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  1. #1
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    Synthetic Top Quilt Questions

    Hey Guys-

    I'm taking a hard look at the EnLIGHTened Equipment ProdigyX top quilt. It's synthetic and uses cosmetic seconds material for the shell. I really like the value of the 40 degree setup as this would cover nearly all my camping requirements.

    So I know more here use down. I don't want to start a down vs. synthetic war but I'm wondering what you all use and why? It would seem for warmer potentially high humidity months synthetic might actually be preferable? Again, no harm intended, I just literally don't know.

    Another thing, how small does the Prodigy or other synthetic top quilt pack?

    Advantages of synthetic over down? Down over synthetic?

  2. #2
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    Advantages of synthetic fill over down: cheaper, functions better when wet

    Advantages of down fill over synthetic: lighter, more compressible, with proper care will last longer, feels good

  3. #3
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    I use a BackpackingLight Primaloft TQ in the summer in temps down to the low 50's. At 13 ounces, it's not too bad. Once it get below 50's, I go back to my down. The BPL TQ hasn't had any issues. If it had a bit more Primaloft, I'd use it cooler than I do.

    If I was going to buy one TQ, I'd go for the 30 over the 40. That opens up a lot more flexibility and covers more unexpected weather. I wouldn't bother with a 40 TQ until I had my 3 season requirements met.

  4. #4

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    I am just about finished with a climashield apex underquilt and I dont think it is going to be THAT much heavier then down. The biggest drawback is it does not compress nearly as much.

  5. #5
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    I have the topquilt from Paul at AAE its kept me warm so far it doesn't compress as well as down

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by stalker42 View Post
    I am just about finished with a climashield apex underquilt and I dont think it is going to be THAT much heavier then down. The biggest drawback is it does not compress nearly as much.
    Would you mind showing a picture of your quilt all compressed? I've wanted to make one for a while but I"ve always hesitated because I have no idea of what size it will be.

  7. #7
    gunner76's Avatar
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    I own and use both down and synthetic TQ's and UQs. I tend to use the down in the winter and the synthetic during the warmer weather.
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  8. #8
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    I use synthetic for warm weather insulation and have used it for colder weather as well (as far down as 21* F). That being said, the hydrophobic down coming out now (the only cottage manufacturer that I'm aware of using it is Underground Quilts) may make two of the major synthetic advantages moot: their resistance to moisture and their hypoallergenicy (my spell check insists that that's not a word, but...). However, synthetic's price advantage is actually increased by the hydrophobic treatment, so that may be a wash for you.

    For me, the main reason I went with synthetic is fairly pedestrian: price. A poncho liner is ~$30 and good to ~40* for me, at a weight penalty of ~0.75 lbs over a down quilt of the same rating. Plus, it won't collapse on me if it gets damp from ambient humidity (very likely down here in FL above 50*, which is where I'll be using it most of the time).

    The modular insulation system I'm currently working on uses synthetics for its warm-weather portion, specifically because the insulation is a smaller percentage of the total weight of the quilts at those temperatures. This lessens the total weight penalty, since the weight advantage of down at those temperatures is less. It also increases reliability.

    The bulk penalty for me is less of an issue due to my pack; I use a modular DIY pack inspired by the Molly Mac Pack design. So, I can vary up and down on volume constraints fairly easily. For someone with a fixed pack volume, it may be worth going with the smallest packable items possible, meaning down.

    Anyway, those're my reasons. YMMV, and all that.
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  9. #9
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    I am trying to decide between the EnLIGHTened Equipment ProdigyX top quilt and the RevelationX.
    Both in the same size (6' reg) and same temp (30 degree), the ProdigyX is $50 cheaper and 8oz heavier.
    Being in Washington state, I am tempted to go with the ProdigyX just due to rainfall/misting issues here. I really want to go with the RevelationX for the compresability, but not sure that is going to happen.

  10. #10
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    DIY synthetics

    Thanks for the discussion. I also live in Florida with high humidity and do not do any winter camping. Going to Pacific Northwest this summer and I have some concerns about the mist/rain with down.

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