Spot’s DIY Ultralight Dog Sleeping Bag #2

Our Jack Russells, Spot and Honey need new sleeping bags. The old ones, made hastily years ago from scraps of an old poor quality down sleeping bag were never very satisfactory – and were too heavy. I searched the net for designs but could not find a satisfactory one so I started from scratch myself.

Spot is looking pleased as he thinks I got his old bed out as we are going camping – which we are soon, after I have made their new beds, and a couple of other things!

After many models (which did not work), I finally came up with this design which does. The proportions are now good as the Tyvek prototype I made to check out the appropriate size was 2″ short and 1″ too narrow for supreme doggie comfort – though I think they would actually have snuggled down aright.

When I make the final one using the proportions in the diagram it will fit just right. On the left side is a drawing showing the dog (sort of) sleeping inside it.


The prototype was a little small – as you may see Honey is trying to tell me.

I bought some high quality 1 1/2″” thick insulation. I am using 1.3 oz/yd2 silnylon for the floor and 1 oz/yd 2 for the other pieces. Colour does not quite match, but all are a delightful green which I hope is to the dogs’ taste.

When they are pegged to the ground I am hopeful the dogs will be able to enter and exit them without assistance. I will obtain eight of the Terra Nova Titanium 1g Skewer Pegs to anchor them so teh whole arrangement s as light as I can make it for them. Of course I will also have to carry their 13 gram Tvvek dog coats in case of inclement weather.

All cut out and ready for sewing up. I have been working on renovations to the shearing shed over the last few days. Shearers now require a crane arrangement (Worksafe) which involved altering the head height of the shed, moving the shearing plant and completely re-arranging and rebuilding the catching pens. It should work better now (for years) at least. We shear tomorrow.

After which I hope to complete the dog beds. Then I need to make Della an Ultralight Chair too and an ultralight pack like my hunting pack. I also need to make her (and me) a pair of my 13 gram moccasins.

With any luck we will be able to have a walk in the High Country sometime soon if its not too, hot or a canoe trip if it is (and there is enough water). If not, there is always plenty of work to do around the farm!

The materials and pattern assembled ready to begin:

Inserting the insulation in the roof before sewing it shit.

Sewing the insulation into the side. When it is all sewn together you just turn it inside out.

The finished product. Silnylon on the floor so it can be pegged to wet ground.  It weighs just under 120 grams which is excellent. However,

It’s so close to being right. Honey quite likes it.

It turns out to be still too small. Damn! This is because of all the room that the insulation takes up which I had not accounted for. I need to make the pattern say 20% bigger, so just use the proportions given and then add 20%. This should be more than adequate. 10% might even do. I would be adding tie outs points at the ends of the two straight sections on either side so it can be pegged to the ground.

I may be able to unpick this one a bit and add a couple of flaps on either side to fit Honey – she is smaller. I realise that even though I have already cut the material for Spot’s I can add a little to one end and one side to make it bigger. There is enough material left over to do that. It will look a mess but it will work and save having to buy more material.

A pity not to have a perfect job, but when I’m finished I will know the exact proportions so that you can get yours right first time. I doubt anyone would mind carrying around 150 grams so that their Jack Russell will be warm and snug in their own little bag alongside of them in the tent of a night – well in the vestibule really. When it is pegged properly to the ground they should be able to get in and out by themselves as well.

I needed to start sewing the side in slightly to one side of the door opening then overlap it at the top. The bottom of the door way is just a flap. I discovered that the insulation really needs to be sewn in at least on the floor and the roof. I think a seam about an inch in from the edge would be good with a bit of quilting.

For small dogs like this just an ‘X’ would do. For larger dogs a bit of a cross-hatch would probably be better. If you don’t the insulation will move and bunch up. If you do it too much you will create too many cold spots for poor Spot!

See Also:

Tyvek Jack Russell (Rain) Coat: 13 grams

Ultralight Chair

13 gram moccasins

ultralight pack

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