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Bowregard
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Bowregard
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PostThu Jun 17, 2021 4:03 pm 
Does less empty space in a bag really make much difference in warmth?

I bought two Eddie Bauer Karakoram 20 degree sleeping bags for my daughters back in 2016 (the red/blue ones they closed out for $140 - https://www.backcountryskiingcanada.com/First-Ascent-Karakoram-20-Sleeping-Bag-Review ). One complains about being cold because of the extra space (even when she fills it with clothes). I found a great deal on a woman's Mountain Equipment Helium 600 bag (https://www.mountain-equipment.com/collections/womens-sleeping-bags/products/helium-600-womens ) but I can't convince myself it will actually be warmer. The fill weights of the two bags are almost identical which should favor the Helium 600 since it is for a 5'7" woman and the Karakoram for a 6' man. But the Down Fill Power favors the Karakoram (850 vs 700). I want to tell her the new bag will be warmer but my gut says they will be about the same.

Which do you think would be warmer?

I know I should just tell her to bite the bullet and spend the money for a warmer bag but that would be more than double the $$.

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Randito
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PostThu Jun 17, 2021 4:25 pm 
Everyone's thermostat runs different.   Within my family I'm OK down to freezing in a 45 degree bag,   my wife prefers a 10 degree bag in the summer and thinks the idea of snow camping is nuts

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Bosterson
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PostThu Jun 17, 2021 6:57 pm 
What Randy said. Also, the pad matters - is she using a really low r-value pad? Even the warmest sleeping bag is "cold" on a thin pad.

Assuming the Karakoram is a half foot too long, can't she schrunch it up her body so her feet are at the end? That said, a much too big bag is extra weight, and dead space does somewhat affect apparent warmth. On the flip side, that other 700 fill bag is duck down and much lower fill power... Though this is probably moot considering the unnecessary extra length of the other bag. If she can sell the Karakoram used, is the new bag a wash?

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Randito
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Randito
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PostThu Jun 17, 2021 8:16 pm 
One thing to consider doing prior to buying a whole new bag is to get some down booties to keep feet warm instead of banging around in a bunch of empty space and wear all the extra clothes instead of stuffing them in the end of the bag.

https://40below.com/product/40-below-camp-booties-synthetic-insulated/

A down or synthetic jacket is also a good suppliment -- plus a nice thick jacket makes hanging out at camp in the evening, midnight pee breaks and getting going in the morning more pleasant.

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Bowregard
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PostThu Jun 17, 2021 9:59 pm 
All good suggestions.

Her pad is an exped downmat 5 with an R rating of 4.1. She would like to upgrade that but they want almost as much for a high R value pad as the bags so that may be awhile. She takes a zpack pad along too for a little extra warmth if she is expecting freezing weather. She wears a good down jacket and booties too. The only time she has really complained about the cold is when she has been up high in sub-freezing temps with the wind howling but she said she seldom ever feels cozy warm. What I am really trying to determine is if the smaller bag would make a big difference but my gut feeling is no and that she would be better off to "get by" with supplemental warmth until she can spring for a high quality 0 - 15 degree down bag.

I also think part of it could also be the tent. We camped at Goat Rocks in October one time and between the high winds and low temps (full water bladder in my tent froze) I was really cold but the girls together in their NF Pebble were laughing at me. Now they have a new lightweight tent that let more wind in and I suspect it is a contributor.

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pula58
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PostFri Jun 18, 2021 8:22 pm 
Perhaps your wife would  benefit by using an X-therm to totally eliminate any cold from the ground. Then, I bet she'll be warmer.

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Cyclopath
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PostFri Jun 18, 2021 8:29 pm 
Randito wrote:
https://40below.com/product/40-below-camp-booties-synthetic-insulated/

I love my Feathered Friends booties, I lent them to a friend once and she told me I'm no uncertain terms how lucky I was to get them back.  The straps on there are neat, might fix the one thing that isn't perfect about the FF ones.

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Bowregard
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PostFri Jun 18, 2021 8:58 pm 
The X-Therm noise drives her nuts so she won't buy one of those no matter how warm it is but the warmer Exped Downmat (R=7.1 - or an other brand with high R-Value) might help when she can afford it. I think maybe I should let her try my Synmat which is supposed to have an R-Value of 5.1. It is long/wide so she won't like the weight but it would be worth trying to see if it makes a big difference in warmth. We also have some of those Costco down throws sewn into quilts with a closed footbox that might be worth carrying when cold weather is expected for now.

How she responds to those ideas should tell me a lot about how cold she really is. Sometimes I have a hard time quantifying the situation.

Thank you all for the input. I am going to tell her not to expect the Helium 600 to be any warmer than what she has and wait until she can find a high quality bag in the 0-15 degree range that she can afford. That may be awhile but it makes no sense to buy something equivalent just because it is a good deal.

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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Jun 19, 2021 1:53 am 
I also purchased some down booties for about 30 bucks after freezing my ass off in August while camping at 6k' in the North Cascades. I think the key is to keep the extremities warm, feet, head and hands.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Franco
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PostSat Jun 19, 2021 4:25 pm 
If a SB is a bit too long , you can turn it inside out, put a wide rubber band over the too long bit then when you turn it the right way you will have an extra thick foot box. May not work well if you already have a stiff sort of foot box.

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Randito
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Randito
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PostSat Jun 19, 2021 8:30 pm 
Bowregard wrote:
Exped Downmat

I got one of these 11 years ago for snow camping.   Excellent warmth,  but it is heavy and bulky.    Last winter when I pulled it out and tested it before a trip,  I found that a baffle had broken/delaminated,  so now it bulges up in the center and isn't comfortable.

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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Jun 19, 2021 9:40 pm 
Glad I didn't waste big money on an Exped...I used a Big Agnes pad for while until a thorn made some holes I am still working on. I have 2 old school Thermarest pads that I bought from the gnome for cheap, one full length and one 3/4 and I like them a lot.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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pula58
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pula58
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PostMon Jun 28, 2021 2:24 pm 
Chief Joseph wrote:
I also purchased some down booties for about 30 bucks after freezing my ass off in August while camping at 6k' in the North Cascades. I think the key is to keep the extremities warm, feet, head and hands.

Yes, down booties! They make a huge difference to me when we're camping at temperatures 30 and lower.
For me, the X-therm noise is a non issue once you're lying down and trying to sleep. I thought it would be an issue, but it didn't bother me, or my wife either. She has the womens X-lite, which has a 5.4 R-value!

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