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

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

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

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

As with every different piece of drugs, you must perform some research earlier than selecting the most effective sleeping bag.

On the subject of down vs artificial, there’s a lot to contemplate. That will help you make an knowledgeable determination 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?

Effectively, let’s begin by saying what down isn’t. Lots of people consider {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 delicate 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 advantageous and fluffy.

What makes down such a well-liked 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 will have the best temperature score, in fact).

Is down fill light-weight?

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

A down sleeping bag is a superb possibility for backpackers and thru-hikers, because it doesn’t sluggish 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 courting again to the 1600s.

Again within the day, it was collected by numerous wildfowl species, in addition to gulls and related seabirds. In the present day, 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 effectively.

For that purpose, goose down is softer and hotter.

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

And attributable to some fatty issues geese eat, their down may comprise a excessive fats quantity, which might 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 which means 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 kinds of down will not be that outstanding.

Actually, most funds 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 BagsAdvantages of Down Sleeping Bags

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

Increased Heat-to-Weight Ratio

higher warm to weight ratiohigher warm to weight ratio

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

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

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

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



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

Its insulating capacity depends on the air trapped inside, however you possibly can 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, regardless that down has nice compressibility, you don’t wish to preserve it stuffed for too lengthy.

Whenever you’re not on the path, your down sleeping bag needs to be packed into a way more comfy bag that enables the loft to develop.

Very Sturdy


Down is extraordinarily sturdy. If taken correct care of, a down sleeping bag is one thing you possibly can move right down to your youngsters.

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

If you happen to see a feather peaking out by the fabric, simply attempt 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 purpose why down is a sustainable product.

Actually, in comparison with polyester, down has as much as 97% decrease affect 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 number of issues about utilizing the sort of insulating materials, together with:

Allergic reactions


Though it’s actually uncommon, an individual could 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.

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

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

One of the best ways to make certain whether or not you’re allergic to down or not is to do a pores and skin take a look at 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 purpose to make use of down both.

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

Sadly, there have been an unlimited variety of scandals in recent times associated to animal remedy within the meals business.

Dwell-plucking, which principally entails ripping the feathers off of reside birds, is the principle concern with regards to down.

Then, there’s the difficulty of force-feeding, which ends up in enlarged livers – the principle ingredient within the dish referred to as Foie gras.

Fortunately, there are methods down could be ethically sourced today.

Moral down has to move the very 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 conditionpoor performance in extra wet condition

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

If you happen to camp in an space with a damp 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 in the event you don’t frequently sustain with upkeep.

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

Apart from creating odor, seeped physique oils can even trigger the insulating capacity 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 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 every thing 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 concerning the moral harvesting of down.

Artificial Sleeping Luggage

synthtic sleeping bagsynthtic sleeping bag

Artificial sleeping baggage are usually 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 presents a superb 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 baggage so nice? Listed below are the benefits of getting the sort of sleeping bag:


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

What makes them way 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 baggage such a well-liked 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 preserve 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. Effectively, 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 number of hours at most.

A down different, then again, can keep moist for the whole day. If you happen to’re tenting in a moist local weather, artificial is, palms 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 acceptable possibility for everybody, no matter their well being situation.

Disadvantages of Artificial Sleeping Luggage

You guessed it – an artificial sleeping bag will not be 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 probably be a lot bulkier and heavier.

Much less Compressible

Artificial sleeping baggage aren’t ideally suited for backpacking and thru-hiking as they don’t pack very compactly.

Dense fibers don’t enable 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 keep it frequently, their life will get even shorter.

Usually, you possibly can 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 baggage are a terrific possibility in the event you’re first time tenting.

They’re fairly inexpensive, which means you gained’t need to spend an excessive amount of cash on one thing you don’t know in the event you’ll find yourself liking anyway.

Such a sleeping bag is nice in the event you’re tenting in moist climate, because it retains insulation even when moist.

Moreover, it dries down comparatively quick, so it will likely be prepared for the night time.

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

Down/Artificial Hybrid Blends

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

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

After all, it’s not possible to solely preserve the nice and ditch the dangerous.

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

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

Different instances, it’s insulated with down across the head space, whereas the underside is fully 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 water resistant as artificial
  • Prices greater than an artificial sleeping bag

Ultimate Ideas on Hybrid Blends

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

The truth, in fact, will not be that black and white. A hybrid sleeping bag presents a superb 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 advantageous with the sort 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 often used to point the standard of down.

What’s Down Fill Energy?

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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 maths behind fill energy is easy.

A sleeping bag with a fill energy of 500, as an illustration, doesn’t develop 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 all the time need to imply it’s hotter.

That’s as a result of there’s one other quantity we’ve got to take into consideration – 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? If you happen to 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 in the event you’re selecting between totally different down sleeping baggage, take each of those numbers into consideration.

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

That is one thing to take into consideration in the event you plan on touring lengthy distances.

Can You Examine Fill Energy to Artificial Fill?

Whereas down insulation is measured in fill energy, we use grams per sq. meter to check 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 amount 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 baggage is moderately easy. The upper the quantity, the hotter it’s.

Different Elements to Contemplate

There are a number of different issues you must take note of when selecting a sleeping bag.

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

With an oblong sleeping bag, then again, there’s quite a lot 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 best 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 scorching 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 may seem like a logical possibility, because it’s extraordinarily sturdy.

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

As a substitute, go together 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 fashion sleeping bag has much less materials, which means it weighs much less.

Usually, sleeping baggage with decrease temperature scores will probably 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 not sure which one is healthier for you?

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

Frequent Tenting or Backpacking

If you happen to usually spend your free outing 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 have the ability to convey that sleeping bag onto an occasional backpacking journey, because it’s so mild and simply matches into your backpack.

Occasional Tenting

If you happen to go tenting no various instances a yr, then there’s no purpose to spend tons of cash on one thing that may sit in your storage for a lot of the yr.

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

Chilly and Winter Climate

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

These fashions normally additionally characteristic a water resistant 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 quite a lot of rain or humidity, then artificial is the way in which to go.

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

LearnHow To Select A Sleeping Bag: Your Information to Cozy Out of doors Slumber


What’s the greatest sleeping bag insulation?

There’s no single greatest insulation, as they each have their execs 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. Generally, their lifespan is from 5 to seven years.

Why is down costly?

Down is harvested from reside animals, so it’s way more troublesome to acquire in comparison with artificial, which is produced in a manufacturing unit.

Do down sleeping baggage odor?

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

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

Methods to wash sleeping baggage (artificial and down)?

First issues first, all the time examine the label for cleansing directions. However usually, you’re protected to comply with these steps.

  1. All the time use a front-loading washer. A top-loading machine normally options an agitator and this piece can harm your sleeping bag if it will get wrapped round it.
  2. If you happen to don’t personal a entrance loading machine, hand wash it.
  3. With down sleeping baggage, it’s all the time greatest to make use of a detergent specifically designated for laundry down. Common laundry detergent may cause right down to clump up, which is able to have an effect on its insulating capacity.
  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?

If you happen to 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 odor very good.

Fortunately, there’s a technique to eliminate the odor at house:

  1. What you must do first is unzip the sleeping bag utterly to let the air inside.
  2. Deodorize the bag and go away 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 mix 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 go away 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 humid 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.

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

To Sum Issues Up

There you will have it, every thing there’s to learn about down and artificial sleeping baggage.

Each of them have their execs and cons, so the most suitable choice will probably be one thing that matches your state of affairs 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 total good possibility for informal journeys. It really works effectively in each moist and dry climate and it’s comparatively inexpensive.

Extra On Sleeping Luggage