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Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2020 9:56 pm
by Aushiker
Spent another cold night in my current setup (4.0 C at 7:00 AM as measured by my Garmin Edge 1030 GPS). I am a cold sleeper nowadays (joys of losing a lot of weight I guess). Anyway, my current setup and how I slept last night is:

Sleeping Bag: Mont Bell Ultralight Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Comfort rating 4 C (EN)
Sleeping Mat: Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Mat R3.1
Liner: Sea to Summit Reactor 8C
Tent: Tarptent Double Rainbow

Wore:

Icebreaker Men's BODYFIT200 Base Layer
Icebreaker Men's BODYFIT260 Base Layer
Icebreaker Men's BODYFIT260 Apex Leggings
Mont-Bell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket

Woke up a few times during the night as I was cold, including at midnight when I checked the temperature and it was 8 C, so you could say I am a cold sleeper :)

Typical Winter Camping here in WA sees the temperatures getting down to around 0 C at night in the outback


Options:

[1] Can I get away with adding a "warmer" Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor or am I kidding myself?
[2] Face up to a new sleeping bag. I do a lot of bikepacking so pack downsize is critical as is the weight [hence excludes quilts as an option]. I am thinking a Sea to Summit Spark SP111 with a comfort rating of -2 C [$520] or a Therm-a-Rest Hyperion - 0C comfort rating [EN] [$567] or maybe a Sea to Summit Spark SPIV at -8C comfort rating [EN] [$630].

Thoughts?

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2020 11:07 pm
by wildwanderer
I'm not a bike packer however I do alot of UL hiking. My overnight gear is in a 18L pack.

If it were me I would.

- get a warmer (better insulated) mat. The sts mat @ R3.1 on the new scale is not that great. I'd get a xlite with r4.2 and it's lighter than your sts mat.

- not sure about the logic that quilts don't pack small.. they do and they are very warm for weight when paired with a warm mat. Moving to quilts has been the best warmth to weight/volume purchase decision I've made.

- get a warmer down jacket with hood. That plasma is UL but it's only got 45grams of down. The hooded down jacket i use has 195grams of 800+ loft down.

- a hooded down jacket will be much warmer for weight than a reactor liner. Reactor liners are heavy and bulky for the warmth they provide.

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2020 11:45 pm
by Aushiker
wildwanderer wrote:I'm not a bike packer however I do alot of UL hiking. My overnight gear is in a 18L pack.

If it were me I would.

- get a warmer (better insulated) mat. The sts mat @ R3.1 on the new scale is not that great. I'd get a xlite with r4.2 and it's lighter than your sts mat.

- not sure about the logic that quilts don't pack small.. they do and they are very warm for weight when paired with a warm mat. Moving to quilts has been the best warmth to weight/volume purchase decision I've made.

- get a warmer down jacket with hood. That plasma is UL but it's only got 45grams of down. The hooded down jacket i use has 195grams of 800+ loft down.

- a hooded down jacket will be much warmer for weight than a reactor liner. Reactor liners are heavy and bulky for the warmth they provide.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I will look into the mat and jacket options for sure. As to the quilt that view came from past experience with one and whenever I have looked in the past at them, the packed size was more than I could accept. That said a quick check now of a Thermarest 0C one as an example, has a packed size around my current bag, so things have changed for the better.

In terms of a jacket, I am wondering if something like the Montane Featherlite or similar would be a reasonable comprise? I am trying to balance warmth, weight and dollars :)

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2020 7:59 am
by matagi
If you were cold at 8C with that set up, I would say its time for a new bag.

Also, not to sound alarmist, but have you had your thyroid function checked?

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2020 11:22 am
by Moondog55
I would echo the advice to get a warmer mat [ or add a CCF which is cheap and light weight but bulky] and to get a warmer top with a good hood.
I also now feel the cold much more than a decade ago and I need at least 100GSM in synthetic as a minimum or at least 200 grams of good down. If you buy a new sleeping bag and you want / need to boost with clothing make sure the bag is bog enough to allow full loft of the clothing.
Another option would be an UL overquilt in synthetic insulation but I note the weight and bulk issue there

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2020 11:50 am
by Aushiker
Moondog55 wrote:I would echo the advice to get a warmer mat [ or add a CCF which is cheap and light weight but bulky] and to get a warmer top with a good hood.
I also now feel the cold much more than a decade ago and I need at least 100GSM in synthetic as a minimum or at least 200 grams of good down. If you buy a new sleeping bag and you want / need to boost with clothing make sure the bag is bog enough to allow full loft of the clothing.
Another option would be an UL overquilt in synthetic insulation but I note the weight and bulk issue there


With regards to the jacket ... would something like this Montane or in terms of a synthetic jacket, the Marmot Featherless tick the box? Other suggestions?

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2020 11:51 am
by Aushiker
matagi wrote:If you were cold at 8C with that set up, I would say its time for a new bag.

Also, not to sound alarmist, but have you had your thyroid function checked?


A new bag or quilt seems to be in order. Have a GP visit scheduled so will ask about the thyroid.

Thanks

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2020 12:02 pm
by Moondog55
Personally I'd buy the Montane, assuming a Large would have layering room underneath.

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2020 9:45 pm
by Aushiker
A small update with some initial changes.

[1] I have decided to replace my Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated mat with a Thermarest NeoAir XLite

In the process, I save a claimed 140 grams, I go from an R-value of 3.1 to 4.2 and the packed size stays the same and as a bonus, my son gets a better sleeping pad :)

[2] I will get a new down jacket, a Montane Anti-Freeze or similar. This will cost me 395 grams over my current jacket, a Mont-Bell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket and some pack space.

[3] This is still up in the air but I have shortlisted a Katabatic Gear Alsek -7 C quilt. That will save me about 100 grams, provide a lot more warmth (going from a 4 C bag to -7 C quilt) and the packed size is 15 x 30 so marginally bigger than my existing bag at 14 cm x 28 cm

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul, 2020 3:08 pm
by Aushiker
I emailed Katabatic Gear to clarify if I would have a reasonable chance of receiving the quilt by September and if their advice on extra fill. I received a response within hours which was very helpful and included an offer to expedite the manufacturer of my quilt. So order now placed!

Also ordered the Montane jacket from Bike24 in Germany who had it on special, saving $100. Small win :). Sleeping pad coming from the UK so should now be all good.

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul, 2020 11:38 pm
by bobcrusader
When was the last time you washed your current sleeping bag, with proper down wash? Down loses loft over time, thus warmth. Might be a cheap way to get a few extra degrees back?

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2020 12:13 pm
by Aushiker
bobcrusader wrote:When was the last time you washed your current sleeping bag, with proper down wash? Down loses loft over time, thus warmth. Might be a cheap way to get a few extra degrees back?

Not been washed but used every time with a liner. Loft seems fine. Might be worth a shot but for sure.

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2020 7:46 pm
by Gold Coast
Andrew, I remember you saying previously that you have cut down a lot, the size of your meals.

As well as keeping the the luggage weight on your bike in the ultra light range, so maybe not carrying a lot of food.

Do you think that you are not eating enough at night recently, to fuel your body for warmth, during sleep.

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 1:31 pm
by Aushiker
Gold Coast wrote:Andrew, I remember you saying previously that you have cut down a lot, the size of your meals.

As well as keeping the the luggage weight on your bike in the ultra light range, so maybe not carrying a lot of food.

Do you think that you are not eating enough at night recently, to fuel your body for warmth, during sleep.


Interesting point. Dinner that night was 1/2 packet of Continental Roast Chicken and Leek gourmet risotto (58 grams) and a can of tuna. I may have had a piece of chocolate afterwards but don't recall. Too little?

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 3:36 pm
by Moondog55
Yeah a half packet was probably killerjoule light, sometimes I really have to frce myself to eat enough on the first few days of a walk, I'm guessing it was also a small portion of tuna and in spring water not oil.
Morecalories/kilojoules in the oil and this does make a difference

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 3:40 pm
by Aushiker
Moondog55 wrote:Yeah a half packet was probably killerjoule light, sometimes I really have to frce myself to eat enough on the first few days of a walk, I'm guessing it was also a small portion of tuna and in spring water not oil.
Morecalories/kilojoules in the oil and this does make a difference


272 kilojoules, but the tuna was in oil. Standard can. I will try and force myself to eat more on the first few nights and see if that helps.

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 5:54 pm
by matagi
What was 272 kJ? The tuna? That's only 65 calories in the old money. Far too little.

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 5:56 pm
by Aushiker
matagi wrote:What was 272 kJ? The tuna? That's only 65 calories in the old money. Far too little.


The rice.

Re: Sea to Summit Thermolite or New Sleeping Bag

PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2020 12:26 am
by commando
Myself i wouldn't be concerned at all about it, as regular bushwalking and fitness brings lower heart rates
and blood pressure reduced readings these factors can make it seem cold when an athletic cardio is at rest.
About the sleeping bag once you get a really good winter goose down bag there is no looking back because
if your too hot its just undo the zip and in summer you don't even have to get in it.