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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Down vs. Artificial Sleeping Bag (Which is Higher?)

Prepared to purchase a brand new sleeping bag? There’s a lot to contemplate, however principally it comes right down to down or artificial and mummy vs rectangular. 

As with all different piece of substances, it is best to perform some research earlier than selecting the very best sleeping bag.

With regards to down vs artificial, there’s a lot to contemplate. That will help you make an knowledgeable choice we’ve put collectively this fast comparability:

Learn on to be taught extra about every possibility!

Down Sleeping Luggage

down sleeping bagsdown sleeping bags

So what’s a down sleeping bag anyway?

Properly, let’s begin by saying what down isn’t. Lots of people imagine {that a} down sleeping bag is full of chicken feathers, however that’s only a false impression.

What’s down fill?

Down is definitely the gentle layer of plumage that’s sitting closest to the pores and skin of the chicken, beneath the outside feathers, primarily within the chest space.

In contrast to feather, down has no quills, and it’s extraordinarily positive and fluffy.

What makes down such a preferred selection for the sleeping bag fill is its capacity to insulate by trapping the air inside.

So long as it’s dry, down can present insulation in even the harshest climate circumstances (and given you may have the appropriate temperature ranking, after all).

Is down fill light-weight?

We don’t use the phrase “featherweight” to explain one thing extraordinarily mild for no motive.

A down sleeping bag is a good possibility for backpackers and thru-hikers, because it doesn’t sluggish you down.

Typically, a down sleeping bag weighs between one and two kilos.

The historical past of down insulation

Down has been used as an insulator for hundreds of years, with some written sources courting again to the 1600s.

Again within the day, it was collected by numerous wildfowl species, in addition to gulls and related seabirds. At this time, both duck or goose down is used.

Between the 2, the goose is a a lot bigger chicken, and the proportions apply within the case of its down clusters as properly.

For that motive, goose down is softer and hotter.

After all, the food plan additionally has an impact on the chicken’s down. Geese will eat something from lettuce or corn to worms and bugs.

And on account of some fatty issues geese eat, their down can even include a excessive fats quantity, which may trigger a slight odor.

Geese, however, often feed on grass, so the scent of their down is much less noticeable.

Down is a meals byproduct

What which means is that it’s collected from birds used for meals.

And since duck is extra generally used for that function in comparison with goose, duck down is a extra economical possibility.

Now, the precise high quality distinction between the 2 sorts of down isn’t that outstanding.

In reality, most price range and mid-range fashions will function duck down.

Goose down, however, can usually be present in premium merchandise.

Benefits of Down Sleeping Luggage

Advantages of Down Sleeping BagsAdvantages of Down Sleeping Bags

So what makes down so nice? These are all the advantages of this sort of insulation:

Larger Heat-to-Weight Ratio

higher warm to weight ratiohigher warm to weight ratio

The heat-to-weight ratio is the measurement used to judge the effectiveness of insulation in relation to climate circumstances.

And that’s the place down shines the very best.

Down is extraordinarily light-weight and options positive, branched filaments that entice air in between.

That manner, it manages to insulate properly with out weighing a lot.



The fantastic thing about down lies in the truth that it’s extremely compressible.

Its insulating capacity depends on the air trapped inside, however you’ll be able to take that air out when its time for packing.

In reality, a down sleeping bag pack down fairly compact, which makes it nice for backpacking.

Now, despite the fact that down has nice compressibility, you don’t need to hold it stuffed for too lengthy.

If you’re not on the path, your down sleeping bag ought to be packed into a way more comfy bag that permits the loft to broaden.

Very Sturdy


Down is extraordinarily sturdy. If taken correct care of, a down sleeping bag is one thing you’ll be able to move right down to your youngsters.

With that being stated, understand that a down bag can leak over time.

In the event you see a feather peaking out by way of the fabric, simply strive pushing it again in as a substitute of pulling it out.

Environmental Friendliness

As we already talked about, down is a byproduct of the meals business. If not collected, it’ll simply find yourself in a landfill.

However that’s not the one motive why down is a sustainable product.

In reality, in comparison with polyester, down has as much as 97% decrease impression on the ecosystem and local weather change.

That’s as a result of it’s made with pure fibers that break down utterly and doesn’t pollute the planet.

Disadvantages of Down Sleeping Luggage

disadvantages of Down Sleeping Bags (1)disadvantages of Down Sleeping Bags (1)

Nevertheless it’s not all roses with down. There are a couple of issues about utilizing this sort of insulating materials, together with:

Allergy symptoms


Though it’s actually uncommon, an individual may be allergic to down or feather.

If that’s the case with you, the very last thing you want is to sleep in a sleeping bag full of the allergen.

One factor to bear in mind although.

Although you would possibly expertise some sort of allergic response to a down bag, that doesn’t essentially imply you’re allergic to feathers.

Normally, your allergy is brought on by mites discovered within the product.

The easiest way to make sure whether or not you’re allergic to down or not is to do a pores and skin check in a lab.


Simply because it’s a byproduct, that doesn’t imply that down is moral materials.

For people who oppose the consumption of animal merchandise, that’s not a adequate motive to make use of down both.

The primary problem lies within the moral issues associated to sourcing.

Sadly, there have been an enormous variety of scandals lately associated to animal remedy within the meals business.

Dwell-plucking, which mainly includes ripping the feathers off of stay birds, is the primary concern relating to down.

Then, there’s the problem of force-feeding, which leads to enlarged livers – the primary ingredient within the dish known as Foie gras.

Fortunately, there are methods down may be ethically sourced as of late.

Moral down has to move the very best animal welfare requirements and solely come from birds shielded from live-plucking and force-feeding practices.

Poor Efficiency in Further Moist Situations

poor performance in extra wet conditionpoor performance in extra wet condition

Down offers nice insulation – however solely when dry. As quickly because it will get moist, it loses all its capacity to maintain you heat.

In the event you camp in an space with a moist local weather, having a down sleeping bag may not be the best choice for you.


Over time, your down sleeping bag can retain odor for those who don’t usually sustain with upkeep.

This often occurs as a result of physique oils seep into the fabric, inflicting it to clump up from extra dampness.

Except for creating odor, seeped physique oils will even trigger the insulating capacity of a down sleeping unhealthy to say no.

Closing Ideas On Down Sleeping Luggage

A down sleeping bag is extraordinarily light-weight and compressible, which makes it a prime possibility for backpackers and thru-hikers.

If taken correct care of, a down sleeping bag can final you a really very long time. We’re speaking a long time of use, which makes a down sleeping bag a worthy funding.

Nonetheless, not the whole lot is roses. A down sleeping bag loses its insulating capacity when moist, which makes it an unsuitable possibility for tenting in moist circumstances.

Moreover, there are some actual issues relating to the moral harvesting of down.

Artificial Sleeping Luggage

synthtic sleeping bagsynthtic sleeping bag

Artificial sleeping luggage are typically made from quick strands of polyester fibers, densely packed to stop dropping warmth.

Thick steady filament makes an artificial sleeping bag barely stiffer than down, however this additionally means they don’t create chilly spots.

An artificial sleeping bag provides stability of weight, insulation and sturdiness.

Additionally they are available in all value ranges, so there’s a product for everybody’s pockets.

Benefits of Artificial Sleeping Luggage

Advantages of Synthetic Sleeping BagsAdvantages of Synthetic Sleeping Bags

So what makes artificial sleeping luggage so nice? Listed here are the benefits of getting this sort of sleeping bag:


In comparison with down, artificial sleeping luggage don’t have to interrupt your financial institution.

What makes them rather more inexpensive than down is the truth that their insulation is produced in a manufacturing unit, not harvested.

Good Efficiency in Moist Situations

good performance in wet conditiongood performance in wet condition

What makes artificial sleeping luggage such a preferred possibility is their capacity to retain insulating high quality even when moist.

Now clearly, that doesn’t imply {that a} sleeping bag soaked in water will hold you heat and dry. However a slight drizzle gained’t be an excessive amount of of an issue.

Extra Moral

We’ve already talked about moral points with harvesting down. Properly, that’s not the case with artificial, because it’s created in a manufacturing unit.

No animals had been engaged within the product-making course of, from begin to end.

Artificial Luggage Additionally Dry A lot Faster than Down Ones

As soon as it stops raining, your artificial sleeping bag will dry inside a couple of hours at most.

A down different, however, can keep moist for all the day. In the event you’re tenting in a moist local weather, artificial is, arms down, the best choice.


Because it’s man-made, artificial fiber is designed by mixing supplies that may’t trigger an allergic response.

This makes it an appropriate possibility for everybody, no matter their well being situation.

Disadvantages of Artificial Sleeping Luggage

You guessed it – an artificial sleeping bag isn’t with out faults.

Heavier and Bulkier

An artificial sleeping bag depends on conserving the fibers compact to entice warmth inside. However extra fiber additionally means extra weight.

When evaluating a down and an artificial sleeping bag with the identical heat ratio, the latter will likely be a lot bulkier and heavier.

Much less Compressible

Artificial sleeping luggage aren’t splendid for backpacking and thru-hiking as they don’t pack very compactly.

Dense fibers don’t permit it to compress the identical manner a down sleeping bag does. This makes them considerably tough to place again right into a sack.

Much less Sturdy than Down

Sadly, artificial fibers merely aren’t constructed to final. And in case you don’t keep it usually, their life will get even shorter.

Typically, you’ll be able to count on to see the indicators of breaking down inside 5 to seven years.

In comparison with a down sleeping bag, that’s about 4 occasions shorter.

Closing Ideas On Artificial Sleeping Luggage

Artificial sleeping luggage are an ideal possibility for those who’re first time tenting.

They’re fairly inexpensive, that means you gained’t need to spend an excessive amount of cash on one thing you don’t know for those who’ll find yourself liking anyway.

One of these sleeping bag is nice for those who’re tenting in moist climate, because it retains insulation even when moist.

Moreover, it dries down comparatively quick, so will probably be prepared for the evening.

Lastly, an artificial bag is nice whenever you’re automobile tenting and never excited about reducing down weight.

Down/Artificial Hybrid Blends

As we’ve seen, neither down nor artificial sleeping bag is ideal. Properly, why not get a little bit of each as a substitute?

Some manufacturers use a combination of each artificial and right down to create a sleeping bag that’s light-weight but inexpensive.

After all, it’s unimaginable to solely hold the great and ditch the unhealthy.

However by mixing these two sorts of insulation collectively can restrict the disadvantages by a big margin.

Generally, a hybrid sleeping bag is stuffed totally with a mixture of each of those supplies.

Different occasions, it’s insulated with down across the head space, whereas the underside is totally artificial.


  • Weighs lower than artificial
  • Comparatively compressible
  • Does present some water-resistance
  • Prices lower than down


  • A bit bulkier than a down sleeping bag
  • Not as waterproof as artificial
  • Prices greater than an artificial sleeping bag

Closing Ideas on Hybrid Blends

If a hybrid sleeping bag may retain solely the benefits of every of those insulating supplies whereas negating their disadvantages, it will be the right product.

The fact, after all, isn’t that black and white. A hybrid sleeping bag provides center floor for any informal camper.

So long as you’re not touring lengthy distances on foot and in moist climate, try to be positive with this sort of bag.

Down Fill and Insulation Defined

So, how does one understand how heat a selected down sleeping bag is?

In case you haven’t observed, every product options fill energy. This quantity is often used to point the standard of down.

What’s Down Fill Energy?

down explained (1)down explained (1)

Fill energy exhibits the quantity of house an oz of down can fill, indicated in cubic inches.

To show fill energy, we use numbers starting from 300 to above 900. For prime-quality down merchandise, don’t look below 800.

The mathematics behind fill energy is straightforward.

A sleeping bag with a fill energy of 500, as an illustration, doesn’t broaden as a lot to entice air between its filaments as a mannequin with a fill energy of 800 does.

Nonetheless, simply because a sleeping bag has a better fill ranking, that doesn’t at all times need to imply it’s hotter.

That’s as a result of there’s one other quantity we’ve to have in mind – the amount of down.

So as an illustration, which one do you suppose it’s hotter? 500 grams of 450 fill down, or 250 grams of 700? In the event you answered the primary possibility, you bought it proper.

With that being stated, the extra fill a sleeping bag has, the much less compressible it turns into. It is sensible, as there’s much less air inside to take away when packing.

So for those who’re selecting between totally different down sleeping luggage, take each of those numbers into consideration.

However typically, a sleeping bag with decrease fill energy will likely be heavier and fewer compressible than the one with a better quantity.

That is one thing to have in mind for those who plan on touring lengthy distances.

Can You Evaluate Fill Energy to Artificial Fill?

Whereas down insulation is measured in fill energy, we use grams per sq. meter to seek advice from artificial fill.

However these two numbers can’t be in contrast as a result of they don’t present the identical factor.

As we already established, down fill energy exhibits the quantity of insulation. However with artificial, we measure its thickness.

As a result of artificial fibers are densely packed collectively, the thicker the insulation, the higher it retains heat.

Evaluating two artificial sleeping luggage is fairly easy. The upper the quantity, the hotter it’s.

Different Elements to Contemplate

There are a couple of different issues it is best to take note of when selecting a sleeping bag.

Measurement/Form of the Bag

No matter what kind of insulation you go for, the identical factor stands – much less empty house contained in the bag means it’s hotter.

A mummy model sleeping bag sits snugly round your physique, so it’s nice for chilly climate.

With an oblong sleeping bag, however, there’s a number of room inside that’s full of air.

And with a lot room to wiggle round, there’s a lot room to fill with heat.

Learn: Mummy Vs Rectangular Sleeping Bag

Temperature Ranking

temprature ratingtemprature rating

It doesn’t matter whether or not your sleeping bag is full of down or artificial insulation if it doesn’t have the appropriate temperature ranking.

All the time ensure you’re utilizing a sleeping bag with a ranking that’s barely beneath the one you’d be experiencing in your tenting journey.

You shouldn’t go too low, or else you’ll be too sizzling to sleep in that sleeping bag. Waking up in a puddle of sweat is rarely comfy.


When selecting a sleeping bag, take note of the sort of zippers it has. Metallic would possibly appear as if a logical possibility, because it’s extraordinarily sturdy.

However two metallic zippers can really crush your sleeping bag by quite a bit. And in case you’re backpacking, each ounce issues.

As a substitute, go along with plastic or nylon zippers. They’re mild but additionally sturdy, and in case they break, they’re simply replaceable.


After all, all of those traits above add as much as the general weight of your sleeping bag.

A mummy model sleeping bag has much less materials, that means it weighs much less.

Typically, sleeping luggage with decrease temperature scores will likely be heavier. That is particularly obvious with artificial insulation.

And eventually, the fabric selection of zippers additionally weighs down a sleeping bag.

Down vs. Artificial Comparability Desk – Which One to Select

Nonetheless uncertain which one is healthier for you?

Let’s make the choice simpler by evaluating them in numerous situations.

Frequent Tenting or Backpacking

In the event you usually spend your free outing within the wild, it’s value investing in sturdy tenting gear. In that case, a down sleeping bag is an ideal possibility for you.

You’ll additionally be capable to carry that sleeping bag onto an occasional backpacking journey, because it’s so mild and simply suits into your backpack.

Occasional Tenting

In the event you go tenting no various occasions a 12 months, then there’s no motive to spend tons of cash on one thing that can sit in your storage for many of the 12 months.

An artificial sleeping bag is a fairly versatile possibility, as you should use it in each moist and dry climate.

Chilly and Winter Climate

In the event you’re out in excessive climate, staying heat is your prime precedence. That’s why investing within the high-quality down sleeping bag ought to be your prime precedence.

These fashions often additionally function a waterproof shell to stop getting soaked from a little bit of snow.

Wet or Humid Climate

Tenting in wet climate is one other story. In case you are anticipating a number of rain or humidity, then artificial is the best way to go.

Down turns into ineffective when moist, and takes a very long time to dry, so it’s not splendid for that kind of situation.

LearnHow To Select A Sleeping Bag: Your Information to Cozy Outside Slumber


What’s the finest sleeping bag insulation?

There’s no single finest insulation, as they each have their professionals and cons. If we’re speaking about packability, then down wins by a big margin.

However an artificial sleeping bag is a extra common possibility.

Which lasts longer down or artificial?

With correct and common upkeep, a down sleeping bag can final you for many years.

Artificial insulation, however, breaks down over time. Normally, their lifespan is from 5 to seven years.

Why is down costly?

Down is harvested from stay animals, so it’s rather more tough to acquire in comparison with artificial, which is produced in a manufacturing unit.

Do down sleeping luggage scent?

Typically, properly maintained down sleeping bag ought to have an odor.

Nonetheless, for those who don’t take correct care of it, down can rot, making a chemical scent. Plus, this may launch sure chemical compounds that may be dangerous to your well being.

wash sleeping luggage (artificial and down)?

First issues first, at all times verify the label for cleansing directions. However typically, you’re secure to observe these steps.

  1. All the time use a front-loading washer. A top-loading machine often options an agitator and this piece can injury your sleeping bag if it will get wrapped round it.
  2. In the event you don’t personal a entrance loading machine, hand wash it.
  3. With down sleeping luggage, it’s at all times finest to make use of a detergent specifically designated for laundry down. Common laundry detergent could cause right down to clump up, which can have an effect on its insulating capacity.
  4. All the time unzip earlier than washing the sleeping bag. This may forestall zippers from getting snagged.
  5. All the time wash a sleeping bag with heat water on a mild cycle.
  6. Rinse it twice to get any detergent residue out of the fibers.

Your bag ought to really feel densely clumped after that. If it seems to be spongy, repeat the rinse cycle.

How do you get the musty scent out of a sleeping bag?

In the event you don’t dry your sleeping bag utterly earlier than packing it up, it’d develop mildew. And as you most likely know, mildew doesn’t scent very good.

Fortunately, there’s a technique to do away with the scent at residence:

  1. What you’ll want to do first is unzip the sleeping bag utterly to let the air inside.
  2. Deodorize the bag and depart it within the solar for a number of hours.

This could kill any mildew spores contained in the insulation.

In case of moldy stains, a combination of lemon juice and salt can simply repair that.

  1. Add about ¼ cup of every ingredient and blend till it turns right into a paste. Unfold it onto the mildew and depart it in solar for a number of hours.
  2. Take a dry material and brush the paste off.
  3. Then, dip a toothbrush into a couple of drops of detergent and scrub the stain away.
  4. Then, take a moist material and clear any residue.
  5. Moisten two cotton balls with one to 2 drops of vanilla extract every.
  6. Place one cotton ball contained in the foot of the sleeping bag and the opposite one inside the middle space.

Depart the cotton balls contained in the sleeping bag for at least three hours to deodorize any remaining mildew scent.

To Sum Issues Up

There you may have it, the whole lot there may be to learn about down and artificial sleeping luggage.

Each of them have their professionals and cons, so the best choice will likely be one thing that matches your scenario finest.

A down sleeping bag is mild and compressible, so it’s nice for tenting journeys the place packability issues.

It’s comparatively costly, however with correct care, you would possibly by no means have to purchase one other one.

An artificial sleeping bag is an total good possibility for informal journeys. It really works properly in each moist and dry climate and it’s comparatively inexpensive.

Extra On Sleeping Luggage

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