SLEEPING BAG OMG WHICH ONE?!?! AM I STUPID?!? (I can also write in lower case).

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Rich83

Full Member
Sep 6, 2012
186
0
Selsey, West Sussex
Right some frustration. I have.

I go camping in the woods with mates. It's great. I have one massive problem tho and this is it - I don't know what sleeping bag to get.

Now, I have a Carinthia Defence 4 which is arguably an amazing bag. I brought it because it was water repellent, light and warm. I didn't give it enough thought tho as it's obviously FAR to much for blighty, and I have sweat my tits off every time I have ever tried to use it.

I also have an old (2001?) British army sleeping bag, the synthetic middle zip type with the hood. I slept in my caravan in this bag, end of October last year. IT was MASSIVE freezing in the caravan and had to wear softy jacket and trousers and two pairs of socks etc and a hat when I woke at five (I have a baby) but it took me ages to get to sleep in this bag and I was still pretty warm. Arguably I did wake in the night each time I used it and zip it shut (having gone to sleep with the zip open) but that's the only time it wasn't too warm.

I also own a really old and well washed (so I assume by the amount of times it's gone through the machine it probably has lost lots of insulation) British army jungle bag. This has never kept me warm. I did however use it for years with a fleece liner for sleeping at work when I did 24 hour shifts but without the liner it was cold. In the winter it was cold even with the liner.

Now then onto the conundrum - what sleeping bag should I actually buy? And how are you supposed to sleep in a sleeping bag? All the above examples involve me sleeping in just my boxers, I don't mention this for your arousal but more for your assessment of temperature etc.

Typically I sleep under a tarp or in a tent, these bags have not been used in a bivy bag.

What I am wondering is would it make most sense for me to get some of those insulated tent booties and just sleep in my clothes and softies in my jungle bag? Would I be warm enough do you think? Or should I buy a new bag? I was looking at the Carinthia Defence 1 as it has all the properties that I like on my Defence 4 but would be better for use in the South East I assume, reading the temperature guide.

Or should I buy the USGI MCSS which has three flavours I believe, depending on coldness?

What I am essentially after is help. Be it buying a new bag or just advice on how to use one of the many bags I have!! I want to be able to camp any time of year and in any weather. Sleeping bag doesn't have to be water proof.

Help...
 

greensurfingbear

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
I use my Camp or mountain equipment 3/4 season with fleece liner in the winter. tend to sleep nekid or if sharing a tent or hammocking in boxers and tshirt. Also got a Camp summer bag that I bought to use when working in New Mexico that I also used a fleece blanket with as its surprising cold in the desert at night!

Recently looking at the Alpkit down bags as I think its time to get a new one and these seem to be getting favorable feedback

I don't think there is one bag for all seasons rather you need to have one for each kind of use.
 

Nohoval_Turrets

Full Member
Sep 28, 2004
348
10
50
Ireland
One thing that makes a big difference in a sleeping bag is what you wear. Rather than boxers I'd recommend some sort of thermal longjohns. I use cheapo ones like these, with a matching top. You can wear your clothes too, but I prefer to change for night time. That way you can be sure to be dry going to bed. If you wear too many bulky layers in the bag, it won't loft properly and you'll be cold. Also, wearing a little hat makes a big difference. And socks - bring a separate pair for night time.

Wearing full-length clothing in the bag helps keep it clean, and it will last longer and smell better!

I don't know much about the military bags you mention, so I can't help you there. In winter I use a down bag with a bivvy. The bag is a Mountain Equipment Dreamcatcher 750, which they don't make any more but is similar to this. The bivvy is a goretex miltary one. I find down bags are comfortable over a wider temperature range - synthetic ones being somehow clammier in the warm. Not everyone agrees. Using a bivvy means you don't need to worry about the bag being water repellant, so gives you more choices.

Just my thoughts!
 

bigroomboy

Nomad
Jan 24, 2010
443
0
West Midlands
I have two bags, Mountain Hardware lamina 30 which is a great summer bag. (true summer bags are IMO crap unless you are on the med in summer) I also have a Mountain Equipment starlight 4 which I use for winter but I would probably prefer the Mountain Hardware Lamina 0 as It lighter and I think lofts much more like down.

For a long time I only had my winder bag and used it all year round with no problems, just use it opened up as a blanket when it was hot, and in the UK some summer nights can be quite cool. The only reason I got the summer bag (I had a life venture summer, very light bag but spent 36 nights freezing my bottom off cycling around France in August so the less I say about it the better) was to have something smaller and lither for backpacking or climbing trips to spain, if not for that I would just stick with a good winter bag and open it up when too hot.
 

Rich83

Full Member
Sep 6, 2012
186
0
Selsey, West Sussex
Thanks for the replies, do you think I will ever get the use out of the Defence 4 in England in Sussex where it is never really very cold?

What I don't understand is this - will a sleeping bag with an extreme rating of -12 and a comfort rating of 5 keep me warm in the winter when it's say 0 degrees or minus 5? Not that I remember it ever being minus 5...
 

mountainm

Bushcrafter through and through
Jan 12, 2011
9,990
11
Selby
www.mikemountain.co.uk
Thanks for the replies, do you think I will ever get the use out of the Defence 4 in England in Sussex where it is never really very cold?

What I don't understand is this - will a sleeping bag with an extreme rating of -12 and a comfort rating of 5 keep me warm in the winter when it's say 0 degrees or minus 5? Not that I remember it ever being minus 5...


I would've thought your defence 4 is good for english winters personally, but maybe I sleep cold.
 

Rich83

Full Member
Sep 6, 2012
186
0
Selsey, West Sussex
I like room. My army jungle bag is roomy and to be fair so is my army Arctic one and my Carinthia one. I don't really like snug mummy bags. And I am tall. Which is why I like the army Arctic one and my Carinthia ones as I have them in long length.

What 3 season bag would you recommend? Anyone have any experience with the Defence 1?
 

Greek1983

Forager
Jan 23, 2011
206
0
Athens, Greece
I have the Defence 1. It performs excellent in the Greek winter environment (temperatures around 0 and -5 degrees Celcius), although it is designated as "summer bag" (like the side-zipped Tropen). I wear long-johns, but sometimes I partially unzip the bottom part for better air circulation.

Alongside the Defence 1 I also bought the polycotton liner, erroneously believing that it also had the same attachment points the Defence 4 has, which unfortunately doesn't, and thus takes a bit of an effort getting in and out of it.

Of course much more compact than the "winter" Defence 4, which is rather too much for Mediterranean winter, unless you decide to go for winter camp on the mountains.

And you can use it as an "outer bag" of the Defence 4 for extreme winter conditions. :)

Great product. Have also the Observer Plus bivy tent which is awsome, though very expensive and heavier than a bivy bag.
 
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bigroomboy

Nomad
Jan 24, 2010
443
0
West Midlands
I've camped at -7 in the UK in late October 2010 and -10 in February and lots of other negatives through out winter. I would want at least -5 comfort in a winter bag, ignore extreme ratings they are only there for people to brag about around the fire. I would say your defence 4 would be good for winter, for summer depending on how size and weight are important to you just about any bag will do, I would be looking to a 5 - 7 comfort for that one.
 

brambles

Settler
Apr 26, 2012
747
43
Aberdeenshire
I have a Defence 4 and a Tropen, and when combined with my Goretex bivi they give all the various options of the USMCC but in far superior bags and temp ratings. The Tropen is a great bag for warmer weather , and if it's extremely cold bung it in the Defence 4 for arctic rating. I have slept in the Defence 4 with the zip open on occasion and still been toasty without being too hot.
 

Rich83

Full Member
Sep 6, 2012
186
0
Selsey, West Sussex
I still get too hot in my defence 4 with the zip undone. Looking at comparison of the Tropen vs the Def 1, the 1 looks like a more fully featured bag (like the 4 it appears to be water proof etc) and has the super hood I like on the 4. I don't know that I will ever need to increase the temp rating on the 4 either - if I do I reckon I could get the 1 in even if it isn't designed that way lol :)
 

Greek1983

Forager
Jan 23, 2011
206
0
Athens, Greece

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