Sleeping bag focus group questionnaire

Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,034
33
Seattle
In a former life I used to design sleeping bags. They were all specialized for high altitude mountaineering: Denali, the Himalayas, etc. Now that I'm retired from guiding and becoming more interested in other kinds of travel, I'm thinking about designing some different kinds of sleeping bags and wanted input from the Discoweb crowd. You know, focus group kind of stuff.

Lots of people on Discoweb will not hesitate to pay $300 for a drive shaft, $500 for a bumper, $600 for a suspension upgrade, $700 for a roof rack, or $800 for a set of tires. But what about sleeping bags? For those of you that camp, what do you look for in a sleeping bag and how much are you prepared to spend on one? Here are some questions I'd appreciate answers to from the camping crowd. Answer as many as you feel like.

What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? Mummy? Rectangular? Synthetic or down-filled? What temperature rating? How much did you spend on it? Do you like it?

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp?

If you were going to buy a new sleeping bag, how important are the following factors in making your choice?

(a) Weight. Do you need an ultralight bag that packs down small because you also use it for backpacking? Do you not care about weight because the furthest you carry your bag is 20 feet from your truck to your tent?

(b) Comfort. Do you like a narrow mummy bag? Do you prefer room for moving or storing extra clothing inside? Do you like having a hood or not?

(c) Durability. Do you want to buy a sleeping bag that will actually last you 20 years? Do you want a bag that you can just throw on the ground, might get trampled by your dog, or you can use to pad a tree when winching?

(d) Sharing. Are you interested in buying a sleeping bag that could be zipped to a ground sheet and would fit two people, or one person plus a dog, or two people plus a dog? I know I'm asking for trouble here, but it's a serious question. Some people like the idea of sharing a sleeping bag with a special someone.

(e) Price. How many US dollars would you consider spending on a sleeping bag? Which is partly related to...

(f) Country of origin. Do you care if your sleeping bag is made in China or the United States? Would you be willing to spend more money on a sleeping bag if it was made in the USA?

(g) Color. For some reason this matters to people, even though 90% of the time you're in your sleeping bag your eyes are closed. What color would you want your next sleeping bag to be? Black? Red? Camo? Rainbows and unicorns?

(h) Water resistance. How much do you care if your sleeping bag will stay dry? If you have a leaky tent maybe the sleeping bag is not the issue. If you sleep inside your truck, in a camper, in a log cabin, in a roof-top tent, or in Arizona maybe water resistance is not a big deal. If you sleep in the snow, under a tarp, or in Scotland maybe this is important to you.

(i) Try before you buy. If a company offered you the option of renting a sleeping bag for a trip and then let you apply 100% of the rental fee towards the purchase of the sleeping bag if you wanted to then buy it, would that encourage you to try it out?

(j) Warranty. Is a lifetime manufacturer's warranty on materials and workmanship important to you?

Thanks gang. Feel free to mention any other thoughts you have relating to what you like or don't like about sleeping bags. This is entirely qualitative and not a scientific survey and the results will not be published in any research journals.
 

ArmyRover

Well-known member
Dec 4, 2007
3,230
0
Augusta, GA
A: Makes no difference to me
B: Narrow is good, but I like a little extra room at the foot for clothes in cold weather.
C: Long lasting is good, I'd rather buy once and not every year.
D: She can get her own bag.
E: $150ish
F: Prefer US made
G: Prefer colors that don't show dirt easily
H: Water resistance is good
I: Don't care
J: I think that will probably drive price up but would be a good selling point.

My current bag is the modular system used by the army, light bag, heavy bag and gortex shell, and I think it's the cat's ass.
 

stu454

Well-known member
Callsign: KN4CBB
Dec 15, 2004
5,346
12
Atlanta, GA
What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? Mummy, Synthetic. What temperature rating? 15F or so. How much did you spend on it? $250 (overpriced in Moab; needed a bag.) Do you like it? Yes.

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp? 10-20F. Usually closer to 30-40F.
If you were going to buy a new sleeping bag, how important are the following factors in making your choice?

(a) Weight. Do you need an ultralight bag that packs down small because you also use it for backpacking? Do you not care about weight because the furthest you carry your bag is 20 feet from your truck to your tent? Don't care as I truck-camp.
(b) Comfort. Do you like a narrow mummy bag? Do you prefer room for moving or storing extra clothing inside? Do you like having a hood or not? I'd prefer more room as well as a hood.
(c) Durability. Do you want to buy a sleeping bag that will actually last you 20 years? Do you want a bag that you can just throw on the ground, might get trampled by your dog, or you can use to pad a tree when winching? I'd pay more for a durable bag.
(d) Sharing. Are you interested in buying a sleeping bag that could be zipped to a ground sheet and would fit two people, or one person plus a dog, or two people plus a dog? I know I'm asking for trouble here, but it's a serious question. Some people like the idea of sharing a sleeping bag with a special someone. Not really important.
(e) Price. How many US dollars would you consider spending on a sleeping bag?
I'd pay $300 for a durable, US-made bag with a warranty.
Which is partly related to...


(f) Country of origin. Do you care if your sleeping bag is made in China or the United States? Yes. Would you be willing to spend more money on a sleeping bag if it was made in the USA? Yes.
(g) Color. For some reason this matters to people, even though 90% of the time you're in your sleeping bag your eyes are closed. What color would you want your next sleeping bag to be? Black? Red? Camo? Rainbows and unicorns? Don't care; I suppose a darker color to hide dirt.
(h) Water resistance. How much do you care if your sleeping bag will stay dry? If you have a leaky tent maybe the sleeping bag is not the issue. If you sleep inside your truck, in a camper, in a log cabin, in a roof-top tent, or in Arizona maybe water resistance is not a big deal. If you sleep in the snow, under a tarp, or in Scotland maybe this is important to you.

(i) Try before you buy. If a company offered you the option of renting a sleeping bag for a trip and then let you apply 100% of the rental fee towards the purchase of the sleeping bag if you wanted to then buy it, would that encourage you to try it out? Yes.
(j) Warranty. Is a lifetime manufacturer's warranty on materials and workmanship important to you? Yes.
 
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Fotogr4

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2011
128
0
Asheville, NC
A) This used to matter more when I backpacked. Now I camp more out of my truck.
B) I like a bit more room. I have a narrow mummy now and my biggest peeve is not being able to shift around much. I do use my hood- in the winter for warmth, in the summer to hold a pillow.
C) I tend to not abuse my stuff, but I want things to last at least as long, or longer, as one would expect. Not sure what that means for a sleeping bag, but I use mine several times a year, and I've had it for 15 years... still looks like new.
D) One of the reasons I selected the bag I did was because it connected to another of the same style. That was several girlfriends ago and the mate to my bag went with her.
E) I paid a lot for mine ($300ish) and would again considering how well my bag has held up. That being said, I'd love a quality bag for $100-150.
F) If there were two comparable bags I was considering, and one was made in the US and the other not, I'd pick the US one.
G) Yeah, I admit I picked mine because it matched my tent. I have to have things match. Yeah, weird, whatever. Mine's blue outside, black inside and does not seem trendy or dated to me.
H) Being waterproof is a feature I look for in the thing in which my sleeping bag will be, not the bag itself.
I) Never heard of that, but it's intriguing. I think I'd hesitate in fear of getting a bag that had been on loan before. Gross.
J) Like the country of origin, were I choosing between two, and one had a lifetime warranty, I'd go with that one.
K) ...on another note, I keep my bag in the big storage bag that came with it (vs. packed into the stuff sack) and the quality of this storage bag sucks. Actually so does the stuff sack that came with it. I'd like to see both of these items be up to the same standards as the sleeping bag itself.
L) Oh, and I didn't see mention of degree rating. I suppose that would play into the bag's weight and it might be such a default consideration that you're not looking for input on it, but it was a big factor for me when buying my bag. I often traveled to a myriad of climes.

Good luck!
 

az_max

1
Apr 22, 2005
7,447
1
What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? REI Zero degree Mummy.

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp? mid 30's, but I'm always cold.

If you were going to buy a new sleeping bag, how important are the following factors in making your choice?

(a) Weight. Do not care about weight. Size rolled up may be more of a factor to save space.

(b) Comfort. I dislike mummy bags because I roll around a lot while sleeping and end up tangled in the mummy bag. Big, rectangle bags work better for me.
(c) Durability. Long life.

(d) Sharing. I mostly sleep on cots, so sharing is a bit hard. But would be nice for an option on queen inflatable bed.

(e) Price. $100-150

(f) Country of origin. USA would be better.

(g) Color. Tan or Khaki would be less likely to show dust or silt.

(h) Water resistance. I live in Arizona.... The most water it's likely to see is a bottle of water spilled on it.

(i) Try before you buy Yes!

(j) Warranty. Yes!
 

Durt D1ver

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2008
649
0
Jersey Shore
What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? Both Mummy and multiple Rectangulars. Synthetic Filled. -20 Slumberjack mummy, rectangle 0 "ridgeway by kelty" 90's era surplus USGI modular, and spring/summer bag. I like them all

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp? Teens, but then with a heater

If you were going to buy a new sleeping bag, how important are the following factors in making your choice?

(a) Weight. Do you need an ultralight bag that packs down small because you also use it for backpacking?

Don't care, I don't backpack

(b) Comfort. Do you like a narrow mummy bag?

I like my narrow, because if it's really cold, I will put my mummy inside my rectangle for extra warmth

(c) Durability. Do you want to buy a sleeping bag that will actually last you 20 years?

I don't own a bag that isn't at least 15 years old at this point.

(d) Sharing. My wife might like that, but then again, her idea of camping is a hotel with outside corridors. I've yet to get her to sleep in a tent.

(e) Price. How many US dollars would you consider spending on a sleeping bag?

I'm a cheap bastard. The best quality for the best price. I'm not going to spend $$$ for a fancy name.

(f) Country of origin. Do you care if your sleeping bag is made in China or the United States?

I would like if it was made in the USA, but the costs of producing here will probably put it out of a price I'm willing to spend.

(g) Color. For some reason this matters to people, even though 90% of the time you're in your sleeping bag your eyes are closed.

Don't care. But if I'm going to be spooning Jake in it, I would prefer it to be a manly color, like Magenta.

(h) Water resistance. How much do you care if your sleeping bag will stay dry?

It would be a nice feature, but again, I wouldn't pay extra for it. I would just throw a tarp over the tent.

(i) Try before you buy. If a company offered you the option of renting a sleeping bag for a trip and then let you apply 100% of the rental fee towards the purchase of the sleeping bag if you wanted to then buy it, would that encourage you to try it out?

Probably not. Because If I didn't like it, I wouldn't want to go through the hassle of sending it back.

(j) Warranty. Is a lifetime manufacturer's warranty on materials and workmanship important to you?

Not really, Sleeping bags get old and musty, I don't know If i would want to still be using the same sleeping bag i've been farting in for 40 years.

Thanks gang. Feel free to mention any other thoughts you have relating to what you like or don't like about sleeping bags. This is entirely qualitative and not a scientific survey and the results will not be published in any research journals.[/QUOTE]
 

Asolo3j

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2004
1,267
0
Annapolis
What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? Mummy- Synthetic, Mummy-Down.

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp? Teens, but really I need a good 30 degree bag

If you were going to buy a new sleeping bag, how important are the following factors in making your choice?

(a) Weight. I backpack a lot and weight is very important. I have considered using a quilt or making one out of an existing mummy.

(b) Comfort. a little room, but not too much. I am a skinny dude and most bags fit fine.

(c) Durability. standard amount of durability, but I would sacrifice some durability for weight savings. silnylon, epic, eVent, cuben fiber, etc...

(d) Sharing. nope. If I share, that means I'm car camping, and there are WAY too many options for sleeping bags for car camping.

(e) Price. $120-160

(f) Country of origin. Dont matter, but USA would be great

(g) Color. Not bright colors

(h) Water resistance. Something with a breathable top and water resistant bottom would be great. I usually backpack with a tent, but becoming more comfortable with a tarp. In tarp mode, I use a ground sheet, with no bivy and would like a bag that had some features of a bivy (splash resistant), but could also dry quickly.

(i) Try before you buy. sure, but not a deciding factor

(j) Warranty. sure, but not i know buying a lightweight bag the sacrifices that are given up and therefore as long as it held together for a reasonable amount of time, then fine. I know it would have to be replaced eventually.


If you are looking to make bags again focus on the niche markets. There are way too many offerings from the big companies for car camping or cabin camping where weight and performance are not the limiting factors to a sleep system. I really like what Western Mountaineering is doing with their bags, but they are SO friggin expensive. I wouldn't be comfortable tossing one of those bags down for fear of tearing it on a rock, or getting it dirty. Mont-bell makes great bags too and their prices are more reasonable (the down bags are still pricey). Big Agnes and Feathered Friends are also nice.

I am slowly changing over to UL hiking practices and my sleep system is one that needs revision. Right now I'm using a Camp-mor down bag as my UL bag and Thermarest Ridge Rest. I need to re-vamp my system to a lighter synthetic bag and a thicker air pad similar to the BA Air Core. Paired with my flat tarp and ground sheet I should have it pretty much nailed down.
 

Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,034
33
Seattle
Asolo3j said:
I am slowly changing over to UL hiking practices and my sleep system is one that needs revision. Right now I'm using a Camp-mor down bag as my UL bag and Thermarest Ridge Rest. I need to re-vamp my system to a lighter synthetic bag and a thicker air pad similar to the BA Air Core. Paired with my flat tarp and ground sheet I should have it pretty much nailed down.
Have you ever thought about a Feathered Friends Vireo?

http://featheredfriends.com/Picasso/Bags/Specialty.html

I added one to my collection a few years ago thinking it would be good for occasional use and now I use it on almost all my trips. It's tough to beat for light weight (one pound), and if you are a skinny dude you'll fit in it just fine. Plus it's less expensive than a mummy bag (at least a FF or West. Mount. mummy).

Ridge Rest is tough to beat for weight, price, and durability (can't puncture it) but I didn't like how it traps water in the topography of the pad. Now I use a closed cell foam pad with a flat surface (when weight matters).
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
10,155
67
North Carolina
1: My sleeping bag could be called a mummy type. It's synthetic, and I believe it's rated to -40. I paid a few hundred dollars for it.

2: My temperature range varies dramatically. The coldest I've used the bag was -60, but I obviously used supplementary insulation. It still sucked.

A: I carry things long distances, at times. I drop weight as I can, but I am primarily interested in gear that's only as heavy as it needs to be in order to perform efficiently. If something ends up heavier as a result, so be it. I can carry heavy loads without issue. As for bulk? Can't someone offer a bag with a sack that will actually hold the damned thing? A slightly larger bag with compression straps would be enough.

I shouldn't have to buy one on my own at the prices normally associated with high-end gear.

B: This is an issue that annoys me. Rectangular bags are larger than they need to be. Mummy bags are smaller than they should be. I prefer the ability to exit the bag very quickly if required. This generally results (when extremely cold) in leaving the zipper down far enough to rip back under force, but leaves the damned thing a bit on the drafty side. If it's above 30, I just won't use a bag at times.

Make a bag that can be exited in a damned hurry! Is that so hard? It would also be nice to allow more room for arm movement. A LARGE metal zipper with an internal double would be acceptable, especially when combined with snaps that can be used when a zipper isn't fast enough. Zippers needs at least an inch of flat fabric on each side to prevent binding. The snaps need to be on outer flaps, and need to be free enough to break away very easily. That way I can just use the damned snaps.

A separate snap flap would be ideal, and would keep me happy. What's that, like ten more bucks in production? Shit. Charge me a hundred for it. That feature would be very helpful on a good bag. I know some bags have them, but they generally aren't the bags I'm interested in.


C: It's got to be tough. The external shell ought to be made of material that can take a beating. In this age, there are plenty of materials that fit the bill. One such material that packs light is the stuff of which Eagle Creek are making their compacting duffel bags.

It's not heavy nylon, but it's better than that silky crap.

D: I don't give a rat's ass about sharing a bag with someone. They can buy their own.

E: Price? Not really a factor. I suppose it's got to be less than a grand if you want to sell many, though.

F: Country of origin depends on the design's origin. If a Chinese guy put his heart and soul into it, so be it. Otherwise, it ought to be made in a country whose name I can pronounce.

G: The color ought to be sedate. A dark gray, slate green, or some other color that doesn't stand out like a sore thumb would be wonderful. If people want flash, add more snaps and include a neon pink removable panel. Otherwise, good gear should be available for those who don't need stuff that glows.

H: The bag needs to survive water and dry by itself. Resistance is nice, but you can't really accomplish much outside of extreme cold weather gear without ending up with something that makes you wake up feeling like you need a shower. It should be as water-shedding as possible without becoming stuffy as hell.

For extreme wet environments, a water-repellant shell can be offered, at least as an optional purchase.

I: I don't care, as long as there is a 100% performance guarantee. If I buy it, and it doesn't do what it's supposed to do, I don't want any hassle. I should be given a refund.

J: Yes, such things are important, but not as important as above. If it doesn't work, I want my money back. As for future failures, there should be a no-hassle warranty if parts break. Doesn't really have to be lifetime, just something reasonable and confident, like ten years or so. Lifetime warranties are generally bullshit.

Cheers,

Kennith
 
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Asolo3j

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2004
1,267
0
Annapolis
Tugela said:
Have you ever thought about a Feathered Friends Vireo?

http://featheredfriends.com/Picasso/Bags/Specialty.html

I added one to my collection a few years ago thinking it would be good for occasional use and now I use it on almost all my trips. It's tough to beat for light weight (one pound), and if you are a skinny dude you'll fit in it just fine. Plus it's less expensive than a mummy bag (at least a FF or West. Mount. mummy).

Ridge Rest is tough to beat for weight, price, and durability (can't puncture it) but I didn't like how it traps water in the topography of the pad. Now I use a closed cell foam pad with a flat surface (when weight matters).
FF makes great bags and I do like the Viero. It's a really cool concept with varying insulation. I stalk the forums at backpackinglight.com and there is a great section for reader reviews. The subset about sleeping bags might give you an idea of what UL people are looking for too. http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/reviews/index.html

I do really like my ridgerest and it works with my backpack nicely (Rolled as loose tube, inserted into a pack with no stays). But I tried out a thick inflatable and WOW, its comfy. I like the Big Agnes Air Core or the ThermaRest NeoAir looks good too. Might have to readjust my system for a new pad. I can handle being a little chilly, a comfortable sleep position will make up for it and I'll get a good sleep. My ridge rest has been trimmed down and has some extra foam under the shoulder/hip section.
 

Asolo3j

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2004
1,267
0
Annapolis
When I was in Scouts, I lusted for a Cocoon 3 or 4. Do you remember those things? They were built in my home town Cortland, NY by Envirogear. Those things were awesome. A guy used to come and give talks about sleeping in this thing on his Arctic expeditions. They were pad, bag, tent all in one designed for the military. Back in the early 90's they were $1000+.

edit: found it!

 
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jonesy66

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2009
539
0
VA
What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? Paddy Palin Sub Zero Expedition - 100% Down (had it since 1988 - $350 AUSD). Last year I bought the Sierra Mummy Convertible - 100% down one for my son - he loves it ($400)

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp? normally I try not to camp if it is below 20 - but this does happen sometimes, and it sucks, I hate the cold.

If you were going to buy a new sleeping bag, how important are the following factors in making your choice?

(a) Weight. Depends - I would not care about weight if I bought another as I have two stuffables - but if I were to buy two more this factors high on criteria - I would rather own 1 for hiking and car camping - than two - so yeah this factors....nothing beats goose down IMO

(b) Comfort. I have grown to like mummies, just wish they made the foot boxes a little bigger - if you have over size 12's it gets a little cramped

(c) Durability. Yes, I want them to last years.

(d) Sharing. nope - I camp to get away from the wife

(e) Price. $100-150 would be great, but if country of origin, and all factors of my requirements were met then I would pay up to $300

(f) Country of origin. USA would be better. But fact of the matter is to get all requirements met, and keep it reasonable (under $300) then I know it goes low cost country

(g) Color. Could care less

(h) Water resistance. Yes, gore-tex

(i) Try before you buy Yes!

(j) Warranty. Yes!

OTHER CRITERIA: Wider zipper fabric behind and in front of all zippers...snap tabs to snap onto ground mattress...good sinchable stuff sack with compression straps...maybe a liner that can be taken out and washed
 

mike97d1

Well-known member
Aug 13, 2004
1,085
0
Wilmington,NC
What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? I use a Coleman, mummy, sythetic, 20 degree. cant' remember how much it was. I like it, but want something better. Would love to try a rectangle

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp? normally in the mid 30's to low 40's, have camped down to 16-18 degrees with 8" of snow. (used 2 bags that time)

If you were going to buy a new sleeping bag, how important are the following factors in making your choice?

(a) Weight. weight is usually not a big factor. I usually have the truck somewhat close to tent.

(b) Comfort. I find that mine is too tight in the shoulders, would like more room there and near my knees. I do like having a hood

(c) Durability. I would like a nice one, that is durable, but can't spend a lot of money

(d) Sharing. not real concerned about this.

(e) Price. Can't really spend more than $100- $150-ish

(f) Country of origin. Don't reall care as long as it works. Would possibly spend more for US if it were good quality

(g) Color. Brown, Green, Black. Camo would be cool. Doesnt really matter too much.

(h) Water resistance. Water resistance is a big plus. Waking up wet is not fun.

(i) Try before you buy. Yes, definatley

(j) Warranty. some what, most of the time damage is my own fault though

I've always thought a blow up pillow in the hood section would be awesome. If you make some, send me one to try out. I would love to try new gear and would be more than happy to test and give opinion. :)
 
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hilltoppersx

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2010
1,010
0
NY
www.nelrc.com
What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? Mummy, Synthetic, 0 degrees, $100, love it

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp? 25


(a) Weight. Doesnt matter because im always camping out of my truck

(b) Comfort. I like room in my bag, just enough to move about in the night but not enough where im worried about it being drafty, just an oversized mummy

(c) Durability. last me 20 years would be nice by id be pleased with 5. no im not using it as a tree strap.

(d) Sharing. the bag i have now can do that. they sell it with a right handed zipper and a left handed zipper so two can be zipped together.

(e) Price. $100-$150

(f) Country of origin. Id like it to be made here in the states but what's the chance that it will be made here in my price range with the features im asking for...

(g) Color. the one i have now is a dark green. but whatever.

(h) Water resistance. dont really care. i sleep on a cot in my tent.

(i) Try before you buy. online reviews are important in my purchases that would make or break the deicision not testing it out personally only because i'd be skeeved at who tested it out before me.

(j) Warranty. no. again back to reviews.
 

benlittle

Well-known member
Callsign: KE7BEN
Jul 18, 2005
4,081
0
Draper
What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? Mummy? Rectangular? Synthetic or down-filled? What temperature rating? How much did you spend on it? Do you like it?

I have several bags which I use during different times of year. I have The North Face, Marmot, Big Agnus, REI and Slumberjack. They are all mummy, synthetic, and down-filled and range in temp from -20 to +32. They ranged in cost from $125 for the +32 synthetic REI on the low end to $450 for a +15 Marmot 800 fill down-filled.

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp? Coldest is about -5 to -10.

If you were going to buy a new sleeping bag, how important are the following factors in making your choice?

(a) Weight. Do you need an ultralight bag that packs down small because you also use it for backpacking? Yes, although all my bags are used for rover trips; they are all primarily used and purchased for backpacking.

Do you not care about weight because the furthest you carry your bag is 20 feet from your truck to your tent?

(b) Comfort. Do you like a narrow mummy bag? Do you prefer room for moving or storing extra clothing inside? I prefer a little wider bag, big agnus or marmot.Do you like having a hood or not?Yes, hood is essential.

(c) Durability. Do you want to buy a sleeping bag that will actually last you 20 years? Do you want a bag that you can just throw on the ground, might get trampled by your dog, or you can use to pad a tree when winching?Durability is key but that is subjective. I would never let a dog near one of my bags and would never just throw it on the ground.

(d) Sharing. Are you interested in buying a sleeping bag that could be zipped to a ground sheet and would fit two people, or one person plus a dog, or two people plus a dog? I know I'm asking for trouble here, but it's a serious question. Some people like the idea of sharing a sleeping bag with a special someone. Nope.

(e) Price. How many US dollars would you consider spending on a sleeping bag? Which is partly related to...Depends on the fill of down/ what type of synthetic and finish material... e.g. DWR coated etc. For a 800 fill down bag I would expect to pay 400+ depending on the rating as well.

(f) Country of origin. Do you care if your sleeping bag is made in China or the United States? Would you be willing to spend more money on a sleeping bag if it was made in the USA?I do care but bags made in USA are limited. I would spend more on a USA bag.

(g) Color. For some reason this matters to people, even though 90% of the time you're in your sleeping bag your eyes are closed. What color would you want your next sleeping bag to be? Black? Red? Camo? Rainbows and unicorns?

(h) Water resistance. How much do you care if your sleeping bag will stay dry? If you have a leaky tent maybe the sleeping bag is not the issue. If you sleep inside your truck, in a camper, in a log cabin, in a roof-top tent, or in Arizona maybe water resistance is not a big deal. If you sleep in the snow, under a tarp, or in Scotland maybe this is important to you.This is more important with my down bags. I do most backpacking in the spring and fall when weather is questionable.

(i) Try before you buy. If a company offered you the option of renting a sleeping bag for a trip and then let you apply 100% of the rental fee towards the purchase of the sleeping bag if you wanted to then buy it, would that encourage you to try it out?This is a kick-ass idea.

(j) Warranty. Is a lifetime manufacturer's warranty on materials and workmanship important to you?
Yes, this is extremely important.

Make a USA made bag that has a over-filled toe box, stout draft tube and a zipper guard that actually works and I'll buy one. One thing I hate about each and every mummy I've ever owned is all the strings for the hood. They always get tangled, wrapped around me or something.
 

nosivad_bor

Well-known member
Mar 27, 2004
5,981
1
Pittsburgh, PA
What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? Mummy? Rectangular? Synthetic or down-filled? What temperature rating? How much did you spend on it? Do you like it?
I have two mummy bags, one is a +32deg REI down bag that is my beater bag for car camping the other is a +32 Western Mountaineering summer light for backpacking.

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp?
been down to 5deg but normally not below 20 deg, i always have to wear warm cloths in my bag to be comfortable at these temps.

If you were going to buy a new sleeping bag, how important are the following factors in making your choice?

(a) Weight. Do you need an ultralight bag that packs down small because you also use it for backpacking? Do you not care about weight because the furthest you carry your bag is 20 feet from your truck to your tent?
I very much value and prefer ultralight gear, i will always choose it over the bulkier cheaper alternative. PArtly so it is applicable to backpacking and partly because I just like carrying less in the car.

(b) Comfort. Do you like a narrow mummy bag? Do you prefer room for moving or storing extra clothing inside? Do you like having a hood or not?

Must have a hood, i prefer a little bit roomier so i can roll around in the bag and prevent bed sores.

(c) Durability. Do you want to buy a sleeping bag that will actually last you 20 years? Do you want a bag that you can just throw on the ground, might get trampled by your dog, or you can use to pad a tree when winching?
I will sacrifice long life for light weight, however it must be reasonably durable when using a ground cloth under it.

(d) Sharing. Are you interested in buying a sleeping bag that could be zipped to a ground sheet and would fit two people, or one person plus a dog, or two people plus a dog? I know I'm asking for trouble here, but it's a serious question. Some people like the idea of sharing a sleeping bag with a special someone.
I don't like the idea of zippering to the ground cloth. I always use a sleeping pad so it would kind of be useless, plus the zipper adds weight and complexity. perhaps a couple buttons might work, then you can sandwich my pad between the bag and ground cloth.

(e) Price. How many US dollars would you consider spending on a sleeping bag? Which is partly related to...
$700

(f) Country of origin. Do you care if your sleeping bag is made in China or the United States? Would you be willing to spend more money on a sleeping bag if it was made in the USA?
I wont buy it unless it is made in the USA.

(g) Color. For some reason this matters to people, even though 90% of the time you're in your sleeping bag your eyes are closed. What color would you want your next sleeping bag to be? Black? Red? Camo? Rainbows and unicorns?
no preference

(h) Water resistance. How much do you care if your sleeping bag will stay dry? If you have a leaky tent maybe the sleeping bag is not the issue. If you sleep inside your truck, in a camper, in a log cabin, in a roof-top tent, or in Arizona maybe water resistance is not a big deal. If you sleep in the snow, under a tarp, or in Scotland maybe this is important to you.

Since I already have two 3 season down bags i am looking for a water resistant synthetic that's good to +10deg

(i) Try before you buy. If a company offered you the option of renting a sleeping bag for a trip and then let you apply 100% of the rental fee towards the purchase of the sleeping bag if you wanted to then buy it, would that encourage you to try it out?
Not interested, so long as i got to handle the bag before i bought it

(j) Warranty. Is a lifetime manufacturer's warranty on materials and workmanship important to you?
I expect a lifetime warrenty

I am actually in the market for a bag, what i think would be really cool is if you offered a bespoke bag to my specifications. You give me a list of materials, stuffing, fabrics and i give you my dimensions and you give me the best money can buy.

let me know if you want to party.
 

Leslie

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2004
3,473
0
47
Kingsport TN
What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? Mummy? Rectangular? Synthetic or down-filled? What temperature rating? How much did you spend on it? Do you like it?
Wiggy's synthetic mummy I got back when I was still in the Corps; has a 20-deg main bag and a 40-deg over bag that can nest to be a supposedly -20 bag, but can't say I'd want to be below zero w/o more than that.

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp?
Usually down to the mid 30's, but have been out down to the teens, comfortably enough.

If you were going to buy a new sleeping bag, how important are the following factors in making your choice?
(a) Weight. Do you need an ultralight bag that packs down small because you also use it for backpacking? Do you not care about weight because the furthest you carry your bag is 20 feet from your truck to your tent?

Don't do so much backpacking anymore, but am getting into bike-camping; lightweight and small size is important

(b) Comfort. Do you like a narrow mummy bag? Do you prefer room for moving or storing extra clothing inside? Do you like having a hood or not?
I like room, but especially footroom. I don't want to be cold, but, a looser mummy is better than too tight.

(c) Durability. Do you want to buy a sleeping bag that will actually last you 20 years? Do you want a bag that you can just throw on the ground, might get trampled by your dog, or you can use to pad a tree when winching?
My Wiggy's is 20 years old, and in great shape, has served me well and will continue to do so for longer, I believe...

(d) Sharing. Are you interested in buying a sleeping bag that could be zipped to a ground sheet and would fit two people, or one person plus a dog, or two people plus a dog? I know I'm asking for trouble here, but it's a serious question. Some people like the idea of sharing a sleeping bag with a special someone.
Actually, my inner and outer bags can do that, make a large bag (not the groundcloth bit, though). Usually, tho', she won't camp if it's *that* cold, so instead of zippering them together, we just put the heavier below for padding, and the lighter across the top as a blanket.

(e) Price. How many US dollars would you consider spending on a sleeping bag? Which is partly related to...
A couple of hundred, for a really a great bag.

(f) Country of origin. Do you care if your sleeping bag is made in China or the United States? Would you be willing to spend more money on a sleeping bag if it was made in the USA?
Yes, and yes.

(g) Color. For some reason this matters to people, even though 90% of the time you're in your sleeping bag your eyes are closed. What color would you want your next sleeping bag to be? Black? Red? Camo? Rainbows and unicorns?
My Wiggys are olive-drab, and are great. Black is fine. Khaki would be okay (my kids call me KhakiMan). I wouldn't want a pink or a polka-dotted bag. However, not keen on camo either, prefer solids. Not opposed to red or blue, though; can see the value for a hi-vis color like bright yellow or orange, as a potential emergency situation use.

(h) Water resistance. How much do you care if your sleeping bag will stay dry? If you have a leaky tent maybe the sleeping bag is not the issue. If you sleep inside your truck, in a camper, in a log cabin, in a roof-top tent, or in Arizona maybe water resistance is not a big deal. If you sleep in the snow, under a tarp, or in Scotland maybe this is important to you.
I understand that down is so much more lighter and can pack down; but I'm not out where it's cold enough to stay snow, it's usually a cold rain, or a snow that would melt; or am canoeing/kayaking; I want a synthetic that would still be usable if there's been an incident.

(i) Try before you buy. If a company offered you the option of renting a sleeping bag for a trip and then let you apply 100% of the rental fee towards the purchase of the sleeping bag if you wanted to then buy it, would that encourage you to try it out?
Only if it was a new bag I got to rent; I wouldn't want to rent a used sleeping bag :ack:

(j) Warranty. Is a lifetime manufacturer's warranty on materials and workmanship important to you?
Good products usually have such, but I'm not shopping by such; however, if its a short warranty/no warranty, I expect it to be less expensive... if you want to charge more for it, I'd expect the warranty to be better.



With all of that said: if anything ever happened to my Wiggys bags, I'd call them up and order the same ones I have now again. They're in awesome shape given that they were in the infantry w/ me 20 years ago. Synthetic mummy, made in the US, with a lifetime warranty, and a lot of flexibility in their use. In colors I like.

TNF, MH, there are lots of big-names out there, but I can't imagine that they'd be any better than my Wiggy's; and I don't think they'd be able to come in at a lower price, even with overseas manufacturing.

You'd have to basically make a made-in-the US copy of a Wiggys, and have it cost less, for me to buy yours over another Wiggys.

FWIW...
 

dcarr1971

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2010
610
0
Pittsburgh, PA USA
What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? Mummy? Rectangular? Synthetic or down-filled? What temperature rating? How much did you spend on it? Do you like it?
I have a few, all synthetic since I'm allergic to feathers.

A 40*+ Slumberjack mummy for summer trips; it's too tight and doesn't fully unzip, but it compresses down to the size of a small travel pillow and weighs less than 2lbs.

A Kelty (can't remember the model) rectangular bag rated to 35* that I picked up as an 'extra' for when my kids are with me, and an older LL Bean mummy Qualofil bag rated down to 10*.

The Slumberjack and Kelty bags were cheap (<$75 each), and I got what I paid for. The bag from Bean was ~$130 20+ years ago, it had a nice feature set for the $$$ at the time I bought it, and it has served me well many times over the years, but it is getting tired...

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp?
When I was younger, I'd camp in sub-zero weather. Most recently though I've not been out when temps dropped much lower than ~20*.

If you were going to buy a new sleeping bag, how important are the following factors in making your choice?
(a) Weight. Do you need an ultralight bag that packs down small because you also use it for backpacking? Do you not care about weight because the furthest you carry your bag is 20 feet from your truck to your tent?

Don't backpack at all anymore, but size can be a factor if everything for the family (including 95lb GSD) has to go in the Rover. Weight is less of a concern than packed size at this point.

(b) Comfort. Do you like a narrow mummy bag? Do you prefer room for moving or storing extra clothing inside? Do you like having a hood or not?
I've gotten old and put on a lot of weight. In years past a mummy was the way to go, but now I lean more toward a roomier bag. Ideally I would still go for a mummy with lots of room and a hood, but IMO for warmer weather a rectangular bag does well too.

(c) Durability. Do you want to buy a sleeping bag that will actually last you 20 years? Do you want a bag that you can just throw on the ground, might get trampled by your dog, or you can use to pad a tree when winching?
I want a really good all around bag, and wouldn't skimp on a bag intended for use in sub-freezing conditions. That said, and given that the temps I camp in vary greatly I don't mind the warm weather bags being semi-disposable...

(d) Sharing. Are you interested in buying a sleeping bag that could be zipped to a ground sheet and would fit two people, or one person plus a dog, or two people plus a dog? I know I'm asking for trouble here, but it's a serious question. Some people like the idea of sharing a sleeping bag with a special someone.
My Kelty could supposedly do this if I had a second bag of the same model, but I've never had any desire to get another one and try it out.

(e) Price. How many US dollars would you consider spending on a sleeping bag? Which is partly related to...
Features and durability would mean a lot in this decision, but for a good cold weather bag I wouldn't think twice about spending $200 - $400...maybe more for something exceptional if I thought I was going to be putting it to use regularly.

(f) Country of origin. Do you care if your sleeping bag is made in China or the United States? Would you be willing to spend more money on a sleeping bag if it was made in the USA?
Yes, and yes.

(g) Color. For some reason this matters to people, even though 90% of the time you're in your sleeping bag your eyes are closed. What color would you want your next sleeping bag to be? Black? Red? Camo? Rainbows and unicorns?
Don't really care much as long as it isn't something obnoxious. If I had to pick, I would probably go for a dark color that wouldn't look like crap if it got a little worn.

(h) Water resistance. How much do you care if your sleeping bag will stay dry? If you have a leaky tent maybe the sleeping bag is not the issue. If you sleep inside your truck, in a camper, in a log cabin, in a roof-top tent, or in Arizona maybe water resistance is not a big deal. If you sleep in the snow, under a tarp, or in Scotland maybe this is important to you.
I live in SW PA and it is always pretty likely to rain during any given camping trip, so water resistance would be a big plus. (This is another reason I have synthetic bags and keep a spare handy whenever camping with my kids.)

(i) Try before you buy. If a company offered you the option of renting a sleeping bag for a trip and then let you apply 100% of the rental fee towards the purchase of the sleeping bag if you wanted to then buy it, would that encourage you to try it out?
Not a factor. I'm sure a rental bag would probably have to be cleaned before going to the next renter, but I wouldn't want to bet on it and assume some smelly, sweaty, greasy, dirty assed SOB with crabs and other vermin hadn't just drooled all over the inside of the hood the night before I picked it up.:ack:

I've had a lot of different bags over the past 35 years that I've been camping, so I've found it doesn't take long to decide whether a bag is a POS or not. I'd be satisfied with just being able to get detailed specs, lay in it (like at an REI or Cabellas), and having a chance to othewise poke/prod/handle it before buying.

(j) Warranty. Is a lifetime manufacturer's warranty on materials and workmanship important to you?
Yes. That was part of the reason I bought the bag from LL Bean...it got the job done when I bought it, but I knew that beyond a shadow of a doubt Bean would stand behind the product if it ever had a problem.
(IMO, the Kelty and Slumberjack bags I have are throw-aways...I wouldn't waste my time trying to get warranty support for either of them.)
 

Blue

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2004
8,584
60
AZ
What kind of sleeping bag do you use now? Dad's old US Army issue synthetic with bivy sack

What is the coldest outside temperature in which you normally camp? 20's but have been to about 20 below freezing on occasion....not a good night

If you were going to buy a new sleeping bag, how important are the following factors in making your choice?

(a) Weight. space it takes up is more of a factor than weight

(b) Comfort. Mummy with some space - when you lay on your side and bend your knees in most mummy bags you are stretching the fabric tight and thin and losing insulation. Hood is key too.

(c) Durability. I've been using my current bag for 20 years. Lots of campfire burn holes, zipper doesn't work anymore (but has snaps too). Got to get that zipper fixed....

(d) Sharing. Would be a nice feature to zip up with the wife but we usually use separate bags. Good marketing point for you though, why sell 1 bag when you can sell 2?

(e) Price. couple hundred bucks

(f) Country of origin. USA preferred but if the quality is the SAME and non-USA price is much better then it's a tough sell...how much is your "patriotism" worth in the sleeping bag market?

(g) Color. Dirt brown, dark green (present bag is dark olive drab with camo bivy)

(h) Water resistance. That's what a bivy sack or tent or tarp is for.

(i) Try before you buy that'd be cool

(j) Warranty. that'd be cool too but good quality that means you won't need to use the warranty is best