Sleeping bag rating

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Sleeping bag rating

Postby slug » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:31 am

Gday all,

This follows on from my washing a sleeping bag thread, but is a new topic really.
As I said before, I washed the bag at the Laundromat with no problems. I used it over the easter long weekend to see what difference it had made;

When I used it a few weeks ago, I nearly froze and thought it may have been because the bag had lost its loft, washing was a possible way of bringing it back. In the interests of science I conducted a few tests over the weekend. I slept in boxers and singlet one night, thermals and jumper, with and without my sleep sheet/liner.
The overall result was I still wasn’t toasty, but trust me, a lot more comfortable with thermals and jumper! :oops: It felt like where the bag laid on my legs it was cold. The issue I have is I been thinking about this too much and am not sure if I’ve convinced myself its not keeping me warm.

The bag is a synthetic fill, tapered Roman, rated to -5. I know the rating is supposed to be where most people should still feel comfortable, but is this wearing trackies etc?

If anyone has any ideas id love to hear them, after such a great response to my other post I thought id try my luck again! :grin:

Thanks
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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby Young Camping Family » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:34 am

Are you sleeping inside a tent?
When we were looking at sleeping bags recently not only did they show a oC rating, but also indicated with icons (or maybe it was just Ray's) as to what it was suitable for. For our use I was looking at 5oC rating cos I don't plan to go camping in the freezing cold, but if you are saying yours is rated -5oC and you were not warm this weekend just gone then either your rating is wrong, or you were in the snow... not that there is any yet!
We ended up borrowing sleeping bags cos I couldn't find what I wanted at the price I was prepared to pay, but they are probably 15-20 years old and I have no idea what they were rated but they would have been about $20-$30 to buy back then, so we aren't talking high rating (they were for in my parent's caravan).
We slept on blow up airbeds, with a sleeping bag opened out (inside up) underneath DH and I and another under DD plus our borrowed sleeping bags (zipped up), and I'm guessing it got down to about 8oC overnight (maybe 5 at a push) and we had no problems with warmth. In fact I was quite surprised one morning when I woke up and thought I'd only need to put on a tshirt cos it wasn't cold, but after sticking my head out of the tent I reconsidered!!

ETA: I should add that DD slept in her flannelette PJs, I was in track pants and tshirt and DH was in boxers and tshirt.

I will be following this with interest as I plan to buy new sleeping bags before our next adventure and it will be handy to know that my money won't be wasted on something that will not keep us warm.

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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby Ozzycamperboy » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:22 pm

Yeah that doesn't sound right.

I have a Kathmandu branded bag rated to -7 and it kept me toasty and warm camping in the snow with just a swag, no tent.
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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby Jo&Kev » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:36 pm

I bought a new OzTrail bag rated to -5 last year. It has synthetic fill, but a nice flanno liner. Over the Easter weekend we went to Oura Beach Reserve, and slept in the tent on the air matress with a self inflating mat thingy on top of the air matress and was nice and toasty. I don't think it got super cold over night but it was 'jumper weather' first thing in the morning. I do know that I was only wearing boxer shorts!

I was told once that the less you wear the less you have to heat up, before you start heating up the air in the sleeping bag. Not sure how true it is but it works for me!

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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby slug » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:44 pm

Thanks for the replies guys.

Might be passing Anaconda on the weekend and they have a sale on, will have a look and see if a new bag is possible. I dont want to fork out for another one but my trip in July might dictate it.
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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby patosonit » Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:49 pm

Hi Slug,

This does not sound right.

I am a bit of an expert in the sleeping bag area and could go on all day about how they work, but my main question to you is how do you keep it in its stuff sack? do you roll it or just stuff it in? If you roll it this could be most of your problem, when you roll a sleeping bag and put it in the stuff sack it flattens the fibres and distroys the loft, by stuffing the bag in the fibres are always in a different postion and allows the fibres to stay lofty. If your bag is a Roman Trek (an excelent sleeping bag) then it has an invista (Du Pont) fill that is very small and if rolled will tend to collapse more.

Anyway my thoughts are that you need a new sleeping bag, because what ever has caused this issue has distroyed your fibres and the bag will never recover.

Regards
Ryan
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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby slug » Sun May 03, 2009 11:07 pm

patosonit wrote:Hi Slug,

This does not sound right.

I am a bit of an expert in the sleeping bag area and could go on all day about how they work, but my main question to you is how do you keep it in its stuff sack? do you roll it or just stuff it in? If you roll it this could be most of your problem, when you roll a sleeping bag and put it in the stuff sack it flattens the fibres and distroys the loft, by stuffing the bag in the fibres are always in a different postion and allows the fibres to stay lofty. If your bag is a Roman Trek (an excelent sleeping bag) then it has an invista (Du Pont) fill that is very small and if rolled will tend to collapse more.

Anyway my thoughts are that you need a new sleeping bag, because what ever has caused this issue has distroyed your fibres and the bag will never recover.

Regards
Ryan


Gday Ryan,

thanks for the response, my thoughts were the same, ive used it again and i still like it as a bag, but i do agree, i think its buggered. My brother and i got onto some ex army roman bags that are "Extreme Cold Weather -20 deg rating". He used his this weekend, on a 2 deg night and he said he was far too hot!!!! :shock: To be expected i spose. So you shouldnt hear me complaining about being too cold again! This will be a minimal use bag, i still need to replace my other one. Ryan do you have any recomendations?

Oh yeah, for got to say, i stuff it every time.
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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby Ozzycamperboy » Mon May 04, 2009 8:35 am

slug wrote: My brother and i got onto some ex army roman bags that are "Extreme Cold Weather -20 deg rating".


Don't spose you can share any more information on where/how and how much? I might be camping in the snow this year again, probably further south and higher up, so the warmer the better.
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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby markcrook » Mon May 04, 2009 12:25 pm

patosonit wrote: If you roll it this could be most of your problem, when you roll a sleeping bag and put it in the stuff sack it flattens the fibres and distroys the loft, by stuffing the bag in the fibres are always in a different postion and allows the fibres to stay lofty.

Regards
Ryan


We have been rolling ours for years, they have a synthetic fill and still seem ok, they now just lay on top of the mattress of the camper so no more stuffing!

My two girls now want us to buy them pink or purple ones, despite nothing being wrong with the ones they have!
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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby patosonit » Tue May 05, 2009 1:13 pm

Hi Slug,

My suggestion would be the Roman Trek Sleeping Bag, loverly sleeping bags, good filling and great features.

Ryan
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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby slug » Tue May 05, 2009 7:17 pm

Ozzycamperboy wrote:
slug wrote: My brother and i got onto some ex army roman bags that are "Extreme Cold Weather -20 deg rating".


Don't spose you can share any more information on where/how and how much? I might be camping in the snow this year again, probably further south and higher up, so the warmer the better.


Gday Ozzy,

They came from a bloke who was raising some dough to do a bike trip through South America, i can seem to find him on ebay so he may have left already. Ill keep looking and let you know if i find them.
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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby Davo69 and the Nurse » Tue May 05, 2009 8:12 pm

patosonit wrote:

do you roll it or just stuff it in? If you roll it this could be most of your problem, when you roll a sleeping bag and put it in the stuff sack it flattens the fibres and distroys the loft, by stuffing the bag in the fibres are always in a different postion and allows the fibres to stay lofty.



I have a question..... when you buy brand new sleeping bags, they come rolled and in the "sack". Does this mean, that the sleeping bag is already "stuffed" before you use them?? :?: :?: :?:

If this is the case... then this is clever marketing and selling tatics..... they are making you think that you've bought a dud bag, and you go buy another!!!


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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby patosonit » Thu May 07, 2009 10:46 am

Hi There,

the reason they come stuffed from the factory, is purely for speed of production. When the sleeping bag is at the end of the production line, it is put onto a machine which spins the bag tight then the cover is slid over the bag. If the factory was to stuff the bags, there would be major production delays.

Ryan
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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby markcrook » Thu May 07, 2009 2:36 pm

I emailed Roman this morning to ask their advice, here is their response -

Hi Mark,

Thank you for this e-mail

The best way to store the sleeping bag is out of the stuff carry bag and stuff the sleeping bag into its carry bag for transportation.

Best is to purchase a storage bag or you can store in an old pillow case

If space is not a problem you can hang up in a closet if the sleeping bag comes with hanging tabs

The best way to get the sleeping bag back into it’s carry bag is to stuff the sleeping bag

The sleeping bags come rolled from the factory as it is quicker to roll with the correct machinery

Rolling does not affect the sleeping bag

If you need any more information –please feel free to contact us on any issue

Thank you

Best regards,

Michael Heyman

Roman Camping Equipment Pty Ltd
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Re: Sleeping bag rating

Postby understarryskies » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:27 pm

Hi,

In answer to your original question as to how sleeping bags are rated -

When a manufacturer rates a bag they assume that the user is -

A) Wearing thermals or similar next-to-skin layer
B) Using an inner sheet with the bag, and
C) Sleeping on a good quality ground mat (self-inflating or insulating foam)

If you are not going to be sleeping under these conditions, you need to look at a warmer bag to compensate. For example, if you have an air mattress, you will lose a few degrees of warmth due to the air underneath you becoming cold during the night from the ground below. A thermal blanket can help, otherwise select a warmer sleeping bag for a good nights sleep.

Also, wearing heaps of clothes inside a sleeping bag is counter productive. What keeps you warm is the air trapped in the sleeping bag, heated up by your body warmth. Too many clothes leaves no space for air in the bag and equals a cold night!

Bags are rated for the average user - therefore if you are normally a warm sleeper (i.e. you kick the covers off) or if you are a cold sleeper (you use loads of blankets all year round! :lol: ), then you need to take these things into consideration and buy the right temperature rating for you.

Also, there is no set standard for rating sleeping bags, and while most manufacturers ratings are at least in the ball park, be wary of bags that seem too cheap for what they claim to be rated to... e.g. a -5 sleeping bag for $30-$40, is probably too good to be true! :shock:

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