15 degree sleeping bag enough?

mww982

WKR
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
329
Location
Fort Worth, TX
Headed to Colorado for second season in a few weeks. We are planning on setting up a basecamp but may also spike out if we get into some animals and don't want to trek back to camp. I'm planning on bringing a heavy 0-degree bag for basecamp and I have a 15-degree Feathered Friends bag that is going to go into my pack. Will the 15-degree bag be sufficient or should I look at adding a synthetic quilt to my bag as well? Would be looking at a 40-degree EE Revelation Apex or a MLD Spirit 38-degree quilt. Or would I be better off looking at a sleeping bag liner?
 

Joe Schroeder

ALPS OutdoorZ
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
24
Location
MO
It will vary a little of course, but +10-15 degrees from the advertised rating is the rule of thumb for comfort range on most bags. There may have been an ISO test temperature range on the tag when you bought the bag. That will generally have a comfort range on it which is more helpful.

Personally, I take a 0 degree bag if its going to be in the mid 20's.
 
OP
M

mww982

WKR
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
329
Location
Fort Worth, TX
It will vary a little of course, but +10-15 degrees from the advertised rating is the rule of thumb for comfort range on most bags. There may have been an ISO test temperature range on the tag when you bought the bag. That will generally have a comfort range on it which is more helpful.

Personally, I take a 0 degree bag if its going to be in the mid 20's.
Don't really want to spend the coin on a good 0 or -10 bag. I don't mind spending a couple hundred on or 40-degree quilt. I will have my puffy gear with me as well for added insulation if needed as well.
 

Joe Schroeder

ALPS OutdoorZ
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
24
Location
MO
Don't really want to spend the coin on a good 0 or -10 bag. I don't mind spending a couple hundred on or 40-degree quilt. I will have my puffy gear with me as well for added insulation if needed as well.
I don't blame you at all. An insulated pad will help things as well.
 
OP
M

mww982

WKR
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
329
Location
Fort Worth, TX
What sleeping pad are you paring with the 15 degree FF bag?

If it were me I’d take my zero degree western mountaineering with my XTherm pad but I sleep cold.
I have an Ether Light XT......3.2 R value. I generally sleep hot if that makes any difference.
 

mxgsfmdpx

WKR
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
4,442
Location
Central Arizona
I have an Ether Light XT......3.2 R value. I generally sleep hot if that makes any difference.
So I’ve used my XTherm A LOT and it’s a 7.3 R value. I’ve tested it on many nights at different humidity levels (both in a shelter and outside) and I’ve found that at 7.3 R value it adds about 10-12 degrees to my sleeping bag comfort temp rating (my western mountaineering bags specifically).

Your FF is one of the only brands on par with WM for true temp ratings… If that pad acts like my XTherm you will add roughly 4-6 degrees to your bag comfort rating. Not a guarantee as pad rating requires filed tests in my experience. Could be more, could be less.

I think your best bet is to go ahead and carry a quilt doubled up on top of the pad like you mentioned. That’s if you don’t want to splurge for a 0 degree bag which is I would recommend as a first choice.

Any way you can spend a night outside and test it? Most places out west have high elevation within a few hours drive which can drop the overnight temps very quickly for testing gear.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
643
Location
Kansas
Last fall where we hunted 2nd season was well below zero every night. There's no way I would go back with a 15 degree bag and 3.2 R value pad.
This. I hunted 2nd season 2 out of the last 3 years. Lows in the single or negative digits each night at about 9,000 ft. Headed back this year and I will have a zero degree bag and a buddy heater!
 
OP
M

mww982

WKR
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
329
Location
Fort Worth, TX
This. I hunted 2nd season 2 out of the last 3 years. Lows in the single or negative digits each night at about 9,000 ft. Headed back this year and I will have a zero degree bag and a buddy heater!
I'll have a zero-degree bag at base camp and a buddy heater as well. This bag set up will be if we spike out.
 
OP
M

mww982

WKR
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
329
Location
Fort Worth, TX
Ok, just ordered an Exped 7 ultra pad and an EE Revelation Apex Quilt, 40-degree to use as an over bag. I’ll try that out this year, if its miserable I’ll buy a 0 or -10 bag before next season.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

Bearsears

WKR
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
444
Location
Colorado
You have a pretty high quality 15 degree bag and now my favorite winter pad also. Its enough if:
1. You have a quality puffy jacket and puffy pants.
2. There is enough room for you to wear them in your bag.

If not then you would need a warmer bag or over quilt. Honestly though I have a SG Chillkoot 15 and an Exped downmat. I never take anything more and I'm never cold. On the really cold nights I wear my puffy layers also. I must emphasize though that your puffy layers do need to be quality warm puffy layers. If it were me Id cancel the over quilt order and invest that money in puffys.

The only other caveat I see is that you didnt mention what shelter you will be in. It can make a big difference in warmth also. There is a huge difference between a bivy and tarp setup and a 4 season Hilliberg for example.
 

Fowl Play

WKR
Joined
Oct 1, 2016
Messages
519
I added a sea to summit reactor extreme sleeping bag liner to my kit when I caught it on sale for cheap to try out. Its pretty small and anecdotally added probably a comfortable 15F to my bag -- while also allowing me to not get my bag all sweaty/nasty.
 
OP
M

mww982

WKR
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
329
Location
Fort Worth, TX
You have a pretty high quality 15 degree bag and now my favorite winter pad also. Its enough if:
1. You have a quality puffy jacket and puffy pants.
2. There is enough room for you to wear them in your bag.

If not then you would need a warmer bag or over quilt. Honestly though I have a SG Chillkoot 15 and an Exped downmat. I never take anything more and I'm never cold. On the really cold nights I wear my puffy layers also. I must emphasize though that your puffy layers do need to be quality warm puffy layers. If it were me Id cancel the over quilt order and invest that money in puffys.

The only other caveat I see is that you didnt mention what shelter you will be in. It can make a big difference in warmth also. There is a huge difference between a bivy and tarp setup and a 4 season Hilliberg for example.
I just looked again, it's a 20-degree bag. It's the FF Swift UL 20-degree bag. As far as puffy gear goes, I have the Kings Camo XKG Down Transition Pants and Jacket, I haven't had the opportunity to use them much so can't say how they are on performance for me. The tent that I will be using if we decide to spike out is a Kings Camo Summit 2 person tent a true 3 season tent. Basecamp tent is a Kodiak Canvas tent and a buddy heater.
 

Bearsears

WKR
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
444
Location
Colorado
That tent has alot of mesh and not alot of side wall coverage on the inner nest. Be aware that if you get snow and wind, you could run into alot of spin drift snow coming into that tent. If using that tent, the overquilt might not be a bad idea. It also wouldnt be a bad idea to consider a different tent with less mesh on the inner or a floorless tipi style tent.
 

mtwarden

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
9,918
Location
Montana
I think you’ll be fine. The FF ratings are spot on for a “normal” sleeper, if you run a little warm then you can subtract a few degrees.

Not familiar with the Exped pad, but if it’s in the 6-7 R value you’ll be set.

I carry a light Apex quilt for day hunting just in case, add it to your existing down bag and you’ve added (subtracted actually) 15-20 degrees to your sleep system.
 
OP
M

mww982

WKR
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
329
Location
Fort Worth, TX
I think you’ll be fine. The FF ratings are spot on for a “normal” sleeper, if you run a little warm then you can subtract a few degrees.

Not familiar with the Exped pad, but if it’s in the 6-7 R value you’ll be set.

I carry a light Apex quilt for day hunting just in case, add it to your existing down bag and you’ve added (subtracted actually) 15-20 degrees to your sleep system.
I was actually looking at the MLD Apex 38 but the lead times were 3-6 weeks. Was going to be cutting it close if it took 6 weeks and didn't want to risk it so I went with an EE 40-degree quilt.
 

shwacker

FNG
Joined
Aug 21, 2022
Messages
81
If I wasn't planning to spike, I wouldn't carry the gear. If I did decide to spike for that hunt, I would be totally fine with that set up, especially if I could wear my puffy layers inside the bag and could bail depending on the weather.

Tips if it gets too cold: hot water nalgene in the bag, sit ups to warm up, quick calories (chocolate bars), build a fire, get up and leave.
 
OP
M

mww982

WKR
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
329
Location
Fort Worth, TX
If I wasn't planning to spike, I wouldn't carry the gear. If I did decide to spike for that hunt, I would be totally fine with that set up, especially if I could wear my puffy layers inside the bag and could bail depending on the weather.

Tips if it gets too cold: hot water nalgene in the bag, sit ups to warm up, quick calories (chocolate bars), build a fire, get up and leave.
We're planning on staying at basecamp most nights but want to have the option to be mobile if the conditions are right. If the weather is too cold or snowy, we'll go back to the basecamp.
 
Top