Affordable cold weather sleeping bag? - Page 2 - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-22-2019   #11
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 597
Originally Posted by tanderson View Post
Wiggys out of grand junction. Love my bag. Synthetic.
I swear by Wiggy's bags, Simply the Best! And they have a lifetime guarantee in my opinion there is no bigger bang for your buck available from any manufacturer not to mention he makes extra wide bags extra-long bags, you can customize it anyway you want oh, and if you actually go to the factory in Grand Junction the discounts are unbelievably deep

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Old 10-22-2019   #12
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Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,705
x3 - buy used if you're on a tight budget instead of new/cheap.

Agree with synthetic for river use.

Moisture is nearly as much a factor for cold weather sleeping as cold. First night is never too bad. Subsequent nights are what separate good skills and gear from bad.

Paco pads get stiffer when it's cold out, but they're still thick and separate you from the ground.

Also consider hot tents.
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Old 10-22-2019   #13
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,775

He has a lot of sales

Made in America Grand Junction CO to be exact

I have several of his bags and super happy with all of them

The bags do not compress like the down ones do but pack down close
you do not get the cold spots like down bags do, you can toss the wiggys bag into the washer, Wiggys bags excel in damp situations. wiggys last decades

I have a bunch of down bags and wiggys bags. the go to bag for river trips is one of the wiggys models.
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Old 10-22-2019   #14
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Kalispell, Montana
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You can also stack two lighter bags. Better than buying cheap new.
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Old 10-22-2019   #15
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 515
Couple things to keep in mind when buying a sleeping bag.
All of the bigger name brands all follow the same testing guidelines for their temp ratings.
TNF, Big Agnes, Marmot, Kelty etc. they follow ISO testing guidelines to ensure that the way they come to their temperature ratings are the same every time.

Your less expensive brands do not follow those same guidelines, ALPS, Coleman, Ozark Trails etc. The one caveat is companies like Slumberjack who do not ISO test their bags but are part of larger companies that have brands that do test and share best practices to ensure enough fill is used.

So when people say you get what you pay for is true in that regards because the companies not following the standardized testing can fudge their tests and state pretty much whatever temp rating they want.

Within the rating system there are 3 different ratings, Extreme, Limit and Comfort.
To overly simplify this, if you see your bag rating to 0 at extreme it means you will survive, but that's about it.
Comfort is the warmest rating, generally used in women's bags as women sleep 10-15 degress colder than men and limit rating is basically for men that sleep average.

If you are looking for the warmest bag, look for comfort ratings.

Whether to buy used or not is up to you and your budget but keep in mind that improper care and storage can kill your bags insulation and even though it might be rated at 0 comfort you might not get that, so ask how the bag was stored and washed.

Keeping it in a compression sack all the time will eventually crush your fill and the bag will not loft up to its fullest therefore will not provide all of its warmth.

Someone else nailed it with the pad is just as or more important for cold weather, use a good pad that will insulate you from the ground. When you lay in a bag you compress the fill and receive basically zero R-value from the bag, it is all coming from the pad.

Regarding getting moisture in your bag, and using only synthetic for rivers can get complicated.

First use a good dry bag, that will eliminate everyone's fear of getting a wet bag from your boat. The reality is if you have a soaking wet bag, that is going to suck and you are going to be miserable no matter down or synthetic.

So again use a good dry bag or even get a compression dry bag to store your bag inside of your big bag, giving you double protection.

good luck on your quest.

Or you can just get a tent and put a woodstove in it and sleep in a sheet.
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Old 10-22-2019   #16's Avatar
lafayette or Grand Lake, Depends on mood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,111
Some good advice showing up here (make sure your pad is min r-6.5). I'll add three things based on my cold weather camping experience. One, always have a clean, dry pair of long john's and socks for sleeping in only, to put on at night (I pack them with my sleeping bag). Two, pack some 18 hour hand warmers and toss one in the bottom of your bag every night when needed (they can be a life saver from hypothermia). Three, before going on your trip I recommend spending a cold night sleeping out to test your level of comfort/safety with the gear you picked.
Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life on or off the river. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019   #17
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,775
My experience with sleeping bag ratings for warmth is none of them work or at least for my comfort range.

Just too many variables. In a tent or outside, on the ground or on a cot, what kind of pad are you sleeping on, as Bighorn stated - are you sleeping in dry fleece and heavy sox, do you have a heat pad, is your bag damp or dry, is it fluffed up, did you eat a snicker bar before going to bed. the list goes on and on.

I have one of the wiggys over bag rated to 40 degrees. Which is about right for me on almost all my river trips up and down the rockies. Add in a good pad, dry fleece top and bottom, fleece hat, wool sox and that bag has went down to below freezing with me comfy. Wiggy does have the system that is buy the overbag then buy one of the 0 rated bags. Both combine takes me way down in temps where I do not want to get up till sun heats the area.

Bottom line is the manufacturer's comfort rating is a best guess on their part, most likely your experience will vary usually resulting in a cold night sleeping for you. I have been sleeping outside for many decades. Never found a zero rated bag that kept me warm and happy below freezing. I can get by pretty good down to freezing in most any bag but when it gets below 15 degrees, I need all the insulation I can get.
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Old 10-22-2019   #18
Never enough free time
Red Lodge, Montana
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 312
I'll preface this by saying that I have literally lived in a sleeping bag in both the high rockies of CO (a full winter above 10,000') and two years in MT while building my cabin, not withstanding all of the various adventures over the years.

Fuel yourself
Use a liner in your bag. Silk works well. If you have the room, a thin layer OVER the bag is nice.
Wear a hat
Wear some fuzzy loose fitting DRY socks
Find the happy balance between staying hydrated but not so hydrated you are laying there fighting the urge to go relive yourself because it is cold outside of your bag.
Have a comfortable pad. You can sleep ok when cold so long as you aren't tossing and turning because something went tingly.
Every bag is a compromise. Make your compromises and live with it.
Be efficient in getting out of your bag and getting moving in the morning.
Once you have gotten to a certain level of gear and layering, it's more mental than anything.
I've felt colder at +20 than at -20 due to various combinations of all of these factors.
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Old 10-22-2019   #19
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Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 115
I had never heard of Wiggy's and just checked out their website. Wow, what a cool shop with lots of interesting stuff. Score another one for Mountain Buzz.
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Old 10-22-2019   #20
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 205
I used to do a lot of winter camping while snowmobiling. When it was really cold I would boil some water and put it in an old plastic nalgene bottle. Throw that bottle in the footbox of your sleeping bag before bed and let that radiantly heat your bag all night. Makes a huge difference.
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