What is your preference for a light weight sleep system?

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by 2Stroke, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. 2Stroke

    2Stroke Tracker

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    Hey everyone, back with a question again. What do you sleep in during this time of year (summer/early fall)?

    I ask this question here because it is a matter of weight at the moment.

    I'm currently carrying a surplus (swiss?) Military wool blanket, but it weighs in at just over 3lbs. I like the blanket and it keeps me fairly warm down into the high 50° range, but it is pretty heavy.

    What do you guys carry and what would you recommend? I'm looking for something as warm as a wool blanket but possibly not as heavy. I keep going back to wool because of the water resistance and the general usefulness but with some long hikes planned before the fall sets in I'm beginning to think about the pounds.

    Just a side note: my pack weighs in at just about 20lbs with a water and food for 2 days. I've already switched to a light weight tarp for shelter which shed some weight and the sleep system and pack is next.
     
  2. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic

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    Warm as wool but without the weight? Down bag or quilt.

    Warm but water resistant? Synthetic.

    This time of year I uses HPG serape. It weighs 2.5lbs. It is probably not as warm as a wool blanket, but it’s water resistant and still warm when wet. I just used it as a “bag” this past weekend. Night got down to 66 and I didn’t need it until my tent started leaking.

    My next step up is a 20 degree down quilt from Enlightened Equipment. It weighs 20oz. Even if it’s too warm, because it’s a quilt I find I can vent pretty easily and be fairly comfortable in temps from about 25-50F. It is NOT water resistant in the slightest, so I wouldn’t use it if it’s likely to get wet, or if I’m likely to get wet and need to dry off in the bag overnight. For that I’d use a synthetic. Normally not a concern for me anymore, so those are what I use and a synthetic bag is a distant want.
     
  3. petey091

    petey091 Scout

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    I use an Enlightened Equipment Enigma quilt. It's rated at 20 degrees and is stuffed with Drydown. I ordered it long and wide. I use it year round and because its a quilt it is easy to regulate the heat. I store it in a waterproof compression bag so when it's compressed it just a little larger than a softball.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  4. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    Hydrophobic down quilt and an air mattress.

    Currently for warm weather I take my Kelty Cosmic Down 40 and use it as a quilt on my NeoAir venture.

    The bag is 1 lbs 15 oz in it's stuff sack and the mat is 1 lbs 6 oz with an R value of 1.8

    I've got an Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20° on order that I'm hoping to use moving forward. Being a quilt you can always start the night off with is laid out next to you and then pull it on top as it cools down.

    I'm planning on picking up an XLite in the near future as well so that my sleep system will function down to the lower temps in the shoulder seasons when I prefer to do most of my camping, but still functional in warmer weather as well. The R value on the XLite is 3.2.

    It will then be 19.62 oz for the quilt, and 12 oz for the mat for a total of 1 lbs 15.62 oz.
     
  5. MAD Punty

    MAD Punty Supporter Supporter

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    For me, it's just a tarp, a hammock, and a Survival Blanket from Wilderness Innovations. It's super light, and super warm, and I just prefer blankets over sleeping bags...the banket is about 1 pound, I think. Cost is over $100, so there's that consideration. Sometimes I carry an inexpensive fleece blanket, too.

    Other than that, I also have a poncho and liner from the same company. The liner is basically a polartec fleece poncho...incredibly warm, very lightweight, a bit bulky. If it gets really cold, I wear the poncho liner under the blanket...I'd rather carry extra clothing than extra blankets or sleeping bags. More useful, more versatile.

    I have a closed cell foam sleeping mat, too, if needed, but I rarely use it.

    I am a big fan of fleece and closed cell foam, basically. Yeah...fleece will melt and get holes burnt into it easily if you're not careful...but I can get a fleece blanket for $10, and it is reawlly warm, dries easily, and is very lightweight. Closed cell foam I am a fan of because it doesn't fail. I'm the kind of guy that I prefer low aggravation gear. Anything inflatable is off the board for me.
     
  6. Chorazin

    Chorazin Tracker

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    I used my Mountain Serape in bag mode when it was below 50 (reported low was 50 but I was in a valley near a stream so probably a bit colder) paired with a sleeping pad and it barely kept me warm enough to sleep. Definitely a warm night item for me!
     
  7. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic

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    Yeah, I tried using it in a hammock without a pad in the Smokies a couple years ago, reported low was 52... That was a very cold night. I love it, but it has its limitations.
     
  8. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    I'm a hammocker. Just getting into shoulder season hammocking, but here's my set up so far....

    Summer-
    Warbonnet Blackbird XLC hammock - 28.5 ounces
    Warbonnet Superfly with rigging & stakes -25 oz
    Hammock Gear Incubator 40 under-quilt- 16.5 oz
    Costco Black Diamond down homemade top quilt- 16.5 ounces

    Total- 86.5 ounces or 5.4 Lbs

    High altitude summer camping or winter in Florida-
    Add a 2qzq under-quilt protector - 6.5 oz

    Total- 93 ounces or 5.81 Lbs

    Cold weather-
    Warbonnet Wookie XL 0 degree under-quilt - 25 ounces
    Hammock Gear Burrow 0 degree top quilt - 25 ounces
    Warbonnet superfly with rigging & stakes - 25 ounces
    Warbonnet Blackbird XLC hammock - 28.5 ounces
    2QzQ underquilt protector - 6. 5 ounces

    Total- 110 ounces or 6.875 Lbs
     
  9. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock Still going Supporter

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    Ozark trails (Walmart) has a 50 degree synthetic mummy bag weighs about one pound packs small. And is very easy on the wallet.
     
  10. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    I met a flipflop SOBO hiker at the Harpers Creek Shelter this year who was using one of those quilt style. I'd perfer a little more safety net in my temperature rating personally. I was using my 40° bag.
     
  11. IowaSteve

    IowaSteve Supporter Supporter

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    It would be great to have such lightweight AND warm sleep gear, but how about those of us on more of a tight budget? Even $40 for a surplus wool blanket is alot to me.
     
  12. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    There's always cheap and heavy. I started off with a 600 lbs 40° Winzel envelope bag and a blue closed cell foam mattress. Both are still serving as sleep over gear when my sons friends stay over. Come to think of it both my sons have used the mat on camping trips and it's spent quite a bit of time under my car.

    A Blue CCF mat will run you a little over $8 at Walmart and is rated at around R 1.6 which is supposed to only get you down to 50-60 at best but I've taken mine down to 20° YMMV. Pair that with a sub $20 bag from Amazon and you have a 3 season sleep system for under $30.

    I drive a 20 year old car with almost a quarter million miles on it that I maintain myself. I have to scrimp and save to get every piece of gear I get. Lately I've been saving longer to buy better quality gear since I've grown tired of buying twice or more. I definitely get having to be on a tight budget though, it's totally doable. Whatever gets you out in the woods.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  13. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Wool blanket, to me, is almost solely for car camping or easy canoe camping. Not much loft, not very warm, about 5-6 lbs... Even Calvin Rutstrum advised against them in favor of a down bag or quilt (Whelen did too.) Nice around a campfire though, and if the trip is short enough (like a 1/4 mile walk to my semi-permanent camp) I will sometimes bring one.

    I currently live in LA, where year round highs/lows vary from "Satan's Kitchen" to below zero... but normally, the average low in January is 25.

    I also spend a few nights a year up in the Adirondacks of NY State, usually in the July-October timeframe, later being better (no tourons, no bugs). Temps in October average about 40-60, lo/hi.

    I have a Western Mountaineering Caribou 35* down bag, and a JRB 35* down quilt for under my hammock. Even 5 years ago, when I still had a metabolism, these were fine however I used them. Now in my 50s, my body shuts down between 10 and 6 and I get cold when the temps drop below about 50* (note that my body is 54... but I am about 23, mentally... I think we all stay right about there.)

    When it's colder, I usually go to ground under a tarp and on a Thermarest NEO AirXL pad, but often bring the quilt along to go over the sleeping bag. A poncho liner will also add just enough warmth, but at about 22oz each (all three... bag, quilt, and poncho liner all weigh about 22oz), it makes more weight sense to bring the quilt with it's extra thickness and compressibility.

    In the summer, I'm usually in a hammock (LA bugs and snakes), and good with just the bag inside and the quilt under me. In NY in July/Aug, I also like the hammock as the temps then are more like 50/70 in the Adirondacks, and it's buggy.

    I've discovered that any draft will steal heat, and anything that stops that draft will add warmth. One of my favorite pieces of gear is a poncho... it will create condensation, but you can throw a poncho over your bag at 3am and get warmer. One of the things I like about my Go-Lite Gust pack is that it covers the foot end of my sleeping bag up past my knees, adding warmth if needed. I've also hung my poncho under my hammock and filled it with leaves when I got caught by the weather once in October in NY... I could tell before I went to bed that it was going to be cold, so I had time to do something beforehand, and it worked. I was fine with another inch or 2 of leaves under me, and all my clothes on top of me, under my sleeping bag (so it didn't compress the loft), and learned a lesson in improvising.

    If I ever move north again, I will have to look at a warmer bag, probably the 20* Alpinlite or one of their 10-15* bags... expensive, but I've had my Caribou for about 15 years with no loss of loft (about 20-25 nights a year, I guess. 2-3 overnighters a month, Nov-April, and then a longer trip to NY in the Fall).
     
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  14. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    BTW, it took me about a year to save up for my Caribou... I was working a new job at just over a "starting salary", non-working wife to look after two young daughters, two car payments, rent... but I did it... $10 per paycheck... $20 a month, $250 in a year... And iirc, that's about what it cost back then, maybe closer to $280... then i did the same for my underquilt.

    Either way, if you want it, you can save for it. Buy once, cry once. Good quality gear is never a waste of money.

    Edit 1: Forgot to mention my groundcloths. I have two pieces of poly tarp and one of Tyvek, 3x8, 3x5, and 3x9, which weigh 7.5, 4.5, and 6oz, respectively. The tyvek is marginally lighter per square foot, but more expensive. What I like about it most is that it's white, so you can see what's laying on it in the dark. (My tarps are brown and green, not so good.)

    Edit 2: You can find cheap down bags... Feather Friends, Marmot, and WM are top end... ZRest, I think, is cheaper.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  15. Youcantreadinthedark

    Youcantreadinthedark Amphibian. Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have gravitated (or ended up with) a combination of a HPG serape and a Rumpl down blanket. (Pick your favorite pad, mat, what have you.) It's a pretty versatile system that takes me comfortably down to the fifties with a BA insulated inflatable. If I'm anticipating anything colder, I switch accordingly, but HPG and Rumpl is SOP. What I like about it, is that you've got a poncho and a really nice liner, so if you're on a bus, or stuck somewhere, the combo is just as effective as it is as a supine sleep system.

    Also, any international traveling I'm doing, this is what I take in my carry-on. Makes those flight delays much more bearable, and it has really been great to be able to offer that combo to people who clearly really need a quiet corner.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
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  16. gdwigg

    gdwigg Scout

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    I like my Snugpak jungle bag. It packs pretty small, weighs around 1 3/4 lb, and can take you a bit colder if you need. There's always the Snugpak Jungle blanket, but I haven't used it.
     
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  17. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Good question.
    It makes me realise how little warm weather gear I actually now own that isn't old and heavy. Summer here you really need so little that it is usually a cotton sheet or several layers of No-See-Um mesh but if weight was the main issue I'd bring my Nunatak overquilt and wear appropriate clothing but then I would do the appropriate clothing at nite in winter too, and if cooler temperatures were expected but not below freezing I'd just add my UL Brooks Range half bag that was on sale a couple of years ago at much less than half price and add another layer of warm top/another hat wear gloves etc.
    Cost no issue there are a lot of Ultra-Lite sleeping systems available, good down to freezing and all up mats and everything weighing a kilo or less [ including a tarp] I second Seekers comments on the WM Caribou bag. If I was starting over again it would be at the top of my list of possibles for a multi-season sleeping system even if WM do make much lighter bags they are not as versatile for bigger blokes.
    Best compromise is the systems approach of the best UL down bag you can afford with a LW synthetic overbag/quilt/poncho liner etc and whatever clothing makes it work and not scrimping on pads and mats. The systems approach is my preference.
    I scrimped and saved otherwhere to pay for my winter kit over the decades, the only reason I have been able to buy some new gear lately is the money my Dad left me last year
     
  18. petey091

    petey091 Scout

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    We all have budget issues. When I look at gear I look for what going to meet my needs at the best value. Will it meet my needs and hold up to what I do with it? When I ordered my quilt I knew I would have to save up for it and that it would last a lifetime if I took care of it. Lightweight and value priced can be found you just have to look for them. Each year costco sell a down throw quilt for around twenty bucks . I see a lot of people using them as a base for projects. Kelty has the Cosmic Down Bag that you can find on sale at a good price. I use a cut down blue closed cell foam pad because it works for me. If you are with the scouts you can buy Alps Mountaineering gear at a nice discount through Hiker Direct. If you have some association with the outdoor industry ExpertVoice offers pro deal pricing for a ton of companies.
     
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  19. Ninety0ne

    Ninety0ne Tracker

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    Marmot phase 20 sleep bag (2 lbs), thermarest neotherm x lite (3/4 lb), z lite closed cell foam pad (3/4) lb. extra points one can add clothes down to about 0 degrees so it’s mostly year round for the lower 48
     
  20. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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  21. Noah Sygrove

    Noah Sygrove Tracker

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    Enlightened Equipment Enigma quilt in DryDown. It’s a great quilt keeps you as warm as down would but works even if it’s a little wet.
     
  22. Keithturkjr

    Keithturkjr Scout

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    I keep a 30 degree chinooktec bag in my pack it was about 60ish bucks and works ok and pack down to the size of a 1.5 liter bottle so I'm good on sleeping bags. I bought an army poncho liner a long time ago and for some reason I cant seem to kick it out of my pack. Just know that the poncho liner it not a sleeping bag bag replacement,....its just a blankie for men and thats OK.
     
  23. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    Another enlightened equipment revelation 10 degree down, regular/wide with neo air xtherm. Quilt is around 23oz and xtherm at 15oz. Love the quilt tempted to get another revelation 40 or 50 degree synthetic.
     
  24. tonyg

    tonyg Tracker

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    Nemo disco 30,
    Back packing light 90 quilt
    Mld spirit 48 quilt, newest acquisition.
    Closed cell foam pad or
    Klymit extrawide long pad, not light weight but I'm 6'1" 220 side /rotessiory sleeper. This is my penalty.
     
  25. Top Gibson

    Top Gibson Supporter Supporter

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    light weight hammock, tarp, and a poncho liner....and I usually just use the poncho liner for a pillow....lol
     
  26. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    Anything above 45*F I just do a taco wrap with my USGI woobie and poncho and cheap pair of thermal under wear, wool socks and knit watch cap.
     
  27. Keithturkjr

    Keithturkjr Scout

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    My chinooktec was only 60ish dollars and is pretty light too. Like most light backpacking bags though, it’s tight fitting and you have to wear it right to get the warmth.

    To me, hearing a po boy ask for a sleeping bag recommendation,
    Common likability and adequate warmth and durability become important scoring criteria As well as lightweight since I know he can’t afford a different one if he doesn’t like it.

    USGI patrol bag weighs 3 lbs and is rated for 30 degrees so 40 is decent. It’s roomy too.
    That’s a lightweight option for 3 season backpacking. 30ish bucks on eBay

    If getting a bag that will really keep you warm in Iowa is the priority the USGI intermediate cold bag is what I recommend. 5lbs -10 degree bag 20 degrees is comfy. It’s 30-40 on eBay too.

    Those surplus bags from the modular sleep system are heavier but you won’t freeze to death because it was piece junk.
    Before I had a lighter bag, I used to grumble about the weight and bulk of my intermediate cold bag,.... but I ve never been able to say it wasn’t a good sleeping bag.
     
  28. IowaSteve

    IowaSteve Supporter Supporter

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    Good info. Thank you sir! I will check these out.
     
  29. Birdman

    Birdman Guide

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    I've got the jungle blanket, and really like it. I want to get the XL version as well.
     

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