Ascend -40º Mummy Sleeping Bag
Warm bag at an affordable price
I purchased this bag mainly for car camping and for emergency use in a SHTF situation. Deciding between this bag and the -20 degree bag was somewhat difficult because the Ascend temperature ratings seemed to be quite extreme in comparison to other brands. A BPS sales associate's advice of "take any bags temperate rating and add 20 degrees" was not much help here in SC where it rarely dips below 20F. Ultimately I ended up going with this bag to be on the safe side as I get cold extremely easily. My first weekend in the bag was right at about 40F. I slept very comfortably in shorts and a tee shirt with the bag half zipped. Recently, we had some temps down to 19F and decided to spend a night in the backyard to put the bag through its paces. I originally started in a thermal long sleeve and thermal pants and woke up somewhat cold (by no means freezing) and added a sweatshirt and sweat pants. From the rest of the night I slept like a baby!
BOTTOM LINE: Affordable bag that I would feel comfortable with at pretty much anything above 0F. 4 star rating is for the misleading temperate ratings and for the zipper easily getting caught if you are not careful when opening/closing
November 19, 2014
Slept at -17°F (-27°C)
I tested my bag in my backyard at -17°F (-27°C) on a thin foam pad in a tent that is mostly screen without the rain fly (Marmot 3p something...). For most of the night i only wore some cotton boxerbreifs and a cotton t-shirt. My feet felt a bit cold, and i was lightly shivering; i would have preferred to be a little warmer, but i was moderatly to mildly uncomfortable due to the cold. I am a 6'3" 200 ILB man. I went to bed around 9pm. Around 11:30pm i felt the need to wear a knit cap (i am bald and shave my head clean, not counting my beard). Around 4:00AM i felt the need to put on a sweater and jeans. At 6 am i got up for work (-17°F was not normal, so I needed to test on such a great opportunity) I am a test engineer by profession, so i wanted to make this nearly a worst case scenario and remove many variables that would make the bag appear to be better than it is.
The cords to tighten the bag across the chest and around the face were convenient from within the bag. The footbox was a little breezy. The "cloth flap" providing thermal protection on the zipper can get pushed up and allow for very cold contact with the zipper. I felt that a heat exchanger mask would have made me a lot more comfortable as i drew -17°F air into my lungs with every breath. When i awoke, there was a "tunnel" of ice, due to moisture in my breath, around the the hole where only my nose and mouth were exposed to the low temperatures.
I also tested the bag at 34°F (1°C) in my backyard, same tent, but no pad. I had to open the bag to let heat out and afterward i slept like a baby.
I purchased the long bag due to my height.
November 18, 2014
WARM BUT HEAVY
Bought bag for winter hiking trip. Was willing to sacrifice a lightweight pack for warmth. Won't pack into most pack's sleeping bag pockets, luckily I have a Gregory UM-21 I could use so room was not an issue. VERY warm with temperatures in the lower teens in a 3 season tent. Plenty of room with the long size (I'm 6'3" 220lbs).
January 8, 2014
I made a quick choice for this bag before heading out of town for a camping trip. I didn't want to spend a fortune on a sleeping bag. This seemed like a good "happy medium" as far as price vs rating. I expected for a middle of the road bag the -40 rating to be slightly over confident. I spent the night in a coleman helos X2 tent on a sleeping pad off of a cot. I am 5'5 and about 200 lbs. I had plenty of room. It got down to 19 degrees F. I was very comfortable. Plenty of insulation in this bag. I slept in a t shirt and fleece pants. I am confident I would be comfortable down to 0 degrees. As far as down to -40 I don't know but I know I will never see that so it is not a worry for me.
This is more of a car camping bag. It gets down smaller than my Coleman bag but that isn't saying much. This one is small enough to strap to the out side but unless your carrying with a large pack I doubt it will fit and if it does it will take up a lot of room. Its not exactly lite ether. I will be replacing the compression sack. It works ok but the bag could be compressed more with a better compression bag.
Over all its a great bag. Defenately worth the money.
November 24, 2013