Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

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alicej
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Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby alicej » 3 Aug 2014, 1:25am

A huge amount of the total volume of our camping gear is taken up with a big double sleeping bag. It's worth it because I'd get cold on my own and couldn't do without the cuddles, but I'm wondering if there's anything a bit less bulky than the huge square-ended Coleman thing we're using. The small (top) bit just about goes in a pannier and the big bit has to go in a rack top bag, and this is with both bits squashed as much as I can in stuff sacks.

Does anyone else use a double sleeping bag with a partner, what do you have and would you recommend it? Also please could you give an idea of pack size and how roomy they are when sleeping? We only really use it in the UK April - Octoberish, so doesn't need to be a super thick one.

(Apologies if I don't reply for a few days, I'll be living in a tent and sleeping in the above sleeping bag til Friday!)

Bonefishblues
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby Bonefishblues » 3 Aug 2014, 8:19am

Aren't there some singles with LH & RH zippers that can zip together that would be more convenient to carry IIRC.

http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/gear ... 27830.html seems to agree.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 3 Aug 2014, 9:44am

Hi,
If you get cold on your own then you have the wrong gear.
I last used a Square woollies bag in the early eighties.
A square bag have much wasted material in the corners.

You need a modern mummy sports bag with hood and internal baffle and zip baffle and differtential fill and full face closure.
All this can be bought for less than £ 20.
Dont forget a foam mat.
Sleeping bags are normaly 75 - 80 cm wide at chest but 50 cm at foot, 210 cm long.
If you put two singles together there is normally still bags of room, where as in a single sports bag it fits like a glove.
Buy a single that will suit the climate for that time of year, you might need two of three eventually, then buy another with oposite zip prefferably same manufacture and model.

YOU DONT NEED to spend over fifty on a bag today, it will on paper alone be one degree suposedly warmer :? for twice the cost.
Dont go for down, I know this otherwise you would not be asking...........

And what ever you do dont wear any clothes in bag with exception of under wear, even marines dont, nor do I.

All People perspire in sleep as you allways warm up, even if it does not feel like it, what do you think that air vapour does :?:
It leaves your skin and so you cool down and the vapour hits the first cold thing it finds, and if you wear clothes thats where the moisture condences............

Dont forget a mat.
If you are sleeping together then you will need a thin layer of untralight clothing so you dont sweat if touching.
If silk pyjamas had a performance gain then you would a get a free pair with every bag.
Bob's Yor Uncle :D
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You'll Find Me At The Top Of A Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..

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pjclinch
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby pjclinch » 3 Aug 2014, 11:21am

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:If you get cold on your own then you have the wrong gear.


Maybe, maybe not. I have a couple of friends who are never warm in anything but seriously hot winter bags, and I'm talking about Rab 1000 or ME Iceline for warm midsummer nights. Some people sleep cold is the truth of it.

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Dont go for down, I know this otherwise you would not be asking...........


Why on earth not? I've been using down bags since I was 13. I'm now nearly 48 and in all that time I've not seen a compelling reason not to use down beyond being allergic to down, assuming you have the discipline to keep it dry (and if I could do it 13 I really don't see why many adults capable of cycle touring shouldn't). Cost is much higher, but then so is longevity so in terms of money spent over time there's little to nothing in it. Weight is a lot less, bulk is a lot, lot less, leaving you room for other useful stuff, or a lighter, slimmer load.

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:And what ever you do dont wear any clothes in bag with exception of under wear, even marines dont, nor do I.

All People perspire in sleep as you allways warm up, even if it does not feel like it, what do you think that air vapour does :?:
It leaves your skin and so you cool down and the vapour hits the first cold thing it finds, and if you wear clothes thats where the moisture condences............


Rather than not wear anything, make sure that anything you do have on will wick moisyure easily away. If you feel happier in merino pyjamas, go right ahead and wear them.

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pjclinch
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby pjclinch » 3 Aug 2014, 11:28am

Bonefishblues wrote:Aren't there some singles with LH & RH zippers that can zip together that would be more convenient to carry IIRC.

http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/gear ... 27830.html seems to agree.


I contributed to that thread, and still stand by everything I said there.

Two good individual mummy bags that can zip together if you want, allied with good insulating mats (I certainly agree with Natural Ankling about the need for good mats) is, I'd think, probably the best way. A lot of a good bag's thermal efficiency comes from a relatively figure hugging shape leaving no space for convection currents to form, and that's not actually very practical in a twin setup. Sure you're better off together in a big square bag, but probably not if a well fitted individual mummy bag is an alternative.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 3 Aug 2014, 11:37am

Hi,
So when your down bag gets wet.............thats an expensive "Rab" whatever.

And you are found frozen to the inside of your tent....you're alright because your wearing "Merino" :) ....its not a fasion show :!:

Good basic well proven advice without the Loads a Money gear. :)

Thats what the OP is after :?: ...Or I maybe wrong............

Todays Synthetic bags are miles away from bags I started using when I was thirteen, they are incredibly affordable and work.
Even the Lidl ones.......
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pjclinch
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby pjclinch » 3 Aug 2014, 12:46pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:So when your down bag gets wet.............thats an expensive "Rab" whatever.


"Doctor Doctor, it hurts when I do this!"
"Then don't do that"

The bag travels in a dry-bag, so it doesn't get wet in transit. Overnight it's used in a waterproof tent, so it doesn't get wet in use.

Even if you're using a synthetic bag they are vastly better at keeping you warm if they're dry than if they're wet, so whatever your bag is you make damn sure it stays dry. And if you make damn sure it stays dry then in practice it does.

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Good basic well proven advice without the Loads a Money gear. :)

Thats what the OP is after :?: ...Or I maybe wrong............


Since never using down is not, to my mind, good advice I would say that in at least one respect you are.

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Todays Synthetic bags are miles away from bags I started using when I was thirteen, they are incredibly affordable and work.
Even the Lidl ones.......


But they're still nowhere near as warm as down ones at the same weight, and even further off the same bulk for the same warmth. Avoid down if you're allergic to down, have ethical issues with its use, don't have the up-front capital to afford it or are incredibly clumsy and don't trust yourself not to get it drenched (and it does need to be drenched to be useless, especially if it's got a water resistant outer). Otherwise it's a great option, particularly if you do need extra warmth compared to most people because it's a lot warmer at the same weight. Being warm did strike me as one of the OP's goals!

Pete.
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DaleFTW
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby DaleFTW » 3 Aug 2014, 4:51pm

My head just exploded reading this thread.

Mattie
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby Mattie » 3 Aug 2014, 10:44pm

DaleFTW wrote:My head just exploded reading this thread.


On this forum, mention the following subjects - tyres, Brooks saddles, tent choice, sleeping bag choice, Trangia :mrgreen: and see how you get on - you may need more than one head !

PS. Down convert. I am sure my Mountain Hardware bag was a lot puffier and warmer when new than it is now. It seems to have gone all thin and not as warm, over the years. So bought a down bag to replace it.

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pjclinch
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby pjclinch » 4 Aug 2014, 3:30pm

Mattie wrote:
PS. Down convert. I am sure my Mountain Hardware bag was a lot puffier and warmer when new than it is now. It seems to have gone all thin and not as warm, over the years. So bought a down bag to replace it.


Synthetic hollow fibre does not last as well as (looked after) down: simple fact of life. While the up-front cost of a down bag is considerably more, if looked after they will last a lot longer. My down bag is now about 15 years old and not obviously degrading. My dad's is just over a quarter-century and still going strong. When you consider the working life they're not as expensive as they initially seem. And if the down has passed its use-by date the manufacturer can refill it, while synthetics are made with sewn-in wadding which isn't economic to replace.

While the act of compressing (not actually storing compressed as far as I can tell) doesn't do down any favours, it does a lot more harm to synthetics when it comes to knocking the life out of them.

One thing I've read about down, but can't really verify (since I've not used synthetics for so long) is that down has a wider comfortable temperature range in use, though that might just be hearsay...

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patpalloon
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby patpalloon » 4 Aug 2014, 3:41pm

+1 for Down. I've got the Robens Caucasus 300 and it's excellent and rated down to -1. It comes in a waterproof rolltop bag, I keep it in my Ortliebs when touring and it ain't going to get wet in my tent so what's the problem?
I feel sure that the genius that did this, didn't even feel a thud as he drove by.

mark a.
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby mark a. » 4 Aug 2014, 3:50pm

My wife and I used to use a pair of Nanok sleeping bags. These were mummy-style bags designed to zip together. We did so several times, but we've moved away from doing that nowadays.

So actually we wouldn't recommend it. The main reason is that in order for the two bags to zip together they need to be the same size, meaning her bag was too long (also too wide). This is colder, and also is unnecessary weight and bulk.

Even though you have two people in one bag, hence double body heat, it was never as warm as individual bags. There's just too much space since you can't really cinch drawstrings etc as tight as you could normally.

So we have gone back to two bags of the perfect size for each of us. This is much warmer. Since we've got fancy bags (PHD) we were able to specify having my zip on the right, hers on the left, so we can still snuggle somewhat, for a while at least until the cold makes us zip up fully.

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Slow Loris
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby Slow Loris » 4 Aug 2014, 4:30pm

Mattie wrote: On this forum, mention the following subjects - tyres, Brooks saddles, tent choice, sleeping bag choice, Trangia :mrgreen: and see how you get on.


Oh dear :). I've already contributed to a Trangia thread - how many lives do I have left?
When I first read the OP, I wondered if a double quilt would be a comfortable alternative to a zip up double sleeping bag?
I use a Rab (down) topbag as it's lighter than a traditional zip up, but a single quilt could probably do the same job whilst being less restrictive. I also use merino wool base layers and, if very nippy, a small Sigg-style bottle filled with hot water.

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PH
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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby PH » 4 Aug 2014, 6:27pm

I use a quilt, whether camping alone or with partner, a rather expensive down filled one from here;
http://www.jacksrbetter.com/quilts/

Can't find the model, it was in the middle of their range, and a lot cheaper 7 years ago than they are now. It's great, worth every penny, I camp April to Oct, UK and south Europe, never needed anything else and it packs the size of a football while being plenty big enough for two.
I don't think you can discuss sleeping bags without also considering mats. Get the mat wrong and that's where all your heat will go, even the best bags don't offer much insulation when compressed under you.

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Re: Double sleeping bags - what do you use?

Postby MrsHJ » 4 Aug 2014, 8:43pm

+1 for down, light, packs small, super snugly, my mountain equipment one is about 18 years old and I still use it despite asthma. I take the point about not letting down get wet, so take a decent tent or do what I do and mostly stick to fair weather camping.

I don't even share camping holidays with him indoors, let alone a sleeping bag these days. We are taking separate tents to Brittany next week, mostly as he decided to come along at the last minute and wouldn't fit into the 3man Tent the kids and I have rather than because we are trying to avoid him.

I can see your double sleeping bag problem though. NOw I have googled, it's the coleman style massive ones really or a left and right zip mummy pair that seems to be your choice.

Let us know what you decide on.