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Buying a Sleeping Bag

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Buying the right sleeping bag can be as crucial as where you go camping. Check out some of our tips on determining the right sleeping bag.

  • Determine the Purpose of the Sleeping Bag
  • If being used for family camping – consider comfort
  • If backcountry camping – consider weight and size
  • Determine the Shape
  • Rectangular type
    • Provides more space for movement
    • Can be zipped together to create a double sleeping bag
    • Can be fully opened and used as an extra blanket
  • Mummy type
    • Weighs less
    • Smaller size requires less energy to keep warm at night
    • Has a hood to pull tight around your head.

Determine the Size

  • Sizes vary – regular, youth, extra long, extra wide

Determine Temperature Rating

Depends on the conditions you plan to camp in

  • A bags temperature rating indicates the lowest temperature in which a person would be comfortable.
    1. “Comfortable” is a very subjective term – everyone is different
    2. Use of a ground pad is assumed, necessary and very important – this provides extra insulation and comfort. A foam and air core pad is the best.
    3. Other factors should be considered – quality of ground pad and tent, personal level of energy etc.
  • Basic ratings:
    1. Traditional sleeping bags are rated at 40 degrees F
    2. Three season bags are rated at 20 degrees F
    3. Cold weather bags are rated at 0 degrees F
    4. Winter camping bags are rated from -15 degrees F to -30 degrees F

Determine Insulation

  • Down
    1. Best natural insulator
    2. Light and compressible
    3. Must be kept dry or it losses its insulating abilities
  • Synthetic Fill
    1. Cost less then down bags
    2. Insulates even when wet
    3. Dries quickly

Determine the Lining

  • Nylon Taffeta
  • Polyester Cotton
  • Fleece

Consider Quality of Other Features

  • Seams and stitching
  • Zippers

Consider a storage bag

Originally posted 2012-04-18 09:54:52.


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