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Raoul Duke

Thoughts on 30 degree sleeping bags?

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Right now I have a 15 degree Marmot Lithium, and I love it. Why? Because it has kept me warm and happy anywhere from 10 degrees to 40 degrees. Pretty much does everything in the cascades.

 

The problem is I would like to loose a pound and get a 30 degree bag. However, from my own experiences (a "32 degree" 650 fill Lafuma), that of friends, and reading the things people write on the internet, it seems like a lot of these super light 30 degree bags have a razor thin margin, as in, "at 29 degrees, you're going to be cold."

 

So, any recommendations for a 30-32 degree bag that you've been happy with? Like, Thumb Rock happy, not car camping at Vantage happy?

 

Thanks!

 

 

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Hey Raoul, are you sure you don't have the Helium? I think the Lithium only comes in 0 degrees... maybe you have an older model that came in 15 degrees. Interwebs specs say the Helium is about 34 oz, while the Lithium is 44 oz.

 

I have a Feathered Friends Vireo, but friends have been happy with the FF Osprey (30deg). Weighs 25oz, and the rating is conservative. An alternative is the Western Mountaineering Megalite, at 24oz at 30 deg. rating. You really can't go wrong with FF or WM.

 

If you truly have the Lithium at 44oz, then you could save well over a pound going with these bags. Not cheap, but accurate ratings and top quality.

 

 

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Raoul,

I have a couple of bags, both a 15deg. and a 30 deg. Both happen to be Marmot. The 30 is called a Marmot Arroyo. I haven't really pushed it too far down, maybe into the mid 30's, and its been fine. The way I use it, it is pretty much my summer, warm weather bag when I'm not expecting to sleep in temps too much lower than what its rated, and think of it as the lightweight bag for warmer nights. If it's going to be much colder, than I'll take the 15 deg. bag, and just not worry about the extra lb.

 

http://marmot.com/products/arroyo?p=117,140,126&ft=140-126

 

To be a bit more concise, with the "right" 30deg. bag, I would think one could push it beyond a "razor thin" margin, esp. if one wears a jacket, extra clothes, etc. I personally just wouldn't go too much lower than what its designed for.

Best o' luck.

Edited by dhrmabum

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Ever since I got one of these, I don't carry anything else in the summer. I've spent numerous nights up high and have been fine down to the mid-30's. I almost always have it in a bivy sack, and keep extra clothes handy. Pretty sweet cutting weight and bulk in half, relative to the warmer bag I had been hauling around.

 

The only minor problem was a 5-night trip when the foot got a bit wet from condensation.

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Agreed my first thought was Western Mountaineering. I've had an ultralite for 5 yrs and use it for just about everything.

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Can't go wrong with either Western Mountaineering or Feathered Friends. I own bags from both companies and they are worth every penny.

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Thanks for the suggestions all... I've never had a FF or WM bag, but just handling them in the store they do feel quite a bit loftier than their Marmot/Mtn Hardwear counterparts.

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Lots of people over at BackpackingLight have them and love them. Didn't recommend it because it's a bit narrow in the shoulders, which would be problematic if you want to sleep in a jacket to extend the warmth rating. But if you're a smaller guy, no problem.

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I've been very happy with the lightweight WM bags. I now have a Caribou. I had the 16oz bag of theirs before (highite, i think?) that but it was a little too narrow for my shoulders.

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I went with the Caribou over one of the 'lites' because the fabric is a tiny bit sturdier. When you hold one of these things for the first time, it feels like you should be afraid to stick your leg in for fear of tearing something. But I've used it a bunch and washed it and it's held up fine.

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I've had a summerlite for about 4-5 seasons now and love it. It's my go to bag for summer season. I tried a WM highlight for a couple seasons but found I was just a touch too cool in it and decided to try out the summerlite as a slightly heavier (3 oz) and warmer option. It was just the ticket for me. That said, I'm not that big a guy so the narrow size works great for me. (5'8", 150 lbs)

Edited by hydroman

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+1,000 On Western Mountaineering. I love mine and would be hard pressed to find a better bag.

 

I used to feel the same way. I owned a WM Apache Super DryLoft for a number of years and it served me well. I was convinced I had the Lamborghini of sleeping bags. But when my Apache was in decline after a long and glorious career, I discovered Feathered Friends. Ten years later in my FF bags and I'm never going back.

 

The WM-FF discussion is kind of like comparing a Ferrari to a Lamborghini. There is a clear difference in quality between these bags and bags from other manufacturers, but the differences in quality between FF and WM are so small that they almost amount to personal preference.

 

The thing that sold me on FF was their hood designs, the tuck stitch construction (more durable than WM's top stitch) and fabrics. I found them to be warmer and more comfortable than WM's. Then I picked up a Vireo and unless I'm going car camping I use that bag almost exclusively. It's light, it's comfortable, it stays dry, it is specialized and does its job extremely well. I've slept in mine comfortably on Rainier, N Cascades in early spring, it is brilliant.

 

I think the most versatile combo is the Vireo with the Hooded Helios.

 

If you're not convinced, you can rent a Vireo from FF and if you like it they will apply the rental cost towards a purchase. Free test drive!

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I think the most versatile combo is the Vireo with the Hooded Helios.

 

If you're not convinced, you can rent a Vireo from FF and if you like it they will apply the rental cost towards a purchase. Free test drive!

 

This is what I did with my Vireo -- I rented it for a few days, slept very comfortably, then built my dream bag: Pertex Shield waterproof/breathable fabric, tuck stitch, 900 fill upgrade, plus 2 ounces of overfill. It lofts from 5.5 inches in the foot to 4 near the head, and is super warm. Only 22.5 oz with customizations. Love it!

 

One thing I found out about tuck stitch vs. top stitch at FF: not all of their bags are tuck stitched. Most of the lightweight bags are top-stitched, so you have to request the tuck stitch on a lighter bag. Just ask them when you check em out.

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One thing I found out about tuck stitch vs. top stitch at FF: not all of their bags are tuck stitched. Most of the lightweight bags are top-stitched, so you have to request the tuck stitch on a lighter bag.

 

Correct. And this will affect the length of the bag. A tuck-stitched Vireo will be slightly shorter than a top-stitched Vireo. And more expensive, since it will involve custom production. Off the shelf I think the Vireo is fine as-is. FF offers their bags and jackets in combinations of fabric and construction features that they think maximizes the usefulness of the design. Individuals are always welcome to change things up a bit, but that's a premium you pay for.

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While the FF/WM bags are the best of the best (I prefer FF), if you are on a tight budget you really should try to Stoic Somnus 30. Stoic is Backcountry.com's house brand, and while some of their stuff is hit and miss; I really like the sleeping bag.

 

850+ fill down, mine weighs around 1 lb. 4 oz. Brand name shell fabric... and the best thing about it is the price. I paid $125. If you look around long enough you should find it around that price.

 

FF is a great bag, and if you really take good care of your gear, FF bags will last a long time. But, if you are under a tight budget constraint, check out the stoic somnus.

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