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Feathered Friends...

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So the air stays pretty wet here in the Virginias and my sleeping bags of choice are typically synthetic. I love the weight and compactability of down, but I often wake up in the deciduous rain forests of West Virginia soaked, and down loses most of its appeal when soaked. But so I've needed a nice cold weather bag now for a few winters (I've been doing the bundle up and carry a liner thing for a couple years) and with a month-long trip coming up this January--a big month-long trip to the dry desert climes of Arizona--I thought I'd use the excuse to buy a real down sleeping bag. I haven't used it yet--I mean, it just showed up today--but I was so excited I hopped online and wrote this paragraph.

New gear is so much fun. 900+ Goose Down in a waterproof shell rated to 0*F coming in at less than 3 pounds and made in the good ole USA. What can I say? It's the little things that keep me going in between trips to the river.

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Always fun to come home and find the UPS man has left you a present. Sounds like a nice bag. I've heard they make good stuff.

Alan
 
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Great stuff. In my younger days I was a mountaineering guide, I lived and slept in Feathered Friends. I still have several sleeping bags, some of them 15+ years old. Good down, if properly cared for, is a long term investment!
 
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I have a Gerry Down bag from the 60's and an EMS bag of the same vintage. I can't tell you the fill power but the shells back then were prone to letting feathers out so the fill power is less now. So those are now our summer bags.

I thought the thread would be about bird feeding.

The miscreants are gorging lately and are the single biggest line item in the food budget. We put them on a diet. Only get feeders filled once every two days. There are enough seeds in the woods. And lordy acorns. The squirrels are NOT doing their job.
 
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I hear good things about FF... I personally have a WM bag... high-quality down, made in USA... never had much issue with it here in LA, despite the humidity... if it's cold, it's cold, and the bag is warm.
 
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You cannot beat a down bag for warmth. For decades now I have been using an old army surplus arctic sleeping bag made by Woods. Two down bags that fit inside each other, or can be used separately. Karin hates it because it takes up so much room. I do love being warm though.

Christy
 
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Tonight it is -35 degrees F out here, 34 miles from Fairbanks, I am thinking toasty, so I will also give my two thumbs up for my Feathered Friends sleeping bag. I have the largest rectangle bag they made (I get somewhat claustrophobic in mummy bags) in what I think was a 0 degree F. I also bought a zip on bottom for tandem sleeping with the bride, spread out wide like a queen size bed, it works great. When winter camping I double up my down bag inside a Wiggy's Nautilus bag. With good pad or pads I have slept out in some very cold conditions (-35 to -40) in lean-to's with open fires and wall tents with wood stoves. I usually sleep in dry wool long johns with a French Basque Beret (one of the most under-rated of head gear) to keep my noggin warm. Dry warm wool socks are one of the real secrets in sleeping warm at night, I have a friend that has his daughter, knit him some super thick warm wool "bed socks" that he wears every night even at home, as he has some pretty poor circulation. He claims they are the difference between a good nights sleep and a sleepless night.
 
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I have a FF quilt that doubles as a under quilt for my hammock and a sleeping bag. Had a poor set up this summer where the rain would occasionally blow in. The bag and I stayed warm and dry. Good Stuff(ing)!!
 
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I have a few sleeping bags to choose from, depending on the weather .... my last purchase departed from the sleeping bag concept. I have a tent, a hammock and a tree tent .... I ended up purchasing a top quilt and I don't think I will ever go back to a sleeping bag ( I am really happy with the performance and comfort).

These guys : http://www.hammockgear.com/down-quilts/ are just awesome to deal with and the quilts pack down smaller than I was willing to believe, until I actually got one. The weight is also ... well I still smile when I repack it for a trip. You can customize the product to what you want ... I am not in the states, but I ordered it and paid the additional shipping costs (and other stuff associated with import). This gear is from a small company, when you call in to discuss what you need (yes you can talk to them) you are talking to the owners and people who produce the product, there is something inherently satisfying about dealing with a small company, making gear specifically for you.

This is likely the only style I will use moving forward ... I use it in conjunction with an Exped Downmat, which is also awesome for pack size and weight.

Anything thing that goes in my pack has to carried, so I am always looking ways to cut down on space and weight my gear takes.


Brian
 
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I also like good quality bags, here we use Integral Design when they were still making bags!! My wife has a -40 regular over stuff, I have a -30C long relax fit over stuff and my daughter have a -15C small that we double up with an synthetic over bag, but I'm alway son the look out to find a used -30 -40 bag for her one of 3 choices would be WM, FF or ID.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Looks like a good bag.

I've never used anything other than a down bag for canoe, car and land camping. Light weight and compressability trump all other considerations. In the canoe, the bag goes in a water resistant stuff sack, which goes inside the waterproof liner in my Duluth pack. It isn't opened until I'm in a tent. So, I've never had occasion to get my sleeping bag wet.

In fact, I've had the same LL Bean 20° rectangular bag for 36 years for my three season camping. (I don't camp in winter.) I've replaced it once with the same bag, and now use the older one on my bed. I have two rectangular liners for the bag, one made of fleece and the other silk, but I don't think I've ever needed to use them together with the down bag. I've used them separately on warmer nights.

In short, I never bought the synthetic-bag-is-warmer-when-wet sales pitch, because I bought the competing just-keep-your-down-bag-dry philosophy.
 
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there is an other Canadian company that I never seen products but heard good things...http://kluane.ca If anyone has some hands on info of these gys, that would be great!!
 
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I have a Kluane Summerthought (-5 C) sleeping bag, about 20 years old. Still good for summers in the NWT or fall in northern Saskatchewan, down to freezing (0 C). I also have a Kluane down "inner parka", about 12 years old. It's my second, someone stole the first one. It's my standard winter coat down to -25C. Quality of both has been exceptional. They have lasted so well that I can't comment on current quality, since I've never needed to replace them. If quality is still good - no reason it shouldn't be - I would strongly recommend them.

-wjmc
 
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I have a Kluane Summerthought (-5 C) sleeping bag, about 20 years old. Still good for summers in the NWT or fall in northern Saskatchewan, down to freezing (0 C). I also have a Kluane down "inner parka", about 12 years old. It's my second, someone stole the first one. It's my standard winter coat down to -25C. Quality of both has been exceptional. They have lasted so well that I can't comment on current quality, since I've never needed to replace them. If quality is still good - no reason it shouldn't be - I would strongly recommend them.

-wjmc

Great to know!! Than you. Any body else have comment on these??
 
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Also take a look at Taiga works

https://www.taigaworks.ca/

Friends have just opted for a pair of their winter bags as the low Cdn $ just made anything else of similar quality way out of reach. Very impressed with initial testing on the basement floor!

The fabrics and quality of down used in high end bags is just so good nowadays. They pack down way smaller than the older bags with heavier fabric and down with a higher feather content.

They are also more water repellent. My winter bag has strategic panels of waterproof breathable fabric in the areas most likely to get damp.

I think we have five or so down bags and quilts, haven't used synthetic since we bought new North Face bags on our honeymoon 22 years ago.
 
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Also take a look at Taiga works

https://www.taigaworks.ca/

Friends have just opted for a pair of their winter bags as the low Cdn $ just made anything else of similar quality way out of reach. Very impressed with initial testing on the basement floor!

The fabrics and quality of down used in high end bags is just so good nowadays. They pack down way smaller than the older bags with heavier fabric and down with a higher feather content.

They are also more water repellent. My winter bag has strategic panels of waterproof breathable fabric in the areas most likely to get damp.

I think we have five or so down bags and quilts, haven't used synthetic since we bought new North Face bags on our honeymoon 22 years ago.

Our 3 season bags are Taiga's, the thousand one night. They are a great bag for the money!!
 
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Wool socks. I can recommend them also. I use them at home and in fact am wearing some as we speak. My mom made me a half dozen pairs that are almost like mukluk liners they are so big but oh boy are they warm. And yes it makes all the difference between being comfy or not sleeping.

Christy
 
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