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Thread: Down and bulk

  1. #1
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    Default Down and bulk

    Hi
    I would appreciate some help here. Im fixing to pull the trigger on a bag or quilt.
    I believe I want the 20 degree rating.
    So I understand the process for determining loft ie 800 vs 900. Etc. but you can order an 800 (I forget the units used for loft) and get a bag rated at 20 degrees. Or you could order a 900 loft and also get the same 20 degree rating.
    This is confusing to me. Will one of these options be bulkier or something?
    One with more loft, one with less, yet same temp rating. To me it seems a little like saying you can buy jacket A which has a unit of loft, or get jacket B which has more loft,
    and at the end, they are identical in warmth.
    Ok so Ive expressed my ignorance, please someone help me out.🙂
    I guess the nugget Im after is would one of the two choices take up less room in my pack. Probably not enough to notice?
    As a point of interest, jumping from 750 down to 850 down ads almost 25% to the cost of the down. Which I may do if there is a reason to fo so.
    Thanks

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    From your posts it sounds like you are chasing a magic solution. Do you really need a larger pack or should you carry less stuff?

    The articles here can answer a lot of your questions about quilts. They even have a chart with stuff sizes.

    https://support.enlightenedequipment.com/

  3. #3

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    Should be the same loft for the same temp rating.
    The 900 fill will just achieve that loft with a smaller amount of down, which is why it will weigh less, pack smaller, and cost more.

  4. #4
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    In very layman's terms, the higher loft fill power = fluffier down. That translates to less down used per square inch, or whatever volume measure they use, but less down in this case doesn't mean its colder. On the contrary, because the fluffier down lofts a bit easier, I find it to be warmer since it lofts higher to me. It also is more susceptible to your movement around in the bag collapsing the loft, but then the fluffiness kicks in and it lofts back quickly. I think its worth the price if you can get a little overstuff. Otherwise, I find a lot of 900 fills items to be a little too wispy. It really depends on the make. I have the ZPacks solo quilt 20 which is da bomb!
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    In very layman's terms, the higher loft fill power = fluffier down. That translates to less down used per square inch, or whatever volume measure they use, but less down in this case doesn't mean its colder. On the contrary, because the fluffier down lofts a bit easier, I find it to be warmer since it lofts higher to me. It also is more susceptible to your movement around in the bag collapsing the loft, but then the fluffiness kicks in and it lofts back quickly. I think its worth the price if you can get a little overstuff. Otherwise, I find a lot of 900 fills items to be a little too wispy. It really depends on the make. I have the ZPacks solo quilt 20 which is da bomb!
    = more air entrapment.

  6. #6
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    = more " warm" air entrapment.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seesfar View Post
    Hi
    I would appreciate some help here. I’m fixing to pull the trigger on a bag or quilt.
    I believe I want the 20 degree rating.
    So I understand the process for determining loft… ie 800 vs 900. Etc. but you can order an 800 (I forget the units used for loft) and get a bag rated at 20 degrees. Or you could order a 900 loft and also get the same 20 degree rating.
    This is confusing to me. Will one of these options be bulkier or something?
    One with more loft, one with less, yet same temp rating. To me it seems a little like saying you can buy jacket A which has a unit of loft, or get jacket B which has more loft,
    and at the end, they are identical in warmth.
    Ok so I’ve expressed my ignorance, please someone help me out.
    I guess the nugget I’m after is would one of the two choices take up less room in my pack. Probably not enough to notice?
    As a point of interest, jumping from 750 down to 850 down ads almost 25% to the cost of the down. Which I may do if there is a reason to fo so.
    Thanks
    If you are worried about bulk *and* weight, the FP of the down — whether 800, 850 or 950 — pales in comparison to the denier of SHELL MATERIAL. A quilt made with 10D (or even 7D) will weigh less and stuff *much* smaller than something made with 20D.

    So worry more about the shell material, less about the down.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  8. #8

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    In the old days the best down bag you could get (think 1975) was North Face with 550 down fill. If pulled apart the down looked clumped-up with plenty of quills---almost like a modern day feather pillow.

    Fast forward 40 years and 900 fill changes everything---weight and warmth. Put on a 900 fill jacket and you'll feel the difference immediately---instant warmth. As far as bag shells go---the reason I got my WM Puma down bag in 2007 was because it used a Microfiber shell, a fave.

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    The light clicked on lol
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    In very layman's terms, the higher loft fill power = fluffier down. That translates to less down used per square inch, or whatever volume measure they use, but less down in this case doesn't mean its colder. On the contrary, because the fluffier down lofts a bit easier, I find it to be warmer since it lofts higher to me. It also is more susceptible to your movement around in the bag collapsing the loft, but then the fluffiness kicks in and it lofts back quickly. I think its worth the price if you can get a little overstuff. Otherwise, I find a lot of 900 fills items to be a little too wispy. It really depends on the make. I have the ZPacks solo quilt 20 which is da bomb!
    Thanks! Makes perfect sense

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    In the old days the best down bag you could get (think 1975) was North Face with 550 down fill. If pulled apart the down looked clumped-up with plenty of quills---almost like a modern day feather pillow.

    Fast forward 40 years and 900 fill changes everything---weight and warmth. Put on a 900 fill jacket and you'll feel the difference immediately---instant warmth. As far as bag shells go---the reason I got my WM Puma down bag in 2007 was because it used a Microfiber shell, a fave.
    Thanks so much!

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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    Should be the same loft for the same temp rating.
    The 900 fill will just achieve that loft with a smaller amount of down, which is why it will weigh less, pack smaller, and cost more.
    Makes good sense thanks

  13. #13

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    I would try really hard to borrow or maybe rent some different bags/quilts. I was new to quilts 2 years ago and was told by many people, including customer service folks at the major boutique quilt makers, that I should get a 20* for my first quilt. So that's what I got. It is very hot for me. I don't really ever go out much below 30. Most of the time its lows in the 60s-40s. Likewise my friend got a 40* and he freezes. lol. Now I am in a pickle.. live with being hot or spend $400 (long wide, 900 fill) for a 10* warmer bag?

    Before you plop down $300+ try some out somehow to see what temp rating you like.

  14. #14

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    Maybe swap quilts with your friend.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    Maybe swap quilts with your friend.
    I thought about that but he is much shorter than me. His quilt is a reg/reg

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioHiker View Post
    I would try really hard to borrow or maybe rent some different bags/quilts. I was new to quilts 2 years ago and was told by many people, including customer service folks at the major boutique quilt makers, that I should get a 20* for my first quilt. So that's what I got. It is very hot for me. I don't really ever go out much below 30. Most of the time its lows in the 60s-40s. Likewise my friend got a 40* and he freezes. lol. Now I am in a pickle.. live with being hot or spend $400 (long wide, 900 fill) for a 10* warmer bag?

    Before you plop down $300+ try some out somehow to see what temp rating you like.
    This is especially true if you happen to be an extreme outlier like me when it comes to insulation needs(or lack thereof).

    It helps to be realistic about when and where you'll be backpacking, and to know how those temp ratings relate to you personally. Unfortunately, trial and error is the only way to find out, and that can get expensive quick.

    I see that 20 rec over and over, yet notice the majority of backpacking traffic seems to disappear when temps get below freezing at night. That's actually why I plan all of my "big trips" out of season, so I don't have to see many people.

    If you're a cold sleeper, and/or out in sub-freezing weather a lot, you may genuinely need a 20 bag. If it turns out you sleep warm, or don't actually get out in temps that justify it, that "standard advice" could have you carrying extra weight and bulk just to be less comfortable.

  17. #17

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    I sprung for the Marmot sub-kilo high loft bag and never regretted it. Forms a very small package, and super warm 3 seasons.

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    Thanks a lot. I actually bought the zpacks quilt at 20 degrees . Its not here yet.
    Hope it works out

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    Thank you sir!

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    Sounds like a great bag

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