As synthetic fill sleeping bags go the Kiowa 900 is a good model. It has all the necessary features and feels comfortable. However, being synthetic, it’s heavy for the warmth provided and quite bulky when packed. If you get it wet it will of course dry much faster than a down bag and provide some insulation even when wet. That is the main advantage over down. Lower cost used to be an advantage of synthetic bags but now good ones overlap in cost with some down bags. I would only choose the Kiowa over the Alpkit or Lifeventure bags if I was going somewhere I expected to get my bag wet – which has never been the case.

If you prefer a synthetic bag the Kiowa 900 is worth considering. It’s reasonably roomy inside and has a well-fitting hood. The shell fabrics are soft and the bag drapes round the body quite well for a synthetic bag – synthetic fills are stiffer than down so they never conform as well to the body. 

First published: July 2013