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Sleeping bag advice

Sleeping bag advice


Postby scoob999 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:36 pm

Hi all
We want to get more into wild camping and we're looking at the Rab ascent 900 down bag
I have a few queries

1 I sleep cold (very cold) :shock: so I need a warm bag

2 I am a very restless sleeper so unsure if I need a tight bag or one with more room?

Also I am 6'2ish will I need a longer bag? We're looking round about the £200 mark

Thanks in advance for any advice or recommendations
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby irishwasa » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:17 pm

Haven't used the Rab, but a couple of comments. If you sleep cold, spare room in your bag will be less efficient. I am a shade over 6 foot, and use a standard length, but only just fit - I would probably go for a longer length next time, so you would probably be better going straight for it. Make sure you have a really good mat - any benefit of a good bag is lost if all your heat goes into planet earth while you try to sleep :D
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:35 pm

I have a RAB 700. Unfortunately I sleep warm, so even if it's freezing outside, I find it too warm.

I always use a good mattress though (self-inflatable, 25mm thick) - I can only echo what Scoob says about that (the first thing we learnt in Scouts!).
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby Mal Grey » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:44 pm

As said, to maximise warmth you'll want a reasonably snug fit. I can't answer your length question, I suspect you are indeed on the edge of needing a longer bag for comfort.

An import thing to remember is to ensure you go to bed warm, after all, it is YOU that heats up the bag. Do a little activity before getting into the bag, some exercises or similar can help. Make sure you've eaten enough to fuel your body through the night. And as others say, use a good, warm, mat underneath you.

You don't mention what conditions you will be camping in. If its summer only, even on the summits, the 900 should be more than warm enough. Its really designed for colder weather, and for many people it would be too warm for summer use in the UK.

A similar alternative is the Alpkit SkyeHigh900, which is about as warm. I've just got one of their Pipedream 250s - quality is excellent, and it packs down very small, but I haven't used it yet, and its more of a spring-autumn bag.
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby hooter2014 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:05 am

Don't forget a liner. They make quite a bit of difference.
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby kaiserstein » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:33 am

Hi Scoob

Alpkit's new Arctic Dreams are currently reduced. Don't know much about them but comfort -10.5, 1.5kg for £235 seems a good deal. Considering one for myself for wild camping in colder times. The Rab would be my other choice.

Still also considering getting a decent mat and thermarest neoair xtherm is what I'd go for. Just need to find the pennies.

1st night is always the worst when wildcamping but after that I find I'm that knackered I drop right off. Whisky helps!
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby tenohfive » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:18 pm

An option I use mat wise is to uprate a more normal mat with a closed cell foam mat, Multimat do some decent light ones (100g for a shortie, about £15.)

Women's mats are often warmer than mens (worth checking) and lighter, but at the expense of width.

As Mal points out, you warm the bag. I actually keep a few snacks within arms reach as I often get up in the middle of the night (astrophotography) and getting back into the bag having lost the earlier heat I find that I start churning out a bit of heat again. Hot chocolate works brilliantly too for an instant warmth hit. But carb loaded food before bed is the best start. Some sit ups in the bag can be another quick way to generate heat.

Don't underestimate the benefit of a hat and gloves.

Getting the cords properly adjusted - sleeping bag hood pulled tight, along with shoulder baffles - at the beginning of the night is a worthwhile minute or two's time spent.

On the bag front, I've got the Ascent 700 and I'm a cold sleeper. And I bivvy to, so no heat benefits of an inner.
With the 900 I'd expect you to be fine unless you've got the body fat amount of a career marathon runner.
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby Meatball » Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:20 am

That's a decent bag, you'd be very happy with that.

You're on the edge of needing the taller bag, I think.

I went for Mountain Equipment bags, one down, one synthetic. One regular, one XL. I can get away with the regular.
I went for a starlight 4 and Titan 650 which have both handled very very cold. I use a liner and I always stay bundled up.

Good luck picking.....if I spy anything I'll drop you a txt.
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby Roeboe » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:37 pm

I know Tundra do larger bags without a lot of extra costs.

+1 on the mat, camped under a tarp with -15°c on 2 meters of snow and was hot on my neo air xterm. I was using a cumulus panyam 600. So if the mat is good, you can do with a less filled bag if you wear extra clothing.
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby scoob999 » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:21 pm

Some great ideas and advice cheers :D
has anyone used the ME matrix 111 hybrid bag? primoloft on the base and down on the top, just curious but sounds good
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby dav2930 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:30 am

scoob999 wrote:Some great ideas and advice cheers :D
has anyone used the ME matrix 111 hybrid bag? primoloft on the base and down on the top, just curious but sounds good

Haven't used one but it sounds great. Problem with down is that you get cold spots at compression points. A synthetic insulation like Primaloft on the base will solve that problem. I might look into one of these myself - thanks Scoob!
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby tenohfive » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:09 pm

Not totally convinced myself. Yes, synthetics resist compression more than down - but they're still affected by it and don't perform as well when compressed.

My view is that your mat is for insulating underneath you; the bag above. I suspect that any increased insulation by using synthetic instead of down will be marginal, and not enough to change which mat you would otherwise take.
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby scoob999 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:31 pm

Thanks all for your advice and comments :D

Opted for the Alpkit Artic dream 1000 in the end, I'll update this when it comes and I get a chance to use it :D
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Re: Sleeping bag advice

Postby Meatball » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:05 pm

Try the numo mat too?
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