What bag for UK season 4?

Discussion in 'Sleeping Bags & Quilts' started by buntonn, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. buntonn

    buntonn Summit Camper

    Hi looking for some advice here please. I currently have a Rab ascent 500 bag and I'm a fairly warm sleeper. But I'm looking for advice on what I should be using in the UK in the colder months in Lakes, Wales and Scotland?

    How did you start, did you take your other bag with something additional to work it out or just step up to a bag with a fail bit of difference in comfort rating?

    I also need this to be not too
    Bulky as it's for taking up on wild camps.

    Mole likes this.
  2. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    You might get away with that unless seriously subzero. Especially with a down jacket n extra trousers. I wouldn't.

    I used to take a 300g fleece liner to supplement my 3season bags. But in 2011, got a 600g/860fp bag (1150g total) , and it's good to -10C for me ( well clothed too).
  3. Tartanferret

    Tartanferret Thru Hiker

    My winter bag is an Alpkit PD600, picked up second hand for £100.
    Used with a xtherm and bivvy bag and clothed if needed. Prism pants, fireball smock etc.

    The newer PD600 will be back in stock soon..
    buntonn, Mole and Graham like this.
  4. Graham

    Graham Thru Hiker

    In Scotland you need to be thinking of say -15C or lower as 'cold' and a 500 bag probably wouldn't do it for me. Most winters in Wales and The Lakes won't be that extreme. I was wild camping in The Lakes on a weekend in January 2010 when it got down to below -20C. On that occasion I used my Cumulus 200 (850fp) inside of my Alpkit PD600 (750fp) and with layers - I slept well :) Doubling up a lighter bag, especially if it compresses well, with a heavier bag is not a bad option in the UK for the rare occasions when it is really cold - for an overnighter anyway. Mostly the PD600 is fine to around -10C for me, though I might make myself a hot water bottle (softie).
  5. Jamess

    Jamess Section Hiker

    For 'seriously cold' I use an apex 133 top quilt which adds about 10 degrees to my 3 season bag rating.

    I use the top quilt on its own in summer as my main quilt.

    Bespoke ultralight made mine to my spec.
    FOX160 and buntonn like this.
  6. Tartanferret

    Tartanferret Thru Hiker

    I think i should mention the old Alpkit Pd's are quite snug. I'm not broad shouldered, i think that's why a lot of people bought the Skyhigh but that was Duck down IIRC.
    However Alpkit are good with retuns.
    buntonn likes this.
  7. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

    Something like the MLD spirit quilt over the top of your existing bag could be a good option. Mine has worked great over my quilt and also very nice on its own when temps are right.

    Plus if you get the poncho option it can double as camp insulation :)
    murpharoo and buntonn like this.
  8. Beth

    Beth Backpacker

    I have two warm bags. An Alpkit PD400 which has been excellent value but not Scottish winter bag. And a PHD Hispar 600 (I think) which is. Eye wateringly expensive these days but very good quality. Hoping to get more use out of in this winter - backpacking had to be put aside for a while.
    Meadows likes this.
  9. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    WM Lynx GWS.....
    cathyjc likes this.
  10. FOX160

    FOX160 Thru Hiker

    I have camped in the Lakes in August once and it was 0c
    If your unsure of your bag then camp the first night near your car
    And if it's too cold, move in to your car for the night.

    What type of shelter are you using?
    Just that I now use a single skin tent and if it's very windy, it can be the same temperature inside the tent as it is outside pitched in the open in 40-59 mph wind.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  11. Imperial Dave

    Imperial Dave Section Hiker

    dont forget to use a decent mat...when I used to do a reasonable amount of winter camping I always found that a good insulating mat 'extended' the usefulness range of my sleeping bag.
    cathyjc likes this.
  12. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    I use an Alpkit PD400 for cooler camps, warmer camps I used a Alpkit Cloud cover, winter camps I double them up and have found that to work well. I have been down to -8 without an issue and took the quilt out part way through the night as I got too warm. Use a good mat underneath to minimise thermal loss.
  13. buntonn

    buntonn Summit Camper

    @FOX160 I have an SMD Lunar Duo explorer but this is my main summer tent, for season four I'd be using my Hilliberg Junno unless I'm solo and need the lighter option.

    @Imperial Dave Ive got an Exped air at lite 5m, not sure if this is good enough for winter either, not done winter before so trying to research all this info.
  14. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    FOXY: if it's too cold, move in to your car for the night.

    Where you REALLY freeze your nads off.

    buntonn: Ive got an Exped air at lite 5m, not sure if this is good enough for winter

    Just put a cheap 10mm foam pad on top of it, you'll be fine.
    Balagan, edh and WilliamC like this.
  15. FOX160

    FOX160 Thru Hiker

    Maybe put the heater on !
  16. Scotty Von Porkchop

    Scotty Von Porkchop Ultralighter

    I always prefer to use two quilts in true 4 season so it's adjustable to temperature and weather, ie sweating and wetting out if it's too warm.

    I'd just use a thin light summer quilt on top of what you have that way you can easily dry off the two layers and you've got a summer quilt too. Obviously there's a weight penalty though
    Graham, Lady Grey and kamov like this.
  17. FOX160

    FOX160 Thru Hiker

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