Sleeping bags

06 Mar 2018 19:28 #72935 by Jim
Replied by Jim on topic Sleeping bags
Hi Guys

I would like to do a 3 day June/July hike up Champagne castle via Grays pass. Base camp at Keiths Bush Camp.
Ive got a Rab Atlas duck down sleeping bag with a comfort rating of 0 and a limit of -6. If I were to purchase the Sea to Summit Reactor Thermalite Extreme Liner which is suppose to add up to 14 degrees warmth, would that be enough to keep me warm?
www.mountainmailorder.co.za/sea-to-summit-reactor-thermalite-extreme-liner-166363.html?cat=24003


Thanks

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07 Mar 2018 10:15 #72939 by AdrianT
Replied by AdrianT on topic Sleeping bags
I reckon it would. Thanks for the link, I've not seen anything like that. Maybe I should get out from under my rock.

The size seems really small for a 400 gram weight. More info here I see. And good reviews.

www.rei.com/product/797114/sea-to-summit-thermolite-reactor-extreme-mummy-bag-liner
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07 Mar 2018 21:39 - 07 Mar 2018 21:39 #72943 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic Sleeping bags

Jim wrote: Hi Guys

I would like to do a 3 day June/July hike up Champagne castle via Grays pass. Base camp at Keiths Bush Camp.
Ive got a Rab Atlas duck down sleeping bag with a comfort rating of 0 and a limit of -6. If I were to purchase the Sea to Summit Reactor Thermalite Extreme Liner which is suppose to add up to 14 degrees warmth, would that be enough to keep me warm?
www.mountainmailorder.co.za/sea-to-summit-reactor-thermalite-extreme-liner-166363.html?cat=24003


Thanks


Hey Jim, welcome to the forum, the best 'Berg resource there is!

I always use a sleeping bag liner, mainly to try o keep the bag cleaner.. I have a few, but I use a lightweight ripstop one i summer, which adds liitle warmth if any, and the the one you name above in cooler conditions. I am sure it does add some warmth, but very sceptical about 14 degrees. maybe 5, or even less..

Anyway, to answer your question, you should be fine at Keith Bush Camp with what you are suggesting, especially if you are in a tent with someone else, unless there is an extreme cold front forecast. You will no doubt have base layer and extra clothes which will help..
Last edit: 07 Mar 2018 21:39 by Papa Dragon.
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07 Mar 2018 22:36 #72944 by swordfish
Replied by swordfish on topic Sleeping bags
Do you feel warmer if you sleep naked in the sleeping bag or wearing thermals inside?

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09 Mar 2018 08:27 #72959 by AdrianT
Replied by AdrianT on topic Sleeping bags
I sleep in boxers and gentle (not the normal pairs I would wear post a long run) compression socks. Before I would never sleep with socks at all. And always with a sleeping bag liner but it's super thin and light. I would imagine it adds about a degree, maybe 2, of warmth.

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12 Mar 2018 15:10 #72967 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Sleeping bags
Sleeping warm or cold is a bit subjective, but here are a couple of things to consider:
- A bag liner will definitely add warmth, no ways it will add 14 degrees, at best 3 or 4 degrees.
- Sleeping in a tent generally adds about 2 degrees
- Having another person in a tent adds roughly another 3 degrees (ok, so now we are up to an additional 8 degrrees :-))
- What you eat before you go to bed has quite a large impact as well - eating a nice salad will do nothing for sleeping warm, eating some carbs or fats will keep your metabolism running for longer ensuring a warmer night
- How you pitch your tent (in or out of the wind, behind shelter etc.) has an impact on nighttime temps
- Tight fitting longs sleeve top and pants generally adds some further warmth
- Beany, neckscarf, balaclava helps a lot if it is windy outside.

Generally the lower berg is warmer than on the escarpment, however, I've spent some really cold nights at 2200m ASL when I didn't take the appropriate gear for the conditions.

There you go, that about covers the main things :-)

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30 Apr 2018 10:20 #73327 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Sleeping bags
So I have always been very positive about Mountain Hardwear Sleeping Bags, probably to the extent that some people may have wondered if I get free gear from them (which I don't, by the way).

Anyway - on Thursday night, we ended up doing a bivy in the open (story of the first time I have started a GT and not finished it to follow soon). Despite quite a strong wind, somehow we had dew (can someone explain this to me - I remember learning in geography that dew doesn't fall if there is wind).

My pack looked like this the next morning:

Anyway - we were both using MHW water resistant sleeping bags, and both were covered in enough water that we actually used our towels to pick some of it up. However not one drop of water got through, the sleeping bags were still very warm and after being left in the sun for 30 minutes the next day, they were bone dry again.

Very impressed with the quality of the gear these guys produce.

"The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't." Douglas Adams

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04 May 2018 16:56 - 04 May 2018 17:44 #73383 by Colan
Replied by Colan on topic Sleeping bags
Hi all

So I’m looking for some advice on sleeping bags (duh). Specifically, I would like to throw my stuff in my pack and head off to the escarpment at the first sign of snow this winter ;)

I am new to tent hiking and the upper ‘berg, so I have no previous experience to go on as to what could be considered adequate for sleeping bags in winter conditions. This is in terms of ratings and weight, as I would like to reach the best trade-off between the two. I have already decided I will go for down, I’m a small guy and so lugging around huge pack weights just isn’t an option.

In terms of how hot I sleep, not very. In a tent with one other person, sleeping at Tugela Falls (escarpment) this last weekend I could feel the cold, not enough to interrupt sleep, but I wasn’t toasty. It must have been down to about 5 degrees, perhaps lower. I unfortunately don’t have a thermometer yet. The sleep system on this occasion was as follows:
• Long sleeve merino wool vest
• 2 light fleece layers
• Thermal long johns
• Thermal socks
• 2 foam pads (one about 8mm thick, the other a cheap knock-off of the Therm-A-Rest Z-Lite Solite with aluminium layer on one side).
• Sleeping bag: K-way Meribel 1550 (synthetic Primaloft, rated to -3 comfort and -8 extreme). Who knows how old and how it’s been treated – picked it up off a (non-hiker) friend who moved to Ireland a few months back for free.

My envisaged future sleep system will consist of the following:
• Thermal vest
• Thermal long johns
• Thermal socks
• Beanie
• Anything else that I have to throw on to keep warm (although this is what I would like to avoid).
• Space blanket as ground sheet
• The Z-lite knock-off combined with torso length inflatable mattress
• The new down sleeping bag + liner (to keep the bag clean, doesn’t seem to be much belief in them doing much for warmth)

Now given that I don’t have a huge disposable income (so can’t afford a $500 sleeping bag) and am prone to trawling the internet for weeks for the best buy of anything, I stumbled across a Chinese brand called Aegismax.

Chinese companies (or at least some of them) seem to have stepped up their game in recent years, and this is reflected by their gear increasingly being recommended by through hikers in the USA and Europe as worthy alternatives to the bigger name (read expensive) brands. Tent makes such as Naturehike and 3f UL gear have been well-received, while Aegismax is making a name for itself in sleeping bags.

So, after all that rambling, here is a quick breakdown of the specs for those not inclined to go on an internet excursion or convert from the archaic Fahrenheit scale, with links to the respective pages (prices do not include import tax but if Amazon is correct it would be somewhere around R700. I have not included Aliexpress links as they are long and cumbersome, but there is a lot more information on those pages as compared to the Aegismax site):

M3:
Down FP: 800
Down to feather: Not listed
Comfortable/Lower/Extreme: 0/-5/-22
Weight: 960 g
Price: $178/$187, depending on seller, with shipping via DHL (about R2250/R2350)
www.aegismax.com/index.php/product/aegis-m3/

G2
Down FP: 800
Down to feather: 95/5
Comfortable/Lower/Extreme: -2/-8/-26
Weight: 1006 g
Price: $220 with shipping via TNT (about R2770)
www.aegismax.com/index.php/product/aegis-g2/

G3
Down FP: 800
Down to feather: 95/5
Comfortable/Lower/Extreme: -8/-15/-35
Weight: 1294 g
Price: $270 with shipping via TNT (about R3400)
www.aegismax.com/index.php/product/aegis-g3/

G4
Down FP: 800
Down to feather: 95/5
Comfortable/Lower/Extreme: -12/-20/-41
Weight: 1578 g
Price: $334 with shipping via TNT (about R4200)
www.aegismax.com/index.php/product/aegis-g4/

So, now for the actual questions:
1) Are these prices actually good prices?
2) Which of these would you recommend for my purposes in terms of temperature ratings (winter on the escarpment, relatively cold sleeper)?
3) Are these weights on par with what you would find in similar, more expensive down bags?
4) Are there any other alternatives (both available in SA and not) of a similar price and weight range that you could recommend? I found a number of reasonable ones on Amazon, only to be greeted by ‘this item does not ship to Johannesburg, South Africa’.

I am looking to bring one in, test the hell out of it and if it passes, perhaps import a few more to do a little proof of concept with some of the more experienced members of the high ‘berg club. Ultimately I’d like to import some for sale here, hopefully allowing a budget alternative/competition to our own South African brands (whose products are mainly manufactured in China anyway, so no issues with patriotism here). But that’s a pipe dream. Right now I’d just like to survive a Drakensberg winter.

Thanks!
Last edit: 04 May 2018 17:44 by Colan.

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28 Oct 2019 19:55 #75409 by Artem
Replied by Artem on topic Sleeping bags
Hi all

I plan to do the hike in Drakensberg  in the middle of January.
Am I right that minimum temperatures being in the region in Jan is about 6-7°C ?

I plan to use 
Therm-A-Rest Space Cowboy™ 45F/7C Sleeping Bag  (comfort limit +7C )
with pad
Therm-A-Rest Z-Lite SOL Regular 
My weight is about 90kg and I'm not “hot sleeper".

Is this OK or it's better to get something warmer ?
By example 
The North Face Guide 20 with comfort rating -7C 

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29 Oct 2019 09:23 #75411 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Sleeping bags
Hi Artem, welcome on VE.

The typical summer temperatures might even be warmer than that which you've mentioned.
The problem with mountains in general though, is that they make their own weather. What this boils down to, is that you could have any kind of weather any time of the year. In fact, there is no difference between my summer and winter gear. Cathedral peak hotel have recorded white Christmases in the past.

Last year January a couple of us did a 4 day hike in the Mnweni and Cathedral Peak area. On the Friday, we hit 39 degrees with high humidity on the approach to Ifidi pass. Two days later, I was shivering in Easter cave from the cold. It was rainy, wet and the wind was pumping. Even though I had my down jacket on and wore my windproof outer layer over the jacket, it was very cold and I was happy to be able to climb into a warm sleeping bag.

My advise to you would be to rather go for a warmer sleeping bag. You can always zip it open if it gets too hot, or even lie under it, but if you are not properly insulated then you will be in for a long and rather unpleasant night.

Alternatively, you can do what I did this past weekend. I normally take my TNF Blue Kazoo -8 Deg down bag, but decided to rather take my FA Featherlite down +5 deg sleeping bag for our Mnweni hike. This area is normally not cold, and the weather forecast also indicated warm weather for the whole weekend. However, I always pack my down jacket (-25 Deg rated) on any hike. In the Blue kazoo I use my jacket as a pillow at night, but sleeping in Ledges cave on Saturday evening I climbed into the bag wearing the down jacket. My upper body was therefore fine, even though my legs got a bit cold towards the early morning hours. I also slept in my bivvy bag, which blocked all the wind, which made a big difference.

So yes, you can take a not so warm sleeping bag to the berg, but it is risky and you have to manage it carefully. It is generally a better idea to simply get a sleeping bag as light and warm as possible. I would definitely recommend that any bag to be used in the Berg needs to be able to handle at least -5 deg C. This is a fairly safe average. Yes, it gets colder than this during winter (coldest I've had was -14 Deg C at Giants Castle in the snow), but for the majority of summer hiking -5 Deg C should be sufficient.

Enjoy!!!

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