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Syn/down sleep system
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whalen e
(whalen) - M

Locale: PNW
Syn/down sleep system on 01/25/2013 09:48:53 MST Print View

So recently I've become interested in snowshoeing and winter camping here in WA. My winter outings will be limited to overnighters, at most 4 nights, and nothing too extreme as far as temp or elevation. I was about to buy a 0 degree down bag when I was convinced that a down quilt with a synthetic overquilt was the way to go, despite the weight penalty. I like the modularity and it seems a good way to deal with condensation on multi night trips.

Currently, I have two 850 down quilts: 20 & 40 degree. I thought about getting a syn quilt, and perhaps selling one of my downs. But I don't know which rating I should choose.

So my question for those who use this type of sleep system: if i had only had two bags, which would be the more practical choice, as far as versatility, weight, AND use here in the PNW?

a 50 degree syn to use with my 20 degree down?
a 30 syn as my main bag here in rainy PNW and add my 40 down quilt to it in winter?
Another combination.

Is it pretty much 6 and half a dozen, or does one combination lend itself to being more favorable?

Appreciate the advice, as always.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Syn/down sleep system on 01/25/2013 10:31:33 MST Print View

How cold will it get?

Since you have them, try the two down quilts. Weigh them before and after. See if the outside one absorbed any water.

It would be interesting to test the idea that you need an outer syn layer. Maybe this applies only for some extreme case of cold and number of nights.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Syn/down sleep system on 01/25/2013 11:25:21 MST Print View

50* syn with 20* down is the way to go.
Less weight and bulk. You get the protection of the syn and the warmth of the down.
I doubt you will get the combo to 0* but pushing 5-10* with layering shouldn't be too tough?
I've done a 15 ounce down quilt in a long 15* bag and stayed warmer in it than my 0* bag, all while weighing 1 ounce less, (yoo hoo). It just wasn't as warm in the hood, so that will be another small issue.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Syn/down sleep system on 01/25/2013 12:45:57 MST Print View

Tim at Enlightened Equipment recently responded to a question I posed about using two quilts in winter instead of one. His advice was to put the lower rated quilt on top (i.e., a 40 degree) and the higher rated quilt (i.e, a 20 degree) under it. The theory being you want the point of freezing condensation to occur on your lower rated quilt. In the case of a Syn/Down system that makes complete sense to have the Syn quilt on the top.

whalen e
(whalen) - M

Locale: PNW
Re on 01/25/2013 12:59:43 MST Print View

Thx Randy. That makes sense because you don't want a heavy syn quilt suppressing the down loft beneath it, something I knew but overlooked.

A 50 syn quilt over my 20 down seems to be the best combination.

Thx for those who gave their insight.