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  1. #1
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    Backcountry Sleeping Bag

    I am looking for a lightweight, early season (Sep.-Oct), down sleeping bag for highcountry hunts. I tend to sleep slightly cold so I'm leaning towards a 15-20 degree bag. With so many brands (Big Agnes, Alps, Marmot, Western Mountaineering, Mountain Hardware, NorthFace, etc...) and so many models, I am having trouble narrowing down my search. I'm hoping I can get some help from you guys.

  2. #2
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    I got a Western Mountainering Megalite three seasons ago. I'm 5'9" and got the 6'6" bag and I'm glad I did. First couple of years I spent a lot of time in a bivy and would pile all my clothes in the bottom of the bag and woke up to nice and warm clothes every morning. The extra room also allowed me to change right in the bag before getting out to hit the cold mountain air. I have fairly wide shoulders and had plenty of room in the bag. It's super warm and I've had no problems sleeping through low 20's. Bag is only rated to 30 but I think that is conservative, especially in a bivy. Your pad has alot to do with your warth as well. I'd recommend the Big Agnus insulated aircore. It's super comfortable and very warm. Something I'll throw out too, at least for me, is that I sleep warmer in the bag when I'm just down to drawers. Sleeping with my sitka gear layers didn't keep me as warm. One last thing, on really cold nights, I'll do about 50 quite jumping jacks then hop in the bag. That intial blast of body heat really helps things. Good luck on finding the right bag for you!

  3. #3
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    I have a Marmot Helium bag and I love it. I got the 15 degree version and it has been wonderful. It packs super small in a compression bag, is nice and light, and has been bulletproof for me. I use it in my bivy sac and I have spend nights out at -15 C and been toasty all night. The price tag on it isn't that bad either. I paid just over $250 for mine. What I really like about it is that is a 1/4 zip, I find that holds in a lot of extra heat for me.
    People in SUV's and suburbs will kill more game animals than a man with a bow, ever could.

  4. #4
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    I'm 6'3" and about 220ish. I bought the BA Storm King Long bag and really love it. My sleep system is on the heavy side for backpacking, but that is one luxury I'm willing to carry around with my. My bag, compression straps, pad and pillow (all Big Agnes products) come in at 6lbs. The bag is rated at 0 degrees. Last year during second week of archery elk in Colorado I was warm the first night. The remaining mornings we woke up to our water either being slushy or iced up. I was very comfortable and slept well.

    Personal preference which also costs you weight is the overall cut of the bag. I would not sleep at all if I were in a mummy style bag. The Storm King is cut so that you have more room to move around. I appreciate that with my size. Pigs in a blanket type bags are not for me.

  5. #5
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    Western Mountaineering is all you'll ever need. I also checked out the Mont-Bel stuff which can sometimes be had a for good price. Most important, try to test it out. Get in it. I found they are all cut so differently that you really need to try them.

  6. #6
    Eastmans' Staff
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    You say you tend to sleep cold - so do I. I went with the Big Agnes 0 degree Pomer Hoit. It's still very lightweight, but I'd still gladly pack a couple of extra ounces to not freeze in colder than expected temperatures up high. Too unpredictable.
    Ryan Hatfield
    Managing Editor
    Eastmans' Hunting & Bowhunting Journals

  7. #7
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    Just to add to this the Western Mountaineering are warm. Much warmer than their rating. If I had to do it over again -- I have an alpinlite -- I would have gone with the microshell version. Sort of an in between material that's not goretex but not as permeable as the ultra light material. They are spendy for sure, but worth every dollar. I have some Big Agnes gear too and have always been happy with it so you can't go wrong.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the info. Big Agnes came up several times, so I was wondering how people like the integrated pad sleeve in the BA versus the normal down-filled bottom?
    I recognized long ago that if I have a warehouse full of guns, but no public land or public wildlife, I have nothing!

  9. #9
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    The integrated sleeve that accommodates the insulated core pad is AWESOME. I have the same bag as Ryan and have had no complaints. I haven't slept so comfortable since going to the Big Agnes system with the air pad.
    BOHNTR )))----------->

    B&C / P&Y Official Measurer

  10. #10
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    I have a Big Agnes Horse Thief and really like it. I use it with a Big Agnes insulated pad and really like the setup.

 

 

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