I've been trying to research sleeping bags for the last couple weeks and I got my coupon which is about to expire ..so I want to make my decision before I lose that chance.
I had a list of 7 bags I was looking into, but now I think I've successfully narrowed it down to 2. I've been so overwhelmed, and now I'm down to the wire before I lose that coupon!
So, I get cold easily, and wanted the warmest bag at the lightest weight possible. I plan to start doing backpacking overnights this summer/fall, in the PNW. I have never liked down/feather anything before because i have always gotten feathers poking out at me, so I'm leaning toward the Forte20 simply based on that. In my reading I've also read that the down fill doesn't do "wet" as well. The cold sleeper comfort rating is only about 3° different, and the weight is only about 1/2lb different. It seems the real big difference is the compressed size. 9.8 vs 11.7 liters. I have really no idea what that looks like though. And I don't really know what the materials would feel like either.
I was gifted the funds to buy whichever bag I wanted, so price isn't the real factor - still don't want to waste a coupon.. I was going to try to make time to get into Issaquah tomorrow and HOPE they have both I can see in person, but I feel that's very unlikely, and my time right now is so tight. I need help. My brain has melted on this. Am I really going to miss out if I just go synthetic?
Thanks for reaching out!
You've chosen two really good sleeping bags! Based on what you've told us, it sounds like the real decision comes down to weight, warmth, and size vs comfort (no down feathers poking out) and not being concerned with the insulation getting wet. While synthetic insulation has made some vast improvements in recent years, down is warmer for its weight and packs down smaller than synthetic fibers.
While you are correct that if down gets wet it 'clumps' up and loses its insulation value, the down in the NEMO Disco is treated with a durable water repellant (DWR) to help it shed moisture and stay lofted. I have been using down sleeping bags for a long time and have never experienced being poked by the down feathers (definitely with down jackets though!) and the reviews of the Disco are almost all positive and do not mention that issue.
All of that being said, if you want the warmest bag at the lightest weight possible, the down bag is the way to go. That is particularly true if you're concerned about the size, as over 2 liters of difference in volume between the two is pretty significant. If you have extra room in your pack it may not matter that much, but if you're using a smaller backpack that could be an issue.
We hope you were able to try them out in person and maybe even pack them into their compression sacks for a side-by-side size comparison.
Hopefully this helps, thanks!
Thank you! I made it in today, but they only had one Forte20 left and it was missing the stuff sack, so unfortunately it was already marked down 15% and I couldn't use my coupon. I did however get great help while I was there and I was able to use my coupon for an online order to ALSO get the Disco15 which is being shipped to me next week. He said if I can, I could get both and return the one I don't choose, so that's what i'm going to do ☺
Thanks for following up with us, we're glad to hear you got some great help in the Issaquah store!
We would be very appreciative if you could circle back with us here in the community when you've made your decision to let us, and anyone else who comes across this thread, which bag you went with. Additionally, don't hesitate to come back and tell us how it works when you get it out on its first adventure!
If feathers were leaking from the bags you had used before, they were not filled with down. In a quality down bag, the down stays down in the bag where it belongs. I would say that a difference of 1/2 pound is indeed significant - you will be carrying that weight all the time, everywhere. Lug it twenty miles and I'll bet you will agree....
The best course is to personally inspect the bags. A sleeping bag is the most significant item you will purchase (along with your backpack and boots) so be sure you get what works for you.......