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Thread: Homemade Sleeping Bag?

  1. #1
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    Homemade Sleeping Bag?

    I have heard a variety of theories about this, including use of open cell foam. Does anyone have any ideas or experience with cold weather sleeping systems other than the GI system?

  2. #2
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    Colin Fletcher's The Complete Walker book goes into pretty good detail about sleeping bag features. You used to be able to find it at Barnes and Noble. I imagine you can borrow it from a library or get one used off amazon.

    Covers baffling, draft tubes, hoods, the different types of fill.

    That said, the military four-piece system isn't bad for the price and features.

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    What temp range are you talking about? Agreed the GI sleep system is good for the money, but remember just as important as the bag is the insulated pad or air mattress that goes under it. Another thing is don't take temp ratings on bags as a guide, when they say good to -20 many times they mean it will keep you alive at -20, not that you will be comfortable and get a good nights sleep at -20. A good bag used by a lot of high speed military is Wiggy's.

    FWIW I have used the four piece GI system with a good Thermarest insulated air mattress and was comfortable at -10 F. Until I had to get out of the bag, then you really need some kind of stove to heat up the tent.
    Last edited by mack7.62; 10-06-19 at 16:48.
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    Here'e a link on an interesting take for using open cell foam for insulation in clothing and sleeping bags.

    https://www.wiggys.com/wiggys-blog/f...-an-insulator/

    I've used the USGI Sleep system in 15-20 degrees weather and I was not pleased after 4-5 hours. Checked into the system parameters. Turns out it's rating (-40) was based on providing a soldier already dressed in Extreme Cold Weather gear, consisting of thick polypro base layers, heavy fleece jacket and bibs, and booties, four hours of sleep! I can picture a young, fit stud with a high metabolism doing OK with the USGI system, but an older fart like me just doesn't seem to crank out the heat to warm up the bag.

    Since then, I've switched to a Wiggy's Superlight bag rated at 0 degrees. Using a Wiggy's Deluxe Ground pad, I've been actually warm not just comfortable in 10-15 degrees wearing only a thin base layer. I don't backpack with that system in the winter because I use a sled/pulk for towing all my gear. Wiggy's has a great deal on his "Superlight" and "Ultralight" bags in MARPAT and ACU.

    https://www.wiggys.com/specials/sale...sleeping-bags/

    I'd rather spend the money on his gear that's tried and true over the years, rather than making one with a questionable insulation. But to each his own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .223Pound View Post
    Something for the Cold Weather.
    Define cold weather though. And that isn't necessarily x degrees. One of the coldest nights I spent was in the mid 50's in a 30 degree bag due to daytime temps hitting 90+.

    I have a couple of Wiggy's bags, woodland MSS (+ UCP Patrol bags), insulated quilts(woodland poncho liners and a Kifaru Woobie). I always sleep on a combination of closed cell foam(extra padding/insulation and works even if the self inflator craps out) plus full or 3/4 length Thermarest. Almost always take some kind of fleece/wool top and heavy wool sovks along. I have the best luck with a patrol bag plus one of the insulated quilts.

    Anymore, if temps are going to be sub 60 I will start working in insulated jackets (various weights from a pull over to a belay parka..think mine are climashield and primaloft), down booties, and fleece bibs or primaloft pants.

    The trick is staying just warm enough. You start sweating and you can wake up screwed.
    Last edited by jsbhike; 10-07-19 at 08:57.

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    +1 on Wiggy's although pick the right bag. I was boiling hot motorcycle tent camping in freezing rain in their 0F rated bag (super light). Needed the tent fan all night to stay cool

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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister View Post
    Colin Fletcher's The Complete Walker book goes into pretty good detail about sleeping bag features. You used to be able to find it at Barnes and Noble. I imagine you can borrow it from a library or get one used off amazon.

    Covers baffling, draft tubes, hoods, the different types of fill.

    That said, the military four-piece system isn't bad for the price and features.
    "The Complete Walker", WOW! That brought back familiar memories. That was the "Bible" of backpacking in the 70's and 80's. Old school along with external frame packs, European goose down sleeping bags, Svea 123 stoves with Sigg fuel bottles, Sierra Designs "60/40" parkas, Sierra cups, stainless steel cook kits, one piece leather boots, etc., etc.,

  8. #8
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    I’m a hammock camper, so my choice of bag is minimal when used with my underquilt. But if I were to go back to tent camping, I would be looking at the Zenbivy set up as an option: https://zenbivy.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwi...waAt46EALw_wcB

    Although I don’t have one, I really like the features for my sleeping style. I hate mummy bags and bivy “shelter” bags with a weatherproof outside liner.

    I have heard phenomenal ratings of Wiggy’s as well.

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    I still have my copy of The Complete Walker on my bookshelf. There's a lot of wisdom in that book.

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