How To Choose A Sleeping Bag

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 How To Choose A Sleeping Bag

by Brian E. Rooney

The sleeping bag which is the best for is one that performs well in the temperature you intend to use it in, fits your sleeping habits, and is made from materials that are comfortable to your face. The following information should enable you to buy the right sleeping bag for you.

Intended Use:Do you plan on using the sleeping bag in wet or dry weather conditions?Do you plan using the sleeping bag in a tent, cabin, or RV?If the is yes, then you can choose a heavier bag than someone who is backpacking.Will you be using the sleeping bag in warm, cold, ormoderate temperatures?This will determine the temperature rating of the sleeping bag you intend to buy.

Temperature Rating:The most important factor in choosing a sleeping bag is the temperature rating. The temperature rating of a sleeping bag assumes there will be a mattress pad between the sleeping bag and the ground.Obviously, the lower the temperature rating, the warmer the sleeping bag will be.Consider the coldest temperature you will encounter during your camping trip and drop the sleeping bag temperature rating 10-20 degrees.No one ever complained about being too warm.Winter sleeping bags can go down to -50 degrees, while 3-season bags go from 15 degrees and upward.If you plan only using the sleeping bag in hot climate, choose a sleeping bag made from breathable materials.

Fill/Insulation:Here you have two choices, either down or synthetic material.

·Down:Down insulation is the most durable insulation, while synthetic insulations tend to break down over time and lose insulation.Down is light and compressible, which makes it a favorite for backpackers.The big problem with down is they don’t absorb moisture well and take a long time to dry if they become wet, which causes them to lose insulation.

·Synthetic: Synthetic insulated bags are less expensive than down sleeping bags.Synthetic sleeping bags are heavier than down sleeping bags, so they are more adaptable to car camping.Since they dry out quickly, they are good choice for boating or camping.Duofill and Hollofil are the most common synthetic materials.

Inner Lining:Choose an inner lining of either taffeta or other soft material.A dark colored lining absorbs heat better.Fleece liners are available for extra warmth and comfort.

Shapes:There are three basic shapes:

·Mummy:A mummy bag is angular with more room at the top and tapering to less room at the bottom.Mummy bags are usually hooded bags.Mummy bags are the most efficient when you compare weight to warmth.Mummy bags are very constricting.

·Rectangular:Rectangular sleeping bags are roomier and more comfortable for those who toss and turn at night.Rectangular bags are less efficient than mummy bags due to the large top opening are subject to heat loss.

·Double:A double bag is intended for two people.What can be said about rectangular bags can be said about double sleeping bags.

Size:Choose a bag that is not so big as to lose the heat necessary to keep you warm.A bag too small will cause the insulation to become compressed and less efficient.

Shell:Choose an outside shell of either nylon or polyester, which are more resistant to wind and water than a cloth shell.Choose a sleeping bag with Rip Stop material.

Zippers:Look for sleeping bags which have two-way zippers to provide better ventilation and flexibility. Avoid sleeping bags with metal zippers.Look for the appropriate left-right configurations if you want to zip two bags together.

Sleeping Mattresses:Besides providing comfort from rocks, sleeping mattresses decrease the heat loss between you and the ground, and a mattress will help extend the life of bag by protecting from abrasion.There are two types:

·Foam Pads:Foam pads come in a variety of thickness and length.Foam pads are not as comfortable as an inflatable mattress, but they are puncture resistant.

·Inflatable Mattresses:Generally more comfortable than foam.Inflatable mattresses tend not to last as long as foam due the chance of puncture.They are easier to pack since when they are deflated they become very compact.

The best piece of advice I can give you is not to buy a cheap sleeping bag.Cheap sleeping bags tend to last one or two seasons.They usually have cheap zippers and seams which tear easily.

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