New Sleeping bag

6:29 a.m. on November 10, 2004 (EST)
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Hey have been backpacking for a while now. I have hiked many places around the country with scouts and loved it. I need a new sleeping bag. I believe i have some type of sinthetic one but out grew it. I am 6,0 180 pounds i might grow a inch or so at most but should be around the same weight. I live in South Carolina. I believe i want a 20 degree bag, I am not sure about what brands and down or not. I knew a guy out at Philmont, New Mexico that said down is nice but it takes for ever to dry. I believe i had a Iron mountain, I like it ok but am wondering is there any other good bag for around 150 or mabye a little higher if yall think it will be worth it. Thanks Please Email me if you have susgestions WilliamVallotton@yahoo.com

9:02 a.m. on November 10, 2004 (EST)
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Here are a couple of suggestions. These are all priced right and good quality.

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=29027640&memberId=12500226

Here's a warmer version of the same.

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=29027644&memberId=12500226

These are made in regular and long versions as well. Here's one I just received, but have not had a chance to use.

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/xq/asp/base_no.79195/dept_id.L2~319/qx/product.htm

If you only own 1 bag, a 20 degree bag is probably a good choice, but you may wish to go with a warmer temperature bag if you primarily use it during the summer months. Good luck.

9:54 a.m. on November 10, 2004 (EST)
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I just bought a MountainSmith Vision

1lb 15oz, 15 degree rating, 750+ down fill.

on sale at backcountrygear.com for $179.

I think the "long version" is $10 more.

Awesome bag, I haven't even used it yet and I highly recommend it due it's lightweight, comfy materials and the tiny pack size.

Using it for the first time this coming Saturday - it's gonna get way down to 50 degrees this weekend!

1:53 p.m. on November 10, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

But do i want down or not. I dont mind shelling out the extra money if it will be worth it. I mean i dont do any hiking in july when it is 100+ most of my hiking is in the 80 on down. What are the advantages to down or others. and can you wash down.

2:00 p.m. on November 10, 2004 (EST)
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What are the other types other than down.

4:18 p.m. on November 10, 2004 (EST)
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The North face Blue Kazoo is the one i looked at today how about it guys.


http://www.thenorthface.com/opencms/opencms/tnf/gear.jsp?productId=191

5:50 a.m. on November 11, 2004 (EST)
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keep looking......

at 3 lbs 2oz the blue kazoo is way to heavy and expensive for the temp rating of 20.

My 15 degree bag weighs in at 1lb 15oz and has 750 down fill and cost ~$185 with shipping (weighs less and will keep me warmer that the kazoo).

read my posts below when I was looking for a new bag - especially where Bill chimes in about the difference in down and sythetic bags and the fill ratings.

6:01 a.m. on November 11, 2004 (EST)
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by the way, Campmor has the blue kazoo for $149.97...

and you may want to look into a Kelty Light Year 25 degree at 2lbs 3oz with the 600 lb fill for $130.

But I still recommend the Mountainsmith Vision.

3:00 p.m. on November 11, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: by the way, Campmor has the blue kazoo for $149.97...

To be honest i dont mind a pound, What i do care about is when i get in it will i be confy and warm. I have heard that when down gets wet it takes veryy long to dry compared to others. I went and looked at the Blue kazoo and like it and the local shop owner said he has heard good things. I told him when i walk in i wasnt buying it right not but would think on it. He told me the stats on each on and said if i wanted a well known company and one that would last and didnt mind the weight it was the choice. But i dunno i looked at all the bags yall susgested and liked them.

4:24 p.m. on November 11, 2004 (EST)
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Wet down

> I have heard that when down gets wet it takes veryy long to dry compared to others.

Not just a rumour. I have experienced this both when getting rained on and when I made the mistake of taking a down bag on a river trip. And when I washed the bag. When it gets wet, down is useless for insulation. It goes flat as a pancake and clumps up. If you don't have a dryer handy, it takes literally days to dry out. On the river, I got the bag wet on the second day and it never dried by the end of the week on the trip. This was in dry weather, too, and spreading the bag out when we camped each day. If you are going to camp in any kind of wet conditons rain snow river trip DO NOT USE DOWN!!! I now use a synthetic bag for everything polargard. It isn't as warm when it gets wet as dry, but you can squeeze most of the water out and get some warmth. And if you can find a laundromat you can dry it pretty much in a half hour even when soaked. Down takes forever to dry in a dryer.

6:43 p.m. on November 11, 2004 (EST)
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Well i dont really.....

I dont really go rafting or any where near snow. But with yall continueing help and more reaserch i will find something. Thanks,

11:38 a.m. on November 12, 2004 (EST)
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Get the down

William,
A lot of people like synthetics because they think they are warm when wet and down isn't. Well wet synthetics are not nearly as warm as people claim. If you hiking in warm summer weather as you say and you do not live in a really humid place - go for the down bag, but not a blue kazoo - get a lighter bag with better down - for summer get one rated around 40 degrees. Learn about down - how to take care of it and how to stay dry. Down is the choice of extremely experienced outdoorsmen, but they also have the experience to use it. The local boyscouts will not let campers carry down gear unless they have had 50 nights camping in snow. For summer I use a WM Iroquios bag at 27 ounces and I have slept in it at 28 degrees but it wasn't warm and toasty. There have been many posts here about how to keep your down dry.
Jim S

1:31 p.m. on November 12, 2004 (EST)
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Re: Get the down

First a couple questions for william -

How much experience camping do you have in wet conditions? I mean really rainy weather (which you have in SC and the Appalachians).

Do you intend to camp in snowy conditions in the Smokeys or other parts of the Appalachians?

As Mr. Shaw says, down is the choice of extremely experienced outdoorsmen. But this cuts both ways. If you have the experience needed to know how to stay dry in the wettest of conditions, while hiking, setting up and taking down camp, and staying put in heavy downpours, then down is a good choice. It lasts longer than any current synthetics, although I am finding Primaloft and the latest Polargard to be pretty durable. My longest Primaloft usage was 12 years. By comparison my 40+ year old down bag still sees occasional use (for winter use, I use a much newer Feathered Friends bag).

If on the other hand, you have not yet gained the experience to stay dry in heavy downpours or wet snow conditions no matter whether hiking, setting up or breaking camp, or staying put for a while, then you should stick with synthetic for a few more seasons until you can really stay dry in those conditions. Synthetics are also much cheaper than down. While they do lose heat when wet, it is not like down. As Bob said, wet down goes to zero loft when soaked, and it does take a long time to dry. I see this all the time when I take less experienced backpackers out. This goes especially for young scouts, but I see it with adults as well (including some who "have been hiking all my life").

Your choice, but you might consider whether you can stay truly dry in the worst conditions that you encounter unexpectedly. Of course, you can always bail with your down bag if things get too bad. Except that this doesn't work when you are 2 days hike out on the trail and the hurricane comes in that you didn't plan for.

1:52 p.m. on November 12, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: Get the down

I kinda get the impression that i shouldnt get down, humm this open a whole other can of worms, So what should i get, By the way i really really appricaite yall help. Yall have no idea

2:04 p.m. on November 12, 2004 (EST)
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Re: Get the down

Many of our Boy Scouts (rainy Pacific Northwest with winter snow camping) have successfully used the Polar Pod from REI. While I'm not sure I would trust it to its rating of 20 degrees, its a reasonable price for a sync bag. However, that said, its probably more bag than you might need for three season camping.

2:06 p.m. on November 12, 2004 (EST)
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if you are unsure and really don't do a lot of camping.....

check out the mummy style Slumberjack sleeping bags at Campmor. You can get a ~4lb synthetic bag rated at 20 degrees for about $50.00.

Use it for a year or two and then decide what your needs are.

4:21 p.m. on November 12, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

Thanks

Well, i did alot of camping and hiking before i got My Eagle Scout. Now i find my self going on alot of base camping trip with friends and a few hiking trips a year, the App mountain mainly. When we do hike it is a long weekend and we hike alot. many miles a day. So when i slip into a bag my main thing is conformt and second is weight. Now with comfort the down and synethic thing comes into play. if by chance it gets wet then what. I mean i have it in a stuff sack with trash bag around it then at the botum of the back with everything on top of it and it probably wont get wet. I was happy with the Iron Mountain i used but it wasnt really mine. For some reason i really would like a down bag, just b/c i hear so many good things about them. But i am sure yall know more than me, I have never camped in the snow althought i have hiked trouught snow then set tent on dry ground. Thanks

4:47 p.m. on November 12, 2004 (EST)
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Ya know, if your prepared It's actually pretty darn hard to get your bag wet...

when I go to my favorite island to go camping, my pack rides in the bow of the ferry (an old fishing vessel). On bad weather days, very often salt water will crash over all the gear up front. I have never pulled my sleeping bag out of the pack to have even the slighest bit of dampness on it from salt water or rain after hiking 12 miles in a downpour.

I stuff my sleeping bag into an Outdoor Research stuff sack and then that is stowed inside a plastic garbage bag. This is carried inside a decent backpack that has been waterproofed and covered with a rain fly.

If it's raining when its time to set up camp, I will hang a tarp in the trees above my tent spot, set up the tent and place the sleeping bag inside the tent with no water ever touching it.

I quit boyscouts when I was a tenderfoot.

5:24 p.m. on November 12, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

Thats true

Yea that is true

7:09 p.m. on November 12, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

Stuff size of syn vs pack size

I did not read the whole thread, but if you're considering using a syn bag, just make sure it can fit comfortably into your backpack. A few years ago, I bought a Kelty Flight 60 npack, then I realized my old and trusty syn TNF Snowshoe bag was too big for the pack. But I loved the pack, so I dished out more $$ for a down bag.

8:01 p.m. on November 12, 2004 (EST)
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Re: Stuff size of syn vs pack size

I just keep leaning toward the down but i dont know

11:55 a.m. on November 13, 2004 (EST)
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Re: Stuff size of syn vs pack size

Down at this time still stuffs smaller than any of the synthetics. Well, to qualify that a bit, the best grades of down at present (800 to 900) stuff smaller than the most down-like synthetic (Primaloft, Liteloft). However, Primaloft stuffs as small as the down found in the mass-market sleeping bags (Slumberjack, Campmor, Coleman, etc, with 600 to 650 fill down or less) for the same warmth, and noticeably smaller than the duck down and down/feather mix bags. I expect that the life of a Primaloft bag will be somewhat shorter than a 600-fill down bag, given equal care, although the companies still using the lower quality down do not make their bags anywhere near as well.

IF (and that's a very big IF) you can deal with very wet conditions without getting your bag wet, and IF you take proper care of the bag, and IF you spend the money to get a top quality bag, down is the way to go. But, judging where you are on the learning curve from your posts, I would suggest you get a synthetic bag from Integral Designs, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, or someone in that category (I hesitate to include TNF, although they have moved back toward their old high quality level over the past 3 or 4 years after a big decline about 10 years ago). Don't expect a Slumberjack or Campmor (down or synthetic) to stand up as well. After you build some experience in wet conditions (real downpours on that third day out from the trailhead, for example) and can stay dry, then consider a down bag, again from one of the top manufacturers.

Ed's suggestions on keeping the bag dry are good, and are pretty much SOP for Jim's "extremely experienced outdoorsmen" (and outdoorswomen, too, Jimmy). Use a combination of plastic garbage bag (the heavy duty ones, so they don't tear on the first day) and stuff sack (compression sack to get it inside your pack). Set the tent up first and get the sleeping bag out inside the tent. Use care about dragging the wet rain in the tent with you (this is something only learned by experience - the usual directions for avoiding dragging snow and dripping clothes leave out some small subtleties that experience teaches). A tent with a vestibule or Ed's trick of a tart over the tent help a lot (the tarp needs to be over the entrance, so there is a place to brush off snow or shed rain-soaked clothes and not take them into the tent). Things like a sponge or absorbant towel help get the wet off the rain jacket and tent floor (the synthetic, moisture loving "pack towels" work well for this), and a whick broom helps get snow out of the tent. These can add up to a lot of weight, but there are ways to cut the weight down and do the same thing (e.g., get a SilTarp at 6 ounces rather than the "blue" tarps that the hardware store sells, but weigh a hunnert pound).

7:24 p.m. on November 13, 2004 (EST)
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Tent bubble

Very thoughtful post as usual Bill.
Bill bring up the idea of your tent being a dry haven and that learning to get in and out of it are subtle arts.

Often When I set up my Bibler in a storm I use this process. I pack down the spot for the tent then I bring my pack the middle of the spot and remove the tent from the outside of the pack - without even opening the pack - and I remove the tent and unfold it. I shake off some snow and then I pull the tent over my head and all the way down to the ground so my pack and I are now inside the tent. My clothes still have snow on them and this is the last time on this trip that will happen. I remove my shell and drop themProbably wrapping the pants inside the jacket with the wet side in on the jacket - remember the jacket is now in the "dry zone" so it needs a dry surface out. Now I sit down and deal with Getting the pack further inside. It needs to be brushed off and brought in wher it sits on its rain shell in the tent. Now I am inside the tent wearing my long underwear, maybe a fleece jacket, with a dry pack and a dry tent. Now I pull out the poles and pitch my tent from the inside. After the poles are fastened inside the tent I can open the pack and pull out the microfibre towel and get any moisture that managed to get in.
Now I can pull out my down filled airmattress and my down bag and a down jacket and sort of curl up in my down till I'm rested and warm.
Slipping out of a tent with no vestibule in a storm probably means going out feet first on your belly and keeping the door opening pretty small then imediately zipping it. Having a plastic garbage bag to open up to use as a rug while putting your boots in the tent will help keep snow out. If there is a storm with any wind you will need a vestibule to get back into the tent full of down.
SO you now fasten down the tent with deadmen maybe and attach the vestibule. Maybe you go for a ski or whatever and you come back to your tent covered with snow. And there is 6" of fresh snow around your tent. So you sort of skake off and enter the vestibule and zip it shut behind you. Now depending on how wet the inside of the vestibule is - you might need to wipe it dry - or not. So we pull off the jacket. shake it and wrap it up inside itself only this time it will be left in the vestibule so the wet side is out, to keep the inside realtively dry. Now the baseball cap comes off, and you unzip the inner door. Next your head and upper body enter the inner tent and you pull your rain pants down to your knees, turn, and sit into the inner tent. Now you reach into the vestibule and undo your boots, shake them off and put them into that plastic garbage bag we mentioned. Now you pull the pants off as you slip into the tent and fold the pants and decide what to do with your shells so they will be ready for the next use, and plan that there might be a lot of snow coming into the vestibule that could bury your gear. You might put your shells in the same plastic bag...
Now you zip the door and pull your sleeping bag around you and warm up. When you get out of your bag in the morning it is critical to immediately queeze all of the air out from bottom to top and let it reloft and do it again - this gets the warm damp air from your body out of the bag before it can cool and condense. Use sunlight on your tent to create a hot place to dry your down when you can, then decide how how humid it is out - and its often very humid near sunset in the sierras, and maybe cover up the down a bit to keep it out of the damp air. As it gets colder the air will dry out.
Anway to do DOWN your tent has to be an isolated dry bubble in the snow, burst your bubble and yer wet and cold.
Jim S

2:20 a.m. on November 15, 2004 (EST)
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a.k.a. future atwalker
Re: by the way, Campmor has the blue kazoo for $149.97...

I purchased my Blue Kazoo (my first down bag) from Campmor about 3 years ago. I love it! If there's any draw-back, it's that the bag is a bit warm for some of the conditions I camp in. That said, I rather like being prepared for a cold night, particularly in you're in the mountains, so it's nice to secure in this regard. On warm nights I unzip the bag and just use it as a blanket. This works well.

10:56 a.m. on November 15, 2004 (EST)
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Re: Tent bubble

Good description of the process, Jim.

One thing, though, folks. Jim and I have Bibler Eldorados. To do what Jim describes, you need a tent that sets up like most of Bibler and Integral Designs tents - internal poles. Once you have the tent pulled over you and get the snow brushed off, etc, as Jim describes, you lay down, unfold the poles inside the tent, and attach them into the corner pole pockets and attach them to the inside of the tent with the velcro tabs. When you break camp, you do things in reverse - pack everything in the pack, move the pack out, then while you are still dry inside, remove the poles from inside the tent. The tent is still dry for your next campsite on your multi-day backcountry ski or snowshoe trek.

It is trickier with an external-pole tent or a double wall tent (tent with a fly). Double-wall tents almost all have the main tent body made of non-waterproof nylon (or polyester for a few). If it is storming (rain especially, but also snow), the inside of the main tent will be damp unless you use Ed's trick of rigging a tarp and pitching the tent under it, or unless you have one of the few tents that allows setting up the fly with the poles, then pitching the main tent inside the fly.

Ane even trickier is when you are doing it in a strong wind. Again, the Bibler and Integral Designs internal pole designs have the advantage, since you anchor the front of the tent, then do Jim's trick of entering to minimize moisture in the tent.

The only way to learn is to get out lots of times in stormy weather and practice until it works for you.

11:56 a.m. on November 15, 2004 (EST)
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Great Info Guys

Couple of questions. Do your Biblers have built in floors? That is, are you setting these tents up from completely underneath them (because there is no floor other than a ground cloth in your pack) or from inside of them?

Second, the squeezing of the air out of the down bag and then letting it "refill" with drier aie is a great idea that I have never heard of before. I just try to let the bag "air out" before I restuff it (usually after breakfast) but I was always concerned with the cumlative build up of a week's worth of body condensation. Usually isn't a problem with my week long trips because its in the middle of summer and I sometime throw my bag over my tent to air out (not in the direct sun) in the afternnoon after getting to the next campsite. Any other thoughts or tricks to this process?

12:35 p.m. on November 15, 2004 (EST)
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Bibler

Bibler and ID are single wall tents. Of course they have floors. you set them up from inside. You can do something similar with Megamids and similar tents, or tarp tents. But you have to contend with the ground or snow. Megamids and the similar SilTents that ID has do work well in snow, since you dig out a pit with shelves for sleeping platforms and cook platforms. But staying dry in them is an even more tricky set of skills.

Hmmm, you hadn't heard of the double compress trick? It has been posted here before, although probably not for a couple years. I learned this one from the trans-pole hike folks. Seems they kept getting more and more "body vapor condensation" at the rate of a pound a day or so. By the time they time they got to the South Pole (their first expedition), their bags were 75 pound boards - no way to stuff them, and solid chunks of ice. The idea is to squeeze all the moisture-laden air out, let it refill with dry air, then stuff it. You have to do this immediately after getting out of the bag in the morning, before the vapor gets a chance to freeze. With bags having a DriLoft, Goretex, or similar outer (and even with microfiber shells), you have to roll the bag from the foot to be able to squeeze the air out fast enough on sub-zero mornings. I do this every morning on multiday treks, even when staying at a single location for several days. If there is any chance of dragging moisture into the tent during the day, I will stuff the bag or at least put it into a plastic garbage bag.

Even if you have a sunny day and can air and dry the bag by spreading it over the top of the tent (we did this even at 17,000 ft on Denali), it will dry faster if you squeeze the vapor out first thing after getting out of the bag.

A VBL helps minimize the moisture that gets in the insulation in the first place (you can get some around the face hole - ya gotta breathe outside air, after all). Oh, yeah, never completely close the bag and breathe inside it (even with no VBL). This puts lots of moisture into the insulation from your exhaled breath, and it really doesn't warm the bag any more. Keep your nose and mouth at the face hole.

Another tip - Now, the fundamental rule is never run a stove in your tent (carbon monoxide, depletion of oxygen, fire danger, etc). However, one other problem with cooking in the tent is when you boil water, the steam will condense on the floor, tent walls, and (for double-wall tents) on the fly if it is cold outside. Depends on the humidity, of course. Yes, as Jim will tell you, do it right, and you can dry the inside of the tent. But do it wrong, and you create a rainstorm inside the tent.

8:48 p.m. on November 15, 2004 (EST)
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Re: Great Info Guys

Hey this is fun.
I wanted to say that generally in the sunny afternoon of a winter trip, if your tent is in the sun - and if not why not?, then you can mostly close it up and create a hot environment to dry your sleeping bag. It will be much warmer inside than out in he wind, but of course there will be less wind, so you will have to adjust the venting of your tent accordingly to keep it hot and to let in some fresh air so the air inside does not become saturated with water vapor. It is much safer to dry it in the tent - a puff of air could take it away from you - been there done that.
I have to kick this in now and then. If your sleeping bag is too big inside to keep you warm, you can easily modify it to make it WAY warmer. I have done this to a $500+ sleeping bag so don't trip on it. Take a large needle threaded with 1/8" elastic cord available at sewing places. Push it through the inner shell of you bag near the zipper and laying the bag out flat and inside up, work the needle across to the opposite point and out - again near the zipper. You then sew down the ends after adjusting the tension. Put one near your knee and one near your waist. These band will hold the inner layer of the bag gentley next to you preventing air currents inside the bag - you will be warmer - I Jim Shaw guarantee it. (:->) Oh and you can have a big bag that you can wiggle around in and still be warm, in fact I think it makes my bag loft more.

5:55 a.m. on November 16, 2004 (EST)
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I am having a lot of trouble...

getting rid of the mental image of a tart hanging above my tent.

1:21 p.m. on November 16, 2004 (EST)
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That's why ...

you need to have zip-together sleeping bags.

errr, maybe you are thinking of PopTarts. But these might attract the bears.

5:27 p.m. on November 16, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

Man i am just confused.

Well after getting mixed emotions about down and others. So i went back to the local outfitter. They said i should go with down for the conformt. I told them about what yall said and he aggreed that yall were right. But he also said that down will last a good while longer if used and stored right. He said since i will be going to college soon that with my experence that to just be careful when camping and store it right and i will be ok. He wouldnt really say a sleeping bag preference. but he said get a good brand name that is light and affordiable. If yall could have one sleeping bad for under 200 dollars right now what would it be. Thanks

6:27 p.m. on November 16, 2004 (EST)
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A low end brand = Backside

Just google Backside for their down bags. My first backside was perfect but the zipper was on the wrong side (left). I sold that one, but my second bag had uneven amount of down in 2 compartments. But on a whole, I like the price and not a bad starter until you finish college. Good luck ;-)

6:28 p.m. on November 16, 2004 (EST)
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Cost factor

Since you are headed to college, cost may have some relevance. I do disagree with your outfitter about down being more comfortable. The best synthetics (Primaloft, Liteloft, the latest versions of Polargard) are just as comfortable when new. They are also "hypoallergenic", so if you have allergies, down may be among them, making synthetics more desirable. Most of the comfort comes from the shell materials, sewing style, tightness or looseness of cut, rather than whether it is down or a high quality synthetic.

Short term - down is much more expensive for the initial purchase, especially the higher quality down. It is also higher profit margin for the dealer if you get it from a retailer rather than directly from a manufacturer like Feathered Friends or Integral Designs. Synthetics are cheaper to buy initially by a huge amount, given equal warmth.

Long term - with equally good care, down will far outlast even the best current synthetics. Your outfitter is absolutely right about this. As I previously posted, my oldest down bag is still in good condition, despite heavy usage, at 45 or 46 years. The longest I have had a synthetic bag last is 12 years, and it has lost a lot of loft by 7 or 8 years. So in the long run, down is cheaper. However, you will almost definitely change your personal requirements in a sleeping bag (and every other piece of gear you have), plus there are technical and design changes being made all the time (most being tiny improvements). So I can guarantee you at close to the 100 percent level that by the time you are out of college (since you indicate you are just starting college), you will want something different. You will certainly learn a lot about what works for you and what doesn't. I tend to say, get something adequate now, with an eye to learning with experience, and getting something more to your taste/skills/knowledge in a few years. The almost absolute certainty that you will change says that your bag will be a short-term purchase, as will every other piece of gear you get.

7:57 p.m. on November 16, 2004 (EST)
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Re: A low end brand = Backside

Well i am a junior in high school now. What i meant by that was that i will be doing less hiking and camping in college. althought i will do some. not as much that is why if i buy a bag now uses it till my freshman year then go to get it out for the summer camping it wont be screwed up.

5:49 a.m. on November 17, 2004 (EST)
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MountainSmith Vision. $179.95.......

finally got the chance to use my first and brand new down bag this weekend.

I ask myself: self why the hell did you wait so long to make the switch from Polarguard 3D to down?

The Vision is like sleeping in a big, warm, fluffy cone of cotton candy.

9:49 a.m. on November 17, 2004 (EST)
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Re: MountainSmith Vision. $179.95.......

I had the same reaction when I got my first down bag this past year.

With the ability of the internet to find inexpensive, but decent quality, down bags the cost difference between down and synthetic is not as large as it once was.

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