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Is my sleeping bag not good enough?

Old 06-05-17, 09:46 PM
  #1  
mymorningjacket
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Is my sleeping bag not good enough?

I have a Teton Trailhead +20f/-7c. Took it out for the first time last night camping. I was woken up at 4am because I was too cold. I was wearing a longsleeve wool shirt and underarmour long johns. I had to put on another pair of pants and use my sleeping liner. When I got home I checked the weather and it was only about 7 Celsius, which makes me worry.
My sleeping bag says its lightweight. Its about 2 pounds or so which is nice, but I'm worried for my upcoming tour that it wont be very effective.
It also takes up a lot of space in my pannier even though I use a compression bag.
Does anyone have any experience with this bag? or any reccomendations for a replacement??
Thanks!
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Old 06-05-17, 09:55 PM
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Sleeping bag temp range info is only a guideline.

It's one of those cases "your mileage may vary".

Things like dampness, what kind of ground pad you used, your own size and weight, and the size of your tent will all affect how warm you are in a sleeping bag.

IME - the same bag has felt warm on some cold nights, and not so warm on warmer nights. It's the same as with clothing, the outside temp may be the same, and you may dress the same, but you won't always feel the same.
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Old 06-05-17, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Things like dampness, what kind of ground pad you used, your own size and weight, and the size of your tent will all affect how warm you are in a sleeping bag.
I have a one man Eureka Midori and a Klymit Static V.
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Old 06-05-17, 10:13 PM
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There are no official objective methods of rating sleeping bags in America. EU is working on a system which is getting out there, but not common yet.

Most traditional ratings are what an adult man sleeping in long underwear on top of a proper pad should feel comfortable to. Therefore, it can vary quite a bit from person to person. I generally pick one that is 15-20F lower than the lowest temp I will generally expect to be out in. I use a 25F bag for Michigan summers, where nights can easily drop down to the high 40s. If it is warmer, I just leave it unzipped.
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Old 06-05-17, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mymorningjacket View Post
I have a one man Eureka Midori and a Klymit Static V.
My point wasn't about the specific details as much as about the variables.

For example, if you under eat you don't produce as much body heat and can start to chill in the early AM as the fuel runs dry.

OTOH - if you're too well insulated early on when outside temps are higher, you might start sweating in your bag, which dampens it and lowers insulation. Then you have a compromised bag when the temps drop and get chilled.

So, one test may not be enough, you may want to try it under various conditions and dial in how to layer, and how it will perform under various conditions. Then you may decide it's OK for your needs, or that you need more.

But neither I, not anyone else can answer that for you.
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Old 06-06-17, 02:10 AM
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the question should be, i would think is, "how am i going to determine whether ANY new bag i get will be warmer than the one i have, which is not warm enough?".

and in general, "the higher the loft the warmer" is about the best i can do. so i would take my old bag to whatever store i thought had the best deals on down bags, and lay the old bad next to the new bag, and then ask 10-12 customers, at random , which one looked like it had the most loft.

or something similar...
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Old 06-06-17, 07:07 AM
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All I can say is what can you expect for $70 (prices I saw on eBay for that bag)?

Check out the EN 13537 rating system. Decent bags will have that, and will also have a substantially higher price tag.

A quilt might give a better weight to warmth ratio, and could save some money, but you won't have features like a zip and a hood. There's always a trade-off. Just as in the down vs synthetic question. (One of those is always better, until it isn't.)

If you don't spend money on a good bag now, you will probably spend much more on a succession of cheaper bags. When I finally, after decades of inferior stuff, bought a decent bag, I wanted to kick myself for waiting so long. When I think of all those cold nights, maybe a dollar a night would have meant such a difference.
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Old 06-06-17, 07:42 AM
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Another issue is what you ate for dinner. If heavy on carbs, fruits and veggies you will burn through those energy sources quickly and wake up cold in the early a.m. Add some days and protein. These take longer to convert to energy and you stay warmer longer. In Boy Scouts training for cold weather camping (anything less than 50F) the following analogy is used: carbs, fruits, and veggies are like kindling --burns hot and fast, but out quickly. Protein and fats are the big logs -- not quite so hot but will go all night.
Cheers!
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Old 06-06-17, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
So, one test may not be enough, you may want to try it under various conditions and dial in how to layer, and how it will perform under various conditions. Then you may decide it's OK for your needs, or that you need more.

But neither I, not anyone else can answer that for you.
that certainly reflects my camping experiences, and as a skinny feller, I can certainly relate to needing warmer clothing/sleeping bags and how I feel at night compared to other "higher R factor" folks in both sleeping and outdoor activities in general.

I've also found dampness to be a big factor in sleeping (dis) comfort. A camping spot down in a hollow, near a river with tons of dew, a bit of a breeze, perhaps your fly a bit loose, letting in cold, damp air in the night, your tent mesh design--can all make a diff ending up in a cold 4am period.

what sort of temps are you expecting for your trip, and where and when is it?
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Old 06-06-17, 08:18 AM
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Wear more clothes to bed if you sleep cold in it. (reads like you did that , later)
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Old 06-06-17, 09:10 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by mymorningjacket View Post
I have a one man Eureka Midori and a Klymit Static V.
There's your problem. Look for a pad with a R value of around 3 or more.
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Old 06-06-17, 11:02 AM
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Many good points already listed above. Another possibility that I didn't see mentioned has to do with the type and quality of the insulation in the bag. I also see you use a compression sack. Insulation materials respond differently to compression and some take a long time to retain their full loft and provide their full insulating power. As a general rule, I understand it is a bad practice to leave your sleeping bag compressed when storing between trips.
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Old 06-06-17, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
There's your problem. Look for a pad with a R value of around 3 or more.
An uninsulated pad will let the ground suck the warmth out of you. It's not pleasant. You might want a little more insulation to keep you warm. You can buy another pad, or you can use a supplemental closed cell foam pad. When it comes to real cold weather camping, I'll use an insulated air mattress and a Thermarest SOLite underneath. It's enough to keep me warm down to about 0, with an appropriate sleeping bag.
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Old 06-06-17, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
what sort of temps are you expecting for your trip, and where and when is it?
I'm traveling from Vancouver, North through Whistler, Jasper, Banff and ending up in Calgary.
I imagine tempatures will certainly get a lot lower the more North I go. I leave in 2 weeks.
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Old 06-06-17, 11:31 AM
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Look up what the weather is now in those places and use that as a guide. The temps wont be changing significantly in the next two weeks, and if it does, it will more than likely be for the warmer.
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Old 06-06-17, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by sculbertson View Post
I understand it is a bad practice to leave your sleeping bag compressed when storing between trips.
THats not good; I've kept it in a compression bag for about 4 months since I bought it. Maybe this ruined the bag and I should cut my losses and ask for a swap from teton.
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Old 06-06-17, 11:42 AM
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I saw this thread but don't have time to read the posts. I toured Wisconsin with one of the very first Quallofil bags, 1975. I was 6'1/2' tall and bought the considerably lighter regular bag for up to 6'. Way cold the first night. (Below freezing, October in Wisconsin.) Wore all my clothes the next and started paying real attention to fluffing the bag every time I moved. It worked and I slept well.

My touring philosophy for clothes is simple. If on the coldest, most miserable time of my tour I was not wearing everything I brought, I brought too much. Granted I am older now and like a higher level of pamper but my legs complain more than they used to if I go to far in that direction.

Ben
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Old 06-06-17, 11:47 AM
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=GAJett;19634855 the following analogy is used: carbs, fruits, and veggies are like kindling --burns hot and fast, but out quickly. Protein and fats are the big logs -- not quite so hot but will go all night.
Cheers!
Thank you, this is very useful


Last edited by mymorningjacket; 06-06-17 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 06-06-17, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mymorningjacket View Post
THats not good; I've kept it in a compression bag for about 4 months since I bought it. Maybe this ruined the bag and I should cut my losses and ask for a swap from teton.
If it is compressed, toss it in a large dryer with no heat. Some people toss in tennis balls, too. Should fluff it back out to some degree.
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Old 06-06-17, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
If it is compressed, toss it in a large dryer with no heat. Some people toss in tennis balls, too. Should fluff it back out to some degree.
this will help a lot you will find. I recently washed and low tumble dried my bag (a synthetic one also) after a long trip and was reminded again how a wash and good tumbling fluffs it up (and its pretty old).

As a rule, sleeping bags, self inflate thermorest type campmats etc, all should not be stored squished all up.
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Old 06-06-17, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
If it is compressed, toss it in a large dryer with no heat. Some people toss in tennis balls, too. Should fluff it back out to some degree.


Use a dryer sheet too.
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Old 06-10-17, 09:21 AM
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Are you using a mat? You also need insulation underneath the bag. Try down socks and a hat too
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Old 06-10-17, 10:57 AM
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If you replace look at Enlightened Equipment. They will do ASAP orders.
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Old 06-10-17, 02:01 PM
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Old 06-10-17, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mymorningjacket View Post
Does anyone have any experience with this bag? or any reccomendations for a replacement??
I don't, but I've looked at Amazon's reviews and there is a consensus about temperature rating being misleading. Most would say it is a 40F+ bag. One comment said that the 20F is not a comfort, but a "survivability" rating...

1. You can get warmer with a liner, also useful to keep your sleeping bag clean. Supposedly adds 5F.

2. You can wrap yourself in a reusable thermal blanket. Probably another 5F.

3. Wear a woolen cap.

Have a great trip.
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