View Full Version : Nunatak Alpinist bag ???

05-14-2005, 02:16 PM
I am doing a re-build of my gear, probably my last one and I am going to replace my Feathered Friends "Great Auk" summer bag as I don't care for the pad sleeve arrangement, anymore. It has been a fine bag, but, a center-zip Endurance and down unit is more to my current liking.

So, I am looking at Nunatak and I would appreciate any and all comments on their gear, both from owners/users and others, before I phone them with my order. I am especially interested in how they deal with custom sizing orders as their standard widths will only fit a beer-hating, vegetarian bonerack. Comments???

05-14-2005, 03:04 PM
Kute, can't say one way or the other about the bag, but the center zip makes a lot of sense... I remember "back in the day" it was the usual set-up... then everyone took up backpacking and brought along their girlfriend... who says *** never inluenced the deign of backpack gear!

I like the idea of a center zip...

Rusty Hook
05-14-2005, 03:17 PM
Kute: I can't be of any help either, but I am sure glad that we are beginning to move on to other concerns with bags besides the recent blow out. Keep up the good work...Rusty.

Ed T
05-14-2005, 03:41 PM


Ed T

05-14-2005, 03:54 PM
Yeah, although this post is honestly about my need for advice on the bag I have in mind as the center zip with a certain model of Integral Bivy is the easiest to suddenly exit if necessary or to enter with an ankle fracture; I want to have peace and courtesy here as well, so, hopefully this thread will exhibit those virtues.

Rusty Hook
05-14-2005, 04:13 PM
Kute: I would also have an interest is such a bag. It would sure make life a lot easier with two in a ParaTipi and stove, or even one...Rusty.

05-14-2005, 04:38 PM
That is EXACTLY where I am heading and hope to order a PT this summer.

05-14-2005, 05:49 PM
Kutenay, All

I've had the same concerns when out and about as far as having to set up the "cocoon" in case of a serious mishap, such as a broken leg. But instead of the center zip I figured a full length side zip was the way to go. As a last resort you could lay the unzipped bag over yourself if you were unable to get inside. I haven't handled a center zip bag but figured it would be more difficult to squirm into rather than roll on/into a full side zip bag.
What are your thoughts on my version vs. your center zip. I'd like to here some different ideas on this.


05-15-2005, 09:00 AM
RD, I am no fan at all of partial zips, whether side or center... I believe the weight trade off is so minimal as to be laughable and the potential comfort level of a full zip is beyond intelligent dispute... ultimately a good night's sleep will outweigh any weight savings on the trail... but then I'm not one who quibbles over every ounce. There are some area's where taking weight saving's to its extreme is counter productive.

Rusty Hook
05-15-2005, 11:05 AM
RD: I have used bags as you described many times, unzipped and pulled over me as a comforter, mostly because of too warm conditions, in a hammock, and when my bag was wet so I would not be lying in a wet bag. It works just fine and is quite comfortabe as long as the conditions are right for it.

It was those experiences that made me open to trying Marmot's Componet Bag System and the Big Agness system, both of which utilize only your pad, with out additional bag insulation, as the bottom of your bag. The CBS does not have a hood, and the BA systems do. I am mostly a back and side sleeper and prefer to not close up a hood when I can, which is most of the time, so the lack of hood turnability is not a big issue for me. Try using a bag as you describe it if you havn't already done so, I think you will like it just fine and find it surprisingly warm and comfortable. The bottom of a bag does not contribute much warmth because you squash all the loft out of it lying on it...Rusty.

05-15-2005, 07:45 PM
Thanks for the input.

I have used my sleeping bags as you have mentioned
and I happen to have the "original" "component" type sleeping bag made by Stephenson Warmlite (yah, the nudidity people). It works very well, although I am switching back to full bag mode for simplicity's sake.


05-15-2005, 08:42 PM
I have sustained four separate leg fractures at different times and involving both legs. I find that a splinted leg is easier to move into a bedroll by slowly maneuvering it through a center zip in both bivy and bag than bending down to pull up the zip from the bottom of a long side zip and side zips on bivys are short, compounding the problem. This requires careful matching of your sleeping roll conponents, using your aluminum pack inner stays plus your hiking poles to splint your leg, but, it will work with minimum discomfort if done slowly and carefully.

I go alone into some of the most remote wilderness left in North America, or anywhere else, and you simply cannot take chances in B.C bush or you will die. I try to plan ahead in terms of equipment choices and outdoor techniques so that I can cope with emergencies and being incapacitated in the deep wilderness of northern B.C. with a major cold front approaching is something I am afraid of, so, I make sure I am as ready as I can be.

I like a "90%" zip on a bag as I prefer a footbox like the original Marmot I had that does not oplen up or flatten out; this makes getting the bag closed far easier and it can still work as a quilt when fair damsels come camping....or, it used to!

05-16-2005, 07:11 AM
Kute, a 90% zip sounds good to me... I've spent enough miserably warm nights in bags with a full zip to know I'd never enjoy a half zip.