Sleeping bag ratings?

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Stick on a Giant, 15 Feb 2008.

  1. Stick on a Giant

    Stick on a Giant New Member

    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.
  2. sheddy

    sheddy Guru

    I always think that bag ratings are optimistic, personally without a woman, I sleep cold. Take a liner just in case
  3. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Meanwood, Leeds
    I've used a similarly rated bag in April in the Lake District/Pennines and found it a tad cool. Easily remedied though. Waer gloves and a hat and drape a poncho over the sleeping bag to add a season's rating to the warmth.

    It worked for me and is not an obvious solution. I was recommended to me by a seasoned traveller from Preston.

    Elsewhere on this forum, I've seen a silk liner suggested.
  4. OP
    Stick on a Giant

    Stick on a Giant New Member

    One of the reasons for going for the Cumulus is the ability to zip 2 together! even if Mrs G ends up stealing 3/4 of my bag!

    I'm nowhere near 6', so that's not a problem.
  5. djmc

    djmc Über Member

    As to what to wear in the sleeping bag, wear the minimum. Down sleeping bags (and these are much the warmest) work by lofting up because of the warmth of the person inside them. If you climb into the sleeping bag with all your clothes on thinking you are going to be cold then your warmth never penetrates to the sleeping bag, and you will be the colder. Inner liners are a good idea but there is a certain tendency for them to tie themselves in knots. Sleeping bags that you can zip together are an excellent idea.
  6. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    It is difficult to advise as different people sleep warm or cold and also there is not an agreed standard for the temparature rating either! Some manufacturers quote extreme and comfort ratings where the extreme will only mean that you shouldn't die of hypothermia at that temperature.

    HOWEVER assuming 350 means 3 season (sounds plausible given the temp guide you stated) then I would have thought the bag woudl be fine on its own. You are going to Brittany in summer, not the arctic. Surely the night time temps will barely slip into single figures?

    If so, your main problem will be keeping cool! I use a 3 season bag all year round and usually have it totally unzipped in the summer as it is too hot. If it is unexpectedly cold you can always sleep with some clothes on.
  7. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    when i went to Brittany ( summertime ) it rained solidly for 10 which circumstances a synthetic bag might come into its own as it will keep you warn if the bag gets wet...which it shouldnt...but it might...

    ...i hope you have better weather than I did
  8. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Meanwood, Leeds
    I think the 350 refers to the weight or density of the filling/insulation though I could be wrong.
  9. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    This is my bag, it is a cheap 2-3 season synthetic bag ( i need the xxl size)...I have found it to be to warm in the summer....tonight it is forcast to drop to zero or below outside...I will sleep in it tonight with all the windows wide open and the heating off and report back tomorrow...I am sure it will be warm enough...I have a cotton liner and never wear anything when I sleep.
  10. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    ..well I dont think it got as cold as they forcast last night...the bag was still to warm for me for most of the night...but I was snug as a bug in a rug in the early hours when the temp dropped view is that this bag is too hot for me for 70% of the year...BUT I remember last summers cold and rain and how good it felt to warm up in this bag and tent...after a good days soaking.
  11. JackE

    JackE Über Member

    sleeping bags

    The "350" does refer to the weight of down used in the bag. Temperature ratings are approximate guides only as some manufacturers "over-state" their comfort range. I'm just about to order an Alpkit Pipedream 400 bag after long deliberation. It weighs 780gms, goes "down" to -3 and costs £105. I always use a silk liner and it takes the bag down another couple of degrees.
    I've know some backpacking couples who tried zipping their bags together and gave it up soon afterwards. Apparently it's very different from sharing a duvet!!
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