RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Sleeping bags

I’ve been checking different sleeping bags.. I found a couple at REI one is a Seista 30 rectangle.. will that be to warm or should I get a 40 degree bag..
LL Bean looks to have a couple.. trying to stay under $80.. any suggestion would be great.. thanks in advance..

17 Replies

Luv 2 Ski, February 10, 2017 at 10:10 am

I feel a 30 degree bag will be way to hot. I am usually cold and need extra but I would not think of bringing a 30 degree bag on Ragbrai. I think mine is a 50 and it is perfect. If it get’s cold I then put on more clothes.

I got mine at Sports Authority in 2014 for about $15.00. Nothing fancy but it works great. Target has similar for about the same price. No need to spend a lot for this use. I have other high end bags that are left home during RAGBRAI.


W Fanning, February 10, 2017 at 10:25 am

Thanks.. I was thinking it be to warm.. I will research Dick’s & Target..


jwsknk, February 10, 2017 at 11:48 am

Im with Let It Snow. 50’s are possible, 40’s in July doubtful. Very damp a few nights? Probable. I haven’t taken a sleeping bag the past few years. mattress to get up off the ground and a sheet. can add the arm , leg warmers and even the rain gear at night if it gets too chilly. Light weight skull cap too. Have that along for chilly rain days too.


jwsknk, February 10, 2017 at 11:49 am

oh, and the sheet cam double as a middle of the night toga


Groeny82, February 10, 2017 at 12:30 pm

I picked up a 40 degree Ozark Trail bag from Wal-Mart for about $20. It packs down to about the size of a football. I also got a sleeping bag liner for very little. Last year I slept on top of my bag and used just the liner. I had the sleeping bag zipped all the way open so if I got cold at night I could easily crawl in and still be half asleep. The only thing different I’m doing this year is using a twin or full size sheet instead of the liner. I found that I got twisted up in the liner as I moved around at night and also the liner I picked up doesn’t have a zipper so it a little bit of a hassle getting in and out of it. A little camp pillow is nice too, I picked one up at Dick’s for about $10. Packs down very small as well.


patrsnw, February 10, 2017 at 12:53 pm

I’ve not used a sleeping bag since the 1999 swelterfest. Instead, my wife took a fleece blanket and sewed a sheet across the bottom. We usually have the blanket on the bottom and the sheet covering. The few times the temperature’s dropped we’ve reversed the contraption.

The good news is that it takes up much less space than a sleeping bag. The bad news is that it might not work if there’s only one of you.


Jack in VA, February 10, 2017 at 4:57 pm

I picked up a 30 degree bag from “Redneck World” (I mean Bass Pro Shop) several years back prior to “Ride the Rockies”. It did get down to mid 30’s one night out there, and was extremely comfortable. It too packs down to about football size.
Most nights on RAGBRAI start out quite warm, but I almost always end up crawling inside of it during the night to get / stay warm as temps usually drop into the 60’s / 50’s. I also use a Coleman air mattress, with a fitted sheet so I’m not sleeping on plastic.
As far as NOT bringing one; I’d much rather HAVE it and not need it then NEED it and not HAVE IT! It doesn’t take up that much space, and is well worth a good nights sleeping comfort.


Brian Wallenburg, February 10, 2017 at 8:15 pm

Light blanket and a bed sheet.


“Bicycle Bill”, February 11, 2017 at 12:55 am

A 50-degree bag on a dry 50-degree night will be just fine.  But a 50-degree bag on a damp 50-degree night — especially if the bag itself has gotten a little damp — is going to be uncomfortable.  Personally, I like to sleep warm anyway so I’d go with the 40-degree bag myself and maybe carry a small synthetic ‘fleece’ throw tucked into the bag … if it turns into a hot ride (like 1999) you can sleep on top of the bag with the lightweight fleece as a cover sheet, and if you don’t need it roll it up and use it as a pillow.



BillSpriggs, February 11, 2017 at 7:21 am

My wife stitched a twin bedsheet across the bottom and about a third of the way up the side, is more than enough most nights in Iowa in July. For the colder nights I have a fleece sleeping bag liner, you can get one from amazon for less than $20.00. The take up very little room and don’t weigh much.


trknight, February 12, 2017 at 8:13 am

For RAGBRAI I have evolved to a sleeping bag comfort rated at ~50 that packs down to a quart size and a sleeping bag liner (adds about 10 degrees) that packs down to a pop can size. Warmer nights I may use the liner, cooler nights only the sleeping bag, the coldest nights both together.


mlwalk, February 12, 2017 at 9:00 am

I agree with some of the prior posters, I have never taken a bag on RAGBRAI. Air mattress to get you off the ground and sheets and blanket is so much more comfortable for me. Packs down really small and for me anyway, is more comfortable especially when it is a little hot out.


Bob Seiple, February 12, 2017 at 1:29 pm

A twin sheet is really helpful. Early in the night, that is all you will want. Later, a blanket or sleeping bag liner is helpful. Regular sleeping bag probably not needed.


GORDON BROWN, February 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

I used two full sized flat sheets and a full sized rectangle sleeping bag that I got at Sports Authority for less than $20 or so. Padre’s Cycle In has nice air mattresses blown up and in your tent so all you have to do is make your bed. I used the sheet to cover the mattress and the unzipped sleeping bag to cover with or the other sheet if it was warmer. Keep it cheap and simple and not a mummy bag. I also carried a full sized pillow from home. Sleeping comfortably makes a difference in tomorrow’s ride.


KenH, February 13, 2017 at 8:54 am

Last summer was the first year I had camped at RAGBRAI. I was going to take some generic sleeping bag that I had. It was relatively huge but summer weight and size was not a major concern. Then as I was in Dick’s a few weeks before the ride looking for something else I saw that they had a Marmot Aspen 55 bag on sale for a price I could not resist. The thing is tiny and cute as a bug in its little compression sack. I think it is probably the Dick’s specific version of Marmot’s Nanowave 55. The first couple of nights were about as sweltering as it gets so I just slept on top of the bag. The rest of the week I was comfortable sleeping in it. Getting it into that compression sack every morning was a bit of a bother for someone with plenty of room for a bag twice its size so if I were to do it again I’d look for another bag for it.

As far as I can tell from the RAGBRAI chronicles it was as cold as the 40’s only once during the 45 year history of the ride. You can probably survive a night or two in the 40s in reasonable comfort if you have a 50 or 55 degree bag. You are much more likely to be unhappy every night with a 40 degree bag in the typical RAGBRAI weather….


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