Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

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Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby undercling-mike » Wed 08 Feb, 2017 10:31 pm

Hi all, as many of you would know I've been making down quilts for a while now. Anyway, a friend who was interested in one was very keen on a hoodless sleeping bag so since it was not too big of a change to my regular quilt pattern I agreed to make one for her. The basic deal is take one my quilts, remove the "back hole", extend the zipper all the way to the top and add some partial baffles to control the extra fabric area.

The idea, of course, is that you sleep on top of the zipper (a small #3 coil zip) so that there is no need for a draft tube. Shoulder girth is 155cm and foot girth is 97cm. There is a snap button at the top and one at around knee height to facilitate use as a quilt and it has the same fully opening zip and drawcord footbox with draft blocker pillow as my quilts. Adds about 30g for a -8C bag compared to a -8C quilt including the extra zip, fabric and down.

Enough waffle, here's some pics:

From the top it looks very much like one of my quilts.
eP1260919.JPG


But from the back it's clear things are a bit different.
eP1260920.JPG


In quilt mode
eP1260937.JPG


Detail of the top of the zipper with snap button.
eP1260928.JPG


The snap button at knee level to help keep the zip done up to an appropriate level in quilt mode. This must be unsnapped to close the zip up further.
eP1260939.JPG


The same drawcord footbox as my quilts with draft blocker pillow.
eP1260943.JPG


Fully opened in blanket mode.
eP1260952.JPG


eP1260944.JPG


At the moment I'm basically looking to gauge interest and stimulate discussion on this type of sleeping bag. Personally I'm happy sticking with a quilt and probably many quilt users would also feel that way but this type of sleeping bag might be just right for some, it's certainly quite versatile.

So is this something you'd be interested in (or not interested in) or even if you're not in the market do you think it'd be an attractive option? Any small changes or additions you'd like to see?

To go forward I'll need to build in a few extra features in my templates (which realistically I'm probably going to do anyway) and buy a bunch more of the long separating zippers.

P.s. the Red Ochre and Burnt Orange colour combo looks awesome imo.
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Mickl » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 12:18 am

I would think there would def be a market for these. Without getting out a tape measure would they still have more room when zipped up than a normal type of sleeping bag?

I have two EE wide width quilts and the one thing I wish they both had was a zip that I could zip up to arm pits. I think with a zipper that high I could probably do away with the pad straps most of the time and would be easier to stay warmer in. I like having my arms free to tuck under my pillow but up to my chest in a zipped bag would be great. I think if you were to do one like that I would say just add a couple more snaps at chest height or similar and that would be gold...Do you add strap attachments as well to yours?

Roughly whats the finished weight / down weight / and cost of one of your quilts like this?
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 7:31 am

I think there would be if a little wider than normal so they could do double duty as a double/queen bed travellers blanket.
After all the "Backpacker" market is huge as is the "Grey Nomad" market
Actually the "Grey Nomad" market might best be served with a 600/650 FP down option to get the cost down a few dollars
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby undercling-mike » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 8:31 am

Mickl wrote:I would think there would def be a market for these. Without getting out a tape measure would they still have more room when zipped up than a normal type of sleeping bag?

I have two EE wide width quilts and the one thing I wish they both had was a zip that I could zip up to arm pits. I think with a zipper that high I could probably do away with the pad straps most of the time and would be easier to stay warmer in. I like having my arms free to tuck under my pillow but up to my chest in a zipped bag would be great. I think if you were to do one like that I would say just add a couple more snaps at chest height or similar and that would be gold...Do you add strap attachments as well to yours?

Roughly whats the finished weight / down weight / and cost of one of your quilts like this?


In terms of space it's in line with typical mummy sleeping bags, in inches the shoulder girth of a narrow mummy bag is typically about 58" and a wide mummy bag is about 64", this one is 61". It felt a good size to me in the few seconds I could stand to be inside it before burning up (thankfully I finished it back in December, not during the recent heatwave).

Custom snap location wouldn't be a problem, my only concern would be that the snaps have a bit of thickness when put together and might be felt under you in the back region even though there's no problem with the snap under your legs.

It doesn't have strap attachments on the edge because they would get in the way of the zip to some extent and imo they make less sense without the back hole of the quilt design. Again, something that could be added as an option. My thinking is also that maximum warmth mode on this is with it zipped up and in warmer conditions the lack of straps shouldn't be a problem. I noticed that EE has strap attachments on their latest Convert redesign but they've got space to put them on because they've included zipper draft tubes which in turn need stiffeners and add quite a bit of weight.

This one has a finished weight of 700g with 490g of down (including 50g overfill on -8C rating). Pricing I haven't exactly calculated but it should be something like $30 over the equivalent quilt, so for this one it would be about $490 ($440 for -8C quilt with 850 fill HyperDRY +$20 for 50g overfill +$30 for bag option).
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby undercling-mike » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 8:49 am

Moondog55 wrote:I think there would be if a little wider than normal so they could do double duty as a double/queen bed travellers blanket.
After all the "Backpacker" market is huge as is the "Grey Nomad" market
Actually the "Grey Nomad" market might best be served with a 600/650 FP down option to get the cost down a few dollars


A double/queen size blanket would have to be substantially wider and is a different product imo. This makes a very nice single blanket though. You could also zip two together along one edge to make a big blanket although the zip would be a cold spot.

This (and the fully opening quilts) would make a great item for travelers/backpackers already I think but the cost is quite a bit higher than typical in that market. We'll see if I can gain any traction there once I've got a brand/website/marketing.
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Neo » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 6:38 pm

Hi Mike

I''m interested in a half bag which I imagine would be like this one but only around 1200 long.

There is a bug inside me that wants to buy a down jacket and for my local winters a half bag and jacket combo might do.

I've got a few months yet to ponder the suitability of it so will be in touch.
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 7:05 pm

Unless you are very short 1200 isn't long enough, 1350 is a good length for a half bag.
Mike did make my UL half bag for me but on it's own it isn't warm enough for winter.
There are few makers of half bags at the moment and the link I posted last week is one of the best deals I have seen in a while

http://www.backcountry.com/brooks-range ... 5_edb70193
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Neo » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 7:20 pm

Just measured again and although I'm taller 1200 is well above the belly button but 1350 would give good wriggle room MD. Had found the Alpkit Point 5 but its even shorter and I'd prefer a custom.

Im likely to get a standard winter night of 5° with the chance of a zero so thinking a minus 2 comfort rating wearing a nice jacket etc would suit.
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 7:35 pm

Have a look at the WM Tamarack I have one and it is a great bag for this but it is 1500 long
Mid/lower chest is where an elephants foot should come to for cold weather
PHD in the UK do some Uber ones and a few others such as the FF Vireo
One of Mikes +8C quilts with a LW half bag and a down parka will get you most places in OZ
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 7:40 pm

PM sent Neo
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Strider » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 7:52 pm

Weight aside, what is the benefit of this over a standard sleeping bag?

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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Neo » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 8:25 pm

Cheers MD replied. We have different winters so an elephant on its own might do. Im pondering a half-Mike with a drawstring waist.
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby undercling-mike » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 12:10 am

Neo wrote:Hi Mike

I''m interested in a half bag which I imagine would be like this one but only around 1200 long.

There is a bug inside me that wants to buy a down jacket and for my local winters a half bag and jacket combo might do.

I've got a few months yet to ponder the suitability of it so will be in touch.


Hi Neo, I agree with Moondog that you need a half bag to be longer than you think, 1350mm at least and 1500mm (or more) is better. I have to say I'm not all that convinced with the concept overall outside of a few niche applications (some mountain bivvys? or a lightweight half bag and jacket inside another bag as a warmth booster). The thing is you need a lot more insulation to sleep comfortably than you need while you're awake so either you have to bring a much warmer down jacket than you typically would for the conditions or suffer being cold in the upper part of your body at night. I think something like a Feathered Friends Vireo, which is designed to be long enough go over your shoulders, is much more convincing. In that case it has less insulation in the upper part and you wear a decently warm jacket to even out the insulation between the legs and chest. Still not a very versatile system over a range of conditions imo, but effective in the colder conditions it was designed for.

What's your motivation for considering a half bag system? A down jacket could also be used to boost the warmth of a quilt or bag.


Strider wrote:Weight aside, what is the benefit of this over a standard sleeping bag?

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Weight is a big benefit, but it's about versatility in combination with low weight in that you can fully open it as a blanket, form the footbox and use it as a quilt, zip it up as a sleeping bag but leave some foot ventilation etc. You're not stuck with a 1/3 zip or something like that to keep the weight down. With a more fully featured mummy bag you can of course open the full length zip and use it as a quilt and that's how I regularly used my old mummy bag but the hood was a bit in the way in that case, which I used to find mildly irritating. Using separate head insulation that moves with your head is also an advantage for some and is in any case effective in my experience.

I'd say these points also apply generally to quilts as well but some people prefer to have the full length zip compared to an open backed quilt.
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 5:54 am

Of course there are two of this style already in the marketplace.
S2S and their Traveller
As well as
Western Mountaineering and their Everlite
But these are sewn thru construction and use minimal down and because of this not the warmest for weight carried, also the S2S version does not use the high fill power down that gives maximum boost for weight carried and neither bag is a bargain
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Strider » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 8:18 am

Moondog55 wrote:Of course there are two of this style already in the marketplace.
S2S and their Traveller
As well as
Western Mountaineering and their Everlite
But these are sewn thru construction and use minimal down and because of this not the warmest for weight carried, also the S2S version does not use the high fill power down that gives maximum boost for weight carried and neither bag is a bargain

Don't forget Zpacks!

http://www.zpacks.com/quilts/sleepingbag.shtml

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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 8:30 am

Yes but Z-packs don't open all the way to make a blanket, the fully opening style covers a different market IMO
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Strider » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 8:40 am

Didn't Zpacks used to offer a full length zip as an option?

What I like most about this design is I am a side sleeper and laying on top of snaps tends to dig into my legs. I don't think I would like a full length zip but a 3/4 would be good.

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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Mickl » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 9:33 am

I would like the full length option of a zip that can be stopped at underarm height to allow my arms and chest to remain free to easily move. Having said that if the zipped up bag was similar size to a mummy bag then I wouldn't want one that tight as the whole reason I use a quilt is to have more comfort and more room to move! Something like my wide quilt with that option would be good though but I suspect that would need to be a fair bit wider. Hard to say though until you use it though. If you want someone to test one for you feel free to send it to me and I'll give you some honest feedback :D :D
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 10:11 am

Send one to me and I'll lie about how good it is if I can keep it :twisted:
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby undercling-mike » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 11:12 am

Strider wrote:Didn't Zpacks used to offer a full length zip as an option?

What I like most about this design is I am a side sleeper and laying on top of snaps tends to dig into my legs. I don't think I would like a full length zip but a 3/4 would be good.

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Zpacks certainly popularized the hoodless style sleeping bags in the lightweight walking community. They used to offer a full length side zip option with a #5 two way zip and draft tube. Anyway, I'd certainly consider the Zpacks bag and my bag to be in the same category of lightweight hoodless sleeping bags even though the feature sets are quite different. Careful comparison with their spec chart indicates to me that the weight penalty for the extra features (fully opening footbox, differential cut, top draft collar, increased foot room) is about 30g, but there are obviously a lot of variables. I see that Zpacks have recently re-calibrated their sizing information to be more in line with other manufacturers.

The snap could certainly be omitted if desired.


Moondog55 wrote:Of course there are two of this style already in the marketplace.
S2S and their Traveller
As well as
Western Mountaineering and their Everlite
But these are sewn thru construction and use minimal down and because of this not the warmest for weight carried, also the S2S version does not use the high fill power down that gives maximum boost for weight carried and neither bag is a bargain


I'd add the Feathered Friends Flicker and EE Convert in the same category as well.


Mickl wrote:I would like the full length option of a zip that can be stopped at underarm height to allow my arms and chest to remain free to easily move. Having said that if the zipped up bag was similar size to a mummy bag then I wouldn't want one that tight as the whole reason I use a quilt is to have more comfort and more room to move! Something like my wide quilt with that option would be good though but I suspect that would need to be a fair bit wider. Hard to say though until you use it though. If you want someone to test one for you feel free to send it to me and I'll give you some honest feedback :D :D


To give increased chest and arm room I suspect you'd need the zip to stop at mid back height rather than underarm, at that level if you just did the zip up the appropriate amount I don't think it would move much as you wouldn't be putting outward pressure on it. On the topic of width your EE wide quilt is 58" wide and this bag is 61" at the chest, albeit the shape is different.


Moondog55 wrote:Send one to me and I'll lie about how good it is if I can keep it :twisted:


If you lie about how good it is you might have to tell everyone that it's aweful 8)
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Neo » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 1:08 pm

My motivation for considering a half bag system is to keep volume and weight down. Also my current gear was inadequate at 5 degrees.

Certainly no mountainside bivvies planned or the extremes of the Alps and Tassie.

If it ever gets cold again (easy to forget at this time of year) I'll be needing a warmer system, maybe -2 comfort, and a pack with a bit more volume capacity too (from 34 moving to 45L should do my 'winter'gear).
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 2:01 pm

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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby undercling-mike » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 2:14 pm

Neo wrote:My motivation for considering a half bag system is to keep volume and weight down. Also my current gear was inadequate at 5 degrees.

Certainly no mountainside bivvies planned or the extremes of the Alps and Tassie.

If it ever gets cold again (easy to forget at this time of year) I'll be needing a warmer system, maybe -2 comfort, and a pack with a bit more volume capacity too (from 34 moving to 45L should do my 'winter'gear).


It's easy to wonder what you're doing when you're working on equipment with a temp rating up to 45C lower than the temperature today...

Anyway, my feeling is that to sleep comfortably at zero, or even 5C with a half bag system you would need a much warmer jacket than you would normally bring in those conditions, probably wiping out the weight and bulk savings of the half bag. You also have to insulate your hands.

Have you ruled out using a quilt? I might be biased but that's my pick for general purpose sleeping insulation. For minimum weight/bulk a +4C rated quilt with a bit of overfill and wearing a light down jacket on the colder nights would be a good option, or just a -2C rated quilt of course.
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Neo » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 2:36 pm

Yep considering a minus 2 quilt or an STS Micro iii long which has the full zipper and drawcord foot but looks thin and overpriced.
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 3:00 pm

I'd be happy using a +4C quilt plus my UL halfbag + my Uniqlo parka at freezing Colder than that and I want a warmer parka.
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Strider » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 3:50 pm

Moondog55 wrote:I'd be happy using a +4C quilt plus my UL halfbag + my Uniqlo parka at freezing Colder than that and I want a warmer parka.

You're tougher than me Ted. There is no way I could take my Uniqlo parka down to freezing :oops:

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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 10 Feb, 2017 8:12 pm

That's inside the +4C quilt Strider, so I'm only talking about a 4C boost there
Mikes UL halfbag didn't work for me because I was using it with a +14C synthetic bag and I over estimated my sleeping metabolic rate by a full 8C
I used to add 5C to my needs, now I add 10 degrees
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby Stew63 » Sat 11 Feb, 2017 11:09 pm

Hi undercling - I bought one of your quilts back in Sept. - it's totally awesome - I've got absolutely no idea why peoples would buy form OS when you provide such a totally brilliant product and service!
The best UL item in my UL inventory for sure! (I got the 950 fill in Macaw Green and Black)

With this new design 'full' bag that you're proposing - would it be available in say a -18C or -20C bag in Macaw Green/Black? I need something for MUCH colder weather/snow - thinking the Main Range.
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby veekay » Sun 12 Feb, 2017 6:13 pm

I think that it could be bad if you woke up hot and in a rush to get some ventilation through the bag, but you're sleeping on the zip, so it'd be a wrestle..??
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Re: Interest in hoodless sleeping bags?

Postby undercling-mike » Tue 14 Feb, 2017 7:23 pm

Stew63 wrote:Hi undercling - I bought one of your quilts back in Sept. - it's totally awesome - I've got absolutely no idea why peoples would buy form OS when you provide such a totally brilliant product and service!
The best UL item in my UL inventory for sure! (I got the 950 fill in Macaw Green and Black)

With this new design 'full' bag that you're proposing - would it be available in say a -18C or -20C bag in Macaw Green/Black? I need something for MUCH colder weather/snow - thinking the Main Range.


Cheers Stew! I'm glad you're liking your quilt. I certainly remember yours as there have only been a few with the 950 fill down. As for doing a hoodless bag with a warmer rating, that's certainly possible. I think you'd be looking at around 590-600g of the 850 down to get to that rating and the shell weight for this one was about 210g but maybe add another 8g or so for taller baffles so a tick over 800g in total. For comparison EE lists their 0F (-18C) Revelation in Regular length and width (which should have a very similar surface area to this bag) as having 516g of 850 fill down and the Katabatic Gear Grenadier 5F (-15C) in regular size has 567g of 850 fill down with a similar or perhaps slightly smaller surface area.

Another option would be a synthetic overquilt to boost the warmth of your current quilt or bag but at a bit of extra weight.

veekay wrote:I think that it could be bad if you woke up hot and in a rush to get some ventilation through the bag, but you're sleeping on the zip, so it'd be a wrestle..??


No doubt it's a different style from a conventional sleeping bag and you'd need to adjust to using it but it is a style that has gained popularity in recent years with products like the Zpacks sleeping bags so it does work for many people. With a hoodless bag you can release the top elastic drawstring and pull it down to expose your upper body and that's probably the fastest way to deal with waking up overheated with these bags. If I was using this bag I'd personally use it as a quilt unless I was sure it was going to be right at or below the temperature limit.
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