Sleeping Bags

7 November 2013, Comments: 0

When considering sleeping bags for your camping trip, you should consider important features such as material, cost and temperature rating. These factors can have a critical effect on your camping experience. People now have a range of sleeping bag choices on the market. A little research can help you to decide the synthetic versus down issue and what shape of bag will fit you most comfortably.

Down Bags

sleeping bagsDown bags use natural bird down to provide a highly effective insulating material. These bags can be lighter weight for easy packing, but become heavy and ineffective in rainy weather. Bags made with white goose down are considered the best.

Synthetic Bags

Sleeping bags with synthetic fibers are generally less expensive than down bags. They can also be better for wet weather because they absorb less water and dry faster than down bags. Buyers can find a range of prices in synthetic sleeping bags. Many of the higher end synthetics can provide as much warmth as down with better wear and drying capability.

Temperature Rating

Sleeping bags are rated according to the comfort it will provide for the average person under certain conditions. Though this temperature is not always completely accurate, it can give a good estimate of the warmth the bag will provide at certain temperature levels. Experts advise you to purchase a bag that will provide fifteen to twenty degrees more warmth than you need to ensure that it will be adequate for your needs.

You can always unzip the bag further to be cooler, but you cannot make it warmer. No single bag can provide warmth and comfort for sleeping in all temperatures. A three-season bag may be rated to 10 or 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but may not be adequate for really cold temperatures. For this situation, you will require a bag that is rated down to zero degrees Fahrenheit. Mountaineering will require a rating for even lower temperatures, minus 14 degrees to minus 40 degrees.

Additional Accessories

Small accessory items can help to make your overnight camping experience more comfortable. For example, a fleece-lined stuff sack can be used as a pillow when packed with extra clothing or a parka. A sleeping bag pad is a necessity to prevent coldness and wetness from the ground seeping into your bag. A waterproof tarp can also help to prevent dampness from making your bag less effective.