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So I spent a great deal of time researching sleeping bags and thought I would share my findings. First, I have been regularly camping for over a decade now and have found that I sleep cold. I have rarely slept a night out where I wasn't freezing unless it was the middle of summer.

Years ago I decided to upgrade my sleeping by buying a 30 degree Coleman bag thinking that would keep me warm enough. After freezing my tail end many a night I purchased a Coleman fleece liner that was advertised to lower the temperature rating 12 degrees, making my 30 degree bag an 18 degree bag. After freezing some more I stuffed that sleeping setup inside an old over sized sleeping bag (Unknown warmth rating, but somewhere between a 30-45 degree). So after freezing some and sleeping on a narrow cot I decided I was going to seek out a comfortable and warm sleep setup.

So to the sleeping bags. The things I really wanted were a rectangular shape with a canvas shell and cotton liner. I wanted the canvas shell for the durability and less moisture or frost on the bag. I wanted the cotton liner for the feel, I did not want that slick feeling of the polyester and poly blend liners. I also wanted a hood, even though it wasn't a mummy style I just liked the idea of having the continuous bottom layer.

Bass Pro Shops with hood. It's offered in a 0 degree $150 and a -20 degree $170. (They offer a model without a hood that's a brown color and is a lot cheaper, and there's a 0 and -20 model that does not have a fleece liner)
-The nice features of this bag are a waterproof bottom and the hood is stuff-able and removable. It comes with a fleece liner and I'm guessing that -20 rating is while using the liner.
-The cons is it's price and no stuff bag. I'm sure it's made in China but I forgot to check the box.
http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-20-Oversized-Sleeping-Bag-with-Hood/product/10201820/


Teton Sports Elk Hunter -35 degree $120
-This one was the cheapest, however it wasn't until after I bought it and brought it home that I found out why. While the liner in the demo bag felt like cotton and the bag is advertised as having a brushed flannel liner, the liner turned out not to be cotton but slick polyester with a flannel print. A nice feature is it comes with a duffel that actually fits the bag and it's offered in brown and black. Also you can purchase it in a left and right zipper version and zip two bags together (You have to buy one left and one right). It's also made in China.
http://www.tetonsports.com/Elk-Hunter-35.htm


Browning Klondike -35 $120 (a 0 degree was offered in my local Sportsman's Warehouse but I can't remember the price and the 0 has been removed from their website).
-This is the bag I ended up buying. The negative I've found with it is the shell, it's canvas but not as tough as I would like and compared to the Bass Pro and Teton ones.
It's imported from China by Alps Mountaineering and branded as Browning, and does not come with a stuff bag.
http://www.browningcamping.com/browning/products/bags/klondike


Now the above are ones I have personally seen and felt. I found this one later:
Butler Bags -20 to +65 Degree $430
This bag is made in the USA, and it's made in layers so you can adjust it's temp rating. Now it says it has a cotton/polyester lining so I'm guessing it's the slick stuff.
http://www.butlerbags.com/cms/Product_ASB_Description?selectedLink=ASB


I've found is these large sleeping bags usually do not come with a bag. I ended up getting a 40" X 25" canvas army duffle bag off Amazon that was $20. The sleeping bag is huge though! It's so thick you can't fold it in half so rolled up it's 40 inches long with a large diameter.

Long story short, now I'm happy with the Browning Klondike. I recently took it on a trip and can finally say I was not cold. The bag is so big it won't fit in the back of my extended cab so the stuff bag does get dusty riding in the bed. I wish I could find a bag made in the USA that was reasonably priced as I wouldn't mind paying extra. Unfortunately they're all from China or they cost $470. It was sad when I pulled out my old sleeping bag that my parentls bought me 20+ years ago at Target I think. It has 3lbs of insulation (My 30 degree Coleman has 4lbs) and was made in Henderson, NC.
 

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So to the sleeping bags. The things I really wanted were a rectangular shape with a canvas shell and cotton liner. I wanted the canvas shell for the durability and less moisture or frost on the bag. I wanted the cotton liner for the feel, I did not want that slick feeling of the polyester and poly blend liners. I also wanted a hood, even though it wasn't a mummy style I just liked the idea of having the continuous bottom layer.
Ok...not to be a negative prick...but moisture and frost collects on any surface. Doesn't matter if it's cotton or polyester. Canvas is cotton so it'll absorb moisture and is not as breathable as polyester. So it takes longer to dry. The polyester (on the other hand) is lighter and dries faster. As a result, keeping you warmer. I would definitely reconsider the inner lining being made of cotton as well. Your sweat will just soak it and it will not wick away from your body. Most likely the reason you are freezing night after night.

Any performance gear and clothing worth it's weight, you will notice, does not contain an ounce of cotton.

My advice...stay away from any cotton sleeping bag. You don't see those guys who take expeditions in the mountains or on glaciers sleeping in cotton. :2cents:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok...not to be a negative prick...but moisture and frost collects on any surface. Doesn't matter if it's cotton or polyester. Canvas is cotton so it'll absorb moisture and is not as breathable as polyester. So it takes longer to dry. The polyester (on the other hand) is lighter and dries faster. As a result, keeping you warmer. I would definitely reconsider the inner lining being made of cotton as well. Your sweat will just soak it and it will not wick away from your body. Most likely the reason you are freezing night after night.

Any performance gear and clothing worth it's weight, you will notice, does not contain an ounce of cotton.

My advice...stay away from any cotton sleeping bag. You don't see those guys who take expeditions in the mountains or on glaciers sleeping in cotton. :2cents:
The frost and moisture just seemed more obvious on the polyester bags.

I personally wanted the cotton bag, I like the feel of it better and feel the canvas would be more durable than a polyester shell. I don't think I sweat in the bag since I never get warm in the first place, and again I just like the softer feel of the cotton. Of course if I were doing any mountain hiking or crazy arctic trips I would have different gear which would probably cost much more than what I spent. Since this is for truck camping, size and weight are not factored as much as comfort and preference. I totally agree though about the polyester bags as all cold weather mummy bags I've ever seen were polyester.
 

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Good review. I've been needing a bag but like you I have been burned in the past. I had a military cocoon bag the was supposed to be for O degrees. It got down to 30 and I was freezing. Couldn't even sleep I was so cold. Had long johns and stuff on in the bag too. I like the cotton liner also, just feels right.
 

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Good points made by all. I too am not a big fan of the poly type bags as I tend to slip and slide all around. In addition, I tend to snag on almost everything. I also like the extra large rectangular style and have a duck canvas waterproof shell that I put over my bag when sleeping outside of a tent. Mummy style bags just don't work well for me.

Thanks again for the coverage as there are a host of brands out there.
 

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I too am not a big fan of the poly type bags as I tend to slip and slide all around.
Sigh..shake head...but you'll be so warm you'll fall asleep before you slip and slide all around. :p

I'm sticking to my guns..Poly over cotton anyday. Based on 20 years of camping. :D :2cents:
 

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Have you ever tried a sleeping pad? A lot of your body heat gets lost from the cold ground. You can get a cheap foam one for about $30 and it makes a world of difference. They have thicker inflatable pads that are more comfortable but they cost more. Speaking from years of experience backpacking in cold conditions with just a down mummy bag and a thermarest foam pad


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Have you ever tried a sleeping pad?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Good advice. The sleeping pad is just as important as the bag. If you're sleeping on an air mattress, you can bet that's where a lot of the heat is going.

But it sounds like the OP is finally warm again. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I was very warm in the -30 bags but my goodness they are huge. I bought a Wiggy's 0 degree bag and have been very happy with it. The two biggest pluses of it are it's made in the USA and it encourages you to wash it, in fact it suggests to wash it after every trip.

http://www.wiggys.com/

They are a bit more expensive but I have been very happy with them. They make them in mummy or rectangle style with or without hoods. They area designed to retain their loft no matter how smashed they are, so you can cram them as tight as you want in to the included compression sacks to save some space. They also area designed to be layered to give you 40 degrees warmer comfort if you buy the over bag. You zip the other bag inside the overbag so you are only messing with one zipper. So if you buy the 20 degree bag and the 40 degree over bag, you would have a 40 degree bag for summer, 20 degree bag for spring/fall and a -20 bag for winter. Right now I have the 0 degree and am very happy with it. If it's supposed to be uber cold I still bust out the -30 bags, but I eventually want to get the over bag for my Wiggy's which would be rated to -40!! :flamethro
 

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I was looking at Cabelas they seem to have some nice big cold weather bags.
 

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Look at North Face bags and you will be much happier. I have two, one for cold and one for not so cold trips . . .no problems even in a bivy.
 
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