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Thread: Alternatives to sleeping bags?

  1. #1

    Alternatives to sleeping bags?

    Hi Guys

    My family and i do a few spring and summer hikes with overnight stays in a small tent,(i tend to carry most of the gear)

    At the moment our sleep systems are various old low quality sleeping bags,

    Which are bulky and quite heavy also i feel really claustrophobic in a bag,

    I`ve read loads of things online about alternatives to bags but not really sussed out whats best but its looking like fleece
    blankets at present

    What do you think would be best it needs to be lightish (as i`m carrying all 3) compact but most of
    all not expensive (as i have to buy 3) sub 100 for all 3 if possible


  2. #2
    Tribal Elder Chubbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    This is going to be a tough one if you are carrying all three. In Spring it gets cold, even down here in Cornwall where it goes down to 0 degrees in April. It also depends on how far you are walking and how heavy your pack already is.

    A set of Softie jacket and trousers might be a good start to keep you warm. I've used mine in a hammock during the Winter months and just had a very thin opened up sleeping bag over the top of me.

  3. #3
    Ranger OakAshandThorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Connecticut ~ New England
    For summer, you can probably get away with a surplus military poncho liner down to 10 C. They are fairly lightweight, compact, and inexpensive. Combine that with a fleece sleeping bag liner, and you should be comfortable at 7 C. Of course, this all assuming you are sleeping on a roll mat or air pad .
    Last summer I used a space blanket (Grabber Outdoors - it's stronger than the mylar ones and less prone to shred) combined with my Thermarest on a trip in New Hampshire in my hammock.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nightly temps were around the 10 C mark, and I was comfortable, though there was a little condensation in the morning. Something like the SOL Escape Bivy, which is essentially a space blanket sleeping bag, though breathable, would be ideal down to 7 might even be able to hit 4 C by wearing some extra clothing (sweater, gloves, hat, scarf/buff, socks, etc.). The SOL Escape is very lightweight (227 grams/8 ounces) and compact.
    Hope this helps .
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  4. #4
    Moderator jus_young's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Devon, UK
    An alternative may be to look at quilts rather than sleeping bags if you sleep on mats. They tend to be a little more compact and lighter than sleeping bags and will still keep you warm as the underside of a sleeping bag compresses and is useless anyway. It really does depend on the temperatures that you will be sleeping in

  5. #5

    Yes i`ve seen quilts but as they are down filled they are quite expensive,

    Does anyone make a good synthetic one?

    Or is there a good way of MYOG one easily and cheaply?


  6. #6
    Moderator jus_young's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Devon, UK
    Ooh, just thought of this one. The Snugpak site has top quilts. I have one but not used it in anger yet as I use and love my down sleeping bag so much. Another option is this one far cheaper
    Last edited by jus_young; 08-01-2015 at 09:44 PM.

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