Picking the Right Sleeping Bag


Once you set up your tent, your next most crucial purchase will be a sleeping bag. Various sleeping bag styles exist, each catering to different preferences and weather conditions. Like you would try out a mattress for your bed, you should sample the form, size, room to move, and feel of the cloth.

The weather can also influence the kind of luggage, if any, that you need. A lightweight ‘bed roll’ or fleece bag may suffice in mild weather. The coolness of the night may also necessitate a warmer bag or at least wearing several layers of clothing.

Form and Appearance

Unless you plan on doing a lot of long-term hiking, in which case the form and weight of your bag will matter a great deal, you are free to pick out whichever sleeping bag you choose. Most companies stock variations on two primary forms: the rectangle and the round.

The rectangle bag has been around for the longest and is the most typical sleeping bag. The interior is spacious and comfy, with much room to stretch out. Because of its form, you can unzip it and use it as a blanket when it’s warm. Some rectangular bags can open and zip together to create a convenient, giant suitcase for parents and young children.

The current mummy-style sleeping bag is designed to enclose the user as closely as possible, trapping body heat to keep them warm. You should get a mummy bag if you frequently camp in 40-degrees or lower temps. This bag’s low weight and high heating effectiveness make it the best option for backpacking. Testing on a mummy bag before buying one is essential because some people don’t enjoy the snug fit they provide.

The “barrel” shape is another variant of the mummy bag, having more room in the center. If you like the coziness of a mummy bag but need a little more room to stretch out, this is a fantastic option. Some mummy bags feature drawstrings at the top to retain body heat, while others have slightly enlarged apertures.


Typically, you may get bags in three sizes: junior (or child), standard, and extra long. Younger kids should head to the juniors section. I recommend a regular length if you are not concerned with your child’s weight. In that manner, the bag may be relied on for a more extended period, whereas a junior-sized bag may be soon outgrown, depending on the youngster.

Those over six feet in height are typically targeted by advertisements for the extra lengthy size. Those who aren’t blessed with great height might welcome the more space afforded by the longer dimension. Whatever makes you feel at ease is the best option.

The girth is an additional crucial factor. The girth of a sleeping bag is the amount of room it has when measured around the user’s waist. As I’ve already said, mummy bags are the narrowest, and rectangular bags are the widest.

Rating of Temperature

Manufacturers frequently tout temperature values in their marketing, such as “0 degrees,” “20 degrees,” “40 degrees,” etc. Please use these star ratings as a general guide. Your sleeping temperature may vary from person to person. These rules appear to be based on the assumption that you will also be wearing warm clothing (I think it’s best to sleep with as few clothes as possible, if not entirely naked, as this will help you stay more generous by allowing your sweat to wick through an excellent sleeping bag rather than soak into your clothes). Since most people just starting camping do so in the spring or fall, you can avoid using any sleeping bag rated for summer temps.

Several techniques exist for creating a bag heater. A “liner” bag is often used for this purpose. You might think of putting one of these bags inside your bag as an extra blanket. You may buy prefabricated or construct these bags by pinning a blanket to a tote. The alternative to bringing a blanket inside with you to bed is to throw it over you when you do so. Two summer bags can be zipped together and used as one more giant bag in freezing weather.

Start with a warm weather bag with a 40-degree rating or warmer depending on your area, as it is straightforward to make a lightweight sleeping bag warmer.

Materials for Isolation

Traditionally, the best sleeping bags’ insulation came from prime goose down [http://www.birdseyeoutdoorsupply.com/sleeping_bags.html]. Extreme dry cold and the need for lightweight equipment are why Down is still utilized in specialized mountaineering bags. However, most regular campers will find it impractical because of its high price and challenging laundry requirements.

Synthetic fabrics developed in recent decades have effectively replaced the standard in sleeping bag insulation. Synthetics can retain heat as well as or better than down, especially in damp or snowy situations, and they are more affordable. Any synthetic fillings should be pleasing for a family camping trip.

Closures and Necklines

The bags’ zippers should be of high quality so they don’t pinch or catch when closed. There should be two zipper pulls so that it may be opened from either the inside or the outside. Make sure the zippers are interchangeable if you want to combine two separate sleeping bags.

Additional Choices

Picking out a sleeping bag is a breeze. You might even be able to forego using a sleeping bag! Many campers bring one with them every time they go out. Make your bedroll with blankets and sheets to feel more at ease away from home. When temperatures drop, get out the extra blankets and comforter. An air mattress is your best bet if you want maximum comfort while using a bedroll.

Steve Velky provides advice and information on outdoor activities like camping and trekking. Visit Birdseye Outdoor Supply to view his online store.

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