Sunday, 20 March 2011

Winter Sleep System

Sleeping Bag, air pad and ground sheet
Since I stated with a brief introduction of my tent for winter camping I better move thru the rest of the big 3 I use in the cold weather, next up is the sleeping setup.

My winter sleep system is a MEC -20 Hybrid sleeping bag, a Big Agnes air core and a tarp ground sheet.  The weight breakdown of this system are:

Bag - 2263g (incl. stuff sack)
Pad - 701g (incl. stuff sack)
Ground Sheet - 340g

The bag is a hybrid design meaning it has both synthetic and down insulation.  The bottom of the bag which is usually compressed is synthetic to try and hold some warmth (compressed down is useless in insulation properties).  The neck yokes and zipper guards are down, and the top is a layer of synthetic and a layer of down to try and move the condensation point outwards.  For the price this bag cannot be beat!  I've used it down to -27C which is about its limit for sleeping in base layers with a toque.  Wearing  my down vest and a couple pairs of socks might get me down to -30 comfortably but thats getting a little cold for fun for me.  I could save a few grams in weight and alot more bulk moving to a down bag but the much higher price point will make me stick with this for extreme cold.

Big Agnes Insulated Aircore

The pad is a aircore with insulation (primaloft).  While it dose take quite a few lung fulls of air to inflate its quite comfortable and very warm.  Although it is rated as a 3-season pad I found it to work fine down in the ice cold temperatures.  When the temperature really drops I'll place my outer layers under me before sleeping for the night to add a little insulation from the ground.  I suppose I could trim the weight by using a CCF mattress (add some bulk) with a light weight neoair mattress but for now their are easier ways to trim the excess weight and keep a small pack size.

The ground sheet...the dreaded red ground sheet of lead.  I have now replaced this sheet with a thin yet strong section  of tyvek.  A similar sized ground sheet from tyvek weight's 1/6 to 1/3 as much as the tarp does!  Not only that but a roll of tyvek is cheap and lets you build all kinds of neat backpacks ;).

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