Sleeping Bags- Down vs. Synthetic?

1_pointer

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I was at REI the other day looking at sleeping bags. What do you prefer and why? I like the warmth and weight of down, but like the fact that synthetic can get damp. Let me know your opinions on this. What brands and models do you use? I'm thinking a 20º bag would be more than warm enough if using clothes and maybe a fleece liner and could still be used when a little warmer.
 

ELKCHSR

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Nov 28, 2001
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Montana
Down is still the number one insulator for sleeping bags. But the inherent problem of them getting wet and beeing very bad then I think personally make them a bad candidate for real use. It is very easy to have a mistake turn into something that is very misserable. I would go with the synthetics. Also depending on the temps that you hunt or sleep in. It doesn't take much to stay warm on those september summer nights. If there is no way for the bag to get wet and you have the option to have a couple of bags and the temps are going to be very cold. I would then go with the down...
 

Calif. Hunter

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Dec 13, 2000
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La Palma, CA, USA
I go for the snthetics like Hollofil or Qualofil (?). I hate being cold, and there is always a chance the bag might get wet. I do use down jackets and vests, but I can always wear them under waterproof gear. With a sleeping bag, if you are packing it in, it can get wet. The tent can leak, I can sweat, my idiot friend can spill water on it... I can get a synthetic bag rated for as cold as I'm ever gonna get.
 

Oak

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Dec 23, 2000
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Colorado
If you plan to do any backpacking, I think you should get synthetic. You never know when your bag could get wet, and it'd suck to die just because you had a down bag! ;)

Also, I would suggest getting a somewhat lower rated bag. I have a North Face 20 degree bag, and I get cold if it gets down into the 30s. I'm kinda big (ok, I'm a lardass) and I hate having to wear extra clothes inside my bag. Those mummy bags are tight enough as it is.

Oak
 

Elkhunter

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Dec 20, 2000
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Jackson, Wyoming
I agree with Oak, get a colder rated bag. It is easier to let heat out than to get warm on a cold night.
I have never used a synthetic, only down so I can not help you with that.
 

ELKCHSR

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Nov 28, 2001
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I really agree with the other guys about getting on rated for much colder than you plan on playing in. I've got two. [they are very old but still work well] One light one for those warm summer nights and the other for the colder temps. The warm weather one can be gotten for cheap at walmart and the other can be the one you dump money into. I have gotten in the habit of putting one inside the other when it starts to get pretty chilly like it started to when I was out in november this last season chasing elk in the backcountry...
 

californiacoyotes

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Jan 7, 2001
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Northeast Arizona
i just got a sweet deal at REI this weekend!! i picked up a sierra designs lullaby bag regularly $135 for $51!! it was in with they're clearance bags and is a womens bag but that don't matter. hell of a deal and an excellent bag!!

cc
 

californiacoyotes

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Jan 7, 2001
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Northeast Arizona
i pointer check out ebay also. there are some pretty good deals there to. look under "sleeping bag". if you do find something you like though WAIT till the last day, for two reasons. first you can some what keep the bidding low. and second you'll have a better have chance to get what you are bidding for.

cc
 

HUNT2MUCH

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Jan 21, 2001
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121
Location
idaho
I spend alot of nights out in a year, and have several bags, I basically agree with what has been said, but you need to look hard at the conditions you will be using it in, the biggest mistake backpackers make is to hot of a bag, if your summer time campin you don,t need the extra weight the additional money etc, and a lighter bag can always be stuffed inside a old duck canvas bag for winter campin. if your only huntin weather camping then go for a better bag, for my summer bag I use a down bag, good for 30 deg it's carry weight is 2 1/2lbs it fits inside a gore tex bivy real well, for winter camping I use a Cabelas synthetic bag good to - 20 and I also sleep in a full fleece suit with toasty botties when needed, by throwin a couple of disposable hand warmers in a bag the temp can be raised considerably. if your real serious about spending the nights out, do not skimp on your bag and just as important your sleeping pad. your life just my depend on it.. h2m
 

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