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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just returned from a 4 day trip, riding and camping out in the Driftless area of Wisconsin.

I've decided that I would like to upgrade my sleeping bag and pad. I'm looking for recommendations for a sleeping bag that would be good to 45 F or so, pack very small, but be large enough for an average size adult to have some room to shift around in. Budget = $ 150 ? Also looking for a pad that's is better/thicker than my 1.5" REI "Thermarest" type pad. [I need to sleep on my side to keep my airway open while I sleep, as I have borderline sleep apnea, so a thicker pad would help], but it would also need to pack small.

I've ruled out the hammock type sleepers, because there is not always trees to hang them from at open camp sites that I visit.

Thanks.
 

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i like german sniper/survival jackets, its a sleeping bag built into a big puffy jacket , packs away nice and small and keeps you warm and dry
 

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I went through this a few years ago. I even made a spreadsheet! (attached, but the pricing is out of date). I ended up purchasing the Exped Synmat 9 Deluxe. I really like it. It has a built in pump and is smaller than my old mattress.

I also use a Cabela's XPG pad, it packs much smaller, about the size of a 16oz soda bottle, but has no insulation. I use it in summer only.

Both are much more comfortable than my old Thermarest.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i like german sniper/survival jackets, its a sleeping bag built into a big puffy jacket , packs away nice and small and keeps you warm and dry
I did a search on german sniper/survival jacket and did not see any for sale. Do you have a source? [This could be a stretch for my conventional nature. :eek:) ]
 

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I use a mummy-bag that's good for around 20F, and just don't zip it fully when it's warmer, but add a 'polar-fleece' blanket inside it for when it's colder.

I tried a self-inflating pad from KELTY called the RIDGEWAY, around 1.5" thick. Worked OK, but started to 'leak-down' during my recent ride to D2D 2016, so I'd wake-up on the 'ground'. I'm going back to a self-inflating 2.5" pad that works well but packs larger - from Coleman.

:goodluck:
 

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I did a search on german sniper/survival jacket and did not see any for sale. Do you have a source? [This could be a stretch for my conventional nature. :eek:) ]
i got mine at andy and bax a local "army surplus" store
 

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Compression Bag

I just returned from a 4 day trip, riding and camping out in the Driftless area of Wisconsin.

I've decided that I would like to upgrade my sleeping bag and pad. I'm looking for recommendations for a sleeping bag that would be good to 45 F or so, pack very small, but be large enough for an average size adult to have some room to shift around in. Budget = $ 150 ? Also looking for a pad that's is better/thicker than my 1.5" REI "Thermarest" type pad. [I need to sleep on my side to keep my airway open while I sleep, as I have borderline sleep apnea, so a thicker pad would help], but it would also need to pack small.

I've ruled out the hammock type sleepers, because there is not always trees to hang them from at open camp sites that I visit.

Thanks.
Many choices, I will point out what and why. First, almost all my bags are mummy style and have a hood, are synthetic. I use self inflating mattress and carry a small hand pump that doubles as a bellows for starting a camp fire. I also carry a reflecting blanket that goes under the mattress, ideal place is between the bag and mattress but almost impossible to stay in one place. The largest part of heat loss in a sleeping bag is through the ground and your head. Thermarest etc, offers a r value of around 3 at best, problem is lying on your side compresses it reducing R value. The reflecting blanket is usually equal to twice the R value of the mattress or about R 7.
If your bag doesn't come with a compression sack, buy one, my 40'F mummy bag will fit into a 1 gallon pail. Be aware, never use a reflecting blanket on top of your bag, it traps moisture and eventually you will wake up possibly suffering from mild hypothermia, due to the fact your bag has lost insulation value from the moisture. Plan on bringing polypropylene top and bottom to add insulation value when your in temperatures below what your bag is rated for. A bags rating is usually taking into consideration that you are using it in a tent. So a 40'F bag is really rated at 50'F with the addition of a tent= 40'F . When buying a bag, look for YKK two way zippers, that way if you start out too hot you can zip the bottom open, closing when the temperature drops.
As to your position of sleeping, I have always taken a extra stuff sack, put my socks, top, pants and whatever extra clothing I had along to form a pillow, one benefit is your head warms it up during the night, so if you pack it in order of dressing, can be a pleasant:grin2: awakening .
The difference between a good bag and a crap bag, a crap bag has no baffle for the zipper, is a one way non YKK that is hard to operate.

I have bags rated down to -30'F, also have both down and synthetic, I have also been caught with my 40'F bag and it hit 32'F with high winds , had everything with me on me , not much sleep. You can also get synthetic liners for some bags, which gives about a 10'F increase to the bag, make sure there are ties or means of fastening this to the bag, advantage is you can pack the liner separate and as a option for temperature control.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I went through this a few years ago. I even made a spreadsheet! (attached, but the pricing is out of date). I ended up purchasing the Exped Synmat 9 Deluxe. I really like it. It has a built in pump and is smaller than my old mattress.

I also use a Cabela's XPG pad, it packs much smaller, about the size of a 16oz soda bottle, but has no insulation. I use it in summer only.

Both are much more comfortable than my old Thermarest.
I like the specs and reviews of that Synmat 9 pad! Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Many choices, I will point out what and why. First, almost all my bags are mummy style and have a hood, are synthetic. I use self inflating mattress and carry a small hand pump that doubles as a bellows for starting a camp fire. I also carry a reflecting blanket that goes under the mattress, ideal place is between the bag and mattress but almost impossible to stay in one place. The largest part of heat loss in a sleeping bag is through the ground and your head. Thermarest etc, offers a r value of around 3 at best, problem is lying on your side compresses it reducing R value. The reflecting blanket is usually equal to twice the R value of the mattress or about R 7.
If your bag doesn't come with a compression sack, buy one, my 40'F mummy bag will fit into a 1 gallon pail. Be aware, never use a reflecting blanket on top of your bag, it traps moisture and eventually you will wake up possibly suffering from mild hypothermia, due to the fact your bag has lost insulation value from the moisture. Plan on bringing polypropylene top and bottom to add insulation value when your in temperatures below what your bag is rated for. A bags rating is usually taking into consideration that you are using it in a tent. So a 40'F bag is really rated at 50'F with the addition of a tent= 40'F . When buying a bag, look for YKK two way zippers, that way if you start out too hot you can zip the bottom open, closing when the temperature drops.
As to your position of sleeping, I have always taken a extra stuff sack, put my socks, top, pants and whatever extra clothing I had along to form a pillow, one benefit is your head warms it up during the night, so if you pack it in order of dressing, can be a pleasant:grin2: awakening .
The difference between a good bag and a crap bag, a crap bag has no baffle for the zipper, is a one way non YKK that is hard to operate.

I have bags rated down to -30'F, also have both down and synthetic, I have also been caught with my 40'F bag and it hit 32'F with high winds , had everything with me on me , not much sleep. You can also get synthetic liners for some bags, which gives about a 10'F increase to the bag, make sure there are ties or means of fastening this to the bag, advantage is you can pack the liner separate and as a option for temperature control.

Question - when you say "Plan on bringing polypropylene top and bottom to add insulation value when your in temperatures below what your bag is rated for."

What exactly are you referring to. A fleece blanket? [That makes sense to me, and I've done that. +1 ] When I did a Google search on "polypropylene camping" it only came up with floor mats and ropes. ??

I agree on the Degrees F rating method of sleeping bags.

I've stumbled onto the "clothes in a spare pillow case - for a pillow / prop". +1 ...I sometimes even add my riding jacket and pants under the clothes sack to get the right height under my small camp pillow.

Now that you've mentioned using the reflecting blanket under the pad - I've notice lots of good reviews and uses for this. I plan to get one of those now. :thumb:

I also agree on having an insulated zipper cover on a cold weather sleeping bag. If that's not available, a fleece blanket can be used to cover the zipper.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I just returned from a 4 day trip, riding and camping out in the Driftless area of Wisconsin.

I've decided that I would like to upgrade my sleeping bag and pad. I'm looking for recommendations for a sleeping bag that would be good to 45 F or so, pack very small, but be large enough for an average size adult to have some room to shift around in. Budget = $ 150 ? Also looking for a pad that's is better/thicker than my 1.5" REI "Thermarest" type pad. [I need to sleep on my side to keep my airway open while I sleep, as I have borderline sleep apnea, so a thicker pad would help], but it would also need to pack small.

I've ruled out the hammock type sleepers, because there is not always trees to hang them from at open camp sites that I visit.

Thanks.
Oh, one more thing - I realize that mummy bags are efficient, but, I've tried them and I find I get claustrophobic in them. I move around a lot in my sleep. I sleep better in a rectangular shaped bag.

In a rectangular bag - when it gets real cold, I slink down past the opening, leaving just a "tunnel" for breathing. When I get the tunnel in the fabric just right - when I inhale, my rib cage expands, which then expands the sleeping bag, which then draws fresh air into the breathing tunnel for intake into my lungs. Then - when I exhale - my rib cage contracts, contracting the bag slightly, which pushes out both the air expelled from my lungs and some of the warm air contained in the bag (heated from my body heat) out that same tunnel. When this happens, this will slightly warm my nose at this point, thereby preheating it and preparing it for the next slug of cold intake air that will come down the tunnel on my next breath. The process then repeats itself. Of course, the length of the tunnel in the fold of the fabric is critical. If it's too short - I get cold. If it's too long - I get too warm and I risk a lack of oxygen. Adjust as needed.
 

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I just try not to camp out when it's that cold......................but when I do camp I use a 4" self inflating pad and a 40F bag (always with a tent). The heat reflective blanket over the pad is something I might just try though. Pads tend to suck the heat from your body even when the temp is in the 50's.
 

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FWIW - I used to hunt out of my pickup (Rocky Mountains in Alberta), which had a 'cap' on the bed, plus I had cut plywood to cover the floor. Coldest I 'camped' this way was at -40 (C or F - both the SAME!). I had the Coleman 2.5" self-inflating pad, a rectangular goose-down filled sleeping bag my Dad had made back in the early '50s, and used a down-filled mummy bag (good to about 20F by itself) inside that. IF I was 'chilly', I added the 'polar-fleece' half-blanket inside, and I wore my long-johns and wool sox to bed.

YES - it was cold, but I don't EVER remember being cold while I slept!

:thumb: - :thumb:

I also had a small "pee-bucket" in the back of the truck to use, so I didn't need to do outside to drain my bladder during the night. :thumb: - :thumb: - :thumb: - :thumb:
 

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Cross Country Ski Days

Question - when you say "Plan on bringing polypropylene top and bottom to add insulation value when your in temperatures below what your bag is rated for."

What exactly are you referring to. A fleece blanket? [That makes sense to me, and I've done that. +1 ] When I did a Google search on "polypropylene camping" it only came up with floor mats and ropes. ??

r.
At one time it was referred to as Lifa, then fishnet underwear was also available which was cotton. Today there are several manufacturers that make synthetic underwear, makes a huge difference and is extremely compact, advantage is it maintains thermal properties even wet!
https://www.amazon.com/Helly-Hansen-Mens-Underwear-2-Pack/product-reviews/B008NC7IK2

https://militarythermals.com/

https://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i:aps,k:Polypropylene Underwear
 
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