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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I've recently come back to multi-day raft trips after a decade away from it and need to update my gear. Since I mostly car camp previously I've been doing the "lots of blankets" route with camping and it works allright but I think it might be time to get a sleeping bag again (my previous one wore out from use).

I've been looking at the Big Agnes park series bags. Instead of having insulation underneath, they have a sleeve that you slide the sleeping pad into. My question is if anyone has used a Paco Pad inside the sleeve? I have a "Super" Paco Pad that seems to be the right dimension. All the reviews I read make it very clear that you really need the integrated sleeping pad to assure you aren't freezing your but off in cold weather.

Its hard to find the Park series stuff in a store for some reason, so it sounds like I'll be forced to go straight to the Big Agnes retail store in Steamboat on my way to a Lodore trip later this week.
 

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A super paco will not fit in the BA sleeve, you could lay on top of the paco in the BA bag but if you roll over your back will freeze. I tried this before with my BA and my guide pad, no bueno.
 

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Bummer....thats kind of what I thought might be the case. I have another much smaller pad, but I guess we'll have to see. The last few trips out I ended up doing paco pad on the bottom, foil covered bubbled wrap and then an old school foam pad I got from a friend. I think the foil thing and the old school one might fit well in the BA system bag. I might end up buying a pad from Big Agnes too. Still gonna use the Paco under it either way though.
 

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I have used my grande paco, the 3 incher, in a BA deer park bag and it just barely fits. A bit of a struggle to get it in but once there is fine. The new park series bags will fit a paco for sure and have extra insulation wrapped around sides but I am not sure if they are out yet. Also look into system bags with a 3/4 sleeve, might be easier to get a paco into. Give them a call before stopping in because some inventory might have to come from the warehouse across town.
 

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The one I was looking at was the Hog Park or Whiskey park. They are essentially the same bag, just different temperature ratings (20 and 0 respectively). I talked to Judy at BAP and she is going to have both bags at the store on Thursday for me to look at. The recommended size for those bags is 25" and the Paco is 28", but I suspect it will be similar to your experience where its a bit of a pain but will still work. If you can fit a Grande in one, I'm sure the Super will fit.
 

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I am a big guy and I love the Hog Park. The bag is huge, but having no fill in the bottom makes it easy to pack. I don't think that my Aire "Paco" pad would fit inside. I bought a 3" thick therma rest on clearance from REI for like $30 and put that inside the BA pocket and set the whole thing on top of the Paco pad. The whole set up is the best that I have experienced and is the same route I would go if I was car camping.


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Cascade Outfitters makes a 6' 20" wide pad for the passengers on a first bay of a raft it's 3" thick.

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Wow, I wish I had known this Big Agnes sleeping bag/pad system existed years ago. This looks cool.

Would sure save me duct tape and the mess of taping my bag to my pad. I am the type of sleeper that rolls around, and the pad never stays put under my bag. I also love extra tall extra wide bags, and doubling up with my lady. Prices are a little higher than I would like to pay, but a good night sleep is definitely worth the money. Maybe in three years when my current setup wears out or I can't get rid of the funk, I'll invest in a Big Agnes system
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I always hated being cooped up in a sleeping bag, which is why I went with the blanket solution until I looked into these bags. I'm a big dude and the Park series are made for us. All the reviews I have seen say that they are super roomy and there is more then enough room to bend your legs, roll around and not feel constricted. The key to that though is having the pad in it, so I just need to make sure that I have a pad that fits in the sleeve...hence why I started the thread.

Crossing my fingers that it will work with the Paco Pad still. It looks like all the pads that Big Agnes make in the this size are in the $150 range, which seems like a lot to me.
 

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My wife and I have A Big Creek 30 double wide Big Agnes Sleeping bag system with Hinman pads in the sleeve. We also sleep on Pacos With the system. It is by far the most comfortable sleep arrangement camping I have ever used.

It's mainly our summer bag, we both have down bags for colder camping. The bag itself without the pad wouldn't be enough bag for even just me even during summer. The back is very thin and if its even a little chilly the cold ness of the paco can be felt. If you move around a lot when you sleep that thin bottom will quickly become the top of the bag, the pad keeps the bag in place while sleeping. I'd recommend buying a pad for it. You won't regret it
 

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I use that system with the whiskey park bag I think. 25"x78 q-core big Agnes's pad. You will get cold with a paco in the back. Just get the right pad for it and you are golden. I also us the sleeping giant pad cover. Let me know if you want to buy one of those systems I have doubles of everything and was selling one. I get lots of stuff sent to me to review on the river. 25" is minimum for me on a pad my shoulders still touch the ground on both sides, but I don't have a city hipster build
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I use that system with the whiskey park bag I think. 25"x78 q-core big Agnes's pad. You will get cold with a paco in the back. Just get the right pad for it and you are golden. I also us the sleeping giant pad cover. Let me know if you want to buy one of those systems I have doubles of everything and was selling one. I get lots of stuff sent to me to review on the river. 25" is minimum for me on a pad my shoulders still touch the ground on both sides, but I don't have a city hipster build
I am definitely going to buy either the Hog Park or Whiskey Park bag. I'm leaning towards Hog Park, mostly because I am pretty warm blooded and most of the time when I use this I think it will be in the summer months. It is easy enough to bring a blanket to toss over me for sub 20 degree weather.

I would totally take you up on getting one of your bags, but I'm going on a 5 day raft trip starting this week and need something for that so I'll just get one straight from Big Agnes since they are on the way to the put in. If you have a spare pad, I might take you up on one of those and just make do with what I have on hand (pretty sure i have an old school Therma-rest pad around).
 

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I have one of the original 40 degree park series bags- still use it on warm nights. A 28" pad absolutely will not fit in a BA 25" bag. Here is what I would do in your situation- buy an appropriately sized pad from REI- one that has the exact dimensions of the bag's sleeve. Put your Paco down on the ground and set your tent up on top of it. Assemble your sleep system inside and you'll be warm, roomy and comfortable. The Paco will double as your ground cloth.

The REI self inflating pads are really nice- and a bargain compared to other brands.

If you want the roomiest bag out there, check out Nemo's version of the BA concept. I bought one last spring and I've never slept better on the river. I have a 56" chest- this style of bag is really the only way to find comfort while camping- other than a top quilt/under quilt with a hammock tent. (The very best option when hanging is a possibility).

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I totally forgot to mention, a Jacks paco truck size pad does indeed fit inside of the Big Agnes Dream Island Double bag - my husband is a huge guy (6'3" 300lbs) and uses that to car camp.
 

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So, they are next years BA Park Series bags that will have a stretch panel sleeve and more side insulation to fit a paco style pad. Unfortunately, they don't come out till spring.
 

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Both my bags are Big Agnes bags. I have the Encampment (15 degree) and the Farwell (0 degree), and I use a Exped Downmat 9 inside the sleeve. For me they both sleep cold. I find myself using felt bag liners when it gets below 40. I fould the sides where the insulation meets the matt leak a bit of cold air. Maybe the new bags will be better with the added insulation. Once the felt bag plugs the leaks it is really warm. I usually just sleep on the felt bag in the BA bag.

For reference I am a hot sleeper.

Kyle
 

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Without the Q-core you will get cold. It has a heat reflective surface and the air is an insulator. You wouldn't warm up a paco until morning. Weird to just not buy what works and is made for the bag? The valve kind of sucks on the q-core compared to an exped valve
 

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I used a BA insulated pad before I got the exped. It was worse, not better. I bought the exped for the greater insulation and because it did a better job filling the pad pocket than the Big Agnes pad it was designed to fit.

I don't buy for a second that a BA pad with some silver strands in the poly insulation and a R value of 5 will out perform a similar sized down insulated pad with a R value of 8. That is a bit like claiming one of those 3mm NRS wetsuits that has titanium threads in it would keep you as warm as a 5mm diving wetsuit. Having tried both I can tell you it doesn't.

Kyle
 

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I bought a Big Agnes 20 degree bag 5-6 years ago. I like having my pad in the sleeve except on cold nights that push the rating of the bag. On those nights it feels like the pad pulls the bag away from my sides and creates too big of an air pocket to adequately warm.

Also, I find my thick Thermarest more comfortable than my Paco pad, except on rocky ground.
 
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