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#87662 - 01/21/08 02:14 PM Which is better?
aceatc Offline
member

Registered: 07/24/07
Posts: 109
Loc: WA, auburn
A synthetic sleeping bag rated to -20F
or
A Goose-down sleeping bag with 650-fill rated to 35F


I'm trying to get a warmer bag, but I'm not sure which kind of bag would be warmer. A synthetic rated to low temps. or a down rated to not so low temps.

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#87663 - 01/21/08 02:17 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: aceatc]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
Car camping or backpacking? A -20 synthetic bag would be heavy and big for anything but car camping.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#87664 - 01/21/08 02:22 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: Dryer]
aceatc Offline
member

Registered: 07/24/07
Posts: 109
Loc: WA, auburn
Backpacking. Right now I use a Zero degree synthetic bag and it's the so tiny it's amazing, but the amount of warmth it provides is well... like nothing ah ha ha. I don't think the -20 would be that bad in size, I just wonder about warmth.

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#87665 - 01/21/08 02:29 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: aceatc]
retrotramp Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Christchurch, New Zealand
It depends on how warm you need the bag be. Why not a down bag rated to -20??? I agree, a true minus 20 synthetic bag would be huge and heavy. If it's NOT huge and heavy then I wouldn't believe the temp rating.

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#87666 - 01/21/08 02:35 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: retrotramp]
aceatc Offline
member

Registered: 07/24/07
Posts: 109
Loc: WA, auburn
I was just wondering which bag is warmer... I should have said warmer and not better.

-20 down bag! I don't even wanna see that price tag!

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#87667 - 01/21/08 02:38 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: aceatc]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
In general, rating is rating. Warmth is mainly a function of loft. And loft can be achieved by down or a synthetic material. Yes, it's not entirely that simple and the minutiae have been discussed in other threads but that's the gist of it.

So....if you want only more warmth and nothing else matters....go for the synthetic.

And, of course, that's assuming that the temp. ratings of those bags are reasonably accurate.

I wrote this before in another thread but I think it bears repeating:

Light.

Warm.

Cheap.

When it comes to sleeping bags, pick any two. You can't have all three.

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#87668 - 01/21/08 02:53 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: aceatc]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Get the synthetic. When you are done carrying it around, buy the down. Then the price won't look so bad, when you can see the difference it makes.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#87669 - 01/21/08 04:14 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: aceatc]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
Right on. <blind sage asks student> Which weighs more grasshopper, a ton of down feathers, or a ton of synthetic fill?

You have asked to compare a 55 temperature differenential. If a (least temp) 35 degree down bag would work then why would a 35 degree synthetic bag not work? I think that if a 35 degree down bag would work then a -20 degree bag would not. It would be too hot and heavy to justify.


Pick three
light
warm
cheap

Light - this is a viable choice that would have to be considered in bag selection.

Warm- does not appear to belong in this scenario.
A 35 degree synthetic should be as warm as a 35 degree down.

Cheap- Obviously part of the selection process, but that could be subjective - If a 400 dollar down bag lasts twice as long as a 200 dollar synthetic bag- theoretically they cost the same. And the benefit would be in weight savings.

I think warm should be replaced with some other category, perhaps, durable. Humbly, IMO

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#87670 - 01/21/08 04:23 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: Trailrunner]
aceatc Offline
member

Registered: 07/24/07
Posts: 109
Loc: WA, auburn
My zero degree synthetic is definitely "light" and "cheap", but not "warm".

Synthetic stuff just confuses me. I have a zero degree bag and I swear that thing should be rated for 40 degree instead.

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#87671 - 01/21/08 04:25 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: aceatc]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
I was just wondering which bag is warmer... I should have said warmer and not better.

-20 down bag! I don't even wanna see that price tag!


You obviuosly ask questions instigating comments Aceatec <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

First off post your location under your avatar name so folks know where you are hiking.

Second, every person has a different metabolism, and within that every person then has multiple metabolisms depending upon their fitness level.

Third, if you are using a down bag in anything but dry climate condtions then it will quicklly lose loft afield and insulating value.

Fourth, if you are putting the bag inside your pack; then the packed size is important.

Fifth, If you have an external frame pack then the answer is also skewed.

Need I go on <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> ask questions with the necessary data in them if you want a relative answer, and not just troll folks along <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#87672 - 01/21/08 04:33 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: Earthling]
aceatc Offline
member

Registered: 07/24/07
Posts: 109
Loc: WA, auburn
I live in the pacific northwest and I'm often wet when camping, but that's not a big deal wool clothing and such. My sleeping bag is put on the outside of my internal pack and even in snow it doesn't get wet with its stuff sack.

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#87673 - 01/21/08 05:02 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: aceatc]
Hector Offline
member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 325
Loc: LA/ARK/TX corner
> My zero degree synthetic is definitely "light" and "cheap", but not "warm".

Which should tell you that its zero degree rating is bogus -- you were ripped off. So, before you run out and buy that -20F bag and get the same surprise, you need to go look at it. A -20F bag is going to have a lot of loft (thickness) whatever it's filled with. If it doesn't, something's wrong.

I suspect you are going to have to spend a lot of money on a succession of unsatisfactory cheap bags before you realize you could have bought a really good down bag for the same bucks, and then you'll spend it again on the down bag. Don't ask me how I know.

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#87674 - 01/21/08 05:35 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: aceatc]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
Hector you made me laugh. How do you know???

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#87675 - 01/21/08 07:17 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: aceatc]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
You need to consider other factors.

Fit - if the bag is too big you will be cold because you have lots of air to heat and circulate. The fit of the hood is particularly important. Can you get it tight?

Collar - any bag for below 20 degrees F should have a good collar to prevent drafts down your back.

Construction - the bag should be constructed so that the filling stays in place and there are overlaps so you do not have a cold seam.

Zip flap - should be large and well insulated

Foot design - I really like the foot boxes that are allow for feet to stick up without smashing the filling.

Give me two specific brands of bags with all the specifications concerning the above items and then I can make a judgement.

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#87676 - 01/21/08 09:49 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: aceatc]
billk Offline
member

Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 1196
Loc: Portland, Oregon
In a previous post, you said:

" I need some pointers on what gear to get for snow camping. I have a zero degree bag, but I haven't really been happy with its warmth. The thing was $40 bucks and it packs down to nothing so that's why I've been using it."

I assume this is the bag you're talking about.

I'm afraid the fact is that if it cost $40 and "packs down to nothing," it's not what should be called a "zero degree bag." Even zero degrees Celsius (32F) is probably pushing it. Any bag suitable for use at zero degrees Fahrenheit will have an overall loft of 7" or so, whether synthetic or down.

This bag seems like it might fit the bill. 6.5" of loft, 3lb 5oz (not excessive for a winter bag) and a good deal at $139.

https://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/store...mberId=12500226

Consider carrying it inside your pack, at the bottom.


Edited by billk (01/21/08 10:01 PM)

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#87677 - 01/22/08 09:34 AM Re: Which is better? [Re: billk]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Geeze, all these replies saying essentially what I told the guy..... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> He needs to go to a REAL outdoor store and climb in a succession of bags without looking at the ratings and get the fit he needs first...THEN get the rating he needs and he'll have his warm bag. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> It ain't rocket science, every single year we go through the same thing with someone who keeps banging our collective heads against the proverbial granite outcropping <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

If he chooses to carry his bag outside of his pack so be it, then he can opt for a builkier, synthetic bag, which will be better for damp climates he's using it in. Down is not a panacea for every backpacker just because it's lighter in some cases. A down nag can be heavier than a syntheic bag when it starts absorbing ambient moisture....that you will carry with you for days until you can dry it or you get home <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#87678 - 01/22/08 09:54 AM Re: Which is better? [Re: Dryer]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Dryer is right!

I own a Mountain Hardware -20 Polarguard Delta 4th Dimension bag. Lord knows it's nice and warm but it is heavy and so BIG that I cannot, even with a compression sack, get it in my size large Dana Terraplane sleeping bag compartment. So I have to strap it on outside the pack.

Given the choice again I'd spend another $100. to $200. and get a good (800 fill) down bag and make a vapor barrier liner from aluminized, coated ripstop. That way I have a much lighter bag and a MUCH smaller packed bag. Plus it would not lose loft from repeated packing like all synthetics tend to do.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#87679 - 01/22/08 03:25 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: Earthling]
aceatc Offline
member

Registered: 07/24/07
Posts: 109
Loc: WA, auburn
Y'all could have just left me hanging then. You don't have to help everyone if it makes you feel better.

I'm just stubborn to see the truth is all :-)

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#87680 - 01/22/08 03:28 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: billk]
aceatc Offline
member

Registered: 07/24/07
Posts: 109
Loc: WA, auburn
I'm 5'9" so should I get a bag that's up too 6 feet in length or longer?


Edited by aceatc (01/22/08 03:28 PM)

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#87681 - 01/22/08 09:06 PM Re: Which is better? [Re: aceatc]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
I'm 5'9" and I do fine with the 6' bags or quilts.

Tango.

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#87682 - 01/24/08 11:24 AM Re: Which is better? [Re: aceatc]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
Y'all could have just left me hanging then. You don't have to help everyone if it makes you feel better.

I'm just stubborn to see the truth is all :-)


No, you're missing the point..... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

We can tell you that X Y Z bag is the bestest greatest dangest thing since man came out of a cave, but if it does not fit your personal build it's worse than useless in the cold, it's dangerous <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

I recommend that you physically go to a store that has the various brands and climb in them until you know the fit YOU need, including what you wear to bed, which I don't care if they're Buck Rogers PJ's, wear them to the store <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Where is BearPaw when I need him <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Probably out hiking <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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