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Old 09-11-2013, 10:54 AM
survivalscience survivalscience is offline
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Default ISO sleeping bag



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Im in need of a good sleeping bag. heres my criteria...

first of all this is in my SHTF, INCH bag.
If I am in semi permanent shelter, and/or i have animal hides as blankets, sleeping bags arent necessary. especially if i can have a fire going.

IF i need to sleep stealthily, a sleeping bag is def needed.

I anticipate being no futher north than the north side of the great lakes.

I do have a wool blanket, and one of those insulated emergency bivvys just in case. but what i do need is a sleeping bag that packs into the smallest possible size but will keep me warm through very harsh conditions.

If i had a gun to my head i would buy the recon 5 sleeping bag.

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Old 09-11-2013, 12:44 PM
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What is your budget? If you want a very warm, lightweight, and highly compressible sleeping bag, it's mostly likely going to be a down bag. Newer models are treated with DWR so that they are water repelling. It's going to cost you a pretty penny though. Synthetic bags lose a bit of their loft after being compressed every single time and don't last nearly as long as a down bag. Over time, expect the temperature rating efficacy to decrease with the synthetic bag. Even though a good down bag can easily cost $300, it's a once-in-a-lifetime purchase if you treat it with basic care. I've known hikers that still use down bags that are over 20 yrs old.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:33 PM
survivalscience survivalscience is offline
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well i WAS going to spend 200$ on the recon 5 but if somebody comes up with a better option i wouldnt mind raising my budget, what brands/models do you have in mind?
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by survivalscience View Post
well i WAS going to spend 200$ on the recon 5 but if somebody comes up with a better option i wouldnt mind raising my budget, what brands/models do you have in mind?
I actually recommend you going to REI and checking some out. REI has their own branded down sleeping bags such as this. I think it is priced very well for a down bag that's been treated with DWR. Note that the higher the "fill-power" or "fill-volume", the more lofty it will generally be. This also means that it can compress to a smaller size since the feathers are smaller.

On top of that, you can't beat REI's return policy. It is now only 1 year free returns with no questions asked. This new rule was placed over the summer since too many people abused the policy and returned items that were 5-20 yrs old.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:24 PM
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I had an rei membership but I quit shopping there because their prices are a ripoff and their so called deals suck. the only great thing about them was their return policy. I had no idea it changed - good to know. one last reason for me to be done with them. they're a bunch of pretencious douches anyway.

check out cabelas, campmor, sierratradingpost, or amazon. kelty mistral 0 is a good down bag, but its 500 or so fill. not the best, not the worst. def ok for the money (200 bucks or so?). if you want 800 fill, which is where you will truly get the warmth benefit of down, then go with Western Mountaneering or Feathered Friends bags. But they are 500 and up usually.

but since your primary reason is shtf, why not go with an MSS, a long time USGI staple. it is heavy and bulky though, but it is bomb proof. It offers a lot of combo options, you dont have to take the whole MSS with you. I added a kelty fleece liner for even more versatility and a few more degrees of warmth. If I take the whole thing with me, I usually have a sled anyway.

Snugpak's are good synthetic military oriented bags as well, but in the UK. And they are lighter and more compressible than the USGI MSS but they are more expensive.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:17 PM
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You can get into a Kelty cosmic 0 degree synthetic fill bag for around a hundred dollars, (we have 2) they have great loft and are (my) "kid approved".
In the summer use like a quilt or start out unzipped and snuggle in towards dawn as it cools down.
Combined with an effective ground pad and your bivy bag/blanket you should be set. You might also consider a fleece bag that could be used as liner for really cold nights, in combination with Poly'/wool long johns, socks and appropriate head cover as part of your layering system for really cold evenings to improve your overall insulation/comfort rating.
Hope this helps.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:05 PM
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LOL, animal hides?
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:26 PM
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With a budget of $200+...and SHTF use around the northern Great Lakes...I'd go with a synthetic mummy bag with a bare minimum -15F rating. Down is of course warmer by weight (and costs more), but... you need a bag that can handle a variety of transitional temps that might include dry or wet snow, rainstorms, and a generally water feature filled terrain. Wet down is worthless. Wet synthetic can still keep you alive and is quicker/easier to dry. Expect a bag to get wet when you are struggling to survive rather than just doing recreational hiking.

The bag you are looking at appears to be a no-name model badged for a tactical shop. It weighs 5 lbs and is only rated to around zero...about the same as generic Coleman bags or decent Slumberjack models costing half the money. The manufacturers have designed something tactical to appeal to troopies, but not necessarily a quality sleeping bag for the weight. Stick to folks that make sleeping bags for a living: Feathered Friends, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Kelty, Western Mountaineering, North Face, Slumberjack, etc.

Here's a 5 lb synthetic bag from a premium manufacturer that costs less than the one you are looking at...weighs the same...and is considerably warmer:

Mountain Hardwear Lamina -15 Degree Sleeping Bag (Regular length 78") - 5lbs 1 oz - $180
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___44268


If you are taller than 6', get the Long Version. You want the extra room in the footbox for stuffing extra clothing around and under your cold feet in frigid conditions.

The color isn't "tactical", but you should have a bivy sack cover anyway. A surplus USGI MSS Woodland Camouflage Goretex bivy sack can be found for $25-$40 these days on e-bay or craigslist.

With synthetic bags, once you start getting into sub-zero ratings, you pay in terms of bulk. For instance, a -40F synthetic bag is immensely toasty...and will completely fill up an expedition ruck all by itself. Once you start looking at -20F bags or warmer, you need to be focused on down bags...unless you are hauling gear on sleds, snow machines, or vehicles.

Never, ever believe a sleeping bag comfort rating and then match that rating against the low temps you expect for a given area. Always have at least 20 degrees more bag than expected worst conditions. Windchill alone will take conditions below weather report ambient air conditions.

For the UP/Canada in winter, I'd not carry anything less than a -15 or -20F bag. That's with a bivy sack, ground pad, hat/gloves/thermal underwear/sleeping booties.

With sleeping bags you can have affordability, light weight, or warmth. Pick two.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:48 PM
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http://tonystactical.com/index.php?m...products_id=80

I bought a few of these from Tony! He is a member here and I personally love the 4 part system.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:08 PM
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For the money and modular flexibility (plus a Goretex bivy sack!), there is nothing on earth that can beat the USGI MSS (like the one above from tonystactical.com). Most basic civilian bivy sacks alone cost $100 or more.

You get a cold weather intermediate bag (realistically comfortable to ~10F), a warm weather patrol bag (good to ~30F...BTDT), a compression sack, and one of the best bivys anyone ever made (in IR compliant woodland camouflage pattern to boot).

The downside is the bulk and ~10lb weight for the whole system. But you rarely need both bags together. Modularity. It's a wonderful thing.

A good description and photos of the MSS on this site:
http://www.tacticalintelligence.net/...eep-system.htm
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:15 PM
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The north side of the great lakes?

If you are planning on stealth camping in the lower parts of Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, you are facing real winter. Very long nights of -40F and multi day blizzards. Heavy snow covered in ice.

I would start with the US military MSS. The heavy gore tex bivy is first rate and well suited to the cold/snowy conditions. The two sythetic bags are decent quality and the total system is rated for -30F.

But for the temps in the area you described, I recommend replacing the core bag with a heavier Wiggys Lamonite filled bag such as their Super Lite or Thule. I have two Wiggys bags now and Lamonite reminds me of polargaurd.
http://wiggys.com/category.cfm?category=6

They produce much more packable chopped synthetic insulation these days, but even if you store them correctly, they begine to loose their loft (and warmth) in several years.

My 30 yr old polargaurd and my Wiggy Lamonite do not seem to loose loft at all.

Don't forget a closed cell ground pad.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:10 AM
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I have heard nothing but horrible reviews from YouTubers for the Recon line-up. Even reviewers on amazon don't seem to like it.


I like my SnugPack Softie Elite 3 good to low 20's. When this winter hits, if my wool blanket doesn't cut it as my liner, then I will be getting the Softie Elite 5. This particular sleeping bag has the ability to expand out, so it will fit my wool blanket inside.

This is my system.........
1. Full outfit---> Socks, Sweat pants, Long sleeve turtle neck shirt, Mittens, Beanie. Good in 50 degree(f) weather.
2. Wool Blanket. Good to about 40 degrees(f), it's a small wool blanket.
3. SnugPack Softie Elite. Good to about low 20's
4. And of course the foam sleeping pad.


But the deal is..... You can't have that bag compacted in your pack, it has to be non compressed. Now I have had my bag for many months and keep it in the stuff sack uncompressed and I have had no issues. IT's up to you how to do it, some people hang theirs in the closet.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:23 AM
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so the whole MSS system will compress to just one, 1 cubic foot, or is it as the picture shows, a 1 cubic foot and what looks like a 2x1 bag as well?
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by survivalscience View Post
so the whole MSS system will compress to just one, 1 cubic foot, or is it as the picture shows, a 1 cubic foot and what looks like a 2x1 bag as well?


What are you talking about. Complete thoughts please?





Edit: As I look, you are referring to another's post. Complete thoughts please.........
Edit again: That Military bag from what I read compresses at a max of 16x12 at 15 pounds, someone who owns one corrected me here.
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Old 09-12-2013, 04:54 AM
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The MSS isn't the most compact when compressed, but it's one of the best values on the market. You're going to spend $300-400+ for a high quality down bag that compresses really small for backpacking; even with DWR finishes, you still have to take precautions to keep them clean and dry. Climashield is about the only synthetic that closely compares with down, but it's not quite as good preference and size wise.

ROCK6
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by survivalscience View Post
so the whole MSS system will compress to just one, 1 cubic foot, or is it as the picture shows, a 1 cubic foot and what looks like a 2x1 bag as well?
No. The entire unit will absolutely not compress to one cubic foot. I read that somewhere as well and I believe they are talking about the bivy and one bag. Not both bags and bivy. It is a bulky setup when using the completed sleep system. No getting around it. A sleep pad is vital as well. So if you go with the mss, your looking at a heavy and bulky setup. But I like mine despite the drawbacks.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slim69 View Post
http://tonystactical.com/index.php?m...products_id=80

I bought a few of these from Tony! He is a member here and I personally love the 4 part system.
^this

I use the bivy and one bag most of the time.. no need for a tent..
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