Thursday, July 21, 2022
HomeCampingDown vs. Artificial Sleeping Bag (Which is Higher?)

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

Prepared to purchase your first sleeping bag?

As with all different piece of drugs, it is best to positively do a little analysis earlier than choosing the most effective sleeping bag.

In any other case, your tenting journey may simply flip from a trip to a nightmare.

I’ve discovered that the arduous means.

Let’s simply say that I didn’t think about how properly a sure sort of insulation performs in moist climate earlier than going tenting throughout monsoon season.

Don’t repeat my mistake! That can assist you keep away from that, I’ll share with you every thing there may be to find out about each down and artificial sleeping luggage, with the intention to make an knowledgeable resolution.

Let’s dive straight in!

Down Sleeping Luggage

down sleeping bags

So what’s a down sleeping bag anyway?

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

What’s down fill?

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

Not like feather, down has no quills, and it’s extraordinarily nice and fluffy.

What makes down such a well-liked selection for the sleeping bag fill is its potential to insulate by trapping the air inside.

So long as it’s dry, down can present insulation in even the harshest climate situations (and given you have got the fitting temperature score, in fact).

Is down fill light-weight?

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

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

Usually, 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 relationship again to the 1600s.

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

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

For that cause, goose down is softer and hotter.

In fact, the eating regimen additionally has an impact on the chook’s down. Geese will eat something from lettuce or corn to worms and bugs.

And as a consequence of some fatty issues geese eat, their down may also comprise a excessive fats quantity, which may trigger a slight odor.

Geese, then again, normally feed on grass, so the odor of their down is much less noticeable.

Down is a meals byproduct

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

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

Now, the precise high quality distinction between the 2 forms of down shouldn’t be that distinguished.

Actually, most finances and mid-range fashions will characteristic duck down.

Goose down, then again, can usually be present in premium merchandise.

Benefits of Down Sleeping Luggage

Advantages of Down Sleeping Bags

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

Greater Heat-to-Weight Ratio

higher warm to weight ratio

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

And that’s the place down shines the most effective.

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

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



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

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

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

Now, although down has nice compressibility, you don’t wish to hold it stuffed for too lengthy.

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

Very Sturdy


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

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

Should you see a feather peaking out by the fabric, simply strive pushing it again in as an alternative of pulling it out.

Environmental Friendliness

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

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

Actually, 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)

But it surely’s not all roses with down. There are a number of considerations about utilizing this kind 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 crammed with the allergen.

One factor to remember although.

Despite the fact that you may expertise some form of allergic response to a down bag, that doesn’t essentially imply you’re allergic to feathers.

Normally, your allergy is attributable to mites discovered within the product.

One of the best ways 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 those who oppose the consumption of animal merchandise, that’s not a adequate cause to make use of down both.

The primary situation lies within the moral considerations associated to sourcing.

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

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

Then, there’s the difficulty 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 nowadays.

Moral down has to go the best animal welfare requirements and solely come from birds protected against live-plucking and force-feeding practices.

Poor Efficiency in Additional Moist Situations

poor performance in extra wet condition

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

Should you camp in an space with a moist local weather, having a down sleeping bag may not be the most suitable choice for you.


Over time, your down sleeping bag can retain odor should you don’t commonly sustain with upkeep.

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

Other than creating odor, seeped physique oils may even trigger the insulating potential of a down sleeping dangerous to say no.

Ultimate Ideas On Down Sleeping Luggage

A down sleeping bag is extraordinarily light-weight and compressible, which makes it a high 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 many years of use, which makes a down sleeping bag a worthy funding.

Nonetheless, not every thing is roses. A down sleeping bag loses its insulating potential when moist, which makes it an unsuitable possibility for tenting in moist situations.

Moreover, there are some actual considerations concerning the moral harvesting of down.

Artificial Sleeping Luggage

synthtic sleeping bag

Artificial sleeping luggage are typically fabricated 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 affords a great steadiness 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 Bags

So what makes artificial sleeping luggage so nice? Listed here are some great benefits of getting this kind of sleeping bag:


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

What makes them way more reasonably priced than down is the truth that their insulation is produced in a manufacturing facility, not harvested.

Good Efficiency in Moist Situations

good performance in wet condition

What makes artificial sleeping luggage such a well-liked possibility is their potential 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 received’t be an excessive amount of of an issue.

Extra Moral

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

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 number of hours at most.

A down different, then again, can keep moist for all the day. Should you’re tenting in a moist local weather, artificial is, fingers down, the most suitable 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 shouldn’t be with out faults.

Heavier and Bulkier

An artificial sleeping bag depends on retaining 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 shall 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 means a down sleeping bag does. This makes them considerably troublesome 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 preserve it commonly, their life will get even shorter.

Usually, you’ll be able to anticipate to see the indicators of breaking down inside 5 to seven years.

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

Ultimate Ideas On Artificial Sleeping Luggage

Artificial sleeping luggage are an awesome possibility should you’re first time tenting.

They’re fairly reasonably priced, that means you received’t need to spend an excessive amount of cash on one thing you don’t know should you’ll find yourself liking anyway.

Such a sleeping bag is nice should you’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 night time.

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

Down/Artificial Hybrid Blends

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

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

In fact, it’s unattainable to solely hold the nice and ditch the dangerous.

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

Typically, a hybrid sleeping bag is stuffed totally with a mix of each of those supplies.

Different instances, 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

Ultimate Ideas on Hybrid Blends

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

The truth, in fact, shouldn’t be that black and white. A hybrid sleeping bag affords a great center floor for any informal camper.

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

Down Fill and Insulation Defined

So, how does one know the way heat a specific down sleeping bag is?

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

What’s Down Fill Energy?

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 top-quality down merchandise, don’t look underneath 800.

The mathematics behind fill energy is easy.

A sleeping bag with a fill energy of 500, for example, doesn’t increase 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 score, 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 take into consideration – the amount of down.

So for example, which one do you assume it’s hotter? 500 grams of 450 fill down, or 250 grams of 700? Should 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 should you’re selecting between completely different down sleeping luggage, take each of those numbers into consideration.

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

That is one thing to take into consideration should you 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 consult with 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 somewhat easy. The upper the quantity, the hotter it’s.

Different Elements to Contemplate

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

Dimension/Form of the Bag

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

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

With an oblong sleeping bag, then again, there’s numerous room inside that’s crammed with 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 rating

It doesn’t matter whether or not your sleeping bag is crammed with down or artificial insulation, if it doesn’t have the fitting temperature score.

All the time be sure you’re utilizing a sleeping bag with a score that’s barely under 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 form of zippers it has. Steel may seem like a logical possibility, because it’s extraordinarily sturdy.

However two metallic zippers can truly overwhelm your sleeping bag by rather a lot. And in case you’re backpacking, each ounce issues.

As an alternative, go together with plastic or nylon zippers. They’re mild but in addition sturdy, and in case they break, they’re simply replaceable.


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

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

Usually, sleeping luggage with decrease temperature rankings shall be heavier. That is particularly obvious with artificial insulation.

And at last, 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 best for you?

Let’s make the choice simpler by evaluating them in several eventualities.

Frequent Tenting or Backpacking

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

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

Occasional Tenting

Should you go tenting no various instances a yr, then there’s no cause to spend tons of cash on one thing that can sit in your storage for many of the yr.

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

Chilly and Winter Climate

Should you’re out in excessive climate, staying heat is your high precedence. That’s why investing within the high-quality down sleeping bag must be your high precedence.

These fashions normally additionally characteristic 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. If you’re anticipating numerous 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 sort of state of affairs.


What’s the greatest sleeping bag insulation?

There’s no single greatest 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, then again, 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 way more troublesome to acquire in comparison with artificial, which is produced in a manufacturing facility.

Do down sleeping luggage odor?

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

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

Find out how to 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 normally options an agitator and this piece can injury your sleeping bag if it will get wrapped round it.
  2. Should you don’t personal a entrance loading machine, hand wash it.
  3. With down sleeping luggage, it’s at all times greatest to make use of a detergent specifically designated for laundry down. Common laundry detergent may cause right down to clump up, which can have an effect on its insulating potential.
  4. All the time unzip earlier than washing the sleeping bag. It will stop zippers from getting snagged.
  5. All the time wash a sleeping bag with heat water on a delicate 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 odor out of a sleeping bag?

Should you don’t dry your sleeping bag utterly earlier than packing it up, it would develop mould. And as you most likely know, mould doesn’t odor very good.

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

  1. What you must 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 mould 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 mould and depart it in solar for a number of hours.
  2. Take a dry fabric and brush the paste off.
  3. Then, dip a toothbrush into a number of drops of detergent and scrub the stain away.
  4. Then, take a moist fabric 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.

Go away the cotton balls contained in the sleeping bag for at least three hours to deodorize any remaining mould odor.

To Sum Issues Up

There you have got it, every thing there may be to find out about down and artificial sleeping luggage.

Each of them have their professionals and cons, so the most suitable choice shall be one thing that matches your scenario greatest.

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 may by no means have to purchase one other one.

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

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