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12/30/2013 10:49 PM
 

I've been looking into a new sleeping bag recently and I'm curious if anyone here has had expirience with the new DriDown filled bags or outerwear. It seems promising but I trust the expiriences here over marketing hype. I've never had a down filled bag, mostly a result of hearing all the horror stories of collapsed bags when they get wet. If it does work it would be a good chance to drop a significant amount of weight from my loadout without the concern about not having a functional bag when I need it. I've been looking at options from Big Agnes and Sierra Designs, I think Marmot has a couple bags using it as well. Considering the price of a good bag some real world feedback would be appreciated.

 
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12/31/2013 4:51 PM
 

When you are comparing weights, make sure you are comparing sleeping bags of the same size (i.e. not just length, but hip and shoulder girth) otherwise you might have a false savings in weight. 


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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12/31/2013 5:45 PM
 

I've been thinking about a down bag for a while now. Mostly for wider range of temperatures and compressibility. When I saw the new coated downs in a Backpacker Magazine gear review I thought now was probably the time. I picked out the one they said was the roomiest and was all set to buy it. Don't remember which brand. Then I compared specs with the TNF Cats Meow I already had. The Cats Meow was a couple more inches in girth, same temperature rating, compressed to a smaller size than the down one, and only weighed 4oz more. I'm guessing a comparably sized down bag (in terms of girth) would be 4oz more as well. That's pretty much how it comes out every time I look at a down bag.

I've never put a really high end down bag like a Western Mountaineering into the mix though. They might spec out a lot better. The really high fill power down I'm sure gives a considerable weight and compressibility advantage.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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1/1/2014 11:48 AM
 

 Climashield and 550 - 600 fill down spec pretty similar as far as weight, and compression. The difference, is synthetic is better when wet and drying and down is far better at numerous compression cycles and lifetime.  800 Fill down is a lot better as far as weight and compression and no synthetic really compares.  


http://www.seekoutside.com | sig added by EH... go check out Kevin's stuff!
 
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1/1/2014 6:56 PM
 

If I lived in west CO, I'd use nothing but down except maybe in the summer just using a tarp maybe.  These new DWR finishes don't let a lot of water in quickly like older fabrics did.  Time will tell about the new Dri-Downs.  I called Feathered Friends awhile back about when and if they planned to offer it.  They said a definete "maybe".  They are still testing the product's longevity/durability.

 
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1/2/2014 12:03 PM
 

Pro Lite Gear has a good series of videos at Sierra Designs HQ talking with them about it and breaking down all the different test methods. They also had one of their guys sleep in a dridown bag in a tent in a cold rain with a humidifier in the tent and he seemed impressed with the outcome the next morning. I guess it was originally developed for home bedding which gest used and washed siginifficantly more than a sleeping bag ever will. I've got a list of the most common DriDown and syntetic bags I've been looking at and a full rundown of size/ weight/ price comparrison I'll get posted on here as a rescource for anyone else looking into it.

 
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1/2/2014 9:26 PM
 

 I bought my wife a dridown jacket, but I can't convince her to do anything like adequate testing on it.

My observation is that so far it seems to be middle of the road companies (I'm just talking price point) that use dridown or treated down products, my gut reaction from this is that dridown is more of a marketing tool then a huge performance advantage. As soon as Feathered Freinds, Western Mountaineering or the other high-end down companies jump on board I'll look at it more closely. I've done my fair share of early adoption, I'm firmly on the "watch and wait" program on this one. The demostrations I've seen (all the down-in-a-jar-of-water tests) look promising but until more long-term reports roll in I'll remain skeptical.

that said I've used a down bag for a few years and never really wished it was more water resistant, it's always in a roll-top dry bag or a bivy sack but the weather isn't too extreme in my playground.

 
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1/6/2014 3:13 PM
 

that's a good way of analyzing the value of this new tech.

A couple questions for you down bag guys - everyone using a down bag inside of a single wall shelter seems to be using a bivy to protect it from condensation. The new DWR shell fabrics seem pretty good... still not good enough to trust them with your down? Also, if you are using a secondary bivy do you add that weight in when doing weight comparisons with synthetic bags?


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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1/6/2014 3:48 PM
 

 I can't say as I'm a bivy only camper most of the time. When I am stuck in a tent I don't pack a bivy but that's pretty rare. I justify my heavy bivy (just shy of 3lbs I think) with the convenience of not having to pitch a tent and the almost unlimited placement options. I've slept IN a bush on more then one occasion when ninja camping. My 20 degree bag is 1#15oz i think? So even with the bivy its a pretty light system. I've been looking for a good synthetic bag but haven't found one that really blows me away yet, in fair weather it would let be use a much lighter bivy though.

 
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1/7/2014 9:18 AM
 

 I don't use a bivy for that type of protection, or even really moisture. I do have an insulated bivy I use for added warmth. I mainly use a bivy to keep gear cleaner at times, from things like dogs etc or potentially in very sandy areas. In places like the escalante or cedar mesa canyons, it's easier to throw a bivy under an overhanging cliff than use a tent.   


http://www.seekoutside.com | sig added by EH... go check out Kevin's stuff!
 
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