Western Mountaineering vs. Big Agnes System

307

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I have decided to stay with the sleeping bag, for the simplicity and confidence of a tried and true system rather than converting to a quilt.

The Big Agnes System, with a pad sleeve instead of insulation on the back of the bag is intriguing. I see it as an compromise between the quilt and the traditional bag, in that the insulation that is compressed by body weight, is simply eliminated and replaced with a pad sleeve to avoid falling off the dang thing all night.

The WM bags seem to be generally regarded as a premium sleeping bag, as good as you can get for the $$$ and a long track record of performance and value.

My question is mostly in relation to the BA System. Does anybody use it? Definitely useful, or more of a gimmick?
 

StrutNut

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I have a BA Lost Ranger and really like it. There are pro's and con's to each set up but i have no regrets with this one. For temps a lot colder I use my synthetic bag. I really use this set up almost all the time. I do like that I never roll off the pad anymore and its easy enough for a side sleeper like me to mover around in. I do get the zippers stuck every now and then and that kind of a pain but other than that its a good system.
 

xziang

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I too have a lost ranger, and actually a WM Alpinlite too. I have used the Lost Ranger 95% of the time for I tend to move around a lot in the sleeping bag and the sleeve for the pad works great for me. (like above)

I hate falling off the pad in the middle of the night etc.


**edited/added** If you are questionable about the BA bags pick one up via REI they have a great return policy if you don't like it.
 
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Brightwhite

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The Big Agnes system is pretty sweet and very comfy. I had a lost ranger, but shifted all of my sleep system over to synthetic for about the same weight as what I had in the lost ranger down bag + pad.

I think the WM bags in similar temp ratings will be lighter, but will cost significantly more.

I also found the BA bag to be a little ambitious in the temp rating. If I were to buy another BA bag for August scouting then Sept/Oct hunting, I would go with the 0 degree storm king versus the 15 degree lost ranger.
 

geriggs

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BA system is sweet but Nemo has an identical system. Unfortunately BA discontinued my favorite pad they make but most will work. I have done the quilt thing and BA system, I prefer the BA system if weight is not a concern. I'm a big guy and use the park series. Just remember everything being equal most BA bags run a bit cold. They are rated a little lower than they should be
 

SquidHC

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I'm having the same conundrum as the OP. Looking at the lost ranger, but just realized you are supposed to use a rectangle pad with it. I have an exotherm pad that is tapered. Will it really not work with this system?

Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk
 

Brightwhite

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I'm having the same conundrum as the OP. Looking at the lost ranger, but just realized you are supposed to use a rectangle pad with it. I have an exotherm pad that is tapered. Will it really not work with this system?

Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

It will work fine, the pad might move a little in the sleeve, but only and inch or two, nothing that will be that noticeable.
 

NHRedleg

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I have an older Lost Ranger and the older maroon lengthwise Insulated Air Pad. I love the system for the weight savings on the bag w/o the bottom insulation and the not falling off the pad aspect. I found it fine down to 25*, but have not had to test it colder. I did find the pad not very comfortable for me with the lengthwise air channels. I decided this year to up grade both my pad and bag and settled on the Nemo Equipment Argali 15* bag and the Tensor Field pad. The bag is like a BA in that there is no insulation in bottom of the bag and there is a sleeve for a pad. On my scale (not manufacture's listings) I have saved exactly one pound in weight with the Nemo system over my BA system-3.6# vs 4.6#. Overall I like the system better than traditional sleeping bag/pad set-up and glad to see an option out there other than the BA stuff; not that there was really anything wrong with the BA stuff.
 

Beendare

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IMO, you are comparing a Yugo to a Mercedes. If thats your budget...then fine.

FYI, you can paint short strips of silicone or seam seal on any pad to keep it from sliding.....makes the sleeve a non issue.
 
OP
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307

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IMO, you are comparing a Yugo to a Mercedes. If thats your budget...then fine.

FYI, you can paint short strips of silicone or seam seal on any pad to keep it from sliding.....makes the sleeve a non issue.

Hadn't thought or heard of that but it does help with the sliding issue.

Just to clarify, the Yugo vs. Mercedes comment, the WM being the Mercedes and the BA system being of less overall quality, correct?
 

Beendare

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Hadn't thought or heard of that but it does help with the sliding issue.

Just to clarify, the Yugo vs. Mercedes comment, the WM being the Mercedes and the BA system being of less overall quality, correct?
Yes.

It appears there are guys sufficiently satisfied with their BA budget gear- good. Everything I've seen from BA wreaks of Chinese poor quality control lower end goods....sorry to say. I think their stuff is a little over priced for what you get. I've had their pad- failed on first inflate, buddies have tents and stuff....its low end bro....lets just leave it at that.

Now if you aren't picky- its fine. If you want a bag true to its rating...I've seen a ton of complaints on that with BA bags. You NEVER hear a complaint on a WM bag....but of course they are 2x the price.

If oyu search this forum you should be able to find pics of guys doing the stripes on their pads.....I did 3/4" wide stripes in strategic locations appx every foot or so.[don't overdo it]
 
OP
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307

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Yes.

It appears there are guys sufficiently satisfied with their BA budget gear- good. Everything I've seen from BA wreaks of Chinese poor quality control lower end goods....sorry to say. I think their stuff is a little over priced for what you get. I've had their pad- failed on first inflate, buddies have tents and stuff....its low end bro....lets just leave it at that.

Now if you aren't picky- its fine. If you want a bag true to its rating...I've seen a ton of complaints on that with BA bags. You NEVER hear a complaint on a WM bag....but of course they are 2x the price.

If oyu search this forum you should be able to find pics of guys doing the stripes on their pads.....I did 3/4" wide stripes in strategic locations appx every foot or so.[don't overdo it]

Thanks, that's helpful information.
 

Jdog

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I have a WM Badger with overfill. I have had it for 6 years now and it's one of few pieces of gear that I never think about replacing.

It's flat out outstanding.

I've used on several backpack hunts from CO to AK during rainy wet sheep season.

It was $650 but is worth every cent.

& I just love the feel of down.
 

C Bow

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I was going to buy a WM Badger from Back Country They were advertising 20% off any 1 full priced item but would not honor WM sleeping bags
 

Kevin Dill

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I was going to buy a WM Badger from Back Country They were advertising 20% off any 1 full priced item but would not honor WM sleeping bags

I think that's pretty much the norm. I suppose there could be the rare situation where WM bags can be bought at a discount but I've not seen it. I paid full price for my WM bags (Sequoia GWS and a Terra Lite) and never regretted a nickel of it. I can't speak poorly about BA gear because I've never owned any of it. My in-store eval and reviews I've seen tell me it's not at the quality level I personally want. That is definitely not an insult to those who like BA...just my individual tastes.

A good bit of my hunting is done in far-flung places where all gear is pretty critical...performance is mandatory. I always say this: On a 2 week backcountry hunt I spend 1/3 of that time inside a sleeping bag and on a pad so my body can rest, recuperate and recover. The better that happens, the better I can hunt tomorrow and each day. It does contribute to the quality of the hunt and to successful outcomes sometimes.

Lastly....I see guys (here and other sites) steadily buying, selling, upgrading and tweaking things like their backpacks, shelters, weapons and such. They'll buy/sell multiple $500+ packs and own 2 or 3 shelters worth a couple grand or more...but they won't invest $600 in one good sleeping bag which will last 20 or more years with any care. I mean...a sleeping bag is a buy-it & use-it item. No customizing or after-sale upgrade needed. A supremely good sleeping bag is truly the buy-once / cry-once item of importance in my gear system.
 

EATONANTLERS

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I have a WM Badger with overfill. I have had it for 6 years now and it's one of few pieces of gear that I never think about replacing.

It's flat out outstanding.

I've used on several backpack hunts from CO to AK during rainy wet sheep season.

It was $650 but is worth every cent.

& I just love the feel of down.

Quick question.
I'm headed to Alaska to the N Slope of the Brooks in Late August 2018. I currently have a North Face 15* down bag that I cook in when hunting Idaho in mid September at 7,000', night temp as low as upper 20s. The reading I've done recommends Hollofil instead of down because of the possibilities of the down getting wet. Has your down bag performed well in wet conditions? What's the temp rating?
I guess that's neither a quick question or "a" question, thanks just the same!
 

oldgoat

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BA pad is even comfy for old arthritic people! And even if you get the other bag, I've slept on my BA pad with my slick bag and still stayed on the pad perfect and it was a cold night and I was moving a lot and didn't slide off.
 

camping1601

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The wife uses the BA system and won't use anything else just because of the sleeve system. Did have a zipper get so stuck I ended up breaking it trying to free it in the dark but BA's warranty process on it was pretty impressive.

I have one of their tents and five of their mats and wouldn't hesitate to buy anything from them.
 

Backpack Hunter

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I tend to agree with Beendare on the overall quality of WM vs. BA. in that I don't think they are in the same class. I have not found a BA sleeping bag yet that meets it's temp rating, on the flip side I have not found a WM bag that did not meet it's temp rating.
I do think you can get by with a BA bag (and many people do), but it is not in the same class as WM....and they are priced accordingly.
 

Jtelarkin08

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I have an Encampment 15 and a BA Pad. They arent the lightest combo but I have been warm and comfy
 
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