My whole life, we have had down sleeping bags for camping… it has been drilled into my thick skull that down will always be the warmest.
So it was a MASSIVE surprise to me when it was recommended by an American Adventurist friend that we try a synthetic sleeping bag from Teton Sports. It came so highly recommended, in fact, that Cris got the Celsius XL -20 degree bag for me for Christmas, and I took it on our year end trip to Death Valley, where we expected temps to get way below freezing during the overnight hours.
Was I ever shocked to find out that synthetic filling has come a LONG way since I was a kid. My dad has down sleeping bags that he’s had for 30 years, and they still work great for him. Nothing against down, as long as its taken care of properly, it can remain very warm and comfortable for a very long time, but if you happen to get it wet, its all down hill from there. Down gear also usually has a very high price point, and if you’re willing and able to go that way, it’s not a bad option.
The Teton Sports Bag has a fantastic price point with a huge payout. My bag is a synthetic fill rectangular bag with flannel lining, and a mummy style hood for warmth and protection from the elements. Since I am a little claustrophobic, it is really hard for me to sleep comfortably in a full mummy bag. I was incredibly warm on the the 10 day trip in our little trailer and did not feel the need to double up on layers or add a beanie, although, if we were in a tent at those temps, I might add a beanie and socks. If things get REAL cold, or just for fun, you can even zip a right zip bag and a left zip bag together, although the company does offer a double bag as well.
I was so happy with the bag, that Cris went out and bought a 30 degree bag for himself, AND a zero degree, just to be safe. He sleeps much warmer than I do, so he will only use the zero degree in extreme temps, but at such a great deal, it makes sense.