[pct-l] Sleeping bag help, please
weyantm at msn.com
Tue May 29 02:34:11 CDT 2012
I don't know how tall you are, but a lot of bags come in lengths that are too long for many females. So if you're interested in a bag that's as light as possible but also as warm as possible for PCT conditions, I'd suggest a down bag made with 800-900 grade down that comes in something close to your height. Then think about if you're a side sleeper or do you sleep on your back, because some bags have more stuffing at the top, which won't work if you turn a lot. I feel very confined in a traditional tight mummy bag, but a wide bag has too much dead space and so does a bag that's too long, hence you're more likely to get cold. I have hip and knee "issues" and I really need to be able to let one leg fall out to the side with my knee bent now and then. So I bought a Montbell super spiral down hugger bag, rated at 20 deg. (the only one that comes in the short size.) The spiral pattern of the baffles allows a natural stretch. I had an earlier model, the non-spiral down hugger, and the stretchy baffles allowed the down to gap which made me cold. You won't find too many 20 degree bags that weigh just barely more than 2 lbs. And, it has a nice baffle collar around the neck to keep heat from escaping.
Too cold? Put your legs inside your pack and wear more clothes to bed, especially a hat. If you're just section-hiking you're not as likely to get so disgusting that you need a bag liner. If you tend to sleep cold, you're most likely wearing long underwear anyway. I live in WA state and, despite the rains, I'd never haul a fiberfill bag. If I think my bag might get wet, I use a trash bag or emergency blanket or put my legs in my pack. One thing about down--it's important to take a moment to manually pull apart and fluff the down in the baffles before you go to sleep, especially on cold nights. Insulation is only as effective as the amount of air it can trap. Hope that helps.
More information about the Pct-L