Choosing a Comfortable Sleeping Bag

Synthetic sleeping bags are durable, bulky and are better than down in wet weather. Down sleeping bags are warmer and a bit pricier.

When it comes to the fill type of popular camping and backpacking sleeping bags, the two most popular are down and synthetic. They both offer different advantages, as well as a few disadvantages to consider. Below, we will discuss the difference between the two, and when you should choose each.

sleeping bag set on the ground
When choosing a sleeping bag, it is important to note that there are two different kinds: Synthetic and Down.




Down fill sleeping bags are very popular among the outdoor community. Down is very soft and comfortable, and has a fantastic weight-to-warmth ratio (the amount of warmth each ounce of fill provides). Because they are so lightweight and compress very well, they are usually the favorite among backpackers and weight conscious outdoorsman. A few major drawbacks of down fill sleeping bags are:

    • high cost
    • down loses its insulative properties when wet

Wholesale pricing on all camping and hiking gear storewide!

These aren’t deal breakers for many campers because the advantages often outweigh the disadvantages. But it is important to remember these two disadvantages. If you are a camper on a strict budget, you will get more warmth out of your sleeping bag for the money if you go with synthetic fill bags. Also, if you are planning trips in wet weather, synthetic fill will keep you warm even if wet, so you will get enough sleep.

Synthetic sleeping bags are also very popular out there, especially in the wetter climates (like the Pacific Northwest). Synthetic fills have the ability to retain their insulative properties even when wet. Synthetic sleeping bags are also much more affordable than their down counterparts. Some disadvantages of synthetic sleeping bags include:

  • heavier than down
  • bulkier than down

Synthetic fill does not quite equal the warmth to weight ratio of natural down fill. Because of this, synthetic sleeping bags are heavier and bulkier. If you are a camper on a budget, synthetic sleeping bags are an excellent choice.

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