Winter sleeping bag

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lancs lad

Member
Feb 4, 2014
45
2
lancaster
Hello friends, I'm planning on doing some winter hammocking and need a bag that will do the job as my normal bag is a two season rating. I already have a snugpak underquilt but need a better bag. Any help is Much appreciated. Thanks chris
 

Paulm

Full Member
May 27, 2008
1,091
182
Hants
I'm a fan of the snugpak elite bags and use them when hammocking or ground dwelling. They are well made and robust with reinforced foot box and generally very easy to get on with. Take the temp ratings with a pinch of salt, I generally reckon to take about 5 degrees off of their comfort ratings for me personally and the way I use them. An elite 4 is what I use in the winter in the south of the UK and never been cold yet :)
 
Jul 30, 2012
3,571
224
westmidlands
I'm a fan of the snugpak elite bags and use them when hammocking or ground dwelling. They are well made and robust with reinforced foot box and generally very easy to get on with. Take the temp ratings with a pinch of salt, I generally reckon to take about 5 degrees off of their comfort ratings for me personally and the way I use them. An elite 4 is what I use in the winter in the south of the UK and never been cold yet :)

What are there ratings ! Comfort is usually +5 of the limit rating, limit is usually the rating where you wilk not experience ill effects, comfort is the nice rating, where you will be comfy. If you where the limit at home you would be unhappy. Extreme and you want to assume the foetal position to survive (women add 2 degrees to this ? I would have thought with there higher blubber rating they would have taken 2 away from the rating alot like whales walrusses etc:whistling:)
 

Dogoak

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 24, 2009
2,164
177
Cairngorms
There's a lot of variables when it comes to sleeping bags. What kind of temperatures and climate will it be used in? Age of user, their fitness and metabolism, will it be used alone or layered with another bag, will insulative clothing worn in conjunction with the bag or not, construction, size and shape, insulation type.
I'm guessing you know the pros and cons of down and synthetic insulation.

Once you've sorted out your requirements my advice is to invest in the very best bag you can afford and look after it, well worth it in the long run.
 
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lancs lad

Member
Feb 4, 2014
45
2
lancaster
It will be used for English winters in a hammock in addition to a snugpak underquilt. I've not done a winter camp before so not sure exactly what I'll be faced with worst I've camped in is maybe 5 degrees Celsius in my merlin 3 and I was cold lol
 

clydeman

Member
Aug 9, 2017
21
11
Glasgow
If your on a tight budget the british army artic sleeping bag is both affordable and warm,but it is bulky..i combine this with my british army softie jacket and trousers when its getting very cold and never had a problem ,although if I could afford a more modern hic tec sleeping bag I would have one....;):)
 
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Old Bones

Settler
Oct 14, 2009
745
69
East Anglia
Have a look at Alpkit - they are the benchmark for decent quality down bags (much more efficient for weight/bulk than synthetic) in price terms, and they've just had new deliveries.

However, Black Friday is coming up (I work part time in retail, and I hate it), but there will probably be deals out there, so do some homework on what you want (minus 12 temp rating sounds about right), and then look. Rab, Mountain Equipment, Mountain Hardwear (for synthetics), are all widely available, plus Robens, Montane, Jack Wolfskin, Mammut and even the occasional TNF are all around. Buy the best you reasonably can - its worth every penny, and its worth going into Go Outdoors or Cotswolds just to see if Rab, ME or MH has the right fit for you.

Go Outdoors, Cotswolds, Trekkit (I got my ME Lightline from them, so trustworthy), Gaynors and Blacks will all have deals, although whether they will have what you want is another matter! And dont ignore things like closing down sales - I got my ME bag half price from my local Blacks when it closed, which saved me £140.

As for Snugpak, I've owned one for years, and yes, knock 5 degrees off that temp rating. I'm not buying one again, if only because there is so much competition out there.
 

lancs lad

Member
Feb 4, 2014
45
2
lancaster
I went to go outdoors in deepdale last friday and it's not go outdoors anymore I was not impressed it's still a camping shop but it's not as good, I was most disappointed lol
 
Jul 30, 2012
3,571
224
westmidlands
Down takes a hit in the damp, it looses loft and thus insulation. I have not tried this hydrophobic down yet, as I havnt found the need to

Bottom line in mypinion regards down (hydrophobic not included) if you pack it away every morning and get it out every night, like I do, either prepare to dry it during the day, or go synthetic, down rots, and absorbs moisture. You can ruin a down bag in a matter of weeks. If you are leaving it out, the down will loose loft due to damp, but will be ok and will be warmer than synthetic for the weight. Lightweight bivvys ie sleeping bag covers are good at wind proofing them, a light weight bivvy can add a lot of degrees to a bag.

If you are using a bottom quitlt use a top quilt, saves a lot of weight.
 
Apr 7, 2016
477
101
suffolk
If your on a tight budget the british army artic sleeping bag is both affordable and warm,but it is bulky..i combine this with my british army softie jacket and trousers when its getting very cold and never had a problem ,although if I could afford a more modern hic tec sleeping bag I would have one....;):)
£40 very well spent..... warm and works well.
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
5,469
1,944
W.Sussex
Like I said I have the snugpak underquilt do you think the snugpak top quilt would do for English winter?

I don't. It seemed like an ideal solution for me as I have an EasyHammocks Hiker with built in UQ, but reading as much as I could about them put me off. To be honest, in winter, it's better to overdo it than hope something will be warm enough. If the wind gets up a bit in the night for instance, it can be really miserable. I wouldn't want to be tucking in air gaps all night, I'd prefer to tighten my baffle and hood in a decent bag.
 

Inky

Full Member
Nov 4, 2012
172
7
Cambridge
I use a Carinthia Defence 4 in a hammock when it's cold. Great sleeping bag and has a central zip, which I much prefer in all senarios but especially in a hammock.
 

Old Bones

Settler
Oct 14, 2009
745
69
East Anglia
Synthetic bags are heavier and more bulky than down bags - but they are cheaper and a bit less susceptible to damp, which is why the Army use them - soldiers are fit, and used to carrying large loads, and by the time they need to be replaced because they've lost their loft, they will have been replaced anyway. But your not in the army.

The Carintha 4 is rated down to minus 15, so its certainly a winter bag. But it weighs 1.85kg.

You wont find that many synthetic bags much on a site like Outdoor Magic or UkClimbing, or if your looking over the pond, Trailspace or OutdoorGrearLab, at least not much above entry ranges, unless they are MH. Hydrophobic down and DWR coatings have made them much better in coping with damp, and they are still much more efficient than synthetics in terms of weight/warmth, and last much longer. And although still more expensive, in real terms they've become much more affordable.

You'll find people on the net who promise doom if you buy a down bag, who you start to wonder perhaps bought their synthetic bag and wish to justify their purchase because they were told there would be doom if they bought a down bag, and so on....
 

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