort factor.

It's a blanket with a leg pocket. It sits on top of you, if you switch positions it just sits there, doesn't roll with you, doesn't get caught underneath you cause it's not under you. You don't feel bound up like in a mummy bag. When it gets REALLY cold you can feel the cold air when there's a little bit of the quilt lifted up and letting cold air in but otherwise the heat you build inside stays righttttttt there. UGQ lets you customize all aspects of the quilts too. As a precedent I get all my quilts overstuffed with 2 oz of down, this ensures longevity in the life of the quilt, and also adds 3-4 degrees of insulation. Always get 850+ down, thank me later. My 40 degree quilts are the workhorses of the group, we used them on 6 trips this year, it's just a damn pleasure pulling one over yourself, stick your feet in, and pull. Get them longer than your body height too so you can pull it over your head and sleep in. The 40s are probably rated more like 37s. My 20 degree with 2 oz overstuff is probably a 17 or 18 degree quilt but it's super easy to just put an arm over the outside of the quilt like a blanket in your own bed, drop your body temp a few degrees, try that with a mummy bag. When you cool off, pull it back over you. If you're truly a spinning side sleeper you pretty much have to get a quilt. I'm a spinning side sleeper, I go from this side to that side like 10 times a night, my wife hates it. I have always hated sleeping bags because they just bind up with me and I'm rolling inside of a bag. With a quilt, I feel like I'm in a bed. I'm warm, I'm comfortable, I can move however I want, but the blankets just sit on top of me and don't tangle up.

Anyways. Enlightened equipment is a worthy mention but I think their stuff has the "Oakley effect" where you're spending extra money for a piece of plastic that everyone is making, just because of the brand name on the side of the plastic. UGQ has been around longer then EE, they offer ten times more customizing options than EE (just look at how many different fabrics you can buy, temp ratings and features you can add to make it more mummy bag'ish), and their price is almost always $30-$50 cheaper for the same rating quilt than EE.
 
GearGuy
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10/21/2020 09:10AM
Little side note, my life has never been better as a side sleeper in a tent until I bought a sea to summit comfort plus. It's insulated, and it has JUSSSSSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT enough cushion when inflated that I can't feel the ground with my hip when I sleep on my side, this is something that you can't say about most inflatable sleeping mats. They pack down to just bigger than a pop can, and inflate in a few minutes. The inflating device is genius. Anyways, I'd feel comfortable sleeping on my mat all year round.
 
10/21/2020 10:06AM
GearGuy: "...It's a blanket with a leg pocket. It sits on top of you, if you switch positions it just sits there, doesn't roll with you, doesn't get caught underneath you cause it's not under you. You don't feel bound up like in a mummy bag. When it gets REALLY cold you can feel the cold air when there's a little bit of the quilt lifted up and letting cold air in but otherwise the heat you build inside stays righttttttt there. ..."

I've had similar issues with mummy bags until I started using it as a quilt.

In addition, in the Spring when the ground is still cold I find I need an insulted pad of some sort. An uninsulated air filled pad is not sufficient, for me anyway. The cold ground in the Spring is a huge heat sink, essentially infinite in it's capacity to suck the heat from your body be it through the bottom side of sleeping bag (virtually no insulation value in fill that is compressed) or an inflated uninsulated air pad. Think about how geothermal heating in a home works.

I've tried many different approaches over the years, including cots, 0 deg F bags, bag liners, air pads, combos of these, etc. This is what I have found works for me:

- A 20 deg F sleeping bag (mummy style) zipped 3/4 open and lay it on top of myself with my feet in the toe box. I have a long REI Sub Kilo down filled bag. Rated to 20 def F. Down is probably 650 or 750 rating. I've washed it a couple times in the 15 years I've had it. I store it loose, not packed up. It still has a decent loft.

- A large Nemo Cosmic pad. Dimensions are 76 in x 25 in. R-value is around 1-1.5.

- A large Thermarest Trail Scout self inflating pad. Dimensions are 77 in x 25 in. R- value is around 3. Bought a year after the Nemo was acquired.

If I could do it over I would have purchased the insulated Cosmic pad and then I likely wouldn't have needed to get the Trail Scout.
When I use this setup in early May I am comfortable and warm with no issues even when the air temps drop below freezing. The add of the Tail Scout pad was key, and prior to using it I got cold most May nights. In the months of June-September, however, I don't bring the Trail Scout pad and the Cosmic alone provides more than sufficient comfort, even on cold nights in September as the ground is still rather warm. I've never been out in October but if I was I would bring the TrailScout pad just in case.

R-values are additive. Insulation between you and the ground is key for maintaining warmth when the ground is cold (Winter/Spring) regardless of sleeping bag style, fill type, or even temperature rating.


 
10/21/2020 12:03PM
"I'm wondering how warm they really are and if the cold sneaks in at the seams of bag to bottom sleeve and pad."

For the bags I have, no trouble.
BA Pomer Hoit, Zirkel, Horsethief, and a Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed. Each has a significant draft tube the length of the sides that are uninsulated. All of these are semi mummy, hooded tapered except the Horsethief without a hood. All though no longer made.
I use an Exped S 5 Light 2.5 in thick 60 long 20 wide for 3 seasons with the Horsethief of SD BC Bed, cold season an Exped 9 20-72, both are down filled.
Have considered quilts but for now I have enough good bags I'm comfortable with. Have used the Pomer Hoit to below 0 degrees F, with just long underwear, comfortably.
Ratings, even EN are a crapshoot, only way to be comfort sure is to use them and guess from there. My first down bag was a Lost Ranger 15 degree, that did well enough for me, but the 35 degree 800 fill hood-less Horsethief was as warm with the same pad. This convinced me to spend more for an 800+ fill, the more costly bags have lived longer and been warmer than similar 650 fill bags.

butthead
 
Northwoodsman
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10/21/2020 12:10PM
I have 3 of the Park series bags from BA, all various models. They are extremely comfortable and roomy. I am an XXXL guy. I found that the sleeping pad is the key to warmth. The insulated Expeds are the only ones that keep me warm enough when sleeping on really cold ground. I have a BA down quilt that I use underneath my BA or Nemo insulated pads when it's cold. I have only camped at just above freezing so I have not determined if it's best to place the quilt under the pad or inside the bag. I like the sleeve for the pad because you are always on your pad no matter how much you toss and turn. A space blanket may work under the BA and Nemo pads also. With something insulating you from the ground I would say that these bags are rated about right. I have actually gotten too warm and needed to unzip the bag but still felt that I was laying on a slab of ice underneath. The BA Park series bags and an Exped Insulated 9 are a great combo.
 
TechnoScout
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10/21/2020 01:07PM
plander: "

- A 20 deg F sleeping bag (mummy style) zipped 3/4 open and lay it on top of myself with my feet in the toe box. I have a long REI Sub Kilo down filled bag. Rated to 20 def F. Down is probably 650 or 750 rating. I've washed it a couple times in the 15 years I've had it. I store it loose, not packed up. It still has a decent loft.

"


I have this bag. Prolly bought it the same year you bought yours. Washed mine once or twice as well...store the same way. We must be brothers.

At 35° I feel cold in mine...even with a liner and a layer of clothes. Next year, I think I am going to take my 45° synthetic and insert the down bag if I am expecting temps in the low 30's
 
10/21/2020 03:21PM
GearGuy, Thanks for the detailed suggestions, I'll give UGQ a second look, I kind of favored their draw cord footbox because it opens all the way to a quilt but the draw hole could be an issue. At first look I worried about heat leak that the sides didn't attach and the pad attachment seemed insufficient but I had no real data to help me decide.
 
10/21/2020 03:35PM
plander:
I've had similar issues with mummy bags until I started using it as a quilt.

- A large Thermarest Trail Scout self inflating pad. Dimensions are 77 in x 25 in. R- value is around 3. Bought a year after the Nemo was acquired.

R-values are additive. Insulation between you and the ground is key for maintaining warmth when the ground is cold (Winter/Spring) regardless of sleeping bag style, fill type, or even temperature rating.
"


Quilt seems to be the way to best fit me, I'm a long and wide pack 'moose'.
GearGuy's suggestion of UGQ may offer a custom length and girth to fit me better. My Thermarest NeoAir Xtherm Max is rated @ R=6.9 and did great this September but I'd like a longer and wider pad.
 
10/21/2020 03:45PM
cold season an Exped 9 20-72, both are down filled.
Have considered quilts but for now I have enough good bags I'm comfortable with. Have used the Pomer Hoit to below 0 degrees F, with just long underwear, comfortably.
Ratings, even EN are a crapshoot, only way to be comfort sure is to use them and guess from there. "


Butthead, I got the DownMat 9 idea from you on one of the other gear discussions, it's rated at an R~=8
 
10/21/2020 03:55PM
Northwoodsman: "I have 3 of the Park series bags from BA, all various models. They are extremely comfortable and roomy. I am an XXXL guy. I found that the sleeping pad is the key to warmth. The insulated Expeds are the only ones that keep me warm enough when sleeping on really cold ground. I have a BA down quilt that I use underneath my BA or Nemo insulated pads when it's cold. I have only camped at just above freezing so I have not determined if it's best to place the quilt under the pad or inside the bag. I like the sleeve for the pad because you are always on your pad no matter how much you toss and turn. A space blanket may work under the BA and Nemo pads also. With something insulating you from the ground I would say that these bags are rated about right. I have actually gotten too warm and needed to unzip the bag but still felt that I was laying on a slab of ice underneath. The BA Park series bags and an Exped Insulated 9 are a great combo."

I'm one less X than you, XXL. But we seem to be in the same boat, or should I say canoe, about staying warm and on the pad. Good to have confirmation on essentially the same sleep system I was looking at. I did go to REI to try out if I fit in a Big Agnes Park series bag.
 
10/21/2020 05:33PM
moose: " cold season an Exped 9 20-72, both are down filled.
Have considered quilts but for now I have enough good bags I'm comfortable with. Have used the Pomer Hoit to below 0 degrees F, with just long underwear, comfortably.
Ratings, even EN are a crapshoot, only way to be comfort sure is to use them and guess from there. "



Butthead, I got the DownMat 9 idea from you on one of the other gear discussions, it's rated at an R~=8"



The 9 is probably the warmest single pad around!

butthead
 
LilyPond
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10/23/2020 08:25PM
I prefer a 20F rectangular down sleeping bag over a quilt because it can be used either open or closed for a variety of temperatures---maximum flexibility and simplicity. I recommend the Exped Synmat 3-D 7, although I use it with a Helinox cot for ultimate comfort.
 
GearGuy
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10/24/2020 02:12AM
moose: "GearGuy, Thanks for the detailed suggestions, I'll give UGQ a second look, I kind of favored their draw cord footbox because it opens all the way to a quilt but the draw hole could be an issue. At first look I worried about heat leak that the sides didn't attach and the pad attachment seemed insufficient but I had no real data to help me decide."

I really like the little "box" shaped footbox, if I'm hot, I can easily slip a leg out like a blanket, when I cool off I can easily and pretty much subconsciously get both feet back in the box when I'm 3/4 asleep. I've never used the snaps or cords on my quilts but I like that they're there if I ever want to use them. I have used the snaps and draw cords on UGQ's bottom quilts on a hammock and lemme tell you they are more adjustable than I ever expected them to be. The guys at UGQ really have bullet proof designs.

Here's the thing about loosing heat to quilts on via the sides which aren't snapped together. I've used my these UGQ quilts on a dozen trips now, a few into the low 30s and an April trip that touched the high 20s. Like I said I just got back from an October trip where it got into the Low 30s, was another interesting test of the quilts. You really only feel the cold on the sides of the quilt when a few inches of it are lifted off the ground. Quilts sit on top of you like a big wide upside down U, when I sleep on my back it's so flat that it has an excess of fabric in contact with the ground and thus a very good container of my heat. When I roll from side to side in my sleep occasionally I wake up noticing the cold coming in through a tiny gap between the quilt and the ground, but it's never enough to make me actually cold and I've never felt like I was so cold I needed to use the back buttons. I'm sure EE is the same as UGQ in this sense, but 850+ Down is just absolutely incredible as an insulator. It's like a perfect cloud on top of you, and when your skin touches it, you can feel it instantly reflect heat back to you. Quilt aside, if uou upgrade and are capable of keeping it dry, down is the best sleeping material insulator there is. Obviously if you're using a 40F on a 28F degree night....you're gonna chilled more than is comfortable. But if you're using a 40F on a 35F night with +2 overstuff, you'll sleep like a baby, trust me I've used em in that! I'm a guy that FREQUENTLY pee's at night, usually because I drink a bit before bed. But yea, lots of going from hot to cold back to my sleeping bag real quick..Those quilts always feel amazing the second I pull it back over me, no matter how cold it is outside, and I've pee'd outside a tent on some pretty damn cold nights!!!!

I think a 20F is a solid choice. Be sure to get the +2 oz overstuff. Also, get it longer than you are tall, this way you can pull it over your head in the am when you want to sleep in, unlike a sleeping bag you don't feel choked out when it's over your head, rather like a cloud-light blanket sitting on your head. Get it as wide as you can too, this is just my preference but I like the huge flappy surface area. A 20F would work for you all year in Minnesota. In the summer it might be a bit hot and that's why I have 40F's which I think are perfect for shoulder season in general, they're very small when packed down compared to the 20F. Get yourself a nice insulated inflatable sleeping mat as well. They usually have an R value of 4 which is more than enough for year round use.
 
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