- Nov 21, 2019 at 11:37 pm #3619872MattBPL Member
@mhrLocale: San Juan Mtns.
Can I list one factor favoring synthetic fill – the geese!Nov 22, 2019 at 12:33 am #3619880Buddy BBPL Member
Here is my answer. There is no “One Material (or Bag/Quilt/Tent/Sleeping pad) to Rule them All.” Down is good and synthetic is good. Which one is better? It depends where, when and how you plan to use your bag or quilt. If I was limited by cost restrictions I would purchase a 20 or 30 degree down sleeping bag and a 40 or 50 degree synthetic quilt.Nov 22, 2019 at 1:34 am #3619896Ross BleakneyBPL Member
I live in the Pacific Northwest, and was reluctant to go with down. Now I wouldn’t go back. Down will lose more warmth as it gets damp, but a synthetic weighing the same thing starts out much colder. That means that a down bag has to get quite damp before it falls behind the synthetic one. That isn’t likely to happen unless you somehow have an equipment failure (e. g. a moose rips your tent).
There are a number of companies that make high quality down bags (Western Mountaineering, Feathered Friends, etc.). My preference is for Montbell, because they have the “down hugger” style bags. These stretch, which I find extremely comfortable.
I think the toughest problem is figuring out how much insulation you need. It is tough to have one bag for every condition. Regardless or what you pick, I would aim for a sleeping pad with more warmth. For example, the regular XTherm weighs 3 ounces more than the regular XLite, but is considerably warmer.Nov 22, 2019 at 6:13 pm #3619989Katherine .BPL Member
Do you know the answer to the earlier question about the Down Hugger stitching. Is the “elastic” stitching about the thread material or the stitching technique? In other word, can you tell if there’s elastane in the threads themselves?Nov 22, 2019 at 7:18 pm #3620001Ross BleakneyBPL Member
Regarding the Down Hugger: It is both. They use a spiral technique to increase flex, and they also use elastic in the thread. I think they started with bags that just uses the spiral technique (and called them “spiral stretch” if memory serves). Then they added elastic and called them “super spiral stretch”. It was a bit confusing. Now they only sell bags that have both, and call them “down hugger” (e. g. https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=2321188).
Worth noting is that the bags have different fill weights as well as different fillings. It appears that you can only get 900 fill with #2 and #5. You can get 800 fill bags in #0, #1, #3 and “expedition”. For the person who started the thread, I would consider #1, #2 and #3. I have a #3 which I use for almost all of my trips now. It was the first bag I bought, but with my old NeoAir (a first generation that wasn’t that warm) I decided to get a #1 (a warmer bag). Once I got an upgraded NeoAir, I found that I really didn’t need the warmer bag, and I use the lighter one now. To be fair, I rarely go out in really cold weather. If so, I would probably use the warmer bag.
Personally, my upper half and feet are what get cold. Before I bought the heavier bag, I used to carry a pair of fleece socks that were a couple sizes too big, and put them on over my (dry) socks. Then I would sleep with that, along with a fleece hat and my sweater (which also has a hood). That gave me a lot of flexibility. Since I got the warmer pad and have gone back to using the lighter bag, I’ve found that I don’t need the socks, and rarely (if ever) need to sleep with my sweater on.Nov 24, 2019 at 2:14 am #3620219KarenBPL Member
This is an ancient thread! Betting the OP has an experienced opinion now. Bet no one else has changed their mind in the last 8 years!
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