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Thread: Looking for sleeping bag advice

  1. #1
    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    Default Looking for sleeping bag advice

    I'm going to pick up a new sleeping bag at REI in the next couple of days and I'm looking for some advice. I've narrowed my options to a North Face Tundra -20 degree bag or a Mountain Hardware Lamina -15 degree bag. I'm replacing, or rather augmenting, my Slumberjack Everest Elite two-bag system that I've had for years (35 degree bag + 0 degree bag = -10 degree bag). The Slumberjack is fine for moderate temps, but it's getting old and has lost a little something when it gets really cold. And yes, I know about Wiggy's bags. But they don't sell them at REI and probably won't take either REI's discount coupon or dividend as payment. So these are the two choices. I've tried both of them at the store and fit isn't an issue. Just wondering if anybody has any experience with either or both of these bags.

    The Tundra is a pound lighter but is bulkier. The Lamina is heavier but compresses better. The Tundra is $30 more expensive and is rated 5 degrees colder. The Tundra also has some type of retaining loops sewn in along the sides. I keep going back and forth.
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

  2. #2
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    I looked at those models and bought a Kilo Expedition down bag.

    My only comment about North Face bags is that the foot room is too constricted. I may as well tape my ankles together. I don't like that feeling.

  3. #3
    New member mtcop71's Avatar
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    Default The North Face

    Rod,

    I looked at both north face and mt hardwear, I have even field tested them. The mountain hardwear's temp rating was a little more off then the north face.
    the one was a lamina, but the north face was a fission

    I went with the fission and has worked well. used it on my sheep hunt last year and will use it again.

    I am 6,2 so I bought the long and had good space at the bottom for clothes

    Hope this helps

  4. #4
    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys. Much appreciated.
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

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    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    My vote is for wiggy's hands down. I own a few of the great old ones, but replaced with a Wiggy's -20, I will never go with anything else. I did the submerse bag in a tub full of water then sleep in it outside this winter, the dam thing still created heat! The only bag that has ever said it will do "this" and be true.

    What your life worth?

  6. #6
    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    From my original post ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod in Wasilla View Post
    ...yes, I know about Wiggy's bags.
    So, without trying to sound like an unappreciative ingrate, I have to ask... do you have any information that is relevant to the thread?
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

  7. #7
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod in Wasilla View Post
    From my original post ...


    So, without trying to sound like an unappreciative ingrate, I have to ask... do you have any information that is relevant to the thread?
    What is in the water you people are drinking lately? Some serious pompuss snotty arse replies. So sorry for giving my "opinion", won't bother asking/ansering/advising to any of your post's in the future. If you allready knew about the wiggy's bag, why bother looking at others? Lighten up man.

    Maybe I'll post later in the summer after you all get you fishing fix.

  8. #8
    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    Default I probably should hold my tongue, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by AKDSLDOG View Post
    If you allready knew about the wiggy's bag, why bother looking at others?
    Well.... how about this for starters (from my original post).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod in Wasilla
    ...they don't sell them at REI and probably won't take either REI's discount coupon or dividend as payment.
    So, as you can see, my question was not "what is the best sleeping bag on the market?", or even "can you recommend a sleping bag?". It was "of these two particular bags (neither of which is a Wiggy's), which would you recommend?"

    I did actually look at the Wiggy's line. If I had a money tree growing in my back yard I might buy one. Maybe even a couple. I also might buy a Swarovski spotting scope, a big ol' stack of Kimber rifles and a Maule M-7. But even though I keep burying quarters in the back yard, no tree has sprouted as of yet. Maybe this year. But that doesn't mean that my Kowa scope, Remington and Winchester rifles, and hiking boots won't work for me when I need them to. Since I had both a discount coupon and a dividend to spend at REI, I decided that I could either take the opportunity to buy a new bag at a greatly reduced price (read: under $100, as opposed to what... $265 for a comparable Wiggy's bag?), or keep using my current bag, which has seen better days. I appreciate the fact that you are satisfied with your Wiggy's bag, but Wiggy's quality was not my question. As far as my reply to your post seeming a little pompus, I would suggest that it was no more pompus than either your reply to my question, or your reply to my subsequent response. And as long as you are posting these kind of non-informational posts, I would actually request that you refrain from posting on my threads. But, if any time you can actually contribute something to the conversation at hand, I would certainly welcome your comments. Thank you.
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

  9. #9

    Default What use

    Rod,

    What types of uses and weather? If it was for fall or even September hunting, I wouldn't get a - rated bag, but that is just me. I sleep on a thermarest with a North Face Cat's Meow. +20 rated and have used it at -20 many times and was nice and toasty. Fact is during sheep season, I can't zip it up because it is too hot. I DON'T like the lack of foot room nor the lack of shoulder width, but it is the best bag I have ever had. Crawled in it soaking wet on top of the mountain one night and woke up dry and warm the next morning. Wish I could help you on the two you had chosen. I guess I am partial to North Face, but I don't think you could go wrong with either. Good luck on your choice!

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up Tundra Fan

    I bought a tundra in 1999, have used it all over AK, in all seasons. It has held up well structurally, it has lost some loft but no more than I would expect. I would buy another. I am not familiar with the other bag so can't help there. Good luck on the purchase.
    Don't worry about the Wiggy's fan comments, he still thinks sleeping bags create heat.

  11. #11
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod in Wasilla View Post
    Well.... how about this for starters (from my original post).



    So, as you can see, my question was not "what is the best sleeping bag on the market?", or even "can you recommend a sleping bag?". It was "of these two particular bags (neither of which is a Wiggy's), which would you recommend?"

    I did actually look at the Wiggy's line. If I had a money tree growing in my back yard I might buy one. Maybe even a couple. I also might buy a Swarovski spotting scope, a big ol' stack of Kimber rifles and a Maule M-7. But even though I keep burying quarters in the back yard, no tree has sprouted as of yet. Maybe this year. But that doesn't mean that my Kowa scope, Remington and Winchester rifles, and hiking boots won't work for me when I need them to. Since I had both a discount coupon and a dividend to spend at REI, I decided that I could either take the opportunity to buy a new bag at a greatly reduced price (read: under $100, as opposed to what... $265 for a comparable Wiggy's bag?), or keep using my current bag, which has seen better days. I appreciate the fact that you are satisfied with your Wiggy's bag, but Wiggy's quality was not my question. As far as my reply to your post seeming a little pompus, I would suggest that it was no more pompus than either your reply to my question, or your reply to my subsequent response. And as long as you are posting these kind of non-informational posts, I would actually request that you refrain from posting on my threads. But, if any time you can actually contribute something to the conversation at hand, I would certainly welcome your comments. Thank you.
    Your right, I should of said nothing due to the fact I wouldn't buy eighter of those bags, my life and comfort are to important for that. And I wouldn't be giving REI a penny of my money, or use a gift card given to me. When your there ask them if that bag is good for hunting? See what kinda responce you get, lol. Good luck in your search of a bag.

    P.S. Wiggy's summer bag (which will perform as good if not better then what you are looking at) is about $170.00.


    Peace, Curt

  12. #12
    Member PatrickH's Avatar
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    Default use

    I like the Mountain Hardware gear better. However if you are mostly backpacking then go for the lighter weight. I tried the North Face, but like Mr. Pid said the leg room was non-exsistant. It was a deal breaker for me.
    Last edited by PatrickH; 04-12-2007 at 23:27. Reason: sss

  13. #13
    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses guys. I ended up buying the MH Lamina -15. It was a little less expensive and packs smaller. As far as the comment about needing a below zero bag, I am planning on doing more winter camping in the future. I pulled an October sheep tag for next fall, and I plan on spending more time in PWS next winter. And now that I have a toboggan, I was thinking of doing some multi-day snowmaching trips (we'll see). I figured that if the forecast is ok I can bring my Slumberjack bag. But I don't want to have to bail on a trip just because the forecast calls for sub-zero temps. And I can always unzip it if I get too hot.

    Again, thanks for the input.
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

  14. #14
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Input on sleeping bags

    Hi Rod,

    Dunno if you made your decision already or not- you said a couple of days, so maybe you already did. I just found this thread, so...

    I do have a North Face Dark Star (-40 bag) that I REALLY like in cold weather. I've even used it in the last half of September on moose and into October on bear hunts. I've never been cold in it. I don't have the model you're referring to though, so other than general experience with North Face gear and the one bag of theirs I do own, I'd say it's hard to go wrong with them. Mine is 6-7 years old (maybe more), and it works as well now as it did new. I store all my bags loosely-packed in large plastic blanket boxes that the mice can't get into, by the way, maybe that tip will help someone out there.

    Mountain Hardwear makes some pretty good stuff too, but I haven't talked to anyone who has used their bags. I see both bags have a draft collar, which I prefer because I have better thermal control inside the bag. Some folks sleep hot or cold, depending on a lot of external factors, and also just the way they're wired. So with the collar I can use it or not, keep my head in or out of the bag, etc. Lots of choices. I would not buy a bag without one, having tried several other types.

    Hope it helps!

    Regards,

    -Mike
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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Cabelas...

    Take a look at the new Boundary Waters bag by Cabelas. Weighs like 3 lbs, packs extremely small, and comes in a waterproof compression bag. Alot of bag for the money. I am buying two of them for a fall fishing trip in Bristol Bay next Sept. I heard about them in Backpacker magazine where it got top award for "best bag for a big guy". It comes in mummy and rectangle, regular and long size. Nice bags.

  16. #16
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by northway View Post
    Rod,

    What types of uses and weather? If it was for fall or even September hunting, I wouldn't get a - rated bag, but that is just me. I sleep on a thermarest with a North Face Cat's Meow. +20 rated and have used it at -20 many times and was nice and toasty. Fact is during sheep season, I can't zip it up because it is too hot. I DON'T like the lack of foot room nor the lack of shoulder width, but it is the best bag I have ever had. Crawled in it soaking wet on top of the mountain one night and woke up dry and warm the next morning. Wish I could help you on the two you had chosen. I guess I am partial to North Face, but I don't think you could go wrong with either. Good luck on your choice!
    Wow!! I was just about to post when I read your post... and my personal experience of the Cat's Meow was TERRIBLE.
    I did a climb 13 miles SW of Aspen, CO on Memorial Day 2 years ago and we hiked out, set camp, and I was all excited and ready to go to sleep and the Cat's Meow didn't hold me whatsoever. It was warm that season, but we did sleep on snow. I still had a mat and my climbing partner was cold, too. We almost combined our bags, but decided for the sake of it, we only had individual room in our bags and we would just try to get as much sleep as possible. The next morning, we slept in and decided to X the climb up Conundrum and Castle Peak. We decided against even going to the Conundrum Hot Springs<--- all because both of our Cat's Meow didn't hold up.
    It's different up here. I saw your post and was thinking the same thing. Honestly, I am bias FOR North Face... just not this particular bag.
    When we returned, I returned the bag and I haven't gotten another one since. (But REI still put it into my dividend... so... all in all, I am still happy).

  17. #17

    Default

    I also found the "Cat's Meow" Lacking. The 20 degree rating is very....generous. I would mark it a 40 degree bag. I had a lousy sleep a few weeks ago when it got really chilly. Just my .02. I will only use that bag during peak summer in campgrounds, never on a backpack or hunt trip.

  18. #18
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adfraiser View Post
    I also found the "Cat's Meow" Lacking. The 20 degree rating is very....generous. I would mark it a 40 degree bag. I had a lousy sleep a few weeks ago when it got really chilly. Just my .02. I will only use that bag during peak summer in campgrounds, never on a backpack or hunt trip.
    Thank you for letting me know, this, too... because I noticed on another sleeping back response thread that most people are good for the Cat's Meow. It's just not for me, personally... and I'll have to agree that it's definitely more like a generously 40 degree bag.

  19. #19

    Default

    Don't believe Wiggy's hype. His bags are heavy and bulky, and simply filled with Polargard with a pretensious name.

    The state-of-the-art in sleeping bags is 850+ fill-power down with a cover such as Epic or Event. If you're worried about down getting wet, here's a pic of my Feathered Friends bag an hour after I poured a cup of water on it:


  20. #20
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    The only advise I can give you is to buy a bag that is roomy. I used to buy mummy bags, but now buy rectangular-shaped ones because of the added comfort they offer. These usually cost more, but I don't mind paying more so I can roll inside the bag if I want, or to use it as a comforter if not too cold out.

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