Sleeping bag upgrade

Discussion in 'Sleeping Bags & Quilts' started by Ben, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. OwenM

    OwenM Ultralighter


    I've been looking at these bags lately, could I ask how much room is there around your legs? I'm quite a restless sleeper and really hate the feeling of being tied up you get with very narrow bags.
  2. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I tried the Minims and hated them....perhaps a bit like you regarding constriction; felt like a sausage. I am sure you can get wider versions now though?

    The WM bags are super roomy which is why I like them; probably means they might not be as warm?

    I got my Zpacks 20 made Extra Wide - and it comes out about the same width as a WM bag.
    paul likes this.
  3. Lady Grey

    Lady Grey Thru Hiker

    No zips= zilch versatility...
    Agree, Minims, horrible things.
  4. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    They're a slim cut down the legs Owen so probably not ideal for you, but I'm a fairly slim build (with a gut) and find them okay.
    edh likes this.
  5. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Bought the Minimus first, i'm 5'8 but have legs like tree trunks, also tend to toss and turn a fair bit during the night.
    Can't say as i've ever felt the legs are restrictive in any way.

    Decided to go for the Minim 350 as i found that even with my PHD down pullover on at 5c i was feeeeeeeezing inside it.

    Unfortunately i made the mistake of following the heard and going for the Minim in wide.
    Terrible terrible choice :(

    If i gather in all the extra fabric it's fairly warm, but after 10 mins asleep that gathered fabric opens out again and all that extra width just lets all the warmth out.
    The Minim 350 is rated at -2c but i still get cold at 5c exactly the same as the minimus.

    Sleeping bags tend to be form fitting for a reason, any unused space is just going to get cold.
    A wide bag sounds great in theory, in practice you'll have to gather in the extra material or go for a warmer bag than you think you need.

    I got a bit despondent with PHD, their temp ratings don't seem to work for me and every PHD product i own seems to spit down more than a fox in goose pen.

    I'm 100% happy with my Katabatic Gear Flex quilt, i've had it down to around 3c and i'm toasty warm, plus it doesn't spit out down.
    Can't imagine a scenario where i'd buy anything from PHD again.
  6. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    This is where the elasticated montbell spiral down hugger really scores. Unrestricted movement, but gathers around you again when you stop moving.
  7. Lady Grey

    Lady Grey Thru Hiker

    Looking back over the brands of down sl' bags used and their features, other than Mr Rab Carringtons bags, the Mountain Equipment Xero series were good.
    I used the Xero 350 for a few years. Neck and zip baffles. Elasticated feature to hug into your body avoiding heat loss but still freedom of movement.
    Acceptable weight.:biggrin:
    Zips nothing to rave about tho', but still better than PHD's rubbishy, cheap attempt..:(.
    More affordable than PHD or W.M. bags.
    Obviously not quite as good a down fill quality, but pays yer money, takes yer choice...............
    Used this several years in Himalayas and had no problem, but was younger :whistling: then and didn't feel the cold as much...:jawdrop:
    el manana and edh like this.
  8. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Interesting reading about Phd. I'd like to increase sleep comfort without weight penalty and the Phd sleep system idea gets me thinking (e.g. layering with down clothing). We've been using various Cumulus sleeping bags for quite a few years but the zip seems mostly a liability and dead weight (lots of design fluff to avoid draft and having to treat zips with kids gloves not to get stuck on the baffle so I avoid using them anyway - specially when half asleep). I often use the sleeping bag open like a quilt but not ideal. The dead zip and baffle weight could go towards more comfy sleep pad. I like the zpacks quilt design which looks very similar to the cumulus quilts in design - anyone tried both or can point out differences?

    The other option would be a zipless (or a 1/3 top zip only) and Phd seemed a good possibility. I've been looking through older posts for Phd info but not found much (yet). And I was going to write to Phd about numbers (actual measurements and down fill weights to allow comparison) but what I read here makes wonder? We've got Phd Wafer down trousers which are excellent (only too generously sized sizes - had to return for smaller model) and Phd ultrashell biwi ( for windy nights in no inner tent and doubling up as an occasional hut sleeping bag if down is too warm) and very happy with both.
  9. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I've never contacted Phd, but I know of people who have and Phd has always refused to reveal its fill weights. It's one of the things that has put me off buying from them, considering the prices they charge.
  10. OwenM

    OwenM Ultralighter

    I'm well aware of why they make sleeping bags the way they do, but there is a fine balance between eliminating dead space and making you feel like a trusted up maggot. There was a fashion a few years ago for "tulip shaped bags" truely awful things your legs were so tightly held together you ended up with very sweaty, clammy inner thighs which lead to rashes developing there. The bag I've been using for quite a few years is a simple tapered shape, enough room to move and bend your legs independently of each other without being baggy. Unfortunately it's coming to the end of it's life and they are no longer made.
  11. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    As you say, it's a balance and that balance is different for all of us, it's finding a compromise that works for you.

    Personally i find a quilt perfect.
    The KG quilt has a cord that goes around your sleeping mat, the quilt itself then has clips.

    If it's warm you can leave the clips off and have as much leg movement as your sleeping mat or tent allows.
    If you start to get cold then you clip onto the cord and cinch to how loose or tight you want it.

    I found that around 3c if the quilt is loose over the the sleeping mat cold air seems to seep in, if i cinch the quilt in so it's on the sleeping mat (rather than over it) i still get lot of room and stay toasty warm.

    Anything much below 5c though and i'm not interested spending the night in a tent :whistling:
  12. Padowan

    Padowan Trail Blazer

    I recently got a Cumulus Panyam 450 and I think you'll struggle to get something of similar cost/features/quality elsewhere. It's made with good lightweight fabrics (Pertex quantum), decent FP down, has some nice "warm" features (eg. neck baffle) and is a more generous fit than some bags. In my fairly extensive research looking for this bag I found that most bags on the market compromised some of these features - if the bag was pitched as a lightweight bag and be made of decent light material, it tended to skimp on features and be a slim cut to save weight. Go too cheap and the fabrics suffer and the weight increases. Of course you can go WM or PHD and get ALL the features and fabrics, but at a cost.
    tom and Lady Grey like this.
  13. liamarchie

    liamarchie Ultralighter

    I've got the 450 version and its great, really liking it so far. kept me nice and warm to -1 inside the tent the other week, so would be confident taking a little lower. Ample for the UK conditions. Cheaper and easier to just layer with a fleece or puffy if you get any lower temps in the uk
    el manana likes this.
  14. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    Thanks @liamarchie good to know, I've been using my PD600 the last couple of trips and wondered if i could use the 450 instead - sound worth trying as inner temperature is usually no lower than @ -2C
  15. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    ...in the bothy :rolleyes:
    el manana likes this.
  16. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    it was 18C in the bothy!


    ...said the temperature gauge nerd....:(
    edh likes this.
  17. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Not really, you only told everyone in the bothy the temperature every ten minutes.

    It was really interesting.
    Diddi, Mole and el manana like this.
  18. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    I've been out in -17C in Scotland; remember being out in the Lakes many years ago it was -23C.
  19. OwenM

    OwenM Ultralighter

    For camping in really cold places I had a bag made up for by a British company called snowgoose (nothing to do with the Seattle based company). Really good when it's well below freezing but too much for UK winters. Weighs 1500g though.
    rorymax likes this.
  20. rorymax

    rorymax Section Hiker

    Must be damned warm then, 1500gm or not, there are nights I would happily have enjoyed the weight penalty in the UK.

    Rather pricey I expect :smile:, but what price is comfort worth sacrificing for if it can be afforded, what temp range is it designed for, sounds like an interesting bespoke bag.
    edh likes this.
  21. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I'm very happy to take the 1500g of the WM Lynx at this time of year. Super snug. Compromising sleeping warmth is a fools game in my experience.
  22. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Yep. I've been that fool. (Even last winter) The older I get the longer the season for the warmer bag too.

    Maybe he means 3 season conditions? ;)
  23. OwenM

    OwenM Ultralighter

    I've used it in -35C inside a tent but, while the bag was comfortable out of it wasn't. The cost wasn't that high as I provided the down in the form of two older bags, I don't think I got the same down back. I couldn't use it in the average Uk winter, even sleeping outside. But my ex did use it in a heated bothy once, strange woman.
  24. liamarchie

    liamarchie Ultralighter

    Yep, -23c is the anomaly not the average. Obviously take a better bag if you're expecting that kind of drop
  25. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    My philosophy is to take a SB that will give a comfortable night's sleep at the anticipated temp; the fleece, down jacket, etc. caters for the 'anomaly'.
    It worth bearing in mind that the 'best' winter backpacking weather in Scotland is often when there's a stable high pressure system established; cold, still & clear. In such conditions the local overnight temperature in the mountains across the snow fields are very often well below what's predicted in the TV/ interweb forecasts.

    -23C in the Lakes I was wearing everything including the Annapurna down jacket inside the Snowline SB & was still cold but that was probably down to sleeping (or trying to) on a 10m CCF mat :arghh: (no fancy inflatables in them days).
    Diddi likes this.

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