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  1. #1
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Sleeping bag expander-- for big people

    I just came across a device made for / by Big Agnes they call a "Wedgie."
    Comes in two lengths for two typical sleeping bag (sb) zipper lengths.

    Simple, but too damned expensive: A 50"-60" V shaped down-filled draft tube with zipper halves that mate to the zipper halves on the sb .

    I just mistakenly bought a fine 20 degree bag......for some narrower people. I intend to use it as top quilt. 59" at shoulders should be plenty / too much width in a hammock. But for other uses of the bag, this expander might be the ticket to make a trade unnecessary.

    Any experience here? Are sb zipper's standard enough so one or 2 products would be compatible across bag mfgs?

    I wonder if there might be enough demand for one of the cottage industries to make a product with same function. Or knowledge to tell me not to bother even trying one.

  2. #2
    Senior Member zukiguy's Avatar
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    Probably not

    I've got probably a dozen sleeping bags if I do enough digging in the gear closet. I can safely say that there aren't two of them that have the same zipper. Some have individual teeth while others are the self-repairing coil type. I have a few different sizes depending on the bag/mfg as well as length. Unless you're buying this "wedgie" from the specific manufacturer for a particular bag I think you're going to have problems.

    If it's a good bag then you're probably better off just trying to unload it here and use the funds to help purchase a bag that fits or a quilt.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Zippers a such a pain in the kiester. There is absolutely no standard between brands except for the sizing names. #5 zipper is 5mm across the teeth when closed. Beyond that virtually everything is proprietary. The thickness of the teeth.. the offset of the teeth in back.. the type of teeth/coil... you name it... it ain't standard. _If_ you know the brand of the zipper and the it matches the brand on the extender.. (Like from the same manufacturer) it _might_ match. But there is no assurance that it will.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  4. #4
    yakinkate's Avatar
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    bIG Agnes wedgie WILL DEF. WORK WITH BIG AGNES bags that they recommend. can't say about others. would be a bad gamble. i have a BA bag/pad and like it.

  5. #5
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    The assumption is that YKK #X zippers will mate with other YKK #X zippers of the same length and style. This only works for toothed separating zippers. You can not mate and separate coil zippers without doing a Frankenstien/Rube Goldberg arrangement. _If_ your current bag and the extender both have a toothed separating YKK #5 zipper of such and such a length in theory you will be fine. If not... with a toothed separating zipper of another brand all bets are off. It might work... it might not.

    If you have a coil zipper on the current bag you can not use it at all.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

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  6. #6
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Thanks all. I know not to expect a general solution and not necessarily a custom one, either.

    Next available weekday I'll take the sleeping bag to a fabric shop that's been in business for 60+ years, and see if they / I can mate the bag's YKK zipper halves with a zipper they have in stock.

    I'll report back, and consider a custom fix if that is feasible. I suspect that after the freedom of movement of a summer top quilt in a hammock, the bag is going to seem way too restrictive anymore for use as a sb, however much reasonable weight I shed.
    Last edited by DemostiX; 07-09-2011 at 21:28.

  7. #7
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    Any updates?

    DemostiX,

    I have the same problem/situation you brought up in this article. Did you resolve the problem? ...find something that would work? ...have a solution custom-made?

    Any help appreciated!


    Tim

  8. #8
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Once free to move in a hammock w top quilt

    I lost interest in expanding the bag. I see that Western Mountaineering recognizes that some would their mummy bags be larger, so a couple of their models are larger twins of previous ones.

    Related to this thread is my TQ for a chilly but rarely freezing November in Oregon. I opened the back of one of the RAB top bags that was discussed here -- a sleeping bag with just fabric on the bottom except for a fully enclosed and insulated foot box. Expectation is that the user would like in a pad and his body. Or just his body, and then lay on a pad. I, instead, slit and sealed the fabric to just below the neck, leaving an intact collar. I can then step into the footbox, pull the collar around my neck, to keep the the bag / quilt over me, and yet have freedom of movement between and neck and knees.

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