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Dhamma

First Post (Sleeping Bag Question)

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Hi, Longtime reader, first time poster. I recently got a deal for a brand new Marmot Couloir 0Deg Long and a brand new Marmot Pinnacle 15Deg Long 800 Fill Down bag for $500 total. It was a great deal for sure, but I'm beginning to wonder if the bags are redundant seeing as they are so close in temperature ratings. For those of you with more experience on the Cascades--should I sell one of these bags for a -20 or if I plan to climb Many 14ers and possibly even Denali at some point in the future? I was thinking I might keep the Pinnacle for 3 season backpacking and getting a -20 for summer and winter mountaineering.

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A 30deg bag is sufficient for most Cascade weekend warrior activity in the summer, which, for most people, is 95% of their backcountry sleeping.

 

For Rainier in winter or Denali in summer, you will want a warmer bag.

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I have a 30 degree bag and while I don't disagree with your post, Mr. Fox, it actually turns out to be a little light for my purposes. In even May and September, it sometimes proves not quite quite warm enough not just for highland camping but for roadside as well. If I had it to do over again, I'd buy a slightly warmer bag that might weigh - what 6 oz? - more. But your point is sound: for summer trips you don't need much. (Where I'd save the weight is leaving the bivvy bag home, though. Many people seem to think they gotta have one and I really have little use for them.)

 

 

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U r both wrong. Well, sort of. I have a 40 degree bag I use for summer. If I need more warmth I add a bivy bag or wear clothes or just take heavier bag like Matt.

For Denali, you will want the warmer bag you bought. Take safety pins and pin your down coat on the top for added warmth.

Keep the other bag in case you end up with a woman like my wife. She is from Florida and likes my -10 down bag any time we sleep above 3000.

 

Nice score on the bags.

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Really, so I can do Denali with my 0 Degree bag?

I forgot to mention, I also have a feathered friends volant down jacket in event fabric with the hood. would those two be enough?

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I have a 30 degree bag and it actually turns out to be a little light for my purposes.

 

What bag do you have Matt?

 

A good quality, 30deg, down bag should be plenty warm. I wonder if maybe yours is old and/or low quality therefore not true to the 30deg rating?

 

Really, so I can do Denali with my 0 Degree bag?

 

Only you can decide. I used a -20deg bag on W Butt in early June and wouldn't have wanted a lighterweight bag. I believe Colin Haley climbed Denali with a 30deg bag. Can't remember which route or time of year, but he is a freak anyways.

 

In any case, you should plan to wear all your layers inside your sleeping bag. You are carrying them up there, might as well put them to use while you are sleeping.

 

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My sleeping bag is "good quality" (made by a local company that has made excellent stuff for 30+ years) and although I bought it probably 10 years ago it has not seen excessive use. It is simply too light for me. I used to sleep comfortably below any manufacturer's temperature ratings but I've never bought such a light bag before and I certainly do not do so with this one. Maybe it is "not true to the 30 deg rating" or maybe I'm just weak or maybe I need a slightly warmer bag. In the middle of the summer it is OK but for anything else it is not quite enough.

 

Yes, I am always able to get by if I wear my sweaters to bed or whatever. But (for me) the extra 6 oz would be worth it.

 

My only real point here is that the user should be ready to experiment and learn what works for them. Ratings and advice only take you so far... and then you either make do or ditch what isn't quite right and try something else. (In this case I've made do -- the bag I complain of is my most used sleeping bag.}

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I have the Feathered Friends 1# sleeping bag (Viero), and the Feathered Friends Helios, and a silk sleeping bag liner. This combo has worked well for me in the Cascades. Now the hard part with all of this is everyone is different -- I tend to need a bit more warmth than others, but this combo has worked fairly well for me. I am sometimes a bit cold, but if needed I put on any extra clothes (in addition to Helios jacket), boil up some hot water into a water bottle. And if the forecast is for some colder temps, I pack in some some silk liner socks (from Stephenson Tents), and add a bivy sack! The latter items certainly bring the overall weight up to a heavier "sleeping bag", but this way it is like layering, and I have more options to think about at home.

 

Another point is this if doing glacier climbing. I rarely sleep anyway. Maybe at best I get to sleep around 10:00, and then maybe 4 hours (2:00 a.m.) I am getting up anyway to get an early ascent. So if I am cold, it is not that long anyway!

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Marmot Couloir 0Deg Long and a brand new Marmot Pinnacle 15Deg Long 800 Fill Down.

 

should I sell one of these bags for a -20 or if I plan to climb Many 14ers and possibly even Denali at some point in the future? I was thinking I might keep the Pinnacle for 3 season backpacking and getting a -20 for summer and winter mountaineering.

 

15 Deg will get you through your spring, summer, fall and some winter mountaineering here in the Cascades no prob...it'll work for backpacking but be quite warm for sure...a 30 deg would be better and lighter...for a Denali endevaur or higher altitude winter pursuits the 0 would get your through but in my opinion a -20 deg would be better...not much more weight and will get you through more situations...if those are going to be fewer and farther between than a backpacking trip...i'd keep the 15 degree and sell/trade the 0 for a 30...buy the -20 down the road should you need it!!

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Really, so I can do Denali with my 0 Degree bag?

I forgot to mention, I also have a feathered friends volant down jacket in event fabric with the hood. would those two be enough?

You can if you have enough other clothes along. Full pants, and pile tops, hat etc. You might get a bad year and wish you had a warmer bag or you might do fine.

Just consider, do you sleep warm in general? Do you have room in your bag for the extra bulk of your extra clothes or are you just compressing the loft from the inside?

What is your fallback? Do you have two partners to sleep between?

I used a 0 degree bag on Denali but had really good weather (first week in June). The few times it dipped below -30 I was warm enough with my down jacket pinned to my bag.

I tend to sleep quite warm and wear few jackets etc in general.

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I have a 40 degree that gets used in the dead of summer. If I expect more chill than it can handle comfortably, I supplement it with a pair of ubber-light down pants and/or a light bivy bag.

 

Most of the time, I take a 15 degree bag, which is about perfect for fall, spring and much of the summer (for me).

 

My zero degree bag sees some use in the winter plus my wife likes it for the late fall and early spring stuff.

 

I don't think there's too little difference between a 15 and a zero to justify both....IMO. But, if I were only able to choose one, I'd go with a 15 and supplement the insulation with layering as needed.

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thanks for the advice. I'm going to sell the 0 Deg bag on ebay unless someone wants to make me an offer on here.

Edited by Dhamma

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before ya rush to sell one, try nesting them. I long ago gave up my heavy -20 bag in favor of a pair of lighter bags that give me far more versatility. I have a 5' older Feathered Friends bag, and an older North Face bag that was probably originally rated to about 30'. The heavier bag makes a good 3.5-season solution, and the lighter one makes a good ultralight summer rig, and nested, they work down to about -30. Of course, if your bags are close to equal in volume, this may not work very well, in which case, keep whichever one you feel like you like better, and consider getting an ultralight summer bag that will fit inside the keeper for winter/expedition use. a single subzero bag is kind of a waste unless you spend a majority of your time in arctic temps.

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I'm with you Pax. I am a cold sleeper, and for me the 35 degree Caribou keeps me warm. Even on a winter climb or two. I swear my Caribou is thicker than a bunch of 20, 10, and even 0 degree bags I've seen. One thing about the Caribou is that the 64" shoulder girth leaves room for a puffy when I need it. Matt may need to wash his bag.

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