sleeping bag advice

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  • sleeping bag advice
  • Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    A liner will give you a bit more, also there are a few tricks like getting warm before getting in the bag, if your cold when you get in it takes a long time to warm up. A good matt will also help insulate you a bit more.

    Spin
    Member

    I’ve got one of the older Pipedream 400s pre hydrophobic down and it’s been very good indeed. I’ve had it for about 7 years and used it loads. I’d say it’s a true UK 3 season bag. Perhaps the older one was a bit different but -6 sounds a bit optimistic, although such ratings are pretty subjective anyway.

    whitestone
    Member

    Lots of threads on the Bearbones forums so have a read of those. Ideally the manufacturer uses the EN ratings so you can reasonably compare – not all do though.

    Are you a warm or cold sleeper? Remember that bags have an upper range as well, trying to sleep in a bag rated to -6C on a humid night at 15C isn’t going to be pleasant, so maybe a zipped bag or even a quilt might be worth considering. An alternative (which is what I use) is a lightweight summer bag along with a similarly rated quilt. Use one in summer then wrap the bag with the quilt when it gets cold.

    Look at the fill power of the down: the bigger the number the less down you need for a given temp rating so the bag is both lighter and compresses better when packing. Costs more though and has a slightly shorter life at the stated temp rating. Alpkit tend to use 650 fill power, PHD use 850 and above. Alpkit bags are pretty good for the budget but PHD are significantly better, which they should be for the price.

    whitestone
    Member

    As mentioned, budget for a decent sleeping mat: Exped Synmats or Thermarest NeoAirs are the main lightweight options. No point in having a good sleeping bag if you are losing heat to the several quadzillion tonnes of earth and rock you are lying on.

    dufusdip
    Member

    I’ve got what is supposed to be a three season vango bag that cost about seventy quid but i did a bothie trip last sept that got to minus 1 and i was cold.

    So I’m looking for options and quickly get to the “ooh that is light and has good reviews” and before you know it it’s well out of budget.

    Looking at something that i can bikepack, so weight is a factor. Although I’ve still to do a bivi I’d like to be able to do that even on clear nights in Scotland. I don’t need arctic/mountain top type performance but it can get cold in winter/spring at lower levels.

    I like alpkit stuff and 200 is about upper end of budget. The pipedream hydrophonic 400 are in stock but lack of reviews and described as three season with comfort -6 is making me hesitate.

    Any experiences out there of that bag? Is the 600 more suited or a any alternatives that i should consider?

    Thanks in advance!

    devash
    Member

    It can’t be stressed enough; a good sleeping pad is as important as a good sleeping bag. I’ve slept on a big air bed with my Mountain Equipment bag rated down to -7 and woke up a few times in the night feeling a bit chilly. That never happens with my Exped mat.

    The Alpkit Pipedream 400 should be ample for Uk camping between April-November, and through the winter in milder conditions using adequate clothing and protection from the elements. I wouldn’t bother with the 200, that is an ultra lightweight bag for warmer conditions only. Also, go by the EN rating rather than season claims, as the number of seasons a bag is stated as being suitable for is often overstated, especially at the budget end of the market. As a guide, you want at least a comfort rating of -1 on the EN scale to be considered suitable for 3 seasons use.

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    Mountain equipment glacier 400 at £195 at both climbers shop ambleside and Joe browns capil curig.

    My alternative solution for you, as well as getting a good quality insulated sleeping mat, is to buy a quality lightweight hooded duvet jacket (plenty 2nd hand off eBay) ie Rab microlight alpine. Sleep in it in your existing sleeping bag, wear it around camp, whilst cooking or any other time of your expedition you need a warm. Ideally you’d want to match it up with a super light sleeping bag tho.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Worth checking out Ebay, I sold a few down bags on there and they go pretty cheaply considering they’re as good as new eg my ME Snowline 750 (used in Cairngorms mid winter) went for not much over £100.

    dufusdip
    Member

    Thanks for the comments. I’m already waiting for a better insulated mat to arrive (Thermarest Neoair Xtherm) hoping that would make a difference. Sounds like layering would be a way to go and keep it a flexible option rather than going up to a 600/650 fill on a winter bivi fantasy that might not happen. I’ll check out some of those options and get a liner. My rab generator is needing replaced so hooded version is a good shout.

    Getting comparable info on eBay bags makes it a minefield and seems to be a lot of crap obscuring decent bargains.

    Appreciate all the input – thanks.

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