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Sleeping bag ratings etc

Stuck on a GiantStuck on a Giant Posts: 256
edited February 2008 in Tour & expedition
We're planning our first tour this summer, to Brittany because we can cycle to Poole from home and straight onto the ferry. We need sleeping bags, but am a bit unsure about what weight we'll need. We're going early June, and will have a small tent. I really don't want to get cold.

We're thinking about the Cumulus Ultralight 350 - will this be warm enough? Cumulus give these a comfort rating of -3C. Should we use liners? What do you wear when sleeping? - I'd rather be naked but is the inner of these bags a bit nylon-ey and sweaty?

Advice please.

Ta.

Posts

  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    With the ratings, the comfort ratings are the ones to look at, the extreme ratings relate to maybe not getting hypothermia in 8 hours - nothing about keeping warm! Having said that I would guess in June in Brittany a lightweight one would be fine. You can always wear some clothing if it does get cold, but generally you will benefit more from the lighter weight and small pack size. I take a silk liner with me, it is very small and light, makes the inside very nice against the skin (!) and adds some significant extra warmth, or can even be used alone on hot nights.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Pack some thermals. You never know when you might need them.
  • what? i don't get this. let me get this straight, your going during the summer to france and you think you need something that goes to -3????? it's france not the arctic. just get a summer one and if your that worried thermals and a liner but jeez, i'm planing to go around europe in july with one that has a comfort rating of 15C. it is light and takes very little space. and i'm in a 1 layer 960g tent. if i get cold i'll sleep in jeans and buy a blanket or some thermals the next day but honestly the night is going to be cooler but the days may be as hot as 30C so i really think they won't fall below 15C. if they do then sorry but still -3??? what are you a pensioner or an anorexic to think your going to get that cold??

    sorry if i sound insulting but your exaggeration is beyond a joke espeicially when you then go and ask if you need a liner, ah thanks for a good luagh.

    oh just remembered i saw somewhere that if you sleep with one of those foil blankets underneath your tent you lose less heat to the ground and reflecting heat will make tent warmer. try that as well and then the locals can enjoy roast cyclist in the morning.
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  • daviddddaviddd Posts: 637
    I don't like the silk liner I brought to Oz, feels slippery and weird. Most nights here it's around 15 deg C and my 3-season bag is half open - it tends to be warmish at the start of the night but cooler as dawn approaches so I tend to sleep on top for a while and then get in if feeling cool, and France in June won't be that much cooler I would've thought?
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  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    what are you a pensioner or an anorexic to think your going to get that cold??

    sorry if i sound insulting but your exaggeration is beyond a joke espeicially when you then go and ask if you need a liner, ah thanks for a good luagh.

    oh just remembered i saw somewhere that if you sleep with one of those foil blankets underneath your tent you lose less heat to the ground and reflecting heat will make tent warmer. try that as well and then the locals can enjoy roast cyclist in the morning.

    You not only sound insulting you are being insulting. It wouldn't be so bad if you were being patronising from a position of actually knowing what you were talking about, but from your post I think you're a newbie yourself.

    People should be able to ask questions without some jerk insulting and patronising them. If you haven't got anything useful to say keep quiet.
  • iI take it the cumulus is down? In this case a liner is a must,, as cleaning down is a pain and, if professionaly done expensive.

    It is very difficult to say if it will be warm enough - I sleep hot and my 0c rated bag, with liner, does me from early spring to autumn in UK. If I get cold I put a hat and socks on. I am also looking g at a Rab Survival zone bivi bag at £50 which will not only waterproof - mainly from condensation for me - but will make it warmer. Need to make sure tha bag is aired whenever possible using this though as it does get damp from perspiration over 2 or 3 days.( as does any bag with a waterproof/breathable shell)

    I reckon you will be OK - wear some clothes if you do get chilly.

    Have a good trip!
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    Despite what Thatguyonabike writes, you are best advised to get a 3-seasons sleeping bag. I’ve camped in August near Poitiers and next morning it was only +5 deg.C., and one year during the first week in September in Alsace, I woke to find frost.

    Try and make sure the comfort rating is based on the (since-2005) European Norm EN 13537. The comfort ratings of sleeping bags tested under the old standards or under the American ASTM F1720 standard are flattering compared to the newer EU standard, e.g. what they rate as –3 deg.C might only be +5 deg.C under the new standard.
    You should also check whether the –3 deg.C comfort rating is the higher value (applicable to women) or the lower value (applicable to men). If the latter, you might find you’ve wife feels cold if the temperature drops below about +5 deg.C.

    Note that the comfort ratings presume the sleeper will be wearing some long sleeve and long leg functional underwear. So if you choose to sleep naked, then the comfort ratings won’t be valid.
    Wearing underwear would also help with your concern about the inside of the sleeping bag being uncomfortable. Although I don't particularly find it a problem - I wear just a top (t-shirt).

    If you’re still concerned about feeling cold, I’d recommend thermals (so functional underwear) or silk inlets, and if it’s really cold, a hat of some sort (the winter hats for wearing inside helmets are light and warm, just make sure it’s not too tight for sleeping in).
    If on the other hand, you encounter warm weather, open the foot end of the sleeping bag first, and then, only if it’s still too warm, open the upper part.
  • knedlicky has said it all. Too hot is rarely a problem for me. I always take a Snugpack osprey (-9 survival!) a silk liner, thermals and a buff. Have been bitterly cold on damp mornings in central france in late May. A two way zip is great for ventilation in hot weather or just use the silk. Cold and not sleeping at night is my own particular version of hell adn its worth teh extra grammes in my opinion.
  • Cheers guys, including Andy, saved me a response!

    As we're looking at being able to put the bags together, I do wonder if something to wear such as thermals, or maybe silk PJs :wink: would work whether the bags are separate or zipped together.

    It's a good point about the standards used, and differences between men and women, although Mrs G often gets too hot, when I'm fine, so that may not be a problem in reality.
  • huggyhuggy Posts: 242
    Most sleeping bags are fine, and your choice sounds fine, but it's the insulation from the ground that is the biggest concern. I have a forces sleeping bag which goes to -10 C, and max of -15 c, but I tried sleeping without any insulation (just on the floor of my tent) and after about 4 hours I was freezing cold and had a horrible night. The ground just sucks your heat away. However, don't get airbeds, they just increase the effect. A good camp roll or 2 is good.

    A bivvy bag is also very useful for adding another layer, though you don't need to spend loads on one. Goretex is good, but if you're at no risk from rain then I wouldn't worry too much. Best is too look for ex-SAS bivvies on ebay. They are the real McCoy and are fantastic, especially as most go for around £20. Make sure it comes with a drawstring though.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    If you can afford it Thermarest mats are superb, or Alpkit Airic mats do the same job but at half the price (lifetime guarantee on the Thermarest though).

    The Thermarest chair is a great accessory and easily carried on tour

    trekker_chair.jpg
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