Layering Sleeping bags.
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Just sharing my experience with a layered sleeping system. On my recent trip to Kahurangi, I decided to experiment with my sleeping system. As I come from a warm climate, my main sleeping bag is a 50F/10C sleeping quilt. I have a heavy Mont Nadgee sleeping bag that I usually take to NZ, not entirely sure of the temp rating, but I have never zipped it up as I always get too hot regardless of whether I am in a hut or tent. On a previous summer trip, I took my 10C quilt and slept in my warm clothes. It was ok for most nights, but other nights I had on all my clothing and still froze (nights got cold enough for a fresh dusting of snow not much higher than we camped). This year I took a different approach. I bought myself a 40F/4.5C quilt. The thinking was - that it would make a great winter bag for QLD camping, - I could layer it with my existing 10C quilt when required for cold NZ nights (manufacturer suggested the combined system would give me 20F/-6.5C) - Cost wise, it worked out much cheaper than buying a single bag that would do the job. - it would give me a lot of flexibility on the trail to adjust to the different conditions I was expecting (tent, remote hut, full hut, unusually cold nights) I just wanted to report that it worked out really well. Some nights I used my 10C, some nights I used the 4C and some night I used both. Often if I used both, I would start with just one and add the other during the night if required, a quick 30 second process. Never was I cold or too hot. Total weight for both quilts was 800g including straps to keep them together, way less than my Mont Nadgee (1365g). I suspect that this will be my approach for all future summer tramps. Cheers, Moh.
Interesting... what's the brand, fill weight, loft, type of fill of the quilts? How do you get on without a draft collar in this design and how do the straps work... I've often thought how useful a pair of down pants would be on colder nights. Polypros just dont cut it sometimes...
Yes, I was going to ask similar questions. As well .... What are the rating temps you've quoted; comfort, limit of comfort or extreme? (assuming they based on EN13537) What was the cost? My 850g bag (down, but starting to show it's age) is rated at 1/-5/-22 C. I've camped in snow, high wind and at altitude - conditions where you don't want to go outside in the middle of the night :smile: and have been warm enough (with a layer or two on, of course). The only time I have been cold is when I took the wrong inner - all mesh. That makes a big difference to the temperatures inside the tent.
Thanks for posting this. Over summer I tried to wash my sleeping bag, it was maybe 3 season, after following the instructions to the word I would definitely call it a summer bag, so am considering a similar idea myself. I like the idea of doubling up, and having options.
- The 50F is a custom Enlightened Equipment Enigma quilt - 850 Downtek, wide, long with extra head and foot weather protection. I bought it about 6-7 years ago, not sure of the price, but remember it being under AUD$300 I think (the AUD was strong) - The 40F is an off the shelf Enlightened Equipment Revelation quilt - 850 Downtek, wide, long. $265USD EE don't give comfort/limit/extreme temperature ratings... they just give a single rating. I'll leave you trawl through the EE website to establish what standard the temperature ratings are based on and which one they quote.. Straps are proprietary EE pad straps. They make straps for layering quilts, but because my 50F quilt had the old style buckle arrangement and EE have become too big to do small one-off custom orders, they sent me the parts and I ended I up sewing my own. https://enlightenedequipment.com/sub-zero-strap-quilt-layering-strap/ The straps work equally well used with or without a sleeping pad. Cheers, Moh
Thanks for that - it was worth a look but I reckon I'll stay with a bag. They claim the temperature rating is roughly equivalent to the EN 'limit of comfort' temperature (the middle value). With almost all of my tramping, I'd expect overnight temperatures of 5 to -5 C (and occasionally below that). I like the PFC-free DRW down idea - would delay the down from clumping with the damp from condensing moisture - definately an issue for my old bag on my recent (wet) Tassie trip.
On this topic I wonder how many people use a liner to increase the R value of their bag. I have ended up with 3 sleeping bags - a Seas to Summit Micro (something like 350g), a midweight bag and a Macpac 800 - something like 1.6kg, ugh. I use a silk liner and it adds a few degrees, I was wondering about using say, a sea to summit thermolite liner - and what the weight to warmth improvement ration (in light of cost) would be from using this.
Quite a few years ago, I was given a thermo-liner to evaluate and concluded that, thermally, it didn't make much difference. Subjectively, I was warmer with a layer of clothing (thermals) than with the liner. For me, 1. I carry the thermals anyway (for in-camp clothing) so the liner adds weight 2. I usually end up hopelessly twisted up in a liner
Thanks for sharing. It would be useful to have some view on R rating of mattress used as well. I have a selection of liners that I select from based on time of year and altitude. And same with my thermal clothing choices.
I take a silk liner as it does indeed make a just not enough sleeping bag noticeably warmer. I.e. when I know my sleeping bag is going to be marginal for the conditions, I'll take it. I don't like sleeping in my clothes, and my down jacket would be way too warm. Silk linker ways only 90 grams. My sleeping wear is polyprop based. Basically it just adds that 2 to 3 degrees extra for me, so I can take a summer sleeping bag down to about 9 degrees when sleeping in a tent (sheltered tent adds 4 degrees, silk liner about 2).
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