/ Alternatives to normal sleeping bags

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needvert on 04 May 2012
After having a sleeping bag with no zip, I've come to think that zips are a waste of space/weight/money. With a warm jacket I've been pondering getting a vireo:
http://www.featheredfriends.com/Picasso/Bags/Layering.html

After routinely squashing the down on the bottom , I've been pondering quilts:
http://cascadedesigns.com/en/therm-a-rest/sleep-systems/insulation/alpine-down-blanket/product
(Are these any good quality wise? I notice they're made in China)


Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter? Alternatives to the full zip length normal sleeping bag seem quite uncommon in usage around my part of the world.
galpinos - on 04 May 2012
In reply to needvert:

I can see your first link but the classic pied d’elephant has been used for years, Alpkit used to do one with shoulder straps I think.

Your second option just seems to be a non-technical top bag. This offering from rab might be better? http://rab.uk.com/products/sleeping-bags/neutrino_2/module.html
Al Randall on 04 May 2012
In reply to galpinos: For many years I used an elephants foot and a duvet jacket for belaying in the alps but they seemed to go out of fashion and became unavailable.

Al
In reply to galpinos:

> Your second option just seems to be a non-technical top bag.

In the ultralight backpacking community quilts are all the rage. I don't think they are particularly non-technical. Many seem to love them and there is a lot of logic to the idea - it obviously means a very light sleeping system.

But climbers needs (if bivvying) can be a bit different from backpackers so it might not work for everyone, but the OP should get on google as there will be loads of reviews and discussion on UL backpacking websites and blogs.
galpinos - on 04 May 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to galpinos)
>
> [...]
>
> In the ultralight backpacking community quilts are all the rage. I don't think they are particularly non-technical. Many seem to love them and there is a lot of logic to the idea - it obviously means a very light sleeping system.

What's the advantage of a quilt over a top bag? A top bag has a hood and is, in general, closer fitting to the body so in theory should be warmer for the weight. The Rab top bag linked is 470g where as the quilt is 624g. (I realise this is a bit of an unquantifiable comparison due to no info on the amount of down is the products). My minim 300 weighs as much as that quilt and would be, I guess, at least as warm.

> But climbers needs (if bivvying) can be a bit different from backpackers so it might not work for everyone, but the OP should get on google as there will be loads of reviews and discussion on UL backpacking websites and blogs.


captain paranoia - on 04 May 2012
In reply to TobyA:

> In the ultralight backpacking community quilts are all the rage

Indeed.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/search.html?q=quilt&x=0&y=0

There are also plenty of examples of MYOG quilts in their MYOG section

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/display_forum.html?offset=-1&for...

You'll have to use your browser search to find 'quilt'.
ads.ukclimbing.com
leecamonline on 16 May 2012
In reply to needvert: I've been using the thermarest sleep system for a couple of years mainly for car camping with the kids. Although weight isn't an issue I use a luxury camp mat with fitted sheet, ventra down blanket and pillow.

In my opinion the system is much more comfortable than the traditional sleeping bag and the reason I bought it. As far as quality goes each item is of the highest quality as you would expect from thermarest so there don't appear to be any issues from being made in the far east which is where the majority of outdoor equipment is made.

We camp from early spring to late autumn mainly in the Lake District. During the colder months I just wear thermals and a hat. You wouldn't expect this system to keep you comfortable in temperatures it is not designed for. Where it really excels is in the warmer months where it is much easier to regulate temperature meaning you don't need two bags.

Also, I would have no hesitation converting this system to a light weight one for backpacking etc by losing the sheet and pillow and using a lighter mat which is another benefit of its versatility.

One thing I have noticed is this system doesn't appear to be popular here in the UK because most shops Don't seem to stock it though I don't know why.

I hope this helps.

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