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OK guys,...i'm somewhat cold natured,..50 degrees and i wear a jacket. So sometime in mid to late feb, a couple buddies want me to go camping with them at Colorado National Park. I have been told the temperatures can reach very low to possible negatives? I am looking for a lightweight sleeping bag,..price isn't to big a concern, I have been looking at the Western Mountaineering Highlite sleeping bag. What do you guys think? I definately want to stay warm and im looking for a light and comfy sleeping pad and pillow. Btw im new somewhat new to backpacking so im open to suggestions.
 

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western mountaineering and feathered friends are the best sleeping bags on the planet. If you go with the WM bag you will be happy. I own a few WM bags and have owned many more. The bags are very close to what they say warmth wise while many other manufacturers are rated at survival ratings. That being said they are expensive. I feel they are worth it though. make sure you invest in a good sleeping pad or you will be cold. Another cool feature is if you are worried abut the bag being warm enough you can get an over stuff of 2-3 more ounces of down for about 30-40 dollars and it will bump up the rating.
 

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When I was in Air Cadets we had a camp we went to in the winter. We used Canadian army bags which are down with a washable liner inside. It was -30Celcius out and we slept out in light tents with no fire. I stripped down to boxers and was warm all night long, actually had a good sleep. I'm sure the US army surplus bags are probably similar in design.
 

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OK guys,...i'm somewhat cold natured,..50 degrees and i wear a jacket. So sometime in mid to late feb, a couple buddies want me to go camping with them at Colorado National Park. I have been told the temperatures can reach very low to possible negatives? I am looking for a lightweight sleeping bag,..price isn't to big a concern, I have been looking at the Western Mountaineering Highlite sleeping bag. What do you guys think? I definately want to stay warm and im looking for a light and comfy sleeping pad and pillow. Btw im new somewhat new to backpacking so im open to suggestions.

I do a bit of cold weather backpacking, so I've always got dual concerns when selecting a wintertime bag, namely warmth and weight. I have used a 10 degree rated bag and shivered all night at 20 degrees fully dressed inside my bag.

In contrast, I've used a 20 degree bag and been toasty at 10 degrees wearing nothing but a pair of cheap cotton long johns. Those toasty nights were spent in a Western Mountaineering bag. As stated above, my experience has been that WM does not overpromise when rating their bags. Lots of other manufacturers do, if not most. There are real heavy bags that are most certainly warmer, but I'm unaware of any other bags that combine both extreme lightweights and as promised warmth. As with any down bag, keeping it dry is essential. I'm interested in trying some of the Big Agnes products. I've heard and read good things, but I can't speak from experience. You might check their stuff out.

One last thing, for a long time my sole sleeping bag was a North Face synthetic-filled 30 degree bag. I found that if I anticipated frigid temps approaching zero, I still slept comfortably by using a thick FULL LENGTH Thermarest pad and an extra layer of clothing like sweats. On super cold nights I always tried to line my tent floor with anything I had available such as newspaper or extra clothing. I know I slept comfortably in that 30 degree bag when it was as cold as 3 degrees. That said, I would not recommend this approach for a new backpacker. I started backpacking with my father when I was a boy, so by the time I was doing that I had spent the equivalent of a couple of months backpacking, not to mention all the time spent car camping. I knew how to dress, what I could handle, and precisely what my gear would do. In your situation, with the kind of cold temps you might encounter, I would shoot for a bag with a much better cold rating than the 35 degree WM Highlight. You don't want to be miserable, nor do you want a backpacking trip to turn into a real survival emergency.
 

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I use a marmot sawtooth its a -15 bag weight 3lbs I got the long that fits up to 6ft 6

THe key is a good mat to get you off the ground.. and a benie on your head because you lose most of your heat through your head.. now if you add a liner you just added 5 degrees of warmth I recomend a silk liner.. costs a little more but its worth it..


Personaly I like down.. I dont mind that if wet it doesnt work key is just dont get it wet.. but its way warmer then systhetcs.. goose down way better then duck..
 

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Military surplus 4 Piece Modular Sleep System -
This system is constructed to insulate the user in environments ranging from mild weather to extremely cold weather. The system consists of two Mummy-style sleeping bags--the Patrol (Green) and the Intermediate Cold Weather (Black). Each are constructed of water-resistant, ripstop nylon. Each sleeping bag is fully functional independently. For a temperature to -30°, insert the Intermediate Cold Weather bag inside the Patrol bag. Each bag is compatible with the vapor permeable bivy cover. When all 3 components are used together the system is rated to provide 4 hours sleep at -40°F. A compression stuff sack and bivy cover are included and detailed below. Non-flammable and machine washable.


If you want to buy a strictly cold weather bag, check out Sherpa Adventure Gear
All their gear is expedition tested.
 

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Im into the early camping also. Love being out in the great wild when most folks are still sitting by the fireplace. What has worked best for me so far is my moonstone rated at 0' and for extra protection get yourself a military poncho liner "woobie" , fold in half long ways, then sew yourself a bag. Liner youve then made is great for summer nights also. Hope it helps and good luck!
 

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this is what im working on getting :thumb:

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ZWB155-1.html

http://www.armygear.net/ag/store/00148.html

what i like about this is the outer shell is water resistant so if your tent leaks you will stay dry
Hey man, i've been using the MSS for years now and I've got a lot of insight on it, i've come to a conclusion: The thing is far too heavy and bulky.
Don't get me wrong though, it is THE warmest bag i've found and i'd trust it with my life in any conditions, but the thing is a beast. Even if you remove the Bivy and the extra bag you're left with a huge, bulky burden that absolutely will NOT fit in a pack so you have to awkwardly lash it to your pack, making it more difficult to access your pack before making camp.
Currently i'm still using it with the method above, simply because I can't find a better sleeping bag that isn't bright red or yellow or something. If you're on a limited budget and you still think you want one of these heavy bags then consider just getting the bag itself, without the bivy and inner black bag, because to be honest i've never used those two extras, just the bag itself has always kept me dry even in snow winter trips.
- Tyler
 

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Hey man, i've been using the MSS for years now and I've got a lot of insight on it, i've come to a conclusion: The thing is far too heavy and bulky.
Don't get me wrong though, it is THE warmest bag i've found and i'd trust it with my life in any conditions, but the thing is a beast. Even if you remove the Bivy and the extra bag you're left with a huge, bulky burden that absolutely will NOT fit in a pack so you have to awkwardly lash it to your pack, making it more difficult to access your pack before making camp.
Currently i'm still using it with the method above, simply because I can't find a better sleeping bag that isn't bright red or yellow or something. If you're on a limited budget and you still think you want one of these heavy bags then consider just getting the bag itself, without the bivy and inner black bag, because to be honest i've never used those two extras, just the bag itself has always kept me dry even in snow winter trips.
- Tyler

yea that what i'm beginning think ,when i was in the army we just had the 1 bag they didnt give us any layerd bags lol but that was a LONG time ago also. the bag itself i already got and your right it is a bit on the BIG side. i would like to get the bivy though just for the fact it will keep my bed dry in the wettest of times.since i live in the south i will not see any super cold nights so i dont need the extra layer :thumb: but ppl up north im sure would want it. i dont think your supose to carry these bags in your backpack that why they got water proof compression bags so it can be straped on the outside of your pack. it never seemed to be a problem to me but then again that is all im use to so i wouldnt notice a differance lol

yea i got one of those military foam mats that we used when i was in the army but i think im going to look into a self inflating mat (that was in another thread) im really looking at this one

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___43010

i like the length of this one. what do you think will this be a durable one?
 

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"temperatures can reach very low to possible negatives? I am looking for a lightweight sleeping bag"

That's kind of a contradiction as insulation has weight and the more you have the heavier the bag. For absolute lightest weight get a mummy using good quality goose down and keep it dry. Polarguard or Hollofil II will serve better in moist climates.

IMHO, bag comfort ratings assume an Eskimo with a high metabolism sharing a tent with another person on an insulated ground pad and wearing a parka and snow pants to bed. Whatever they rate a bag at, I assume I'm going to want one rated 10 to 20 degrees below the coldest temps I am likely to encounter. You'll also need a ground pad and Thermorest (or a clone) is what I like the best.
 

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3 words - Wiggy's Ultima Thule
+1 on that! I love my Wiggy's bags and if you want some experiences and a good discussion on wiggys bags and alternate options take a look through this thread from Alaska Outdoors Forum. The Ultima Thule however, is not the lightest weight bag at 5 lbs, though it maybe one of the warmest. Wiggy's does have lighter bags too.

If you really want to stay warm though get a pair of Northern Outfitters -0 Vaetrex Jacket and Pant liners. Use them as long underwear and you could stay warm in just about any sleeping bag you choose.
 

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"temperatures can reach very low to possible negatives? I am looking for a lightweight sleeping bag"

That's kind of a contradiction as insulation has weight and the more you have the heavier the bag. For absolute lightest weight get a mummy using good quality goose down and keep it dry. Polarguard or Hollofil II will serve better in moist climates.
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It is only sort of a contradiction. You don't need more insulation weight to =warmth you need more loft. Higher quality down will get you more warmth per once because it gives you more loft. 850 fill down will fluff up 300 ml (in a graduated cylinder) more than a 550 fill down will. so you get more warmth for less weight.
 
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