buying Sleeping bags. Any suggestions.

Submitted: Monday, May 11, 2009 at 11:58
ThreadID: 68716 Views:5769 Replies:12 FollowUps:2
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We live in a town with not many shops so I am doing my research on the internet. Just wondering what people have bought for adults and children. We are going to the Simpson and Hay river in June. Brands? Ours are getting older and did not cut it in the Vic high country last easter! Of course I would like it to be as warm as possible and as small as possible ...... Am I really looking at hundreds of $$$ for one bag or am I missing something?
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Reply By: Vince NSW - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 12:54

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 12:54
Hi Again Carlin
Unfortunately you do have to spend to get a sleeping bag that will keep you warm and last. My Dad made the investment in a down bag fo me when I was 13 and I have just retired it for good. (now 59 years old) Having said the above, some of the better "hollow fill" bags can be go for a reasonable no of $. other way to ensure you stay warm is to get bags that can be zipped together to form a double. I works a treat, and if the kids drop of early enough, who knows.
AnswerID: 364286

Reply By: Farko - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 13:14

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 13:14
Beware of temperature ratings. There is no standard. Each company can use there own rating. Some can rate them as bag alone, some with a liner, some with a blanket! Really helpful.
We bought Snowgum bags some years ago - kids said that they were cold, linings ripped easily. Replaced with Mountain Hardware - more robust, warmer. The Snowgum ones get used for indoor sleepovers now. Does not matter much for them what the bags are now because they use swags.
AnswerID: 364291

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 14:22

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 14:22
Hi Carlin
Firstly, if you have not ventured in to the Simpson and the Hay River area, you are going to have a ball and will make this a return area to visit again.

The Temperatures in June can be all over the place, but like all good Boy Scouts, you must "Be Prepared". Day time temperatures will be perfect, high twenties and if you are lucky, very low thirties. The most important question that you have asked, is the very most no 1 important question - keeping warm while steeping. If you have any type of cloud cover, the nights will be mild and not an issue. If on the other hand you have no cloud cover, then be in for a shock with very cold nights.

Steer clear from the cheaper supermarket type sleeping bags - go to a good camping or outdoor store and get a good quality bag that will last for years and most importantly, keep you warm at night. There is nothing more than a joke when we have been away, and some people bragging how cheap they paid for there cheap bags, only to see them in bed fully dressed, space blanket and still shivering to keep warm.

We purchased Puradown Australian made -6 Degree Rating bags and in the coldest of nights, I only sleep with my jocks on and am as warm as toast, and have never been cold yet. The sleeping bags are placed inside a double swag, and there has been countless times when we have woken to see our swag white with frost.

A good bag is not going to break the bank, but remember the most important thing - a good bag for the right job is worth a million dollars in the desert if you are shivering in bed and cold.

Have a great trip and enjoy the mighty Simpson.


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AnswerID: 364297

Reply By: wild dog - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 14:24

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 14:24
Very interested in the replies you get Carlin.
We're going to travel through Tasmania in summer and have been told we'll need sleeping bags. Is that right?

Easter in the High Country, how cold was that??
AnswerID: 364298

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 17:28

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 17:28
I was at pine Tier Lagoon which is at an atitude of only 600m and it was 4c one morning in Feb 07,
Cheers Pete
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Follow Up By: andoland - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 18:37

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 18:37
It's carlin's other half here.

The first couple of days in the high country it was 40 degrees. The last two nights, at Lovicks Hut and Craigs Hut, it was less than 1 degree.

You can have freezing weather any time of the year in Tassie. We lived in Hobart for a few years and it snowed on Christmas day one year. You will definitely need sleeping bags, particularly if you are down south or in the highlands. It is much milder on the north and east coasts.
FollowupID: 632028

Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 14:33

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 14:33
Have you seen what we have in the ExplorOz Shop?
Go to the Camping Equipment category - and you can browse by SLEEPING BAGS. We only sell one type, but they are top quality. See Sleeping Bags
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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AnswerID: 364302

Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 14:49

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 14:49
Carlin, You may like to carry long johns and a wool beanie - great on a cold night. I use two light sleeping bags, one to sleep in and the other for a doona and they both stuff down into a single carry sack.

AnswerID: 364305

Reply By: Tim - Stratford (VIC) - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 15:12

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 15:12

You do get what you pay for in my opinion with respect to sleeping bags.

Mine cost a small fortune, but I was lucky enough to be able to claim it on tax. It is 'self' rated at -10 to -20c. As others have stated there is no standard temp rating for bags. I've been in mine in the Vic High Country with water containers freezing and inside the cruiser at -5.5 (Thermometer) and had to strip down to the jocks.

Mine is a down bag from Mountain Designs - I have seen better bags for less than I paid at their clearance stores in capital cities - may well be worth a trip for the money you can save.

If getting a down bag make sure that the outer is water proofed - a wet down bag is worse than sleeping under a wet cotton sheet!

AnswerID: 364310

Reply By: Nargun51 - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 16:19

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 16:19
Buy the best down bag you can afford.

Ours are over 18 years old and have been stuffed in backpacks, car boots and used to wedge breakables in the camper for this time. They fit in stuff sacks smaller than a 2 litre milk container that can be packed in odd spaces in the boot and weigh less than a kilo. Every so often they get placed in the bath with down soap and used to practice wine crushing. Dried flat and the down de-clumped, they come up as new. Quality down bags can also be refilled or repaired at a reasonable cost

Most of the specialist camping retailers, Paddy Palin, Snowgum, Mountain Designs etc will have rating for each of their bags (2 season, 3 season etc) and will include a description of the proportion of down used in each one. That will give you an indication of what you are comparing against and what the usual usage of each is.

Ours are classified as 3 seasons (which cater for most non alpine coastal areas within Australia) but as other have mentioned, this classification is open to marketing hype. Compare the Down content used in each to get a better indication of use

Ours have been used up to the Arctic Circle (during August admittedly, but we did have to wait to 11 am for the frost to melt from the tent) and I find are too hot to use zipped up in a Melbourne winter.

Tapered mummy bags are generally warmer, but they are not as good to be opened up and used as a doona (useful during summer), and are difficult to join to others. A hood is useful if you are in really cold areas but can be suffocating and hard to get out of when you’re half asleep. Get water proof ones as down can take a couple of days to dry even in the sun. There are differences in how the compartments are constructed and the ease of moving the down around so as not to get too hot.

Visit the different retailer’s web sites to obtain more information.

The initial expense will be defrayed over the longer period of ownership when compared to Kmart specials.
AnswerID: 364320

Reply By: wigger - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 17:42

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 17:42
Number one rule when looking at sleeping bags where you want to be warm.----- Don't even consider anything that it stiched right through i.e. the inner and outer are together at a single point. This will produce a non insulated cold spot.
Quality ones might not be as cheap but a good bag is an investment. We have 2 x 30 year old NZ Fairy Down bags , one in rip stop nylon and the other in less desirable cambric (tears more easily.) They have been everywhere and are still fine slept in one at the Brass Monkey rally, winter, in snow, Central otago winter. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr but was still warm wearing thermals.
AnswerID: 364336

Reply By: Beemer - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 10:28

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 10:28

We brought sleeping bags that are made by One Planet in Melbourne. I spend quite a bit of time in the high coutry and these are perfect. My bag has also had the addtion of an extra amount of down put in as I feel the cold. The beauty of One Planet is thata repairs or addtional down can be put in. It's Australian and an quality product. They also make other items that I beleive are used by the antartic teams.

AnswerID: 364444

Reply By: Gossy - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 11:22

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 11:22
One Planet are very good but other brands are also. A good camping store will probably have sample bags of the different types of down. This is a wake up call on why the expensive ones are expensive. The cheap bags are a waste of money. Your expensive bags will have "600" down. I think only One Planet use this type. Other brands have their top bags using 'only' 500 down. You get what you pay for.

Cheap lines (silk etc) are very small and cheap and add about 5 degress to your bag also so worth packing for that extra cold night.

I have camped down south of Tassie and old the peaks in Tassie and in the deserts where you are going. Don't worry about the price as you will quickly forget about the $100 you saved if you are freezing cold in your tent.

Also, never store your bag in it's carry case. use a coat hanger and hang it up. If crushed up for long periods you will damage the down and it will lose it's effectiveness. They can be an expensive purchase so need to look after them.
AnswerID: 364455

Reply By: Tadooch - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 21:49

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 21:49
Google "Recon sleeping bags" Light, compact, durable...from -5 to - 20.
AnswerID: 364581

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