I am a plus size girl and a cold sleeper and so far I am doing well with my sleep system. I have the Klymit Insulated Static V Luxe sleeping pad. Its 27" wide so I can actually lay on it with my arms and shoulders not dangling off the edge. Its also super high in r-value so will keep you warm if you are a cold sleeper like me! I really like the sleeping pad.
My sleeping bag is a Klymit 20F Synthetic Sleeping Bag. I like it because it has these stretchy baffles so it hugs my curves but allows me to move around without major restrictions. I am a side sleeper. The only downside to the sleeping bag is that depending on what I am wearing, my clothes can make it harder to roll over in the bag, without the bag turning with me! My thermals are a silky material so its easier for me to "slide" around in the bag.
I'm a bigger guy and and a side sleeper and had trouble finding a bag I liked I eventually landed on the Nemo Tempo 20 and love it. Very comfortable, plenty of room and warm.
I've recently gotten into hammock camping and trying to cut some weight and bought an Enlightened Equipment Convert 20 degree bag / quilt and LOVE it. The down is a little intimidating, but the bag is awesome.
So I need to amend this - after I tried to actually sleep in the nemo with my whole sleep system I still felt really cramped - so I returned it . Ended up with a Big Agnes for my trip.
Hi! I am going through the same thing. I'm a woman who wears 3xl/4xl. Here's what I've found so far:
- Enlightened equipment Revelation Custom backpacking quilt comes in an XWide option up to 64" at the shoulder and is extremely lightweight
- Marmot Womens Trestles Elid Eco 20 Degree Plus is 73" at the shoulder and just over 3 lbs
- Big Agnes Diamond Park 15 is by far the roomiest (and heaviest) with 80" at the shoulder and 74" at the hip, just over 4 lbs
- Big Agnes Anvil Horn 15 comes in Wide Long (sadly, no wide regular) with 90" at hte shoulder or Regular with 69" at the shoulder and 60" at the hip weighing 2 - 3 lbs
- Eddie Bauer Kara Koram 20 - 62" at the shoulder, 61" at the hip, just over 2 lbs
REI really needs to up their game with plus size sleeping bags! And all companies, honestly. This is beyond frustrating but there are a few good-looking choices. Depending on your size you could also explore getting a double bag, though that would certainly add weight to your pack.
Don't forget to check out the multiday packs from Gregory in plus sizes (REI sells the Kalmia 60 Plus).
@Metolius While I realize I'm not your gender, I'm a bigger side-sleeper backpacker myself. I've gone thru a lot of research and a made a few extra gear swaps. Here's what I found out.
I've tried a few commercial off-the-shelf sleeping bags, and none of them were wide enough to accomodate my broad shoulders. So I went to the cottage vendors. I picked Enlightened Equipment because they will customize in widths as well as lengths. So glad I did. If you're nervous about going down the quilt road, EE makes the "Convert" model that can go quilt or full traditional sleeping bag.
As a side sleeper myself, and being in my 40s, pad choice is essential. I would go for a wide pad, at least 25". I picked the Ether Light XT Insulated from Sea to Summit, in a long & wide size. Supportive, comfortable and it has 4 inches of thickness.
Shelters - I initially settled on the Tiger Wall UL2 from Big Agness. Great Tent but it's a tad too short for me. Get a "2-person" backpacking shelter, because it's really just a "1-Plus". While I'm keeping it, I found the Lightheart Gear "Duo" tent (on a used gear website), which is longer & wider.
Pack - I'm using an Atmos AG 50 from Osprey, size L. I tried on 4 other packs at REI before I settled on the Atmos. While it's not the most lightweight pack out there, it definitely fits me and rides well, had a good ventilated back area, and it can hold a decent amount of weight. That part is key - it's weight carrying capacity. Bigger folks like us needs slightly larger & heavier gear, so we have to accept a weight penalty. Still strive to have a lighter pack, but remember bigger folks just can't accept the most lightweight options out there.
Good luck & happy trails!
You know - honestly the best advise I got on Sleep systems came from guys! 🙂 I was told over and over to stay with a women's bag - they would "fit me better" and "they are insulated for a woman"- and that just wasn't true for me! I tried 4 women's bags to prove it to myself.
I didn't go the quilt route yet - I ended up with a Men's Wide/Tall Big Agnes for my trip. But I think next year when I have gear budget again I will probably go with a non traditional sleep system just to feel really comfortable while in the wilderness.
The weight difference bothered me at first - my cousin who is my hiking partner is small - slight build. And her gear and pack was much easier to find for her - and several pounds lighter. But after several months I came to the conclusion I could really enjoy my trip and have gear that really worked - or I could have the lighter pack - not both. And being comfortable and enjoying my trip won out. 🙂