Overwhelmed with sleeping setup choices

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Overwhelmed with sleeping setup choices

Postby stephant » Sun 08 May, 2022 9:57 am

Gday,

Im looking to update my sleeping setup choices as I can now actually fund it (yay being an adult). All I'm up to is light bikepacking and bushwalking, so I'd say a 3-season setup would be suitable. I've got a lighter sleeping bag for summer so really it's just the other seasons I'm trying to cover. I'm a relatively warm sleeper and don't mind rugging up in a downjacket and thermals if it's a real cold night. I'm located in Victoria and maybe if I had better gear I'd try some more highcountry/alpine tracks. Been having trouble with actually finding a sleeping bag that is recommended online and is in stock, are there bushwalking shops that I don't know about? Do stores have seperate stock to what online says? Any recommendations or recent purchases that you recommend?

Currently for a pad I'm pretty close to settling on the Nemo Tensor as I have their inflatable pillow and think it's really comfortable. For sleeping bags I've been looking at a fair few but have not narrowed it down at all. I was looking at Nemo Discos but they seem to be out of stock, Western Mountaineering Versalite was recommended here but that also seems kind of impossible to get here. PP has a sale now on the Mont Helium 450 and I think that it looks good, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of reviews or information on that one.

Anyway, interested to see what you folks are working with
Cheers
stephant
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Re: Overwhelmed with sleeping setup choices

Postby headwerkn » Sun 08 May, 2022 11:37 am

Given the ongoing issues with supply still, your choices might simply be down to what's available rather than what's "best" - unless you're prepared to be patient. ;-) Thankfully there's not much genuinely bad gear out there these days.

If you're already OK for warmer weather then a good quality -1 to -8 degree C (comfort) down sleeping bag would be a sound investment, and allow you to continue doing overnight trips well into the shoulder seasons and possibly some light snow trips if you're keen. You can bolster a regular mid-insulated sleeping mat with an additional closed cell foam pad underneath for really cold conditions and snow, rather than invest in a separate winter-specific mat that will probably be too warm for summer use. Likewise a bivvy sack, emergency blanket/sack or parking your lower half into your hardshell jacket are all tricks to get more warmth out of your sleeping bag.

Sleeping systems are really personal so you're best bet is to check out every store you can, see what they have available there and then and try out as much as possible that suits your budget. Fit with sleeping bags is really person-specific; you want a snug fit for retaining warmth but if you've got broad shoulders etc. a lot of regular-sized bags might feel too constrained. Can be a fine balance.

To answer your second question: I use a Thermarest Xtherm MAX with a S2S Spark IV (-8 degree) for the cold half of the year, or an Enlightened Equipment Revelation 850fp +5 degree down quilt for the warmer half. I sleep warm generally, the Xtherm is a crazy warm mat (R6.9) that works well at elevation during summer (talking Tassie here) where I can make up the required warmth with clothing as need be, but often is a bit too much lower down and on the coast. Will then sub it out for my older Exped Synmat UL (R3.3) which is still pretty decent. Would eventually like to replace it with an Uberlite for both weight savings and I find the horizontal air chambers more comfortable, however Thermarests are crazy expensive/overpriced in this country, bit hard to recommend unless you're going to be using them regularly.

Hope that helps. Good luck with the shopping!
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Re: Overwhelmed with sleeping setup choices

Postby Hiking Exped » Sun 08 May, 2022 3:58 pm

Hi Sephant,

Western Mountaineering Versalite well worth the weight over almost anything else in price range in my opinion if you are going for down. Paddy Palin normally have them or can get them in, but I know supplies everywhere are a struggle. I use mine all year around even in snow in the Alps and it’s awesome. If you are expecting very wet weather or your tent/tarp set up is not great then for synthetic bags Snugpack are the go. Super durable and massive range for all temperatures.

I have recently switched to Sea to Summit beds having tried many. The Xtherm insulated is an excellent four season bed if you are a side sleeper or fidget a lot. It’s a bit heavier than others, but super comfortable, durable and very warm. It also means you can go lighter with your summer sleeping bag more often as the warmer bed make such a difference to upper insulation requirements.

I have had so many durability and comfort issues with beds over the years, although I have used a Nemo in summer once which was comfortable.

Happy gear hunting :D
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Re: Overwhelmed with sleeping setup choices

Postby stephant » Thu 12 May, 2022 7:53 am

Thanks both of you for the replies. Sounds like I need to shell out more for the mat than I thought and that will allow me to maybe spend a little less on the bag itself.

I've been looking at the versalite but seems impossible to source right now, I've got tomorrow off work and am planning on going into Melb CBD and asking around at some of the outdoor stores - see what they have in stock. Will report back if I buy anything.
stephant
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Re: Overwhelmed with sleeping setup choices

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 12 May, 2022 8:42 am

Late to the party here but you've not told us what gear you are currently using.
There are ways of boosting the warmth of a system if what you have is already OK for warmer weather.
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Overwhelmed with sleeping setup choices

Postby WestcoastPete » Thu 12 May, 2022 2:41 pm

People seem to really like those Tensor mats for comfort, noise, and warmth. They're pretty delicate though I think. I'd consider one if I was looking again. I have a few mats and I'm pretty into Sea to Summit these days. I got an Ultralight Insulated very cheap and it's surprisingly comfortable. It's also light, and reasonably warm at R3.1. My Xtherm is far warmer, but it's also very expensive and I don't find it as comfortable. The S2S Etherlights are very comfortable and somewhere in the middle price wise, although I've never spent a whole night on one.

I'm a quilt convert these days. I have 2x Enlightened Equipment Revelations, and more recently got a new TIer Gear Quenda that is really great. I love it. If you're prepared to wait for it, the price and quality are good compared to a new sleeping bag. They generally pack smaller too.

That's my experience anyway
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Re: Overwhelmed with sleeping setup choices

Postby ChrisJHC » Thu 12 May, 2022 3:12 pm

You could always avoid the mat altogether and go to a hammock.
:)
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