Finding the right sleeping bag often comes down to three factors: price, weight, and comfort. It’s all about what you value most when backpacking. Do you value money over comfort? Or weight over money? Instead of your typical sleeping bag review, let’s play “what would you prefer?” with down vs. synthetic sleeping bags.
Differences Between Down and Synthetic Sleeping Bags
The main differences between down and synthetic sleeping bags are price, size, comfort, and weight. Gear is expensive, so of course, you’re going to watch the price. However, keeping your packing and weight light, as well as, getting a comfortable night’s sleep may very well be worth a few extra bucks on a down comforter.
Let’s just get this one out of the way; synthetic sleeping bags are going to cost less than down. So, one point for synthetic sleeping bags.
A few extra ounces may not seem like a lot when you first throw on your backpack and head out. After a few hours, however, you’ll be willing to give your life savings for a down sleeping bag that will lighten your load. Every ounce is going to make a difference. Weighing the pros and cons of synthetic vs. down, down wins! One point for down sleeping bags.
What do you think? Will you be more snuggly, warm, and cozy wrapped in synthetic material, or all natural down? Yup, you guessed it. One more point for down!
In the past, wet down was a deal breaker and the main reason people would opt for synthetic sleeping bags. However, the down in our sleeping bags is treated with a water-resistant coating. No longer will water and moisture ruin your comfy down sleep. Let’s give down another point for innovation.
Not only will a down sleeping bag weigh less than synthetic sleeping bags, but they will also pack down smaller and take up less room. The more compact and light you can make your backpack, the more comfortable and freely you’ll be able to move. Ease of movement and minimizing the size of your pack is worth everything on a backpacking trip. Down gets the point.
Down vs. Synthetic Sleeping Bags
So, to sum up. Synthetic sleeping bags get the point for price, but down sleeping bags take every other category. Final score: Synthetic 1, Down 4.
Outdoors Geek is an outdoor retail shop located in Denver, Colorado. Rent backpacking gear, including down sleeping bags from The North Face and Marmot for your next outdoor adventure.