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sleeping bag need help! (Misson Complete!)

Discussion in 'Winter Camping' started by Peter M, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    My wife has decieded she wanted to buy me a sleeping bag before my up coming trip to take Mor K. Class in February, which everyone knows gets pretty damn cold.

    Up until now i have used a 20 year old Northface Catsmeow 20 F bag, then for colding i put a 45F marmot my wife uses in the summer, and then a gortex military bivy.

    But i have the option now to buy a sleeping bag that i will be using for the next 25-30 years i assume for all my winter trips and expeditions.
    I do plan on making trips up to sweden and norway in the future, and more cananda trips. And possibly bigger alpine trips as my mountaineering skills get better.

    So 1 bag to rule them all for winter trips. My question is how cold should it really be rated?
    They have some awesome deals with 20% off at backcountry and its a given that i want to go with a down. But we were looking at the Marmot 0F Lithium. Or should i go -15 or -20? Is it really necessary? Thanks for the feedback guys im hoping to order this soon while the deal is going on!
     
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  2. DarrylM

    DarrylM Guide

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    I notice the cold a lot more now than I did 20 years ago. Think about future you, buy now for that guy. The trip you take now, comfortable in the 0 degree bag, in 20+ years he might be wishing you'd got that -15 or -20 instead.
     
  3. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Also look to buy an Expedition cut bag; these are cut extra wide so using a liner bag or down clothing is easy
     
  4. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Yes yes to the above. As a teen with the metabolism of a hummingbird I hardly ever got cold. Now ,if I expect a zero degree night I want a -20 bag at the least and a wool blanket along with it is not out of the question at all.
     
  5. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter

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    What's your budget look like? Is warmth alone your only criteria or are you also looking at weight (if you've already determined to go with down, I'm guessing weight is playing a role)?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    The coldest ever recorded for the area you are going to be using it in plus a margin of safety for the times when you are cold, tired, damp and hungry. 10 degrees is a good safety margin IME, but that margin can and should include your clothing which can be 20 degrees if it includes a decent insulated parka and insulated pants/ hence my previous comment on the use of an Expedition cut bag
    0F/-18C is a 3 season bag for the North so you really need to take that down to -20F [ or lower] to have that margin of safety then add the warmth of the extra clothing [ or the 0F bag] to get you comfortable to -40
     
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  7. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Ok so it sounds like it would be wise for me to go the extra mile for the -20F bag. And weight is a bit of a issue but also how far it can be compressed and stuff is another big thing for me. my 20F synthetic bag is what i consider huge when it takes up 90% of a 30liter bag. another option is possibly if i get a -20F synthetic and then a 0 F down. One provides more comfront with the tradeoff of size and weight then the other. Because the cost difference at 0 and -20 for a down is about $200, which can buy me a nice synthetic.
     
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  8. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    I owned a Lithium and it's a solid bag, it's cut fairly roomy for a mummy. I never had need for anything warmer- quite frankly if the forecast is -20F, I'm not going.

    I think a 0 degree bag is more than adequate for the vast majority of winter camping.
     
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  9. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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    To me , its always easier to vent the bag a little or remove a layer or two shortly after going to bed then it is to try and add layers at 3 or 4 in the morning when you wake up shivering or with the small of your back or your feet cold . That means getting out of your bag finding the layers you want to add which adds to the chill and then crawling back in and warming up the cold layers you just added . The only reason I want to wake up when winter camping is to pee . You need more rest in winter to accomplish those added tasks like firewood trekking in snow shoes etc .

    When I used to work outside a lot , on those coldest days I used to eat about twice as many calories and then crash for an extra few hours that night .
     
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  10. Revolverrodger

    Revolverrodger Tracker

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    Ray mears arctic jay is awesome
    I akso use the MSSS alot
     
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  11. Gsamp

    Gsamp Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Pete- If price is part of the equation, I really like the new down bag I bought from Outdoor Vitals. I haven't tested the temp rating yet, but it is very warm and comfy and seems to be well made. At 7x7 inches and 2.2lb for my 30 Degree bag they are pretty small and light for the $. They have a 0 degree bag for about $180. For colder weather it could be combined with a bivvy and a nice insulated pad.
     
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  12. AB McLeod

    AB McLeod Supporter Supporter

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    @Peter M, I live about 60 miles north of where you'll be taking your course. If you're taking the course that runs from Feb. 19th to 25th, the temperature can vary greatly around here at that time of year. It can run the gamut from -40 to +50F so be prepared.

    I'd recommend a -20F rated pack in an expedition cut. As Moondog55 wrote, it'll give you the option of using a liner and/or wearing insulated clothes. The downside is the expedition cut packs can be a bit on the heavy side.
    I use a Woods Yukon 7 Expedition bag rated down to -30F. It's great when it's really cold but there are times it can be too warm. Mind you, I sleep warm. It weighs around 15 lbs.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  13. Bcelect

    Bcelect Tracker

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  14. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    So I think after a bit of research and what most of you are telling me is its a very safe bet on the -20F. Its only a $175 difference between the -20F and the 0 for the marmot and a super good deal on Col Sleeping Bag: -20 Degree Down which is 20% off and free shipping.
    Its a size large which i dont need because im short 5'8. But its the only option. And i cant find any informtation if its expedition cut. But it seems like that bag has been around for years with a awesome track record for expeditions for what thats worth.
    Its a chunk of change but i could take it as far as everest i believe if the opportunity or desire ever arises.

    And i like that 1951 korean war one but i have had a MSS system and im totally over the weight and bulk. But such awesome options and great idea!

    Ill pitch my final idea to my wife when she gets off of work and hopefully shes on board! When she agreed to buying me a new bag she thought it would be a few hundred less haha. And people think girls are the expensive ones... Well those girls must not have outdoorsmen husbands.
     
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  15. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    So does anyone have any suggestions for the extra 6 inches of space at the bottom of the bag? do you guys stuff maybe an extra sweater or jacket at the bottom with socks incase you want to dress warmer and you know where it is? Any ideas to get me thinking would be great!

    Just kidding! I kept searching and found another one that was 35% off!!! and REG RHT!!! TOTAL WIN! $475 for a marmot down -20F bag! Last one in stock too! Thanks so much y'all for all the help. I will Post a picture or two when it arrives next week, and then i will have a trip report of it getting some action in CA!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  16. AB McLeod

    AB McLeod Supporter Supporter

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    LOL

    Please post a trip report and as many pictures as you can!
    I took Mors' winter survival course in 1989. I have no pictures.
     
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  17. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    yeahhhh i should of seen that joke coming hahaha.
    And i am gonna take as many pictures as i can, Mors is a hero of mine obviously and i couldn't be more excited! After this im also gonna have to start planning a mountaineering trip or a night on top of a 14er in Co maybe with the new bag.
     
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  18. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    You get a waterproof stuff sack and put your boots and sox in it; this way they are warm in the AM when you wake up [ the extra 6 inches]
     
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  19. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Rattlesnake Charmer. Supporter Bushclass I

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    Just some general sleeping bag observations. You can always unzip, or use as a quilt a higher rated bag in warmer temps within reason. This is easier and often lighter than packing over bags, liners, woobie, extra sleeping clothes etc etc to make a bag work in colder weather than rated for. Always found a larger cut bag better but then again I am a big guy. The ground pad is just as important as the bag. A dry sleeping hat, socks and gloves are very important. Don't forget the chap stick. Is it just me?

    Also I don't like stuff in my bag as toss, turn and twist during the night. I don't want to fight boots, batteries, water bottles, hot rocks, dead coons etc etc etc but that's just me.
     
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  20. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    @Moondog55 that is a awesome idea, Im sure I could even do that with a regular cut bag because I'm short!

    @Woods Walker i guess I never considered the weight difference in say 20 degree bag but having a extra sweater and extra thick long johns and possibly even a light down jacket for sleeping, like I have done for colder weather, vs the -20 bag and not needing any extra clothing for sleeping specifically, thanks for the tip man!
     
  21. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Another thought I had on this, and if anyone knows.

    How badly will down deteriorate if stores properly threw out the years. I'm sure with use and being compressed it loses loft with loses insulation value. But how significantly do you think the Heat loss is?
     
  22. hayshaker

    hayshaker Scout

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  23. hayshaker

    hayshaker Scout

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    go with a USGI mss3pc sleeping bag, remember to carry
    a extra full set of thermal unders, that's 3tops,3bottoms.
    each layer is a differrent thickness. plus what you wear.
     
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  24. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Well I had one of those issued to me while I was in and i just hate how the sleeping system was twice the size as my load out for a 3-4 day trip. Just bulky and heavy.
     
  25. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Usual Suspecto Supporter Lifetime Supporter

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    Yes get that marmot one
     
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  26. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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  27. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Looks big enough to wear a parka inside, in which case it is big enough.
    What is the leg room like?
    Backcountry are having a sale on Brooks Range half bags
    Elephant Foot Sleeping Bag: 20 Degree Down
    Add one of those and good down to -50C with a parka inside that bag
    great choice. What mattress system are you using with it?
     
  28. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Wow thats a killer deal on the brooks range. And its plenty of leg room for me with me being a small guy. And my current system is thermarest trail lite i think. But its a open cell self inflating. very light and comfty but i believe i read or heard that i will need a closed foam cell pad because at like 10 degrees the open inflating pads lose there insulation value.
     
  29. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg To the best of my ability here is some shots of the sleeping bag inside a stanrdard GI bivy bag below freezing in a igloo! Getting some real miles out of her!
     
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  30. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    You asked about longevity.
    I have high quality down bags here that are almost as good as new and they are over 25 years old and used hard.
    Always stored in the cotton loft bags
    I'm still drooling about those half bags but medical bills still stealing my money damn it, add the half bag and a down parka and i think you would be safe at -40
     
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  31. Early Man

    Early Man Supporter Supporter

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    Down will out last most anything so long as it is taken care of. I have 3 main bags, A kelty down summer bag rated to 41 degrees F. it works good in NH USA summers, and goes in a western mountaineering Alpinlite rated to +20, these can go in a hollow fill Sierra Designs bag no long made and nothing they make is like it anymore . That bad has a stretch feature built in and moves with you. The last one is rated for -10. So far I have never been able to keep it zippered for a entire night yet, but it's only seen -10.

    I also use 2 pads one ridge rest foam and a self inflating Therma Rest and these are inside a gortex bivy with the bags on top. In +10 and colder I use a vapor barrier liner, which forces moist air out around my shoulders and neck, and keep the insulation dry.

    It would have to be -40 F or colder to want all 3 bags in the bivy at the same time.

    What seems interesting about the Alpinelite is it compares with other Western Mountaineering bags rate for colder ratings. people say WM bags will take you to colder than the rating, but I haven't tried that in my back yard to see if it's true.

    I am not fond of military bags for the weight and bulk.

    A good down bag care starts with a liner, so it stays cleaner. Maybe the next sin is over crushing it in a compression sack. 3rd might be long storage in a stuff sack too small that won't breath.

    I even question a practice I do. I am pretty rural and so there are mice. That causes me to keep this bags in a plastic food grade 60 gallon drum with a air tight lid. I try to place them in there on a very dry day, but once in there is no more moving air at all. Better than mice chomping them to bits i guess. I just started this practice. Recently I had them in knotless hammocks, but got nervous finding mice chewed wool and cotton blankets in a wooden chest.
     
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  32. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Better to store in a big barrel than have it ruined by mice, I haven't yet lost a sleeping bag to mice but I have lost 2 big ThermaRest clones to the little beggars
     
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  33. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Yes I would say you will need at the minimum a second CCF pad, ongoing discussion in another thread about the merits of various pad combinations. i advocate and prefer the Ridge-Rest for insulation but I tend to use mine in combination with a cheap thin [ 8 to 10mm] CCF pad as well and for winter I find that the wide pad is better value when it gets cold
     
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  34. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    yeah a ccf pad is on my very near list as i would also like to use it as a kneeling pad for canoeing trips as well!
     
  35. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    lots of very very good points in here! i think ill keep an eye out for some liners, and i havent done as much research into those yet. i have heard people using silk liners, and vapor barriers. should they be two separate things or could a 1 size fits all be found?
     
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  36. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    I used to use liners to keep my bag clean but I've not bothered in the last 25 years or so, preferring now to sleep in my long-johns and clothes when needed.
    In truth the only part of my sleeping bags that ever really needed a good scrub was the hood section and wearing a light balaclava stopped that.
    These days for cold weather I have a LW polarfleece hoodie I wear that does the same job
    Vapour barriers are very different again and one of the few ways I know of to stop a bag from becoming saturated with insulation robbing moisture in very cold conditions, an interesting variation tho is a partial VB, soft clothing grade Tyvek used as a liner can add quite a bit of warmth [ much more than the same weight of fleece for some reason] without the sometimes overwhelming soggy feeling of a full VB
    get two CCF pads, use one for sleeping and cut the other into sit/kneeling pads for around camp, I've seen them as cheap as a dollar at Goodwill, just cut the daggy bits off

    http://www.campsaver.com/therm-a-rest-ridgerest-solar-sleeping-pad-irregular
    just found those might save you a few dollars
     
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  37. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004...ridge+rest&dpPl=1&dpID=51VP5kKAYcL&ref=plSrch


    For a knee pad would one of these be better because it'll fold up nicely and I could cut quite a few out and it would be like a set size? I plan on reading threw the forum about pads but for ccf I don't think there is too much to read about. There is ones for a dollar and ones for 50 and therma rest makes the 50 dollars ones lol. Am I close enough?
     
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  38. Early Man

    Early Man Supporter Supporter

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    I sleep in long johns and fresh clean wool socks in the serious cold. Serious cold for me starts at +10 and goes to as cold as it can get in NH on one of the mts there at tree line. The Vapor Barrier ( VB) is for keeping your own body moisture off of the feathers and outside cover of the sleeping bag(s) It may retain a little more heat of not. I don't care about that. What I care about is dry. Dry everything. In that kind of cold with no VB the body moisture filters thru the feathers and will freeze inside the outermost layer of nylon, leaving you bag frozen, and a frozen bag is no good. I got a serious lesson once when the foot seam of a homemade VB failed. i didn't notice a thing wrong for 7 nights, but on morning 8 I sure did, ICE in the outside bag and ICE inside the gortex bivy . Using a VB... basics. You get in it inside of everything else and go to sleep, You wake up because 1 ya gotta pee and 2 the moon fakes you out and you think it's morning. You get dressed and wander off , pee and come back. The next time you wake up you get dressed for the day sitting in your sleeping bag(s) and when you are set you haul out that VB m turn it inside out and stake it down to freeze dry, check the rest of your gear (Sleeping) And them go play.

    I still have that VB from the mid 1970s and still use it, but all I know about the material is it's light weight, royal bright blue, is totally air and water tight, and I found a bolt of it in a dumpster. All I have left is the VB. I made wind chaps and 2 kayaks. I might still have the wind chaps.

    The Little People harpooned the kayaks about 30 years ago with ski poles;)

    SILK : Not sure if it can be a VB or not. It won't be if it cant stop water in the form of vapor. My silk long johns and socks don't stop a drop of sweat .
     
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  39. Early Man

    Early Man Supporter Supporter

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    If you are going to cut CCF up go to a walmart and get a cheap one. I do that all the time. I have heel pads made of CCF in both kayaks I have now, because it hurts my antique old heels to grind them on hard blow mold plastic kayak. I have used that same CCF pad as rack padding on the home made 2 x4 roof rack that carries these kayaks and lumbers and what ever else roof racks carry. I have more down by the brook frozen solid to the ground right now. it's that cheap I just leave it there and after 3 years for being there it's about beat. Squirrels chew it, birds peck at it, sticks fall and poke holes in it, and with crampons on I sometimes step on it. Don't care a bit.

    Not so with my T Rest Brand CCF's I have these in antique black from when the world was still just black and white, and a fe years ago I got the silver on one side and pale green on the other. Both are taken care of.

    I have the old rusty red T rest that self inflates and a new one that is lighter folds in 1/2 the long way and takes less pack space. Old geezer like to sleep a lot and it's hard of sticks and rocks are pokin' holes in yer skin . In thrift stores you can find garden pads for cheap around this time of year too. get one in bright pink and no one will steal it :)
     
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  40. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Location:
    Geelong Victoria Australia
    I'd just like to report that my beloved wife actually bought me one of those Brooks Range half bags, while I would not have paid the original asking price and they are not as well made or filled as the same product form Western Mountaineering they were a real bargain at $179-USD
    It fits neatly inside my existing sleeping bag and I'd be happy to use it inside any of my bivvys to freezing andbeyond so long as I had a decent pad under me.
    I hope readers of this thread managed to catch one before they sold out
     

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