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  1. #1
    Senior Member dimeotane's Avatar
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    Backpacking a 2lb bag

    Hey guys, any thoughts would be helpful here.

    How many lbs for top and bottom insulation is reasonable for backpacking?

    Is a 2lb sleeping bag and a good down underquilt (another 1lb) reasonable to pack?
    For gearing up for 3 season backpacking should I aim for a 1lb top quilt and 1lb bottom quilt for 2lbs total at the most?

    I've been considering the 32f / 0c Aquila down sleeping bag from MEC. Seems like good value for it's performance.

    In the top quilt vs sleeping bag debate, I think the sleeping bag seals in the warm air nicely preventing cold drafts. And a sleeping bag can also be used like a quilt. So that's a good reason in my mind to go with a bag. I get the idea that you compress the down under you, but if you roll to the side in the night to get comfortable, you're covered in a bag.

    But is carrying the extra LB something I should try to avoid? Is a 2lb sleeping bag too much weight? Or do you hardly notice the 16oz weight anyways? Or is that 16oz more survival gear I could pack instead of the backside of a sleeping bag?

    What do you guys think?

    I've being trying to avoid accumulating the wrong gear, but it's hard to know until you try stuff out and learn the hard way. So your thoughts and experience are soooo helpful !

  2. #2
    Senior Member Funny Money's Avatar
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    If your base weight is over 15 lbs or so, then the extra pound won't matter. If, on the other hand, you're trying to go UL then you should go for less weight. Just generalizing.

    That advice is very dependent on the temps you're expecting, though; and if you're going to push below the bag's rating. If you're going to push 20degF on a regular basis, then 2lbs is certainly reasonable.

    I use a quilt, but if I were getting a new bag and wanted low weight, I'd definitely go for higher quality (ie: 800fp) goose down than sub-600 duck down. There are quite a few new and used options for you.
    -- Funny Money
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    Love 'em while you got 'em

  3. #3
    BrianWillan's Avatar
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    The main issue for picking sleeping insulation for backpacking is one of bulk when packed and less so of weight. So the more bulky a packed item becomes the larger a backpack required to carry all of your necessary gear. Which also translates into your ability to carry that load over the distance you plan to hike. As you point out the top quilt is lighter by design since there is no bottom to it which adds no insulation value.

    The other issue is the wrestling match that happens when trying to zip up a sleeping bag in a hammock.

    Since you have a thread injector, perhaps making yourself a simple top quilt (synthetic) would be a good place to start to find out what you like.

    Cheers

    Brian
    Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment. - Unknown

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  4. #4
    MAD777's Avatar
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    My DIY top and under quilts combined weigh 2 lb. and take me comfortably to the mid-20's. My lighter weight DIY set weighs 20 oz. and will take me comfortably to 40 degrees.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  5. #5
    markr6's Avatar
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    Thanks dimeotane - I was just getting ready to ask the exact same thing! I bought a Marmot 30 Never Winter bag a few months ago for the tent, before deciding to start hammocking. It comes in at 2.4lb including an OR compression sack. I plan on using this as a TQ because of the "seals in the warm air" idea. I'll know for sure after some testing!

  6. #6
    HangingOut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markr6 View Post
    I'll know for sure after some testing!
    You got that right. The best was to know is just do it a few times!!

  7. #7
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Ah the ole Sleeping Bag vs Top Quilt question. The answer is simple...it depends. It is such a personal thing choosing a sleep system.

    • For backpacking every single ounce counts when you're trying to make milage.
    • Comfort matters when you like to lollygag around camp all day though.

    Like most people here I started out with a pad and sleeping bag. It worked well enough most of the time. there was some wrestling to get into the SB in the hammock, and then some wrestling to get the pad situated under me. So much so that the first night out I threw my pad out of the hammock out of frustration. After a few more nights I got it all to work out just fine. But I would wake up with a clammy back on the pad, so I decided to switch it out for a DIY Under Quilt and just used the SB as a quilt. This worked okay, but the SB was just too big when opened up and it was constantly falling out of my hammock (no attached bugnet at the time). Finally I decided to switch up to a DIY TQ to match my UQ. I've since slept warm and comfortable. The TQ drapes over me and the UQ comes far enough up the sides of the hammock that I never have a draft. There is an inital cool spot if I move in the hammock, but the down UQ quickly warms up under me. Its no different than if you change positions in a bed and roll onto a cool area.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  8. #8
    Senior Member rip waverly's Avatar
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    in the hammock, much less material/insulation is needed for top coverage, as the hammock sorta wraps you up, and tucks/seals the sides of the quilt very nicely. combined with the UQ riding up past your shoulders... you end up with a
    very efficient system.

    that said, i have both, TQ's and a FF Winter Wren. in real cold, nothing ,IMHO,
    can compete with being full enclosed in a sleeping bag with draft collars, (even with wasted/compressed insulation beneath you) --but that is what the UQ is for.

    so... its one of these and half of those.......mess around, test and you'll stumble upon what works. (just beware, most of us opt for multiple items, for various situations, as the majority are not thru-hikers needing 1 item for 2600 miles)

    my 20* wren bag/uq weighs 3 lbs. the tq/uq weighs 2lbs. a lib is a lib... but i find i can drop the added weight elsewhere, if i desire the security of the wren.
    "Jeff-Becking"

    DOWNTOWN BROWN!!!!

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    I just got a Hammock Gear UQ incubator 20 deg. 21 oz. and a TQ Hammock Gear Burrow 20 deg 18.5 oz. with the M50 material with a WBBB and superfly rope tieouts snake skins57 oz so and starting to use a GG Z55 pack 4 lbs 3 oz so my big weights are getting down there. There are lighter packs but for comfort function and weight the Z55 is hard to beat.
    Adam and Jenny did a beautiful job with the quilts awesome product and they work great on the Mtns to Sea Trail and the AT. The almost Carolina Blue color is great too. LOL just saying.

  10. #10
    Senior Member exup's Avatar
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    2lbs is certainly heavy for a TQ, but there's nothing wrong with that. You can still have a really light kit with "heavy" geat. Its more about watching all the extra stuff than your main stuff.

    1lb hammock, 2lb TQ, 1lb UQ, 1lb tarp, would be a heavy set up, but that's still only 5lbs. Add 2-3lbs of clothes, 1/2lb cook kit, 2lbs of excessories and you're still only around 10lbs minus backpack. Anyone can make a light set up out of low cost gear you probably already own.

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