Really depends on how much you want to spend!
If the bank account is bursting at the seams, and you want down, try phd, zpacks, cumulus, or maybe even the rab neutrino range. They all do bags that will get comfortably down to low single figures and pack ridiculously small.
However, if you're on the same budget as the rest of us, my suggestions would be:
synthetic - snugpak traveller range - around £35-40 and quoted pack size of 12x14cm (although I have a softie 3, which is supposed to go to 16x16, and that needs an elephant's weight on it to get to about 22 x 17)
down - the vango venom range. The whole range was updated this year, so the 2011 stock is being sold off in various places, including fleabay, at pretty good prices. The 150 would probably fit your needs - and it's down to £47 at a couple of spots on ebay. I've just ordered a 300 from outdoor direct at £72 all-in.
All of the above bags come in comfortably under a kilo, too.
Hope this helps
were the compression straps pulled down to maximum or were they just in the bag with straps not tightened????
or like so
If your budjet allows I`d recommend the Western Mountaineering summerlite.
It weighs 500-600g (I think) and packs down extremely small. With a comfort rating of just above 0 degrees it takes some beating!
That looks suspiciously like a compressed sac which measure 11 INCHES by a FOOT - or about 27cm x 30cm. In fairness to my softie, it is the merlin version, which has the reinforced foot panel - but I'm not sure that takes up all the extra space over and above the quoted pack size.
Just got my Venom 300, and it does pack down pretty small - certainly smaller than the softie 3, and would probably go down further, but the compression sac is as small as it will go (and ridiculous compression is really bad for the bag anyway). Haven't weighed it yet, but it's supposed to be about 900g all-in with compression sac. Gut feeling is that it's heavier, but will have to take it into work to use the digital scales.
Looks like all the £47 venom 150s have sold out on ebay......
They are not my pictures they are just for an example!
And very short term compression is not bad for your down bag at all,i have done this for years and never had a problem,maybe with a synthetic yeh.I sit on my stuffsack whilst pulling as hard as i can to compress and they loft like the day it was bought at camp
Ah, my apologies - I thought you were showing how small a softie 3 could go (!)
The dimensions quoted were after I used my considerable mass on the bag, so I'd say they were about right for the real world compressed size.
I've just never been that obsessed about getting down bags right down, so to speak. From what I understand, heavy compression can break the little spines on the feathers, reducing loft. I guess it depends on how short term, and how much you weigh.
Synthetic bags do take up a lot of space, so tend to need compression to allow room for little things like a tent and clothes. As you rightly say, their lifespan is pretty reduced as a result. But you get what you pay for.
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