My bag is getting old and not as warm as it once was. I wear merino long johns when the temps are down, along with a watch cap and heavy socks. Those add a good 10 degrees onto the otherwise marginal warm weather bag.
You cannot hope too much or dare too much. - R.W. Emerson
I wear a pair of long johns and a lightweight watch cap, but I think it's the cap that adds the most to my warmth and comfort, although I'd be pressed to say just how many degrees. I don't have to close the bag up tight unless it's below freezing.
Another means of extending the temperature coping skills of the bag is sleep with a soft fleece or sweater inside the bag on top of your chest, increases loft and acts as an extra baffle to prevent warm air from escaping (without the degree of claustrophobia achieved by cinching down the baffle).
Fortunately most lunatics don't have the vigor of Charles Manson.
I think you are close. I always thought long johns and socks just got the bag back to the rating it is supposed to be. A stocking cap and down booties go along way as well. The pads do make a huge difference for sure.
"With an ax, you can build a life. With a stove, you can boil water. That is if nothing breaks and you don't run out of fuel." -Samuel Hearne
i only ask because the marmot i just bought has a 31 EN rating and im sure ill be seeing low to mid 20's sometime again. i figured if i went with a 15 id be sweating if it was a warmer night, not good.
If I want to stretch my bag rating I bring something like a Montbell Thermawrap jacket and pants or Patagonia Nano or Micropuff jacket and Micropuff pants. That should get you 10 degrees. There should be a lot of threads devoted to this at Backpacking light.
I am bringing a 40F down bag to AK this summer and plan on having a synthetic layer in case the temps drop.
I think fleece would work fine as well I just don't bring it very often.
quote kanoes: "i only ask because the marmot i just bought has a 31 EN rating and im sure ill be seeing low to mid 20's sometime again. i figured if i went with a 15 id be sweating if it was a warmer night, not good."
No of course sweating is not good. It sounds like the Marmot you just got is going to suit you for most of your needs and there will be the odd "too cold " trip.
I suspect you already have a hat. Have you considered a silk liner?
I am actually pretty happy with my Thermolite liner and its about the same price as good merino wool underwear though as I said the twenty five degrees is a pipe dream. I have the Extreme.. There are other models.
quote Beaverjack: "My bag is getting old and not as warm as it once was. I wear merino long johns when the temps are down, along with a watch cap and heavy socks. Those add a good 10 degrees onto the otherwise marginal warm weather bag."
This is my standard sleeping gear for colder weather. Also helps when nature calls.