Top 5 Reasons to Choose a Down Sleeping Bag or Quilt

Top 5 Reasons to Choose a Down Sleeping Bag or Quilt

If you're considering a new sleeping bag or quilt, here are five reasons to choose down over synthetic.

1. Warm

Down bags offer the best size-to-heat ratio, much better than synthetic insulation. They also tend to warm up quicker and conform better to your body. This leads to less cold spots and a more comfortable night at camp.


Paria Outdoor Products Thermodown 30 Sleeping Quilt

If you want to maximize weight savings, a backpacking quilt may be the perfect option. Since it's only designed to insulate at the sides and top, it optimizes the weight-to-warmth ratio even further by eliminating unneeded insulation.

2. Breathable

Just as athletic apparel is designed to wick away moisture, down fill also allows moisture to escape from your body while you sleep. This will help keep you warm and dry during cold nights on the trail.

3. Compressible

Down insulation is significantly more compressible than synthetic fill, which saves space in your pack.

4. Lightweight

Because of its natural lofting properties, down insulation is very light. For a given temperature rating, the amount of down insulation needed will be significantly less than synthetic fill. This is a great advantage for backpackers since every ounce can add up.

5. Durable

Down is extremely durable: it's able to withstand hundreds of compressions, wide swings in temperatures, and proper washing restores twenty and even thirty-year-old down close to its original performance. Synthetic insulation tends to lose its ability to loft over time.


Paria Outdoor Products Thermodown 15 Sleeping Bag

With a bit of care, a down sleeping bag will maintain its loft for decades.

One thing to be aware of ...

The main downside to down sleeping bags is that they must be kept dry as much as possible. If down gets wet, it loses much of its lofting ability and therefore warmth rating.

However, this one downside can be mitigated fairly easily. Always keep your down bag stored in a waterproof area of your pack. When at camp, minimize the amount of tent condensation that can come in contact with your bag. After each night, it's a great idea to set out or hang your bag up while you eat breakfast to let the down filling dry out before you hike out for the day.

If you intend to backpack in a very wet environment, you can also apply a waterproofing treatment to the shell material. This will ensure that the down filling will be protected from moisture. We recommend ReviveX by Gear Aid.

Investing in a quality down sleeping bag or quilt will provide you with decades of comfortable nights on the trail. If you think that you might want to upgrade to a down sleeping bag, check out our line of Thermodown down-filled sleeping bags and quilts.

Paria Outdoor Products Thermodown 15 Backpacking Quilt


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  • Bart @ Paria Outdoor Products

    Thanks Kenny, glad that you found the article helpful.

  • Kenny haskins

    Wow. Nice to see an honest evaluation of a product.

  • Bart @ Paria Outdoor Products

    Thanks for the feedback Cliff! We’re actually working on a 30-degree bag as we speak. We hope to have it available in the spring. If you haven’t already, please sign up to our email list so you can be notified when it launches. Thanks again!

  • Cliff Cooper

    Hi guys, LOVE your products but I’d like to see you guys produce a 30 or 40 degree bag. A 15 degree bag is just too warm for the majority of time.

    Thanks! And feel free to ship my free sleeping bag anytime! ;o)

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