Sleeping bags for 6-7000m/Alpine winter

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 James Gordon 12 May 2022

Any and all experiences gratefully received! Expedition use, winter alpine use, in a tent or bivving on a ledge

Weight of down you’ve got away with? Model? Whether you pick a roomier one and wear down jacket in it? Synthetic or synthetic outer bag or water resistant outer?

Many thanks. PS. Ive got a fair bit of experience with different systems so after others specific experiences rather than generic advice.

Post edited at 07:58
In reply to James Gordon:

I've not been that high at any time of year, but have done a fair amount of camping in Arctic and sub-Arctic conditions, with reasonably cold temperatures. Do you have any idea how cold it's like to be at that altitude wherever it is you are going? 

 galpinos 12 May 2022
In reply to James Gordon:

No experience myself but bearing in mind how chatty the Mountain Equipment guys are when down at the wall, I would imagine if you got in touch they would happily wax lyrical about which of their products are best for that and tell you what their wads use. 

Mr Fuller on here, aka Dr. Down, would be a good starting point....

OP James Gordon 12 May 2022
In reply to galpinos:

Yep i think ME bags are prob the best that i can hold of at good price.

Temperature wise I guess I’m looking at a bag for the -15 to -20C range but interested in how people manage condensation, add warmth with clothing/outer bags etc.

 Traveller 12 May 2022
In reply to James Gordon:

I've used two bags to good effect. A lightweight PhD zipless bag as an inner, and a heavier 3 season rab bag (i think rated ro -10 or 15) or as an outer. I already had both, so it saved shelling out loads of money on a bag that I wouldn't use that often. It made for a good modular system as the PhD one was OK for a night or two at base (c5400m) on its own, meaning that I had a lighter load between camps.

 Babika 12 May 2022
In reply to James Gordon:

I used a Rab 900 at 6000m in a tent 3 years ago. Weighs 1.9kg The bag is almost 20 years old but toasty warm. No down jacket required (I used it for my pillow) but I had a fairly thick thermorest underneath.

As always the layers underneath are almost as important as the bag.

Post edited at 22:59
In reply to James Gordon:

ME Snowline would be a good bet down to -20C. When it becomes really cold, you can boost it in various ways. First of all: have a really good sleeping mat. Thermarest NeoAir XTherm or the like. Then, before entering the sleeping bag, put in bottle of warm water. Then take off your trousers, but  keep the woolen longs and socks on, and enter the bag. Then take off your puffy, but keep on the woolen sweater, zip up the puffy and pull it over the foot end. Then zip up the sleeping bag and cinch up the inner draw cord around your neck and the outer so tight that it will leave only a small breathing hole. Wear a hat and have a neck gaiter to cover your face and breathe through the material. This way you will have a lesser tendency to turn your head and breathe into the sleeping bag building up condensation. A bivy bag will boost the system even more, and so will a tent. Then there is the good old pee bottle. It requires well choreographed moves, but it saves the warmth in two ways.

OP James Gordon 13 May 2022
In reply to Stefan Jacobsen:


Used double bag on denali. Pee bottle too. ME Firelite(-9) and PHd snowline insulated bivvy in winter alps.

Wanting the lightest I can get away with. Prefer one bag rather than faff of 2. Going to try quilt style in bivvy bag in alps this summer.

Looking at ME kryos/Xeros/Snowline. I see some folk eg. Tom Livingstone using ME Fireflash (-16) at 6-7000m.

Also wondering about ME Glacier range for more wriggle room in bag to add down clothing?

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