A quest: the perfect sleeping bag for my GF

Discussion in 'Sleeping Bags & Quilts' started by Arne L., Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    Our dog is growing, so it's time to get back into multi day trips with the whole 'family'.

    The problem: my GF wasn't all that warm with her Cumulus Comforter M350 on our August TMB-trip, so I'm searching for a decent 3-season down sleeping bag that doesn't weigh a ton (preferably under a kilo) & that will keep my GF warm between -5°C & 0°C.

    We use a MSR Mutha Hubba for the three of us & she uses a Exped Synmat UL M as a sleeping pad.

    She's 168 cm long & is a pretty cold sleeper.

    Currently, I've been looking at the Cumulus Panyam 450 & the Panyam 600.

    Even though the latter is pretty much perfect in terms of specs I wonder if it's not too warm & will cause all sorts of condensation issues in the bag (I'm pretty... paranoid with down).

    I might be using the bag myself; occasionally, on a rare Belgian winter trip.

    If anyone has other suggestions (that don't break my bank all that much) or has something laying around gathering dust; I'd love your input.
    edh likes this.
  2. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    PHD Minim 300/400 maybe? Might be a bit spendy but I got mine in their sale for a good price.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    Arne L. likes this.
  3. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    You're prepared to source a dusty old sleeping bsg for your GF?? :eek:

    Some boyfriend you turned out to be..

    Just hope, for your sake, that she doest lurk on here..;)

    I'm looking at something warmer and possibly'Cumulussy' for myself too, v' soon.

    As is my current farm intern.

    Maybe we could put together a group girlie buy.

    I don't intend to break the bank not neither.. But a warm, and comfy night's sleep is also priceless.

    From what I've heard, grumpy tired girlfriends don't make such nice walking companions..
    Arne L. likes this.
  4. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I bought a Zpacks 10° bag for Mrs Ed...which I would die in in the summer; but she thinks it is great.

    I used it myself in winter :angelic:

    el has a Panyam 600 (oooops, no he doesn't).....
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  5. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    Hi Arne will the bag be extended with clothes as a matter of course or only if required? Would that be something that might have to be factored in?
    Chiseller and Arne L. like this.
  6. Baldy

    Baldy Thru Hiker

    How about a Criterion (cumulus) ultralight 350 and combine it with the comforter? Will give a bit flexibility.


    Tell her to stop whingeing and hug the dog closer.
    FOX160, Arne L., Mole and 2 others like this.
  7. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    I'd go a panyam. ( Cumulus) Best bang for buck/weight these days.
    Can always use it as a quilt if too warm?

    PhD. Meh. in my opinion/experience. Their ratings are the equivalent of a slightly optimistic EN lower comfort ( i.e. 'fit youngish man' rather than a "cold sleeping woman").
    I was starting to feel slightly cold at -3 the 2 nights I used the Hispar 400 with clothing(their rating -9C!) this winter. Sold it on again.

    Two friends have Panyam 450s and they are very happy.
  8. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Interesting, I’ve always been impressed with how well both mine have performed. I know some don’t like them because of the lack of neck baffle but for warmth/weight I cannot grumble.
  9. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    Hi Arne,

    I'm a cold sleeper, and have a Panyam 450. My experience of sleeping bags is I fit the higher (women's?) Comfort limit they recommend rather than the low comfort limit.

    I take it when I expect temperatures to be 0C to a few degrees below. I've never woken up cold in it in base layers, I've occasionally felt a cold spot or not as warm as wanted and put on an insulated vest or the like which solved it.

    Any colder I take my Pipedream PD600 (old style, not the new which looks inferior) which is only a bit warmer (but I would expect the Panyam 600 to be warmer than a PD600)

    Im really happy with the Panyam, excellent value and high quality. If you want to play safe and go 600, your concerns of overheating wouldn't bother me personally, I would just unzip or drape as a quilt. I doubt I would overheat in any temps subzero.

    I've experimented using sleeping bags as quilts to see if I could transition to quilts and I think they just won't work for me.

    FOX160, Diddi, Cranston and 1 other person like this.
  10. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    The Hispar has a neck baffle and double zip baffle.
    They claim it's rating is somehow better than any other 400g fill bag on the market due to cunning design . But won't send them for the independent standard testing. Hmm.
  11. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    Its probably worth pointing out as well that i wear a down hat or beanie and although i zip up high i never use hoods or spend much time with neck baffles. Using the hood may be a lot warmer.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    Arne L. likes this.
  12. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Probs worth heading over to Sues

    "Quilty sleeping around" thread Arne.

    There's lots of talk of womanly slumber systems there as well.

    I think a quilt that can convert into a roomy bag in extremis, will suit me.

    And taking account for clothes worn under makes sense..

    I mean if you have to make a sudden dash for it, in case of grumpy cows, or mardy farmers, it makes sense to be wearing a stitch or two, at least.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    Arne L. likes this.
  13. oreocereus

    oreocereus Thru Hiker

    Is the weight:warmth ratio of down important?

    The lack of cold spots/minimal fuss, price and better moisture properties (given you’re worried about condensation) could make Apex worth considering?

    Although it looks like those cumulus bags are very good price for good quality down. You’d probably have to sew your own to get significantly cheaper with apex
    Arne L. likes this.
  14. Davy

    Davy Thru Hiker

    Mrs Davy and I both have Panyam 450s for all our camping which have been fine for us down to around zero and a bit below (with supplemental layers).

    Two things to note, the pertex has no water resistance whatsoever and ours have differential fill (do the latest ones still?) which means if you wriggle around in the night you can get cold spots.

    Still marvel at the loft.
    Arne L. likes this.
  15. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    So I heard... Hence the new bag :angelic:

    That could be a possibility. She wears light (no thermal) baselayers anyway but if possible I'd prefer for her to sleep without a additional jacket of sorts.

    If I were to use the bag I'd have fewer issues wearing clothes in the bag.


    Thanks. Now just wondering between a 450 & 600.

    Thanks El, the kind of info I wanted to hear.

    Quilts don't really work for my GF. She prefers the cozyness of a bag... I can understand that.

    The comforter was also a bit too narrow tbh. But thanks for the suggestion, as always:)

    I'm a pretty avid Apex user/lover (because of the reasons you stated. but if I'd want Apex at that temperature rating in a true bag then it would be massive.

    Since she likes to carry her own bag and uses a pretty small pack I'd prefer down.

    Thanks everybody for all the input; it looks like I'll have to toss between a Panyam 450 or a 600...
  16. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    The quilt thread was as much about sleeping bags, and women sleeping comfortably.

    If you want her to be totally comfy to below zero, I'd go the 600. After all, she's carrying it anyway, not you.;) ( I assume, anyway?)

    If bothered about moisture, Cumulus custom offers various extra Pertex Endurance options.
    There is also the Tundra Pure -10. Similar specs but with fully waterproof head and foot panels. They are great bags. I have a Pure and Dry -10 for winter. Bomber. (Think there's an offer on the latter at moment if you go for red - but they are heavier again due to waterproof fabric)
    edh and Arne L. like this.
  17. Bob-W

    Bob-W Trail Blazer

    I'd look at a lightweight liner or summer bag to go with the comforter. The problem then is making sure the comforter doesn't slide off whilst she's sleeping. A two bag/comforter/quilt approach gives you a lot of flexibility: both when it's cold, just the comforter for moderate temperatures and the summer bag for when it's warm.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  18. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    I'm thinking Mole is onto something with the 600 given you want minus 5 potentially. Will the 450 with clothes get your walker to the minus 5? Especially if the difference in the bags is just the 150 grams for down weight and the outlay is acceptable.
    el manana, Mole and edh like this.
  19. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Quite. Hence the warm choice for Mrs Ed - it's easier to cool down.
    Sleeping cold on any length of trip sucks and is debilitating, well, for me.
    cathyjc and Mole like this.
  20. Sue

    Sue Trail Blazer

    @Shewie . I am interested to hear what you think of the PHD temp ratings. I am hoping that they are about the EN Comfort Limit. Do you think they are compared to other bags you've used? I can't find the fill weight so can't compare to other bags.
    I know they are lots of £££ but I love the light weight of the Minim and Minimus bags for the temp ratings... as long as they are realistic.
  21. FOX160

    FOX160 Thru Hiker

  22. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Sue

    I guess we’re all different but I’ve always been impressed with the warmth from my Minim and Racer bags. The Minim has coped fine when pushed beyond freezing on a handful of occasions, I always sleep in merino base layers and use a lightweight bivvy on most trips which is warmer than a draughty tent I find.
    The down they use is very good imho, the cut is snug on the Minim which no doubt helps maximise the warmth, no zip on mine so I have to wriggle in from the top.

    The Racer bag also very good for it’s weight, packs to the size of a grapefruit but was my choice for September CWT a few years ago.

    I’m not sure if the Minim 300 is available off the shelf or if it’s a special they do occasionally, I think if I was planning to sleep at cold temps regularly the 400 would be a wiser option.

    If you’re anywhere near Leeds your welcome to have a look.

    I’ve also got a Cumulus 350 quilt which has been good, a few more inches on the width would’ve been nice but no biggy in a bivvybag, I managed to pucker the Pertex inner on the second outing which was annoying, I’m still not sure how I managed it tbh.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  23. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    We bought a Panyam 450 for J. as a summer bag. She is a cold sleeper with "hot feet". No complaints about cold and the Panyam opens at the bottom to remedy foot overheating.

    Regarding PhD comments here - IMO zpacks is a liitle warmer compared to an identical weight PhD. Not by much but notable. No idea why, zpacks cuben baffles shouldn't make that much difference?
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  24. Taz38

    Taz38 Thru Hiker

    As a female cold sleeper who atm uses a ME classic 750 bag (-5c comfort) I'd go with the panyam 600. I found layering a pain and not particularly any warmer.
  25. Bob-W

    Bob-W Trail Blazer

    I *think* the PHD fill weight is the number after the name. It seems about right allowing for the shell when comparing with what Cumulus quote for their shell and fill weights.

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