Sea to Summit TKII

Discussion in 'Sleep Systems' started by NorCalBigAl, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. NorCalBigAl

    NorCalBigAl Tracker

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    Anyone use one? I actually own one and have mixed feelings, I wouldn't have paid full price for it but I had REI dividends plus a 20 percent off coupon burning a hole in my pocket last year so I got it. I'm really happy with the price I paid so that's a plus. But non the less I think it's more of a summer bag than anything. It's rated 18 lower limit and 30 comfort I believe. I've only used it a hand full of times and that seems about right...anyone else have experience with one? I might use it for backpacking next month but I'm afraid to try out a new piece of kit on a two night trip where my vehicle is half a days hike away, haha. I'll be by the central California coast so fog, wind and humidity give high 20s to even low 40 degree weather a nice finger/toe numbing bite. The sucky part is no fires to cook or warm up with right now : /

    Before I got incredibly side tracked I guess my main question should have been, anyone have a 30ish degree down bag and successfully used a SOL escape bivy inside or outside the bag to increase it's warmth? How did that work out? I might bring a good ol green army wool blanket for added protection too.

    Thanks for any input it suggestions!
     
  2. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Well it is rated as a warmer season bag not for snow and low temperatures
    Spring and Autumn really so your agreements with the published specs are spot on.
    I always advocate a synthetic overbag or over-quilt to extend the range into winter if wearing clothing inside the bag won't work
     
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  3. Crooked Penguin

    Crooked Penguin Supporter Supporter

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    I happen to have that same bag.

    There wasn't a lot of info on it on the web when I bought it about 3 years ago so it was a bit of a gamble, but I'm really happy with it. The main reason I chose it was the price and the fact that it is slightly roomier than a regular mummy.

    Other than that it's light, packs down small, a bit roomier than most traditional mummies and it comes with a nice storage bag and a bag to wash it in as well an ordinary stuff-sak. It can be used as a blanket or you can just open up the footbox if it's warmer.

    I personally feel it is great value compared to what else I've seen out there. Other bags with similar specs cost around twice the price or more over here.

    I have at least 70 to 80 nights in it now in temperatures varying anywhere from -5 up to 30 degrees Celsius in combination with a Thermarest Neo Air All Seasons and my 3 season tent (Vango Force Ten Helium 200) and it was all very doable. Colder temperatures are possible but I would have to add some clothing or a liner to be comfortable. But frankly if it gets any colder than that I rather stay at home, lol

    I don't know what other gear makes up your sleeping system but with a good sleeping pad I think you will be fine. But bring the blanket when in doubt or in case nature plays it's tricks on you.
     
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  4. NorCalBigAl

    NorCalBigAl Tracker

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    You're right, I did like those aspects of it now that you remind me. The compactness is really nice, it is roomy and it does open up into a blanket. I guess the price point isn't insane but I just felt if I were spending that much I'd get a Western Mountaineering bag for another 150 bucks. Non the less so far it's been a good bag.

    My sleep system usually consists of my hammock, a sleeping pad for insulation or in case I need to ground dwell and I usually slip my sleeping pad into my SOL Bivy, just never tried sleeping in both bags. Not sure the degrees but I did spend a night on the Rubicon in my roof top tent with it. The tent has and aluminum/foam insulated floor, 3 inch high density foam mattress and then I used my good ol SOL bivy under my bag and a not incredibly thick wool/polyester blanket on top and I remember getting cold spots sometimes. I wore lame quality long johns too. Might have dipped into the 20s so who knows, maybe I was doing good actually.

    For my next trip I plan on using my little Mountain Hardware backpacking tent, Thermarest Trail Scout sleeping pad R value 3.4, my STS TKII, bring the SOL bivy and maybe the green army blanket, maybe. Hopefully those will be enough to stay comfy. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to staying warm with my gear.
     
  5. Crooked Penguin

    Crooked Penguin Supporter Supporter

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    I was replacing my entire sleeping system at the time so that 150$ difference bought me my Thermarest, haha. I think it was actually more like a 200€ difference over here back then even, but everything is always more expensive here in Europe.

    I remember looking at that same sleeping pad too. I came from a self inflatable & wanted to replace the old one with a new one originally but there was a bit of a weight and pack difference between the Neo Air and that one so I went for the lightest option.

    In comparison; the Neo Air All Season has an R value of 4.9, 3.4 is probably the minimum you want when taking it to the minimal rating of your sleeping bag.

    But with the other gear you describe you should be pretty comfy I recon.

    I hope you have a fun trip anyway, please report back on how it went when you return!
     
  6. NorCalBigAl

    NorCalBigAl Tracker

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    Eventually I'd like to get a more compact sleeping pad with better insulation. Even for summer it'll be fine, I'm a cold sleeper so anything helps me, ha.

    Back when I got my first set up, to go to the place I'm going next month ironically, my budget was 6-7 hundred bucks for everything. I managed to get a REI internal frame pack, REI 20 degree bag, my Mt. Hardware tent and other items. I got a thin military issue Thermarest sleeping pad and shivered my ass off not knowing the R value was below 1. You couldn't pay me to sleep that night again. That was ten years ago so thankfully my kit and knowledge has improved since then.
     
  7. Crooked Penguin

    Crooked Penguin Supporter Supporter

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    I hear ya, until 3 years ago I didn't even know what an R-rating was, lol

    Most people think they need a warmer sleeping bag when they get cold but a good insulated pad makes all the difference.

    I'm a fairly cold sleeper too, although it does seem to vary a bit. What always helps me to keep warm is to have a good meal before bedtime, especially a nice big piece of meat.
     
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  8. NorCalBigAl

    NorCalBigAl Tracker

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    Same here, I figured thicker the pad the more comfortable it is. I knew you needed insulation but I had no idea it made that big of a difference. I figured the bag could take up all the slack, until I froze my butt off in my REI 20 degree bag when it probably wasn't that cold at all. I love the super packable pass with high R value but I want a quiet one, most of the ones I tried at REI sounded crinkly and that'll keep me up all night considering I don't stay still long. My buddy got a Klymit or what ever and it seems good but I'm a bit skeptical to try that brand.

    Maybe you're right, last time I went backpacking I brought a steak and cooked it with some potatoes, onions and mushrooms and it was sooooooo goooooood. I slept good too!

    I got a total of 200 dollars in gift cards to Bass Pro for Christmas so I might go get some better base layers. I also need a new head lamp and maybe a Sreamlight lantern for car camping. I'm still deciding what to do.
     
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  9. Crooked Penguin

    Crooked Penguin Supporter Supporter

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    My Thermarest is one of the cringly ones, but it sounds worse in the store when you try it out then it does irl-use in my experience. Irl the swooshing noise of a sleeping bag when you move around is much louder then the cringly sound, which mostly drowns it out, if not entirely.

    I hope this makes any sense to whomever reads it, lol

    But there's also the Exped Downmat, I think that one's quieter and it has a comparable R-rating.

    I've never heard of Klymit, sorry.

    That steak sounds good right now, I wish I was able to go out for some R&R myself after all this talking about it!
     
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  10. byksm

    byksm Scout

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    ive been using a tk2 for several years... a few times in sub-zero temps.
    never tried a sol bivy. id be concerned about condensation with a down bag.
    anyone have that issue with the sol bivy?

    my bivy is event and does pretty well in the cold.
    when it gets chilly i wear a hat, scarf and extra layer on my core.
    no problem.

    ive always used a 3/4 length sleeping pad. never had an issue with cold feet.

    have fun
    -p
     
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  11. NorCalBigAl

    NorCalBigAl Tracker

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    My buddy got another model from them, looks good. He's had it for a year and so far no issues.

    Insulated Static V Recon

    Supposedly that SOL bivy is breathable but not sure how that starts to work when you layer things up. Maybe it's a recipe for disaster.

    On a side note, they need a sleeping pad with a "gripper" texture or maybe little rubber dots that provide a level of traction. I always slip and slide on my sleeping pad even on the slightest incline. Maybe I move too much when I sleep! I recently discovered sleeping with ear plugs when camping, I usually like hearing things but I found I sleep much better if it's windy out.

    Any experience with sleeping bag liners? I have a hard time believing they provide any level of warmth but who knows.
     
  12. byksm

    byksm Scout

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    +1 on a textured sleeping pad.

    i have a silk liner. specs say it adds 5 deg of warmth.
    hard to say if thats true.
    mostly ive used it to help keep my bag clean inside.
    trying to negotiate myself into a liner, bag and bivy can be quite a trick though, so, mostly it stays home.
     
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  13. Crooked Penguin

    Crooked Penguin Supporter Supporter

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    I have a silk liner too but I toss and turn too much for 'm. I tried it out a few times but I keep ending up tied up in the liner inside the sleeping bag. It does help giving a little bit of extra warmth though, what I usually do when I need it is put it around my sleeping bag instead. That will make it even harder not to slide of the pad though. But I have the larger size pad, I recon if I had the smaller one I could put the liner around both the bag and pad and it would help keep things in place instead.

    Sea to Summit also makes some thicker sleeping bag liners, 3 or 4 different ones from the top of my head. The thicker one is so thick you could use it as a summer-bag by itself. They are a bit expensive though. A generic fleece liner is also an option and probably a lot cheaper.

    Idk about earplugs. I use them at home at times but there I have a sturdy locking door... Out camping I rather hear that carnivore or possible serial killer coming.... ;)
     
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  14. NorCalBigAl

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    That's my fear of a liner, I'd be like a fish tangled up in a net. I toss and turn so much I keep my self up, haha. The worst is I'm a side sleeper and I like my legs bent and the sleeping bag always screws me up. Its to narrow and slippery and I'm always at the mercy of sleeping straight like a log. Maybe that's one reason I like my hammock...but I always end up adjusting my self a few times when below my knees go numb, lol. Just can't win! Maybe that's why I prefer to ruck really far each day and drink a pinch of liquor before bed, sometimes I even take two benadryl to help me through the night. I'm pretty sure this just deviated really far from my original post. Oh man.

    I will say I might try a liner anyway, I do like the fact it keeps things clean and what not. I've been getting a hankering to try a quilt lately, like an enlightened equipment one...
     
  15. NorCalBigAl

    NorCalBigAl Tracker

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    You know what would be sweet? A thin flannel liner and two little snaps or Velcro at the bottom inside the bag. Then it'll stay put!
     
  16. NorCalBigAl

    NorCalBigAl Tracker

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    Well, my sea to summit bag worked great this weekend. It got into the high 30s each night and I was toasty warm. The second night I had to ditch my down pull over because I was sweating. I used my woobie blanket over my bag and it probably wasn't needed. I do prefer to sleep pretty warm but I think I would have been fine with out it. I think realistically this is a 30 degree bag at best for me. Which works for the climate I live in even year round. I can supplement colder nights by layering clothes or using a blanket. Just thought I'd update my results, thanks for any input!
     
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  17. Red Wing

    Red Wing Supporter Supporter

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    Is this bag sewn through baffles or box baffles?

     
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  18. NorCalBigAl

    NorCalBigAl Tracker

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    They're box baffles for sure, I just pinched and pulled the bag to feel them.
     

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