Sleeping Bags

An enjoyable camping trip will get ruined pretty quickly if you don’t have a good night sleep. That’s the reason why having a quality sleeping bag to sleep in is essential if you want to be well rested, ready to face the day ahead and above all, have an enjoyable camping experience.

Just like tents and backpacks, there are different types of sleeping bags to choose from and finding the right one depends on how much you are willing to spend and what you find comfortable. It’s also important to note how you will be transporting the sleeping bag and whether you’ll be packing it in your backpack during hikes.

A General Guide to Sleeping Bags

If you’re searching for the perfect sleeping bag that will meet all your needs, forget about it!

There is no such thing. However in saying that, there is a bag out there that will keep you warm and happy through most of your camping escapades — a three-season mummy type with a temperature/comfort rating of around 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit can do just that.

A nice three-season bag should be able to get you through a cold evening when camping in spring or fall and not overheat you during a warm night in the middle of summer.

If you prefer winter camping, you should opt for a bag rated to below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter mountain climbing requires you to have a bag temperature rating of minus 15 to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mummy-shaped sleeping bags are the most efficient bags at keeping body warmth. However, in some cases, some people find them tight. Also, another tip is to be sure that if you are buying bags to zip together, the zippers are compatible and you purchase both a left as well as a right zipper.

Shapes of Sleeping bags

Sleeping bags come in both rectangular and mummy shape. The style which is right for you depends on your general way of sleeping. Some people may not give much regard to how they sleep, but it can play a significant role in determining whether you get a good night sleep or not.

A mummy bag would be suitable for those who tend to curl up when sleeping whereas those who like to sleep sprawled out would find the rectangular bag more comfortable. The mummy bag’s smaller size also requires less energy for heating up and also has a hood which can be pulled tightly around the head area, creating additional warmth. The rectangular bag, on the other hand, contains more air space and ends closer to the chest area.

Temperature & Insulation

A good sleeping bag will greatly help to maintain the warmth of your body through insulation, but the way the bag is constructed will determine how well it will be insulated. It would suit you well to choose a bag with a temperature rating based on the conditions of the climate.

When choosing a bag, you should take into consideration not just the climate but also the types of activities you will be doing which can have an effect on your level of fatigue and metabolic rate among other things.

Down is known to be the best insulator because it is small and can be compressed quite easily. Unfortunately, the disadvantage of a down bag is that they lose their insulation capabilities when wet, but a well-maintained down bag can last a very long time. On the other hand synthetic bags can remain well-insulated regardless of being wet but weigh quite a bit more and don’t have the durability of down bags.