4 season sleeping bag

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robing
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4 season sleeping bag

Postby robing » 20 Oct 2018, 11:00am

I want to try some winter camping, so want a winter sleeping bag. Not fussed about weight as will be taking the car for these trips. I don't want to spend a fortune as I won't be using it a lot. I've already got a lightweight down 2/3 season sleeping bag for my bike trips. Any recommendations? Go Outdoors seem to have a couple of Vango and Oex ones that don't look too bad.

pwa
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby pwa » 20 Oct 2018, 12:15pm

You can also consider using a fleece liner with your existing bag.

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pjclinch
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby pjclinch » 20 Oct 2018, 1:10pm

robing wrote:I want to try some winter camping, so want a winter sleeping bag. Not fussed about weight as will be taking the car for these trips. I don't want to spend a fortune as I won't be using it a lot. I've already got a lightweight down 2/3 season sleeping bag for my bike trips. Any recommendations? Go Outdoors seem to have a couple of Vango and Oex ones that don't look too bad.


If weight/size are not issues and it's an experiment then synthetic makes a lot of sense. Temperature ratings these days are actually to something like a standard, so while you may be cold at X degrees in an X degree rated bag that's you and not the bag, and it would probably be the same in any other X degree rated bag, whatever the respective costs involved.

You may want to define your idea of "4 Season" and compare it carefully to the marketing blurb. For the Oex one at Go which is suggested to be 4 season it says, "designed to keep you warm in temperatures as low as -1ºC which will cover frosty mornings in remote areas. ", and that personally isn't my idea of a winter bag. It's not that you'd die if it got properly cold (and it might, I've had -7 at Easter in a valley in Scotland, far colder in winter down to the -20s and again this isn't at any sort of altitude) but being in a not-good-enough bag certainly isn't much fun. I'd look at -6 rather than -1 as a "comfort temperature" for winter camping, assuming you're not a cold sleeper.

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willem jongman
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby willem jongman » 20 Oct 2018, 2:14pm

A well insulated mattress will be at least as important. For an alternative sleeping bag solution you can also use your existing bag, plus a duvet brought from home.

robing
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby robing » 20 Oct 2018, 3:20pm

4 season is a bit of a misnomer as I what I want is a cold weather sleeping bag, and I don't see how that can also be suitable for warmer weather.
I have tried taking a duvet in addition to my existing sleeping bag but it's not ideal as my tent is fairly small and also condensation isn't great for a duvet. I have a good quality sleeping mat - a brand new Thermarest just replaced by them as the previous one was faulty!

I did pop in to Go Outdoors. They didn't have the OEX one but did have this Vango one. It looked pretty good and is rated for fairly cold temperatures, though I have found the Vango ratings a bit exaggerated in the past. (I rejected two Vango down bags as they weren't warm enough).

https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/vango-lati ... ag-p323320

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foxyrider
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby foxyrider » 20 Oct 2018, 4:23pm

Liner and a bivvy bag?
Convention? what's that then?
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nirakaro
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby nirakaro » 20 Oct 2018, 11:10pm

willem jongman wrote:A well insulated mattress will be at least as important. For an alternative sleeping bag solution you can also use your existing bag, plus a duvet brought from home.

+1. I've camped in the Lake District in January, warm as toast under two duvets brought from home.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 21 Oct 2018, 1:04am

Hi,
These Vango bags are normally sized just so!
So make sure that you can fit the bag with comfort, read the reviews albeit personal individual views.
I have several vango bags, if you are over 80 kgs and 183cm consider a mountain size bag.

Bolstering temp rating from the inside with extra layers is a Misnomer I.M.O.

Get a bag to do the job, keep clothing to a bare minimum in the bag.
A good mat, I prefer a solid foam type, chuck a fleece blanket over the top.
If your existing bag is down then watch for compression with a covering.
If you buy a bag and its not going to see much use.........it will last many years.

Buying expensive camping gear is like an expensive car.

Do it when you have plenty to spare, bags are so good today, the specs look somewhat space like but if it fits then you should be fine, bargain I would say.
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pjclinch
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby pjclinch » 21 Oct 2018, 8:51am

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Bolstering temp rating from the inside with extra layers is a Misnomer I.M.O.

Get a bag to do the job, keep clothing to a bare minimum in the bag.


If you put so much on it actually compresses the insulation then it's an own goal, but you have to try pretty hard with multiple bulky layers to manage that.

I really can't see why adding a light thermal layer won't help boost warmth. If you go to bed in long-johns and a base layer top will almost certainly be a fair bit warmer than if you're naked or close to it (they're often sold as "thermals", clue in the name, and they trap air close to the skin which helps insulate). Add e.g. microfleece PJs and you'll be warmer still. I'd be very surprised if a bag a camper was generally happy with was so perfectly fitted to them that there wasn't room for a shirt without compressing the bag's insulation!

One point about PJs in winter is it's probably best to go for dedicated camp clothing you don't use for anything else (or at least haven't used for anything else up until that point). Just go to bed in the day's clothes and you'll quite possibly have a fair bit of moisture condense once the temperature starts to fall, and that'll cool you down. Related, if you feel you're sweating much you're overdoing the insulation. The sweat mechanism has evolved to cool you down, and it works!

I generally go to bed in fairly minimal amounts of clothing for the simple reason I prefer to sleep in less. But if I'm getting cold I put on clothes, and am warmer as a result (whether in a bed or a sleeping bag). My favourite item of winter camp sleep clothing is a beanie hat or similar. I'm a slap-head, and I prefer not to pull in a sleeping bag hood unless I really need to. Another point about PJs of some description in winter is if you have to get up to answer a call of nature in the night you don't have nearly as much faff getting in to something warm enough to face the elements (or just getting really, really cold however much you hurry).

Pete.
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 22 Oct 2018, 12:31am

Hi,
Yes the compression of sleeping bag was for anything exterior like a blanket etc, down mostly as its easily compressed.

You got it moister in the clothes.
If you do sweat in your sleep then too much clothes means it will take longer for moister to evaporate.
I prefer minimum clothes too, underpants normally only.

I am 78 kgs and 181cm and I just fit in a 80 x 50 x 205 cm bag............but only with laying on my side with one arm straight down the other across the chest.
Cold spots at tight points will be more noticeable with a light bag and close to the limit temp.

Baggier bag is the answer for comfort, just adds a little weight, I have a bag expander for a softie, a section which zips in to mage bag bigger around.
Not sure that all makes do that option?
I have a minimum of five bags that I can choose from to tune the right bag for every occasion, I see that as the best solution but you maybe prefer other options.
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philsknees
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby philsknees » 22 Oct 2018, 10:06am

All the above is good advice for winter camping novices but it's worth repeating that however good your bag & sleeping mat you will not be warm unless you bed down with (preferably hot) food & drink inside you. A sleeping bag will only conserve the heat your body produces from the fuel you provide. Crawl into a sleeping bag feeling cold & hungry & you can more or less guarantee to stay like that all night.
I found a full winter bag was overkill for camping through 90% of UK winters, though having a full zip meant it could be used comfortably as a duvet in warmer conditions. I stopped hauling it around some years ago & a quality 3 season full zip down bag alone now covers most winter conditions, without wearing supplementary clothing. If I require more warmth then an expander panel allows a very light summer down bag to be added inside the main bag without suffering from compression. Most reasonable quality sleeping bags use a common YKK double slider zip these days & a search of the internet will reveal several expander panels are available. My old Rab ones (now sadly discontinued) have fitted all but one of my other makes of bag over the years.

robing
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby robing » 22 Oct 2018, 10:54am

Thanks for the input. I think I'll go for the Vango Latitude 400 as it seemed to be fairly good value for money and it should suit my needs for winter.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 22 Oct 2018, 11:42am

Hi,
robing wrote:Thanks for the input. I think I'll go for the Vango Latitude 400 as it seemed to be fairly good value for money and it should suit my needs for winter.

Just check that the size fits you comfortably.
If its just car camping then no need to spend lots for a small decrease in weight and or bulk and a better label.

P.S. Food yes! Even cold will supply body warmth, if you have been on the go on your bike then put clothes on as soon as you stop, feed up, while putting up tent, exercise generates good heat.

Problem is that too much exercise can make a dry night very difficult, I have found hence my not wearing much in bag, I only need trousers below 3-5 C so I am probably in the minority :)
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willem jongman
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby willem jongman » 22 Oct 2018, 3:21pm

You could also just use your current down bag inside a cheap wide fitting rectangular bag. My own system consists of an ultralight PhD down mummie complemented in winter by a wide outer bag with their dryshell fabric and an artificial fibre fill. This works very well.
Last edited by willem jongman on 22 Oct 2018, 9:06pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: 4 season sleeping bag

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 22 Oct 2018, 8:58pm

Hi,
That combination has been around a long time.
I bought a twin bag in 82 (still have it and use it :mrgreen: ) down bag and synthetic bag, one fits inside the other or can be used seperately, meant to be ok down to -20 and I tested it at -10 for a week, sleeping last night in the open on a station wooden shelter.
Good idea, the outer only needs to be a cheap as you said.
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