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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gravity's Avatar
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    Synthetics for AT?

    I am preparing to section-hike the Appalachian Trail, and because of the wet weather, I am thinking about using TQs and UQs with synthetic insulation. I understand that synthetics perform better under wet conditions, although with enough moisture their thermal capacity will also decrease.

    I also understand that they are heavier and don't compress as much as down. I will be carrying a large pack, but am aiming at a maximum weight of 25-30 pounds. I think that the lack of compression won't be a problem, but I do have concerns about the additional weight.

    Any advice? Other pros and cons of synthetics?

  2. #2
    gunner76's Avatar
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    I used a a 3 Season Jarbidge River UQ a 1 Season Owyhee TQ from Arrowhead last summer on the AT in GA. Worked just fine. Would have preferred that they compressed a bit more but it was not a big deal. I just put them in a compression bag and straped them to the outside of my pack.

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  3. #3
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Other pros and cons of synthetics? You've already nailed it-weight and pack space, but both have drastically improved over the years....still down wins and several of the cottages (Underground Quilts and JRB are two I know of maybe more) that are now offering quilts with the highly water repellant almost waterproof down. The process to make the down such adds insignificant weight.
    Your weight goal of 25-30 pounds is a good one and in time I bet you'll shoot for even lower. Last week on our section hike my pack weight was 17 pounds and that was with 2 pounds of photography stuff
    Back to the down quandry, I've been section hiking on the AT since 1974, with countless nights using down and I've never had any wet out.

  4. #4

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    Look at the weight difference. It all depends on what an extra pound means to you. If I was gearing up for an extended trip I would go synthetic for wet country. Other folks will sweat every gram.
    YMMV

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  5. #5
    michigandave's Avatar
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    I've got a AHE KAQ New River. It doesn't pack as small as down, plus I'm using a sleeping bag for a TQ. Packed loose and stuffed in my REI Flash 62, they take a little less that 1/2 the usable space. Still leaves me plenty of room for the rest of my gear, plus I've got extra space elsewhere in the pack. Would it be nice to be a little lighter?...yes. But I'm not ready to give up my traditional Guinness on the first night out either, so it's all relevant to what you have and how important it is to carry. Hike your own hike and do what's comfortable for you.

  6. #6

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    On the AT last year, there was a bunch that didn't use any UQ at all for a large part of the trail. It was hot and humid enough as it was.
    Good judgement comes from experience - Experience comes from bad judgement

  7. #7
    Yoda's Avatar
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    This is the same thread as this one started by the OP https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...ad.php?t=71677

    See both for responses from others!
    Formerly known as "Cranky Bear"....

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