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Down or synthetic insulation?


Before making a choice between purchasing  synthetic or down-insulated sleeping bag, check our technical section to learn more about all advantages down sleeping bags have! We will assist you with researching a sleeping bag that best suits your needs!

Warmth vs Weight

Down is much lighter than synthetic filling. Its warmth/weight performance is twice more efficient  than the one of the best synthetic wadding. In other words, it gives the same warmth as twice its weight of any synthetic insulation. For instance, while comparing two sleeping bags of +5°C comfort temperature the one filled with down weights about 0.5 kg, e.g. CUMULUS X-Lite200, whilst weight of the average sleeping bag with synthetic insulation is over 1kg. It gets of more importance when the comfort temperature is lower. CUMULUS Alaska 1300 insulating up to -30°C weights only 1970g and a synthetic sleeping bad weights about 4kg, i.e. it is over twice heavier! CUMULUS is an experienced weight-watcher. We know the importance of weight of traveling equipment, especially when it comes to long expeditions taking place in extremely low temperatures. CUMULUS fulfills orders from all over the world producing sleeping bags filled with the highest quality down of 850 cuin suitable for minimal comfort temperature of -45°C with its weight of only 2,5 kg.


Volume vs Storage

Maintained in a proper way, down-filled sleeping bag retains its loft even three times longer than the one filled with synthetic wadding. Its resilience is a unique quality of down. After taking it out from a stuff sack, it may expand up to 15 times of a compressed size!


Thermal efficiency vs Comfort

The primary purpose of a sleeping bag is to provide you with warmth and protection against wind or chill. Body tolerance to cold is usually limited by its coldest bits. Does it often happen that your torso is warm but your feet are freezing cold? Thanks to its natural qualities, down-filled sleeping bag keeps parts of your body warm at all times, since it allows an even warmth distribution, making you feel comfortable and cozy all night long!


Lifespan vs Value for Money

Much depends on the level of usage. In general, life expectancy for a sleeping bag filled with down is approximately 10 years. To the contrary, an average synthetic wadding lasts, maintaining its best qualities,  for 3-4 years. Down initially is more expensive than synthetics but the reverse comes over the long period: synthetic wadding loses its resilience and performance much sooner than down.


Wetting vs Drying

Down sleeping bag is the best choice when you travel to little-rain and/or very cold areas (where water remains as snow or ice). You are assured then that down filling gives you excellent protection and comfort.

Using down sleeping bag in frequent-rain areas could be the risk of down getting wet, eliminating its use as insulation. Perspiration, which might amount to a considerable volume of water, sometimes is the problem as well, since wet insulation is less efficient and becomes heavier. Down takes much longer to dry than the synthetic insulation. However, there are many ways of reducing the risk of down getting wet by using the best quality fabric such as Pertex Endurance or insulating down with silicone, which helps it stay dry and ice-free.

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