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  • Mountain hardwear lamina

    Hi I know this kind of topic has been touched on a lot but I am new to Alaska and in the process of updating gear. Seems a lot of people prefer synthetic over down. I am looking at getting either the lamina (synthetic) or marmot ( waterproof down) what are your thoughts? The bag will be used mainly for hunting kind of want an all around bag if there is such a thing. Already updated to a four season tent now looking at sleeping bags. Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    I use synthetic...but I have never used down so I have no real basis for comparing. I took a friend caribou hunting last winter, temps around zero, and he had lots of high quality down. Seemed happy enough. I had good synthetic. I was happy too. Regardless of the gear, make sure you take care of it and make sure you get what is needed. For camping in zero degrees, you need at least a -20 rating, -40 is probably better. If you are thinking of fall moose hunting gear, then I don't know. I have never gone hunting with anybody during the rainy season that was using down.
    14 Days to Alaska
    Also available on Kindle and Nook


    • #3
      I switched over to treated down this year for both my sleeping bag (Sierra Designs) and insulation layer (pants and jacket - Kuiu). I am sold on it. I was really pleased with how it wicks moisture, and the weight difference is substantial.


      • #4
        Whether down or synthetic, I feel a guy really needs two sleeping bags to hunt all the seasons in Alaska. I have synthetic bags and they work fine. A -30 and 20 and I'm actually considering a third bag, a 0 degree down bag
        Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation


        • #5
          I ran across this but haven't seen the final test results so this is just for FYI:

          Hydrophobic coated down has the potential to radically address down insulation's only drawback- its susceptibility to loft loss from moisture. Nano technology coatings claim to prevent down from absorbing water and allow it to dry out faster once it does absorb water. Hydrophobic coatings have the potential to make a very good thing even better. But how much better and is it worth the additional 10% price increase?

          Our preliminary field testing has shown that treated down is not a substitute for synthetic insulation in wet conditions. Testing by one well respected company (that prefers not to be named) has shown a negligible difference between treated an untreated down in real world experiments, such as if the bag gets soaked, perhaps during a river crossing, does it dry faster and re-loft faster? Their testing suggests that it does not. Another concern is durability. Down is extremely durable: it's able to withstand hundreds of compressions, wide swings in temperatures, and proper washing restores twenty and even thirty year old down close to its original performance. We aim to test treated and untreated down side by side in sleepings bags and jackets over the long-term (and then test the down fill power) to see if treated down reduces durability. OutdoorGearLab is also in the process of developing quantitative tests through dummy skin temp probes and thermal imaging that will compare the insulation values of treated and untreated down.

          Synthetic Insulation
          Our testers use synthetic insulation for very wet conditions or trips with a moderate to high probability of getting a sleeping bag soaking wet. Synthetic insulation is good for expedition mountaineering trips that cross multiple climates, it's the only bag suitable for big wall rock climbing, and it's generally chosen for "if it gets wet you die" circumstances. Synthetic insulation is also great for lazy people that don't like to put the extra effort of caring for down products. Synthetic bags can go in the washing machine without specialized, expensive detergent. Unfortunately, synthetic insulation is far heavier and far bulkier than down insulation and is much less durable. Repeated compression breaks down synthetic fibers and reduces warmth over time-- a synthetic bag may retain its warmth less than half as long as a down insulated bag. Our specification tables, found in each review shows insulation types.
          Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.


          • #6
            Thanks for the replies very informative. I am still undecided on what I should start out with. The synthetic is about half price and is rated at -15 which is 5 warmer then the down one at -20. Overall I am sure they are both great just can't seem to make up my mind if the waterproof down is worth more then water resistent synthetic. I get acceptional deals on marmot and mountain hardwear which is why I would like to stick with either of those. Thanks again and keep replies coming.


            • #7
              The MH Lamina and UltraLamina are excellent synthetic bags. I use the Lamina 32 for all my summer activities and the Lamina 15 works well for shoulder seasons. They are warm, lofty, compressible and light. I can't imagine using the -15 for anything other than full on winter camping. When I am not hiking or weight is not a priority I really enjoy my Wiggy's Glacier Hunter.


              • #8
                The reality is that you will eventually have a few sleeping bags for various conditions.

                If you ever consider rafting or kayaking as part of your outdoors adventures you will want to stick with synthetic. the Lamina is perfect for wet weather warmth and tight quarters packing since it compresses down to less than a soccer ball in size (Ultra Lamina 15 in 72"). If you are going to be out in the rain a lot in the Gulf units or SE units you may also find a synthetic filling more beneficial.

                Everything else considered the new treated down systems are pretty cool. I am thinking of an EE quilt is on my list of things I will soon "need".


                • #9
                  Thank you all again for the information. it sounds as if the MH lamina is a solid option for what I am looking for and could save about half the cost compared to the marmot down sleeping bag. I am sure I will have several sleeping bags when all is said and done but you got to start somewhere. Thanks


                  • #10
                    Mountain Hardwear Lamina -
                    That's the finest chop-staple fiberfill bag that China can make. Congratulations. You'll get a great couple of years out of it before you're on here asking sleeping bag questions again.

                    And ask yourself; why are they coating down? To make it more like the hydrophobic quality of synthetic?
                    In doing so, they are further stifling the movement of perspiration out of the bag, because the down is now an even greater barrier to it... from within.


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