For as long as most of us can remember, sleeping bags have either been stuffed with down or some form of synthetic insulation. Two friends and wilderness guides from Wisconsin decided there had to be a better form of natural insulation that was sustainable, traceable, and eco-friendly, while not harming any animals in the cultivation process. After much research, the duo settled on llama fleece.
The "Jareds", Jared Burris and Jared Sandlin, started Deneb Outdoors in pursuit of designing high quality, functional, and most importantly sustainable outdoor apparel and equipment. The first product for the company is the Rama Llama sleeping bag. Stuffed with llama fleece, the sleeping bag is naturally water resistant, hypoallergenic, compressible, and eco-friendly.
Llamas have one of the largest diameter hollow hairs in the world. Air heated by your body gets trapped in the hollow tubes, retaining warmth without relying on loft. This hollow construction also lets out excess heat, ensuring you don't get too hot inside your bag.
Deneb Outdoors claims the Rama Llama sleeping bag offers a 50 degree range of comfort (20°F-70°F) but this is yet to be EN tested (the company plans to do this eventually). Compare that to an average 10-15 degree comfort range of most synthetic or down sleeping bags. This means one sleeping bag could be used year round or at least for three seasons of camping.
Llama fiber insulation sucks up moisture through the hollow tubes where it evaporates quickly, keeping you dry inside the bag and speeding up the drying process if your bag were to get wet. Because the fiber does not rely on loft to insulate, it will keep you warm even when wet.
Llamas have been sustainably ranched across the Andes for hundreds of years. Harvesting llama fleece does not require any harm to the animal, uses zero fossil fuels, and is sustainably done so that the fleece may be gathered again the following year.
Deneb Outdoors just launched their Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the final production of the Rama Llama sleeping bag. For a $250 pledge, you can be one of the first to own a llama fleece stuffed sleeping bag. Expected delivery is September 2014.