Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#78143 - 11/26/06 09:08 PM Sleeping Bags
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
So, I currently have a Coleman Peak1 sleeping bag rated for what I believe to be -10 (I forget).

I've come to realize that it's WAY to heavy. (Aprox. 7lbs!)
And actually ithe coldest i've used it in was aprox. 15*F w/30mph winds (in a tent w/fly) and I was "comfrotable". (I slept with only under garments and no socks, as I normaly over heat.)
This is my winter bag for 30*F down to the coldest of probably 10*F with wind gusts up to 50 or 60mph. (Freak weather may lead to -5 to -15 but VERY rare)[Sierra Nevadas up to 9,000FT]

So while researching new sleeping bags I've come up with the following questions.

1. Are bags rated in C or F ? None of the ratings on CampMor say *F or *C so I have no idea.
2. If a bag is rated for 0* does that mean it can be 0* in your tent or 0* outside?
3. If the bag is rated for 0* does that mean you WILL be comfortalbe (avg. person) at 0* air around your bag or does that mean you WILL survive but probably be pretty cold?
4. What type of fabric/material is good for a down bag to prevent water? My current bag is poly fill and I want to go down next as i've heard great things about their warmth as well as nwe style water-proof shells.
5. Are bags temp. rated based on the occupant being fully dressed w/beani or undergarments only.. or ?
6. How can the same brand offer a 600Fill down bag at -20* and also offer an 800Fill down bag at -20*. What exactly would the difference be as I thought the more fill the more warmth so i'm guess less quality down?
7. For my temp range of 30 down to 15 w/winds picking up every night to 10-30mph avg with gusts to 60 using a thermarest pad and sleeping in udnergarments what temp bag would you guys suggest?


My thouts are:
I like to be warm but get overheated easy, I can wear a beanie and socks for more warmth, I don't like to and WILL NOT sleep inmy clothes (unless forced to by freak storm).. so I think I would want a bag rated at probably 0* just so that I can sleep w/out full clothing and still be warm. So I'm looking at a North Face bag rated for 0* from Campmor around 3.5lbs (HALF MY WEIGHT of current baG!!) and they have 600FIll or 800Fill for SAME rating...)

What do you guys think of my plans, and does anyon ehave any for-sure answers to my questions?
I like to think I know a decent amount about sleeping bags but these more tech questions I need some assitance as I'm trying to learn more and more.

-Todd
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

Top
#78144 - 11/26/06 09:52 PM Re: Sleeping Bags
KevinB Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/17/06
Posts: 91
1. Are bags rated in C or F ?

In the US they're rated in F.

2. If a bag is rated for 0* does that mean it can be 0* in your tent or 0* outside?

In your tent.

3. If the bag is rated for 0* does that mean you WILL be comfortalbe (avg. person) at 0* air around your bag or does that mean you WILL survive but probably be pretty cold?

It's hugely subjective. They're trying to rate it so that the average person is comfortable, but everyone is different. It also depends on what you're wearing, what you have under your bag, what you ate for dinner, how tired you are, etc.

4. What type of fabric/material is good for a down bag to prevent water? My current bag is poly fill and I want to go down next as i've heard great things about their warmth as well as nwe style water-proof shells.

All the bags I'm aware of have nylon or polyester ripstop shells. You DO NOT want a waterproof shell. Water vapor from your body will condense on the inside of the shell and soak the insulation, making it worthless. Down bags are great - light, compressible, warm, all that. And totally useless when wet. I usually use a down bag in dry conditions and a synthetic bag in the snow.

5. Are bags temp. rated based on the occupant being fully dressed w/beani or undergarments only.. or ?

Dressed.

6. How can the same brand offer a 600Fill down bag at -20* and also offer an 800Fill down bag at -20*. What exactly would the difference be as I thought the more fill the more warmth so i'm guess less quality down?

Filling isn't the only variable. Bag construction, baffling, etc. make a big difference.

7. For my temp range of 30 down to 15 w/winds picking up every night to 10-30mph avg with gusts to 60 using a thermarest pad and sleeping in udnergarments what temp bag would you guys suggest?

I'm probably an average sleeper as far as temp ratings go. And your range is right on the border between a 3-season bag and a 4-season bag. If I thought it was going to be 30 degrees, I'd take my 20 degree rated down mummy. If I thought it was going to be 15 degrees and windy, I might even take a 0 degree bag. Since you say you sleep warm, you could probably get away with a 15 or 20 degree bag. You can always buy a thin bag liner to extend the temp rating a few degrees.

Kevin B.

Top
#78145 - 11/26/06 09:58 PM Re: Sleeping Bags
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
You ask a lot of questions that I feel either can not be answered, or can only be answered by you.

I did some googling, and found this Bag rating , which may or may not help you. I found this part of it most interesting, "...There is no universal standard for rating sleeping bags. Ratings vary according to manufacturer. How a bag performs greatly depends on its insulating material, construction and loft. When selecting a temperature rating for a sleeping bag, be sure to consider the following..."
_________________________
OBG

Top
#78146 - 11/26/06 10:04 PM Re: Sleeping Bags
camerono Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 146
IMHO…

If I may address each line item that I think needs addressed. Again this is MY OPINION.

Coleman makes great gear for camping when you don’t have to carry the gear on your back. Wouldn’t trust the sleeping bags with my life.





1. Are bags rated in C or F ? None of the ratings on CampMor say *F or *C so I have no idea.
A. In the USA usually F.

2. If a bag is rated for 0* does that mean it can be 0* in your tent or 0* outside?
A. When they rate bags they generally don’t take a tent into consideration. From what I understand there is no standard for testing. Ratings from different manufactures will be different.

3. If the bag is rated for 0* does that mean you WILL be comfortable (avg. person) at 0* air around your bag or does that mean you WILL survive but probably be pretty cold?
A. Sleeping bag rating is not a “comfort” level but a “survival” level…Huge difference.

4. What type of fabric/material is good for a down bag to prevent water? My current bag is poly fill and I want to go down next as i've heard great things about their warmth as well as nwe style water-proof shells.
A. Waterproof is an industry term that is used very loosely. Materials such as Gore-Tex is considered waterproof and breathable. Anyone that uses it knows this is impossible. You can’t make a material that allows evaporation in one direction and completely repels water in the other. I could write 8 pages on this subject. Suffice to say regardless of what you do nothing is 100% waterproof. If you have a reasonable expectation of your bag staying dry go with down it is warmer for less weight. If you think you might get wet go with synthetic.

5. Are bags temp. rated based on the occupant being fully dressed w/beani or undergarments only.. or ? A. Different manufacturers have different test methods.
6. How can the same brand offer a 600Fill down bag at -20* and also offer an 800Fill down bag at -20*. What exactly would the difference be as I thought the more fill the more warmth so i'm guess less quality down?
A. My guess is the same as yours.

7. For my temp range of 30 down to 15 w/winds picking up every night to 10-30mph avg with gusts to 60 using a thermarest pad and sleeping in udnergarments what temp bag would you guys suggest?
A. Minimum 0F to -10F Note that there is such a thing as too much clothes in a sleeping bag. The basis for containing heat is ambient air. The more loft the better. Example. You would probably be warmer in a wool sweater and light jacket than 10 tight synthetic t-shirts.

Cameron Ownbey
http://backpackers.meetup.com/114/
_________________________
Publishing seattlebackpackersmagazine.com

Top
#78147 - 11/26/06 10:21 PM Re: Sleeping Bags
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Great info guys, really apreciate it.

Most of what was said were my "guesses" but it would sure suck to die because of a guess <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

I think the biggest is Comfort vs. Survival rating. That right there means you shouldn't base your bag rating on the temp you will be sleeping in <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Also accounting for a tent which will/should be warmer inside than the airoutside too.

Thanks again!
-Todd
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

Top
#78148 - 11/26/06 10:32 PM Re: Sleeping Bags
billym Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Oakland, California
Bags are rated in F.

If is is rated to 0 it does not matter if it is inside a tent or not.

A 0 rating means you will start to feel cold at 0. If you want to be warm at 0 then buy a -5 bag.

Get a down bag that has a shell that is highly water resistant. Mountain Hardware has bags with their Conduit SL. This they also use in jackets / shells.

The rating should apply with a base layer on.

Powerfill is a rating of down quality; the higher the number the better quality and therefore the down will be loftier. A 800 fiull bag will be lighter and more compressable than a 600 fill bag.
800 will cost more.

If you want to be toasty get a 0 bag. Personally I would use a 15 bag and augment it with more clothes.

If you want to make a bag warmer than it is rated just wear more clothes. The sleeping bag industry had this myth going that you needed to be undressed. This myth just allowed them to sell heavier bags which equals more $.



Top
#78149 - 11/26/06 11:05 PM Re: Sleeping Bags
camerono Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 146
Billym

Sorry but must disagree on a few things.

If you purchase a bag from a Canadian Manufactuar the bag may be rated in C.

Tents DO make a difference

0 rating per that particular manufacturers rating system probably indicates a survival rating not comfort rating.

Rating applies to a particular manufacturers rating system some may include a base layer some may not.

More clothes are not necessarily better. The type of clothes you wear at night have a much more significant impact than the amount of clothes.

Cameron Ownbey
http://backpackers.meetup.com/114/?gj=sj10
_________________________
Publishing seattlebackpackersmagazine.com

Top
#78150 - 11/26/06 11:44 PM Re: Sleeping Bags
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Looking at this one:
http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores...mberId=12500226

Trying to find it with 800+ fill to save weight/size but can't seem to find one that's not near $500.

For $199 It hink that's a pretty good bargain.
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

Top
#78151 - 11/27/06 12:07 AM Re: Sleeping Bags
billym Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Oakland, California
Ok after selling camping gear for about ten years;

Yes I guess in Canada and Europe they would use celcius.

Tents do make a difference in the actual camping scenario but not in the rating.
The way REI CONFIRMS manufacturer ratings is to use a "dummy" filled with 98.6 degree F water in a bag to be tested. Then they put it in a special "freezer". The dummy has thermal sensors; as soon as the water drops to 98.5 the rating is made. So if the water drops at around Zero they will rate it Zero.
Manufacturers do not employ a tent when they rate a bag. In fact many simply use a formula that takes into account the thickness of the insulation, that is all.

Manufacturers do not have a survival rating for their bags. see above. I have personally spent a night out or two in temperatures that were below the bags rating. Including an ice climbing trip when it got down to 12 and my old worn out TNF Cat's Meow was rated at 20 (when it was new; synthetics compress and lose insulation over time). If the rating was a survival rating then would'nt I be dead?

Yes each manufacturer may use their own method but these are always a ball park and there are some makers that are notoriously consevative and others who are not.

Yes you need to wear appropriate clothes like synthetics etc. and just like having too warm a bag can make you sweat so can overdressing.
Many climbers, mountaineers and ultralight backpackers will deliberately use a bag that is rated above the expected temps in the plan to use every ounce of their clothes at night. Two books that illustrate this are; Beyond Backpacking by Ray Jardine and Extreme Mountaineering by Marc Twight. Jardine is the father of UL backpacking and Twight is one of the best mountaineers in the world today. I would say that they are experts.

I guess I could call my buddy at Mountain Hardware tomorrow; he is their one of their designers. He should confirm what I say.

Top
#78152 - 11/27/06 12:43 AM Re: Sleeping Bags
camerono Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 146
Billym,

Wow very interesting. Looks like I was off a little on a couple of issues. But have a little new info as well.

For REI. I called them and spoke with a product specialist at corporate HQ.

For REI only they make random tests of ALL manufacturer bags as well as REI brand bags. They said that occasionally you will see identical bags in there store rated differently than an identical bag on a manufacturers web site.

When they test bags they do in fact have a dummy with sensors in it that they bring to body temperature, place in a bag and then in a freezer. I didn’t get into really specific procedure with them.

For REI specifically they rate bags at a “comfort” level not “survival” Level. However it is very important to note that this rating factors in the use of a sleeping pad.

It would be interesting to know what they clothe the dummy in. What if any % of body fat they take into consideration. Also what type of sleeping pad? I know in winter I use an extra thick or 2 sleeping pads.

Also it would be interesting to know the average temperature difference in a tent vs. not.

Cameron Ownbey

Seattle Backpackers
_________________________
Publishing seattlebackpackersmagazine.com

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
August
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Who's Online
1 registered (Alan_Romania), 90 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
keril, MarcusPetz, CBlackRaven, TnSweetie, Sundiver70
5321 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Trad methods work!!
by Phaedrus
Today at 07:37 PM
Lost in the Woods for 13 Days
by Russ
Today at 04:01 PM
Bear attacks revisited
by DaveL
08/03/20 10:56 PM
What Would You Bring?
by brandtb
08/03/20 03:52 PM
Granny Knot Zipper Pull
by TonyE
08/03/20 03:24 PM
Mask preferences
by haertig
08/03/20 12:32 PM
Smallest possible survival kit
by Phaedrus
08/01/20 04:41 AM
The urban '10 essentials'
by Phaedrus
07/31/20 03:25 AM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.