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Posted: 5/13/2021 10:36:21 AM EDT
I am slowly going through my kit and shaving ounces and pounds and the bulkiest part of my kit at the moment is my TNF elkhorn 0de bag.  I am looking for a lightweight, compact when compressed 15de sleeping bag or quilt to replace my bag. I have a preference toward synthetic for durability but I'm not  against down fill. My price range is $300 or less. Compact packable size is critical, Weight is secondary in this category.
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 10:56:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Vexed:
I am slowly going through my kit and shaving ounces and pounds and the bulkiest part of my kit at the moment is my TNF elkhorn 0de bag.  I am looking for a lightweight, compact when compressed 15de sleeping bag or quilt to replace my bag. I have a preference toward synthetic for durability but I'm not  against down fill. My price range is $300 or less. Compact packable size is critical, Weight is secondary in this category.
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Budget may be close but I would strongly consider a treated, dry-down (800+) quilt.  Many are designed as both a quilt and will zip or close in a sleeping bag mode.  Only issue is many are cottage industries, but the benefit is you can have them add enough down to meet that 15-degree limit.  Down is about the only material that will get you the best compression, weight, and performance...just as the cost of...well, more cost.  

I'm sure there are some deals for off-the-shelf bags, but I've gone with custom...

Hammockgear
Jacks are Better

Two of the top of my head that make multi-function, down quilts.

ROCK6
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 11:50:59 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By ROCK6:


Budget may be close but I would strongly consider a treated, dry-down (800+) quilt.  Many are designed as both a quilt and will zip or close in a sleeping bag mode.  Only issue is many are cottage industries, but the benefit is you can have them add enough down to meet that 15-degree limit.  Down is about the only material that will get you the best compression, weight, and performance...just as the cost of...well, more cost.  

I'm sure there are some deals for off-the-shelf bags, but I've gone with custom...

Hammockgear
Jacks are Better

Two of the top of my head that make multi-function, down quilts.

ROCK6
View Quote



Thanks for the suggestions! I've actually been considering a Quilt vs a sleeping bag. I plan to wear clean, dry layers with my bag/ quilt and I could even stretch up to a 20de bag/ quilt I think.. I'm just sick of throwing my sleeping bag in my ruck and losing 33% of my main compartment capacity and I don't like strapping bulky stuff to the outside. I will definitely check out those options.
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 11:59:28 AM EDT
Another question, I have a snugpak jungle bag I use for my summer bag. I was thinking of getting an HPG mountain Serape and wearing  layers under the MS, unzipping the Jungle bag into a blanket and putting that over the MS. Basically- base layer, RAB down puffy jacket- HPG MS and the Jungle bag as a blanket on top. Oklahoma typically doesn't get colder than about 15de except for freak storms and I can build a long fire with a reflector unless I'm trying to stealth camp. I am willing to suffer some when it comes to sleeping cold, just not looking to freeze to death.
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 12:40:36 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Vexed:
Another question, I have a snugpak jungle bag I use for my summer bag. I was thinking of getting an HPG mountain Serape and wearing  layers under the MS, unzipping the Jungle bag into a blanket and putting that over the MS. Basically- base layer, RAB down puffy jacket- HPG MS and the Jungle bag as a blanket on top. Oklahoma typically doesn't get colder than about 15de except for freak storms and I can build a long fire with a reflector unless I'm trying to stealth camp. I am willing to suffer some when it comes to sleeping cold, just not looking to freeze to death.
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Was going to say, get a heavish down/synthetic hoody to use with a summer bag or poncho liner/quilt. Should cover a lot of weather especially if you include a poncho/shelter piece and be less bulky than a 0 deg bag (may not be lighter, but covers better range of conditions).
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 4:08:15 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By dedreckon:


Was going to say, get a heavish down/synthetic hoody to use with a summer bag or poncho liner/quilt. Should cover a lot of weather especially if you include a poncho/shelter piece and be less bulky than a 0 deg bag (may not be lighter, but covers better range of conditions).
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I like this idea best, I'm just not sure if the combo would get me to a safe low temp or not. I wish there was a sleep system calculator for combining different bag/pad/bivy combos.
Link Posted: 5/15/2021 3:36:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/15/2021 3:39:10 PM EDT by NotIssued]
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Originally Posted By dedreckon:


Was going to say, get a heavish down/synthetic hoody to use with a summer bag or poncho liner/quilt. Should cover a lot of weather especially if you include a poncho/shelter piece and be less bulky than a 0 deg bag (may not be lighter, but covers better range of conditions).
View Quote

Not  bad thought.

Last year at a Packers game, 0 degrees out, I was at the game in thermals (top and bottom), fleece shirt, fleece lined jeans, wool socks and gloves.  My jacket was a Kifaru Lost Park Parka.  Basically made like their woobie.

I have no doubt I could have slept at 15 degrees and been fine.  You could probably skip a sleeping bag with the right clothes
Link Posted: 5/15/2021 8:25:48 PM EDT
I have zero actual experience but some of the survivalist books recommend 100% wool blankets.  They are expensive, but cheaper than top of the line sleeping bags.  If you can get them surplus they are much cheaper, like $80-100.
Link Posted: 5/15/2021 9:21:18 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By NotIssued:

Not  bad thought.

Last year at a Packers game, 0 degrees out, I was at the game in thermals (top and bottom), fleece shirt, fleece lined jeans, wool socks and gloves.  My jacket was a Kifaru Lost Park Parka.  Basically made like their woobie.

I have no doubt I could have slept at 15 degrees and been fine.  You could probably skip a sleeping bag with the right clothes
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I appreciate your input. I’ve worked in weather 0 and below but being active vs resting in it is a big difference. Good to get that perspective.
Link Posted: 5/15/2021 9:24:50 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By JavaEng:
I have zero actual experience but some of the survivalist books recommend 100% wool blankets.  They are expensive, but cheaper than top of the line sleeping bags.  If you can get them surplus they are much cheaper, like $80-100.
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I’ve used a wool blanket while out on bushcrafting trips but it wasn’t very cold out. My main gripe is, wool is heavy and bulky compared to modern fabrics. For something recreational, I love wool. If I have to bug out, I need to conserve space and weight. Wool does well comparatively around a fire too, which is a plus for wool for sure.
Link Posted: 5/18/2021 8:34:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/18/2021 8:40:50 AM EDT by raf]
This is one of those very rare instances where I differ from ROCK6.  While down is the most efficient, commonly available insulation, it can be a severe liability when it becomes wet.

In a BOB, perhaps better to use a less-efficient synthetic insulation which is more easily dried when it becomes wet.  Note "When", not "If".

What is required, no matter what insulation is used, is a windproof barrier, protecting the enclosed insulation and user.  GI GoreTex Bivvy shell, or something similar would serve.

All this sort of stuff should be tried out in your backyard first.
Link Posted: 5/18/2021 10:13:37 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By raf:
This is one of those very rare instances where I differ from ROCK6.  While down is the most efficient, commonly available insulation, it can be a severe liability when it becomes wet.

In a BOB, perhaps better to use a less-efficient synthetic insulation which is more easily dried when it becomes wet.  Note "When", not "If".

What is required, no matter what insulation is used, is a windproof barrier, protecting the enclosed insulation and user.  GI GoreTex Bivvy shell, or something similar would serve.

All this sort of stuff should be tried out in your backyard first.
View Quote


I have always been of the understanding that you have to be more careful with down than synthetic materials. I am not overly concerned about my sleep system getting wet in my pack as it has a separate waterproof compartment but once its laid out to use, it could be a concern, certainly. My shelter options currently are 2 different tents (Marmot Tungsten 2p and 3p) I have a few tarps as well but I'm seriously leaning toward a good Bivvy setup as a bug out shelter. Been looking at the outdoor research helium and the RaB Ascent. earth toned colors tend to narrow my search criteria as is with most backpacking gear, sadly. I'm not opposed to the GI bivvy but I can get a bit claustrophobic so I lean toward a hooped bivvy design.

Sleeping pads are another point of contention for me. I prefer solid, non inflatable pads because of my bad luck with inflatable ones but the packing size of the inflatables are far superior. I've been looking at a Klymit model designed to go in the sleeping bag but it has no discernible R value. I will probably just end up with a Thermarest Z pad or Savotta finish sleep pad.

I appreciate input from individuals that have BTDT with this stuff, like yourself and Rock6. Many thanks!
Link Posted: 5/18/2021 1:14:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/18/2021 1:15:25 PM EDT by Quarterbore]
Link Posted: 5/18/2021 3:05:33 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Quarterbore:
I went a different direction completely so bear with me as I go off topic.  I bought one of the USGI modular sleep systems with the light inner bag, heavier outer bag, the Gortex outer bivi cover and the sinch sac.  It’s heavy as hell but it is very versatile and originally I bought it for a winter camping trip with my son for Boy Scouts when the forecast called for a -20deg row temp.  

My son already had a -20 bag so he brought that plus a second 0-deg bag but I packed a second very cold weather bag so I got this military setup to try.  The downside is I am far from being a small guy at 6’3” and 260 pounds or so and the mummy shape of the military bag was cramped and I broke a shoulder a couple years ago and being forced to sleep compressed really hurt after a while BUT I actually had to get rid of the inner bag as even at -20-deg I was over heating with all the layers sleeping in a unheated tent.  It is a seriously warm system but adaptable for really any temperature.  

After that though I did end up buying a larger bag more like my son has simply because of my busted up shoulder.  

For my truck I have a surplus wool blanket that serves for emergencies as a GHB complement but for a BOB I would grab our camping gear if we could evacuate via BOV and if in the winter I would seriously prefer the options that modular sleep system offers.   If I had to bug out via foot, then a lighter bag (I use synthetic over down) would be preferred but long term bugging via foot means I failed to be prepared.  

Sorry for going off on a tangent.  We have light weight bags and fleece blankets but that weather isn’t really a survival threat like -20 or colder but really if our peeps are good (lamp lights, kerosene lanterns, kerosene heater, propane heaters, camp fire, etc) hopefully it would be highly unlikely that it got to the point that I need a -60 degree capable sleep system but those of us plan to that level which I consider PLAN Z or last resort!
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I appreciate your input and experience! I looked hard at the MSS and it no doubt serves our best men and women well, it's just on the big side for my liking. it may very well be what I go to when all is said and done. I know the right combination of products exist to get to my desired requirements, it's just really expensive, lol. My goal of my setup is : long term INCH/ worst case scenario/ plan Z type of thing. I have others options for things less stealth related. Basically I'm looking for a light, fast, modular system to survive without a fire or external heat source down to 0* ish, affording that I also wear some quality layers.
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 8:58:22 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Vexed:


I appreciate your input. I’ve worked in weather 0 and below but being active vs resting in it is a big difference. Good to get that perspective.
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Agreed.  Though I'd argue that being a football game hardly counts as activity.

The beer-sweater is real,  though
Link Posted: 5/23/2021 4:46:51 PM EDT
There are a couple of things that are situationally dependent for every one.

1. How warm or cold do you normally sleep. What might be a 0deg bac for me might only work as a 20 deg bag for you if you are a cold sleeper.

2. Available shelter.   Can you set up camp behind a natural windbreak or create something with a tarp or bicycle bag? Cattle shelter to break the wind? In an abandoned building where the ambient temp will be higher than outside conditions by simply being out of the elements?


3. Climate/situation.

The OP lists themselves is being in OK. Except for an occasional heavy winter storm (I spent 34 years in Kansas so I have an idea if their weather conditions) I can’t imagine ever needing much more then a 20 deg bag but then again we are all different. One major avenue of heat loss is the head. Another is your feet. I sleep with a beanie on and I carry a pie if oversized raggwool socks that are specifically for sleeping. While both have other uses than sleeping I have found that they both help decrease heat loss significantly.

I live in CO now and have for some time. My normal kit consists of  Kifaru Woobie and either a tarp shelter or a bivy bag. During our colder months I also toss my 20 deg bag in the trunk along with making sure it’s the bivy bag on my kit and a brown tarp in the trunk for additional shelter options.
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