Cost no object synthetic UL bag

Vagrouser

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Apr 16, 2017
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I've searched the forums here and still not sure what my best option is.

I'm booked on a mountain goat hunt in coastal northern BC in early-mid September. This will be a fly-in and backpacking hunt (although the possibility of skipping the float plane and do straight climb is being considered). Was recommended synthetic sleeping bag by my outfitter due to coastal rainforest/often wet conditions. Generically, a -15C bag suggested but since this is early season hunt I figure a 20F bag should be okay at elevation. This is my first hunt of this kind and I'm doing everything I can to minimize weight. Outfitter keeps reminding that ounces matter and I'm listening. He wants me to target max pack weight of 30 not to exceed 40lbs on way in with rifle.
I'm sorely tempted to roll the dice and just go with one of the 20F EE 950 Downtek quilts. He figures 1-4 days in spike camp; if it gets wet, I'll have merino base layers and have to gut it out. The alternative from what I gather is an Apex synthetic quilt or bag but I cringe when comparing the weight penalty.
If cost was no object, what would you all suggest? I want to buy the right item for this trip and am much less concerned about getting future use in different applications.
Thanks for your collective help!
 

mlob1one

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Mar 18, 2015
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Not having much in the way of mountaineering experience, but knowing about hunting having grown up in the PNW, I'd suggest looking at a Kifaru slick bag.

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bcimport

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I hunt that country every year and use an EE quilt with treated down. I have no problems in those conditions. Lots of good synthetic options they're just going to weigh double of the down equivalent in most cases and take up some more space.
 

2hand

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Mountain Hardware HyperLamina have been impressed. Light and warm.


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Dameon

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If ounces count, I'd go with the EE quilt and store it in a 18L granite gear sil eVent compression dry sack. Use the sack to store your clothes as well and make it pull triple duty as a pillow and seat cushion.


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OP
V

Vagrouser

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Apr 16, 2017
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Thank you all for the input. I think I'm going to go with a long/wide EE Downtek 950 quilt in the dry sack, but pack a synthetic as well. My wife will be joining and since she's not packing a rifle can carry the other of the two quilts. In a pinch we have some redundancy if one gets soaked.
 

EsteemGrinders

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Please do not take any of the follow the wrong way.

I have to ask as no one else has yet but have you used a quilt? I only ask because some love them and some hate them. If you have not used one I would definitely get some cool nights in it before year trip. It would suck to find out they don't work for you on that trip. I myself like them and mine are down. In my opinion on a trip like this that maybe one in a lifetime. I would focus on training to the point 12oz more for a Synthetic bag is not gonna make or break you. This way there is no chances on what if type situations. Plan for the worst case. What would you rather have?

Going with a down bag or quilt one this trip reminds me of the saying stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.
 

mlob1one

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Mar 18, 2015
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Please do not take any of the follow the wrong way.

I have to ask as no one else has yet but have you used a quilt? I only ask because some love them and some hate them. If you have not used one I would definitely get some cool nights in it before year trip. It would suck to find out they don't work for you on that trip. I myself like them and mine are down. In my opinion on a trip like this that maybe one in a lifetime. I would focus on training to the point 12oz more for a Synthetic bag is not gonna make or break you. This way there is no chances on what if type situations. Plan for the worst case. What would you rather have?

Going with a down bag or quilt one this trip reminds me of the saying stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.
I would add to that a could salient points.
-If weather turns to crap (as it often does) and sticks around for a few days, you may have to hole up in your tent. Sitting upright with either your back or your front exposed gets old and cold quick.
-I have often packed my bag and a bivy when I go out fit the day if it's cold or the weather looks iffy. This way I can glass, wait out a storm, or even take a nap under my sheep tarp if I need to. Again, quilts provide good warmth when you are on a nice pad, but having that large an opening can suck hard if/when the weather turns against you.
Just my additional $.02
Have a great hunt.

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Southern Lights

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Feb 28, 2017
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New Zealand
I have done a lot of hiking on the west coast of the Pacific NW, and I recommend the Mountain Hardware Ultralamina bags as the best compressible and lightweight synthetic sleeping bags. Their insulation feels almost like down, but absorbs virtually no moisture.

I do not use down in rainforests. I have tried in the past, but even if you put it in three bags to keep rain off of it, they will absorb moisture from the atmosphere over time and lose loft as you use them. If you are socked in with wet weather for many days, there is simply no way to dry the gear out.

I don't have any experience with the waterproof down treated gear today. But when I'm in rainforest camping I just advise being extra cautious and avoid taking anything that you wouldn't mind using if it got wet. Synthetic insulation holds almost no water so if you get it soaked you can often spin it around really fast to throw the water off and it will be almost dry. A brief exposure to a campfire can then quickly dry the rest, or you can use your bodyheat as you wear it to do the same for a short bit if it's not too cold out to chill you.
 

Beendare

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FWIW, I have one of the Montbell stretch bags with primaloft and I really like it. Its about 1.5x the size compressed and 1.5x heavier than my Montbell down bag.

I like down but I have had trips with multiple days of wet weather with that heavy moisture laden air where my down bag looked like a soggy potato chip. On those type hunts, I just bring my syn bag as it performs better. I seem to put off a lot of moisture when I sleep- I'm a warm sleeper- and in wet weather its a bit of a double whammy if I can't hang the bag out every few days to dry.
 

AK Troutbum

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Chugiak, Alaska
Mountain Hardware HyperLamina have been impressed. Light and warm.


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If you absolutely must go synthetic, this would be my choice as well. However, I would recommend going with the EE quilt your thinking about, a good compressible dry bag, and keep it dry. I hunt in some, sometimes, very, very wet conditions here in Alaska and, although I do own a MH synthetic bag, pretty much the only thing I take anymore is a 10°, treated down, EE quilt. I did get it wet last year during an October goat hunt where we received 5" of rain in 6 days but after 30 minutes of strong winds and no rain, the quilt was dry again.


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Jordan Budd

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My vote is for the Kifaru Slick bag... they didn't mess around when they re built that bag. Center zip is legit, the apex insulation is awesome and the durability of that thing is next to none. Plenty of room in the footbox too which was big for me.
 

texans42

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Depends how on how big an ol boy you are.

MH hyper series is probably best synthetic bags per price point on market....as long as you are of moderate frame.
If you prefer room go Kifaru wide or quilt.
 
OP
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Vagrouser

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Apr 16, 2017
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I've enjoyed reading the replies and thanks for taking the time to share your experiences. I've got an EE quilt (950 Enigma) on order and I'm going to pick up a MH laminar series synthetic. I'll plan to bring both and choose which one to pack when I get on the ground. Both will see use in future rotations or get sold as case may be. I'm sure the kifaru slick is great--it looks like a beast of a bag but too heavy for this hunt and I don't need long term durability.

I'll try to post back on my experience.

Thanks
 
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