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I wonder what happens to this bag's performance in the long run, once the synthetic fibers start to break down while the goose down lasts much longer. I suspect the synthetic insulation will just be dead weight.
I suspect not. As the Synthetic fibers are mostly under the body, even Down there is dead weight; and as Synthetic fibers remain some insulation properties even as they become old and lose loft, I guess the difference wouldn't be that great.
Well they'll certainly break down with time as all synthetics will, but in this application of bottom-only I don't think that would be an issue or lessen the effectiveness of its purpose like it definitely can on the top side of a bag. Whether insulation on the bottom of a bag is truly dead weight or not just depends on the pad and of course too much of it is just wasted. A thin layer does provide some additional r-value no matter the pad but it has more value when you use a pad that has some gaps that can be somewhat filled in, like the Sea To Summit quilted surface, the Klymit v-style, or even the Klymit open-hole designs. A little comfort value, too. I had an old Mountain Hardwear model, full synthetic, that used just a very thin layer on the bottom and a full 20 degree layer on top...worked well, saved some bulk, smart design with a little more warmth than a typical quilt or Big Agnes style sleeve.