Sleeping Bags Down Or Synthetic

Like many outdoor items, sleeping bags are 99% have a down or synthetic insulation. Each with its advantages and disadvantages, simply target the use you make of your sleeping bag to determine the type of insulation that best suits your needs.

Down Insulation

There are obviously different insulating qualities of down. You may have noticed the numbers that follow the words down: 550, 600, 650 … 800. This corresponds to the down swelling capacity; the higher the number, the higher it is quality.

By cons, the figure does not correspond to the heat that provide insulation, rather it depends on the amount of fluff inserted into the sleeping bag.

Thus, for 1 gram insulation, down 800 will be hotter than 550 fill down.

Please note that it is quite normal to see fibers escape from the sleeping bag; this is not a sign of a manufacturing defect nor a sign of inferior quality, the warmth of your sleeping bag will not be affected. The most important is not to pull on the fiber, but rather to try to place it inside. It’s the same technique that should be used if your down coat loses its feathers .

Based on topbbacolleges, the advantages of down sleeping bags are mainly lightness and compressibility. It is therefore ideal for expeditions. Despite the water-resistant coatings applied to the insulation, moisture can still affect the thermal capacity of down, so it is especially appreciated for fresh and dry environments.

In brief: lightweight, compressible, warm, durable, less effective in high humidity and very comfortable.

Synthetic Insulation

Synthetic insulations are usually sleeping bags heavier and less compressible. However, they are ideal for high humidity since they retain their heat capacity. The possible arrival on milkweed market promises much in the field of synthetic insulation. It is ideal for very wet areas or for casual campers have access to a car since the compressibility and weight are then less of a factor.

In brief: inexpensive, heavier, less compressible, retains its thermal capacity when wet, not allergen.

Choosing Down Sleeping Bag

Down is the element that will keep you warm on cold and rainy nights in the green. If you want to avoid spending your night shivering in the fetal position trying to warm up, it is advisable not to choose her down lightly. Out today there are dozens of features on down, shape, volume, composition … Here we will attempt to guide you in choosing your sleeping bag so you can spend nights comfortable.


Down Sleeping Bag Temperatures


Overall a well-studied down with a good comfort of use especially in connection with the swelling and the quality of interior fabrics.

The ability to open the bottom of the zip allows versatile use by temperatures above 5 ° C to + 10 ° C opening downwards and leaving enough open up.

The relative width of the down allows use by temperatures below -4 ° C with a jacket or more thinner layers.


Valandre Mirage Sleeping Bag

Test conditions:

  • Test Location: Sahara; Alps (Belledonne Bauges, Chartreuse)
  • Number of nights: 20 to 30 nights
  • Accommodation: beautiful star; winter refuge; tent
  • Bivouac conditions: extremely varied, from the seafront in Mauritania in the desert through two nights in winter refuge and three nights camping
  • Conditions: Dry weather
  • Clothing: Never more than one thermal underwear on the upper body
  • found T ° min: 0 to 10 ° C


How to Maintain a Sleeping Bag

By doing so, you will damage not closing and you store your bag in a different way each time.

  1. Storage

If you keep it permanently compressed, it will deteriorate the lining and bag inflating therefore lose heat so … Store your uncompressed bag in a large airy mesh (mesh or cotton) in a dry place. The best thing would be to store it flat, but it takes up space. Avoid hang not that the packing settles on itself, whether down or synthetic.