First off, I'd like to thank everyone who responded to my previous post regarding the purchase of a new bag and what I should get.
I ended up purchasing Mont-Bell Down Hugger 800 #1, which is rated at a 15 degree bag. I was having a tough time justifying that kind of money, but I happen to find a brand new long version on ebay, out of Japan. It was half the cost so I took a gamble and ordered it. Amazingly it arrived the day before i was leaving for my early season controlled buck tag. I couldn't have been happier. Right out of the gate I could tell this was a quality built bag. It's super light weight and compresses well. I'd still like to get a compression sack to shrink the footprint a bit more. So i ripped the package open and jumped in it right there in the living room as i was sorting through all my other gear. I was going on a 3 day backpacking trip and weight is always a concern. I am a pretty big guy at 6'1" and 240lbs. i have very wide shoulders so mummy bags and me have always disagreed. Not to mention i am a very restless sleeper and toss and turn all night. The first thing i noticed was how tight the bag is when you get in. It wasnt bad, but a little constricting. BUT, the angle that the baffles are sewn and the 4 way stretch stitching makes the "tightness" null and void. i was amazed how this bag moves with your every turn. it was amazing! the constricted feeling immediately goes away once you realize you can sleep in virtually any position inside the bag. the tight hood was also a plus. it conforms to your head with virtually no slack, which is a plus for those cold nights. we had one chilly night on the hill but i did not notice one bit. in fact, the other two nights i was in and out of the bag because i was so warm. i can't wait to test it in some cooler weather and but the degree rating to the test.
i used this bag in conjunction with the Big Agness Q Core pad I got last year. This is their 25" wide version. All the Q Core's are insulated pads as well. At 4" thick, they are a dream. You do not bottom out at all and feel the hard ground below. the combination of this bag and pad was an absolute dream. I literally slept like a baby every night. so much so that i did not hear the pack of wolves howling and yipping around us on night two, which my buddy said were no more than 100yds away!! The pad packs away in a very small case and weight it minimal. I do want to see how well the insulated pad stays inflated in cool weather though.
So i'm going to give both of these items a five star review. i honestly could not be happier with both of these. Paired together, they make a great sleep system. I will note that we were at 8,000' elevation and i was not using a tent. just bare dirt below and stars above. the kuiu icon pro 3200 performed well too. for three days, it was a little small. i'd like to go with a larger bag for future trips.
if you are in the market for a new bag or pad, DO NOT hesitate to purchase either of these. quality built, great performance and lightweight.