Affordable cold weather sleeping bag? - Page 3 - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-22-2019   #21
Never enough free time
Red Lodge, Montana
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 312
As an aside on Wiggy's....

Many years ago I had an instructor for my college's outdoor program who swore by Wiggy's. He said that they were the exclusive provider of sleeping bags for the military special forces. That may or may not still be true but he was definitely a fan. He basically said he wouldn't even bother buying anything else.

I've never slept in one myself.

My current quiver includes a 20 deg Rab ultralight. A 20 deg Big Agnes lost ranger with the pocket for a Q-core pad (losing faith in the BA pads... Different topic), and a 20+ yr old 20 deg North Face Blue Kazoo. Used to roll a cheap Peak 1 synthetic -5 but that thing filled a backpack all by itself. It went to car camping, then the zipper blew, then I dumped it.

Any of my 20's work for anything I'm ever going to be doing on a river trip, or any trip for that matter. I'm past the point where I will be doing anything that requires a warmer bag. I'm good with a 20 and a silk liner with normal cold weather gear right down into the single digits. Not comfortable in the single digits, but fine. For the few days a year I'm out when it is that cold it's not worth buying another bag. No synthetics for me, treated down and a good dry bag do the trick. I got a 30 deg synthetic BA for one of my kids and that thing takes up twice as much space as down.

My wife got a feathered friends bag this year, and it is amazing. If I do get another bag I'll save my money for one of those. Spendy, but it's on another level entirely.

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Old 10-22-2019   #22
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,144
For me I have used down sleeping bags 90% of the time, they are light and warm. Just my sleeping preference. I don't know what treated down is, during winter x-country overnights I used two down bags where one slips into the other, a pad or two is a must. My down bags did lose there warming properties after awhile though, down gets weaker and losses it's loft over repeated compression's, I guess. Don't let them get wet or you will be looking for a bed partner with a dry bag or a few warm rocks to sleep with. Your looking at more than a couple hundred though, for a decent mature goose down bag, nothing wrong with the new synthetic bags, they work great too.
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Old 10-22-2019   #23
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 515
Coated down is referring to what all of the companies are doing to down now.
They are coating each individual plume on the molecular level with a polymer that makes the down water resistant. If you swim your bag it is going to still get wet, but for normal use it is much better.

You lose loft i.e thermal qualities from your bag when you sweat during the night. Everyone is different but you can put 1 cup to 1 liter of moisture into your bag each night sleeping.

Over multiple nights without allowing your bag to fully dry during the day you are losing loft and therefore your bag is getting colder.

Dri Down, Down Defender or whatever the brand is calling it will push that moisture out of your bag and not allow the down to absorb it.
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Old 10-22-2019   #24
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 506
i have lost faith in Big was hip cause they were close in Steamboat. Their gear just isnt that good. I only post this cause i just got off the San Juan and MTLaz mentioned they didnt like their pads. I've owned (2) down bags and their Big House 6 (which folds like a cheap suit with any wind. 2X pole replacements, and all my poles look like serpentine snakes.)

I know its not completely sceintific but their 20 degree rating would be a 50 degree for Mtn Hardwear or Sierra. We own BA, North Face, Marmot ,Sierra and Hardwear bags (all Down)....and the other (4) are made 2 times nicer and what appears to be twice the fill (all 650).

I sleep in the BA and 50% of my back is on just 2 sheets of taffeta nylon with no down, you can see right thru it.
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Old 10-22-2019   #25
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,728
Originally Posted by MontanaLaz View Post
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.
A pee bottle goes a long way toward getting a good night's sleep. Just make sure you can't mistake it for one of your regular water bottles.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 10-22-2019   #26
GJ, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
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Originally Posted by Ever_Cat View Post
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.

I live near them. I've purchased two bags. I didn't care for either of them. Nowhere near intended temp range. Plus they are *enormous* when packed. More than double (not exaggerating) the size of a similar (actual temp) down bag.

When I tried, politely, to inform them of my dissatisfaction, and to return the bags, I was threatened, verbally assaulted, and ultimately shouted out of the place by Jerry, the owner.

I wouldn't wish the bags on anyone. I wouldn't wish the owner on an enemy.

I'd shop craigslist and find something good/used.
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Old 10-22-2019   #27
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Gallon plastic bags...

Originally Posted by Andy H. View Post
A pee bottle goes a long way toward getting a good night's sleep. Just make sure you can't mistake it for one of your regular water bottles.

That is what was nice with having the two sleeping bags in extreme cold, just unzip the inner bag and pee into a gallon size plastic bag and leaving the outer sleeping bag closed, you still stay warm, keeps shrinkage down too. Tie a knot in plastic bag and set it out side the bags, in the morning you have a frozen bag of pee. Plus, if your two up in a tent it gives you a little privacy.
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Old 10-22-2019   #28
Central Point, Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 425
We have 20 years in Wiggy's bags and would buy more any day. If your looking for ultralight backpacking they are not.

If you want bomb proof at a great price point they are!!!

We use their square bags and zip together as a double. Our standard is to use one 40 deg and one 20 deg. Then you can choose which bag goes on top depending on the nights temps.

We also have the 0 deg but two of them are bigger than a Colorado watershed and not needed unless it's -20 or less.
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Old 10-23-2019   #29
2tomcat2's Avatar
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 538
Down vs. synthetic (jackets too)...have both, use for different trips

A pee bucket is wonderful to have at night, when it's snowing and blowing

Warm hat and neck gator (keep those carotid arteries covered!)

Wiggy's prices seem a bit high; everyone has their favorite go to sites
"If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are."
Zen verse
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Old 10-23-2019   #30
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,817
It would be nice if the OP would come back and clarify what he wants to use the bag for. I feel it's necessary to point out he posted this thread to "kayaking gear".... makes me think he needs something light weight and that packs small.

Hence why I recommended first and foremost the REI Magma 10 degree with the hydrophobic down. I have found it to be comfortable down to 20 degrees without having to wear multiple layers inside it, plus it has 500 grams of 850 fill power goose down that only weighs 1 lb. 14 oz's. and packs down to the size of a large water bottle with the Sea to Summit water proof compression sack. Closer to $300 than $200, but worth it.
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