View Full Version : Choosing A Sleeping Bag

04-03-2005, 05:32 PM
What do you folks reccomend in sleeping bags for a Nov Colorado Elk hunt temps possibly down to
-15. Anyone have a used 6-man Tipi/with stove for sale by chance. Thanks treeguy

04-03-2005, 06:06 PM
treeguyus- I tend to be a synthetic guy as Mr. Murphy likes to show me the errors of my ways. Take a look at one of the bags from this company.


04-04-2005, 08:37 AM
I just got their Superlite/FTRSS combo and I have been very impressed so far. I think you will like it.


jerry wigutow
04-04-2005, 10:02 AM
for those interested in my expose of the MH bags go to my web site <a href="http://www.wiggys.co" target="_blank">http://www.wiggys.co (http://www.wiggys.co)</a> and click on current newsletter.

jerry wigutow
04-04-2005, 10:03 AM
<a href="http://www.wiggys.com" target="_blank">http://www.wiggys.com (http://www.wiggys.com)</a>
sorry for the typo

04-04-2005, 10:21 AM
Is there anyway to get a little informal survey going here without starting World War III? Just a simple response...down, synthetic or abstain? I think we all know the weight, warmth, wet issues etc. But how did you vote with your dollars?

Example:I own:______next bag will be__________ .
I own a down bag but I might go synthetic next time. I'm really in a quandry worrying about what MIGHT happen although I've never been really wet.

Dave R.
04-04-2005, 12:50 PM
Hi Rooster

I like synth...prefer down, but don't want to risk it getting wet. Your post is timely..I have a North Face Snow Shoe...just put it up for sale. I'm going to give Wiggy's 2 bag system a whirl...the sytem runs around 330.00 ,but the flexibility is what I'm after, the lifetime guarantee is good too...made in America...good too...washable good too...I tried a superlight system at Cabelas today...no gimmicks....seems like a good set up. The over bag would be great for summer camping I have some of wiggy's accesory gear, and I'm pleased. I liked the feel of the bag too...


04-04-2005, 12:55 PM
I own a wiggys Hunter/Nautiliss FTRSS in long/wide. It is a big bag. If I were to order another one, it would be a FTRSS but in a mummy configuration. The rectangular hunter is huge and very comfortable, but I probably don't need all that room realistically.

Ed T
04-04-2005, 03:13 PM
Current bags:

Big Agness Pomer Hoit 0 degree down
Big Agness Mica 20 degree Polarguard
Sierra Designs 20 degree down
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 / 32 degree down
Marmot Xanadu -25 degree Polarguard

I prefer down for the much wider temperature range, compressability and weight. I have never had a problem keeping my bag dry, but synthetics have their palce in wet climates.

Ed T

04-04-2005, 03:39 PM
Wiggys Camper One, Wiggys FTRSS.

I hunt in a swamp, and run whitewater regularly. I'd love to be able to carry down, but it just won't work in a place where your clothes can stay wet for days, even when its not raining.

I usually use my bags like a quilt. A lamilite poncho liner would be great!

04-04-2005, 04:42 PM
My current bags are:

Integral Designs Himalayan, Endurnace/down with some custom work, good to about -30 or 35F. Very comfortable and works during a wide range of temps, but, this is an expensive bag, about $1100.00 CDN.

Feathered Friends "Great Auk", very light, GT/down and used for 15 yrs+ from April to Oct. down to -10C; very fine bag and again, a tad pricey.

Wiggy's Kifaru Special with front zipper, this is my emergency, break an ankle in Nov. while hunting alone bag and it combines with an Integral Unishelter. This is the best of the several synthetic bags I have owned and used over the past 40+ yrs. It is not as compressible as I would like, but, it is tough, inexpensive and it does what JW claims it will. I prefer GT/down for real cold weather, but, this bag really fills a need that my others do not.

Next bag. Probably a Badger from Western Mountaineering to replace my Great Auk, I want something extremely light and good to about 15F for most of my camping. WM make a superb bag and this one really appeals to me.

Overall, the best choice is the one that you can afford and that feels good to you, try as many as you can before you buy and never buy a bag that feels even a bit too tight, in the store, I learned this one the hard way! If, money is a major concern and rock solid toughness and moisture issues bother you, I doubt that anything available anywhere will do more for you than a Wiggy's.

Marc Taylor
04-04-2005, 05:55 PM
I've still got Wiggy's "Mountain Hunters" available, but the pickings are getting slimmer every day. Remember, this is the last run of the bag formerly known as the Wiggy's Kifaru Ultra-Light.
The Great Alaska Sportsman's Show is this weekend. I'll have a huge inventory available on-site for any of you in Alaska, or I can drop-ship to all others. Free of charge, of course.
Drop a note if I can assist you with a Wiggy's purchase.

Marc Taylor
Alaska Wiggy's Rep.

04-04-2005, 08:23 PM
Leave the moderating to a moderator Emmerson /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Dan M
04-04-2005, 08:58 PM
Current Bags:
Military Modular Sleep System: green patrol bag is 4-5 years old and the insulation is flattened out. Goretex bivy has worked great in continuous night of downpour.
Ecotat/Wiggy's 40 deg. Multi-Use Sleeping Bag: great survival/emergency bag, compresses well and keeps me warm down to 38.
Wiggy's FTRSS Superlight: Overbag is awesome, I have been using it all winter as my sleeping bag when I had to spend nights on the couch in my "office".
Next Bag: Lamilite poncho if Wiggy's ever goes there.

Spring Bear
04-05-2005, 12:58 AM

I own a Wiggy's Super Light FTRSS sense last summer. The coldest I have used the zero degree rated bag so far is down to mid 30s recorded on a thermomater inside a tent on a cot with no ground pad for three nights. I went to bed one night after hiking all day with cold, wet, aching feet inside wool socks. I thought I was going to have a miserable night. Within 10 minutes my feet felt like they were soaking in warm water, felt really good, and I dirfted off to sleep. A few hours later I woke and got up to relieve myself. I purposly checked my feet and socks. Both were bone dry. I have been wet for three nights in another synthetic bag and can't say I liked it. At this point, if something ever happened to my Wiggy's bag, my next bag would be a Wiggy's bag. If I ever try a down bag it will be one that kutenay has used and recommended.

04-05-2005, 04:30 AM
I have both the Military MSS and the Wiggy's Superlite/FTRSS. I just got the Wiggy's bag, so I have not been able to test it, but it is lighter and compresses better than my MSS. You can't beat Wiggy's warranty and the way that his synthetic bags function when wet. If anything ever happened to this bag, I would use the warranty to get another. I plan to outfit my family with his bags soon.


04-05-2005, 05:09 AM
Another vote for Wiggy's Superlite/FTRSS. Great bag(s) and a wide usable temp range. Pretty Hard to beat imo. Down can be a problem when/if it gets wet. I look at it like this: If your going to spend alot of time outside eventually your gonna get wet, why take the chance?


04-05-2005, 06:57 AM
I have 2 Wiggys rectangular bags, 0 degree hunter and 40 degree Nautilus; two Kelty bags at 0 degree and 20 degrees; and a -30 degree Slumberjack from 20 years ago.

Both the Slumberjack and the Kelty 20 degree bag are optimistic. The 40 degree Wiggys bag is warmer than rated for me, and the other one is untested at its limits.

My next bag will probably be one of the superlight downs with the pertex shell. I don't mind carrying an extra pound or two for a bag, as I hate sleeping in a mummy if I can avoid it. I'm not that big, but I prefer more room.

04-05-2005, 11:14 AM
Is the Wiggy's Superlight FTRSS long and wide a mummy bag or rectangular?

04-05-2005, 11:16 AM
By the way these are great comments guys. Very helpful. I am starting to form a picture now.

04-05-2005, 12:24 PM
Rooster- the Superlight is a mummy bag.

04-05-2005, 05:16 PM
I just bought the superlite w/overbag and am looking forward to better sleep this hunting season....I really like the way synthetic insulation will wick away water to the top layer of the bag making it an easy "lay in the sun" way to dry the bag.
I own
WM Megalite..favorite bag for summer
MEC 20 deg. bag... great roomy bag
North Face Tangerine dream....excellent for expeditions
Cabelas summit..soon to be a hand me down
Kelty 20 down bag..bad news due to zipper snags
Exped wallcreeper..used as under quilt for my hammock.

one-eyed Bob
04-05-2005, 06:25 PM
I have a mountainsmith down bag weighing 1 3/4 lbs and an Eddie Bauer Mountaineer down bag weighing about 4 1/2 lbs. In addition a Moonstone synthetic bag which I love, weighing 3 1/2 lbs and purchased after the down bag got wet on a Moose hunt. I just bought a Wiggys bag as army surplus for $40 at a gun show, it is the ultralight model and weighs about 4 lbs. Since I have 4 kids I can buy more, however.

04-05-2005, 07:00 PM
Wiggy gets a lot of cr** here, but the fact remains that his bags do work pretty well. I used my 0 degree bag in a rainstorm last year...no tent, no tarp, just pitched it and watched it start raining at midnight. No big deal...I was too tired to get up and pitch a tent.....so I just let it go. I was warm and comfy all night.

04-05-2005, 08:09 PM
I agree with Kevin, Wiggy gets a ton of cr** but his bags kick butt. Superlight here, works great. Cant see the logic in a light down bag and then having to carry a bivy bag to keep the dang thing dry. I really dont care if my Superlight gets wet, I stay warm.

04-06-2005, 10:51 AM
I currently use a Big Agnes Encampment synthetic filled bag. It's a bit too heavy for my likings, but until I save up enough greenbacks for a western mountaineering down bag, it'll have to do.

Kutenay gives sound advise about trying out as many as you can before buying one. I found a lot of bags look good on paper, but are cut so small that only the smallest of people could fit into them.


jerry wigutow
04-06-2005, 11:57 AM
I can't resist, based on the over 1000 letters, e mails, and phone calls that I have received since the inception of selling my sleeping bags it is clear that even if the bag is wet it performs its stated function to keep the occupant warm. I readily admit that I did not know the Lamilite would perform in that manner, but am very pleased it does. W

jerry wigutow
04-06-2005, 12:00 PM
While I agree with the previous poster getting into a wet sleeping bag isn't the best thing to do, I am pleased that it doesn't matter with my bags, stay warm wet or dry. Another unknown to me was the fact that body heat would dry the bag, so the second night you have a dry bag.

04-06-2005, 12:01 PM
One might not have a choice...

04-06-2005, 12:09 PM

If you are in cold conditions and you are wet and your gear is wet, you can insulate as much as possible or freeze to death. With a Wiggy's bag, you will survive and from other's accounts, even be warm, with down or other bags, you will probably at least be miserable, maybe even be dead. The point is not to take a bag out, dunk it in the river and sleep in it, but things happen when you are out there. I guess this is just a continuation of Ken.

Not directed at Emmerson--
With all the people spouting at the mouth about Jerry and his bags, I have never heard anyone actually state that they don't perform as advertised. I have not had the opportunity to really test mine, but I am very impressed with it so far.


04-06-2005, 12:46 PM
We should start a thread of real life survival stories in the wild, and how gear choices affected the outcome. What do you guys think about that idea?

We recently had a guy get in a jam up in the Smoky Mountains near here. He was a VERY experienced hiker (20 years experience in that area). He was going from shelter to shelter and travelling very light - in winter. He had no tent, and a down bag.

Long story made short, weather turned bad, he slipped and broke a femur on a small out of the way side trail, and laid there for a few days till he got found. Bag got wet, he got frostbite and almost died.

He sure didn't plan on breaking a leg, but it happened. Had his down bag in a waterproof sack, but had to pull it out to use it. Had no tent, and even if he did - woulda been tough to set up and use properly on the side of a hill with a broken femur.

Sure, there are a lot of things he did wrong, but from a gear standpoint, a parahootch to cover up with and a wiggy bag would have made life a lot more bearable. He'd probably still have all his toes and fingers too.

04-06-2005, 01:44 PM
Catfish, maybe you ought to start a new thread on that. Sounds like a good topic and with all this discussion I've been wondering how many guys have died from using down bags. I can't imagine carrying one without at least a tarp as did the fellow you described.

Most of the deaths you hear about here in Colorado involve hunters (frequently from warmer climes) who venture out in a balmy day without any sort of proper gear and then get lost in a "sudden" snowstorm. Others are hikers who are similarly unprepared. So I too, would like to hear real life stories of what gear has worked in true life or death situations.

Rusty Hook
04-06-2005, 01:51 PM
At present, I own 9 bags. Five are down and 4 are synthetic. Down bags: The North Face -30 deg. bag
Big Agnes Pomer Hoit 0 deg.
Camp 7, Camp 7 15 Deg. bag.
Snow Lion, Ult Lite 20 Deg.

Rusty Hook
04-06-2005, 01:51 PM
At present, I own 9 bags. Five are down and 4 are synthetic. Down bags: The North Face -30 deg. bag
Big Agnes Pomer Hoit 0 deg.
Camp 7, Camp 7 15 Deg. bag.
Snow Lion, Ult Lite 20 Deg.

Rusty Hook
04-06-2005, 02:16 PM
Sorry, I don't know what happened.
Marmot Component Bag System, 15 Deg. bag.

Synthetic Bags:
Two Snow Lion 15 Deg. Polarguard bags; one of the early ones that has gone some what flat, and a latter addition that has retained its loft quite well.
An Early Winters Silver Linning 15 Deg. Polarguard bag.
A Yack Works, Yack Sack, 32 deg Thinsulate bag.

Like ED T and Scott, I prefer down when I can get away with it. Unlike Ed, I have not always been able to keep my down bags dry. Outside moisture coming into the down was not the problem in most of these cases. But, rather, 100 percent humidity atmospheric conditions and insensible perspiration coming from my body and not being able to dry the bags.

I am not presently in the market for a new bag. But if I was, it would be either a Wiggys or a Big Agnes Mica synthetic bag.

If I had it all to do over again, I would start with a synthetic bag and use it untill I had gained enough knowledge and experience to feel comfortable in knowing what needs to be known to invest in and use a down bag.

I really like the Big Agnes system because it puts all of the usable insulation on top and on the side of you so you are not carrying the added weight on insulation you are going to crush all of the loft out of when you get into bed. Also, you can't get the bag wrapped around you, move off of your pad side ways or at the bottom of your bag.

I bought Jerry's Lamalite Vest last year and I have been very impressed with its insulating and wicking abilities. I am sure that his bags have the same positive qualities...Rusty.

04-06-2005, 06:51 PM
Emmerson, I would say that if you had a Wiggy's bag, you might change your statement. I have between 30 and 60 days that I can spend afield and running for home if my bag gets wet is just not an option. I honestly dont care if my bag is wet. I stay warm. Living in a paratipi, about half my bag gets wet every night just from condensation(from my feet up to about mid bag). It really doesnt matter. Rusty, Like you, I was trying to choose between Big Agnes synthetic and Wiggy's. Jerry might come off as a pain in the rear on this board and in person if you call him. That attitude is exactly why I choose his bag. Anybody that is that devoted to something is worth a try. His bag just flat out works. Yes, it weighs more than a down bag, I will glady pack that extra pound to ensure I stay warm.

04-06-2005, 07:11 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by EMMERSONFAMILY:
Anyone who gets into a wet bag is crazy. </div></div>Just curious, what would be the alternative if your bag is wet?

04-07-2005, 06:53 AM
You could start a fire--you may not get much sleep but you won't freeze to death either.

If you are operating out of a heated camp, you might be able to hang your bag on a clothesline and crank up the stove.

Otherwise what I have done is simply paced back and forth until morning--it helps to occasionally do some calisthenics and kick your feet against rocks and trees to keep your toes from freezing....