Sleeping bag suggestions

Hi, im doing a grand traverse of the berg next month and the temperatures are already starting to worry me.

Im not entirely sure on what sleeping bag to get, i was going to get an entry level one with a thermal bag liner but now im worried that wont be enough.

Previous experiences in the berg had me cold in the summer so im a bit concerned.

Also im not swimming in money so i cant afford the top of the range ones that are 4k upwards, budget friendly is key

Please help :upside_down_face:

When you say temperatures are starting to worry you, what temperatures are you expecting?

Im not sure but seeing the weather conditions currently one can only assume and prepare for the worst.

Average temps in may range between 3 being min temp and 20 being max from the little research that ive done.

But ive been in summer where temps were 1/2 at night so theres no rules when it comes to the berg?

So im just looking for what other people would suggest when it comes to sleeping bags and liners

You might even consider getting a used bag.

Check the third to last (at time of this post) post.

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Just enquired, they both sold

Thank you

Not sure if this response is helpful or not, but fishing for ideas before I pull the trigger on an expensive bag.

  1. Remember that Comfort Temperature is the thing to be looking at. not the other two whimsical numbers.
    With that in mind whats the temperature youre sleeping in?

  2. The Ground pad at altitude is almost as important as the sleeping bag, make sure youve got a good one

  3. Tips and tricks for when youve got the wrong gear…

  • I found that silvered foil (like car sun shade material) under the sleeping mat was very helpful adding some extra heat (silver side up)
  • Digging a shallow 10-15cm trench where you sleep adds significant warmth done this in the Kalahari (unexpected cold snap) and Kruger sand river beds (improperly prepared)
  • Put your feet and as much of your body in the sleeping bag inside your rucksack. Sometimes wearing your boots inside the bag helps, sometimes not, but wear save one pair of socks for your hands.
  • Put your clothes on, but at some point in the layers they provide more insulation filling air spaces in sleeping bags, or under sleeping mats.

My Quandary:
Im looking at buying a Down sleeping bag from Poland (The lightest down bag) and Im not sure which to go with, Im thinking Temperature rated 2˚C (465g) rather than -1˚C (575g) a lot of me thinks go for the lightest available. for the 3˚C difference on paper, but that equates to 100g more down, which seems like a big difference - 300 vs 400 for 4˚C temperature gain. Its a lot of money for weight and space savings… Im not sure if Im there yet financially!

I can highly recommend a Hexvalley down sleeping bag. 1 kg and comfort rated to -3 degrees C. Their website isn’t much to look at but they’re very responsive over email. The down they use is far superior to any of the other local brands, using 550g of 850+ loft down. This gives you a light ,warm and compact sleeping bag for only R3.6k. As per the other posts in this thread, a sleeping bag is only part of your sleep system. Get an insulated sleeping pad, with an R value of at least 3. Consider the First Ascent insulated? I wouldn’t go with the JR gear sleeping pad, it failed on me and wasn’t that warm, currently very happy with Thermarest.

You can pretty much experience any type of weather in the Drakensberg, any time of year. For this reason there is literally no difference between my simmer and winter packs, except that in summer I carry a tent (I don’t like getting wet) and I buvvy in winter. Oh, and if rain is predicted I might pack some rainpants.

Whatever bag you get, make sure it can go down to around -8 deg C and lower. Coldest I’ve experienced was -14 in a tent. I use a TNF Blue Kazoo. At 1,4kg for the 3xtra length bag, it’s rated at -10. Your cheaper (but heavier) alternative is an Icebreaker (First Ascent). Decent, but warm (-8). Started hiking with the Icebreaker in the berg, nothing wrong with it.

You can invrease your warmth levrl by sleeping in a bivvy bag, or in a tent, especially if you share a tent. More BTU will make up to a 5deg difference in average, I’ve read. Bivvy bag keeps wind out and as its a small space you can heat up the air nicely.

Having a cold night is not fun. Besides being dsngerous, it will leave you fatigued. Take a warm bag.

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The First Ascent Ice Breaker and a Thermal Liner will tick a lot of boxes for the GT.

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The issue here is not so much the 100g of weight, it’s just that the warmer bag takes up another 1l of space.