Originally Posted by joe a
Synthetic is fine and dandy, but I just son't think you can "get" the value of down until you sleep in it's luxury. I am pretty hard on gear myself, but the one think I would be completely unwilling to give up is my Western Mountaineering 20 degree bag.
Hey Joe, I have heard all of that before!
I actually had a friend insist I try his WM bag for a night. Your word "luxury" is right on the spot. To be honest, before I started looking into hammocks, a WM bag was at the top of my wish list.
The loft the bag provides under you is one of the best parts of a down bag and the luxury factor. In the hammock context however, an underquilt, as the name sort of implies goes under the hammock, and that luxury is all but lost. The thick loft below the hammock still does wonders to block out both convective heat loss and drafts, but you don't get to sleep "on" the down. Splash up is also an issue with underquilts - you hang not far above the ground with the tarp covering you, but frequently splash from the raindrops that hit ground still make it up to the bottom of the UQ. As a down bag user you certainly know the issues with getting the down wet, particularly frequently. So underquilt users now often carry waterproof breathable covers to protect the underquilt - but this then negates a big chunk of the weight savings provided by the down vs synthetic.
So today I started researching ways to maximize the charging potential of that USB plug on the Biolite. I found a really cool little charger that weighs a few ounces and will recharge my 16340 (CR123A) and 18650 flashlight batteries from that port.