Around the World on a Motorbike

Sleeping Bag – Down or Synthetic

Carinthia Defence 4 sleeping bag Schlafsack


Sleeping is essential for our health. The sleep quality decides whether we can start the day and tackle with enough energy. That is why it is important not to be tight, buying a sleeping bag

Down or synthetic

When I was young, I used only cheap sleeping bags from Lidl. During planning my pilgrimage on the Way of St James I decided to invest some money and buy a decent one.
Because light wight was very important for me on this trip, the sleeping bag needed to be really light, packed small and must be really warm as I traveled without a tent. After a long research, only a down sleeping bag would hit this target.

Advantages Down

  • The weight / insulation ratio is still undefeated
  • packed small
  • long-lasting when well maintained

Disadvantages Down

  • The Insulation value drops considerably in wet conditions
  • Once wet, it takes a long time to dry
  • Complex cleaning (should be washed in special cleaning)
  • unpleasant odors
  • Expensive
  • should washed only a couple of times as the dawns getting destroyed
  • shouldn’t be stored in storage bag for a long period

Yeti VIB 250

Finally, after a long research, I bought theYeti VIB 250. The quality and workmanship was excellent and the sleep comfort was amazing

As a result of weight saving I did the trip without a tent and used my raincoat as a tarp. Due to that, the sleeping bag was subjected to extreme stress as the sleeping bag was unprotected.

After 5 1/2 weeks it was time for a wash. Unfortunately, I decided to use my own washing machine. Therefore the fluff dropped down and the bag wasn’t as warm as before.

Vaude down sleeping bag

Furthermore, I used a Vaude down sleeping bag with a comfort temperature up to -10 degrees which I purchased from ebay. It was a great, super warm and comfortable sleeping bag which I used on all my tours until last year.


After eight years using a down sleeping bag, I sold my Vaude in summer 2016. I wanted to replace for a synthetic one.

Advantages Synthetic

  • robust and insensitive
  • cheap
  • anti-allergic
  • no moisture absorption
  • can be stored compressed
  • dries quickly

Disadvantages Synthetic

  • larger pack size
  • more heavy
  • lower sleep comfort
  • smaller life span

Carinthia Defence 4

After a long research on the internet, I found my sleeping bag. The Carinthia Defence 4

Kelti upslope tarp in france just before the thunderstorm

In France just before the thunderstorm

Why a winter sleeping bag?

When I travel, I wear love to wear layers to keep me warm. However during the night I prefer to sleep in underwear. Due to the fact that the sleeping quality depends on the right temperature.
Therefore I prefer to carry some extra weight, as in hot conditions I can regulate the temperature via the zipper.

That’s why I’m using a winter sleeping bag on my journeys f it does not depend on every gram weight loss.

The Defence 4 proved to be a great sleeping bag in summer 2016 in France. Protected only by my Tarp, I spent the night outdoors. A heavy thunderstorm settled, but could not impress my sleeping bag. I was really impressed by the fact that the sleeping bag was really warm, even get hit by the rain.

Also on my second trip in 2016, the Coast to Coast, the bag proved to be a great choice


After years using a down bag , I am impressed by the synthetic and will use them in the future. If weight isn’t the key fact, I would highly recommend a synthetic. I am convinced by the advantages of the Defence 4

(Visited 308 times, 1 visits today)

1 Comment

  1. gale

    Across Canada and western US, the – 10 C bag may not keep you warm unless you sleep also in some of your clothes . Just saying, stay warm and dry for you are going to see/experience some truly awesome wonders as you head toward the Pacific. I have given several bike friends this site in the event you need anything.
    Sierra Alpha

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *