Is this bag warm enough?

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Is this bag warm enough?

Postby backpackpack » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:35 am

Hello everyone,

I have this sleeping bag http://www.mountainhardwear.com/pinole-20-long-OT8522.html would this be warm enough up on Mt San Jacinto right now? I see that it is dipping a little below freezing at night. I've never been camping in below freezing so I want to make sure I do not have a bad night :lol:

Thank you
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Re: Is this bag warm enough?

Postby Myth » Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:23 pm

Good question! Caveat: personal experience varies!

I see the comfort rating on that bag is 29F and the limit is 20F.

In my personal experience, and yours will differ depending on whether you are a cold sleeper or not: I start feeling cold spots when temps drop to about 5 degrees above the comfort rating of my bag. And I am miserable in any temps approaching the limit rating. ( In both cases when wearing a silk base layer and my regular hiking clothes plus a beanie. )

For me the limit rating boils down to "you will be miserably cold and shivering in this bag at this temperature, probably won't sleep a wink due to being cold, but you will not freeze to death". The comfort rating boils down to "if you're wearing some sensible clothing you will be OK at this temperature. You might feel some cold spots on your hip since you're a side sleeper, so remember to drape your puffy over your bag between your hips and shoulders to take care of that."

So, unless you sleep like a little furnace, or you have a nice warm layer to wear, you might be too cold in that bag if the temps are around the comfort rating of the bag, which they will be if it gets a bit below freezing.

And even if you are a warm sleeper, keep in mind that your sleeping mat starts to matter more when it gets to freezing! You want something with a reasonable R-rating, or the cold from beneath will keep you up. A sleeping bag provides some protection but since the down is compressed it is less that what you'd get from the top of the bag. I've certainly spent time miserably cold on my Exped, too. I have a little 1/4 inch foam mat from Gossamer Gear that I put on top of the Exped for colder weather, since I don't have a dedicated cold weather sleeping pad.
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Re: Is this bag warm enough?

Postby jfr » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:35 pm

It's been cold, but it hasn't been freezing lately up on the mountain. In fact it has been in the low 50's to upper 40's lately.
Check http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/timese ... C1&num=168 for the temps during the last seven days near the upper tram station.
That link shows the temperatures at 8600 feet. If you camp higher the temperature drops by about 3 to 5 degrees per thousand feet.

Keep your eye on the weather forecasts to be sure a cold snap isn't arriving at the same time you are and you'll probably be fine in that bag.

I'd agree with Myth that having a good insulator underneath you is at least as important as the sleeping bag. Feeling the cold ground beneath your hips and shoulders can really make it hard to stay asleep.

As for me, I sleep cold, so I always make sure that I have an extra warm layer for my evening clothes, in case I need to put them on during the night. Plus a warm hat and gloves.

Have a great time!
My (collected) trip reports: http://hikingtales.com/
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