When it comes down to a choice between down insulation and synthetic insulation for your sleeping bag, down is the better choice for a couple of different reasons. Down filled sleeping bags, for instance, will tend to be lighter than synthetic sleeping bags, all other things being equal. Of course, down also tends to be more expensive, and also doesn’t perform quite as well when wet, but for many people, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Down Filled Sleeping BagsWhat to look for when reviewing down filled sleeping bags.
- Down Quality – There is actually a whole range of different downs, which are delineated by the fill number. An 800 fill down sleeping bag, for instance, while good, is not as good as a 900 fill sleeping bag. The 900 fill down will provide more warmth, relative to weight, than the 800 fill down.
- Shape – Regardless of what insulation you decide to use in your sleeping bag, you need to decide on what shape you want your sleeping bag to be. The obvious advantage of a mummy shaped sleeping bag, of course, is that there’s less of it, and so it will weigh less than a comparable rectangular sleeping bag will.
Best Down Filled Sleeping BagsSome of the very best down filled sleeping bags with a few different minimum temperatures.
- Western Mountaineering HighLite Sleeping Bag - First up, an excellent down filled sleeping bag for warmer summer nights. With a minimum temperature rating of 35 degrees it wont be much good for winter, but when it's warm it's an ideal temperature rating. That, combined with extra large baffles, a half length zipper and high quality 850 fill down makes it extremely lightweight, at just 1 pound, or 453 grams. So an excellent, lightweight summer backpack, ideal for backpackers or anyone else the least bit concerned about weight.
- Sea to Summit Trek TK1 Sleeping Bag - This is a combination of a few different features. First, it uses down, but 650 fill duck down, which helps to keep the price down as much as possible. It's also a semi-rectangular shape, which means it's rectangular with a slight taper, so a fine line between comfort and weight. And with a weight of 2 pounds 2 ounces, or 963 grams, and a minimum temperature rating of 32 degrees it's not especially lightweight, but it's certainly not heavy either. A good compromise between weight, comfort and price.
- Rab Neutrino 600 Sleeping Bag (Women's) - The Neutrino is the kind of sleeping bag you want when the temperature starts dropping down low. With a minimum temperature rating of just 10 degrees it's warm enough to keep you sleeping comfortably in the winters of many parts of the world. It uses 800 fill down, and a fairly narrow mummy cut. It also has features like a draft collar and a draw cord on the hood that are essential for keeping you warm. And at just 2 pounds 8 ounces, or 1.12 kilograms it's very lightweight, relative to other 10 degree sleeping bags out there.