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Thread: Big or small sleeping bag? Comfort vs pack size

  1. #1

    Big or small sleeping bag? Comfort vs pack size

    I'm getting a new sleepng bag to replace my current one. I have one that's good for summer, but I wanted something for spring and fall too. My original plan was for a sleeping bag that packs up smaller than my current one, thinking I'd want to save space on the bike (Suzuki GS500, luggage rack coming soon). I don't care so much about weight.

    Now I'm wondering, how important is size, really? I won't be packing more than one weekend's worth of gear, and I really like the big, extra warm rectagular bags for colder weather, like a Teton Deer Hunter or a Slumberjack. They just pack big and heavy, like a large duffel bag.

    How critical is bag size on a bike? If my pack sticks out 16 inches or so on either side is it really the end of the world? It's going to be strapped down, and it's not as if I have to go through a tunnel so small that only the bike can fit.

    What do you think?

  2. #2

    Re: Big or small sleeping bag? Comfort vs pack size

    Choosing a bag that takes up less space may allow you to take some other luxury item that wouldn't fit otherwise.
    For example, my smaller bag allows room in the small cargo trailer for a cot to sleep on and a larger tent.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter dkurfiss's Avatar
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    Re: Big or small sleeping bag? Comfort vs pack size

    I have a trike and a trailer so I pack for comfort but I still use a quilt...as in down quilt. I have one that is summer weight and one that is winter weight. They pack small and light. JacksRBetter Old Rag works well for my fall, winter, early spring along with a Synmat 9.
    Deb

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    #%@*, it's raining again! Ironheadziggy76's Avatar
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    Re: Big or small sleeping bag? Comfort vs pack size

    I use this Marmot bag that packs down fairly small for a 15 degree synthetic bag. It's the long, extra wide bag for us XXL sized folks. It compresses down to about the size of a basketball or smaller if you really want to compress it tight.

    Here is the newer version...

    https://www.marmot.com/trestles-15-s...169893421.html
    Steve

    2017 Suzuki DL650A V-Strom 2005 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, 2002 Harley Road King Classic, 1976 Harley Sportster

  5. #5

    Re: Big or small sleeping bag? Comfort vs pack size

    comfort

    Just saying......
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  6. #6

    Re: Big or small sleeping bag? Comfort vs pack size

    Thanks for the replies. They are all good points to consider. But is taking a larger item on the bike going to pose any physical difficulties? A sleeping bag in a big duffel bag would have more chance of catching the wind or of making me less aerodynamic?

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    Jim C-G's Avatar
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    Re: Big or small sleeping bag? Comfort vs pack size

    I've got to say comfort. No use in saving space if you aren't getting a good night's sleep. It's really part of a sleep system though. I use an air mattress and a mylar insulated pad on top to keep me warmer. I'm a tall guy so my sleeping bag choices were always limited but I did manage to get 2, tall (i.e. long) 7 degree C, sleeping bags about 10 years ago that will zip together for when i have company, work well on medium or warm nights solo and I have also put one within the other on cold nights solo. They compress pretty small and being 2 little bags were easy to get into the pack on the bike. Now that I have the Mini Mate, I also carry a larger cold weather sleeping bag as I have the room and I am camping earlier and later in the season than I did when just on the bike.

  8. #8
    just another Saddle Tramp Dusty Boots's Avatar
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    Re: Big or small sleeping bag? Comfort vs pack size

    1st of all, Welcome to MotoCampers!

    I vote for small packing size to give you more room for other essential gear when camping strictly from a bike
    I use a good quality down mummy style bag, combined with a fleece sleeping bag liner and a 3 1/2" thick insulated sleeping pad, all of which packs up quite compact.
    If it's hot out, I just use the fleece liner. If it's around 40*-65*, I use the liner as a sheet over the sleeping pad and use the down bag as a quilt. If it gets colder, I zip up the bag and if cold, I combine both the liner and the bag, so it's a very versatile, yet compact system, which I can either pack in the trunk of my Victory, or in a trunk rack bag and strap it to the passenger seat and use as a backrest, leaving lots of room for my other gear.

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    Dusty
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    Site Supporter dkurfiss's Avatar
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    Re: Big or small sleeping bag? Comfort vs pack size

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Citadel View Post
    Thanks for the replies. They are all good points to consider. But is taking a larger item on the bike going to pose any physical difficulties? A sleeping bag in a big duffel bag would have more chance of catching the wind or of making me less aerodynamic?
    Answer is maybe. It really depends on how big and how you pack your bike. When doing two wheels w/o a trailer I like for everything to fit on the seat behind me and not be any wider or taller than me. Also you need to pack your heavy items closer to the seat or in your saddle bags in order to keep your bike balanced. If your sleeping bag is light and big that can create an issue if you pack it high on the load which is where light goes but it is really big.

  10. #10

    Re: Big or small sleeping bag? Comfort vs pack size

    Yes. It depends on how you pack.
    My old Coleman traditional bag was bulky, but I considered it a backrest and rode on. However, it soon became apparent that in spite of it's bulk. I was spending too many uncomfortably cold nights.
    Eventually I replaced it with a modern bag from REI that packs very small. Besides saving space, I've had a warm night's sleep ever since. Worth it.
    I opted for the synthetic fill because down, although it's a better insulator, loses that property if it gets wet and as we all know, sometimes things get wet.
    I also use a Synmat9 inflatable pad for comfort. It also packs very small. A regular inflatable air mattress doesn't insulate from the cold of the ground.
    Now I sleep well and have spare room to pack a few luxuries.

    It's a win. :-)
    I don't need a compass to know which way the wind shines.


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