View Full Version : Looking for a Sleeping Bag

10-19-2009, 18:10

I am a Marine Scout Sniper and will be deploying to Afghanistan. I am looking for a recommendation for a sleeping bag. I am looking for something that is somewhat lightweight and compact. I would say that I am looking for something that will be good for temperatures between 0 and 20 degrees F. I am anticipating some cold weather training in the near future as well.

I am looking at a bag comparable to the Recon 5 and the Carinthia bag.

Just wondering if anyone had any other bags that would seem to fit my needs. Thanks.

10-19-2009, 18:30
Check this out, the study attached is interesting. Color I'm not so sure....


10-19-2009, 19:49
With Recon 5 and Carinthia already on the list, why are you still looking? FWIW - Slumberjack has some decent stuff too.

A couple hints: Spend the money. A quality system that just barely meets your required temperature range will keep you a lot warmer in the long run than a generic (Walmart equivalent) rated 20 degrees colder (funny how that works). A nested system with a bivy bag is just about the only way to reach your goal and still have a quality system that will meet "Soldier" requirements. Keeping it clean and dry is always good for maintaining thermal capacity (dirt and moisture - even small amounts quickly compromise insulation/protection). In order to get your temperature range and make it packable (fit in with the other 150 lbs. of "lightweight" gear) you're going to have to accept some compromises. Quality stuff sacks are essential and generally a good indicator of system quality.

10-19-2009, 20:26
Any suggestions between the Recon 5 or Carinthia equivalent?

10-19-2009, 22:11
Mountain Hardwear is doing some pretty great stuff with their current line of Lamina bags. The insulation is laminated to the shell rather than stitched in via quilted baffles and such. This allows for a better warmth/weight ratio while also preventing the cold spots associated with the stitched baffles.

One thing to consider when looking at the temp rating is how much are you already going to be carrying that provides warmth. When the manufacturers rate the bag based on use in the backcountry by a civilian, its rated in a minimal clothing type scenario. A lot of weight can be saved by buying a lighter bag and keeping in mind that you can sleep in your thermal layer as well as your fleece or other insulating piece you might already be carrying. I'm sure that way out in the boondocks, you often don't want to or have the time to take these things off anyways. Why double up on the weight if you're already wearing half your "sleeping bag." Just a thought.

Also, remember that temp ratings can be very subjective. I have worked in the outdoor industry for a number of years and if there is anything I feel I am a subject matter expert on, it is gear. Personally, from the looks of bags like the Recon, I would have to say that -4 is a very optimistic rating. Now, they might be taking into consideration the same thing I mentioned above. Many Soldiers are likely to sleep in more clothing than their civilian counterparts due to the nature of the job. I have simply never seen a synthetic fill bag rated at 0 degrees or better that packs that small. My 800 fill down bag that is also rated to zero doesn't pack down that small and down is multiple times more compressible than any synthetic.

A bivy is a great idea. Consider whether or not you want one with a pole at the head. These can be pretty nice on long days in crappy weather. And some people just don't do well waking up with the bivy laying across their face. The hood also allows for some ventilation so you can stay dry and still expel your hot air. If you are down in your bag or your bivy breathing, you are only going to be colder rather than warmer. Once that moisture cools inside the bag its no bueno. One last thing to remember with the bivy is that it too will add 10-15 degrees of warmth to the bag.

Hope some of that is helpful.

10-20-2009, 12:21
Despite Jerry Wigutow's "my way or the highway; everybody else sucks" demeanor, he does make a good bag. Not the lightest out there, but durable enough and warm enough to be the issued bag at 10SFG at one time.

10-20-2009, 14:28
These guys make a good bag. http://www.sierradesigns.com/bags.mens.php

Just outta curiosity, whats wrong with the black and green bags along with the bivvy the Corps issues (or at least that was the system when I left in "04)?
They always kept me cozy while at Bridgeport doing cold weather training as well as in Norway. Are you looking for something lighter and more compact than the USMC issued bag(s)? FWIW, Snugpak makes a decent bag too.

10-20-2009, 15:55

is a nice bag, if you are interested let me know. I can get they at a pretty nice price from the company