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Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

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Re: Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

Postby peninsula » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:51 pm

radson wrote:I dont know ExcitableBoy, there are a lot of great bag manufacturers out there. I just spent 3 weeks in a great MH bag and had no issues with condensation on the inner and the Conduit outer kept it fairly dry. Mont-Bell, Rab, PHD also make some great bags.


A couple of years ago while stuck in Sequoia NP during an early snowstorm, I was unable to sleep and had gotten much of my clothing wet. To bide time, I took wet apparel one piece at a time inside my sleeping bag and then I would lift the inside of my WM bag with arms and a leg to suck air into the bag (holding the wet apparel with one or both hands inside the bag), then let the bag collapse and "exhale", and repeated the process over and over. It was a long night and I needed something to keep busy! The remarkable thing is all of my clothing dried out nicely, including the wet clothing I was wearing. I never had any problems with the bag itself retaining moisture. It was really amazing! I have no idea if other bags would have performed as well given the unique circumstances.
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Re: Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

Postby Kai » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:20 am

Get your bag a little bit large on the inside. That way, you will be able to wear clothing inside comfortably and push the temp rating down some more.

I've been using a Marmot Lithium 0 degree bag for years now as my primary winter bag to temps well down below zero. It's got a generous cut, so I can wear my warm clothing inside. Slim cut bags are lighter weight, but in actual use end up heavier because you can't fully utilize the insulation value of the clothing you are wearing and carrying with you.
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Re: Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

Postby radson » Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:17 am

Kai wrote:Get your bag a little bit large on the inside. That way, you will be able to wear clothing inside comfortably and push the temp rating down some more.

I've been using a Marmot Lithium 0 degree bag for years now as my primary winter bag to temps well down below zero. It's got a generous cut, so I can wear my warm clothing inside. Slim cut bags are lighter weight, but in actual use end up heavier because you can't fully utilize the insulation value of the clothing you are wearing and carrying with you.


Whoops, I forgot Marmot.

I agree, last year on an expedition I ordered a wide girth sleeping bag from PHD specifically so I could wear my down suit inside the sleeping bag to save on weight and room..
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Re: Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

Postby mconnell » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:02 pm

FF had no problem making my bag with a nylon shell although it doesn't look like that is an option anymore. For a bag that I was going to use in winter/cold, I wouldn't want the nylon shell anyway. I much prefer to have dryloft on my winter bag.

I would be surprised if FF wouldn't fix EB's problem with the zipper based on my dealings with them. I suppose their customer support might have gone downhill since I got my bag made.

A couple of people have suggested getting a larger girth bag. I will add in my vote for that. I bought a narrower FF bag to save a few ounces and certainly regret it. Since it is only my summer bag, it is tolerable but would be a real problem if I needed to wear extra clothing or bring in gear.
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Re: Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

Postby AlexeyD » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:44 pm

Not sure if price is a consideration, but if so, I can say that I have been very happy with my 15F EMS Mountain Light. I've used to down to around that temperature (albeit, in a tent), and had no issues. If your goal is more winter mountaineering, you might want to go with the 0F version - a bit pricier at $350, but still considerably less than a comparable WM, Marmot or Mountain Hardware product. EMS also has frequent sales and specials, especially on their own products, so keep an eye out.
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Re: Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

Postby mlandman » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:59 pm

I have both a 32^ (good to 21^) Montbell UL SS #3 and a 15^ (not tested to it's lowest use) Montbell UL SS #1 bag.
http://www.montbell.us/products/list.php?cat_id=5
800 or 850 down, DWR shell, elastic baffles, good qiuality. Good for the weight, super roomy and warmer than the rating.
Worth looking at.
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Re: Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

Postby Apex » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:11 am

Awesome, this has been extremely helpful everyone. I think a 10F bag will do quite nicely, and I'll still to FF and WM. Any idea how much the going rate on a used bag of theirs is? Or would it be best just to buy new?
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Re: Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

Postby peninsula » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:25 am

Apex wrote:Awesome, this has been extremely helpful everyone. I think a 10F bag will do quite nicely, and I'll still to FF and WM. Any idea how much the going rate on a used bag of theirs is? Or would it be best just to buy new?


Personally, I'd go new, especially something as precious as a top-of-line bag! I treat mine like a baby. If you could find one used only a few times and looking like new with proof of purchase, by all means save some money. It seems it would be too much of hassle to have the patience to try and find a passable used bag, assuming you could ever find one. Besides, I love a good excuse to go to the local A16/REI for upgrades!
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Re: Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

Postby The Chief » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:33 am

peninsula wrote:
Apex wrote:Awesome, this has been extremely helpful everyone. I think a 10F bag will do quite nicely, and I'll still to FF and WM. Any idea how much the going rate on a used bag of theirs is? Or would it be best just to buy new?


Personally, I'd go new, especially something as precious as a top-of-line bag! I treat mine like a baby.


Concur 100% with Peninsula.

This will be a lifetime investment. I guarantee that.
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Re: Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

Postby Marmaduke » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:45 am

I have only one experience with this bag, so take that for what it's worth. But mid teens temps with cold, damp clothes in the bag with me to warm them overnight and the bag was great. Was very warm. A very light bag for your pack or..... whatever....the price is right too.

http://www.backcountryedge.com/kelty-light-year-xp-20-degree-2011.aspx

Image
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Re: Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

Postby sneakyracer » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:24 am

Hi, I have a Marmot Helium bag and love it. Used it last spring (end of March) in Co to sleep a few nights around 10k FT and it was actually too warm when inside a shelter. Didnt measure temps but it was definately freezing or below most of the time even before nightfall. The first night I was beat and used it normally and closed it almost all the way and woke up a few hours later quite hot and even sweating a bit. (I was sleeping in Capilene 3 top and bottom only) Ended up using it quilt style the rest of the trip.

The are several, similar, high quality bags available from several manufacturers that offer high quality down and similar loft (about 6in). Choose one the fits you well.

The advantage of the more expensive bags with the higher quality down is mostly packed size and low weight. For any given loft the higher quality down bags pack down smaller and are lighter. Fabric and construction quality are quite good in most major brands. Unless you must have a waterproof fabric the standard fabrics are fine. I like the bag to be as breathable as possible so I tend to avoid the waterproof laminates in bags.

There are lots of high quality used bags in fantastic shape at much lower prices than retail.
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Re: Looking for a New Bag, Opinions?

Postby 8kclimber » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:14 pm

I have a 20 degree FF Swift in Epic in R and like the 64" width but would have preferred the long as I'm 5'11" and like to store in the bottom. I also have 2, -20 long FF Peregrine in Epic that I would consider selling, and a new Monbell UL SS Hugger #1, 15 degree bag in long. The MB had a ton of room and is really comfy for three season use. Nice to be able to lay on side and fold knees up or sit indian style in the bag. New used the WM stuff but they look nice and probably have much better custom service, shorter time frames and an overall better customer experience than what I have experienced at FF. YMMV
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