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  1. #1
    troutalope's Avatar
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    Down or Synthetic

    Hey everyone.

    I am looking to purchase my first under quilt. Two specific models I am looking at is the KAQ Jarbidge River UQ or the HG Phoenix 40 (add 2oz overstuff). I am looking for something to take me from April-October. The average lows hover around the low 40's (why I would add overstuff) for the coldest months. Obviously it can drop and does drop below 40 and also slighting above.

    I love the price of the Jarbidge, but am worried that it will not pack down small enough to fit in my pack (REI Flash 45). Besides packability what are the pro's/con's of synthetic vs down and is the down worth the extra $77 between the two quilts?
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  2. #2
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have already made the argument for the HG Phoenix. If you're trying to fit into a REI Flash 45, I don't think the Jarbidge is the best choice.
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  3. #3
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    I think the kaq will fit in your pack fine for weekend trips. My guess is the Phoenix will pack down a good 30% more than the kaq. One good thing about synthetic is that it will still keep you warm if its wet unlike untreated down. Down is definitely worth the extra cost though if you know you'll be hammock camping for a long time.

  4. #4
    New Member jabomba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckyy View Post
    I think the kaq will fit in your pack fine for weekend trips. My guess is the Phoenix will pack down a good 30% more than the kaq. One good thing about synthetic is that it will still keep you warm if its wet unlike untreated down. Down is definitely worth the extra cost though if you know you'll be hammock camping for a long time.
    If I remember correctly HG uses treated down in all their quilts now.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mountnman's Avatar
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    They do use treated down and it is amazing. The dry down has to go through extensive testing before the down industry will give that approval. One test is putting the down in a jar with water and having a machine shake it for 45 mins and the down must still be able to loft. With the use of the treated down I would recommend the down all day long. Shoot I would recommend down either way. I have used down for many years and have not once had an issue and there have been plenty of opportunity for something to go wrong. So my vote is for down.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Cost is the Jarbidge's main advantage, but will it really save you $77? (I can't get the 3 season price to show at the web site) And you have already stated the disadvantage. I don't think there would be a lot of weight advantage after you add the 2 oz overfill, other than the Phoenix is a short model, so that will save you some weight, maybe 6 oz. The JBidge is short also, but 6" longer than the Phoenix.

    I think the Jbidge will be a bit warmer even after you add the 2 oz down to the HG. It is rated at 25F, and severl folks here have used theirs way below rated, though others have not been able to get much lower. People and conditions vary so much. And you will be able to use a smaller sit pad for your feet due to it's extra length.

    Both will do fine in damp conditions, what with the HG's treated down.

    So, the JB will cost a bit less, be a bit warmer(I think) and cover a bit more of your body.

    The HG will be a couple of inches wider if that matters to you, cost more, and pack noticeably smaller.

    Which combo of pros and cons appeals most to you? And can you fit all your gear and a JB in your pack? I don't know the answer to that.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 05-23-2015 at 21:06.
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  7. #7
    bkrgi's Avatar
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    If your committed to the Hammock go Down all the way...nothing like it.
    Do give serious consideration to your temp range though and consider a 10* buffer on the low end
    If temps are 40* for your low end go with a 30* quilt.. nothing worse than being cold especially on your backside.
    With down as temps go up it does not mean you will overheat...just remove layers off of yourself or vent your topside..but please do not skimp on the low side of the temp scale for your one under quilt.
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  8. #8

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    You can always talk to the guys over at HG about making a custom 30* Phoenix. They are very willing to work with you.
    That would give you the 10* buffer and would bring you a little closer to the 25* rating of the JB.

  9. #9
    somniferous's Avatar
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    Depending upon how long your trips are, the jarbidge should fit into your pack. I fit one along with a 20* flight jacket just fine into my REI crestrail 48 for a 3 day hike and had room left over. One trick is to use a pack liner, ie trash compactor bag, and ditch the stuff sacks for the quilts. You just toss both quilts loose into the pack inside the liner, ends up saving a lot of room as they can compress into the shape of the pack.

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