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[cdt-l] synthetic versus down bags ...



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Hear! Hear! Mr. Patterson for a fabulous posting regarding the superiority of 
Down sleeping bags. This should be required reading for anyone considering 
backpacking. (I am convinced that, like that fleece stuff, synthetic bags get 
good press because of their profit margin.) 

For those who have heard the Uninformed whisper, "what if your bag gets wet," 
I says, "DON'T LET IT GET WET." It ain't that hard (see below). 

I reckon if you're allergic to down you may wish to consider the synthetic 
alternative. Otherwise, what, you think Old Lady Nature's gonna steer you 
wrong? 

Meese

In a message dated 1/8/01 12:46:55 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
wr_ddp@hotmail.com writes:


> As an advocate for "down" I'd like to add a few things. Over the years I 
> have owned around 10 sleeping bags. The first 7 were synthetic. I purchased 
> synthetic because that's what "everybody" recommended when I got into 
> backpacking back east. I have heard the arguments for both, but can clearly 
> state from experience that the first time you stuff a synthetic bag it 
> loses 
> loft from compression. After a couple weeks of use the synthetic bag 
> withers 
> into little more than a sheet.
> 
> On the other hand down is lighter and warmer due to it's loft to weight 
> ratio. For those who are paranoid of getting their bag wet there are some 
> precautions you can follow to prevent "wetting" your down. First, stow your 
> bag in a trash bag liner or waterproof, not water resistant, stuff sack. 
> Another option is to purchase a down bag with a micro-fiber shell or 
> equivalent. However I do not recommend Goretex due to condensation 
> problems. 
> Also, use a tent that ventilates if you are having condensation problems.
> 
> On the CDT it rained everyday non-stop for about 2 weeks from Glacier down 
> to Rogers Pass. Despite the rain and fords my down bag has never gotten wet 
> either from condensation or direct contact with precipitation. I slept 
> comfortably every night on the CDT with a 20 degree down bag. The trick 
> with 
> bag ratings is that you need to look at loft and ignore the "rating" 
> because 
> there is no universal sleeping bag rating system, or at least there wasn't 
> the last time I checked. This means that one company's 20 degree is 
> anothers 
> 45 degree. The loft is what's important and the ability to continually 
> re-loft is even more important. Therefore I suggest you find the highest 
> quality down possible.
> 
> Another tip with down is to use a bag-liner. A liner prevents sweat and 
> body 
> oils from compressing the down which affects its lofing ability.
> 
> IMO, down is less expensive due to its longevity and lighter and warmer 
> than 
> any synthetic product on the market.
> 
> YMMV,
> 
> David Patterson
> 



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<HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT  SIZE=2>Hear! Hear! Mr. Patterson for a fabulous posting regarding the superiority of <BR>Down sleeping bags. This should be required reading for anyone considering <BR>backpacking. (I am convinced that, like that fleece stuff, synthetic bags get <BR>good press because of their profit margin.) 
<BR>
<BR>For those who have heard the Uninformed whisper, "what if your bag gets wet," <BR>I says, "DON'T LET IT GET WET." It ain't that hard (see below). 
<BR>
<BR>I reckon if you're allergic to down you may wish to consider the synthetic <BR>alternative. Otherwise, what, you think Old Lady Nature's gonna steer you <BR>wrong? 
<BR>
<BR>Meese
<BR>
<BR>In a message dated 1/8/01 12:46:55 PM Eastern Standard Time, <BR>wr_ddp@hotmail.com writes:
<BR>
<BR>
<BR><BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE style="BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px">As an advocate for "down" I'd like to add a few things. Over the years I 
<BR>have owned around 10 sleeping bags. The first 7 were synthetic. I purchased 
<BR>synthetic because that's what "everybody" recommended when I got into 
<BR>backpacking back east. I have heard the arguments for both, but can clearly 
<BR>state from experience that the first time you stuff a synthetic bag it <BR>loses 
<BR>loft from compression. After a couple weeks of use the synthetic bag <BR>withers 
<BR>into little more than a sheet.
<BR>
<BR>On the other hand down is lighter and warmer due to it's loft to weight 
<BR>ratio. For those who are paranoid of getting their bag wet there are some 
<BR>precautions you can follow to prevent "wetting" your down. First, stow your 
<BR>bag in a trash bag liner or waterproof, not water resistant, stuff sack. 
<BR>Another option is to purchase a down bag with a micro-fiber shell or 
<BR>equivalent. However I do not recommend Goretex due to condensation <BR>problems. 
<BR>Also, use a tent that ventilates if you are having condensation problems.
<BR>
<BR>On the CDT it rained everyday non-stop for about 2 weeks from Glacier down 
<BR>to Rogers Pass. Despite the rain and fords my down bag has never gotten wet 
<BR>either from condensation or direct contact with precipitation. I slept 
<BR>comfortably every night on the CDT with a 20 degree down bag. The trick <BR>with 
<BR>bag ratings is that you need to look at loft and ignore the "rating" <BR>because 
<BR>there is no universal sleeping bag rating system, or at least there wasn't 
<BR>the last time I checked. This means that one company's 20 degree is <BR>anothers 
<BR>45 degree. The loft is what's important and the ability to continually 
<BR>re-loft is even more important. Therefore I suggest you find the highest 
<BR>quality down possible.
<BR>
<BR>Another tip with down is to use a bag-liner. A liner prevents sweat and <BR>body 
<BR>oils from compressing the down which affects its lofing ability.
<BR>
<BR>IMO, down is less expensive due to its longevity and lighter and warmer <BR>than 
<BR>any synthetic product on the market.
<BR>
<BR>YMMV,
<BR>
<BR>David Patterson
<BR></BLOCKQUOTE>
<BR>
<BR></FONT></HTML>

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