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How to Choose a Sleeping Bag

Hiking requires durable yet comfortable gear. Hikers and backpackers usually cover a number of miles and often go hiking for multiple day trips and this requires sleeping in camps or any area that’s legal to camp out. The next morning, hikers once more are up and ready to go on and continue their trek until they reach their destination. Beside all the other essential hiking gear (boots, clothing, tent, backpack) they need a sleeping bag that will carry them through the night and give a good night’s sleep.

If you are fond of the great outdoors and thinking of venturing into activities like camping, hiking, trekking, and backpacking, then choosing the right sleeping bag must be included in your priority list. Sleeping bags are not one and the same. These items vary in terms of shape, features, size, weight and warmth levels.

Brand & ModelTypeTemperatureFillingWeight (lbs)More Info & Price
TETON Sports Celsius XXL
TETON Sports Celsius XXL -18C:0F Sleeping Bag
Rectangular-18°C/0°FPolyester7.1Click here
Outdoor Vitals OV-Light 3 Season
Outdoor Vitals OV-Light 35 Degree 3 Season Mummy Sleeping Bag
Mummy0°C/35°FSynthetic2.0Click here
Coleman Big Basin Extreme Weather
Coleman Big Basin Extreme Weather 0-20 Degree Sleeping Bag
Tapered-18°C/0°FPolyester5.2Click here
Slumberjack Latitude
Slumberjack Latitude 0 Degree Synthetic Sleeping Bag
Mummy-18°C/0°FSynthetic5.2Click here
Coleman Silverton
Coleman Silverton Mummy Sleeping Bag
Mummy-3°C/25°FPolyester5.2Click here
TETON Sports Celsius XL
TETON Sports Celsius XL -7C:+20F Sleeping Bag
Rectangular-7°C/20°FPolyester5.5Click here
Cosmic Down
Cosmic Down 20 Degree Sleeping Bag
Mummy-7°C/20°FDriDown3.2Click here
Outdoor Vitals Down 3 Season
Outdoor Vitals 15 Degree Down Mummy Sleeping Bag, 3 Season
Mummy-10°C/15°FDown3.7Click here
ALPS Mountaineering Blue Springs
ALPS Mountaineering Blue Springs Sleeping Bag 20 Degree Synthetic
Mummy-7°C/20°FPolyester4.6Click here
ALPS Mountaineering Desert Pine
ALPS Mountaineering Desert Pine 0-Degree Sleeping Bag
Mummy-18°C/0°FPolyester10.0Click here
Browning Camping McKinley Nylon Diamond Ripstop Oversized Hooded
Browning Camping McKinley 30-Degree Nylon Diamond Ripstop Oversized Hooded Rectangle Sleeping Bag
Rectangular-35°C/-30°FSynthetic12.1Click here
Coleman Traverse MAX Contoured 4-in-1
Coleman 2000008222 Traverse MAX Contoured 4-in-1 Sleeping Bag 20 F to 40 F
Tapered-7°C/20°FPolyester4.0Click here

This article will further discuss the structure and features of sleeping bags. Read on if you want to get more helpful tips.

Sleeping Bag Shapes

Backcountry outdoor camping sleeping bagsComfort and performance are usually top priority factors in the design of this particular camping gear. They come in 3 shapes and they are the following:

  • Tapered

It’s described as tapered because the design tapers to the foot. It is a nice pick since they can be sizable enough to wiggle around and still keep you warm.

  • Mummy

You will be wrapped up just like its namesake once you get inside this model. But kidding aside, this is actually the most proficient in terms of providing warmth. Some folks may find the lack of room limiting so if you are the type who shifts a lot during sleep, better test-drive it first.

  • Rectangular

This model provides ample space for you to move around and gives great comfort. Usually, they are more sizable in built as compared with other bag types. You definitely have more space for other stuff.

Sleeping Bag Features

Keep your eyes peeled on these other important features.

  • Comfort Temperature Assessment

A lot of camping and hiking gear manufacturers provide their sleeping products comfort temperature ratings. What’s exactly a comfort temperature rating? It’s an assessment based on the lowermost temperature wherein a person can still take a good rest while using the sleeping bag.

  • Dimensions and Stuff Sack Size

The size of this particular item is provided by means of the circumference gathered along the hip, shoulder and feet. In addition, the volume of the bag once it is tucked and packed in as per instructions is also an important factor to consider.

  • Weight

Like the rest of your camping and backpacking gear, you have to pick a product that won’t put plenty of burden on your shoulders. Keep in mind that a low comfort temperature rating equals a heavy sleeping bag and it gets heavier as the rating drops.

  • Materials

Outdoor sleeping gear are designed in a way that it will provide comfort and protection to its users against the elements. It must have a padded draft collar which helps in locking in heat and keeping draft away from your shoulders and neck. Lastly, look for a water-resistant and windproof outer shell plus lining in dark colors to absorb heat efficiently.

  • Stitching

Quality-made sleeping bags feature an inner lining which is stitched smaller as compared with its outer shell for proper insulation.

  • Hoods

A hood can help lock away air pockets inside the bag and it will also provide more comfort by insulating your head. It usually comes with one or two drawstrings which lets the user close the hood.

Majority of hoods are a component of this item, but there are also some models available in the market that come with separate hoods that you employ only when required.

  • Pillow pockets

Several models come with special features like additional pockets wherein users can fill up to create a pillow. You can fill it up with clothing items or a blow-up pillow so you’ll have more comfort as you sleep.

  • Collars

Some models of this product feature integrated collars, which is more feasible for colder climates. If you don’t need a bag with a built-in collar, there are models in the market with removable ones as well.

  • Accessories

There are particular models in the market with specific clips that you can employ on your sleeping bag to make it stay in one place. If you shift around a lot in your sleep, you will find that this particular accessory might be advantageous.

  • Color

The item comes in a wide array of colors, but experts say the darker ones provide users more benefits since it can absorb the heat of the sun faster.

Down and Synthetic Fill Information

Sleeping bags are either filled up with down or synthetic materials, and both camps have their loyal following. It’s better if you have a general picture of each insulation’s advantages and disadvantages so you can pick a sleeping bag that fits your needs.

  • Down

Down is a material which comes from feathered animals, and this material is responsible for keeping fowls like ducks and geese warm. It’s also a breathable material which lets unnecessary moisture flow out.

The material preserves its form and is quite durable too. Other than that, it’s exceptionally compact and lightweight. However, unlike its synthetic counterpart, it loses its insulating prowess when it becomes moistened and it can take a long time to dry out. It also requires specific maintenance and owners have to clean it with agents that were especially made for the material.

Lastly, down is not for the budget-conscious.

  • Synthetic

Synthetic insulation is basically polyester threading that’s shaped into lengthy solitary threads to simulate the feel and look of a down fill. The thinner threads cram spaces and confine air while the thicker ones maintain stability.

It is usually water-resistant and can provide warmth even if it gets moistened. The moisture gets caught in the air pockets along its fibers and because of this, the material dries quicker as compared with their down counterpart. It is also more affordable.

However, synthetics are heavier and cumbersome and they disintegrate eventually no matter how scrupulous you maintain them.

A good’s sleep is important to give your body time to rest and re-energize for the next day – and a good sleeping bag can make or break your night’s outdoors. Make sure you make the right choice and keep on being a happy hiker!

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