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KaskadskyjKozak

Sleeping Bag Recommendations

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I'm considering purchasing a down bag with my REI dividend. I'm currently looking at the Marmot Helium and the Mountain Hardware Phantom 15. Both bags are rated to 15 degrees.

 

I currently own an REI Shasta 15 degree bag which is 3 lbs 4 oz and has a 9x21 stuff sack. I've used it for a couple of climbing seasons. My main motivations for the down bags are lighter weight and more compressability. My bag takes a lot of space in my (large) multi-day pack (Gregory Shasta), and adds over 3 lbs to an already heavy pack (6+ lbs). I am considering buying a smaller pack for most overnight glacier climbs (as well as day-hikes/scrambles/back country skiing) and a smaller sleeping bag would help make that feasible.

 

My questions:

 

1) would it be better to go with a 30 degree bag for shorter trips, or should I stick with a 15 or 20 degree bag - it is the most versatile in the Cascades?

2) How does a 15/20 degree bag fair in cold conditions in Spring and Fall in the Cascades? When / for what climbs would it be insufficient? A winter ascent of Rainier or Baker? How about spring? (I'm considering going up Baker in a couple of weeks)

3) The Helium and Phantom are pretty comparable. The Helium is a bit wider (I am broad-shouldered), but the Phantom has a two-way zipper - good for venting the legs. Anything else people have noticed with either? Good experiences? Bad?

4) I know you don't want to get down wet. This means from the inside as well. How susceptible are these two bags to damp clothing, or breathing into the bag (a no-no?), or sweating?

5) I'm just under 6 feet tall. Is it a good or bad idea to go with a 6'6" bag to leave room for a water bottle or clothes you want to be warm/dry (socks). My synthetic bag is 6', and I don't put much in it with me.

 

TIA

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I've got the Helium bag, so here's my $0.02:

1) you can't get much lighter than it, so I didn't find any pt in getting a 30 degree bag. If you think the Helium's too heavy, you'll prolly sleep w/ belay jacket & close friend

2. I wouldn't use it for winter volcanoes, but I think Cracked uses a similiar bag (the REI Sub-Kilo) for winter snow trips. He must run warmer than me.

3. Helium is big enough for me & my awe-inspriring chest.

4. duh. No mouth-breathing into your down bag. No wetting the bed. In the cold dry climes of Alaska and Himalaya you can dry out your clothes inside the bag, but I don't recommend such in the PNW.

5. Your call. I like extra space in my bag for hot water bottles during glacier climbs/ snow camping.

 

All that said, I use the Helium from April-October. No complaints. YMMV

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I've got the Helium bag, so here's my $0.02:

1) you can't get much lighter than it, so I didn't find any pt in getting a 30 degree bag. If you think the Helium's too heavy, you'll prolly sleep w/ belay jacket & close friend

2. I wouldn't use it for winter volcanoes, but I think Cracked uses a similiar bag (the REI Sub-Kilo) for winter snow trips. He must run warmer than me.

3. Helium is big enough for me & my awe-inspriring chest.

4. duh. No mouth-breathing into your down bag. No wetting the bed. In the cold dry climes of Alaska and Himalaya you can dry out your clothes inside the bag, but I don't recommend such in the PNW.

5. Your call. I like extra space in my bag for hot water bottles during glacier climbs/ snow camping.

 

All that said, I use the Helium from April-October. No complaints. YMMV

 

Thanks Squid. Regarding 2., what would you use for winter volcanoes?

 

As for breathing into the bag... I've been guilty of that on cold nights in my synthetic. shocked.gif

I'll have to break that habit if I go with down...

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2. I wouldn't use it for winter volcanoes, but I think Cracked uses a similiar bag (the REI Sub-Kilo) for winter snow trips. He must run warmer than me.

 

fat people always sleep warmer smirk.gif

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Thanks Squid. Regarding 2., what would you use for winter volcanoes?

 

This is embarassing to confess, but I use this PHAT -20 down bag for winter glacier trips. It's way overkill, but I since I have the bag, I might as well use it. Besides- it's SOO freakin' comfy. It also has the added bonus of being a booty magnet.

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Thanks Squid. Regarding 2., what would you use for winter volcanoes?

 

This is embarassing to confess, but I use this PHAT -20 down bag for winter glacier trips. It's way overkill, but I since I have the bag, I might as well use it. Besides- it's SOO freakin' comfy. It also has the added bonus of being a booty magnet.

 

What would be sufficient for a Feb climb of Rainier? A zero degree bag? A zero degree bag plus a silk liner? Just trying to get a feel for the range of use here...

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I'm also considering spending my dividend on something else and going with Feathered Friends for a new down bag. Any feedback on their 15/20 degree bags would be appreciated as well...

Edited by KaskadskyjKozak

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I was in pretty much exactly the same position as you, KK (had an REI Shasta, got tired of the size/weight, wanted to be able to use a smaller pack for climbing overnights). I bought a used ~20-deg. down bag that just fits, has kept me warm on 3-season Cascades trips, and packs down half as big. I've usually got some kind of insulating jacket along with me, so I can sleep in that if I get cold. The ol' Shasta is strictly for car camping now.

 

For winter, I have a 0-degree down bag. I don't think I'd be warm enough in anything else on a cold winter night... like the time on a ski trip to BC where water froze two feet from the stove.

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What would be sufficient for a Feb climb of Rainier? A zero degree bag? A zero degree bag plus a silk liner? Just trying to get a feel for the range of use here...

 

Depends on the weather.

 

I've slept at Muir twice in the winter. The first time it was 30 F, and the next time around 0F.

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I have the FF Raven with eVent. Its has work well winter through summer. Last couple of years I haven't even used a bivy sack, only a small tarp.

 

Erick

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I use a -12 C (10 degree F) rated MEC bag for winter, and do fine most of the time. I can remember being fairly cold twice: one night in Sphinx hut (Garibaldi lk, BC) when the temp outside bottomed out our thermometer (ie below -30 C), and another time tenting near Mt Sproatt when the daily high was -27 C (don't know what the nightly low was; I survived by agressively spooning my tent-mate, which was ok because we started dating soon after). Of course, I am furry and tend to sleep warm. 90% of the time I use the bag, I just drape it over myself and sleep on my t-rest. (I suspect MEC underrates their bags (as in, they are warmer than advertised) compared with some manufacturers. They are great value.)

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Feathered friends bags rock! You have your choice of fabrics, so you can make it the lightest (Pertex Quantum), or sacrifice some weight for water-resistance (which is what I chose) Epic fabric is a good compromise with weight/water-resistance, but eVent is the most breathable (and most expensive and heaviest).

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very impressed with the Marmot Helium this winter. it's been my summer bag, but i risked it during a *mild* spell this march. also, my hilleberg akto collects a lot of condensation; but happily the Helium kept me toasty despite copious drippage from the wind battered tent walls.

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I have the marmot helium and have used it on Rainier in the winter with no problem. The bag is really warm and compresses really small. I vote for the Helium for almost any conditions....that are dry.

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I've got an older FF goretex/down 2lb bag, I couldn't tell you the model, I just refer to it as the precious. I'd buy one from them again for sure. I've been okay in it down to 20 or so, but I wouldn't really take it winter camping.

 

I did take a down bag on Rainier in the winter years ago, wound up with a nylon sack and fist size lumps of frozen down in each baffle. shocked.gif

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