Bag dilemma

Elkhntr08

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Need some advice. Here’s the issue. I have a older North Face Elkhorn 0 bag that’s in great shape. Weights in at 4 lb 13oz.
Will I gain enough to justify spending $500-$700 on a new lightweight bag? I figure I’ll only lose about a pound total weight. Using it in a SO Cimerron with stove and have a couple different pads.
Should I spend the money or keep in my pocket?
 

AK Troutbum

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Wow, that's pretty damn heavy, and I'm guessing it probably takes up a fair amount of real-estate in your pack as well. Do you absolutely need a 0 degree, and have you considered down quilts?
 

sneaky

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Well, my zero degree down bag is 2lbs lighter than that. My next bag will be in the 20-30 range and I'll use my insulating layers I'm already carrying to supplement the bag. No point in carrying a super heavy bag plus insulating layers if you don't use them together. Only you can decide if that's money best spent on a new bag though.

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Elkhntr08

Elkhntr08

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Wow, that's pretty damn heavy, and I'm guessing it probably takes up a fair amount of real-estate in your pack as well. Do you absolutely need a 0 degree, and have you considered down quilts?
Guess that’s another issue, do I need a 0 bag. Never used quilts, what’s the advantage and can I use one in a floorless tent?
Looking to get lighter, at 60, the mountains aren’t getting flatter.
 

AK Troutbum

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Guess that’s another issue, do I need a 0 bag. Never used quilts, what’s the advantage and can I use one in a floorless tent?
Looking to get lighter, at 60, the mountains aren’t getting flatter.

Well you got me by a few years (spry 53 yo next week ), but I get it and I couldn’t agree more. IMO wt. savings is the biggest advantage with quilts, but they’re also less constricting. A lot of dedicated quilt users will go back to a traditional bag if they’re going to be experiencing temperatures below zero, but I’ve never been hunting and camping when it’s been that cold, so I have no experience with that. For comparison sake, I just sold a regular sized 0° , 27 oz. quilt, because I never used it/needed that much insulation.

As far as going floorless and using a quilt, I’ve been doing it exclusively now for all my spike camps, for the last eight years, and I love it. I use the quilt in combination with an ultra lightweight bivy, just to keep everything contained and clean, and I really can’t see myself ever going back to a traditional bag.
A very well made, high end, quilt will cost you a lot less then $700 as well.


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Elkhntr08

Elkhntr08

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Well you got me by a few years (spry 53 yo next week ), but I get it and I couldn’t agree more. IMO wt. savings is the biggest advantage with quilts, but they’re also less constricting. A lot of dedicated quilt users will go back to a traditional bag if they’re going to be experiencing temperatures below zero, but I’ve never been hunting and camping when it’s been that cold, so I have no experience with that. For comparison sake, I just sold a regular sized 0° , 27 oz. quilt, because I never used it/needed that much insulation.

As far as going floorless and using a quilt, I’ve been doing it exclusively now for all my spike camps, for the last eight years, and I love it. I use the quilt in combination with an ultra lightweight bivy, just to keep everything contained and clean, and I really can’t see myself ever going back to a traditional bag.
A very well made, high end, quilt will cost you a lot less then $700 as well.


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Well, Happy birthday, mine was a couple weeks ago. Any recommendations on quilts? Something I’ve never used or looked in to. Looked at a Big Agnus Boot Jack 25 bag last night. It’s about 2lb lighter and a smaller pack size.
The quilt idea does interest me.
 

Marbles

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Katabatic and Enlightened Equipment both have good reputations for down quilts. Borah Gear makes a nice lightweight bivy. Yes, I have been listening to @AK Troutbum and learned a good bit from him that applied to some recent gear upgrades.

If you stick with a 0 degree bag, the Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF is 2 lb 12 oz. That is a 33 ounce savings over what you have for similar (and probably better) performance. The Kodiak is $710, that is $21.5 per ounce saved, which is a bargain for weight savings.

Other advantages. A 0 degree down bag will pack down much smaller. The synthetic insulation in your Elkhorn probably no longer insulates like it did when new, so a down bag of the same rating should be warmer (perhaps by a lot). Down insulation lasts much longer than synthetic.

You can pick up a Rab Neutrino 800 (rated to -5) for $500. My wife's comes in at 43 ounces (2 lb 11 ounces). That would be $14.70 per ounce.

A 15 degree Katabatic Flex quilt will run you $435 and come in at 28 ounces in regular wide with 900 fill down. That would put you at $8.47 for each ounce saved. My Borah Gear bivy comes in at 6 ounces and costs $105. If we include that with the quilt you cost per ounce saved goes up to $12.56.

It is your money, but upgrading the bag would be an easy decision for me. There are probably few upgrades that will be that cheap per ounce (unless you are taking steel pots out with you).
 

Jimss

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It's always nice to upgrade to lighter and less bulky but it almost always comes at an expensive $! I decided to upgrade my gear quite a few years ago. I travel quite a bit to Alaska and elsewhere and extra baggage fees are pretty spendy and it's always nice with less bulk.

Like you, I am also not getting any younger (61) so the weight savings on my back is always a plus!

When I was upgrading equipment I weighed all of my gear and started off upgrading items that weighed the most and offered the most weight/bulk loss. My sleeping bag, tent, backpack, and rifle/bow were the heaviest items on my list.
 

S.Clancy

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Well, my zero degree down bag is 2lbs lighter than that. My next bag will be in the 20-30 range and I'll use my insulating layers I'm already carrying to supplement the bag. No point in carrying a super heavy bag plus insulating layers if you don't use them together. Only you can decide if that's money best spent on a new bag though.

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That's exactly what I do. With puffy pants and 2 puffy jackets I can take my Marmot Helium 15 F to about -10F. Or at least that's the coldest I have slept in it.
 

AK Troutbum

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If you're considering making the move to a quilt, I would first suggest just figuring out what are the most important features that you'll be looking for. Fortunately there are quite a few options these days for an American made high quality quilt, so you shouldn't have a problem finding exactly what you want. Some things to consider are temp. rating, size (both length and width), how you'd want it configured, ie., open or closed footbox, how it attaches to the pad, quality/wt. of down, treated or untreated down, would you want it over stuffed and if so, what % overstuffed, baffle constructed vs. sewn through, and differential construction vs. not. As far as how much the quilt weighs, I wouldn't put too much consideration into that, because once you figure out exactly what you want, there isn't going to be much of a wt. difference, if any, between the different manufactures, given all things being equal. I'll add to Marbles' list and also suggest looking at UGQ, Nunatak, Hammock Gear, Feathered Friends, Warbonnet, Zpacks, El Coyote, Western Mountaineering, Goosefeet Gear, and Gryphon Gear. I'm sure there are others that I didn't mention, but that should give you a good start anyway.
 
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Spend the money, go lighter, look at Ebay, craigs list and other sights fpr a good used one. I'm getting older and everything I buy thats lighter is worth it. Like Feathered friends and Big Agnes bags. With a light weight thermarest pad with a high R value. Sell your old bag on one of the sights.
 
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Elkhntr08

Elkhntr08

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Ended up with a 30* quilt and a bivy sack. Together they weigh 1# 4oz.
Now decide which pad to take. I have a Thermorest and a Kryptic. The Kryptic has better insulation, but the Thermo sleeps better. Heck for the weight I’m saving on the bad, I can take both.
 
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crich

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I'll throw out another vote for loving my EE revelation quilt. Weight savings and adjustability is impressive. I use (run 😆) a 20* and just wear my uncompaghre pants and jacket if temps are low. I opted for the draw string footbox but wish that I would have went with sewn to hold in a little more heat down at my feet.
 

HNTR918

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The key to staying lightweight is to remember your sleeping bag is an extension of your clothing system.
I use this 20oz bag below with the Thermarest Xtherm sleeping pad.
Bit the bullet and I'm so glad I did!


 

Stalker69

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Any body have the el coyote quilt ? I really like the fact it opens flat and has a open toe box. My feet always seem to get hot in my sleeping bags. But not sure of the quality of the el coyote quilts, compared to the other brands.
 

AK Troutbum

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Any body have the el coyote quilt ? I really like the fact it opens flat and has a open toe box. My feet always seem to get hot in my sleeping bags. But not sure of the quality of the el coyote quilts, compared to the other brands.

Yeah, I’ve had one for about a year now but I’ve only used it on one hunt last fall, and I thus far I’m impressed. I’ve owned many quilts over the last 8 years and can say it is easily as well made, if not better made, than anything I’ve had. El Coyote is a top notch quilt for sure.

I think they have a 10% off sale going on today as well.


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buffsmoker

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Thornton, CO
Any body have the el coyote quilt ? I really like the fact it opens flat and has a open toe box. My feet always seem to get hot in my sleeping bags. But not sure of the quality of the el coyote quilts, compared to the other brands.
I've had quilts from Enlightened Equipment, Hammock Gear, Katabatic Gear, and El Coyote. I'd say my Katabatic has a couple features that put it slightly ahead of the El Coyote. But quality wise....the El Coyote is right there. My current setup is a 40 degree El Coyote for the warmer months, and a 15 degree Katabatic for later season stuff. Good luck!

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MTElkChaser

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I get restless legs really bad with a quilt or a tight bag, but changed over to an SG Chillkoot 25* bag two years ago. It’s just a hair over 2lbs and works great for me. I’m a pretty warm sleeper though, but moved from a 0* bag to this 25* bag and just wear a beanie and down booties when it’s really frigid. Good luck!
 
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