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Thread: Sleeping Bag Temperature

  1. #1

    Sleeping Bag Temperature

    Hello everyone,

    I am looking to invest in a high quality down sleeping quilt but I am uncertain about what temperature to settle for. The options I have been considering are 4c or - 1c (comfort) with 1oz to 2oz over stuff options available in the body and/or footbox of the bag. The sleeping pad I have is rated 3.3 and I will have a down jacket (though I prefer to use that as an emergency only rather than an every night thing), sleeping top, trousers, dedicated socks, gloves and a beanie or buff. I am looking for 3 season use so roughly May to September. I will be camping in various locations of the UK either at sea level or a bit more into the hills after falling in love with places like the Lake District and Wales. I have goals to do Offas Dyke and the Coast to Coast path at some point. I will have a double walled tent. I consider myself a cold sleeper and I am female.

    I'd appreciate some advice or personal experiences.

    Thanks very much.

  2. #2
    Mini Goon
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    57
    Hello!
    Firstly, take the temperature figures with a decent pinch of salt, especially as you say you sleep cold. Even with camping May to September you could get temps in the low single figures or even minus, depending on our inconsistent weather. Planning and keeping tabs on weather in advance helps of course.

    Also some suppliers state different "comfort" ratings for a man and a woman. I wouldn't particularly want to take my sleeping gear down to the "comfort" temperature TBH! Comfort ratings are very optimistic and with a person clothed also.
    My OH sleeps cold and her sleeping bag is rated to -7C, she has been a bit chilly in temps of 6C. My sleeping bag is rated comfort +1C and I am warmer than her.
    I suppose manufacture quality and design play a part.

    My new down quilt is rated down to extreme -15C but realistically I just hope it has a "real world" comfort rating of around -3C or so.
    I've recently just had a chance to use it for 1 night where temps were around 6-7C and I was as warm as toast. If I was too warm I would just pull some of the cover off and in the end unzipped the foot box so that it was a full shaped quilt blanket.
    I will camp any time of year as I can go last minute if the temperatures aren't too low (I tested out the quilt this December.)
    This quilt I hope will be fine for warmer weather also as I can just have it loose like I would with my duvet at home in the summer and at 900g is fine for my rucksack.

    Cumulus quilts (EU), Enlightened Equipment (US) and UK Hammocks are the ones I looked in to.

    IMO, what ever the lowest temperature is you plan to camp in, get a quilt "comfort rating" of at least a few degrees lower.

  3. #3
    Mini Goon
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    99
    With a quilt in Spring/Autumn, I’d look for an R-value much better than 3.3 from my pad.

    At these seasons I use a UL downmat7 with a custom (synthetic) As Tucas “blanket” (a flexible-design quilt) using Climashield 200 - this is effective down to around 0C.

    In Summer I tend to use the same pad with a PH Design ultralight down quilt.

    From experience I strongly advise getting a wide quilt - even if you’re thin, 1.4m width helps get a good seal against the pad/tent-floor. My custom As Tucas is 1.6m wide. Worth every penny.

  4. #4
    Mini Goon
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    111
    In my experience you risk being a bit chilly at the start and end of the seasons with a 4c bag. However you may well be too warm in the summer with the other one. For me, no single bag can do it, so I have a couple.

    EUbrated Comfort temps already take into account you wearing thermals and a hat so don't think they will extend the seasons.

  5. #5
    Thanks for your thoughts everyone,

    I will likely go for the -1 bag now in light of everyone's helpful input and get a wider one so I can minimise gaps and hence drafts easily. I would rather be too warm than too cold and if push comes to shove I can kick off the quilt entirely and just lay some clothing on me to act as a slight buffer if it gets too hot.

    Shoar - I think you are right about the pad which means it's back to the drawing board for that! I've found pad hunting a nightmare when you're trying to avoid Thermarest (the noise drives me batty) but also performance issues around baffles popping or the pad delaminating. Ugh.

  6. #6
    Mini Goon
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    118
    Try a thin foam pad under your existing pad. The bag will depend on the manufacturer. But if it can be customised with an overfill then it should be a decent make. It would be worth giving them a call and asking what they think the comfort rating for a woman will be. The other option is to get a women specific fit (if the shape suits you) as there should be less space so the bag will work better. I know that PHD ratings are pretty spot on for me but my wife would be cold.

  7. #7
    Mini Goon
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    99
    I haven’t yet had an UL Downmat fail - have bought two. The warranty is just two years on these. They’re now “Winterlite” UL models with a single-valve design.

    If you can *almost* stand the therm-a-rest crinkling lullaby, can recommend the cheapo “R 5.0” JR Gear 9cm thick insulated mat - I bought mine off AliExpress . . . . very comfortable; but not as warm as the rating implies.

    You’ll need some form of schnozzle bag or other inflator for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by CragKitten View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts everyone,

    I will likely go for the -1 bag now in light of everyone's helpful input and get a wider one so I can minimise gaps and hence drafts easily. I would rather be too warm than too cold and if push comes to shove I can kick off the quilt entirely and just lay some clothing on me to act as a slight buffer if it gets too hot.

    Shoar - I think you are right about the pad which means it's back to the drawing board for that! I've found pad hunting a nightmare when you're trying to avoid Thermarest (the noise drives me batty) but also performance issues around baffles popping or the pad delaminating. Ugh.
    Last edited by shoarthing; 03-01-2018 at 12:40 AM.

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