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  1. #1
    Senior Member pure_mahem's Avatar
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    Compression kills?

    Okay, there has been the age old beat a dead horse debate about wich is better down or synthetic. THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT WHICH IS BETTER!

    The question I am posing is that the argument in a lot of cases is that you cant compress one type down as far as the other and it takes more space in your pack. Given that both types of insulation are on the light wieght side, does it not make sense to have a larger pack and store your insulation uncompressed. will it not last longer? I believe I've read numerous posts that compressing your quilt or underquilt whether it's synthetic or down degrades the quilts ability to insulate overtime. So should we carry a large pillow on ourt back and keep our quilts uncompressed.

    I know Ray Jardine says he packs his quilt last in his pack to keep it uncompressed as possible. I probably wouldn't do this but could see stuffing it in the bottom of my pack or folding it and placing it in the bottom of my pack in no restrictive compression sack what soever.

    Am I right in thinking this, does it make sense? So where the argument being "boy that's gonna be on the bulky side isn't it." If you stored either type uncompressed aren't they both bulky?

  2. #2
    Mule's Avatar
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    Down retains its ability to spring back for years, much better than synthetics. But if you think about it, no longer than your bag is compressed within your pack, you are going to do very little damage to it by stuffing it. The whole reason for these bags and their expense is that they do compress so you don't have to have an enormous pack.
    I have mentioned before, the down sleeping bag that is compressed in a steel box under the ejections seats of fighter jets stays there for years before it is used, if ever, and springs to life to save that of the downed pilot, no pun intended..
    There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
    Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

  3. #3
    Senior Member pure_mahem's Avatar
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    Just my thoughts on the ejection seat deal. The bag is only being compressed once in it's lifetime and I would think this would do minimal damage to it. I've read many post about peoples down bags breaking down and not feeling as warm as when they first got them. Most likely from the constant recompression and use of it.

    I'm not saying to have a huge pack but my plan is to place my insulation inside my pack on the bottom with out a any compression other than rest of my gear on it. I know this would mean I would use a somewhat larger pack than if I compressed everything but if I really need the room all I got to do is stuff my pack tighter and I imagine the insulation would be the first thing to give and compress down more to make room. But on my standard hike I would not need to do this and so I just let it sit in the pack. With no doubt it will break down the insulation some after time by doing this but it can't possibly compare to the breakdown experienced with stuffing it all in a compression sack and cranking the sucker down. And I imagine this would hold plausible for down or synthetic. My personal preference leads toward synthetic because it's economical for me right now, but that's my choice.

    I guess what I'm saying is that if I had the choice to buy a pack where all my gear just barely fit, why not go for something with 1000 ci more of space and just let my insulation do it's thing. I imagine for ultralighters this would be debatable as you save the weight for the compression sack(s) vs. the additional fabric added to the pack.

  4. #4
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    I'll cinch my down (anything) as small as possible. I'm paying to use it because it is warm and very compressable. If I lose a year or 2 from it so be it.
    I'm interested in how small my Peapod will cinch down.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I'm with sherpaxc on this one. I don't expect anything as lightweight as much of my gear is to last forever. Improvements will come along and make me spend more money any-dang-ways. Winter quilt becomes a summer quilt when/if I lose any insulative properties due to repeated compression. I'd rather have the room in my pack for extra munchies. So, compressing I will go, compressing I will go, hi ho the merry o compressing I will go.
    Trust nobody!

  6. #6
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    I used to pack my down bag into such a small space that I'd work up a sweat. That bag got a ton of use in the 70's, less as time went on, but it's still going strong after 39 years.

    The only reason I use a bigger stuff sack now is so I don't have to work so @#$% hard to stuff it. OTOH, if I need the space in my pack, I can stuff it smaller.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hector's Avatar
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    In this hand I have six, and in the other, half a dozen. Pick whichever makes you happy, and store your bag uncompressed when not in use, and you should be happy, my son.

  8. #8
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    I cram it in my pack until everything fits. The first thing I do in camp is to setup and let all the insulation reloft. A shake it around a little too to help it reloft.

    I had good luck with putting my down bag and quilt in the dryer to help reloft. I did notice a difference afterward. I heard washing does the same thing, I am hesitant to wash my bags because of the waterproof coating.

    Measure the loft of your quilt, fully compress and leave it there for awhile, then spread it out and give it time to reloft. I think you would be surprised.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  9. #9
    slowhike's Avatar
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    just a thought... one piece of insulated gear i noticed a loss of loft in was the ray way quilt.
    it got thinner & l'm quite sure it lost some of it's warmth.
    but it didn't lose any weight
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  10. #10
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Compression is tougher on synthetics than down.... The temptation to compress or over compress is higher with synthetics than down, due to its greater bulk.... Got some Cacoon Gear (vest and balaclava) from BPL's new years eve sale.... Both pieces came with warnings not to over compress, first i've seen that.

    Note, as a down goods manufacturer I may be considered biased.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

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