Archives for September 2008

Primer on Sleeping bags

This post is about what kind of sleeping bag there are and what to consider before buying. The first question to ask yourself is what am I going to use the sleeping bag for most? Is it weekend hiking or long distance hiking? What weather am I going to be using the bag in most, cold or warm?

There are two overriding types of sleeping bags based on the materials of the sleeping bag. There are synthetic filled sleeping bags and there are down feather sleeping bags. The pros and cons of each will need to fill needs based on the answers to the previously posed questions.

 Synthetic Sleeping bags are heavier and bulkier than down sleeping bags. Synthetic Sleeping bags are less expensive than down sleeping bags. Synthetic Sleeping bags dry fast, down sleeping bags do not. Synthetic Sleeping bags keep the user warm even wet bag is wet, down bags don’t. Synthetic Sleeping bags provide a little cushion and insulation under the user, down bags do not.

Down Sleeping bags last longer than synthetic bags, 20-30 years is not uncommon life of down bags. Down Sleeping bags compress better than synthetic sleeping bags. Down Sleeping bags are lighter weight than synthetic sleeping bags.

What does it all mean? The question today is which fill to choose? The synthetic bags win in many ways and most of all the safety for wet weather is very important for most people. The down bags are the best for long distance hiking due to weight and size. It is a personal preference you must decide for yourself. 

We will address the other aspects of sleeping bags in a later post.


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