How big is your sleeping bag?

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by robjh, 20 Feb 2018.

  1. I have a somewhat old Mountain Equipment Voyager II synthetic-filled sleeping bag, that is quite optimistically billed as 3-4 season, although 2-3 would be more accurate. It's still quite comfortable and I use it mainly with a bivvy bag.

    In its stuff bag it measures about 40cm long x 20 cm diameter
    and in its compression sack, it is about 28cm long x 20cm diameter.

    This takes up the best part of a pannier, which always strikes me as quite a lot.

    From looking round outdoor shops, I get the impression that this size is still not that unusual for 3 season synthetic bags, though I'm turning up some much smaller (apparent) sizes in down sacks in on-line searches.

    What size and type of sleeping bags are people using on touring these days? Any recommendations for a smaller-packing bag that would do the same job?
  2. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    I don't have a Stuff Bag and only use the Compression Sack for transporting my Mammut Ajungilak Kompakt Spring bag in a pannier.
    Dimensions of the bag in the sack are approx 23cm long and 20cm diameter, although when other soft clothing items are stuffed into the pannier the sack dimensions will be reduced a little.
    I'm inclined to believe the insulating qualities of the bed roll are every bit as important as the efficiency of the sleeping bag
  3. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    I use a quilt which has transformed the amount of space taken up. I can pack a teddy now.
  4. MikeG

    MikeG Guru

    It's not so much the thing you are lying in that bothers me, space-wise, but the thing you lie on. Make them too small and you can't sleep. Make them big enough to sleep on, and you can't find space for them. I'm not sure compression bags are such a great idea either, as they give you a hard shape which doesn't necessarily mould itself to the other stuff you are trying to pack around it, thus wasting much of the space you've "saved".
    robjh likes this.
  5. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    Quite. And for this reason, I used to pack a sleeping bag loose without the stuff sack.
  6. I use the big old vintage REI semi-mummy bag, great at what it does,
    a necessary,
    rack topping,
    robjh likes this.
  7. psmiffy

    psmiffy -

    Do as I do get a bigger pannier :smile:
    robjh and snorri like this.
  8. Yep, my only problem with them is they like to be in the biggest cities, so I have to go to Oakbrook Terrace, 90 miles distant, in the Chicago suburbs, if I need to see something in person. Although they have always had good mail order, and it's just a few bucks to join. Campmor is also good.
    User259 likes this.
  9. I have a Mont Bell Ultralight Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 which weighs in at 698 grams. It is not made now but I am sure that Mont Bell do a replacement bag.

    Anyway the stuff sack I use for it is a Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Super-Lightweight Dry Sack 8L (I have managed to loose the original sack).

    The yellow bag hanging off the handlebars contains my sleeping bag, sleeping mat, Sea to Summit liner and my Tarptent Double Rainbow shelter so you can maybe get an idea of how it packs down.

    Gravity Aided and Rickshaw Phil like this.
  10. Blue Hills

    Blue Hills Guru

    Which panniers do you use?
  11. OP

    robjh Guru

    I had a look round my local outdoor equipment supplier and that confirmed that down is the way to go if I want to cut down on the packed size, and especially the 'ultra light' ones which have less material, for obvious reasons. Things like this by Criterion (though plenty of similar Rab ones there too).
    Given the prices though I may continue to endure my trusted old synthetic bag while I weigh up the choices.
  12. Blue Hills

    Blue Hills Guru

    Good thread start rob - I will do some stuffing and measuring when I have a mo as I also have an old (twenty years plus) Mountain Equipment synthetic bag which I am still using - including for bivvying. Quality stuff.

    But I have had the same thoughts as you as it is big - it goes on top of the rack.

    I have considered (and rejected) the thought of going down the down route.

    If you are looking for a synthetic but smaller bag have you checked out Snugpak? I intend to pay them a visit next time I'm up that way. Also available from several sources at less than "normal" price.
  13. Crackle

    Crackle Pah

    Synthetic bags won't go so small. I bought a RAB 3 season bag for my son for his DoE a few years back and that, for the rating was one of the smallest I could find and I spent most of my time in the shop shoving the display bags ones in their sacs and checking the size. It would still take up half an Ortlieb though.
  14. psmiffy

    psmiffy -

    Altura 56

    Forgive me if I don’t get it – sleeping bag technology is simples – generally the more bulk they have when deployed the warmer they are – which generally means the warmer they are the more the packed bulk – marginal gains in packed bulk can be made by paying more – if the sleeping bag wholly fills the pannier is it the bag that is too big or the pannier is too small?
    Gravity Aided likes this.
  15. the stupid one

    the stupid one Senior Member

    I was in Aldi this morning, they are selling a mostly-down sleeping back in the fishing equipment promotion that looks to pack down pretty small. Can't comment on its warmth or durability, as I don't own one. £40, I think it was. Might be good for summer touring.
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