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Sleeping bag versus puffy blanket

JustJack

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023
There are endless posts here about sleeping bags, I know. But they mostly seem to be weighing the pros and cons of a sleeping bag versus a sleeping bag liner. I, on the other hand, am weighing the pros/cons of a sleeping bag versus a puffy blanket (or whatever you choose to call it). A blanket - either filled with goose down or some other product - that is just a simply a blanket with no zippers etc.

The sleeping bag would of course be warmer, but I'm thinking of the weight and bulk of it, and assuming that a blanket will be lighter and less bulky. A blanket will also be cheaper.

I will be walking the CF starting mid-May next year. So potentially some chilly days/nights at the beginning, but theoretically it should get warmer and warmer as the weeks go by.

Any downsides to a puffy blanket rather than a sleeping bag that I might not have thought of? And why does there seem to be so little discussion of this option? Perhaps I should be looking at a sleeping bag liner versus a puffy blanket. In that case which do you prefer?
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Perhaps consider this:

Sleeping bags were originally intended to be used outdoors or in a tent and not inside a building on a domestic bed mattress.
When you climb into a sleeping bag you crush the insulation beneath you rendering it less efficient.
Does your domestic bedding arrangement include additional (to the mattress) insulation/heating below you or are you content with just the sheets/blankets/quilt on top of you?

Historic data for temperatures in Pamplona in May gives us this

1660735526917.png
if we say that the temperature inside a building at night is the daily average then it might vary over the month from 12 degrees to 16 degrees - totally unscientific I know but I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for something - so in mid-May the indoor, night time temperature may well be 14 degrees.

If you had a night time temperature in Vancouver of 14 would you feel the need for a sleeping bag or a down quilt (assuming on your own bed, no other bedclothes and windows shut)?

Just wondering.

Of course you could always compromise and take a lightweight sleeping bag but leave it unzipped and use it as a quilt . . . . very Canadian, eh? 💕 🇨🇦 😉
 

Copper Image

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April 2022
There are endless posts here about sleeping bags, I know. But they mostly seem to be weighing the pros and cons of a sleeping bag versus a sleeping bag liner. I, on the other hand, am weighing the pros/cons of a sleeping bag versus a puffy blanket (or whatever you choose to call it). A blanket - either filled with goose down or some other product - that is just a simply a blanket with no zippers etc.

The sleeping bag would of course be warmer, but I'm thinking of the weight and bulk of it, and assuming that a blanket will be lighter and less bulky. A blanket will also be cheaper.

I will be walking the CF starting mid-May next year. So potentially some chilly days/nights at the beginning, but theoretically it should get warmer and warmer as the weeks go by.

Any downsides to a puffy blanket rather than a sleeping bag that I might not have thought of? And why does there seem to be so little discussion of this option? Perhaps I should be looking at a sleeping bag liner versus a puffy blanket. In that case which do you prefer?
One of the key reasons I went with a down quilt over a sleeping bag was constriction over the long haul. While I already owned a lightweight down sleeping bag, it was a mummy bag with a closed toe box. And I figured being in a mummy bag for a month or more wasn’t my preference. If I couldn’t spend the extra money on buying a down quilt, I would have just packed my mummy bag and it would have been fine too. But I could shell out the extra cash and decided to treat myself.
 
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I have a lightweight quilt and love it because it's always kept me warm. I prefer this system instead of a sleeping bag when I have a bed at night. Also, I just stuff it in the bottom of my pack - which is lined and it takes very little room. Enlightened Equipment is my favorite brand and they have both synthetic and down lightweight quilts for different temperatures. It's definitely an investment, but it's worth every penny and in the long run it is a very wise investment;-)

 

ken2116

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Someday. But have hiked the Sierra and the Pyrenees.
There are endless posts here about sleeping bags, I know. But they mostly seem to be weighing the pros and cons of a sleeping bag versus a sleeping bag liner. I, on the other hand, am weighing the pros/cons of a sleeping bag versus a puffy blanket (or whatever you choose to call it). A blanket - either filled with goose down or some other product - that is just a simply a blanket with no zippers etc.

The sleeping bag would of course be warmer, but I'm thinking of the weight and bulk of it, and assuming that a blanket will be lighter and less bulky. A blanket will also be cheaper.

I will be walking the CF starting mid-May next year. So potentially some chilly days/nights at the beginning, but theoretically it should get warmer and warmer as the weeks go by.

Any downsides to a puffy blanket rather than a sleeping bag that I might not have thought of? And why does there seem to be so little discussion of this option? Perhaps I should be looking at a sleeping bag liner versus a puffy blanket. In that case which do you prefer?
If you'll be sleeping on beds a puffy blanket or quilt should be fine, but you still might want a thin liner or sheet to cover the surfaces that might not be sufficiently clean. Also available are sleeping bags with full length zippers that, when fully opened, can function as quilts - depending upon their temperature rating, these can weigh 1.5lb. or less.
 

WayWalker

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2016
There are endless posts here about sleeping bags, I know. But they mostly seem to be weighing the pros and cons of a sleeping bag versus a sleeping bag liner. I, on the other hand, am weighing the pros/cons of a sleeping bag versus a puffy blanket (or whatever you choose to call it). A blanket - either filled with goose down or some other product - that is just a simply a blanket with no zippers etc.

The sleeping bag would of course be warmer, but I'm thinking of the weight and bulk of it, and assuming that a blanket will be lighter and less bulky. A blanket will also be cheaper.

I will be walking the CF starting mid-May next year. So potentially some chilly days/nights at the beginning, but theoretically it should get warmer and warmer as the weeks go by.

Any downsides to a puffy blanket rather than a sleeping bag that I might not have thought of? And why does there seem to be so little discussion of this option? Perhaps I should be looking at a sleeping bag liner versus a puffy blanket. In that case which do you prefer?
I liked the ability to treat my sleep sak with permethrin. They make really lightweight linerbags for hostelling. Some of the beds I slept on were skeezy such as very dusty and dirty. Glad I had my bag.
 
Last edited:

jcwareham

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues
I have a lightweight quilt and love it because it's always kept me warm. I prefer this system instead of a sleeping bag when I have a bed at night. Also, I just stuff it in the bottom of my pack - which is lined and it takes very little room. Enlightened Equipment is my favorite brand and they have both synthetic and down lightweight quilts for different temperatures. It's definitely an investment, but it's worth every penny and in the long run it is a very wise investment;-)

What are the dimensions of your blankets?
 
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mario juan

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
One
It really depends where you intend to sleep. If you’re in private Albergues you won’t need to carry any bedding at all, some may disagree..
 

JZA

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018, 2019, 2022
There are endless posts here about sleeping bags, I know. But they mostly seem to be weighing the pros and cons of a sleeping bag versus a sleeping bag liner. I, on the other hand, am weighing the pros/cons of a sleeping bag versus a puffy blanket (or whatever you choose to call it). A blanket - either filled with goose down or some other product - that is just a simply a blanket with no zippers etc.

The sleeping bag would of course be warmer, but I'm thinking of the weight and bulk of it, and assuming that a blanket will be lighter and less bulky. A blanket will also be cheaper.

I will be walking the CF starting mid-May next year. So potentially some chilly days/nights at the beginning, but theoretically it should get warmer and warmer as the weeks go by.

Any downsides to a puffy blanket rather than a sleeping bag that I might not have thought of? And why does there seem to be so little discussion of this option? Perhaps I should be looking at a sleeping bag liner versus a puffy blanket. In that case which do you prefer?
I switched from sleeping bag to quilt for all out and about sleeping and really enjoyed the switch. Toasty warm and less restrictive. There are pop studs at the toe end if you want a bit more structure. For the Camino I use a liner. Last year I treated myself to a silk liner which is really good.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
I'll stick to my sleeping bag. Let me rephrase that, I'll continue to use my sleeping bag. It not only insulates me from the cool night air but it insulates whatever I'm sleeping on from me. I'm sure future occupants of my bunk will / would appreciate that even though they will never be aware of my sacrifice.

I might ask why further complicate an already complicated life: where can I sleep, eat, wash myself and rinse my kecks by spending time sewing pop studs to fluffies and trying not to roll-over at night?

I know that the average Camino is scarcely an arctic environment (though try Rabanal in November ;)) but I'm always minded:

On the outside grows the furside; on the inside grows the skinside. So the furside is the outside, and the skinside is the inside. One side likes the skinside inside, and the furside on the outside. Others like the skinside outside, and the furside on the inside. If you turn the skinside outside, thinking you will side with that side, then the soft side, furside's inside, which, some argue, is the wrong side. If you turn the furside outside, as, you say, it grows on that side, then your outside's next the skinside, which for comfort's not the right side. For the skinside is the cold side, and your outside's not your warm side. And two cold sides side by side are not right-side when side to side! If you decide to side with that side, turn the topside furside inside. Then the cold side furside skinside, beyond all question, inside out!

Herbert Ponting F.R.P.S. : The sleeping bag, a poem.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
There are endless posts here about sleeping bags, I know. But they mostly seem to be weighing the pros and cons of a sleeping bag versus a sleeping bag liner. I, on the other hand, am weighing the pros/cons of a sleeping bag versus a puffy blanket (or whatever you choose to call it). A blanket - either filled with goose down or some other product - that is just a simply a blanket with no zippers etc.

The sleeping bag would of course be warmer, but I'm thinking of the weight and bulk of it, and assuming that a blanket will be lighter and less bulky. A blanket will also be cheaper.

I will be walking the CF starting mid-May next year. So potentially some chilly days/nights at the beginning, but theoretically it should get warmer and warmer as the weeks go by.

Any downsides to a puffy blanket rather than a sleeping bag that I might not have thought of? And why does there seem to be so little discussion of this option? Perhaps I should be looking at a sleeping bag liner versus a puffy blanket. In that case which do you prefer?
We are leaving Monday and I deliberated on this same issue and ultimately I bought a silk liner and a 50° SeatoSummit Traveler sleeping bag/blanket It has a side zip and a drawstring cinch at the bottom so it can be used as either a bag or a blanket. They make it in a 30° option as well. Without the stuff sack it weighs about 15oz. I LOVE it. Alternatively, my daughter got this Get Out Gear Down Camping Blanket and it weighs 1.1lbs with the stuff sack. I am very impressed with the quality. She is using a silk/cotton sleeping bag liner - we will both put the bag/blanket in the liner. If it’s too hot we simply won’t use one of the layers. I’m not too sure on the weather for May. Buen Camino!
 

DyanTX

DyanTX
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Sept 22 - Nov 3, 2016
I carried a Mountains Hardware 35/50 Flip sleeping bag. It did unzip to become a blanket but I found that sleeping on paper sheets or rubber mattress covers directly was a bit icky. I usually unzipped it most way but still had it under me for that reason. For mid-Sept to November - it was too hot - especially since windows are not generally opened in albergue rooms even when full of toasty pilgrims. :) A very light sleep sheet, perhaps with a zipper for ease of entry/exit would be much better IMHO.
 
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Helen Avoca

Slow walker.
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning to finish to Chemin Le Puy in April 2022.
2 caminos ago I lost my very expensive ultra light sea and sky zip open to flat blanket sleeping bag. Before I replaced it I did the same thinking you are doing and debated the pros and cons for me. So for my last Camino I went with a fluffy throw from Target, A$10 and the light cotton sarong that I also use as my towel, scarf, picnic blanket, privacy screen. It dries in no time. I use the sarong on the bottom and the blanket on top. I chose this combination as it was lightweight and don’t like the restriction of a sleeping bag or the rustling sound it makes when I turn. The fluffy blanket hugs close to my body. In a dry sac it also makes a great seat or pillow. Special note, I am 5 foot 3. It makes a difference. Neither the throw or sarong would work for a tall person.
 

RRat

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
There are endless posts here about sleeping bags, I know. But they mostly seem to be weighing the pros and cons of a sleeping bag versus a sleeping bag liner. I, on the other hand, am weighing the pros/cons of a sleeping bag versus a puffy blanket (or whatever you choose to call it). A blanket - either filled with goose down or some other product - that is just a simply a blanket with no zippers etc.

The sleeping bag would of course be warmer, but I'm thinking of the weight and bulk of it, and assuming that a blanket will be lighter and less bulky. A blanket will also be cheaper.

I will be walking the CF starting mid-May next year. So potentially some chilly days/nights at the beginning, but theoretically it should get warmer and warmer as the weeks go by.

Any downsides to a puffy blanket rather than a sleeping bag that I might not have thought of? And why does there seem to be so little discussion of this option? Perhaps I should be looking at a sleeping bag liner versus a puffy blanket. In that case which do you prefer?
It's a little harder to reach in to steal your valuables while sleeping in a zipped up bag.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I have not read most of these posts, but know we all come from our own experience. I always bring my rather thin lightweight, inexpensive Naturehike brand sleeping bag. I walk the Camino in mid-April thru May. I usually toss and turn so prefer a bag to a quilt so no waking up to find myself uncovered, plus my valuables are stashed at the bottom and safe. As late May becomes warm, I occasionally unzip my bag a bit and stick my leg out which keeps me cooler.
Although I am capable of sewing, I have no interest in cutting a down quilt to fit in a liner, nor sewing snaps or velcro to keep it from slipping if using it on the outside. I find no reason to use "two things" for a sleep system; in fact we always seem to read that every item we bring should have two uses.
 

JustJack

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023
2 caminos ago I lost my very expensive ultra light sea and sky zip open to flat blanket sleeping bag. Before I replaced it I did the same thinking you are doing and debated the pros and cons for me. So for my last Camino I went with a fluffy throw from Target, A$10 and the light cotton sarong that I also use as my towel, scarf, picnic blanket, privacy screen. It dries in no time. I use the sarong on the bottom and the blanket on top. I chose this combination as it was lightweight and don’t like the restriction of a sleeping bag or the rustling sound it makes when I turn. The fluffy blanket hugs close to my body. In a dry sac it also makes a great seat or pillow. Special note, I am 5 foot 3. It makes a difference. Neither the throw or sarong would work for a tall person.
a "fluffy throw from Target" - how heavy and bulky is it?

I'm about 5'9, so not very tall.
 
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JustJack

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023
It's a little harder to reach in to steal your valuables while sleeping in a zipped up bag.
I really hope, and want to believe, that the danger of someone literally stealing something off my bed while I sleep is a very very remote possibility. Not saying there aren't terrible people everywhere, but the odds of a professional thief sleeping in the same albergue as me on the CF have to be extremely small, statistically speaking.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I really hope, and want to believe, that the danger of someone literally stealing something off my bed while I sleep is a very very remote possibility. Not saying there aren't terrible people everywhere, but the odds of a professional thief sleeping in the same albergue as me on the CF have to be extremely small, statistically speaking.
The risk is low, but in the past there have been thieves that work with partners - one pretends to be a pilgrim, then later on lets their accomplice into the albergue, and they both take whatever is easy to steal.
 

Helen Avoca

Slow walker.
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning to finish to Chemin Le Puy in April 2022.
a "fluffy throw from Target" - how heavy and bulky is it?

I'm about 5'9, so not very tall.
Very light and not at all bulky when stuffed into a small dry sac. About the equivalent of the ski and sky expensive ultra light sleeping bag. I’m thrilled with it! I was walking in France and hardly ever needed it, but when you do, you do!
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Very light and not at all bulky when stuffed into a small dry sac. About the equivalent of the ski and sky expensive ultra light sleeping bag. I’m thrilled with it! I was walking in France and hardly ever needed it, but when you do, you do!
Can you share the brand name or a link to the product?
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I really hope, and want to believe, that the danger of someone literally stealing something off my bed while I sleep is a very very remote possibility.
I consider the Camino to be a relatively safe and secure environment. However, do not think that it is somehow removed from real life. The popular routes such as the Camino Frances have thousands of people walking without a care in the world, letting their guard down, all carrying phones and some cash, and sleeping in rooms with strangers. Occasionally, pilgrims are targets for petty thieves - at a rate that is small but it is not a statistically remote possibility!
 
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Helen Avoca

Slow walker.
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning to finish to Chemin Le Puy in April 2022.
Can you share the brand name or a link to the product?
I’m sorry, but I’ve cut the label off. I’m one of those ‘every gram counts’ obsessives. I’ll attach a photo. I just went to Target, after walking through about 3 camping goods stores, depressed at the prices and kicking myself for losing my last sleeping bag, and there it was. $10, in the bedding section. It’s nothing special, I think you could pick it up at any homewares store, and it’s perfect. 2FA0248D-5CA7-42F8-9A34-4811CB30F72D.jpeg
 

Embee12

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First time: Fall 2022
I switched from sleeping bag to quilt for all out and about sleeping and really enjoyed the switch. Toasty warm and less restrictive. There are pop studs at the toe end if you want a bit more structure. For the Camino I use a liner. Last year I treated myself to a silk liner which is really good.
What brand quilt? And what are "pop studs at the toe"? Thanks.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
I'll stick to my sleeping bag. Let me rephrase that, I'll continue to use my sleeping bag. It not only insulates me from the cool night air but it insulates whatever I'm sleeping on from me. I'm sure future occupants of my bunk will / would appreciate that even though they will never be aware of my sacrifice.

I might ask why further complicate an already complicated life: where can I sleep, eat, wash myself and rinse my kecks by spending time sewing pop studs to fluffies and trying not to roll-over at night?

I know that the average Camino is scarcely an arctic environment (though try Rabanal in November ;)) but I'm always minded:

On the outside grows the furside; on the inside grows the skinside. So the furside is the outside, and the skinside is the inside. One side likes the skinside inside, and the furside on the outside. Others like the skinside outside, and the furside on the inside. If you turn the skinside outside, thinking you will side with that side, then the soft side, furside's inside, which, some argue, is the wrong side. If you turn the furside outside, as, you say, it grows on that side, then your outside's next the skinside, which for comfort's not the right side. For the skinside is the cold side, and your outside's not your warm side. And two cold sides side by side are not right-side when side to side! If you decide to side with that side, turn the topside furside inside. Then the cold side furside skinside, beyond all question, inside out!

Herbert Ponting F.R.P.S. : The sleeping bag, a poem.
I agree, I like having my trusted sleeping bag between me and the mattress.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Portuguese, Finisterre, Muxia
There are endless posts here about sleeping bags, I know. But they mostly seem to be weighing the pros and cons of a sleeping bag versus a sleeping bag liner. I, on the other hand, am weighing the pros/cons of a sleeping bag versus a puffy blanket (or whatever you choose to call it). A blanket - either filled with goose down or some other product - that is just a simply a blanket with no zippers etc.

The sleeping bag would of course be warmer, but I'm thinking of the weight and bulk of it, and assuming that a blanket will be lighter and less bulky. A blanket will also be cheaper.

I will be walking the CF starting mid-May next year. So potentially some chilly days/nights at the beginning, but theoretically it should get warmer and warmer as the weeks go by.

Any downsides to a puffy blanket rather than a sleeping bag that I might not have thought of? And why does there seem to be so little discussion of this option? Perhaps I should be looking at a sleeping bag liner versus a puffy blanket. In that case which do you prefer?
I’ve walked in mid-May through the end of June (2016) and took a lightweight silk sleep sack which was perfect. Kept me warm on cool nights, but not too warm on some of the warmer nights. Best of all, it packs into a small bundle and weighs next to nothing. Years ago on my very first Camino, I brought a sleeping bag which was a mistake as it kept me way too hot at night and became quite cumbersome as an attachment to my backpack. I certainly would never consider a ‘puffy blanket’ as the added weight and lack of ventilation/drying capabilities would likely be an issue. Hope this helps. Buen Camino!😊
 

Suka

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2022)
There are endless posts here about sleeping bags, I know. But they mostly seem to be weighing the pros and cons of a sleeping bag versus a sleeping bag liner. I, on the other hand, am weighing the pros/cons of a sleeping bag versus a puffy blanket (or whatever you choose to call it). A blanket - either filled with goose down or some other product - that is just a simply a blanket with no zippers etc.

The sleeping bag would of course be warmer, but I'm thinking of the weight and bulk of it, and assuming that a blanket will be lighter and less bulky. A blanket will also be cheaper.

I will be walking the CF starting mid-May next year. So potentially some chilly days/nights at the beginning, but theoretically it should get warmer and warmer as the weeks go by.

Any downsides to a puffy blanket rather than a sleeping bag that I might not have thought of? And why does there seem to be so little discussion of this option? Perhaps I should be looking at a sleeping bag liner versus a puffy blanket. In that case which do you prefer?
I walked this year (May-June) and opted for an ultra-lightweight quilt and rectangular silk liner. Usually the liner was enough (we had unusually warm temps), but for the rest of the time, the puffy quilt was perfect. I am a side sleeper and toss and turn, so the relative freedom of a rectangular liner and the quilt made for much more comfortable sleep than a mummy bag. The quilt easily packed down into a 2-qt dry bag that fit perfectly (with the silk liner) into the sleeping bag pocket of my Osprey pack.
 

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