il padrone wrote:RonK wrote:Well yes, I do toss and turn a lot,
Ahh, well the Exped Synmat or Downmat may well be your solution
My wife will be pleased to know that - I will get one right away for everyday use.
All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
My wife will be pleased to know that - I will get one right away for everyday use.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
Exped 7 Downmat, Mont sleeping bag and a home made silk liner covers me for everything.
I've gone from finding soft patches of grass to closed cell mats, thermarests and now the Exped and I reckon that having the best sleeping setup you can afford pays for itself many times over. There are few things worse than spending most of the night lying awake because you are cold. I made my own silk liner as I never found one that was big enough to wrap myself in. I'm a bit bigger than average but even for those of average height and size, a lot of the liners are too small. On a warm night were the sleeping bag is too warm, it's nice to be able to pull the silk liner up and over the shoulders to trap a little warm air as the night cools off. As has been mentioned, a rectangular bag with a double ended zip is very versatile, open the bottom zip and stick your feet out if it gets too warm and use it as a doona for cool nights.
A compression sack makes a big difference to the volume of a bag, they're worth the money and the few extra grams of weight.
And if you are a little cold, have a light snack.
I recently purchased a MEC synthetic bag at a very reasonable price.
They have some excellent equipment, tools, and clothing but you have to be a member ($5 CAD) and some items cannot be shipped overseas/out of Canada.
Shop at http://www.mec.ca
I think I might end up buying my sleeping bag locally, I've been comparing prices and once you factor in shipping from OS it works out to be around the same price (or a little more in some situations). The only downside is that local stores have pretty pathetic range and stock levels. E.g. all the stores in Perth only had a few decent down bags. Mainpeak had a variety of the Mont Helium bags which seemed pretty good for the price ($450 for the 300 version). They are rated for 3-13 degrees which is a little lower than I was planning, but might be OK with a good mattress and liner. I'll mainly be using it in temps around 6-8 degrees C and I sleep fairly warm.
Ok, after a lot of hunting around and research I ended up getting a Mont-bell 'UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3' sleeping bag from Moontrail. I did check all the local stores however their range was really limited, I was looking at spending around $450-500 for a decent bag and only had a couple of options to choose from. The Mont-bell bag is very popular and well reviewed all around the net multiple sources. It's light, comfortable, suitable for temps around 4 degrees C and cost me just over $400 including insured express USPS shipping. I also used the bonus points to get two pairs of merino boxer briefs and a Exped pillow, easily worth more than $100.
I only need a mattress and sleeping bag liner and I'll be all set.
The great feature of the Mont-bell sleeping bag is that it is stretchy and flexible, however I am not sure how this will be affected if I have a silk/blended-silk sleeping bag liner as this wont be stretchy and might possibly negate the feature of the sleeping bag. There's a large range or blended/full-silk sleeping bag liners on ebay from Vietnam for around $20-30 (e.g. here, here and here) which look pretty good, but I haven't bought anything yet as I'm not sure if I'll need it with this bag.
I'll be buying a Exped UL Synmat 7 locally from Mainpeak as it is the same price/cheaper and easier than buying OS once you factor in shipping and conversion rates. Might wait for the end of June to see if there's any sales.
First and foremost if those liners are $30 they are very very unlikely to be silk (read the description carefully). For example one of your links states "it is a 100% art silk fabric using high quality synthetic fibers" Secondly they are regularly reported as being small, that is smaller than how we measure feet and inches so you may blow your $30 anyway and finally the main purpose of a liner is to keep the bag clean. Cleaning down sleeping bags is not fun. Google will educate you in the practice. Pretty pointless to spend $400 on a down sleeping bag and then not put some effort into looking after it IMO.
If you want to learn about silk liners from Vietnam read the bushwalking forums ...
Get your silk sleeping sheet from Kathmandu. They're excellent quality and will last for many years. Buy them when they have one of their regular 50% off sales.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
For those interested Light and Ultralight Backpacking (I know an evil walker ) has just published a review on the Exped Synmat UL 7W.
I'll be getting my self one of those soon. I don't mind the slight extra weight over a CCF considering how much less space they take up and how much more comfortable they are. Just waiting for the EOFY sales. I've also considered to old bubble wrap mattress idea too, just for fun.
I received my Mont-bell 'UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3' sleeping bag from Moontrail yesterday evening... it's my first UL sleeping bag and I am simply blown away by how light, compactable, comfortable and warm it is! I used the bonus points to buy two pairs of lightweight 150 gsm merino wool boxer briefs and an Exped pillow - all very awesome items too! I'll be able to field test the sleeping bag next weekend all going to plan, so I need to order a sleeping bag liner asap. i'll give one of the $30 silk ones from a reputable ebay seller a go first, considering the ones in a hiking store are more than twice the price.
How are you finding the bag? I am now revisiting the issue having decided my quilt is just too bulky to continue using when cycle touring and bushwalking.
I am overall very happy with it. It's soft, flexible, comfortable, packs down small and light. It's comfort rated to 4 degrees, I am a warm sleeper and I was using an additional silk liner. However even I had to zip it all the way up on nights cooler than 8 degrees (only wearing boxer shorts though). Not sure how I would fare in temps around zero, I'd need to wear some thermal underwear with it then to be comfortably warm. Not a major hassle though as I always had a long sleeve merino wool top when I was travelling for cool mornings or as a base layer underneath my rain jacket.
Thanks. Your experience seems to be along the lines others are reporting and that is the ratings are quite optimistic. I really would prefer something that can handle temperatures a little lower as most of my touring is during winter.
In hindsight, might this one have been a better choice? http://www.moontrail.com/montbell-ul-sp ... -1-reg.php
I'm curious about the stretch system. In practice, does it mean it's close-fitting? Does it actually allow you to move around during the night, or do you get tangled up in the bag?
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If I were touring in mild winter conditions I would have gotten the heavier and warmer version. But I was touring in summer, where it was usually around 15 to 20 degrees at night. Some nights were warmer, some cooler. The bag that i got was the most versatile. As I said before it's good to have a merino wool base layer on hand to use if it's a cooler night or to have under your jacket.
It's a very good system. Size-wise it is the same as a regular sleeping bag, but since it stretches quite a bit this negates the often constricting/claustrophobic feeling you get with regular, non-stretch sleeping bags. It allows you to comfortably move around and does not get tangled up. However the silk sleeping bag liner was quite annoying in this way as it was so thin and had no stretch.
I refuse to be cold in bed.
I need two sleeping bags.
for Winter I use a Macpac Sanctuary 800XP (extra large)
http://www.macpac.co.nz/shop/en_nz/gear ... -xp-3.html
It boasts 840grams of 800 loft down and it just laughs at cold weather.
Whilst its 1.59kg will make the weight weenies gasp, its toastieness is without question.
"Temp rating Comfort -7°C / Limit -14°C / Extreme -35°C"
Waste of space though for anything but cold frosty conditions.
For the rest of the year I usually manage to make do with my Macpac Snowflake.
An old bag now of about 150g from memory with a pertex shell making it damp resistant.
It was originally bought to make a 3 season bag a 4.
Its a little short on me but I think eminently suitable for summer bivvying.
As its due for replacement, I've my eye on either a Macpac Escapade 350 (XL)
http://www.macpac.co.nz/shop/en_nz/gear ... 50-xl.html
or a Macpac Express 400 (XL)
http://www.macpac.co.nz/shop/en_nz/gear ... s-402.html
The Express 400 is losing points on cost at the moment being approx $200 dearer although its a warmer bag.
I dont think 3 of Aussie's seasons justify the extra warmth and hence cost.
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