Vintage 1974 North Face Sleeping Bag

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We bought that exact Cabela's bag years ago for our grandkids when they were little. They are close to 10 lbs. each. That description of 4 lbs, 8 oz. is insulation ONLY. They are heavy and bulky.
But they are extremely durable, and the grands dragged them to sleep-overs, made forts, car camped, star gazed on wet lawns, and they were fine for keeping kids warm.
They are no worse for wear and our daughter and SIL still winter car camp with them, because the grands now 22 and 16 have graduated to hammocks.

They are great bags for a hunting base camp on top of a cot with a pad under them, where weight and volume are of little concern.

The Wiggy's bag McCrea highlighted, or something equal, would be a far better investment for canoe use imo.

Bill

Edit: posted too late (got distracted while typing this out) and just saw that you bought the Wiggys. Good choice. Enjoy!
 
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We bought that exact Cabela's bag years ago for our grandkids when they were little. They are close to 10 lbs. each. That description of 4 lbs, 8 oz. is insulation ONLY. They are heavy and bulky.

Thanks, I didn’t understand how that canvas shell/flannel/no-name-fill bag could be larger and yet weigh less than my massive 0F Wiggy’s. That fill “ONLY” explains it. I am curious – how big are those canvas shell bags when stuffed in a bag? Quarter keg or min-frig?

Ok you guys convinced me - a new bag is in order. I spent real money with Wiggys instead of points at Cabelas. I went to the site, just to research, and had a question. Called the 800#, left a message and Wiggy himself called me back. Someone needs to get him to write his life's story, what a character!

Anyway, I bought the 0 degree bag in some odd camo color, which I love anyways, and a waterproof stuff sack. $155 all in with no shipping fees or sales tax.

Real money? Like $20 or $30 more on a real sleeping bag? And Wiggy himself? Gotta love the feedback from small, direct-marketed manufacturers.

I think you will be happy with the camo Wiggy’s for years to come, a much better choice than a canvas shell/flannel lining bag from Cabelas. I’m sure you can spend those Cabelas points on something else less critical. Ammo maybe.

Wiggy’s makes some claims about their fill and lamination and wash-ability, claims that actually seem borne out with use, although I have yet to wash mine.

Waterproof stuff sack or $15 option compression bag?

Please let us know your thoughts on that Wiggy’s bag after a trip or two.
 
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As kids we slept on the ground. My Dad liked a bale of straw for hunting trips in the fall under the Baker tent. He always said a Sunday newspaper made a good bed for insulating you from the ground. We had Ensolite pads by the late 1960s and everyone carried one because it made sleeping so much warmer. By the 1970s or so the first Thermorest inflatable foam mattresses came out, the ones that were orange with brass valves.

People are willing to give up quicly on a sleeping bag that has hardly been used. I would test it out first.
 
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We had Ensolite pads by the late 1960s and everyone carried one because it made sleeping so much warmer.

My first sleeping pad was a joke; literally, better equipped folks made fun of it. That pad was some cream colored thing ¼” thick, and not that long, maybe shoulders to hips. Damn it rolled up small, and I was made of much tougher stuff back then.

People are willing to give up quicly on a sleeping bag that has hardly been used. I would test it out first.

Even the folks in the “Buy a new bag” camp suggested a tumble dry with tennis balls or laceless shoes and a night in the backyard, to see if the bag still had at least shoulder-season life.

That bag may still have a place in the shoulder seasons – Otto would bake in that 0F Wiggy’s in warmer weather - but I wouldn’t take a Hollofil bag that had been stuffed for 46 years on an October trip to the Adirondacks. I am not that tough anymore.

Otto, if you no-heat tumble driered it with balls or shoes to refresh the loft, and gave it a backyard try, please let us know the morning-after results.
 
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My first sleeping pad was a joke; literally, better equipped folks made fun of it. That pad was some cream colored thing ¼” thick, and not that long, maybe shoulders to hips. Damn it rolled up small, and I was made of much tougher stuff back then.



Even the folks in the “Buy a new bag” camp suggested a tumble dry with tennis balls or laceless shoes and a night in the backyard, to see if the bag still had at least shoulder-season life.

That bag may still have a place in the shoulder seasons – Otto would bake in that 0F Wiggy’s in warmer weather - but I wouldn’t take a Hollofil bag that had been stuffed for 46 years on an October trip to the Adirondacks. I am not that tough anymore.

Otto, if you no-heat tumble driered it with balls or shoes to refresh the loft, and gave it a backyard try, please let us know the morning-after results.

I had the bag tumble dried in a commercial dryer and it did not fluff up too much more. I do plan to keep it and use it on an off season if needed. I’ve kept it this long, may as well hang on to it. But my new bag will not be stuffed for storage. See - I already learned something here!

Countdown is 14 days to trip!
 
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I had the bag tumble dried in a commercial dryer and it did not fluff up too much more. I do plan to keep it and use it on an off season if needed. I’ve kept it this long, may as well hang on to it. But my new bag will not be stuffed for storage. See - I already learned something here!

Countdown is 14 days to trip!

Let us know the results! That is are you happy with your investment!
 
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Let us know the results! That is are you happy with your investment!

Yes please!

The issue I have with winter bags and shoulder season trips is two-fold. I am an early to bed type, especially when solo. On Indian-summer surprises it may still be quite warm, and sometimes humid, when dusk settles and my thoughts turn to bed. And, later, sub-freezing come dawn.

I am not nestling under a 0F bag, even feet sticking out unzipped as a top quilt, if it is 45F at bedtime.

On no-portage glamper trips I bring an auxiliary cover. On warmish potential trips a (single bed) micro-fiber sheet, which can also be a comfy cover over a sleeping pad. On cooler potential trips I bring some kind of blanket, usually something fleece or un-itchy wool that compresses well.

Yeah, I awake chilly at 0-dark-thirty and pull out a real sleeping bag. Feels like heaven.

Otto, a base camping hint for that 0F Wiggy’s, or, really, almost any bag. It can be a PITA to re-stuff the bag, even inside a more-expansive compression sack, when base camping. But, after my bag has aired out moisture in the morning, I’d rather have it neatly stuffed/contained than sprawled out taking up half the tent.

If you share a tent even more so. Git yer wet muddy feet off my sleeping bag dammit!

I use a plastic garbage bag inside a loose fitting giant stuff sack for extra in-tent storage protection. If I am off day paddling or wandering afoot for half the day I know I am coming back to dry sleeping bag, no matter what transpired back at camp.

I have wayyyyy oversized cheap nylon stuff bags for that in-tent base camp containment. Much easier to stuff and put away a sleeping bag after a morning’s airing out in an oversized bag that doesn’t require as much forceful stuffing effort.

Even a cheap laundry bag will suffice. I just put the oversized stuff bag inside the compression sack when first packing, and reverse that order when base camp stuffing, so I don’t lose/misplace anything.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=laundry+b...b_sb_ss_i_3_11

An oversized stuff/laundry bag works for uncompressed home-storage as well. Maybe order two. Just sayin’
 
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Many years ago I bought aWiggy's Nautilus, 36 inches wide bag, for summer use, for shoulder seasons I have a big rectangular Condor Feathered Friends sleeping bag that has extra down added. For winter use I put the down bag inside the bigger Wiggy bag. On really cold nights I crawl into that set-up on top of a good big, thick foam pad, wearing my Stanfield's wool long johns, bed socks and a French Beret. I sleep the night away like a happy baby, good genes gave me a heavy duty bladder with extra liner so, once I am tucked in I'm good for the next 9-10 hours. I have camped out with a wall tent in -40 degree weather, letting the wood stove burn down & out for fire safety's sake. For those that don't know, a wall tent with a wood stove can be warmer than a lot of cabins are, as long as the fire is still burning.
With your 0 degree F. bag and a good pad you should be very happy.
 
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Mike, good advice on stuffing the bag out of the way during the day. You never know what could happen while we are away. We are still 2 weeks out till trip departure, so too early to get a good forecast, and I think this area is fairly unpredictable anyways.
 
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Thanks, I didn’t understand how that canvas shell/flannel/no-name-fill bag could be larger and yet weigh less than my massive 0F Wiggy’s. That fill “ONLY” explains it. I am curious – how big are those canvas shell bags when stuffed in a bag? Quarter keg or min-frig?

"when stuffed in a bag". You are a funny man McCrea. You might get it in a body bag.

"Quarter keg or min-frig". More like chest freezer.
 
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"when stuffed in a bag". You are a funny man McCrea. You might get it in a body bag.

"Quarter keg or min-frig". More like chest freezer.

I had totally forgotten about, or maybe blocked out, the bad old days* of gigantic batting filled sleeping bags that were best “packed” by rolling them up and tying a piece of twine around the massive cylinder.

Not exactly canoe tripping friendly; I don’t know that we have a dry bag big enough to contain one of those.

*Massive cotton sleeping bag “waterproofed” in a garbage bag. Yeah, that never got soaked.
 
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Now the first sleeping bag I had was a double. You say wow romantic.

It was kapok filled. When the canvas tent leaked and it got wet it weighed as much as a horse. Kapok was the second insulation used as insulator The first was woven camel fur per this site
https://www.bushwalkingnsw.org.au/clubsites/FAQ/FAQ_SleepingBags.htm

my first bag was circa 1930 manutacture. Thankfully it disintegrated
 
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I mentioned it in my trip report, but the Wiggy's bag was great. Very comfortable, warm and not too cramped with the mummy style. It got down into the 30's so not a true cold weather test. I didn't sleep great overall on that trip, but it wasn't the bags fault.

Interestingly, the instructions that come with the bag say "All Wiggy Gear May Be Stored In Their Compression Stuff Sacks Indefinitely". I have it in an old Army Sack so it is stuffed in there loosely.

I still have the North Face Bag, not sure what I will do with it. I'm sure it would have been fine for this particular trip, but I am happy to have a new bag and plan to use it next season.
 
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For cold weather camping put your new mummy bag inside the old North Face bag. It will work in a truck, in a canoe or on a sled.
 
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Try it in the backyard at known temperatures.
I have two duck down sleeping bags I got from REI in 1969. The down has shifted around and left some cold spots. They have been washed many times. Still good as an over bag in the cold.
 
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My old outdated synthetic sleeping bags ride in the two vehicles (along with other emergency gear) during the winter in case we get stuck in the car overnight. As others have said, consider down. Also, consider a down quilt instead of a mummy bag.
 
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Stuffed in its storage bag and not the compression bag, you’re good to go. You haven’t done a thing to it to reduce its ability to loft up. Over time things will degrade on their own, so I would not consider it a 0° anymore.

However, a piece like that, I’d keep for nostalgia reasons and look into another bag. Used or new, big name or cheap name, that’ll depend on how much you intend to use it.

I recommend keep it safe. That’s history! I had a customer come in a few years ago with a north face down jacket from the late 70’s and wanted the zipper repaired. We sent it in to TNF and they offered him any piece of outerwear they make if they could keep his jacket. He denied and had his zipper repaired locally. Not saying this will happen to you. But if you have no sentimental ties, why not see if TNF or a collector would like to have it in exchange or for the cost of what you feel if fair?

I think that era of the outdoors life and gear was super rad. It wasn’t about the brands or the cool factor. It was pure passion and life.
 
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