Backpack Sleeping Bag vs Hunting Sleeping Bag

LaGriz

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2014
Messages
468
Location
New Iberia,LA
Budget may be an issue,

Being cold will motivate you to think hard about going cheep. I suffered a few nights in Norther NM in my 12X12 Alakank tent with a wood stove. Set the tent up in a poor location and was stubborn to relocate my camp. Wind direction changed on day 2, coming in the screened vent over the door. Fuel for my stove was very dry fallen aspen that burned quickly. I throttled down the stove as best I could but soft wood burned up much too fast. Went to seep warm, only to awake cold about every 2.5 hours. My L..L. Bean Mummy bag was of good quality but (older model) no longer fit me. When looking for a replacement bag I got serious and choose a semi-rectangular style, as I find the mummy is too restrictive. Went all in and picked up a second hand WM Sequoia with 5* rating. The price was well beyond $500. This model has the highly water repellant Gore material shell. Justified the cost with proposed versatility. Can use while truck camping late season or while backpacking/hunting in the cold.

If your Alaska hunt is a one-off and likely won't need a high end bag again, consider buying a Western Mountaineering model (new or used) and sell it at the end of your adventure. I think you could recover 85% of you investment, on a new one and do better on a lightly used bag. Just a thought.

LaGriz
 

Superdoo

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
588
Location
ND
REI Magma 15 is on sale right now. 850 fill power for $270. Ultra light awesome sleeping bag for the price.

I challenge anyone to find a better deal then that,.
Challenge ACCEPTED!!!!! ;)🇨🇳

For $185...
 

Scooter90254

Senior Member
Joined
May 7, 2018
Messages
210
Location
Michigan
Challenge ACCEPTED!!!!! ;)🇨🇳

For $185...

That’s Pretty close.
1. Only 800 FP. And I don’t trust Chinese ratings.
2. Much heavier.
3. Quality is suspect.

But considerably cheaper.

So..... You get 1pt. Lol
 

grappling_hook

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
197
Location
Alaska
Late august South East Alaska. I think I was told 2000 feet range?
Sounds like you'll be doing a low alpine Sitka Blacktail hunt. It's going to be awesome :).

There is some good advice above, especially from @Marbles .

If you're going to use a guide, then go with their recommendations. But otherwise, there are a couple of other considerations I don't think have been touched on. The first is you mentioned a bivy. That will make you more wet than a tent due to condensation. Even a floorless tent would improve on a bivy, so given this is your first time up, I'd suggest sticking with a tent if that's your only reason for going with a bivy. If you meant that you'd put a bivy tent inside your regular tent, that's not necessary. After you have one trip like this under your belt, then sure think about whether you want a bivy next time, but go with the tent the first time out.

Regarding down bags, some good points above. I use a down bag; they're better in almost every way except that if they get really soaked, it takes a very long time (way past your trip length) to dry again, and if it is cheap, low-fill down, it also flattens and stops insulating when wet. That's why high end down bag makers use water-resistant or water-proof shell material, and so you should check the waterproof rating of whatever shell material is used on a given bag before you buy one. But a little water or condensation on a good quality down bag isn't going to be a big deal; it will still loft and insulate unless it's really soaked, which you can easily prevent.

For example of the importance of shell material, someone above mentioned Western Mountaineering. If you get a WM down bag, even their least water-resistant bag shell material (Extremelite) has the same water resistance rating as the rain fly on a Big Agnes or Kuiu tent (1,200 mm). So if you take even moderate precautions against getting it soaked with a bag like that, you won't be at a disadvantage with down. The low weight will be appreciated if you end up needing to bust brush for 1500' elevation to get to your 2000'+ hunting area (I would say if you're flying in to a lake or something, though, a super-compressible lightweight down sleeping bag isn't necessary, and you can save money with a heavier and bulkier synthetic at the same temperature rating).

Last thing, yes use a dry bag, or just put it in a plastic garbage bag inside your pack (I've done that many times-- works fine).
 
Last edited:
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Hayman

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2017
Messages
12
Location
Montesano
REI Magma 15 is on sale right now. 850 fill power for $270. Ultra light awesome sleeping bag for the price.

I challenge anyone to find a better deal then that,.

I keep seeing that pop up thanks.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
OP
H

Hayman

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2017
Messages
12
Location
Montesano
Sounds like you'll be doing a low alpine Sitka Blacktail hunt. It's going to be awesome :).

There is some good advice above, especially from @Marbles .

If you're going to use a guide, then go with their recommendations. But otherwise, there are a couple of other considerations I don't think have been touched on. The first is you mentioned a bivy. That will make you more wet than a tent due to condensation. Even a floorless tent would improve on a bivy, so given this is your first time up, I'd suggest sticking with a tent if that's your only reason for going with a bivy. If you meant that you'd put a bivy tent inside your regular tent, that's not necessary. After you have one trip like this under your belt, then sure think about whether you want a bivy next time, but go with the tent the first time out.

Regarding down bags, some good points above. I use a down bag; they're better in almost every way except that if they get really soaked, it takes a very long time (way past your trip length) to dry again, and if it is cheap, low-fill down, it also flattens and stops insulating when wet. That's why high end down bag makers use water-resistant or water-proof shell material, and so you should check the waterproof rating of whatever shell material is used on a given bag before you buy one. But a little water or condensation on a good quality down bag isn't going to be a big deal; it will still loft and insulate unless it's really soaked, which you can easily prevent.

For example of the importance of shell material, someone above mentioned Western Mountaineering. If you get a WM down bag, even their least water-resistant bag shell material (Extremelite) has the same water resistance rating as the rain fly on a Big Agnes or Kuiu tent (1,200 mm). So if you take even moderate precautions against getting it soaked with a bag like that, you won't be at a disadvantage with down. The low weight will be appreciated if you end up needing to bust brush for 1500' elevation to get to your 2000'+ hunting area (I would say if you're flying in to a lake or something, though, a super-compressible lightweight down sleeping bag isn't necessary, and you can save money with a heavier and bulkier synthetic at the same temperature rating).

Last thing, yes use a dry bag, or just put it in a plastic garbage bag inside your pack (I've done that many times-- works fine).

I believe I misused the word bivy I was talking about a full size dry sac for the bag to be inside to prevent getting wet. I will be using a tent not a bivy.


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mshidler

Newbie
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
2
Bought the magma 15 womens long today, im 5'8 150# with wider than average shoulders and fit great in it, almost succumbed to an afternoon nap testing it out😂 great footbox clearance. Im a side sleeper, so we'll see. But at 2#4oz for the rei deal, cant beat it, agreed.
 

justinspicher

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
3,653
Location
Colorado
Ive used a few different bags mainly the military MSS system and then a handful of quilts. Over the past few years I have used EE’s Convert and really enjoy them. I have two, one is down, one is synthetic. Both are 30*. My only gripe is that the zippers are finicky. I understand why, not a deal breaker, just have to realize you can rip them open at 2 am when you have piss immediately.
 
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Hayman

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2017
Messages
12
Location
Montesano
These are the two I am looking real seriously at.


 

zacattack

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
996
Location
Michigan
These are the two I am looking real seriously at.


I have a feathered friends sleeping bag and it’s a great bag. Well built and I have no doubt it’s temperature rating is accurate. I would highly recommend them.
I have never owned an enlightened equipment so I can’t really say what their quality is like either way.
 

wind gypsy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
4,718
If you are price constrained and looking for SE alaska, get a synthetic. Kifaru Slick bag, MH lamina, or if you want the best warmth/weight - see if nunatak will custom make an apex bag to your specs.

If you're in a floored tent, ditch the idea of a bivy. I've also never been in a sleeping bag that needed a liner due to the inner shell being insufficiently comfortable against skin.
 

James gradenPruitt

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
17
Has anyone actually been to Alaska around august? Trying to figure what temps I’m looking at for a caribou hunt on the NBR.


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AZ_Hunter_2000

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Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
1,147
Has anyone actually been to Alaska around august? Trying to figure what temps I’m looking at for a caribou hunt on the NBR.


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Have you looked at historical temperature and weather for a town near where you will be hunting? That should give you an idea.
 

James gradenPruitt

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
17
I’ll give that a shot. From what I’ve read it says around 40 average
. But be prepared from 5 degrees to 65. Pretty big gap to fill.


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AZ_Hunter_2000

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
1,147
I’ll give that a shot. From what I’ve read it says around 40 average
. But be prepared from 5 degrees to 65. Pretty big gap to fill.


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Go with a legit 15-20 degree (T Comfort level on EN rating) bag with a pad that has a high R value. If it gets too cold, you can sleep with layers on. If it is too warm, open the bag up.
 

Brian Fahs

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
1,730
Location
Pennsylvania
Get a western mountaineering in the style and temperature range which suits your needs. Put it in a dry sack with a set of merino base layers and focus on your hunt.
The money you save by going cheap will be forgotten in seconds once you realize you are freezing to death and not enjoying your hunt.
 

NevadaMike

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
92
Agree with Brian.
I hunted SE Alaska in late October. We had frost on the tent a few days but I would say we were almost always over 30 degrees. I bought a 20 degree bag/quilt from REI and a fancy high R value pad. I was miserable by morning. I had every piece of dry clothing on and everything else between the pad and the ground. This year Ill be sleeping in a WM Sequoia. If it were not for the bulk I would be looking at a Wiggy synthetic bag. If I could drive to camp Wiggy would be my first choice. I like room and they are super warm like the WM.
 
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