O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

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O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby elStado » Fri May 04, 2012 11:45 am

I'm looking for a light and compact sleeping bag that can handle min temps of around 0-2°C. More likely to be used in min temps around 6-12°C, however I figured it's easier to open it up to get cool, rather than have to try and make it warmer on those cooler nights. Will be used in late summer/early Autumn in central and northern Europe, as well as summer-spring-autumn in Australia on the southern west coast. Prefer to have a full zip option to be able to open it all the way up if needed.

I've seen the Marmot Hydrogen which is a -1°C rated sleeping bag, weighs ~700gm, 850 fill goose down, and packs down light. It's on sale atm for $299 plus postage which is more than I originally expected to be paying for a tent, but like most high performance, light weight gear it comes at a price.

Another option I've seen if the RAB Neutrino Endurance 200 Down which is 0ºC min rated (5ºC comfort), weighs 685gm, 800 fill goose down with a water resistant shell. On sale now for around $315 plus postage.

Happy to look into any locally sold options as I have noticed the range and prices here in Australia are often quite reasonable compared to OS, especially after postage is factored in.

Budget is around $250-300 (plus postage if required).
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by BNA » Fri May 04, 2012 11:54 am

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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby gururug » Fri May 04, 2012 11:54 am

The two you suggest there are right on the money. One with similar specs and price that most match your dimensions or sleeping preference.

Some brands tout a special water repellant treatment to the down, which is worth a looking if your encountering frequent drenchings.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby elStado » Fri May 04, 2012 12:06 pm

gururug wrote:Some brands tout a special water repellant treatment to the down, which is worth a looking if your encountering frequent drenchings.


I don't plan on it. I'll have a good tent and a dry bag for my sleeping gear. It is quite wet though in late summer in Scandinavia/northern Europe.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby Tim » Fri May 04, 2012 12:41 pm

Don't dismiss synthetic fill bags. I recently bought a One Planet Sac-4, synthetic bag from Kelly Basecamp online store. In the past I have always paid heaps for down filled bags. The new bag is a bit heavier and bulkier than an equivalent down fill but it was much cheaper and synthetics still perform if they get wet. The bag is well made and kept me warm at about +2C a week ago. Haven't got time at the moment to quote prices, weights and bulkiness but the synthetics are very good value if you can sacrifice a small amount of weight and space.
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O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby RonK » Fri May 04, 2012 1:21 pm

It's hard to best Marmot products for quality.

I bought a Helium, originally for high altitude trekking, but I'm a warm sleeper and it is just too warm for cycle touring. So I got a Hydrogen which is quite warm enough and is extremely light and compact. It fits into the XS Sea to Summit Event Compression Drybag.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby J Quinton » Fri May 04, 2012 1:21 pm

Be prepared to fork out 50-100 bucks for a liner too. They are worth it.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby elStado » Fri May 04, 2012 2:00 pm

J Quinton wrote:Be prepared to fork out 50-100 bucks for a liner too. They are worth it.


Most are around $50 for a silk liner. Apparently you can get good silk liners in Asia for peanuts, a few on eBay that look very good for the price.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Fri May 04, 2012 3:13 pm

Just be warned elStado that most companies give there sleeping bags a temperature degree rating which is false the new standard which takes out the guess work of this and give a true indication if the bag will be suited to it's needs is what there now calling a "Comfort" temperature reading. This new comfort reading is a true indication that if the temperature falls to the comfort level reading your going to still get a good night sleep so look for this new standard when selecting a bag.

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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby J Quinton » Fri May 04, 2012 4:50 pm

elStado wrote:
J Quinton wrote:Be prepared to fork out 50-100 bucks for a liner too. They are worth it.


Most are around $50 for a silk liner. Apparently you can get good silk liners in Asia for peanuts, a few on eBay that look very good for the price.



Any reviews/feedback on the Vietnamese liners?
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby il padrone » Fri May 04, 2012 6:14 pm

Best to go with the fill weight for temp indications. I have found that 700g of 900 loft down in a mummy or semi-mummy bag will keep me warm down to below zero. Recently with the Exped matress and tent I have gone all summer and autumn without zipping up the bag - I have just used it as a doona.

That Marmot looks a good one and the price is excellent. When I bought my Mountain Designs over 12 years ago it was over $500.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby LG » Fri May 04, 2012 9:34 pm

}SkOrPn--7 wrote:Just be warned elStado that most companies give there sleeping bags a temperature degree rating which is false the new standard which takes out the guess work of this and give a true indication if the bag will be suited to it's needs is what there now calling a "Comfort" temperature reading. This new comfort reading is a true indication that if the temperature falls to the comfort level reading your going to still get a good night sleep so look for this new standard when selecting a bag.

Ricky


+1 to this & il padrone's comments. The temp rating IMO is a loose guide and subject to significant variation. In the 1 sleeping bag at diferent times I've had some ruddy cold nights around the 0 degree mark, and slept soundly in -10. Count on a liner adding a few "degrees" to the comfort level. If you are physically tired, poorly hydrated or haven't eaten enough your ability to stay warm will be effected.

I've found the "waterproof" outer on sleeping bags (gore dryloft on mine) come into their own when you're in a moist environment such as a tent on a cold wet night. If condensation is an issue they can reduce water penetration to the insulation material from drips or when you roll over and lean against the side of the tent.

I haven't purchased a sleeping bag for about 15 years, so if you buy a quality one and look after it well, it will last. My last buy was a One Plant, not sure if they still exist.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby elStado » Sat May 05, 2012 12:25 am

}SkOrPn--7 wrote:Just be warned elStado that most companies give there sleeping bags a temperature degree rating which is false the new standard which takes out the guess work of this and give a true indication if the bag will be suited to it's needs is what there now calling a "Comfort" temperature reading. This new comfort reading is a true indication that if the temperature falls to the comfort level reading your going to still get a good night sleep so look for this new standard when selecting a bag.

Ricky


Yeah I noticed that most new performance sleeping bags mention that. They have a min rating and a comfort rating, that RAB bag I linked in OP for example is 0 min and 5 comfort which is fine for what I am looking for. I'll have the silk liner too in order to add a little extra warmth if needed, plus I sleep pretty warm due to my highly active metabolism... Quite happy to wear a pair of shorts and a tee on a cool day when everyone else is rugged up.

J Quinton wrote:Any reviews/feedback on the Vietnamese liners?


I'd also be interested to hear feedback if anyone else has tried a cheap silk liner from Asia/eBay.

Othrwise I'll just get one anyway and post my feedback on this forum and my blog. They're only ~$14 delivered... So not a big investment even if they turn out to be crap.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby Aushiker » Sat May 05, 2012 1:08 am

I am seriously considering a Western Mountaineering HiLite at the moment ... 455 grams and rated to 2 C. Pretty much rates up there as the benchmark amongst the lightweight hiking crowd (e.g., backpackinglight.com) and I respect their views as they are pretty tough in their assessments. Remember but that the HiLIte is getting down into the ultralight category so there are trade-offs such as 1/2 zip. $313 ex the UK delivered from http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/ .

Cavebear2 has one ... packs down so small. He is very happy with his I believe.

I haven't found anything that really competes other than the PHD designs products out of the UK but for me I have to custom sizing which makes the price/weight ratio uncompetitive. They also have no zips so you need to be comfortable with that.

Yeti gear is good too and you have European standard temperature ratings but they are very pricey. For example their Passion Three is around $544 ex the UK delivered.

BTW my two key criteria are around 0 to 5 C, under 500 grams and pack small without having to muck around with compression sacks (more weight and cost) so I am looking at the more specialised end of the market. YMMV.

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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby Aushiker » Sat May 05, 2012 1:21 am

J Quinton wrote:Any reviews/feedback on the Vietnamese liners?


Make sure it is actually silk and not a synthetic mix or synthetic silk. The language used can be quite subtle. If you are paying around $20 to $30 odds on it is not silk at all. Also the word is that they are small.

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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby Meditator » Sat May 05, 2012 1:22 pm

I think the roman palm iv is rated to +5 but i have used it in what everyone thought was zero degrees. yes i was a bit cold. I had on my cotton knit tights, wool top, balaclava, explorer socks and a few other bits of my cotton or nylon clothes laid over the top.

This sleeping bag is very small and light. its 400g. If you have a small emergency type blanket as well or even a silk sleeping bag liner, you could boost the heat sufficiently i expect. Another way to significantly increase the warmth is to make your drink bottle up as a hot water bottle. If you put this in a sock or towel, it will keep warm until morning.

I'm going to France in May - July next year . I wasn't going to take it but if i was going in summer, i would think it would be fine if its an ordinary summer.

It has a full zip and a good shaped head thingy so you can have it as a hood. It was well priced at about $90 or less.

I haven't yet decided what i'm going to do, though i wasn't going to take this one but instead take my down sleeping bag which 3 season rated. I feel the cold. I can cope with being very cold for a few nights but for an extended period, i'm not sure its a good idea. If you are a hot sleeper, then this summer bag should be good enough for you.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby elStado » Sat May 05, 2012 1:35 pm

Aushiker wrote:I am seriously considering a Western Mountaineering HiLite at the moment ... 455 grams and rated to 2 C. Pretty much rates up there as the benchmark amongst the lightweight hiking crowd (e.g., backpackinglight.com) and I respect their views as they are pretty tough in their assessments. Remember but that the HiLIte is getting down into the ultralight category so there are trade-offs such as 1/2 zip. $313 ex the UK delivered from http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/ .


I was also looking at this bag actually. Decided that I wasn't too keen on the half zip and the price was a bit much compared to other options. Not so worried about another bag is a hundred gm heavier if its quite a bit cheaper.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby il padrone » Sat May 05, 2012 1:45 pm

Aushiker wrote:I am seriously considering a Western Mountaineering HiLite at the moment ... 455 grams and rated to 2 C.

*cough*... I'm sorry but I find that difficult to believe. Sleeping bag warmth is related directly to 1. down weight and 2. bag design. A bag with 550g of 900 loft fill and a mummy, box-wall design, will keep you warm to about 0 to -5 degrees. I find it very difficult to believe that a bag weighing 455g (down weight of... 300g, 350g?) would be warm anything below 5 deg, even if it is a mummy bag with a full box-wall construction. Unless of course you were wearing your clothing in it :wink: or you were a very warm sleeper.

My old bag had 500g of down in it and it did keep me warm down to just below zero (in a tent) when it was new. Not after several years use though.

[edit] That bag has 225g of fill, and...

While the horizontal seams are sewn-thru
means you have cold spot potential. Not impressed. 2 deg.... yeah go fish!
Last edited by il padrone on Sat May 05, 2012 4:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby Vintagetourer » Sat May 05, 2012 2:24 pm

I have had one of the Western Mountaineering 'lite' bags for a few years and have found it to provide an excellent combination of small volume, light weight and warmth. Not 100% sure but think it is the Summerlite. Weighs total of about 500g. Coldest I've used it so far is about 5 degrees C, but I am confident that I'd be comfortable in frostier conditions.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby RonK » Sat May 05, 2012 6:23 pm

Aushiker wrote:I am seriously considering a Western Mountaineering HiLite at the moment ... 455 grams and rated to 2 C.

Ordinarily I'd be all in favour of lighter weight gear. But the way many ultralight sleeping bags reduce weight is to eliminate essential features such as zips, or least full-length zips. This can seriously compromise the utility of the bag as there may be no way to regulate your body temperature.

After a couple of occasions when I woke in the middle of the night in a lather of sweat (and subsequently became seriously chilled), I rarely get into my Marmot sleeping bag now, and mostly to use it as a doona. Even though it is a mummy bag, I can put my feet in the bottom of the unzipped bag and pull the rest over me.

I have concluded a sleeping bag is unecessary for touring and have my eye on a Thermarest sleep system which combines a down blanket with a NeoAir mattress. This should be plenty warm for any conditions I'm likely to encounter on a cycle tour and should be much more comfortable and less restrictive than a mummy bag. Only the price is holding me back from buying immediately.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby il padrone » Sat May 05, 2012 7:02 pm

RonK wrote:I have concluded a sleeping bag is unecessary for touring and have my eye on a Thermarest sleep system which combines a down blanket with a NeoAir mattress. This should be plenty warm for any conditions I'm likely to encounter on a cycle tour and should be much more comfortable and less restrictive than a mummy bag. Only the price is holding me back from buying immediately.

A good system, and not dissimilar to what I've been doing with my Exped Synmat 7 and 14 year old Mountain Designs semi-mummy sleeping bag. This bag has a full length zip and a zip across the foot so it can be fully opened out if I wish, making full use of all the down. Most of the time it is very warm for me. However I would keep this bag for winter use as it can still be fully closed up to keep me warm on below zero nights. That Thermarest Alpine down blanket is nice but seems to be only good for ~5 degrees.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby Aushiker » Sat May 05, 2012 7:21 pm

elStado wrote:
Aushiker wrote:I was also looking at this bag actually. Decided that I wasn't too keen on the half zip and the price was a bit much compared to other options. Not so worried about another bag is a hundred gm heavier if its quite a bit cheaper.


For sure which is why I mentioned that you have to be comfortable with the lightweight, bordering on ultralight weight approach. It is not for everyone. Of course it does not make it a bad bag and the user feedback rates it right up there as one of the best options in this category but it has to be a design you are comfortable with.

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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby Aushiker » Sat May 05, 2012 7:32 pm

RonK wrote:After a couple of occasions when I woke in the middle of the night in a lather of sweat (and subsequently became seriously chilled), I rarely get into my Marmot sleeping bag now, and mostly to use it as a doona. Even though it is a mummy bag, I can put my feet in the bottom of the unzipped bag and pull the rest over me.


I have used a Ray-way user made quilt with a footbox for some time now; nothing new in that concept which has been popular in backpacking circles for a number of years, e.g., Jacks R Better, Nunatak or see a list at backpackinglight.com. My only issue with mine is it is a home made one and is rather bulky. Weighs 882 grams + compression sack of 152 grams so is up there at 1034 grams. There are some interesting options out of the US which would bring the weight down to around 500 to 600 grams but they need to be made to order and I am running out of time to do that. May stick with my quilt for now and deal with this issue down the track. Yet to decide.

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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby Aushiker » Sat May 05, 2012 7:45 pm

RonK wrote:I have concluded a sleeping bag is unecessary for touring and have my eye on a Thermarest sleep system which combines a down blanket with a NeoAir mattress. .


One thing to consider with these sorts of systems is how you sleep. If you toss and turn a lot during the night as I do it may not work so well for you. I have tried integrated mat/sleeping bag concepts in the past and found that I was getting twisted up in the mat during the night, so gave that idea away after one night. Something to consider I guess.

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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby RonK » Sat May 05, 2012 10:09 pm

Aushiker wrote:One thing to consider with these sorts of systems is how you sleep. If you toss and turn a lot during the night as I do it may not work so well for you. I have tried integrated mat/sleeping bag concepts in the past and found that I was getting twisted up in the mat during the night, so gave that idea away after one night. Something to consider I guess.

Well yes, I do toss and turn a lot, but it's hard to see how this arrangement could be any worse than sleeping under an unzipped mummy bag.
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Re: O°C+ rated sleeping bag for cycle touring

Postby il padrone » Sat May 05, 2012 10:23 pm

RonK wrote:Well yes, I do toss and turn a lot,

Ahh, well the Exped Synmat or Downmat may well be your solution :wink:
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