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Thread: Sheep hunt sleeping bag recommendations

  1. #1
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    Default Sheep hunt sleeping bag recommendations

    Headed out to the Wrangells with my son for a 10 day hunt starting 13 August and would like to buy a light, high quality bag for no more than $250.
    20F temperature rating low enough?
    If anyone has any first hand experience would appreciate hearing from them. Not interested in down as it can get pretty wet in August.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Get ready for an onslaught!

    TNF Cat's Meow is a decent synthetic bag. price/weight/warmth ratio puts you right in there. I've used one for a few years. Depends on your size though.

    160 bucks at the Sports Authority. http://www.sportsauthority.com/produ...:referralID=NA
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Cat's Meow is 130$ @ Campmor.com Free shipping to AK. Good deal.

    I use a Mammut Anjungilak Kompact 20. I like it, although, I've been eyeballing the cat's meow cause its lighter and more roomy.


  4. #4

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    Been using a cat's meow since mid 90's. Awesome bag and have NEVER been cold in it. Rarely zip it up to be honest with you.

  5. #5
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    I've been very happy with my Mountain Hardware "UltraLamina" 15 degree bag. $150 from campmor. http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___42561

    The listed spec of 2 lb 14 oz was correct for my bag. I've used it in sub-freezing conditions with no issues.

    Although I've heard plenty of good reviews on the TNF Cat's Meow, I know from personal experience that the lower dollar versions from TNF like the "Aleutian" are highly optimistic on the temperature ratings.

    Yk

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Well the gear nut with his pitch fork that sits on my shoulder has lead to trying a number of different bags. Started with a Cats Meow but got cold way up on a mountain side. Probably because I am bigger than most who try and use it and my elbows and knees tend to push against the side and flatten out the insulation. Switched up to a Wiggys Glacier hunter which doesn't pack as small and weighs a bit more but is much much more comfortable to me. I still wanted to go super duper light and still be warm so I picked up a Western Mountaineering Versalite. For a fly in hunt where weight isn't much of an issue like this year I take both the WM and Wiggys bag and leave the Wiggys at base camp unless I am looking at miserable wet weather. The Cats meow is a great bag in it's own right and I 1/2 want to sell it off but I figure it won't return much $$ so I will keep it around as a loaner or for when the kids get bigger. I don't foresee a situation where I would choose to take it over either of the more expensive bags.

  7. #7

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    I've gone lite and cool for years but the last few years have been using a North face Snowshoe that is good to 0.

  8. #8
    Member pacific-23's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=justin262;1088855]Cat's Meow is 130$ @ Campmor.com Free shipping to AK. Good deal.

    Thanks! I just bought a new bag....

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    Default Check the Size

    When people shop for sleeping bags, they often consider temp rating (no industry std in the US, BTW), fill material (down vs. synthetic debate), and weight (esp. for us alpine hunters). I'd recommend you also consider sizing if you are trying to get the most comfort per once. A sleeping bag doesn't generate heat, obviously, it just retains a portion of the heat your body produces. As a result, a properly sized bag will be more thermally efficient.

    I am admittedly rather slender and greatly appreciate the narrow design of the Western Mountaineering UltraLite I have been using. I have a Cat's Meow too, but that is just a summer car camping bag now; I think I could fit almost two of me in there. Despite the same 20 deg "rating" I have been cool many times in the Meow...too thermally inefficient for my body type. If you are someone who must sleep in awkward positions in order to get a good night's rest, you may consider one of the newer stretch bags.

    On your temp rating question. I think a 10-25 deg bag is most appropriate for an August sheep hunt. My UltraLite is rated at 20 degrees (1lb 13oz) and I carry a Cocoon silk liner (4.7oz). That setup has been a comfortable package for several sheep hunts. I value a good night's rest when pushing hard and enduring cruddy conditions. I am of the opinion if you have a good shelter and camp smart, down isn't as risky as people fear...I've been tent-bound due to heavy rain on two hunts over the last couple of years; at no point did I regret my down bag.

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    Might up my price range and go for this one:
    http://www.rei.com/product/762528/ma...5-sleeping-bag. A friend who sheep hunts around the world, including Alaska, recommended it to me.

    Will take advantage of REI sale coupon when they come out this spring or summer. But, always trying to save a buck so keep the ideas coming.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Might up my price range and go for this one:
    http://www.rei.com/product/762528/ma...5-sleeping-bag. A friend who sheep hunts around the world, including Alaska, recommended it to me.

    Will take advantage of REI sale coupon when they come out this spring or summer. But, always trying to save a buck so keep the ideas coming.
    Snowolfe, be sure to try it on in REI prior to buying. Those heliums are pretty tight.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Wx View Post
    I am of the opinion if you have a good shelter and camp smart, down isn't as risky as people fear...I've been tent-bound due to heavy rain on two hunts over the last couple of years; at no point did I regret my down bag.
    Agreed. I haven't taken my synthetic bag into the field for the past two years, and despite being pinned down by storms on a couple of occasions, I haven't regretted it one bit.

  13. #13
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    Although I'm sure nobody will dispute the fact that using a down bag "can" be done. But to me, in AK, it's just too risky. As you probably know, people die almost every year up here in the middle of the summer from hypothermia. Much less when it can actually snow in Aug. during sheep season.

    I have used a "Sierra Designs" 20 degree bag for years now for early season, and even for some of these mild later season moose season hunts I've been on. It's served me well.

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    Ya the Cat's Meow is a little tight for me as well. Last year I bought a Big Agnes Zirkel down bag. Already had the pad. It's definitely warmer and roomier than the CM. pound lighter too. I used it last year on a very wet sheep hunt, more tent time than hunting time. I was snug and warm in my Hilliberg tent wilst it rained sideways outside. Packed it in an uber small/light dry bag in my pack in case of a slip and splash while crossing a river. I used to get hung up on the down vs synthetic thing but I don't see where using a down bag as any riskier than many other aspects of back country travel. Unless one is careless. Each to his own...
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Go to gear trader.com you can get a good deal on a bag.

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    I've used an Ultralamina and liked it pretty well- it is a tight fit and (at least to me) the temp rating is optimistic.

    Also used a WM "Badger" 15F down bag- good results and the only mummy I've found roomy enough.

    The Ultralamina is pretty decent and could be found in your budget.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    For you guys that upgraded from the cat's meow bag to a down bag. What's the weight difference and how much room to you save packing the down vs the CM?

    I need to stop buying gear!!!!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Might up my price range and go for this one:
    http://www.rei.com/product/762528/ma...5-sleeping-bag. A friend who sheep hunts around the world, including Alaska, recommended it to me.

    Will take advantage of REI sale coupon when they come out this spring or summer. But, always trying to save a buck so keep the ideas coming.
    Snowwolfe the bag you have a link for IS a down bag. Just making sure you saw that. In your original post you stated you were not interested in a down bag. I have the synthetic version if that bag and it's a bit snug. I have gotten used to it though
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

  19. #19
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    Yep, changed my mind and decided on down. After reading some of these posts on here and realizing that in over 35 years of wilderness camping I never once ended up with a wet sleeping bag decided to go with down and water resistant outer membrane. Down is lighter, warmer and packs smaller. And I'm gettin to dang old to pack extra weight so decided to just lighten the check book and live right

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Might up my price range and go for this one:
    http://www.rei.com/product/762528/ma...5-sleeping-bag. A friend who sheep hunts around the world, including Alaska, recommended it to me.

    Will take advantage of REI sale coupon when they come out this spring or summer. But, always trying to save a buck so keep the ideas coming.
    if you changed your mind to down check out western mountaineering or Feathered friends. They are made in the USA and of better quality in my mind then the marmot bags. They also come with different sizes. Check out this bag.
    When western mountaineering says it is a 20 degree bag they mean it's a twenty degree bag.
    http://www.westernmountaineering.com...s&ContentId=28

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