If you are going to be doing a lot of camping and backpacking in colder climates, a great down sleeping bag is a must have piece of gear. If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of down sleeping bags, you may be in for a pleasant surprise that veteran backpackers have been enjoying for years now. To sum up the benefits of down sleeping bags into just a few words; down sleeping bags are warmer, lighter, and often much more packable.
I think one of the benefits that people most enjoy about down sleeping bags is their warmth to weight ratio. A good down sleeping bag can provide you with a ton of warmth in a very small package most of the time. Because down, both natural and goose, offers such warmth and is so lightwieght, it is easy to get a warm down sleeping bag that could be compressed into the size of a football.
The packability benefits of down sleeping bags is another one of their great selling points. A down sleeping bag is almost always going to be more packable that a non-down sleeping bag. For warmer weather sleeping bags it is not uncommon to find a down sleeping bag that can be packed up small enough to fit inside your day pack and still give you plenty of room for the rest of your essential gear.
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Here are some of our favorite down sleeping bags:
- The North Face Blue Kazoo Sleeping Bag
- Marmot Sawtooth +15 Sleeping Bag
- Marmot Couloir +0 Sleeping Bag
- Big Agnes Hahns Peak Sleeping Bag
- Sherpa Adventure Gear Tenzing -40 Sleeping Bag
When you start getting into the down sleeping bags for serious cold, like -15 and below, you will loose a lot of the packability. Those types of down sleeping bags just require so much insulation that it is hard to make them compact. That said, down sleeping bags in that temperature rating are going to be much smaller than ones that aren’t down. But, most sleeping bags for extreme cold are down anyways.