What is a Sleeping Bag
Are you a passionate camper? Or do you enjoy camping overnight on occasion? Don’t forget to bring your sleeping bag! Camping is all about having a good time and getting lots of positive emotions, so don’t let a bad sleep ruin the mood. Sleeping bags are essential gears for every camper who wants to sleep warm and comfortably. They let you sleep, relax and recover your strength and protect you against overcooling at night. In our sleeping bags review, we focus on what to look for when choosing these essential camping gears and share our shortlist of the best sleeping bags for your warm, comfortable sleep!
What Features to Compare
Choosing a sleeping bag is a relatively simple task if you know exactly where, when, and what for you’re going to use it.
The Temperature Ratings of a sleeping bag is the first parameter we recommend paying attention to. Most manufacturers rate their sleeping bags to help you choose the right one for your preferred season and weather. For example, 4-season sleeping bags with comfort ratings of −25 degree F will keep you warm on a cold winter’s night. 3-season sleeping bags (often rated as 0-degree sleeping bags) will suit for a comfortable outdoor sleep in spring, summer or autumn. The bags rated +25 Degree F will be perfect for summer camping.
The Shape of a sleeping bag is another important parameter. The two most popular types in the market are rectangular, i.e. ‘blanket’ sleeping bags, and tapered, hooded sleeping bags, so-called “Mummy bags”. Rectangular sleeping bags can be zipped from the very top to the very bottom, they can be unzipped completely and used as a comforter or a blanket. These sleeping bags are well suited for simple camping trips, or for people who travel by car. They can also be zipped together with some other sleeping bags for more room. Mummy-type sleeping bags are tapered to the bottom and don’t unzip completely. Thanks to their anatomical shape, such sleeping bags are lightweight and compact, they also retain warmth very well. Mummy bags are hooded, keeping your head warm and protecting you against cold drafts. You might need some time getting used to sleeping in mummy-type sleeping bags, as they aren’t as roomy as rectangular ones. Also, note that some sleeping bags allow connecting two bags. Just zip your two sleeping bags together to cuddle up and sleep comfortably. Just remember to pay attention to the zippers, there are left-side and right-side sleeping bags. Mummy-type sleeping bags are well-suited for backpacking, hiking or mountaineering due to their light weight and great insulation capabilities.
The Materials used in sleeping bags determine where and in what conditions you can use them. Most sleeping bags have a durable outer shell and a softer lining, and are filled with an insulation material. All the materials in sleeping bags must serve to retain warmth and provide comfort to their owners, they have to be both strong and lightweight. The outer shell must be breathable, wear- and water-resistant. Polyester and nylon are most often used for outer shells, keeping the cold weather out. The inner lining must also be breathable and soft, allowing you to sleep comfortably with no excess sweating. Manufacturers generally use cotton, flannel, fleece and nylon fabrics. Insulation fillers are made of quilted natural or synthetic fiber materials. Down sleeping bags provide great warmth insulation. However, the down can shift sometimes, and if a sleeping bag gets wet it might take a long time to dry. Synthetic fillers dry quickly because they do not absorb moisture. Sleeping bags with synthetic fiber insulation are well-compressible and restore their shape quickly, you can even wash them in a washing machine. Durable polyester fibers, having a structure similar to natural down and leaving no cold spots, are distinctive features of best sleeping bags.
Convenience, as regards transportation and use, is a very important thing to consider before you buy your camping gears. The lighter your sleeping bag is, the less trouble you will have taking it with you. Most sleeping bags come with a stuff sack which allows you to compress your bag and free extra space for your other gears. To choose the right sleeping bag to fit you comfortably, add about 6-8 inches to the height and width of your body. For example, children’s sleeping bags have an average size of 28 x 57 inches, teenage bags are usually 28 x 57 inches, the standard adult size is about 29” x 75” or more, and there are larger sleeping bags of about 33 x 78 inches. If you’re traveling with your family, you might want to give a try to double sleeping bags which fit two people comfortably. Also, pay attention to the additional features, such as convenient zippers, inner pockets, and other extras which will facilitate the use of your sleeping bag.