Howdy from Texas!
Long time reader, first time poster here!
I'll be hiking the AT this summer, leaving in June and starting in main for the SOBO journey. I recently purchased this sleeping bag: http://www.backcountry.com/marmot-sa...15-degree-down
Do you think it will be an alright choice for the whole trip? People say it's a hassle getting into bags in a hammock, but from my previous experience, it really hasn't been much of an issue. I'm fairly small and pretty limber, so it just doesn't seem to bother me. My only concern is the temperature rating. Do you think this will be sufficient for the whole trail?
Sorry but I'm not too up on the lingo such as "SOBO", however, it seems to be a heavy bag and perhaps it may be too warm. By comparison, take a look at the 40 degree bag from ZPack; it's around 11 oz for around $300. I just got one and it's super lightweight.
As for using a bag, I used a Marmot down sleeping bag as a quilt for quite some time. I left it zipped up a bit to form a foot box and then used the rest over me like a quilt; it worked fine. The Zpack bag actually comes formed like a quilt and when I ordered mine I asked them to leave the zipper out. The only minor concern I have with the ZPack bag is that the footbox is a bit narrow compared to most sleeping bags or TQ's; but that's the price you pay for the weight.
My Marmot 30 degree down sleeping bag weighs 27 oz compared to this bag at 48 ounces. I'd think about the weight a bit more...
I'm envious of your plans; good for you to be able to take this on!!
Okay, I just looked up SOBO; south bound, right? Seems like 15 degrees would be a bit much, especially once you get a bit further south and towards the end of June. I'd research historical weather for the northern most part of the trail for the time of year your starting and pick accordingly.
Welcome from Denver!
The bag looks half decent - Marmot's are nice. A quilt is always a good choice but a bag works fine. I actually still don't put myself all the way into them - I typically unzip it most of the way, but my feet in the foot box and pull the top over me like a blanket.
Welcome from California.
What type of sleeper are you? Are you planning to hammock the whole trip? Why sleeping bag instead of a quilt?
Well like I said, I've slept in a hammock before with a bag, and I slept like a baby. And yes, I plan to hammock the whole trail.
You need to check out Under Quilts (UQ). That bag seems heavy. It also won't keep your back side warm (UQ or a pad under you will be needed). I got CBS (Cold Butt Syndrom) hanging at 50 degrees by a river in Arkansas. I had to get up in the middle of the night to deploy my UQ and THEN all was well.
By the time you reach southern VA, TN, NC and GA, you will probably need more winter gear. While that bag appears rated for winter, the weight seems high to me.
Suggest a test in wet, 50 degree weather. And another test as cold as it can be. I tested my winter (zero) degree TQ and UQ at 18 degrees, next to Lake Texoma. My feet were still cold, but I made about 4 mistakes that night!
Test your gear. or be prepared to get to an outfitter and spend $$$ while on the trail.
There are some great Trail Journals (TJ) from past hammock hangers.
If you have a TJ, share it so we can follow along.
I definitely plan on having a pad under me while camping to avoid the CBS I've heard so much about. I know everyone swears by TQ/UQ but I just wanted to try and keep my pack as light as possible, so I thought I could achieve this with a sleeping bag and a pad. I actually JUST ordered the bag, so I'm sure I could return it.
I'm also in another dilemma. I have a Hennessy Hammock Safari Deluxe, the 2 person hammock, because I was originally going on this hike with my girlfriend. Well worst came to be, and we're no longer together, so now I'm stuck with a huge hammock and I fear I'm too far away from my purchase date for anything to be done. So that also worries me quite a bit.