Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New toy(s)

Marmot Hydrogen, '07 model

I'm pleased, very, very pleased. I had toyed around with sewing my own bag, but I was looking at spending between around $150 for the materials and then investing the time. The time I do not have.

In case it is not mentioned below, I have also acquired an older Marmot Col (pre-EQ version). It is a -20 bag with 725 fill power down. (New Col EQ bags are made with 800 fp down and retail new for ~$600; less on Campmor)It compresses nicely, to about the size of a basketball. I have yet to measure it. It kept me sufficiently warm in -18 weather last weekend. I was using a Prolite 3 (1") full length pad, ridgerest full length pad underneath me. I was wearing my poly-pro base layer; poly-pro liner socks, SmartWool style winter-grade socks, Sorel felt boot liners (9 mm), 100 wgt fleece pants, 200 wgt fleece vest and a thin 100 wgt Fleece hat. I was not wearing gloves. I had no problems staying warm. The only problem with the bag is that it is a long bag, but I see that as just fine, since in winter I shove a bunch of stuff in there anyway.


These two bags should be the end of my sleeping bag purchases. I knew I needed two bags - one for winter and late fall/early spring and another for the rest. Essentially, I needed a 3.5 season bag and a 0.5 season bag. I think I have picked up what I need.

The Col has proved itself capable of going down to low temps. I believe I could take it further with more clothing, such as an additional fleece jacket or my down coat. I also could have worn my balaclava and my thicker hat.

The Hydrogen is intended to cover the rest of the year. Ideally, I thought a 20 degree bag would have been better, and I missed a chance to pick up my dream bag, a WM Apache 20 degree bag with a taffeta shell for $210 (someone beat me to it). A warmer-rated bag would have been better because it can easily get to 20 degrees in northern Minnesota. However, I couldn't pass up such a good deal. A 30-degree bag should be just fine for my uses, and I can wear clothing to bolster its rating. And it weighs in at a listed 25 oz. I was hoping for a bag that weighed under 2 lbs and around 24 oz (1.5 lbs) would have been ideal. My hand-sewn bag was designed to have 3 inches of loft (top only, bottom would have no insulation) and weigh in at approximately 18 oz. So, this bag is right up my alley.

It should be here in about a week. I'll continue my BWCA story soon.

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