Several gear manufacturers now offer down coats and quilts with 950 fill power goose down insulation, It’s high-end stuff, but there’s still the lingering question whether it’s really worth paying a premium for 950 fill power goose down instead of 850 or 800 fill power down when the weight savings are so insignificant.
Let me give you an example to quantify this:
- An Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt rated at 30 degrees (regular length, regular width) insulated with 800 fill power goose down weighs 16.98 ounces and costs $235.
- The same quilt insulated with 950 fill power goose down weighs 15.21 ounces and costs $350.
In other words, you save 1.77 ounces in gear weight for a down quilt that costs $115 more. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s outrageous amount of money to pay to save 1.77 ounces in gear weight. That’s the weight of a snickers bar.
The only circumstance where I could see spending the $115 premium to upgrade from 800 fill power down to 950 fill power down would be if there was a cost associated with the extra weight, like the added rocket fuel required to send you to Saturn, but that’s an unlikely scenario. Carrying those extra 1.77 ounces are also unlikely to ruin your thru-hike or your vacation.
I don’t mean to pick on Enlightened Equipment. I love the 800 fill power Revo down hammock underquilt I bought from them this fall and their prices are far more reasonable than many other down quilt and custom sleeping bag manufacturers. They’re also the only ultralight quilt manufacturer that lets you choose 800, 850, 900, or 950 fill power down when you buy a quilt and will show you the weight differences in real time in their store. Check it out.
I ran this pricing analysis for my own purposes to see if upgrading from a Revelation Quilt insulated with 800 fill power down to one with 950 fill power was worth it since I plan to buy a new 30 degree quilt this year.
Next question: Is it worth getting the 850 fill power or 900 fill power versions of the Revelation Quilt instead of the 950 fill power insulation?
I don’t really think so and paying an extra $35 dollars for a 0.66 ounce gear weight reduction or an extra $70 for a 1.28 ounce gear weight reduction still doesn’t make any economic sense.
If you want to save gear weight, I think you’ll get a much better bang for your buck by buying down the weight of a tent or backpack (lower cost per ounce eliminated) than a quilt or sleeping bag.
While I understand the urge to spend down the weight of your gear list, carrying an “extra” 8 ounces or a pound isn’t going to kill you. Be sensible in where you spend your money.
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