Things to consider when buying a sleeping bag

A majority of bags are constructed from nylon, polyester, or nylon blends inside and out. Sleeping bags with cotton insides, quilted rectangular shapes, and kid’s bags with cartoon characters printed on them, not surprisingly, are not recommended for backpacking or remotely serious outdoor use.

When you purchase any sleeping bag, take a little time to feel it out. Climb inside it, roll around in it, zip it up, etc. You should then choose the one that seems to best meet your needs for space, warmth, and other features, yet fitting your budget. Although people may look at you in a funny manner when doing this, it is worth it to make sure that what you are buying will do the job well.

All sleeping bags have similar features. Check out the following culled from “The guide to buying a sleeping bag for dummies”.

  • A lining of taffeta or other soft non-cotton material is more comfy, warms quickly, and breathes supremely.
  • A two-way zipper offers more ventilation and flexibility options. Be sure to buy a right- or a left-side zipper that is compatible with the other bag if you desire companionship.
  • You want a differential cut — the inner lining is sewn smaller than the outer shell — which allows insulation to loft to its maximum. If there is more loft, there is bound to be more warmth.
  • An insulated draft collar helps to seal in the warmth and keep out the cold around your neck and shoulders.
  • Hook and loop tabs cover the zipper toggle by the hood, preventing unplanned unzipping while you slumber.
  • A multi-sectioned or shaped hood cups the head naturally.
  • Ample draft tube that hangs from the top of the bag covers the zipper to seal out cold air.
  • A windproof and water-resistant outer shell. DryLoft is the most down proof.
  • Semi-rectangular Cut for sleepers who toss and turn. Mummy-style bag for sleepers who manage to stay put.
  • Dark colored lining. This absorbs heat better and the sun’s rays most efficiently should you need to dry out your bed.
  • One last highly desirable option: a fleece-lined stuff sack. Turn it inside out for a comfy pillow when stuffed with a parka or your extra clothes.