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AnthonyL

review Sleeping bag for the cascades

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Well, I think my 25 year old north face bag is finally on its last leg.  Looking for something suitable for spring, summer, and fall in the cascades.  I generally run kinda warm and don't mind sleeping in a jacket and what not. That being said, I'd be bummed to spend 4-500 on a sleeping bag and find out there was a better option. Thus far, I've been looking at the Feathered Friends Merlin UL 30, western mountaineering Summerlite, and the Nunatuk quilts, but I'm wondering if I want something that is rated to 20 degrees.  I'm also considering the FF Vireo because there is a lightly used one available, but I'm worried it's not enough for spring and fall. What are y'all using or what do you recommend? I also get 50% off of any Eddie Bauer product, but there isn't any sleeping bag that seems like the right fit in their lineup.

 

Thanks,

Anthony

Edited by AnthonyL

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I've been using a FF Swallow for 20 years and have spent about a year of my life in it.  I find that it is a little warm for high summer, but I just drape it over me like a quilt.  Perfect for sleeping toasty in the spring and fall.  I even use it in winter sometimes, with extra clothes.  The Swallow pretty much does it all, and probably the reason it is FF's most popular bag.

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I have used the FF Osprey UL 30 for quite a few years.  The Osprey has served me well throughout the Cascades in Spring, Summer, and Fall.  I have pushed it down to 10F several times and been alright (it is custom to a 25F bag...see below).  It has held up super well, packs down really small and barely weighs more than my big down puffy!  Even took it up on Denali and doubled it with a Marmot 0F.  I also own a -10 Eider and would definitely recommend FF bags.

FYI you can have Feathered Friends "overfill" a sleeping bag to increase a rating.  My Osprey is actually overfilled with a couple more ounces to make it a 25F bag instead of a 30F.  Just call the Seattle store and ask them about it. 

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2 hours ago, mthorman said:

My Osprey is actually overfilled with a couple more ounces to make it a 25F bag

Ohhhhhh, right!  I had forgotten about this.  My wife had her Swallow turned into a 15F bag via this option. Thanks for sharing that.

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also look at montbell.  i use theur 30 degree throughout the winter, but have a nunatack quilt for shoulders and summer.  

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I love my WM Caribou - 35 and find it easily meets that rating. Chose it because it is a little roomier and slightly tougher fabric than the 'Lite' series, but still very light. I also have a 15 degree bag for colder weather but rarely need it.

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for the middle of summer, I use a sleeping bag liner.  One of those down filled 50F bags that is supposed to go inside another bag to boost the temp rating.  I also sleep warm and just wear clothes inside.  Makes the mornings less hectic if already dressed for day anyways.  Fine for even places like rainier in july and is so light and takes up very little space.

 

Consider specific bags if you are a belly or side sleeper.  seems like most mummy bags are for back sleepers.   I had to buy a FF 20F bag that has a wide top section to allow for arm position while stomach sleeping.  Can't remember the name but it seems like more brands are creating such bags now.  well worth the extra price for a bag that fits your sleeping sttyle.

 

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I second the FF Swallow 20.   It suits me well in the Cascades, but does get warm in the summer if you are down lower.  I open it up and use it like a blanket with my upper body out.   It is very light.

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anthony-

I have a "vintage" north face "lightrider" (their bag for bicycle touring) that is lightly used and may work for your purpose.  total weight is just over a pound - I used it for a summer bag, 3-season with extra clothes, and as a liner for an over-sized three-season bag for "extreme cold".  It has a very wide "comfort range" because it has no side-block baffle opposite the zipper, so you can shake all the down to the top side for colder conditions, or shake more to underside for hot nights.   It was always a bit short for me, so I replaced it a few years back with a longer 1-lb bag from Mountain Equipment...  if you're interested, you know how to reach me... come take a look at it -- it would be inexpensive...

-Haireball

Edited by montypiton
misspelling/typo
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On 2/26/2019 at 3:54 PM, JasonG said:

I've been using a FF Swallow for 20 years and have spent about a year of my life in it.  I find that it is a little warm for high summer, but I just drape it over me like a quilt.  Perfect for sleeping toasty in the spring and fall.  I even use it in winter sometimes, with extra clothes.  The Swallow pretty much does it all, and probably the reason it is FF's most popular bag.

Second that except more like 25 years for my Swallow.

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I have and like the ff vireo. I am 5ft 10inch tall and got the the longest size so can scrunch inside it totally for colder weather. I have used the ff Helios down jacket with it. I use a tarp and a SOL breathable bivy sack with it. I am a cold sleeper and often sleep around 5 to 7 grand feet summer alpine-for me this works well. I have recently had a few more oz added to the upper half of the bag. For early spring and late fall the bag will likely be too light unless your a very warm sleeper.  I must say that it is my go to bag for summer alpine, I suggest getting the longer size and over stuff the upper half if need more warmth.  In any case you cant go wrong with any ff product.

 

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Any ~ 20 degree bag from FF or WM would be a solid choice and would be very versatile.  I own bags from both companies and have used them well below their temperature ratings. 

For a summer specific bag I took a chance and purchased a 30 degree Stoic bag. (50% off from SteepandCheap).  I have been very happy with it and find it to be as good quality wise as FF or WM, although the temperature rating is not as conservative.  850 fill power down, Pertex Quantum W/B shell, 25 ounces, compacts to about a liter.  

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I love FF gear and own some. The quality and customer service is absolute tops. I got an expedition bag from them when I wanted no compromises.

With that said I will second DPS on the stoic bags.  I picked up and somnus 30 and a somnus 15 super cheap from backcountry and/or steep and cheap.  Can't remember the cost but I can guarantee I am in to both of them a lot less than any FF bag.  They wouldn't stand up to 20+ years of 30 days a year but I don't get out that much.  I've been using them for 5+ years and I'll get some more out of them.  The 30, which I have used the most, might not be lofting quite like it was at first but probably I just need to wash and tumble it.

The 30 is almost nothing and great in the summer.  The 15 also very light and good for spring and fall. I run relatively warm and wear clothes and have even used the 15 in winter but wouldn't make a broad recommendation for that. These bags have half length center zippers on top so you can't vent them as easily as a bag with a longer side zip.  For that reason I would not recommend the 15 for a do everything bag as it is easy to run too hot in it.

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Posted (edited)

I was looking at the feathered friends website ,  found the new Tanager sleeping bag. If I was going to do it all over again I likely would get the Tanager, for spring summer fall in the western cascades alpine. In fact with the overstuffed Vireo, I in fact have a bag like the Tanager bag. I favor the longer size to pull myself inside for colder weather. Control warmth with the jacket. I also use a SOL breathable bivy sack, it also works to control warmth. The advantage of no zipper is the lightest weight and bulk in a sleeping bag. Note,  you really should also have a hooded puffy light to heavy depending on temp, most people carry one anyway,  and/or a warm sleeping head cover.

http://featheredfriends.com/tanager-cfl-ultralight-sleeping-bag.html

 

 

 

 

Edited by DanO

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Posted (edited)

Surprised Valandre bags dont get a nod. Damn good bag easily comparable to WM or FF.

Edited by Loco Raindrops

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