The Low Down on Down

Down has come to be considered the highest choice for sleeping bags. Down bags are certainly light and pack really small, but the benefits stop there. 

When you get the real lowdown on down, you’ll begin to see it’s not always what it seems.

  • Down doesn’t breath so cannot regulate body temperature
  • Down can’t take humid/damp conditions so need to zip up inside a tent.
  • That tent creates a humid microclimate from Insensible Perspiration and Breathing.
  • Thermal stress causes your body to expend energy rather than to restore it.
  • Down and synthetics fabric is extremely Flammable and needs toxic flame retardants
  • Down is a breeding ground for dust mites
  • Most down is cruelly live-plucked from birds who live in inhumane conditions. See this story.
  • Toxic chemicals are added to make the down more water repellant. This actually makes it take longer to dry.

Because down doesn’t insulate or breathe, it cannot regulate your body temperature… as a result, many people sweat under a down jacket or comforter.

In a controlled study, subjects sleeping in a 64 degree Fahrenheit room reported that down tested outside of the comfortable range for optimal sleep. And, as you learned above, this “thermal stress” causes you to expend energy rather than restore it.

Down creates “microclimates” – so where you may be perfectly warm under one section of a down comforter, you may be roasting in another.

Again, these microclimates cause your body to work hard to keep your body comfortable. Waking up with your head on a sweaty pillow or experiencing that clammy feeling under the comforter is never enjoyable.

Plus, down is extremely flammable. The only way to reduce this flammability is through potentially harmful chemical saturation of the feathers. As with synthetics, these chemicals can present real problems.

And, of course, in addition to the fire-retardant chemicals, many other chemicals are regularly used in the processing and cleaning of feathers… each with their own possible health risks, especially for people with asthma or any air sensitivities and allergies.

If that wasn’t all bad enough…Down makes a great home for millions of dirty guests:

Wool to the Rescue!

Benefits of Sheep’s Wool

  • Wool is anti-microbial, dust mite resistant, and hypoallergenic. Excellent for allergy sufferers!
  • Wool is a natural insulator, allowing for excellent body temperature regulation.
  • Wool fibres allow for moisture to be absorbed and stored as required, keeping the body dry and then released back into the environment.
  • Pressure relief; less tossing and turning, resulting in a rested nights sleep.
  • Wool fibres are difficult to ignite and are self-extinguishing eliminating the need of fire resistant treatments
  • Wool is proven to steady the heart rate and allows us to sleep deeper.

Testimonials for the Lucky Sheep Wool Sleeping Bag

“ I’m an avid camper and spend almost every weekend outside.  I transitioned to wool under clothes and found myself so much more happy.  Then I bought a wool throw for the house and beach days, and have been so impressed.  Then when I’d camp, I’d wake up damp or sticky or whatever in my down bag. I was curious if someone moved forward with a wool bag and found you!  Prior to my camping days, I was in the marines and spent a ton of time outside around the world. The marines need your bag.”

“I’m excited to receive my Lucky Sheep sleeping bag. Can’t tell you how much having it during my last trip in the Sierras would have made it a more enjoyable experience. I was wearing wet plastic clothes inside a wet plastic bag inside a tiny wet plastic tent, all in 25 degree weather with 14″ of snow on top. Case study claustrophobia. Gave up and walked all night, 19 miles in the snow to shelter. I’m throwing all that crap away and starting over with a more natural system.”

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