How to choose a sleeping bag
Learning how to choose a sleeping bag insulation makes sense if you’re looking for the best warmth for your money. Otherwise, you may be sacrificing significantly more than just the price of the bag. There are a wide range of materials, thicknesses and ratings that can make shopping for this type of apparel confusing. It also requires the knowledge of how to analyze a blanket or quilt in order to determine if it’s likely to do you any good. Let’s look at some of the basics of what’s out there, and how to judge whether or not it’s worth investing in.
The first thing you should know is that most sleeping bags are rectangular. Some are circular, but these are fairly rare. The majority of them are rectangular, which allows for superior air flow. Most are also polyester-fill. A polyester-filled bag won’t retain moisture, which can cause condensation problems in damp climates. This means that you get better results when you aren’t camping in a particularly moist environment.
In addition to sleeping bags with insulation, there are also a number of different ones with synthetic fill. While they do retain body heat, synthetic fill isn’t nearly as insulating as fiber fill. So, while they may maintain a certain degree of warmth, synthetic fill is a poor choice for anyone serious about getting superior warmth.
Fortunately, synthetic fill is still very effective at providing adequate warmth. It may take some getting used to, but it’s well worth the effort for many campers. As synthetic fill is a lot warmer than cotton, you can find sleeping bags with great insulating qualities that maintain a very even heat inside your bag.
One way to gauge the warmth retention is by looking at the temperature rating of the sleeping bag. A lower temperature rating indicates that you’ll get a warmer sleep, but you’ll be awake and more uncomfortable after waking up. The lowest temperature rating of any sleeping bag should be around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything lower will result in an uncomfortable night’s sleep. So, make sure you check the rating before you buy.
An intermediate option is a down-filled sleeping bag. These come in two different varieties – down or synthetic. Down is the natural alternative to duck feathers, which is why it’s used so often. Down produces a higher thermal efficiency than synthetic fibers, but it isn’t as comfortable in damp conditions.
If you’re in the market for a top quality sleeping bag, down-filled one is probably your best bet. If you want a warmer feel, go for a synthetic option. The temperature ratings can vary quite a bit from bag to bag, but most include a medium to high warmth rating and a moderate to low temperature rating.
Another thing to think about is how much insulation the bags have. Most have at least some insulation and it’s usually a nice layer of insulation. In addition to keeping you warm, the insulation also does a good job keeping your stuff dry and prevents condensation from forming, which can be a problem in damp conditions. Choosing a high-quality sleeping bag insulation is an important aspect of how to choose a sleeping bag.
High-grade insulated bags will generally have a high temperature rating, but the warmth will dissipate rather quickly. To prevent problems with condensation and moisture, look for sleeping bags with an insulating liner. While it may be more expensive, this is the best way to keep your gear from getting steamed up.
It’s possible to get a good deal on a sleeping bag. However, it’s still a good idea to make sure you’re purchasing it from a well-known brand. You may be able to find discount synthetic bags in damp conditions, but most brands offer a high quality product that will keep you warm. Sleeping in a synthetic bag in damp conditions is a real downer, and can cause blisters and a lot of uncomfortable sleep. Find yourself a brand you can trust for quality.
If you need a lightweight option, then a sleeping bag can save space. But you don’t want one that weighs too much, since it will take up too much of your bag. With so many options, you just have to find the one that works best for you.