Is this a good bag for ~20 degrees

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Is this a good bag for ~20 degrees

Postby backpackpack » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:24 pm

Hello,

I am looking for a bag that will work up on Mt San Jacinto in the winter but that doesn't cost $700.

This one seems good https://www.rei.com/product/136215/rei- ... eeping-bag

Will that be ok up there in the winter? Are there other bags that are around that price or cheaper that are the same weight and will offer the same warmth? I think the temperature up there will be in the teens to low 20s.
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Re: Is this a good bag for ~20 degrees

Postby zippetydude » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:29 pm

Might be overkill, which can be more of a problem than you might think.

Back in the 70's I went on an overnight back trip with a cheap K-Mart bag and just about froze to death. Wanting to make sure that did not happen again, I bought a Snow Lion mummy bag that had 700 cubic inch goose down with baffles and double zipper system before my next trip...rated to around 0...Should be all good, right? It was so hot that I had to unzip it all the way and tried to use it more as a blanket. Still too hot, so some parts of me were very cold all night while others were very hot. I have only used it a couple times since then and I had to go out and buy another bag to do most of my camping.

In your situation I would buy a bag rated to zero but that is not super good nor super expensive. They have some bags rated to 0 degrees on Amazon in the $35 - $75 range. I would try it out on a dry run (take it and a tent and actually set up a mock camp for an hour after dark in Long Valley after a good snowfall). Lie there in the tent for an hour reading a book and see if it's any good. If it's fine, you just saved $200 and avoided overbuying. If it sucks, you got practice setting up a tent in the snow (harder than it sounds if this is your first time - keeping snow out and things dry inside is tricky) and you can buy with confidence. My two cents. 8)

z
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Re: Is this a good bag for ~20 degrees

Postby futbol » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:35 pm

Another option is to layer, which is what I've been doing lately, although not in the snow.

I will pack a sleeping bag rated at 30F, multiple thermal under garments and multiple wool socks and put on what feels comfortable. Sometimes I bring an extra down blanket, which is small and compact.

And I also carry an emergency bivvy.
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Re: Is this a good bag for ~20 degrees

Postby backpackpack » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:53 pm

Thanks guys

Well, let me think. I have a Mountain Hardwear 20 degree bag, works great but never used it below 35 or so. My friend just went backpacking in 20 degrees with a cheap 0-degree bag, but he was hammock camping so maybe that made it colder, but he was freezing even with layers of clothing.

Maybe the REI bag would be good in actual 0-degrees, or 5-10 degrees, but 20 would be a little warm. I will keep looking around. If I got a bag that was too cold, I could always just put my jacket on, it's not like I would die. And setting up the tent in the snow is a good suggestion. I think I would probably do that, and if everything was comfortable, I'd just stay the night!
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Re: Is this a good bag for ~20 degrees

Postby zippetydude » Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:19 pm

futbol's suggestion is excellent. I go to bed with a layer of clothing on just in case I have to get up in the night to take care of business. If you have snow pants and a light down jacket you will probably be 100% safe.

By the way, hammocks are great in the summer but I can't imagine one in winter. Your friend's creativity is awesome but made life a bit harder for him. If he had even had a Hefty bag under himself in his hammock he would have had a vapor seal that would have helped tremendously.

You're gonna love the snow. Extra work, but it's beautiful.

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Re: Is this a good bag for ~20 degrees

Postby phydeux » Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:43 pm

The newer dual-ratings system for bags is really confusing. From my experience I'd rate it by the most conservative standard ( 12 degrees F), maybe even add a few more degrees since I like a warm bag and call it a 20F bag.

Another consideration: Go to REI and try getting into the bag before you buy it. IF its considered a 'lightweight', 'minimalist' or similar bag, its probably cut quite narrow to reduce weight; this makes it tough for anybody with anything other than a 'beanpole' physique to fit into it properly. Opt for a larger fit bag since you can always wear a few extra layers if things get cold. A 'long' bag is also nice (even if you're not extra tall), as it allows you to stuff things that you don't want to freeze in the bottom of the bag.
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Re: Is this a good bag for ~20 degrees

Postby Ed » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:11 pm

A Snow Lion bag, Zip? Boy, are you dating yourself! I had a Snow Lion bag, jacket and booties.

If I had a roomy high-quality 20F bag, and we are talking about one night in Round Valley, I think I would try it out with all my warm clothes on, and perhaps a second mattress under my regular one. Might be warm enough, you will survive in any case, and it will provide you with more information than we or REI can give you.
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Re: Is this a good bag for ~20 degrees

Postby backpackpack » Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:20 pm

Hello all,

I did what I usually do and acted hastily. I ordered a 100% goose down bag that weighs 3.7 pounds and has great reviews. It arrived and it's roomy and lofty and light. I think it might be too warm for anything above 20 degrees:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XS52W8W

I have a thermarest with an R rating of around 5, I think that with this bag will be great in cold weather, and I have a light down jacket so even if it gets in the single digits I should be fine. I definitely won't freeze to death, which was my greatest concern. I can't wait to try it out. If the temperatures are in the 30s I can use my 20 degree bag, but it packs bigger, is heavier, and tighter than my new bag. When I use my 20 degree bag I feel like I am crammed into a sausage skin. I got the long bag to keep water and a gas canister in the footbox.
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Re: Is this a good bag for ~20 degrees

Postby Ed » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:26 am

Let us know how it works out. I would consider getting a warmer down jacket with a hood. Winter nights are long, as well as cold, and spending the whole night in a sleeping bag is a bummer.
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Re: Is this a good bag for ~20 degrees

Postby Ed » Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:23 pm

If you look at the manufacturer's specs, I don't think it is going to be too warm. The 'Comfort' rating is 30F.

https://www.hykeandbyke.com/collections/down-sleeping-bags/products/eolus-800-fill-power-0-f-goose-down-sleeping-bag
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