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The lightest down bag?

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The lightest down bag?

Postby sparks » Thu May 08, 2008 10:17 am

What is the lightest 15 degree down bag out there? I'm looking for a new bag or quilt even.

If you have the weight, manufacturer and price that would be just super!
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Postby wanderinglump » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:51 am

The lightest baffled bag(real bag) is probably the WM Ultralight-1lb 10oz. $350 My experience with quilts and sewn through bags like the Hi-Lite is that they are drafty with any breeze under your tarp or tarp tent. I used the 16oz HiLite on my AT and PCT thru-hikes and a few nights I was chilled due to the wind. So as far as the "super ultralight" folks from the backpacking-light site the quilt is ok when your only out there for a day or two and will be heading home soon. That includes most of their fragile gossamer gear. For a long distance accept the few extra ounces of a true mummy bag that will keep you warm.
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Postby Ellie » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:29 pm

I would shop around for prices. You can often find deals on-line.

I used the 15 degree Mamot Helium on the AT. It is 32 oz, about $389, and a fantastic bag.

The Feathered Friend bags are right up there with WM (both some of the best), and the FF Swallow @ 31 oz, is about $354. I will be using the 10 degree FF Lark on the CDT. I sleep pretty cold.

I believe the manufacturer weight for the WM Ultralight, rated at 20 degrees, is actually 29oz. Some people claim they are often a couple of ounces heavier, but they are some of the best bags.

I used the Nunatak Alpinist quilt on the PCT. The manufacturer rates it to 20 degrees, but I got cold spots under 30 degrees (I do sleep very cold though). It is 23-25 oz. depending on the shell, and about $387.
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Postby wanderinglump » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:58 pm

Marmot, like many of the popular asian made bags are often rated optimistically. In addition, they quite regularily weight 10% more than the manufactured stated. In my experience only the American made companies like Western and Feathered Friends are reliable and conservative in their bag rating. You can expect the WM Ultralite to be warmer given its efficient cut vs the Marmot Heliums roomy cut and optimistic rating. Not to mention 6oz lighter than the Helium. Of course if your a larger person the Helium is a fine bag. As far as prices Western doesnt allow sales on their bags. Believe me I've tried numerously on-line and the dealer all say the same. I'd only consider a Nunatuk quilt if I was sure the temp didnt drop below freezing.
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Postby Ellie » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:07 pm

Sparks

Your best bet is probably to hit a couple of outfitters and check out the bags yourself if possible. Most of the good companies also have decent return policies, so if one does not work for you, then another might.

If you line up 10 distance hikers, and one brand of bag, you are probably going to get ten different opinions, and any number of "facts." No hiker is the same, and what is cold for me, small for me, etc., might be just the opposite for you. I've used WM, FF, Marmot, and Nunatak. I swear by FF and Marmot. My best friend, on the other hand, is the same size, height, weight as me, will tell you the WM bags are the best. It's all relative I guess.

Oh yeah...just to make things even more confusing :D , I LOVE my Montbell zero degree stretch bag. It is LIGHT, and I love the fact I can spread out in it, since I toss and turn quite a bit.

Good luck!
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Postby MotherGoose » Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:31 am

I just purchased a down bag from of all places "Gander Mountain" it is
a "0" bag and weighs 2lb8oz. how well it performs I do not know I will
take it this year on the NCT and then on the GET in the fall. I also sleep cold so most "0" degree bags keep me warm to 25 degrees. Mother Goose
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Postby Ellie » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:41 pm

I hear ya MotherGoose.

I have a 10 degree Feathered Friends bag, and when it got down to 29 degrees the other night, I FROZE! It appears I may be taking my Montbell 0 degree bag on this next hike. This Montbell Superstretch really is my favorite bag. I'm still not sure why I thought I needed one not quite so warm. Lesson learned I guess.
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Postby karmagurl » Wed May 13, 2009 9:27 am

I know there are many brands of bags out there...Marmot and REI started using the European standard recently to rate their bags-- using a "women's comfort" rating-- a temp at which most-but not all, women will be comfortable, a men's comfort rating, and an "extreme" rating, or what's also known as a "survival" rating.
Most bags are rated a bit optimistically- but check out those tags and for us gals, figure about 10-15 degrees cooler-- that is, if you want a bag that will keep you warm down to 20F, try buying one that is "rated" to 10F or even 0F. Especially if you are a cold sleeper- and I rank among those that are cold sleepers. In fact, I'm an outright wuss when it comes to cold. :lol:
There are some great bags out there that are pretty light and rated down a bit lower than your traditional 20F bags- check out the Marmot Lithium. That's just one example.
Remember folks, safety first- weight is always a consideration, but your safety should always be the first thing in your mind.

That being said, most do the PCT with a 15-20F rated bag, but as always, every brand is different, and rates their bags differently. Maybe someday we will have a standard everyone uses, but until then..it will be trial and error.

Peace!
KarmaGurl
The more I know, the more I know I don't.
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sleeping bag comparison

Postby Ellen S » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:46 am

Someone posted a comparison of sleeping bags (prices, weights, fill, etc) on the PCT-l; I converted it to an excell file. If anyone is interested, e-mail me at igellen@comcast.net

Elderly ellen
Mad Dog and Elderly Ellen
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Sleeping bag warmth....

Postby karmagurl » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:46 pm

Hey it's me again...Thought I'd tell you what I ended up buying for my hike on the PCT- and it will work for other hikes as well.

As I said, I'm a complete WUSS when it comes to cold, and being female, that's nuthin new. LOL

I bought a Marmot Coulior bag...not the absolute lightest bag out there, but rated at 0F for men, about 17F for women's comfort rating. It's 800+ fill down, and about 3 lbs. When I ordered mine, the weight came in at 2lbs 14 oz, and just over 3 lbs with an ultralight water resistant compression bag I purchased after wards. Price- $429 US. Worth EVERY penny impo. :D



I took it out and tested it myself in the high country of New Mexico this fall, and it easily took me down below 20, without my wearing anything more than a tshirt and underwear. In fact, I was very warm in it and had to vent it during the nite to release some of the heat that had built up. Whew! Ratings give it an overall 5/5 in most places I've checked gear reviews on it.

It does have a bit wider cut for bigger guys, or if you like to move around at nite.

As they say, weight is a consideration, but overall, safety is your most important factor when choosing gear.

Too, another huge factor when selecting a bag, is the sleeping mat you put under it. If you are using a really thin pad, you will be much colder than if you use a thicker pad under you. I paired an Exped 7 downmat with mine-- since I'm a side sleeper, it works great!! This is my one and only compromise on weight.

Enjoy the hunt folks and I wish you all success! :)

Peace and Happy Hiking!
KarmaGurl
The more I know, the more I know I don't.
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Lightest of the light

Postby Grampa Kilt » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:31 pm

Having a cuben fiber down quilt 2" loft custom crafted by Tim of Enlightened Equip.
Looks like it will come in just under 13 oz. Now if I can just lose a few oz...GK
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lighter sleep options

Postby vesteroid » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:24 am

I think this is an often misunderstood topic.

It seems from reading in a variety of forums, that many non UL hikers think UL must equal either unsafe, or uncomfortable.

Of course there is also the subjective nature of what is UL?

One thing I do in my kit is to combine a much lighter 3 season quilt, with lightweight down clothing. So I carry WM flash pants and jacket and use a 30+ degree quilt for 3 season and a 10 degree quilt for winter.

This lets me put on the down clothing after hiking and stay warm around camp, and adds to the overall warmth rating of my quilt / bag.

So it creates a variable system....in really warm weather I could leave off the clothing, and in colder add it back in.

Another possibility is the jacks r better quilts that have the neck hole for wearing.

while I have not tried this yet, I would think that it would be perfect for an around camp warm piece and still a warm sleep solution.

I also think many people put too little emphasis on their R value of their pad in lower temps.

If you really are going to get into the 20's, then thin foam pads or even neo airs, may leave you cold, and its not the bags fault.

Just thoughts to consider.
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Postby bradlee » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:25 am

Ellie wrote:I would shop around for prices. You can often find deals on-line.

I used the 15 degree Mamot Helium on the AT. It is 32 oz, about $389, and a fantastic bag.

The Feathered Friend bags are right up there with WM (both some of the best), and the FF Swallow @ 31 oz, is about $354. I will be using the 10 degree FF Lark on the CDT. I sleep pretty cold.

I believe the manufacturer weight for the WM Ultralight, rated at 20 degrees, is actually 29oz. Some people claim they are often a couple of ounces heavier, but they are some of the best bags.

I used the Nunatak Alpinist quilt on the PCT. The manufacturer rates it to 20 degrees, but I got cold spots under 30 degrees (I do sleep very cold though). It is 23-25 oz. depending on the shell, and about $387.


I thought the price of bag is more then its actual value. My friend bought this bag only in $250. I told my friend to buy 1 bag for me.
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Postby leaftye » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:20 am

The lightest will be a quilt. The lightest of those will utilize cuben fiber for its shell and 850+ fp down for its insulation. The next lightest might use 7D or 8D breathable nylon for its shell. EnLIGHTened Equipment is the way to go if you want a cuben fiber quilt. They might be convinced to make a quilt out of other fabrics, although you might have to supply the fabric yourself.
Sir Mix-a-lot
www.eugeneleafty.com
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Compare the weight and quality of down fill

Postby QiWiz » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:37 pm

or you might be getting a 30 degree bag that says its a "15 degree" bag and is "really light". For a down bag, I recommend 800-900 rating on the down fill for the lightest bag at a given warmth. In the end, its all about the loft. Shell material also plays a role in bag weight. For the lightest bag, look for the down (fill) weight to be a higher percentage of the total weight.

I have a Western Mountaineering Badger that's rated (conservatively) at 15 degrees. Love it. Weighs 40.6 oz, but loft is huge.
Keep it light! . . . . . QiWiz (aka Qi Wiz)
Check out the lightest cathole trowels,
buck saws, and wood burning stoves on
the planet @ www.QiWiz.net
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