Sleeping bag for big guy

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New Member
Nov 28, 2020
I'm new to the concept of wild camping and looking for some advise on modular sleep systems and 3/4 season bags. I've camped all my life in all seasons in the UK and Europe but always in a tent and with facilities.
I'm looking to use throughout the year in the UK and Germany with a bivvy and tarp or possibly a hammock.
I've been looking at both the british and dutch modular bags and the original carinthia defence 4 although I'm led to believe they are all essentially the same do they vary in size ? im a big 6'2 guy with a 49"chest . I've also looked at the snugpak special forces 2 although it is narrower than the carinthia it does have an option of an expander insert and the dd hammocks jura although the temp rating isn't as low at-5 .
What temperature rating should I realistically be looking at if sleeping clothed and booted ?

Just wondered if any of you larger guys have had experience with these bags or could offer an alternative?

Thanks in advance


Apr 26, 2012
I am 6'5'' and have the Carinthia Defence 4 and Tropen combo , both in the 200 size. For the first time since I was a kid I have sleeping bags that fit me! Their warmth rating is accurate, sleep in them in normal sleeping clothes and you will be a lot warmer than "clothed and booted".
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Full Member
Jan 11, 2011
I’m a similar size to you. 6’5 & big build under the fat layer. I have a Blue Kazoo Long bag which is a good size for me. I also have a Rock and Run down bag in XL which is also pretty roomy and super-warm.


Full Member
Jul 10, 2004
I’ve been looking in to a new bag for a while now, the Carinthia Defence 4 is where I reckon I am headed meself. I’am bit of a lump myself 6ft and really bulky shoulders chest & back, to make matters worse I think I am slightly claustrophobic. At the very least I can’t bare the feeling of feeling restricted in any way, I can’t work indoors for long periods and long hall flights are absolute torture but that’s summat else again lol
Anyway if this model fits someone 6ft5 then I reckon there’s a good chance it’ll be cock on for me too


Dec 31, 2009
I use the snugpak softie range. I have the 3, 6 and 9.
3 merlin for summer, 9 hawk for winter. 6 for in-between.
I use the expander panels, with which they will fit you with some room.
For extreme cold you can put one inside the other. I have a baffle for this but have yet to use it.
Workes for me in all seasons :)


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
I use the Snugpak Special Forces System because in my opinion it is better thought through than the Carinthia system.

The SF1 works for me until 0*C keeping on the clothing of the day. But it's recommended until 5*C, and that's right.

You put the SF2 (which has different to the Carinthia Defence 4 a warmth collar) into the SF1. Should the SF1 get a bit damp, it dries faster than the warmer bag of course.

In the Carinthia system you put the summer bag into the winter bag.

The SF zipper adapter makes the bags a bit wider, so in conditions you put them together there fits into warmer clothing too.

You enter in this case the system by using only one zipper, not two like in the Carinthia system.

But to put it all together correctly, you need to take it out of the bivvy bag.
The Tropen or Defence 1 you can simply stuff into the other if it's in its bivvy.

The combination of Snugpak SF1 and its bivvy is outstanding light and compact. That's the main reason why I did choose this system.

Interesting is also to compare the prices and weights of the Carinthia and Snugpak bivvy bag, before you start with one of the systems.
I am convinced that both are worth the money. But they are very different.

I prefere to sleep in the clothing of the day but put the boots off. I don't want the dirt in my sleeping bags and it's very uncomfortable on top.
The boots need the night to dry.

I carry the very light Defcon 5 poncho and can use it as little tarp or just put it over the boots if needed.

The SF1 in its bivvy bag fits well into the 7 litres Ortlieb dry bag PS10, by the way.

This summer version enables me together with other well thought through light and compact equipment to use down to 0*C only the 34 litres original Bundeswehr Jägerrucksack Cordura, which is still made by HEIM in Germany and sold for 75 € via ASMC.

My 3 season equipment is with approximately 6 kg base weight nearly ultra light and could also be forced down to a really ultra light equipment by using mainly such extremely light stuff with NATO stock numbers. But I prefere to keep it a bit more robust and comfortable and carry my 6 kg total weight. For me that's comfortable enough on the back and a good compromise for stealth camping.

The oliv green Snugpak bags are cheaper than the camouflage versions, and blend well into German surroundings.

The rain flap of the Carinthia bivvy bag is made to sleep on the right side in heavy weather, the zipper flap of the Snugpak SF bivvy bag is made to sleep on the left side.
For Germany a bivvy bag with a zipper is a good idea, because here it can become pretty warm. Not only if used in a tent such a zipper bivvy bag is more comfortable to enter than the British army bivvy bag without it.

The Snugpak SF bivvy bag is an Asian product, the Snugpak SF sleeping bags are made in Britain with a Swiss filling.

The Carinthia system is made in Austria and Czechia, as far I am right.
It's bivvy bag is far heavier but surely far longer lasting. But if not bought used as a Bundeswehr surplus item the Carinthia bivvy bag is pretty pricy compared to the Asian Snugpak bivvy bag.

Both systems exist in several sizes which you can find on the makers homepages.
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Feb 18, 2021
Cawston Okanagan
Anyone know the Carinthia Explorer Top MF summer bag? Made in Moldova I believe one version for Danish Defense forces. Also have seen Winter versions. Have been used by Military and is available in XL. Supposedly has the water resistant outer layer. 245 cm overall length and width across the shoulders is 90cm. I am 6’3” amd about 245lbs. Have the MSS Patrol bag as it is the first Mummy style bag I have purchased. Thank you.


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
I don't know that pretty seldom made civil model.

But Carinthia sleeping bags, bivvy bags, padded and waterproof suits and similar items are regularly sold to most European NATO armies. Carinthia produces exclusively high end quality products.

The product development and prototype manufacturing is located in Austria, most series products are manufactured in Slovakia, a bit is also made in Moldavia.

Both manufactures are located relatively close to the Austrian head quarter and they went there because it's easier to employ good sewers there than in Austria and the products become a bit cheaper too. Before WW1 Slovakia was a part of Austria, it's more or less Austria's GDR, and a lot of German and Austrian quality outdoor equipment brands took over Czechoslovakian manufactures after the end of the cold war. Volkswagen went there immediatly too and took over the Skoda factory.

Czechoslovakia was for centuries part of the German Empire and in the younger history always a highly developped industrial country. You know, Ferdinand Porsche for example was a German, born in Czechia.

The European NATO armies usually issue Tropen and Defence 4 and Carinthia Goretex Sleeping Bag Cover. But one could as well put Defence 1 and Defence 4 and Bivvy bag together if one preferes to have all zippers over each other.

But Tropen, Defence 4 and Sleeping Bag Cover are the here most issued modular sleep system.
(The Spanish and Dutch also issue licence versions that are made by Fesca in Spain in a lower quality and the British army issues an own copy of that system with a different bivvy bag.)
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