Sleeping Bags

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 21:37
ThreadID: 56713 Views:3415 Replies:14 FollowUps:1
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I am looking at buying new sleeping bags for our trip to the Warrumbungles next week which I am told could be cold, (although the Coonabarabran forecasts have minimums of approx 2C). Not getting much help from the stores though.

What the stores can't tell me is wether I am better buying zero (or less) bags, or whether these will then be too hot in summer.

OR whether it is best to buy say 3 -5c bags and just use extra bedding in autumn/spring.

Would welcome any comments from those with experience.
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Reply By: Beemer - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 21:52

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 21:52

Don't worry to much about the minus rating, it's the amount of loft that is important. I researched replacement bags last year and ended up buying the ONE PLANET Brand
They are actually made in Melbourne are are excellent. I also bought a slightly larger one for myself and as my wife sleeps warmer than I do so her's is a little less loft.
Check out their website. The beauty of this company is that their product is up with the best of them, you can also have repairs done or even fine tune you bag for extra warmth.
We use ou rbags in the high country and the outback.
AnswerID: 298941

Reply By: Member - Kim M (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:10

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:10
Buy the best Down bag you can afford. It'll last a life time with due care. After years of climbing I can assure you there is no substitution for Super Down.

Super Down is classified as 90% Down, rather than feather.

From what I've seen in the camping shops, the sleeping bags are just cheap Chinese synthetic crap.


AnswerID: 298942

Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 23:47

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 23:47
The only problem with down is if it gets wet, then synthetic is much better.
FollowupID: 565138

Reply By: Member - Stuart W (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:27

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:27
I've always bought a zero or lower bag which opens out to be like a quilt for summer use. Just zip it up in winter.

AnswerID: 298946

Reply By: mfewster - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:27

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:27
I'd think about where you are likely to be using the bags and how you are going to get there. Not just for this trip but where you think you might be going in the future.
If yiu are likely to be bushwalking in cold weather, you need superdown. Nothing else gives so much warmth for so little weight and packs up so small (and also costs so much!!)
If you reckon your trips are all going to be in a vehicle, then weight/packing space is not so critical.
A too hot bag is nearly as much a problem as a too cold bag. I wouldn't get a close fitting mummy bag (unless bushwalking). They are great for max warmth with minimum bulk, but why bother if you are carrying it all in a vehicle. Give yourself some elbow room.
Synthetic bags are much easier to wash and also stay warm even if wet (which down bags don't)
Will you be in tents or swags ?
In the 4Wd we carry two cheapish medium weight synthetic quilts (queen size) and use one for moderate nights and two if the night looks really cold. Quits are useful because if it gets too hot you just push them aside without having to mess around with unzipping etc. A couple of quilts is also more flexible if one person sleeps hotter than the other. No need to muck around stuffing them into bags, just fold into a box are squish them in around other gear to wedge stuff into the back of the 4wd and avoid rattles.
For bushwalking, we use superdown bags with silk innerbags.
AnswerID: 298947

Reply By: guzzi - Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 06:37

Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 06:37
Lots of good answers above.
Over the years Ive found 1 bag doesnt really do it all if you are camping during all times of the year.
I have a Torre Mountaincraft down bag for winter (-10) and its been used in those temps. And Ive also bought a summer weight polyester bag for the more moderate trips I do up here in sunny QLD in summer.
The down bag was bloody expensive,( but I value my sleep and it got to -12C) and the summer one was just under $100.
Funnily enough they both pack down to the same size.
The comment on down getting wet is true, if your in extreme cold and everything is wet a poly bag would be more suitable, I have crawled out of my wet foxhole, wringing wet and crawled into a polyester bag boots and all and slept as well as I could have hoped and woke up relatively dry as well. Sane people and people not in the armed forces usually dont go that far.
Buy a summer weight bag and a winter bag, poly or down is up to you.
AnswerID: 298967

Reply By: Member - Reiner G (QLD) 4124 - Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 07:51

Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 07:51
I used to work as a and we slept in swags/ in all sort of. I had a real good down bag and two inner liners made from flannelette and my swag. Depending on I used both liners or in hot places no liners. This system worked very well.
Don't buy a cheap sleeping bag.
AnswerID: 298975

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 08:03

Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 08:03
Some good replies above.
We were in the Warrumbungles last August and had a frost.
Most nights were in the 5 to 10 range. depends when the fronts come through.
From there we went further west and had some warmish nights of about 10 to 15 deg.
So we travel with a polyester double sleeping bag (about 0 rating) that we can zip and cuddle up or just use as a quilt.
Since we travel by car and live out of the back of the car, we also take a light doona. It can be added to the top if really cold, or if only mildly cool to warm, we just use the doona and not the sleeping bag..
We have two double sheets that are sewn together across the bottom and half way up the sides. We use this as a liner to the bags if we want, or just use as a sleeping bag with the doona on top, or just by itself on the warm nights in summer.
So those three options cover us from about -10 to +20.

PS - my better half always sleeps warmer than I do in warm weather, while I never get cold feet in cold weather, and she does. My back or a hot water bottle helps with the cold feet. So variation in arrangements helps. :o)
AnswerID: 298979

Reply By: Member - Fred G (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 14:22

Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 14:22
Hello Charlgrave...we have a property just out of Coonabarabran and just want to let you know that nights can get very cold there with very heavy frosts which can start well before winter starts, and not unusual to wake up up to a huge frost with ground temp around -6' or -7'. Go prepared with warm clothes and bedding. Temps will drop very quickly once the sun goes down. I will be up there Anzac weekend at our bush camp seen in my profile.
We have the luxury of a huge campfire...and use good doonas in the on site vans.
Enjoy a wonderful part of NSW mate...just beautiful.

Cheers from Fred.
AnswerID: 299016

Reply By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 15:29

Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 15:29
A lot depends on where you are going to sleep, in a tent, out side, in a swag, what mattress are you using and what do you sleep in etc. etc.

When we are away in the Trak Shak camper trailer we have good quality woolen quilts and foam mattresses with woolen underlay.

If we take the swags we use Coleman Pilbra sleeping bags, Thermarest self inflating mattresses and wool blankets (old army style).

We always take out thermal underwear when ever we go away just in case.

Regards Richard

AnswerID: 299028

Reply By: smifffy - Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 15:51

Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 15:51

I have only ever used ROMAN sleeping bags.

I had a -10 but found it to be to hot in summer!
I bought a -2 and found it to be fantastic for occasions.

Love them, can't praise them enough.

AnswerID: 299030

Reply By: Ballfyboy - Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 20:02

Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 20:02
everybody above is giving good advise. You really need at least 2 bags in Aus. If you choose to sleep on a standard air mattress you will be cold no matter what as the cold just passes straight through the unrestricted air and your sleeping bag will be compressed under you giving no insulation benefit. If you can afford it and you feel the cold always go down. IMO if your bags gets totally soaked, it will be the least of your worries;-) Most reputable brands are good and it really is horses for courses. I use a high end Fairydown bag for temps between -40 & -10c, A Mountain Designs Standart (over 16years old still going very strong) for Ozzy above snow line stuff. and I/we (wife) use Mont ultra light (synthetic) for the camper trailer. We purchased 2 so we use them zipped open but zipped together to give a big blanket which is fine to about 10c and then we zip them apart and use them as sleeping bags down to about 5c. My wife reaches for her down bag after that but I sleep warmer and am quite happy down to approx -5.
Sorry if my answer is long winded,
AnswerID: 299069

Reply By: cito - Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 21:34

Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 21:34

Good advice been given by all the previous. If, however, you are unable to spend $150 plus for a medium quality down bag, consider a -5 degree bag either down or poly and if you find that has not done the job properly for this trip spend an extra $20 on a silk or fleece liner which will boost the lower range rating by one level. That way in the warmer weather you can just remove the liner. Liners help to keep your bag clean also.
I had 20+ years in Police rescue and found the liners the way to go as I sleep very warm. The bride and I have just bought -5 rated Roman Palm bags for travelling in the camper trailer and have found them very capable for non down bags.
Good luck because it is confusing.
AnswerID: 299086

Reply By: Member - Bucky (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 19, 2008 at 04:19

Saturday, Apr 19, 2008 at 04:19
Get yourself a -10 rating sleeping bag,,,with an full zip, then on a warm night you can unzip it and use it as a doona.
We can join 2 singles, ( of the same brand and ratings ) and make a double, thats nice and cosey..

Better having a bit up your sleeve, and being warmer, than freezing

Even then,,, in a swag, in the middle of the Simpson Desert, I had to use a throw over ( my legs )
Gets cold out there .

AnswerID: 299259

Reply By: BarryMcKenzie - Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 15:46

Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 15:46
I like Smiffy a few posts back use a ROMAN sleeping bag which i have owned for around 10 years. Mine is an Everest Cap 1 which i think is rated to about -8 and is a 'mummy' type but i used to do a lot of bushwalking.
This bag has served me well, its always stored hanging up out of its compact bag and is still 'lofty' and keeps me very warm when all zipped up, or in warmer weather i unzip it and either in my swag or in tent it is not hot.
Could not recommend roman highly enough, aussie made from memory as well....
AnswerID: 299442

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