Wool is the best choice for sleeping bags in many situations because it excels where it counts in the outdoors:
Wool bedding is proven to take us into deeper sleep stages so we wake up refreshed and ready to hit the trail. When your body temperature is optimized so is your sleep quality. Wool causes the heart to beat 20 beats per minute less than synthetic and down sleeping bags.
Unparalleled moisture managment which goes beyond ‘wicking’. Wool pulls moisture away from the body through it’s hollow fibers and keep a dry microclimate next to the skin where it counts. No more of the ‘synthetic clammy’ feeling. No moisture build up which happens with down sleeping bags.
Made from 100% renewable resources, completely free of synthetics, which means no plastic microfibers that make their way into the soil and water. Non-toxic, no flame retardants, PFC’s, PBDE’s or any other strange sounding chemicals. Wool is a humane alternative to down feathers.
Wool knows how to adjust to your own body temperature as the outside temperature fluctuates. Other synthetic bags work under a narrow temp. range. and can cause overheating and sweating. As your body releases ‘insensible’ perspiration through the night, wool wicks the moisture to the outside keeping you high and dry.
Our unique design with tapered mummy shape eliminates the insulation underneath which saves weight and makes our wool sleeping bag easy to pack and carry on the trail. Competitive in weight to synthetic fill bags. About twice as heavy as down bags but worth its weight in gold for its technical advantages.
Fire, bacteria and odors. Needs very little washing. Keep it clean by wearing a merino base layer to bed so dirt from skin doesn’t rub onto the bag. Air in the sun and rain for regular maintenance, and hand wash rarely when you want to revive it completely.
Beeswax Coated Shell
Our proprietary beeswaxed coating gives the cotton shell unusual water wicking abilities. We also put gemstone powders like Shungite and Amethyst in the formula which emit therapeutic infra red and other vitality enhancing frequencies and reflect the bodies infra red heat back. This also holds the body heat in and sheds the wind.
Moisture Wicking Fabrics vs. Breathable
Let’s look at the actual definition of moisture wicking
Polyester and Nylon are water resistant because they are made from materials with a particular chemistry that is similar to plastic. Instead of the water being absorbed by the fibre it sits in droplets on the fibre’s surface and moves around the fabric by running along the weave. Eventually, the water droplets reach the outside of the fabric where, if exposed to the air, they evaporate. Because the wicking material does not absorb moisture, the fabric will dry faster.
The dark side of this process is that these fabrics which wick moisture also hold moisture next to the skin (think plastic bag). The skin is somewhat suffocating because it is surrounded by plastic…a non-breathable material. The process causes the body to struggle in its moisture and heat regulation efforts.
I want to propose a new word “Synthetic Stress”. It is related to heat stress, but it is the specific way the body struggles for homeostasis when it is in the confines of synthetic fabric. One measureable result is a huge rise in heart rate, as shown on this chart.
But the real dilimna is even though the fabric can wick moisture, it doesn’t make you necessarily dry. The ideal situation would be to have a fabric that is both MOISTURE WICKING as well as BREATHABLE. Breathable fabric is that which lets moisture pass through it. Yes this seems like a contradiction. How can you let moisture pass through the fabric AND have the fabric keep you warm and dry?
Wool is truly moisture wicking as well as breathable.
Not only can wool wick sweat from the wearer, wool can move water vapor before it even turns to sweat! Wool is able to release moisture, not just through holes in the fabric, but through the fibers of the fabric itself.
Wool uses a process called “heat of sorption” to absorb and release moisture. As wool absorbs moisture from the atmosphere a natural chemical process in the wool releases heat, warming the wearer. In cold weather the natural crimp in wool fibers creates tiny pockets of trapped warm air that act as insulators, holding in heat next to the body. This same process has a cooling effect in warm weather, as wool releases moisture it absorbs heat from the wearer and the tiny pockets of air created by the crimp in the fiber trap cool air and insulate the wearer from warmer outside temperatures. As wool pull moisture away from your skin to evaporate you feel cool and dry even in hot weather.
Synthetic Fabric is moisture wicking. This means, it doesn’t absorb water. However it does TRAP moisture next to your body. The way it works is, since the fiber does not absorb water, it instead forces water to move through it. The water does not move through the actual fiber, but moves between the weave of the fiber. This kind of fabric is NOT breathable. Advertisers actually sometimes call it breathable, but this is only really in comparison to other versions of synthetic fabric. Compared to any natural fiber there is no synthetic fiber that is truly breathable. Moisture and gasses cannot pass through the fiber itself but must be forced through the spaces between where the fiber is woven. And this is not effecient. Most of the moisture that wants fo escape to the outside, away from the skin, is trapped next to the skin, thus disrupting the moisture/temperature mechanism the body knows so well. And the crazy thing, this actually makes you colder. I have coined a term called “humidity chill factor” which is equivalent to “wind chill factor”.
Synthetic fabric stuffed with down insulates similar to how a building is insulated. However, the body is a living organism, not a static object that merely needs insulation. Our body needs BREATHABILITY. Our body has a metabolism and the skin actually breathes through cellular respiration. This releases moisture which would create a cold damp feeling if kept near the skin which synthetics and down do. But wool releases that moisture instantly through a process called heat of adsorption, keeping you dry right next to the skin and also regulating the process of body temperature so you don’t overheat.
Another reason wool feels so good is because it allows the natural flow of electricity along the skin also called Peizo Electricity. This is important for prana or vitality. Studies show static electricity builds up in the body and synthetic fabric is notorious for causing this, thus robbing electrons from our body. Wool however discharges static electricity as opposed to increasing it…thus providing a type of grounding. Grounding is also what we do when we are “Earthing”…or spending time in nature away from man made electromagnetic fields. So it makes sense to wear natural fibers when going in nature.
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 temperatureDown 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 mitesMost 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.