Re: [John Muir Trail] Ideal JMT Sleeping Bag (July 12 - Aug 4)
- I gather skdupre already made his bag decision, but I'll add my 2 cents worth. (I've been catching up afte Christmas, so have been uncharacteristicly quiet of late).
I've decided that I'm happy with a satisfactory, rather than a perfect, bag. For me, the REI Subkilo has worked well.
Weighs 32 oz. 750-fill down. Fairly tight mummy design.
REI has it on overstock sale right now - price reduced from $250 to $170.
It's rated for 20 degrees, though I think the ratings are rather fictional and in any case, people are very different in how much warmth they need.
I've used it in seriously sub-freezing temperatures, though this may be because I use a hooped bivy, which is even warmer than a tent. And with a silk liner and clothes inside the bag and occasionally (snow camping) with a double sleeping pad for extra protection from the cold ground.
My theory: A lot of your warmth depends on decisions made other than the bag itself. I think you can make almost any halfway-decent down bag work if you have the right other clothing/equipment and if you are religious about keeping the bag protected from all the forms of moisture (condensation as well as rain and falls into streams).
I suspect I could get away with a lighter-weight bag for the Sierra in summer, but I like the comfort of a warm bag and the safety of knowing that I can deal with unexpected bad conditions.
Like Barbara, I've had a good experience with the new (first available in 2009) Therm-A-Rest NeoAir pads. Very comfortable, compact and lightweight (14 oz.). But pricey (about $150). And I continue to worry about durability (I've used mine only about 20 nights so far) and doubt that it gives particularly good insulation from the ground.
John Curran Ladd
1616 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA 94114-3707