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Thread: Fall/Winter Sleeping Bag options

  1. #1
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    Default Fall/Winter Sleeping Bag options

    I am thinking of replaceing my sleeping bag rated for extreme cold temps for another one rated at a -30/40 degree rateing. I have a Cabelas Guide Model, regular size, and sometimes it just doesn't cut it. I like the -40 temps rated bags but not the big prices. What are some other brands to consider (under $300.00). I also am considering this as a good time to get the long size as opposed to the regular size so I can hide my face inside the bag when it is pretty cold out. I think the same brand in the longer size, coldest rating, might work but I still wonder if there's a better sleeping bag. Also when it gets really cold I keep the heavy gear I am wearing on. Any Suggestions!

  2. #2
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default For the price...

    I was in the same boat about 2 years ago. I friend of mine recommended the North Face Dark Star. Its synthetic so it not as light as down but it under 200 bucks. And Ive slept out under the stars at less than -30 and its work just as advertised. If you want the best and are prepared to pay for it go for the Wiggy but Ive been happy with my Dark Star so Ill stick with it for now.

  3. #3
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byrd_hntr View Post
    I was in the same boat about 2 years ago. I friend of mine recommended the North Face Dark Star. Its synthetic so it not as light as down but it under 200 bucks. And Ive slept out under the stars at less than -30 and its work just as advertised. If you want the best and are prepared to pay for it go for the Wiggy but Ive been happy with my Dark Star so Ill stick with it for now.
    I never got cold in my Wiggy...might be a little more than you want to spend ..but . I'm not quite sure how much it cost .. my wife bought it for my birthday present a few years ago ...I think ..around $300+ or - a few bucks. I think it's worth every penny she spent
    "Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

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    Member Timber Smith's Avatar
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    Default Wiggys is very warm

    I've slept outdoors in cold environments all over the world from high desert mountains to the absolute coldest: interior Alaska -65F (-110 windchill). Many nights I had very little cover other than my most important piece of gear - my sleeping bag. It has had to keep me alive. Some winters I have slept out up to 2 to 3 weeks every month. I have spent many sub -40F nights in a row nestled in my Wiggys bag, don't know its rating but I believe it is Wiggy's warmest. Prior to that I had a -40F rated Wilderness Experience bag I bought from Gary King 30 years ago (don't believe either are in business any more). I haven't kept up on the latest developments in cold weather gear but I know for a fact that for extreme cold Wiggys is going to be hard to beat. It will cost you, but, when my life depends on it, I don't skimp on quality. There are lots of little techniques to help keep you warmer when you are in the bag. Yes, I know it is not recommended, but, I have slept many times fully clothed to include parka and VB boots inside the bag. I have even gone thru the ice, with all my gear soaked and rapidly turning to ice and thankfully managed to crawl into my bag. More than likely would not have survived if I had been carrying a down bag. YMMV.


    "AND YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE."

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    Wahtever bag you get, don't forget your ground pad. Thermarest Prolite 4 is the best I've found. Makes all the difference in the world to me at least.

  6. #6
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Thermarest are great pads and self inflate which is nice. I usually have plenty of time to spend a couple minuted inflating the pad so for me the added comfort/warmth of the Big Agnes insulated air core pads make them my go to pad. They pack very small and make for an extremely comfortable night on any surface. Just fill it up, lay on it and release air until you are comfortable the tighten the valve and drift off to sleep just like you were at home! Hard to beat a wiggys bag and a B/A pad in pretty much any conditions!

  7. #7

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    Some FFT....

    Keep in mind that no matter how good the bag is in extreme cold the technique used for selecting sleeping pads is critical. A guy does NOT want an inflatable sleeping pad for extreme sub zero weather. You can go with a ProLite 4 or similar insulated self inflating, but its also a good idea to have a closed cell foam pad to really insulate underneath you. The ProLite with a closed cell foam on top of it (which is what you lay on) would keep you much warmer. Sometimes the bags are suffficient for the application but ground cold will rob you of your bags abilities to keep you warm.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I have used my Aircore down to -40 but if there is a better way I am open to it. Which closed cell pad do you recommend? Something like the Z-Lite?

  9. #9

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    The Z-Lite works though its got the seams which lack equal amounts of foam. The Ridgerest thats a one piece (rolls up) and pretty much any other closed cell foam pad made by lots of companies. Its mountainering 101 that if your sleeping in extreme cold on snow, that a closed cell foam pad works best when mated with an insualted pad. Those Exped down mats have gotten some really good reviews too, especially when combined with a closed cell foam pad. The Expd down mat has twice the R value of th BA Insulated Air Core. I am suprised that you were comfortable at -40 with the BA inflatable alone, but we all have different levels of comfort when it comes to being cold or hot.

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    Iron Dog requirements include carrying a -40* sleeping bag. A few friends bought Cabela's down bags since they were the least expensive option and nobody really wanted to use them anyway. They seem like a bargain. Pretty nice bags for about $250.00. They aren't the same quality as a Western Mountaineering but the WM equivalent will be near $900.00. And for $250.00 you don't feel so bad about compressing it as small as possible and leaving it that way for a while.

    Snow is a pretty good insulator in really cold temps. The sleeping pad isn't that important to me. I just want a little buffer between me and the snow below. The top of your bag will be exposed to the air temp. The bottom will not. I've never used a self inflator in -30 to -40 teps but I'd hesitate to trust it. Cold is hard on things. I don't know what a Thermarest is made of but I'd like to hear what others have experienced when unrolling a self inflating mattress in really cold temps.

  11. #11
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    Default Wiggy's Sale till the Dec 31st.

    I checked the wiggy's web page and they're having a 20% off the reg price sale. The two that caught my eye are the Antarctic and the Hunter Ultima Thule w/a hood. The Antarctic was a little more $ and also a mummy style and narrower in the foot area. The Hunter looked to offer plenty of room and only slightly narrower near the foot area from the face area and offering greater room for those that feel the need for extra room. Which to choose...Ohmy!

  12. #12

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    Well if you are looking at camping out in -40 then I'd say go closed cell foam for sure. However, I was in a crappy slumberjack bag rated to -20 on top of my Big Agnes IAC and was comfortably warm all night with temps below -15. However, I think that was pretty much the lower limit for that setup.

    Since then I've bought thermarest ridgerest deluxe pds for my wife and I and I think they'll be perfect for cold weather camping.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus View Post
    I checked the wiggy's web page and they're having a 20% off the reg price sale. The two that caught my eye are the Antarctic and the Hunter Ultima Thule w/a hood. The Antarctic was a little more $ and also a mummy style and narrower in the foot area. The Hunter looked to offer plenty of room and only slightly narrower near the foot area from the face area and offering greater room for those that feel the need for extra room. Which to choose...Ohmy!
    Just some food for thought, if your gonna go Wiggy's you might consider one of the two bag systems, that way it wont be a purchase of a bag that will only be used once in a while. Something like the 0 Degree Superlight + Overbag gives you -40 coverage and you end up with a great moose season 0 degree bag, or a summer time use overbag.

  14. #14
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    Smile

    I have decided on the 2-bag Hunter system. I'll be in Palmer for Christmas and plan a run into Anchortown before Christmas and will check in at the Wiggy's dept. store. If there out of stock I'll back order. Thanks for everyone's input.

  15. #15
    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Rufus - I've got 10 more Hunter Ultima-Thule with Hood arriving next week by boat. They go quickly this time of year so stay on top by buying it over the phone then picking it up. Lots of guys and gals do it that way. Otherwise, shipping is negligible within the state regardless of where you are.

    Alaska_Lanche - The bag you've been patiently waiting for is in that order! Thanks.

    Mr. Pid - Iron Dog went down (up?) to a -20 requirement this year from the -30 requirement last year. I see quite a few of those guys and we vaccuum-pack bags for some.

    The sale online means your bag will come from Grand Junction and does not apply here in the store. I've already absorbed your shipping costs in my price. Still want the sale(?), no problem, but make sure you return it to Grand Junction if there's a problem with the fit or finish (wink).

    Price a minus-sixty down bag and you'll find that Wiggy bags are not expensive at all...

    Thanks for all the great comments, guys. In the thousands of bags that have flowed out of this store, I can count the complaints on one hand. Regardless of the model, these bags speak for themselves very well.

    Taylor

  16. #16

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    Mark,
    I'd like to thank you for your support of the local Boy Scouts thru your scout sleeping bag program. Have a great Christmas!

    Eric

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