Best Sleeping Bag – How To Buy OneDo you want to buy a sleeping bag? Sleeping bags are portable insulated bedding that people use for outdoor activities such as example, camping, climbing, hiking or hill walking. They are lightweight, multilayered textiles that you can close with a zipper, or other means, to form a tube. Sleeping bags provide you with warmth and thermal insulation when you sleep inside them. The information below will guide you in the different types of sleeping bags, and what to consider when you make a purchase.
Winter Sleeping Bags
Winter sleeping bags come in two varieties. These are the ones with the temperature rating of 0 degrees and those with extreme ratings -20 degrees or -40.
You should choose a winter sleeping bag depending on the weather situation of your outdoor activity location. For example, you should choose a bag with a rating of -20 for winter camping, and -40 for mountainous, extremely cold terrains.
Warm winter sleeping bags enable you to avoid sudden weather impacts that may be harmful to your health. That’s because they can be easily compressed for easier packing and do not soak water quickly.
Three Season Sleeping Bags
Three season sleeping types are the most popular. That’s because are ideal for use in spring, summer, and fall.
Consider purchasing one of these as they vary from budget friendly to expensive models. That’s because the quality of these bags depends on their price. You should consider buying the ones with ratings of 15 to 20 degrees.
You should also consider buying one with synthetic insulation because these bags dry quickly without losing their insulating ability.
Lightweight Sleeping Bags
If you are shopping for biking or camping bags, lightweight sleeping bags are the best for this type of activity. They are lightweight and easily compressible because most of them use down insulation technology.
You should look for lightweight sleeping bags with a temperature rating of 32 to 40. Their downside is that they are not ideal for mountain camping because temperatures will be colder at night in higher climes. However, you can extend your sleeping bag’s temperature ratings, if this are your only options in colder conditions, by using a sleeping bag liner.
You should also wear a fleece hat, use a fleece blanket, sheets and clothing material while sleeping to keep you warm. You should also avoid wearing cotton because this material extends a lightweight sleeping bag’s temperature rating by up to ten degrees.
What to look for when buying a sleeping bag
Sleeping Bag Insulation
Sleeping bags have two types of insulation—synthetic or down.
Down insulation is made from duck or goose plumage, the fluffy and lofty stuff found beneath feathers, while synthetic insulation is from polyester fibers that are intertwined and arranged in different fillers.
You might want to consider purchasing a bag with down insulation as they give the most warmth with the least bulk. The downside to them is that they lose their insulating qualities when wet. They also take a long time to dry. That might inconvenience you as in most cases you won’t have access to a dryer when camping.
Synthetic insulated sleeping bags are easy to clean and also dry quickly. You can also use them in various types of activities such as wet-weather hiking or camping and float trips. They are less costly compared to the down insulated bags.
Temperature ratings as the manufacturing companies’ estimates of how warm a sleeping bag will be for you while using it. You should add 10-15 degrees to a bag’s actual temperature rating because a sleeping bags which is rated, for example, 20 degrees, will keep you warm in 30-35 degree temperatures.
You should also remember that it’s your body that creates warmth, not the sleeping bag. That extra addition is the temperature that your body will be able to produce in cold conditions.
You should also consider buying a sleeping pad because no matter how expensive your sleeping bag is, your weight collapses the sleeping bag’s insulation beneath your body. That means that there is essentially no insulation between your sleeping bag and the ground.
Thicker sleeping pads are best for colder types of weather. Sleeping pads come in ultra-light, luxury weight and mid-weight thicknesses.
Sleeping bags come in left and right zippers. You should buy a sleeping bag with a zipping side that suit your style. That’s because there’s no industry standard regarding zipping styles. You should check the technical details on your bags about zipping information.
You should consider buying down insulation bags with water resistant fabrics for their outer shell because they lose their insulation when wet. As much as these types of water-resistant bags are expensive, it makes sense to buy them as a wet insulation bag is of no use to you.
Online Sites/Large Stores
You should be aware when purchasing bags in big stores and online sites because most of these bags are used for extreme weather conditions, such as in the mountains. You should be sure that you are buying one that suits your outdoor camping activities.
One way to find a good buy is by checking the seller’s return policy. Online stores allow you to purchase and test their product, and if you are not satisfied, you can return it within a specified period.
How to take care of your sleeping bag
- Always make sure that you store your sleeping bag when it’s dry because storing a wet sleeping bag damages its insulation.
- You should store down insulated bags in large spaces, such as laundry bags. For synthetic insulation bags, temporarily storing it in a stuff sack is ideal, but for long periods you should consider storing in a bigger bag. These types of storage options protect the bag’s insulation compression abilities.
- You should use a front load washing machine with minimal cold water and soap for washing, and tumble dry it on the low setting. You should also never dry clean a down insulated bag.
Wrapping Up How To Buy The Best Sleeping Bag
With the above guide on sleeping bag types, you should find it easier to purchase a sleeping bag that suits your budget, size, and the weather condition of where you will be camping. The key point to remember is that these bags should be water resistant, because you will lose much needed warmth in a wet bag.