Down sleeping bags

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Gook, Nov 25, 2007.

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  1. Anyone had any experience with down-filled sleeping bags? No, I'm not talking a slimy 58 pattern bag that see's you plucking goose feathers out of your hair for days afterwards, but something a bit more modern.

    I'd always thought down had been overtaken by 'Softie' type sleeping bafs and jackets, but recently have seen a few down jackets in my local outdoors store... I'm looking for a new sleeping bag for general use (nothing too cool or too Arctic but probably a 3/4 season), and apparently down is lighter, packs smaller, and decompresses better to keep you warm.

    But its also fcuking pricey, so before I squander the beer tokens has anyone had any experience or got any recommendations on these?
  2. Yeah its great until it gets wet. Then weighs twice as much, doesnt pack down....well im sure you'll remember the days of Basic Training.
  3. Softie range all the way for this old trooper!
  4. Just dont get them wet!

    They are excellent otherwise. Used them in minus 9 in the Cairngorms My mate was in a holofiber thing and woke up fairly regularly quite uncomfortable - I woke up purely to laugh and roll over!
  5. Hmm so as long as I keep it in a bivvy bag and use an Ortileb as a bergen liner, which is normal for me anyway, it should be better than a Softie?

    I've used a Softie 9 for a few years now and its really not so warm, so this could be the way forward...
  6. Get yourself a decent thermal liner - toastie warm!
  7. Maybe, but I'm tempted to give up on the Softie one, I mean for a bag that is meant to be okay down to -10 it is toss at keeping me warm, hence looking for something a bit better.

    I was looking at the 'Speshul Forces' bags by the same maker, alright naff name, but it is supposed to be 2 bags in one, so you can have one for summer, the other for when its chillier and both together for when its damned Baltic!

    But to be honest I'm not sure with Softie bags, I've got a Softie jacket thats always worked great but not so good experience with the bags for some reason... hence the down popping into my head...
  8. I think it actually means that you won't freeze to death if you use the bag when it's -10, rather than that you'll be warm and toasty.

    My Haglöfs bag is supposed to be good to -18 and I've shivered my dangly bits off at -5.
  9. The problem is that if the filling can be compressed to allow the bag to take up less space when packed, then the filling will also be compressed when you lie on it. Compress the filling and you negate its insulative properties.

    What's needed is a bag that has a down base and a two-layer hollowfibre top. The down doesn't compress as much, keeping the underside of the bag thermally efficient, while the upper surface, being constructed in two layers, prevents cold transmission at the stitching.

    Surely somebody produces such a bag. After all, it's not rocket science.
  10. Puttees - the coleman (cheap brand I know) sleeping bags have a two filler system like you describe. My mate was in one shivering his nads of next to me in Loch Echigan in the Cairngorms, I had a Mountain Equipment Down bag packed down to the size of a house but weighed about the same as his and I was warm!
  11. Can't recommend these enough: LINK To Rab Choose one that matches the temp range for what you need, these really are warm at the temp range they advertise ie you can sleep in your boxers comfortably. Downside is they are steep in price and a little bulky but not stupidly so, mine weighs about a kilo(Quantum 600 I think) but I have been toasty down below -5 in just boxers laid on a thermorest
  12. I have used these Mountain Equipment Dreamcatcher and think they're great. I have found the elasticated bit is very good and you don't feel quite as restricted as one does in a normal bag.
    I have never had a problem with down getting wet; just keep it in a decent Ortleib bag when you pack it.
  13. Hmm cheers for those gents, something to be getting on with...

    I'd found:
    The page is in Norge worse luck but surely thats a good thing too; they have to know a thing or two about cold up there!

    Are Nanok a solid respected maker or not so much, anyone used them?
  14. I don't speak Norge, but the two Standards have different ideas of comfort.

    One says comfort to -10, the other to -2. As it appears to be a 3 season bag, I'd tend to believe the -2 (with thermals and pullover on).

    You may want to check the words for yourself with:

    Says (approximately) "Performance WGD -10°C It at the end sovepose for turfolk as desires minimal emphasis and pakkevolum along with maximal comfort at 3 season use in høyfjellet."
  15. The Adjt was recently on an 'Exercise' with the ARRC and was sharing a tent with a Sceptic who is an Infanteer and had spent two tours with a unit based in Alaska...

    We got talking and I showed him my Mountain Equipement 'Redline' - down filled and rated to -30ºC. It was showing its age a bit (it says "20 Everest Expeditions" on the label - anyone know what they're up to these days?) which I had used in Alaska, coincidentally (as a civvie, too!) some years before I took the oath...

    My North American friend then showed me his doss bag, which is rated to -40ºF (= -40ºC for those of you that didn't do O Level fizzix) which was synthetic and packed down to the size of a Softee or smaller. Some specialist contract to US Army and not readily available on the civvie market but not impossible to get hold of. If you really want me to, I can ask him who makes it...