I always thought that purchasing a sleeping bag would be one of the simplest tasks to do when setting up my outdoor gear. I wasn’t aware of the numerous variables to take into account before choosing the right sleeping bag. You might wonder how important this is. As i always mention in my posts, every detail counts when you are hundreds of miles away from home with limited tools and resources. Based on my experience, i will list 10 tips to remember to make the choice that best suits you!
The Right Size
Sleeping bags come in sizes. The size range is usually printed on the bag. Your length should be within the set range. To ensure comfort, you need to round up. For instance if your length is 5.95 ft then the right sleeping bag size range is 6″- 6.3″ and NOT 5.7″ – 6″. BUT it is critical not to go for sizes much bigger than your length, since you will lose tent space and warmth!
Just like the size, every sleeping bag comes with a different temperature range printed on its bag. Choosing a sleeping bag that keeps you cold all night can ruin your experience and get you sick. Whereas a sleeping bag that gets you too warm is HELL. To make the right choice here, you need to think about the region you would most frequently camp at and estimate the night temperature ( or simply google it). Based on that estimate, choose a sleeping bag with the right temperature rating range.
Sleeping bags come in 2 main shapes : mummy and rectangular. This goes down to your personal preference. Sleeping = Comfort , thus personally i would prefer the rectangular shape that would give some space for my feet to move. Not to mention that in cases of emergency, you need to move out quickly which is easier in a rectangular shape sleeping bag.
This tip seems to appear in every post related to outdoor gear. As i always mention, every pound matters when you have miles to walk and mountains to cross. Every extra penny you spend to get lighter sleeping bag is a winning investment.
After a long tiring day, finding your bed wet is frustrating! During outdoor activities, it is hard to always predict or prevent rain or accidents that might let water into your gear. Stay on the safe side and protect your night comfort with choosing a waterproof. Hints about sleeping bag material : Fill material : *Down sleeping bags are soft providing good weight and temperature, not recommended for wet or humid environments .Synthetic-fill sleeping bags are ideal for humid / wet environments. Shell material : DryLoft: is water-resistant , very breathable, and does not trap any moisture inside.
Nylon, polyester and taffeta are the most common materials used for sleeping bags. For those with sensitive skin, i recommend purchasing a sleeping bag with 100% cotton or silk liner ,noting that silk liner is about 1/3 smaller and slightly lighter from cotton.
Interestingly there are some sleeping bags designed for couples. i recommend models where you have the option to combine 2 sleeping bags for a cozy experience or split them if you need your personal space. These 2-in-1 practical models are now in the markets.
Easy to Clean
Always look for that feature when purchasing a new sleeping bag. Sleeping bags are not designed for single use. On the other hand excessive washing can deteriorate it.Don’t use powdered detergent. Use a regular liquid laundry soap. Never use hot water , and make sure the washer is set on gentle cycle. My recommendation, do your best to sleep with clean clothes.
9. Easy to Carry
Easy to pack, portable and small in size sleeping bags can make you life easy during a camping trip. No one needs to spend more than 10 minutes trying to figure out how to pack his camping bed. Many sleeping bags are rated based on the ease of packing and unpacking. On the other hand a portable easy to carry sleeping bag is important. It is good to mention here that it is a common practice to place the sleeping bag inside your back pack. I would rather save that space for other critical stuff that might be effected by sun or wetness and attach my sleeping bag to my back pack exterior.
10. The pillow & flip over hood
Most sleeping bags do not come with a pillow, thus you need to purchase that on the side. Some people do not require a pillow and would manage with a flip over hood. Personally i enjoy the hood as it can limit mosquito bites and provide warmth to the head and face.
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