One Relentless Life

Relentless Forward Motion

Sleep System

Excluding food and water, your sleep system will be the majority of your weight and bulk while camping or bike packing. Because of this, there should be a lot of consideration in which items you use.

The largest item will be the tent. I really like the Eureka brand of tents. There are several reasons for this; size, cost and weight. I have spent a lot of time balancing these all out in my system.


My main tent when bikepacking is the Eureka Spitfire Solo. It has a very roomy foot print for a solo tent. I am over six foot and can stretch out fully inside with room to fold my clothes at my feet and have my back pack above my head. There is also enough head space to sit up and change with out struggling. It is a two part body and fly system with a nice vent at the top of the rain fly. I have used this tent from 20 degrees up to 100. Condensation has yet to be a problem. The few times that water has built up on the inside of the rain fly, it wasn’t much at all, and it hasn’t dripped through the bug netting. The waterproofing is top notch as well. I have over 50 nights in this tent and the only time I have had a problem with water penetration is a recent cold weather trip and I hadn’t reapplied the water proofing that wears out every so often.  I even had a night in the mountains where I had to bring all of my gear into the tent, excluding my actual bike, due to rain rushing down off the mountain side and under the tent a few inches deep and everything remained perfectly dry.


Numbers you want to hear about- Cost of the tent full price is $140 here. I replaced the steel tent stakes with aluminum ones  for under $15  and cut out a half pound of weight. This brings the tent down to 2.2 pounds.

Next up is my sleeping pad. I use a Nemo Ora 20R sleeping pad. Unfortunately, it looks like this model is no longer in production, but you can still find them around. This pad is rated down to 15 degrees. This is another item that I have over 50 nights of use on and have had no problems. It is dirty and stained but, there is not a single patch on it and it has never had a leak. I originally purchased a Big Agnes aircore pad that failed within the first few hours I slept on it. It was a freezing cold night with no ground insulation. I then got the Nemo with the consideration that if the pad were to lose air in the night, I would still have the insulation to keep me warm even if not fully comfortable.


Numbers you want to hear- Cost of the pad full price was $80 last time I saw it on Amazon. It packs down to 5 inches by 7 inches and weights 1.25 pounds.

Last is my sleeping bag. I have a Montbell Thermal Sheet Burrow bag. This bag is rated for a comfort rating of 50 degrees. I have used it down to 20 while wearing dry fit shorts, my Northface Thermoball Jacket and wool socks. It is very comfortable between 40-50 degrees for me when used with the sleeping pad. The bag has a spiral cut design that allows you to roll over comfortably and then removes excess air by spiraling back close to your body. There is no hood on this bag to save weight and bulk. Every one has a hat with them when they camp and bike pack anyway, and this also keeps moisture from being trapped in the bag. Good news, if the bag gets soaking wet, it is synthetic and will retain almost all, if not 100%, of its warmth.

Numbers you want to hear- The full price cost of the bag is $109. It packs down to 5.5 inches by 11 inches and weights 1.25 pounds

This brings the total full price cost of my sleep system to $344. The sleeping pad can be found for $10-15 off almost everyday and you can find the tent for between $100 and $115 most day with one quick Google search. The sleeping bag I have never found on sale. If you shop around you can get the whole set up for under $300 shipped to your door.

The weight of the tent is 2.2 pounds with the aluminum stakes, the pad is 1.25 pounds, and the bag is another 1.25 pounds. Giving you a full tent, pad and bag, that weights under 5 pounds.

Bonus- It all fits in an 8 liter bag. I put it in a 12 liter for ease of packing.

Additional note of interest- I do have a Borah Gear bivy sack coming which is the size of a softball and weights under 13 ounces. This will cut almost a pound and a half off my system. I will keep you updated on the system when it comes in.


  1. Great advice here, and I appreciate seeing what you’re using! I’ll definitely take this into consideration when it’s time for new gear!

    • mike

      March 28, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      I like to have a few solid pieces that are versatile. It is the old 80/20 rule. You get 80 percent of your value out of 20% of your gear. The other 20% value you get from the other 80% of the gear that sits around most of the time.

  2. I’ve never heard that before! It absolutely makes sense though. Versatility is probably my favorite virtue when it comes to a tool or a piece of gear. The more situations in which something is useful, the more I tend to like it. That’s why I try to be useful in as many situations as possible myself.

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