More camping equipment: sleeping bags

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Nothing like visiting REI and getting gear lust all over again by Outdoor Gear Lab:

  • Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 15 is the best synthetic speeding bag tjat is great for colder temperatures and soaking wet conditions. We just got this bag and it is heavy, but obviously warm.
  • Feathered Friend Hummingbird 20. If you don’t live in the wet, down is still the best for comfort and weight. $449
  • Feathered Friends Pengiun 20. $439, the most comfortable bag they’ve every tested. Not a mummy bag.

For ultra-light geeks:

  • Enlightend Equipment Prodigy. It is the lightest synthetic bag they have ever tested which is pretty incredible. This is a $215 ultralight sleeping bag that is custom made bag which is pretty cool The 15 degree version is 31.7 ounces (under a kilo!). It is rated at 15 degrees, but for heavier duty get the Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina. (see above).
  • Katabatic Gear Palisade. $390 for the best  ultralight sleeping bag in the world from a specialty vendor in Colorado. It is 18.8 ounces and is good to around freezing. It is a quilt so doesn’t have zippers. A quilt is a fitted duvet that wrap saround your body leaving the zipper, hood and the underside insulation off since the sleeping pad really provides the bottom insulation and it straps into the actually pad. Like all these ultralights, it doesn’t have a zipper, but at least there is an opening at the top for you.
  • ZPacks 20 Degree. $345. The best warmth to weight ratio includes hydrophobic down and a waterproof dry bag and gets down to 17 ounces by getting rid of a hood, draft tube and big zipper. Wow. 
  • Feathered Friends Vireo. 900 fill down and 16 ounces! The trick is variable fill, so it is 25 degrees at the feet but 45 degrees at the upper body, so you wear your down jacket when you slepp. There isn’t a zipper at all, so temperature control isn’t easy. A little hard core as you might say.
  • Enlightend Equipment Revelation. $260. Hand made in Minnesota. Weighs 19 oucnces in 850 fil down. It isn’t as warm as a quilt. but it’s not expensive (relatively!)

Here is what folks are saying about quilts vs. sleeping bags:

At first blush, the quilt might appear to be a niche tool with limited range. But it’s exactly its simplicity that contributes to its wide versatility. In summer, I’ll make do with just my clothes worn and a 30F quilt; if I get too hot, it’s easy to vent. In the shoulder seasons, I’ll cinch the quilt down to the pad and extend its comfort range with a hat or balaclava—roughly 6 percent of our body heat is lost through the head! Come winter, I’ll always bring an extra full-length pad and integrate my parka, insulated pants and booties into my sleep system. So with one 18-ounce, 30F quilt, I’m covered between 15-50F. Gear Review: Meet the Quilt, a Lighweight Sleeping Bag Alternative – Beyond the Edge

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