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Spend vs difference in these 3 pretty similar sleeping bags, thoughts?


Reflex
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Hi,

Im looking at these two:

WM Sycamore MF, 2lbs. $489.00, 25 EN, 850 fill down, fill weight 17 oz, quilts out, open foot box
http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/product_Western-Mountaineering-Sycamore-MF-25-Degree-Sleeping-Bag_10079728_10208_10000001_-1_

Sea To Summit Trek II, 2lbs, 4oz, $239.00 (on sale) 18 EN, 650 fill down, fill weight 17.6 oz, quilts out, open footbox
https://www.rei.com/product/830941/sea-to-summit-trek-tkii-sleeping-bag?cm_mmc=cse_PLA_GOOG-_-8309410002&CAWELAID=120217890000798479&lsft=cm_mmc:cse_PLA_GOOG

Sierra Designs Zissou, 23 EN, 2lbs, 15.6 oz fill weight, 700 down, $199, but not footbox, doesnt quilt out.
https://www.rei.com/product/102275/sierra-designs-zissou-23-sleeping-bag

So, in specs they seem pretty similar or am I missing something?

4oz more on the STSUmmit bag, about $150 cheaper.

thoughts?

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The Western Mountaineering uses 850 fill down. 850 fill down is better insulating for the same weight and compresses better then the 650 fill down and 750 fill down. The differences aren't great but you do pay a big premium for 850 fill down.

The Western Mountaineering down is not treated to be water repellant while the Sierra Designs and Sea to Summit  down is.

You must be getting pretty close to hitting the trail Reflex. :)

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Does anyone have real life experience with higher and lower fill power down. Is 850 fill power that much better than 700 fill power? I have down bags, but don't know what fill power down is in them. All of the ones that I have are old and heavy, so I'm confident that they are low fill power. They keep me warm, but they are heavy and bulky. When someone switches to a high fill power bag, do they love it or wonder why they switched? I understand the theory, but wonder whether the experience matches it.

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If you are camping for several nights in a damp/wet environment with no opportunity to air out the bag during the day, it might be an issue. Hopefully someone with more experience camping in those conditions will post here. 

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Down is naturally water repellent. I haven't been convinced that dri-down is necessary or makes a difference. But it's a great marketing tool - who wouldn't want dri-down? If you ever crawled inside a Western Mountaineering bag, you know why they can charge so much. They are really well made and use the best down available. Does 850 fill goose down do a better job than 700 fill treated duck down? Probably.

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I can't speak to these specific bags, but I do own a Kelty Cosmic down 21 with 550 fill and I also own a Sea To Summit Spark SpI that has an EN of 45 degrees and is filled with 850+ water repellent. 

It's hard to use these as a side by side comparison due to the different temperature ratings, but even if you needed to add some extra feathers into the SpI to get to a 21 EN rating, it would still be leagues lighter and smaller. Both bags keep me warm in the intended temps.

For the three you are looking at, I'd probably go with the Sea to Summit. I can't personally justify spending twice as much on the Western Mountaineering bag. I have zero experience with that brand, but it would really need to perform to drop that price on it.  

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13 hours ago, toejam said:

Down is naturally water repellent. I haven't been convinced that dri-down is necessary or makes a difference.

Are you sure that's correct toejam?

I've been told down will clump together when it gets wet and lose nearly almost all its insulating properties.  Synthetic insulation is supposed to retain most of its insulating ability even when wet. Treated goose and duck down is supposed to prevent the down from clumping together, thereby maintaining its loft and its ability to keep oneself warm.

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A wet down bag is a total disaster. It happened to me only once in BC on the Alaska border and it nearly cost me my life.  I would definitely go for Dridown if you spend most of your time in a dry climate. Otherwise I would go for a synthetic bag.

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