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Specific Sleeping Bag Questions

Re-tired

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
The wife and I have decided to bring sleeping bags and not sleeping bag liners. We will be doing CF in November. We also travel through Europe a lot during late October and November and find that many budget hotels don't have heat in the rooms.

We see a lot of advice about bringing or not bringing sleeping bags but very little specific recommendations for brands and models of bags. Can folks please recommend specific bags that have worked for them?

We have a preference for down but anything that is lightweight and will fit in the sleeping bag compartment of our Osprey Kestrel 48 and Kyte 46 would work.

Thanks in advance.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
The wife and I have decided to bring sleeping bags and not sleeping bag liners. We will be doing CF in November. We also travel through Europe a lot during late October and November and find that many budget hotels don't have heat in the rooms.

We see a lot of advice about bringing or not bringing sleeping bags but very little specific recommendations for brands and models of bags. Can folks please recommend specific bags that have worked for them?

We have a preference for down but anything that is lightweight and will fit in the sleeping bag compartment of our Osprey Kestrel 48 and Kyte 46 would work.

Thanks in advance.
I have a North Face Aleutian 55 sleeping bag. I like it. Well made, warm. It packs down small in its stuff sack and it was reasonably priced. It weighs under a kilo (737 grams or 26 ounces). That is about the maximum weight I would recommend a sleeping bag on the Camino to be if you are carrying your whole kit with you everyday in your backpack. The lighter the backpack the happier the Camino.
Mind you, that is just one brand. There are other companies that make similar bags for the price.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
The wife and I have decided to bring sleeping bags and not sleeping bag liners. We will be doing CF in November. We also travel through Europe a lot during late October and November and find that many budget hotels don't have heat in the rooms.

We see a lot of advice about bringing or not bringing sleeping bags but very little specific recommendations for brands and models of bags. Can folks please recommend specific bags that have worked for them?

We have a preference for down but anything that is lightweight and will fit in the sleeping bag compartment of our Osprey Kestrel 48 and Kyte 46 would work.

Thanks in advance.
Rather than sleeping bags, I always recommend looking at either backpacking sleeping quilts or a regular throw quilt which will both saving weight and pack small. This is I posted yesterday in response to that discussion.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A backpacking sleeping quilt will reduce weight and still provide warmth. If you select one that is rated for 4.5 degrees C / 40 F, it can weigh under 480 gr 16 ounces.

An example:

https://www.amazon.com/Double-Diamond-Outdoor-Packable-Blanket/dp/B0765968XC/ref=pd_sbs_468_7?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0765968XC&pd_rd_r=2ac9d4e0-2b32-11e9-9383-b9ef8e54b940&pd_rd_w=pFzU4&pd_rd_wg=uhcQC&pf_rd_p=588939de-d3f8-42f1-a3d8-d556eae5797d&pf_rd_r=KSK9CPG4HQFFPVDKBKHC&refRID=KSK9CPG4HQFFPVDKBKHC

-------------------------------------------------------------------

The idea of the quilt is that the insulation at the bottom of a sleeping bag is crushed by body weight and does not provide any insulation. Eliminating the weight by eliminating the bottom save considerable weight. The quilt that I provided a link for is a very basic configuration for a quilt, but cheap.

The backpacking quilt I use is designed with various fasteners and connectors that can be use to configure the quilt in a number of ways. Mine also has a drawstring and snaps at the bottom which can be used to form a 'box' for the feet. When backpacking, it is used with a pad or ultra light air mattress. My frequent favorite use is to have it fully open except for the bottom, and just snug it around me like a blanket.

I have several quilts, each is designed for a specific temperature range. The one I use on Camino and during backpacking in the summer months at altitude in the mountains is conservatively rated for temps down to 45f/7c. In practice, though, because I wear base layers to sleep in on the trail or Camino, that specific quilt keeps me plenty warm down to the upper 30's f / 3 c. It weighs about 13 ounces / 368 grams.

Since I wear lightweight base layer tops and bottoms while sleeping, the air mattress provides the bottom insulation while I am backpacking. On Camino, the mattress on the beds provide the insulation. If you want to put a cover on the mattress, then you can use a super light weight length of fabric, like a 10D ripstop nylon or even Tyvek 1443R .

Below are a couple of YouTubes of how my Enlightened Equipment quilt is used . . . or any quilt for that matter :)

Keep in mind that the reason I provided the link to the Black Diamond quilt was that your primary use is for indoor supplementation of existing bedding. You did not mention wilderness backpacking use. Since I already had my backpacking sleeping quilts, I could just grab the one I needed for Camino.

As used on Camino, my backpacking quilt did nothing more than the Black Diamond quilt would have done. So, you can get the light weight, extreme compressibility to conserve space in your pack, and warmth you need for much less cost than the backpacking quilts I use.

However, IF I am using a quilt for wilderness backpacking, then it is the backpacking quilts from Enlightened Equipment that I own, or any other specifically designed backpacking quilt, is what I will take, not the Black Diamond type of quilt. So if you plan on needing a quilt for backpacking, then you might want to look at a specifically designed backpacking quilt.




 

Lucyk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo 2015
The wife and I have decided to bring sleeping bags and not sleeping bag liners. We will be doing CF in November. We also travel through Europe a lot during late October and November and find that many budget hotels don't have heat in the rooms.

We see a lot of advice about bringing or not bringing sleeping bags but very little specific recommendations for brands and models of bags. Can folks please recommend specific bags that have worked for them?

We have a preference for down but anything that is lightweight and will fit in the sleeping bag compartment of our Osprey Kestrel 48 and Kyte 46 would work.

Thanks in advance.
I have a Kyte 46 and I bought a Nemo, I think the Rave 30. It's not cheap but it is a really, really nice bag, very light, and it does fit the sleeping compartment. I haven't used it on the Camino yet, but I can report back when I do (going in April).
 

Re-tired

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Thank you for all the replies and the detailed info about quilts. We paid a visit to REI today and I believe we are probably going to use the REI Helio Down 30 bag. We both got in it and it's roomy for a mummy bag. It's less than 2 pounds, can be unzipped to use as quilt/comforter in hotels. It also has a quirky built in ability to put your arms through unzipped holes for arms and feet to allow you to wear it around camp while making coffee. Not sure we would use that but we are considering an August time frame to back pack into the Golden Trout wilderness so who knows?

This bag doesn't have all the features of more expensive 30 degree bags but at $169.00, it's priced right and we tested it and does fit in a Kyte 46 sleeping bag compartment without any need for compression.

We also looked at base layers to pair with the sleeping bag and there are SO MANY choices.......

Helio Down 30 Sleeping Bag
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 2015
CP June 2017
Del Norte, Finisterre / Muxia Oct 2017
VDLP 2018
CF II May 2019
I have the same davebugg
Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt/sleeping bag.
850 fill down for 10º, weighs 12.44 Ounces
850 fill down for 5º, weighs 15.81 Ounces
If you are not sleeping outdoors, the EE 10º is great for the Camino at anytime
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Thank you for all the replies and the detailed info about quilts. We paid a visit to REI today and I believe we are probably going to use the REI Helio Down 30 bag. We both got in it and it's roomy for a mummy bag. It's less than 2 pounds, can be unzipped to use as quilt/comforter in hotels. It also has a quirky built in ability to put your arms through unzipped holes for arms and feet to allow you to wear it around camp while making coffee. Not sure we would use that but we are considering an August time frame to back pack into the Golden Trout wilderness so who knows?

This bag doesn't have all the features of more expensive 30 degree bags but at $169.00, it's priced right and we tested it and does fit in a Kyte 46 sleeping bag compartment without any need for compression.

We also looked at base layers to pair with the sleeping bag and there are SO MANY choices.......

Helio Down 30 Sleeping Bag
I have been on the Camino Frances during the month of November, and slept in albergues and private rooms in small pensiones etc. It does not get that cold in them. I never found the need for wearing a base layer with my sleeping bag and at times, if needed, simply put a blanket provided by the albergue in the bag with me.
Mind you, a lightweight base layer may come in handy in the event of snow in Galicia, which I experienced in November, but like I said before, if you are carrying your full kit everyday, all that weight adds up.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
I have the same davebugg
Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt/sleeping bag.
850 fill down for 10º, weighs 12.44 Ounces
850 fill down for 5º, weighs 15.81 Ounces
If you are not sleeping outdoors, the EE 10º is great for the Camino at anytime
Nice, Viggen; are you backpacking or trekking with it? My winter backpacking Enlightened Equipment Revelation is a 0 degree F quit, and it keeps me real toasty during snow camping in the Cascades.

<sigh> No snow camp backpacking trips this winter, though. 😢
 

MartinatCordell

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2015)
Primitivo (2018)
The wife and I have decided to bring sleeping bags and not sleeping bag liners. We will be doing CF in November. We also travel through Europe a lot during late October and November and find that many budget hotels don't have heat in the rooms.

We see a lot of advice about bringing or not bringing sleeping bags but very little specific recommendations for brands and models of bags. Can folks please recommend specific bags that have worked for them?

We have a preference for down but anything that is lightweight and will fit in the sleeping bag compartment of our Osprey Kestrel 48 and Kyte 46 would work.

Thanks in advance.
[/QUOTE
I have a 600gm Gelert Xtreme sleeping bag which packs down to 13X26 cm size which I have found perfectly adequate for myself (I tend to sleep warm). My time of travel on the Camino (both Portuguese and Primitivo) has been mid-April to late May. Don't forget that altitude of the night stop will an influence on the ambient temperature. The packed size fits easily into my 33 litre Osprey rucksack allowing plenty of room for my other pack requirements.
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016; CPort (Central) from Porto 2017;
CPort (Coastal) from Porto 2018.
I'm really keen to get a quilt, instead of using my heavy sleeping bag, but am looking for a product that is ethical in it's procurement of down, a la Patagonia. Can anyone tell me about Black Diamond's or Enlightened Equipment's ethical standards regarding down products?
 

Tay and I

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis " 2018"
The wife and I have decided to bring sleeping bags and not sleeping bag liners. We will be doing CF in November. We also travel through Europe a lot during late October and November and find that many budget hotels don't have heat in the rooms.

We see a lot of advice about bringing or not bringing sleeping bags but very little specific recommendations for brands and models of bags. Can folks please recommend specific bags that have worked for them?

We have a preference for down but anything that is lightweight and will fit in the sleeping bag compartment of our Osprey Kestrel 48 and Kyte 46 would work.

Thanks in advance.
 

Tay and I

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis " 2018"
Just a note to remind you that the blankets sheets and pillow cases even in the better private hostels are not always desirable.

I would definitely take a sleeping bag , light with compression bag and silk lining and your own European ( long pillow case ) which you can wash yourself . It can be cold in Nov - I finished CF on 8th Nov 2018 and froze in areas - snowy conditions - hostels with minimal heating .

We encountered bedbugs in very nice hostel and frankly although the bed was pristine to look at , large bedbugs hid under the counter pane and at the connection point between mattress and bed frame . Advised to check each night using the lifting mattress technique and never put bag / clothes on the bed .

Believe me ! It’s not uncommon
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
I'm really keen to get a quilt, instead of using my heavy sleeping bag, but am looking for a product that is ethical in it's procurement of down, a la Patagonia. Can anyone tell me about Black Diamond's or Enlightened Equipment's ethical standards regarding down products?
Enlightened Equipment does. It follows the RDS Certification guidelines.

Where does your down come from, and is it collected humanely and ethically?
All of our down is from DownTek and is RDS-certified. It is the same down used by other outdoor gear companies such as Big Agnes, Nemo, and L.L. Bean. It is a side-product from the meat industry, and third-party audits verify that none of the down in the supply chain is acquired through live plucking or force-feeding.

-------

Because Costco sells the Black Diamond quilt, the manufacturers must abide by Costco's policies which include the RDS certification as well.

DOWN & FEATHERS

Costco has committed to responsible down sourcing. Costco now requires a certification to be present with all Costco production of down and feather products. Costco accepts certifications from IDFL (International Down and Feather Lab), Downpass or RDS (Responsible Down Standard).

Compliance to these standards ensures ethical sourcing of down and feathers through the verification of supplier traceability systems, general animal welfare, risk assessment and other important best practices.
 
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howlsthunder

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2018)
Camino Francés (2020)
I needed to keep my budget down (haha, pun not intended) and went with the AEGISMAX Outdoor Ultra Light Goose Down Compactable Sleeping Bag, which was $80 at the time ($92 now).
  • 800 fill goose down
  • 528g
  • 200cm x 60cm
  • Comfort:+11° C/52° F/ Lower Limit:+6° C/43° F/ Extreme:-9° C/15° F
  • Rectangle, unzips all the way around so you can use it like a quilt.
You can get the weight down and the temperature rating up with great brands, like Enlightened Equipment but I was pretty impressed with this cheap little bag. The texture of it was soft and comfortable, it packed down to the size of a small cantaloupe, and kept me warm enough on all but 2 nights where there was no heat in the albergue and the temperatures were around freezing, so I recommend it as a budget alternative.
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016; CPort (Central) from Porto 2017;
CPort (Coastal) from Porto 2018.
Enlightened Equipment does. It follows the RDS Certification guidelines.

Where does your down come from, and is it collected humanely and ethically?
All of our down is from DownTek and is RDS-certified. It is the same down used by other outdoor gear companies such as Big Agnes, Nemo, and L.L. Bean. It is a side-product from the meat industry, and third-party audits verify that none of the down in the supply chain is acquired through live plucking or force-feeding.

-------

Because Costco sells the Black Diamond quilt, the manufacturers must abide by Costco's policies which include the RDS certification as well.

DOWN & FEATHERS

Costco has committed to responsible down sourcing. Costco now requires a certification to be present with all Costco production of down and feather products. Costco accepts certifications from IDFL (International Down and Feather Lab), Downpass or RDS (Responsible Down Standard).

Compliance to these standards ensures ethical sourcing of down and feathers through the verification of supplier traceability systems, general animal welfare, risk assessment and other important best practices.
Thankyou Dave!!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I always use military ones, as I've found them to be warm, well-protected against rain (even outdoors), and whilst relatively heavy, not overly so (I do still regret my old, stolen, very light-weight French Army one though ...)

But of course, depending where you live, good ones of this sort may not be easy to obtain, so that a good sports one might often be the better go-to choice for some pilgrims ...

But November & December will be cold, so do choose heavier rather than lighter in case of doubts.
 

Gretel Schuck

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francigena
The wife and I have decided to bring sleeping bags and not sleeping bag liners. We will be doing CF in November. We also travel through Europe a lot during late October and November and find that many budget hotels don't have heat in the rooms.

We see a lot of advice about bringing or not bringing sleeping bags but very little specific recommendations for brands and models of bags. Can folks please recommend specific bags that have worked for them?

We have a preference for down but anything that is lightweight and will fit in the sleeping bag compartment of our Osprey Kestrel 48 and Kyte 46 would work.

Thanks in advance.
 

Gretel Schuck

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francigena
I have a “Marmot nanowave35” that is very light and warm to 35F. I also use a Thermarest” pad which reflects heat and it incredibly light(a couple of ounces.
Make sure you have a pair of good socks
And a warm hat. A lot of heat is lost from your head.
Have fun🤗
gretelschuck@yahoo.com
Vermont
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Rather than sleeping bags, I always recommend looking at either backpacking sleeping quilts or a regular throw quilt which will both saving weight and pack small. This is I posted yesterday in response to that discussion.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A backpacking sleeping quilt will reduce weight and still provide warmth. If you select one that is rated for 4.5 degrees C / 40 F, it can weigh under 480 gr 16 ounces.

An example:

https://www.amazon.com/Double-Diamond-Outdoor-Packable-Blanket/dp/B0765968XC/ref=pd_sbs_468_7?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0765968XC&pd_rd_r=2ac9d4e0-2b32-11e9-9383-b9ef8e54b940&pd_rd_w=pFzU4&pd_rd_wg=uhcQC&pf_rd_p=588939de-d3f8-42f1-a3d8-d556eae5797d&pf_rd_r=KSK9CPG4HQFFPVDKBKHC&refRID=KSK9CPG4HQFFPVDKBKHC

-------------------------------------------------------------------

The idea of the quilt is that the insulation at the bottom of a sleeping bag is crushed by body weight and does not provide any insulation. Eliminating the weight by eliminating the bottom save considerable weight. The quilt that I provided a link for is a very basic configuration for a quilt, but cheap.

The backpacking quilt I use is designed with various fasteners and connectors that can be use to configure the quilt in a number of ways. Mine also has a drawstring and snaps at the bottom which can be used to form a 'box' for the feet. When backpacking, it is used with a pad or ultra light air mattress. My frequent favorite use is to have it fully open except for the bottom, and just snug it around me like a blanket.

I have several quilts, each is designed for a specific temperature range. The one I use on Camino and during backpacking in the summer months at altitude in the mountains is conservatively rated for temps down to 45f/7c. In practice, though, because I wear base layers to sleep in on the trail or Camino, that specific quilt keeps me plenty warm down to the upper 30's f / 3 c. It weighs about 13 ounces / 368 grams.

Since I wear lightweight base layer tops and bottoms while sleeping, the air mattress provides the bottom insulation while I am backpacking. On Camino, the mattress on the beds provide the insulation. If you want to put a cover on the mattress, then you can use a super light weight length of fabric, like a 10D ripstop nylon or even Tyvek 1443R .

Below are a couple of YouTubes of how my Enlightened Equipment quilt is used . . . or any quilt for that matter :)

Keep in mind that the reason I provided the link to the Black Diamond quilt was that your primary use is for indoor supplementation of existing bedding. You did not mention wilderness backpacking use. Since I already had my backpacking sleeping quilts, I could just grab the one I needed for Camino.

As used on Camino, my backpacking quilt did nothing more than the Black Diamond quilt would have done. So, you can get the light weight, extreme compressibility to conserve space in your pack, and warmth you need for much less cost than the backpacking quilts I use.

However, IF I am using a quilt for wilderness backpacking, then it is the backpacking quilts from Enlightened Equipment that I own, or any other specifically designed backpacking quilt, is what I will take, not the Black Diamond type of quilt. So if you plan on needing a quilt for backpacking, then you might want to look at a specifically designed backpacking quilt.




On your recommendation I have just bought a Back Diamond quilt online for £23!! Cheap as chips and half the weight of my rucksack, looks good quality as well, thanks so much @davebugg
 

DyanTX

DyanTX
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept 22 - Nov 3, 2016
I use the Mountain Hardware 35/50 Flip sleeping bag. Weighs 28 oz. Unzips to quilt as well. Carried on the CF for late fall as well as backpacking trips in a tent. I also have turned the Costco down quilt into a sleeping bag with snaps. Might work great in an albergue but not so much in a tent unless above 60 degrees.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
I use the Mountain Hardware 35/50 Flip sleeping bag. Weighs 28 oz. Unzips to quilt as well. Carried on the CF for late fall as well as backpacking trips in a tent. I also have turned the Costco down quilt into a sleeping bag with snaps. Might work great in an albergue but not so much in a tent unless above 60 degrees.

They could work for backpacking, but it would be a compromise and only good for weather above 45 degrees f. But it would work fine for the subject application of the thread, as a use in albergues.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
On your recommendation I have just bought a Back Diamond quilt online for £23!! Cheap as chips and half the weight of my rucksack, looks good quality as well, thanks so much @davebugg
Now, try it out and make sure you like it. Strip off all but the bottom sheet of your bed, then adjust your bedroom temperature to mimic potential conditions in an alburgue during the season you will be walking.

If you become too cold doing this, practice adding some of the clothing you would wear on Camino --- like additional baselayers or socks, etc.
 

treeman43

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
I'll be doing the Camino in September/October and bought a SnugPak Jungle Bag. It's 767g, square bottom so can be opened up and used as a blanket, and has a head cover with a zippered face mesh (if you want to use it)....you know, in case of mosquitoes, scorpions, snakes, alligators, etc. Might not work for bedbugs though, but excellent for elephants.

Here's a description of the bag from their website:

The Jungle Bag is an ideal sleeping bag for tropical conditions. Snugpak has engineered the Jungle bag with a specific weight of Travel soft insulation to maximize the efficiency and needs of those individuals using it. Travel soft insulation was selected and chosen for its exceptional performance in hot and humid conditions. Not to mention with the outstanding design efforts of Snugpak's engineers and design team along with the Travel soft insulation allows the Jungle Bag to pack smaller than a coconut. Also with its square foot design and zipper placement, the Jungle bag can be opened out into a blanket for more versatility when traveling, or just as a barrier between you and what you are about to lay on. Another great feature of the Jungle Bag is its concealed roll away mosquito netting which can be zipped over the face sealing the Jungle Bag giving you protection against mosquitoes, snakes, etc.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2017 Francés
Oct 2017 Incomplete Le Puy / Francés
June/July 2018 Norte
Oct/Nov 2018 Francés
Lots of advice here is coming from people who have walked the Camino in September. Doing it in mid/late November is a whole different ball game!

Many albergues in November will not heat their bedrooms for the handful of pilgrims there are. Case in point: Ribadiso Xunta albergue, 13 Nov 2018 - a large stone converted farmhouse without heating overnight, doors opening directly to the outdoors, no blankets available, temperature outside -1 C / 30 F , a few degrees warmer inside.

You really need a sleeping bag that can keep all your body heat in for the night or you're going to freeze. Private albergues will not save you necessarily either. I had a similarly cold night in a large farmhouse private albergue. There were three of us in a room for about 30 and it was the only place in town. Think they're really going to switch on the heating and lose all the meagre profits from three peregrinos on the heating bill? I don't blame them :)

I used a Decathlon down & feather sleeping bag rated 10 degrees C, weighing 1.3kg. It's large and quite heavy but I was toasty warm the whole night. My friend with a 15 degrees C synthetic bag was freezing the whole night. I think the temperature rating is only half the story here. The down bulks up much more than a synthetic filling, trapping more air as a barrier against the cold, so the heat dissipates slower. I could have got by with a slightly lighter sleeping bag, but I wouldn't want much lighter, because of those cold nights.

Seriously, you need to be using a sleeping bag rated 5 - 10 C, which will probably weight at least a kilo unless you're prepared to splash out on expensive brands. Down is more efficient per weight, but needs a compression bag to squeeze the bag down in size each time you need to pack it away. I didn't find it a problem.

Decathlon doesn't make the exact bag I used any more. This one has similar specs but is lighter:

If you're only going to stay in private rooms, you will be slightly better off. You'll still have nights with very cold room temperatures, but usually there's plenty of bedding provided, so you warm up after a while. Memories of one place in Moritanos where I literally was running the hot shower as the only way of raising the room temperature !!
 
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davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Lots of advice here is coming from people who have walked the Camino in September. Doing it in mid/late November is a whole different ball game!

Many albergues in November will not heat their bedrooms for the handful of pilgrims there are. Case in point: Ribadiso Xunta albergue, 13 Nov 2018 - a large stone converted farmhouse without heating overnight, no blankets available, temperature outside -1 C / 30 F , a few degrees warmer inside.

You really need a sleeping bag that can keep all your body heat in for the night or you're going to freeze. Private albergues will not save you either. I had a similarly cold night in a large farmhouse private albergue. There were three of us in a room for about 30. Think they're really going to switch on the heating and lose all the meagre profits from three peregrinos on the heating bill? I don't blame them :)

I used a decathlon down sleeping bag rated 10 degrees C, weighing 1.3kg. It's large and quite heavy but I was toasty warm the whole night. My friend with a 15 degrees C synthetic bag was freezing the whole night. I think the rating is only half the story here. The down bulks up much more than a synthetic filling, trapping more air as a barrier against the cold. I could have got by with a slightly lighter sleeping bag, but I wouldn't want much lighter, because of those few cold nights.

Seriously, you need to be using a sleeping bag rated 5 - 10 C and weighing at least a kilo, unless you're prepared to splash out on very expensive brands. Down is more efficient per weight, but needs a compression bag to squeeze the bag down in size each time you need to pack it away. I didn't find it a problem.
I agree with much of the post, and your advice, about what temperatures the OP should be prepared for. Allow me to examine and explain a bit why a sleeping bag is not the only solution.

Please note that I am not telling people WHAT choice to make. I only want to help folks be aware of what the choices are, and what makes them a choice to consider.

I absolutely agree with the use of down for the insulation in the sleeping gear of choice, and that the increase in the amount of insulation needed for colder temperatures will increase the weight of that sleeping gear.

A backpacking quilt will function just as well as a sleeping bag in cold temperatures, and with a lighter weight overall, depending on shell material used and the fill power of the down. I have used several different manufacturers quilts during winter snow camping at altitude where temps have been in the -10 F/ -23c range. Of course this is not with a summer weight backpacking quilt, but something that is far more sufficient for winter.

The bottom of a sleeping bag does not trap or conserve heat as it's insulation is crushed and non functional. That is the reason why for backpacking, one uses an air mattress or a pad to provide that
insulation from the ground.

To underscore this, my backpacking quilt for Spring thru late Fall -- which keeps me warm down to the upper 30's F / 3.9 c -- only weighs around 11 ounces. My winter weight quilt for those - 10 F / -23 c winter temps weighs in at just under two pounds. However, if they were sleeping bags rather than backpacking quilts, I would need to add at least a pound to each of those quilts. I would gain no usable warmth, just the added weight.

The mattress in alburgues provide that same insulative function. So whether a sleeping quilt or a sleeping bag, the same level of comfort exists as long as either are appropriate for the temperatures encountered.

Ratings
I agree about the rating system, but it is the flaws inherent in such a system, rather than the type of fill used in sleeping gear, that is to blame for discrepancies you observed with the synthetic bag. It is not so much that down was somehow more insulative as much as the ratings between bags were made using differing criteria.

Synthetic filled bag and quilt makers, aware that their insulation material is heavier than down, go to great lengths and contortions to establish ratings in order to keep the weight of their products competitive with down products.

One such fudge factor is subjective: how warm or cold a person sleeps. Manufacturers cannot account for this objectively in their ratings, but they can game the ratings by hiring testers that have been pre-screened for cold tolerance.

Another factor is how the sleeper is clothed while sleeping. One manufacturer will base their rating on a sleeper that is lightly or minimally clothed, while another will expect that the sleeper will be wearing much the same clothing as during the day, minus any jackets or coats. Guess which baseline that synthetic filled bag manufacturers tend to use?

Do a test where the same person -- dressed the same way -- then sleeps in both a synthetic and then a down bag or quilt, in the same temperature and environment. There is no doubt that to have an equal performance of a bag or quilt, that the synthetic filled bag or quilt will weigh much more than the down bag or quilt. As you observed, it is the fact that the down 'bulks up' in a far more efficient manner to create many more of those insulative air spaces in a smaller volume of fill that is the prime factor.

Synthetics just cannot be as insulative in the same measured volume as natural down. It takes much more synthetic fill to achieve parity, which creates much more weight.
 

Wheelchairpilgrim

Wheelchair pilgrim, in annual stages to Santiago.
Camino(s) past & future
By wheelchair: 2016 Haarlem-Den Bosch 2017 Den Bosch-Maastricht 2018 Maastricht-Reims 2019 Reims-...
I also search a warm down sleepingbag for a cold camino. I think to buy now the Cumulus panyam 450 (but have to save some money first). This one have a lot of good reviews on hiking websites. They are from Poland.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2017 Francés
Oct 2017 Incomplete Le Puy / Francés
June/July 2018 Norte
Oct/Nov 2018 Francés
@davebugg, out of curiosity, the quilt idea makes a lot of sense, certainly for camping, but how do you make it work on the camino? Many of the matresses are filthy with sheets that don't get changed for a season, or made from that sticky plastic stuff to protect them from spills and bedbugs. Do you have an undersheet you carry with you?
 

Wheelchairpilgrim

Wheelchair pilgrim, in annual stages to Santiago.
Camino(s) past & future
By wheelchair: 2016 Haarlem-Den Bosch 2017 Den Bosch-Maastricht 2018 Maastricht-Reims 2019 Reims-...
@H Richards that is exactly what I always think when I hear about quilts. I do not like to sleep on bare matrasses. And even when is sleep on my own airbed I do not like the feeling. I prefer a normal sleepingbag for that reason.
 

natcire

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First time and first day walking from SJPP on May 1 2018 to Finisterre (goal).
Thank you for all the replies and the detailed info about quilts. We paid a visit to REI today and I believe we are probably going to use the REI Helio Down 30 bag. We both got in it and it's roomy for a mummy bag. It's less than 2 pounds, can be unzipped to use as quilt/comforter in hotels. It also has a quirky built in ability to put your arms through unzipped holes for arms and feet to allow you to wear it around camp while making coffee. Not sure we would use that but we are considering an August time frame to back pack into the Golden Trout wilderness so who knows?

This bag doesn't have all the features of more expensive 30 degree bags but at $169.00, it's priced right and we tested it and does fit in a Kyte 46 sleeping bag compartment without any need for compression.

We also looked at base layers to pair with the sleeping bag and there are SO MANY choices.......

Helio Down 30 Sleeping Bag
I had Feathered Friends Flicker 40 (19-ounces) from May 1- June 6 last year on the Camino Frances (SJPP-Finisterre) and slept very warm. It's also a quilt on warmer nights.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
@davebugg, out of curiosity, the quilt idea makes a lot of sense, certainly for camping, but how do you make it work on the camino? Many of the mattresses are filthy with sheets that don't get changed for a season, or made from that sticky plastic stuff to protect them from spills and bedbugs. Do you have an undersheet you carry with you?
:) Let me preface my answer by again reiterating that I am not trying to talk anyone out of using a sleeping bag, only providing a consideration of options for those wishing to explore them.

I have used a 2 yard length of ultralight, 7 Denier, ripstop nylon with a total weight of 0.14 ounces. Last camino, I used a length of a tyvek fabric (1443R) that is more breathable than the normal house-wrap version which is a bit heavier at 2 ounces.

Because I sleep in my baselayers and not skin-to-mattress, I have even just used my poncho. A lot of the time that I have slept in albergues, I have just used the 'disposable' mattress cover that seemed to be given out either as part of the fee or as an extra fee.

I think if I used a sleeping bag I would still take a barrier sheet with me; I'd want to keep the outside of the bag away from the kind of potential contaminants (body fluids, body grime, food residue, etc) that you are rightly concerned with.
 

CatPhillips

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Primitivo (partial) (2017)
Camino Norte (partial) (2017)
I used this Sea to Summit bag and loved it. It weighs 16.8 oz. You can use it zipped up like a mummy bag but it also opens up completely. Light and comfortable. I also took a sleeping bag liner, but I probably could have done without it. All the places I stayed gave out disposable sheets which really weren't all that bad to sleep on (and may or may not actually help with the bed bug issue). But I was pretty tired. Could've slept anywhere. And I never had bed bug issues, personally.

 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2017 Francés
Oct 2017 Incomplete Le Puy / Francés
June/July 2018 Norte
Oct/Nov 2018 Francés
:) Let me preface my answer by again reiterating that I am not trying to talk anyone out of using a sleeping bag, only providing a consideration of options for those wishing to explore them.

I have used a 2 yard length of ultralight, 7 Denier, ripstop nylon with a total weight of 0.14 ounces. Last camino, I used a length of a tyvek fabric (1443R) that is more breathable than the normal house-wrap version which is a bit heavier at 2 ounces.

Because I sleep in my baselayers and not skin-to-mattress, I have even just used my poncho. A lot of the time that I have slept in albergues, I have just used the 'disposable' mattress cover that seemed to be given out either as part of the fee or as an extra fee.

I think if I used a sleeping bag I would still take a barrier sheet with me; I'd want to keep the outside of the bag away from the kind of potential contaminants (body fluids, body grime, food residue, etc) that you are rightly concerned with.
Thanks Dave. That makes sense. Understood that you're not trying to convince anyone :)
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Now, try it out and make sure you like it. Strip off all but the bottom sheet of your bed, then adjust your bedroom temperature to mimic potential conditions in an alburgue during the season you will be walking.

If you become too cold doing this, practice adding some of the clothing you would wear on Camino --- like additional baselayers or socks, etc.
If you're too cold in those bedroom conditions at home, then the bag pure & simple will not be warm enough on a Camino.
 

Re-tired

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Thank you again for all the replies, especially the replies that included specific brands and models as I asked for. Now that we have our sleeping bags, we need to choose lightweight base layers to sleep in on those really cold nights.

I picked up a Patagonia Capilene lightweight top from the clearance rack at REI a couple of weeks ago. The price was hard to pass up. After testing while walking around my neighborhood in 30F weather a couple of times, I believe it will be great for hiking but less so for staying warm in a sleeping bag.

I'd like to canvass the community for specific brands and models of base layers for sleeping. Would I be better off starting a new thread for that?
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
The Patagonia is fine for upper and lower base layers. You can use those for sleeping in and save the extra weight of carrying an extra set of baselayers, depending on what 'weight' the Capilene's you purchased are.

Base layer garments, like your Capilene stuff, have weights designed for specific seasons. Light weight, Mid weight, and Heavy weight. Did you also pick up base layer bottoms? And what weight are your Capilenes?

If you did not get the bottoms, you can get those to match your top and it will work fine. The Capilene breaths well and wicks some moisture away from skin. Of course, if you soak the garment with sweat, their is a limit to how much wicking it can do. :)

Once you have your top and bottom, you should be set. Like I mentioned above, if you want to take another set it will just add unneeded weight. Keep in mind that you are also wearing clothing which already serves as a set of tops and bottoms.

If you decide on a second set of base layers, then I suggest looking at the light base layers from Smartwool whcih they label as '150', or the equivalent from other manufacturers. By lightweight, I mean the thickness or weight of the material as I mentioned above. The heavier weight Smartwool is labled as '250'. I would focus on just the 150 weight.

Below is a list of my "closet" that I carry in my pack. Besides it being used during the Fall on the Camino last year, it is about the same as what I used to thru hike the Pacific Crest Trail and the Colorado Trail (most of which sits above 9,000 feet / 2743 meters in elevation. And for the thousands of other backpacking miles I have done.
  1. Pants -- REI, Classic Sahara Convertible, Zip-Off Legs
  2. Baselayer Top -- Smartwool, Lightweight, Long-Sleeve x 1
  3. Baselayer Bottom - Smartwool, Lightweight
  4. Hat - wool beanie
  5. Windshell Jacket - Patagonia, Houdini
  6. Insulating Layer -- Mountain Hardwear, Ghost Whisperer Vest
  7. Socks -- Smartwool Phd, Crew, Light Padding x 2
  8. Extra insoles x 1
  9. Poncho --- Zpacks, Cuben Fiber
  10. Gloves -- North Face, polartec
The total weight is around 3.4 pounds.

If you add a Smartwool 150 top and bottom, that would add about 13 ounces to that total.

The clothing that I wear usually consists of running shorts and a long sleeved synthetic and lightweight shirt. All of the clothing can be used in various layering configurations to provide a comfort range from 25F to very hot. This is just an example of how a layering system can be flexible and cover a wide temperature range which is more than sufficient for the time of year you are going over the Pyrenees and Galicia.
 

Re-tired

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
The capilene upper I picked up cheap is the thinnest Patagonia makes. You can see through it. Doubt it would do much in the sleeping bag but I plan to test it in the bag next week. It's been in the low 30s here at night...
 

Re-tired

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
The Patagonia is fine for upper and lower base layers. You can use those for sleeping in and save the extra weight of carrying an extra set of baselayers, depending on what 'weight' the Capilene's you purchased are.

Base layer garments, like your Capilene stuff, have weights designed for specific seasons. Light weight, Mid weight, and Heavy weight. Did you also pick up base layer bottoms? And what weight are your Capilenes?

If you did not get the bottoms, you can get those to match your top and it will work fine. The Capilene breaths well and wicks some moisture away from skin. Of course, if you soak the garment with sweat, their is a limit to how much wicking it can do. :)

Once you have your top and bottom, you should be set. Like I mentioned above, if you want to take another set it will just add unneeded weight. Keep in mind that you are also wearing clothing which already serves as a set of tops and bottoms.

If you decide on a second set of base layers, then I suggest looking at the light base layers from Smartwool whcih they label as '150', or the equivalent from other manufacturers. By lightweight, I mean the thickness or weight of the material as I mentioned above. The heavier weight Smartwool is labled as '250'. I would focus on just the 150 weight.

Below is a list of my "closet" that I carry in my pack. Besides it being used during the Fall on the Camino last year, it is about the same as what I used to thru hike the Pacific Crest Trail and the Colorado Trail (most of which sits above 9,000 feet / 2743 meters in elevation. And for the thousands of other backpacking miles I have done.
  1. Pants -- REI, Classic Sahara Convertible, Zip-Off Legs
  2. Baselayer Top -- Smartwool, Lightweight, Long-Sleeve x 1
  3. Baselayer Bottom - Smartwool, Lightweight
  4. Hat - wool beanie
  5. Windshell Jacket - Patagonia, Houdini
  6. Insulating Layer -- Mountain Hardwear, Ghost Whisperer Vest
  7. Socks -- Smartwool Phd, Crew, Light Padding x 2
  8. Extra insoles x 1
  9. Poncho --- Zpacks, Cuben Fiber
  10. Gloves -- North Face, polartec
The total weight is around 3.4 pounds.

If you add a Smartwool 150 top and bottom, that would add about 13 ounces to that total.

The clothing that I wear usually consists of running shorts and a long sleeved synthetic and lightweight shirt. All of the clothing can be used in various layering configurations to provide a comfort range from 25F to very hot. This is just an example of how a layering system can be flexible and cover a wide temperature range which is more than sufficient for the time of year you are going over the Pyrenees and Galicia.
That's an impressive list for only 3.4 pounds. If I could get my pack weight down to something like that, along with walking in my Hoka trail runners, it would be like walking on air compared to the weight of our packs when we just go on vacation..
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
That's an impressive list for only 3.4 pounds. If I could get my pack weight down to something like that, along with walking in my Hoka trail runners, it would be like walking on air compared to the weight of our packs when we just go on vacation..
My total pack weight is around 9.75 pounds. What you were looking at was the 'closet' that makes up the clothing portion of what I take.

By comparison, my PCT thru-hike total pack weight averaged around 22 pounds, which includes 7-8 days of food and fuel. That just demonstrates how much different Camino is from backpacking. :)
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
The capilene upper I picked up cheap is the thinnest Patagonia makes. You can see through it. Doubt it would do much in the sleeping bag but I plan to test it in the bag next week. It's been in the low 30s here at night...
What is your bag's temp rating? Also, keep in mind that in a sleeping bag, the head loses a lot of heat, and you can add a watch cap style hat or beanie to help with heat conservation. Even if the bag has a hood, and added cap can make a big difference :)
 

Re-tired

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
What is your bag's temp rating? Also, keep in mind that in a sleeping bag, the head loses a lot of heat, and you can add a watch cap style hat or beanie to help with heat conservation. Even if the bag has a hood, and added cap can make a big difference :)
Our bag is rated for 30 degrees F. We always bring beenies with use when we go to Europe.
 

Re-tired

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
My total pack weight is around 9.75 pounds. What you were looking at was the 'closet' that makes up the clothing portion of what I take.

By comparison, my PCT thru-hike total pack weight averaged around 22 pounds, which includes 7-8 days of food and fuel. That just demonstrates how much different Camino is from backpacking. :)
Impressive nonetheless. Once I add GoPro, Phone, Charger, etc it will be heavier. We spent 5 weeks train hopping in Northern Italy in last October through November. By the time we left Milan, it was below 30F at night. I think my pack weight was 14 pounds when we left for the trip. Of course we weren't walking the kind of daily distances required on the Camino and the weight wasn't a problem. I don't think we ever walked more than 4 miles with the packs on. As we were leaving, we both thought it would be best to try and reduce that pack weight by about a third before our next vacation.

Geez, just looked at the Mountain Hardware vest. They are definitely doing the weight penalty pricing on that thing!
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Impressive nonetheless. Once I add GoPro, Phone, Charger, etc it will be heavier. We spent 5 weeks train hopping in Northern Italy in last October through November. By the time we left Milan, it was below 30F at night. I think my pack weight was 14 pounds when we left for the trip. Of course we weren't walking the kind of daily distances required on the Camino and the weight wasn't a problem. I don't think we ever walked more than 4 miles with the packs on. As we were leaving, we both thought it would be best to try and reduce that pack weight by about a third before our next vacation.

Geez, just looked at the Mountain Hardware vest. They are definitely doing the weight penalty pricing on that thing!
Not really. I backpack hundreds of miles each year. . . thousands of miles over the last few decades. Break the cost down on a per mile basis and the cost/value ratio becomes more apparent. And some of my ultralight equipment I've been able to keep when I've finished gear testing it for a manufacturer. Even so, the lighter the weight, the more enjoyable it is, which is a prime factor when walking with a pack on. :)
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I think that I have mentioned this before, but an additional reason to check out all your gear in the conditions that you plan to use it in is the possibility of finding out that you have an allergy or sensitivity to some item of gear. I am quite allergic to down: I have tested positive for this. I believe that it is a common allergen. I still take my down sleeping bag into the mountains with me. It is just bearable for ten days or so, but my allergy worsens the longer that I sleep in it. When I start to wake up at night with increasingly difficult breathing, I just take more antihistamines and know that my remaining time on the trail must be short. But it is clearly not possible to take gear with this disadvantage for a month or two in Spain. Of course, it is easier to replace in Spain than when one is a week or so from the nearest trailhead. But for comfort and practicality it is a good idea to check out all unfamiliar types of gear, not just footwear and backpack.
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte end of March 2019
@davebugg have you ever tried the Kymitt Versa Quilt , synthetic fill . It has a foot box folds itself into a pillow and can be used as a cape , it has snaps. Also sold at Costco.
Weight23 oz / 0.62 kg
Dimensions58” x 80" / 148 cm x 203 cm
Pack Size6" x 12" / 15 cm x 31 cm
Fabric20D Polyester with Klymalite™ synthetic loft insulation
Warranty2 Year Warranty
I cant find a temp rating on it but i’m Thinking it might be the same as the double diamond quilt..52444
 
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