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Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Sleeping bags for Scottish winter


Postby just beginning! » Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:32 pm

Hello folks. I have it in my mind to do a bit of wild camping over the next month or 2. I’m looking for recommendations for sleeping bags. I know there’s plenty money can be spent but realistically can anyone recommend anything around £150-£200. Any help is most appreciated,or advice!
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby Scottk » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:36 pm

Could do with more info on your sleep system (shelter, sleep mat etc), where you intend to camp and what weather you will be going out in.
Have a look at alpkit site for some ideas of temps and prices of bags.
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby Marty_JG » Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:33 pm

This -6c comfort down looks pretty toasty for just over £200

https://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/equipment-c3/sleeping-bags-c21/sleeping-bags-c88/questar-20-down-sleeping-bag-p12906

And though more bulky and fractionally heavier, if that isn't an issue for you then you can a -7c comfort synthetic one for £100

https://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/equipment-c3/sleeping-bags-c21/sleeping-bags-c88/husted-20-synthetic-sleeping-bag-p14353

As already said, a huge amount of your warmth is nothing to do with your bag. I'd rather be in the nasty cold in a real 4-season tent and thermals, on a thermal mat and on a foil mat but with an okay 3-season bag plus inner and outer liners; than try a night in a great bag in a draughty tent on a cold mat.

The conditions are also important, are you heading to blizzard territory at height, etc.
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby just beginning! » Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:56 pm

Thanks guys for the suggestions. I have a Naturehike Mongar Ultralight 20D Silicone Backpacking Tent 2 which I think is a MSR copy. Never used it yet. I have an old therma rest mat. I’d probably start of lower level,but try one or 2 summits if confidence ,and warmth allows! Probably nothing too fierce in weather,although I know it can change
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby Marty_JG » Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:13 am

The Mongar (like the Hubba-Hubba it is based off) is an excellent, large, 3-season tent but you need to be very, very careful about using it it in winter especially in exposed/windy conditions or if there is any risk of significant snow. The lightness and large surface area will not be working in your favour in inclement conditions (which can come in fast and without warning) so you absolutely need an escape plan and escape route based on your shelter failing at any hour of the overnight (think torches, mylar bivi, not being 30k away from safety, etc.). This is not to say you cannot use it over the next couple of months but you need to treat the situation like your life depends on it.
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby whiteburn » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:23 pm

Marty_JG wrote:The Mongar (like the Hubba-Hubba it is based off) is an excellent, large, 3-season tent but you need to be very, very careful about using it it in winter especially in exposed/windy conditions or if there is any risk of significant snow. The lightness and large surface area will not be working in your favour in inclement conditions (which can come in fast and without warning) so you absolutely need an escape plan and escape route based on your shelter failing at any hour of the overnight (think torches, mylar bivi, not being 30k away from safety, etc.). This is not to say you cannot use it over the next couple of months but you need to treat the situation like your life depends on it.

Completely agree......OK for sheltered spots in the glen but not really adequate if exposed to winter winds.
Conversely, limiting excursions to benign conditions however can often mean that the temperatures drop a lot colder than -5C e.g. still & clear nights where the temps in the glens can often fall below that on the summits.
My 'to go' bag for winter is -6C/ -13C rated which is OK for me down to -10C without resorting to extra clothing (fleece, down jacket, etc) when coupled with a TAR X-therm mat. IMO a SB that will keep YOU warm at -10C should suffice for most Scottish winter nights, how this translates to a SB rating is really down to the individual.
You should also note that sleeping bag rating are established with a mat having a R value of 4.8, I doubt whether your "old therma rest" is close to this so any new bag will probably not perform to stated rating......putting a CCF mat under it will help a lot.
An alternative to a new bag is to just carry 2 SB's & use the second unzipped as an over quilt (having one bag inside the other is generally not a good idea as the insulation often gets squashed so it's not as efficient), while not exactly weight or pack volume efficient it works e.g. two +4C rated bags would provide a combined rating of around -10C. Definitely a low cost alternative to help decide whether winter outings are your thing.
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby just beginning! » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:35 pm

Appreciate all the replies guys,and take onboard the suggestions. I have a van that I use for sleeping most of the times I go walking,but I would like to get a use out of the tent at some point.,and not just summer. I’ll keep you all informed of the results!
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:46 pm

just beginning! wrote:... I have an old therma rest mat. ...


I really strongly suggest that you start with a highly insulating mat, and then consider the bag. No bag - and most especially a down bag - is going the perform well if the mattress isn't insulating well (since the bag insulation beneath you is squashed under your weight). I have the highest rated Exped mattress, and have been really toasty in a 3 season bag in temperatures well below zero.
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby Booga » Fri Nov 27, 2020 5:52 pm

Alteknacker wrote:
just beginning! wrote:... I have an old therma rest mat. ...


I really strongly suggest that you start with a highly insulating mat, and then consider the bag. No bag - and most especially a down bag - is going the perform well if the mattress isn't insulating well (since the bag insulation beneath you is squashed under your weight). I have the highest rated Exped mattress, and have been really toasty in a 3 season bag in temperatures well below zero.


Agreed, swapping from a "self inflating" Thermarest to an Exped Synmat was one of the best gear choices I ever made. As I'm a side sleeper it also helps stop my shoulders and hips from bottoming out through a thin mat.
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby Caberfeidh » Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:53 am

I use a three-season Snugpak hollofill/pertex bag, with the addition of a Buffalo Outer bag for winter. The combination is toasty and warm, with the benefit of being able to dry out cold damp clothing between the two bags while you sleep. The additional bulk (but not much weight) is easy to cope with, just strap it onto the outside of your rucksack in a waterproof bag.
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=4258&p=26412&hilit=+buffalo+outer#p26412
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby Caberfeidh » Sat Nov 28, 2020 2:09 am

This all reminds me...

For a sleeping mat I use a good old fashioned li-lo, rubberised canvas with a good few inches of insulating air between the sleeper and the ground/floor. I also carry a battery-operated air pump, just as bulky as a foot-pump but much easier to use. One night at Bob Scott's Bothy in the Cairngorms, a bunch of people had populated the place. A fire was burning merrily, folk had their tea then sat about chatting and having a wee dram. One man decided to inflate his air mattress before the evening got into full swing so it would be conveniently ready when he wanted to crash out. He inflated his mattress orally, gasping and panting between huge lungfuls of breath, gradually filling the air-mattress but turning a shade of puce which would make a cardiologist gibber. Occasionally I would ask if he would like a hand, or if there was anything I could do to help, as he struggled and wrestled with his obstinate air-mattress. Each time he replied that no, no, he would manage. Eventually, purple-faced and sweating profusely, he finished and stowed away his bed for later. In the ensuing silence (everyone had gradually stopped chatting and watched in rapt horror as he looked like he was going to blow a blood vessel in his brain or heart), I let my own air-mattress unroll, plugged in my electric pump and with a quiet buzz, quickly filled it , tight as a drum. You should have seen his face! My how we laughed... :shock: :lol: :shock: :lol: :shock: :lol:
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby Marty_JG » Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:17 am

My air mattress takes 12 breaths. If you don't have 12 spare breaths in you then perhaps the mountains are the wrong terrain for you in the first place. 8)
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby AyrshireAlps » Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:03 pm

@Booga and anyone else for that matter (though asking as I have synmat too!) Do you use anything below the synmat, like the thermal foil sheeting?.....
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby Marty_JG » Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:57 pm

I always use a foil mat, not just for the sleeping but just touching the groundsheet is horrible if it's cold but glorious on a silver mat. A very small amount of padding, not enough to sleep on, enough to make it feel nice to put a hand on.

Single https://smile.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001U1K2HY/
Double https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Highlander-Survival-Emergencies-Injuries-Insulates/dp/B003U9UPRG/
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Re: Sleeping bags for Scottish winter

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:06 am

AyrshireAlps wrote:@Booga and anyone else for that matter (though asking as I have synmat too!) Do you use anything below the synmat, like the thermal foil sheeting?.....


Not I, though Marty_JG's suggestion is interesting.
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