Favorite sleeping bag/system

This is a discussion on Favorite sleeping bag/system within the Bushcraft - Primitive Skills - Survival Skills - Camping forums, part of the Related Topics category; What sleeping bag or sleeping system is everyone using? This was touched on in the Wool blanket thread, but I thought I would start a ...

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Thread: Favorite sleeping bag/system

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    Favorite sleeping bag/system

    What sleeping bag or sleeping system is everyone using? This was touched on in the Wool blanket thread, but I thought I would start a discussion on sleeping systems in general.

    Back in the Marines I used the 3 piece system (bivy sack, black winter bag, green bag), which was okay as far as staying warm and dry, but heavy to haul around. We also had what we referred to as a "Happy Suit" which was kind of a coyote colored Stay-Puft looking coat, pants, and booties, which was pretty handy in Afghanistan, but once again, kind of bulky.

    The poncho liner is rather ubiquitous, and has its uses too, particularly in warm weather.

    Currently for backpacking I have a mil-surp green bag, and black bag that I bought after I got out, and have been using those. But I still don't think that provides me with the most weight efficient sleeping system possible.

    In my experience, synthetics tend to have less bulk and weight, but down is warmer. Granted, most of my camping/backpacking is done from March-October, so the odds of it dropping below freezing on any given night are rather low.
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    Senior Member Array Caertaker's Avatar
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    I have an old North Face synthetic mummy bag I've used forever. Back in the day I used it in the winter and didn't get cold even though it's only rated to 30 or so. These days I pretty much just throw it over me since its so warm I don't even really need it. I never really liked being bound up anyway. I really liked the video on how to use a wool blanket and although I may pack one on my trip down to my farm, I can't see employing the method. I'll just thrash around underneath it.
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    I've still got my intermediate GI mummy bag that I use only IF its going to be real cold! The newer GI issue 3 pc bivy bags are much better and more suitable to a wider temp range. I keep a Snugpack jungle bag in my BOB along with a poncho liner and poncho. For warm climate mission trips I like the fleece sleeping bag along with my poncho liner.
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    Have hated the "mummy" style bags. Too constricting. Sadly, at night I tend to be an "all over the place" kind of person. Mummy bags make me feel like I'm wrapped up in duct tape. Prefer the "bivy sack" arrangements to these.

    Much prefer the larger, rectangular bags. Of course, those can be a bear to lug around. Good for SAG (car supported) camping, though.

    Had a few stints in one of those climber's sling bags. Was strange, but found it surprisingly comfortable.
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    I've got two North Face mummy bags. One is rated at zero and the other is at 40 degrees. They've been good to me for a number of years. I also have a couple of Thermarests to help the old back hold up especially on a chilly nights.
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    If I go comfy camping, I have a bedroll (1 inch foam) and an old Coleman sleeping bag.

    If I go minimalist, I just use a Mylar survival blanket.

    I don't usually do overnight unless it is going to be in the high 40s or low 50s for a low. However, I am getting some gear for cold weather camping. I have heard great things about Wiggys bags, and am ordering one soon.
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    I still have my 1 1/2 pound down bag I bought around 1975. I have 2 other down bags one is from an air crew survival kit. The other is just 4 years old relatively new by my standards.
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    I have a Nano. It weighs 1 lb 10oz and is rated for zero degrees.
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    I use the 3 pc mil system mummy bag. Add or remove layers as temp allow. I use a poncho liner or fleece bag and just the goretex shell in summer .
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    I use the 3 pc mil system mummy bag. Add or remove layers as temp allow. I use a poncho liner or fleece bag and just the goretex shell in summer .
    I always liked having the ability to use a bivy sack in lieu of a tent. It was still waterproof, and could help keep my warm, but not nearly as much weight to lug around.

    Of course, the old adage is "pack light, freeze at night." There were times I just used a poncho tarp/poncho liner tied together, with a shemagh as an extra bit of a blanket.

    REI currently has come Kelty bags on closeout, I think I may give them a try.
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    VIP Member Array Aceoky's Avatar
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    Great topic and one I've been "pondering" for some time now!
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    Distinguished Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    Interesting info. Now that the subject has been introduced.

    I am curious about prices for quality bags.
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    I think the biggest mistake people make is buying TOO WARM A SLEEPING BAG. Its understandable. They think, or their wife does, that they dont want to be cold, think whats the coldest its apt to be, then buy something rated for temps below that.

    Of course chances are you will be using a sleeping bag in 3 seasons, at most (not winter tent camping), so you take the family to the Mtns in June, July, or Aug, with winter rated bags, and no one can sleep, as they are sweating themselves to death.

    Btw, sleeping pads help add to comfort all around with a bag, but also the temp rating in cold weather. The TENT ITSELF is also a big deal. If you are going camping in the winter, a Mtn Tent, or 4 season tent rocks. You can actually be pretty warm and snug in one of those tents, vs the more common tents where you will darn near freeze to death, because of all the ventilation.

    IF you are going to do "lots" of tent camping, Id say get more than one bag. Get a summer rated bag. Best buys I have ever made. They dont cost that much (for good ones), and in many cases are the right pick. Also, of course, buy a colder rated bag for times when you need more than a summer bag. I can almost promise that the cold weather bag will get the least use.

    Decide if you are going to be a backpacker, or "car camper". Backpackers love ultra lightweight stuff, and that comes at a price premium. If you are using your car to pull up to a campsite, and haul your gear, you can get by comfortably, and well, with good, serviceable gear that you will like better, and cost less than lighter weight backpacking stuff.

    Be honest with yourself when asking "do you want to sleep like a mummy?". Many of us do not. So buy a rectangular bag. Also, even if you are short, buy a "long" bag. One for tall people. Its nice when you want to pull "the covers" up over your head.

    I like REI for my gear. And I like REI brands of bags. Good value, good gear.

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    Check Out Wiggy's Wiggys | Manufacturer of the finest outdoor gear in the world | Sleeping bags | Extreme Cold Weather Gear | Fire Retardant Underwear

    Their super cold weather bags are bit bulky to hump and possibly heavier than you would like.

    The Wiggy's bags actually CAN compress down further than you think - if you buy a smaller stuff sack but, it's a bit of work to get it in.

    But, they instantly regain their loft once it is back out again.

    Find one that is rated for the temperature that you need. The Lamifil insulation is great.

    In my opinion it is the best synthetic insulation. Some synthetics are COLD and terrible.

    You can actually push the temp rating a bit lower with any Wiggy's especially if you are using a ground/sleeping pad.

    They are a great high quality bag. I have a Wiggy's MUMMY bag for Winter and it is warm and comfortable.

    They have a new +40 F bag that I am going to buy next. It is only $85.00.

    They always something on sale on their website.

    If I had to hump a Winter bag for extremely cold ZERO & Below Winter temps I would opt for my old Goose Down but, just to carry a Winter bag for a few miles I would take the Wiggy's because I sleep better in it.

    See if anything on their site suits your fancy.
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    Of course, the old adage is "pack light, freeze at night."


    Now that I have recently become addicted to Hammock up off the ground sleeping I am back into experimental sleeping systems.

    I want to try a lightweight hammock under-quilt to block the breezes and a lighter Temp Rated Wiggy's bag inside of a super small and light weight SOL (Survive Outdoors Longer) waterproof, heat reflective Breathable Bivvy.



    I am going to set that up on the front porch when I get my new Wiggy's and we get some NORMAL Winter temperatures. That way I can duck back inside if my idea sucks.

    I am NOT going to try that when it is Minus 10 F outside !
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