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Thread: Sleeping bag for winter 67

  1. #1
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    Sleeping bag for winter 67

    Hey,

    What is everyone using for sleeping bags for NH and ME winter overnights? I am partial to feathered friends gear and in need of a new bag. Thinking of the Snowbunting 0 degree ( I do have good down jacket and pants to supplement) Would be using it this year for the bonds and Zealand. Next year planning on heading to Baxter.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    The -25 offerings from FF and Western Mountaineering are the go-to choices for max versatility if you've got the cash. If you're willing to alter your plans frequently due to below zero temps, or you're a very warm sleeper, or you have other items in your sleeping kit to supplement your sleeping bag, then a 0-degree might work for you. But zero and below zero temps are pretty common, especially up on the ridges in the Whites and anywhere in Baxter, so plan accordingly. (P.S. I'm well-aware that plenty of elite climbers - and/or those willing to suffer sometimes - get away with considerably less insulation. I'm just giving you my best 'ready for most situations' recommendation based on a lot of overnights with many different types of backpackers in ME and the Whites. And I'm assuming you're not an elite climber, or you probably wouldn't be asking for our advice. :-))
    Sure. Why not.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Brian, I have done plenty of winter hiking but not much winter camping. Time is always the limiting factor for trips and altering plans is a bummer, so lower temp rating is probably better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieG View Post
    Hey,

    What is everyone using for sleeping bags for NH and ME winter overnights? I am partial to feathered friends gear and in need of a new bag. Thinking of the Snowbunting 0 degree ( I do have good down jacket and pants to supplement) Would be using it this year for the bonds and Zealand. Next year planning on heading to Baxter.

    Thanks
    My current winter bag is the FF Peregrine, which is a big improvement over what I used for winter camping for many years. Based on my experience, I'll agree with your original thought that using a 0 degree bag and supplementing it with a down jacket and pants would work. That setup might even be more practical in many cases where a minus 25 bag is just too warm. My only concern is that the Snowbunting bag is too narrow and you should consider the wider Ibis zero degree bag instead.

  5. #5
    Senior Member --M.'s Avatar
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    I have done a dozen or so winter overnights (Ethan Pond, Santanoni, Hermit Lake, Kinsman Pond, that kind of thing) and have always been grateful for both a -30* (EMS) bag and my down parka and snow pants. You never know when the calculus of food, exertion and insulation conspire to make you cold. At midnight, there's no substitute. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Yeah, if you're going to spend the cash on a winter bag, go for a serious bag. A minus twenty rating is about right. If you sleep as cold as I do, you'll still be wearing your down jacket inside there when it's minus ten out, and you won't (intentionally) camp at all if you know it's going to be minus twenty or below.
    Takes a bit of practice to learn when and how much to unzip on those balmy plus ten nights so you don't wake up soaked in sweat, but you usually can't fit two bags in your pack, so...

    Real down, every time. Much, much lighter and more compressible than synthetic.

  7. #7
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    I go out pretty much every weekend in the winter with a 0-degree quilt, a UL bivy, and a jacket. I'll stack with a 40 or a 20 if it's going to be crazy.

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieG View Post
    Hey,

    What is everyone using for sleeping bags for NH and ME winter overnights? I am partial to feathered friends gear and in need of a new bag. Thinking of the Snowbunting 0 degree ( I do have good down jacket and pants to supplement) Would be using it this year for the bonds and Zealand. Next year planning on heading to Baxter.
    All good info above re bags, but for me the key to a comfortable winter night is what's under me. If you go "light" with a 0 degree model hedge your bet with at least two closed cell foam pads underneath. I like a minimum of 3/4 inch of insulation on snow. No yoga mats allowed!

    Also, if you'll be in a tent with non-mesh roof, you gain an additional 5-10 degs of warmth over ambient open air.

    Truth be told, camping at -20 or below is a major PITA. Everything is hard to do and you get chilled just thinking about starting the stove.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
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    I have an Eddie Bauer -30 bag. It's overkill for when I Winter camp. If I had to do it again, I'd get a 0* bag and supplement with a quilt. Coldest I've slept in it was -15 and was nice and toasty. Once, went to bed at 0* and a cold front came in and it warmed up to high 30's and I woke up gasping for breath.

    For as little as I paid for it, it's worth the price. The 4 pound weight makes it kinda heavy for backpacking.

  10. #10
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    One more piece of color to add that might be useful. I've found for high quality bags (FF, WM, maybe some Marmot), I do just fine pretty close to the bag's rating, or even a little bit below. For lesser quality bags (Slumberjack, anything synthetic), I start to suffer as temps get near the bag's rating. That may account partly for the differences in preferred temp ratings in this thread, along with other parts of the sleeping kit.

    I agree completely with ChrisB that camping at -20 or below is hard work. You will probably sleep warm in either a FF -25 bag, or a -40 synthetic bag, but you'll be pretty uncomfortable once it's time to get the stove going. Similarly, if you're camping at 0 degrees, a 0 degree FF bag or a -20 synthetic bag will probably work great, and getting up in the morning won't be THAT bad. Of course, in my experience temp predictions even a day out are commonly off by 10 degrees in either direction, especially up on the ridges. So you need to decide what sort of insurance policy you want in your sleeping bag, depending on where you'll be camping, too.

    So decide what sort of suffering you're into, and that should help in your decision making. :-)
    Sure. Why not.

  11. #11
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    I’m still torn on this leaning -10 now. Have been using quilts for 3 season stuff and haven’t been in a mummy bag since so it is making the decision harder too. Thought about a 0 degree quilt but that seems like not enough. I use a thermarest inflatable with r value of 3.9 and will also bring the egg crate to go under it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BISCUT's Avatar
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    +1 Western Mountaineering quality and a legit temp rating. Previous posted stated already, great bag with insulated snow pants and a really nice high loft jacket is a great combo. I still have a Marmot Dryloft from many years ago.....heaven in the cold!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieG View Post
    Iím still torn on this leaning -10 now. Have been using quilts for 3 season stuff and havenít been in a mummy bag since so it is making the decision harder too. Thought about a 0 degree quilt but that seems like not enough. I use a thermarest inflatable with r value of 3.9 and will also bring the egg crate to go under it.
    I have camped into single digits overnight lows in my hammock with top and bottom quilts but it was a series of trips / learning curve to get that dialed-in. Anything below that, I greatly prefer to bring a sleeping bag for the simplicity and peace of mind it provides.

    The extra features that a winter sleeping bag provide far exceed the extra weight and bulk when you are cold camping. The integrated hood, the chest baffle and the zipper baffle really shine when you can feel each little finger of cold trying to creep in.

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