by Roger

October 12, 2021

How to Choose a Sleeping Bag

For you to enjoy a peaceful and blissful night’s sleep in the woods, it is important to purchase the right gear. You should choose a sleeping bag that is appropriate for your camping trip. 

The good news is if you take your car along during the camping or backpacking trip, there is no need to worry about fitting the bag in a pack or the weight of your sleeping bag. 

It gives you the chance to go for a sleeping bag that is as roomy or as pushy as you would like. Here is a guide on how to choose a sleeping bag.

What Is the Difference between a Backpacking Sleeping Bag and a Camping Sleeping Bag?

Additional Features to Consider when Choosing a Sleeping Bag

To generalize the two, camping sleeping bags have sufficient room for you to move around in compared to the backpacking sleeping bags that are snug and light. 

In situations where you are using a single sleeping bag for both activities, consider choosing a backpacking style; this is because it is lighter for you to carry. To extend the lifespan of your sleeping bag, it is important to know how to store a sleeping bag (you will thank us later!)

How to Understand the Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

Before choosing a sleeping bag, you should know that you could always unzip the bag when it feels too warm. It is essential to pick a sleeping bag that has a lower temperature rating compared to the lowest temperature you expect during nighttime. 

On cold days when you need to use a sleeping bag choose a bag that will handle the low temperatures and vice versa. With all this said, remember the temperature rating is different for each sleeper. 

Various factors will also affect the type of sleeping bag you choose, including the garments you put on while sleeping, your body’s metabolism, the sleeping pad you have, and humidity.

Choosing the Shape of the Sleeping Bag

Choose a Sleeping Bag

Most campers and sleeping bag users prefer choosing bags that give them enough room to roll over and stretch while relaxing; this is the major reason why so many camping bags have a rectangular shape. 

For you to determine if the bag is roomy and comfortable, it is advisable to zip yourself inside the bag first. 

Before settling for a sleeping bag, try on the different sleeping bags and determine which style and shape you feel most comfortable. Basic shapes that sleeping bags come in:

1) Rectangular shaped

With rectangular bags, you get plenty of space for both the arms and legs to stretch out; some of the rectangular bags are unzipped, while others can serve as comforters.

2) Semi-rectangular shaped

You can refer to these sleeping bags as “modified mummy” as well as “barrel” shapes. These shapes will offer you the perfect warmth that you require and sufficient room for comfort.

3) Mummy

If you are looking for a sleeping bag that will tremendously boost warmth and, at the same time, reduce weight, this design is the best. 

It offers a perfect snug fit; in short, you can rollover with your bag rather than inside the sleeping bag.

4) Double bags

These are the best pick for couples who want to sleep together inside their sleeping bag. 

An alternative to double bags is choosing the rectangular bags that are capable of zipping together; ensure the bags are of the same brand and model.

5) The kid’s size sleeping bags

These are self-explanatory; they are shorter in size, smaller, and cheaper if you compare them to the adult’s sleeping bags.

How to Choose a Sleeping Bag Insulation Type

It is important to ask yourself whether the sleeping bag you want should be with synthetic fill or down fill. Here is a breakdown of the benefits of each insulation.

Choosing the Shape of the Sleeping Bag

Synthetic insulation:

  • It is affordable – meaning you do not have to break the bank to get it. You purchase the sleeping bag at a friendly price and enjoy all the benefits it comes with.
  • It continues to insulate even when damp, and this is an essential factor to consider.
  • It dries faster – this is an advantage because you can wash it and still use it at night. It is convenient for use.

Down insulation:

  • It is light to carry around, therefore, convenient for you to use on most camping trips.
  • Good for both dry and cold weather, it serves all purposes.
  • In most cases contains a water-resistant treatment to help protect it in case of damp conditions
  • Easy compresses to small sizes for easier and light packing, making it easier to travel and carry around.
  • High durability while retaining warmth and loft over the years.

Additional Features to Consider when Choosing a Sleeping Bag

1) Stash pockets

While choosing a sleeping bag, look for a stash pocket. A few bags will offer a handy stash pocket with a zip that you can use to store important things like your lip balm, watches, or expensive jewelry.

How to Choose a Sleeping Bag Insulation Type

2) Zipper feature

A bag that contains more than one zipper slope will make it easier for you to control ventilation in the sleeping bag. 

Some bags prevent the zipper from snagging by shielding the zipper’s guard, and others deal with the issue by putting a cover on the zipper.

3) Sleeping bag hood

The hood is going to make the bag warmer, thus bringing about extra comfort.

4) Sleeping bag shelves

The outer fabric of the sleeping bag contains either nylon or durable polyester material that has durable water repellent finish. 

It helps in protecting the inside insulation of the shell from being damp. Inside the sleeping bag, the material should be soft to the skin and of warm texture.

Sleeping Bag Accessories to Choose from

1) Sleeping bag liner

While choosing a sleeping bag, it is crucial to look for one that has a soft and warm sleeping bag liner. 

It will help the sleeping bag remain clean as well as adding extra warmth to the sleeping bag during cold nights. On hot nights, you can always skip the bag and sleep in the liner.

2)  Storage sack

Leaving a sleeping bag permanently smoothed on the inside sack is harder on the insulation. 

That is why most bags have cotton storage sacks or large meshes that assist in long-term storage.

3) Stuff sack

Having a staff sack is essential for storing your sleeping bag since it will take up less space.

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About the author 

Roger

Roger was born into a family of climbers. As the youngest of his siblings, he was also the most ardent climber of them. Small and agile, he practiced climbing all day. Today, Roger teaches children how to climb the large rock walls safely.

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