Home |  About |  AO Community |  Ordering & Returns |  Store Location |  Enquiries |  Site Map |  Cookies |  
Basket   View Cart  | Checkout 

 Sleeping Bag Advice

Which fill do I need?

We are often ask which is best - Down or Synthetic?

The answer is: It depends on how you are going to be using the bag, and how much you have to spend. Neither can be considered best as each has its Pros and Cons
Synthetic FillSynthetic Fill


  • Cheaper initial outlay
  • More insulation is retained if the bag gets wet


  • Larger pack size for given warmth compared to down
  • Higher weight for given warmth compared to down
  • Greater loss of loft over time compared to down
Down Fill

Down Fill


  • Lighter for given warmth compared to synthetic fill
  • Smaller pack size for given warmth compared to synthetic
  • Retains loft over longer period of time compared to synthetic fill


  • Higher inital expenditure
  • Does not retain much insulation once wet, although water resistant outers help

To largely negate the issue of performance loss due to moisture, Rab and other manufacturers have now introduced Hydrophobic Down into their sleeping bags. This does not make the bags waterproof, but does allow the down to maintain loft, and hence thermal performance, in damp conditions.

Other considerations for sleeping bags


When not in use store your sleeping bag in a dry place, in an uncompressed state. Down bags are usually supplied with a storage sack, but a large pillow case is usually a good alternative

Keep it dry when out and about:

We generally suggest that you carry your sleeping bag inside its own dry-sack, as well as being inside your general rucksack liner.

Compression sacks are not always the best for overall pack volume:

Although the compression stuff sack will minimise the volume of your sleeping bag, it's not necessarily the best way to pack your sack. We prefer to use a slightly larger dry-sack. This results in a softer package which molds around the hard items in you pack, so filling what would otherwise be dead space.


Camping | Sleeping Bags | Down Sleeping Bags | Sleeping Bag Advice

Action Outdoors, 15 Court Farm, Stutton Road, Brantham, Manningtree, CO11 1PW | T:01473 211647 | E: info@actionoutdoors.co.uk  

 Copyright ©Action Outdoors  V2.8.1