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  1. #1
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    Cutting down a military surplus sleeping bag?

    I ran across some used US Army sleeping bags and wondered if anyone has tried cutting one down to use as a top quilt? I passed them up at the time because I couldn't figure out the insulation that was used or the temperature rating. Is there usually a tag that would tell that? Any idea how difficult the sewing would be?

    Just a curious newbie who's short of cash

    O

  2. #2
    New Member
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    UPDATE:

    This is no longer an abstract question: I picked up the patrol bag, good to 30 degrees F, and the intermediate bag, good to -5F, along with a poncho liner today. I'll use the liner fora PLUQ and cut down the patrol bag for a top quilt. The bags are described here: http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=44550

    What is the best way to go about cutting down the lightweight bag? I'm thinking that I'd like to keep the foot area as is but am open to suggestions. What are the pros and cons?

    Any advice would be welcomed!!

    Still a newbie.

    O

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Jul 2012
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    Dover, DE
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    I use the patrol bag for car camping and at 40* im pretty chilly with a mid weight base layer on....just offering fair warning

  4. #4
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    Thanks!

    It looks like the military expects them to be used fully clothed, including boots, hence the temperature rating. I'm thinking 50 degrees, lower with a liner.

    O

  5. #5
    Senior Member bob2guns's Avatar
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    i'm a warm, to very warm type, and the patrol bag is good to just around 40°F

    for me.
    •• • ••i'm not homeless• •• • •just houseless•• • ••

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Nebraska
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    There's a lot of variables involved. Wind, humidity, bottom insulation, hammock type, personal tolerance, etc. I have slept comfortable down to 29 F with a single layer PLUQ and a poncho liner as a top quilt - cotton T-shirt and boxers only. This was inside a Clark with the weathershield which indeed makes a difference.
    For top quilts I use a cut down poncho liner above 50 degrees, a patrol bag in the 30-50 degree range, and a 20 degree bag when I expect the temps to get below 30 degrees. Almost always sleep in my normal underclothing.
    As far as how to modify the patrol bag - I think you could just remove the zipper, leave the foot area as it is, remove the hood and re-sew the top edge, and you should have a very serviceable top quilt.
    Another thing - it seems to be common belief that sleeping inside a sleeping bag has no advantage because the compressed insulation loses its effectiveness. I prefer to sleep 'under' the bag but I do find that I am noticeably warmer when I am inside the bag. Probably from the trapped air space rather than any bottom insulation. But, it is warmer.
    "...With saddle and pack, by paddle and track, let's go to the land of beyond."

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