How to Choose the Perfect Sleeping Bag

Sleeping comfortably is one of the most important aspects when camping. Not getting a good night’s sleep can really negatively impact your trip, and cause you to not be fully energized for your adventure. This is why picking out the right sleeping bag for you and your trip is so important. Read on to learn about some tips to help you find the perfect bag.

Understand Temperature Ratings

Most sleeping bag manufacturers use the European Norm (EN) testing standard when it comes to sleeping bag temperature ratings. Typically, your bag’s number rating corresponds with the lowest outside temperature at which you can comfortably sleep. If a bag has a temperature rating of 20F, that means that it is designed for the average sleeper down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

A good suggestion is to always go a little bit warmer. It’s easy to adjust your heat by unzipping your bag, but it is hard to go the other way. If you are too cold, it can negatively impact your sleep, and your camping trip overall. While looking at different bags, you will want to choose a bag that has a lower temperature rating than you expect to endure during your camping trip. This way, you will help ensure that you are comfortable. 

Know Your Insulation Type

When choosing insulation for your sleeping bag, there are two different types: synthetic and down. Synthetic insulation dries quickly, keeps you warmer in wet conditions, is non-allergenic, and is more affordable. This sleeping bag is a good choice if you are camping in a damp environment or if you are car camping. Down bags on the other hand are lightweight, more packable, durable, and have a better weight-to-warmth ratio. This is a great choice if you are backpacking, and need to save on space and weight. 

Choose a Bag Shape

Sleeping bags come in a variety of sizes that are better for different purposes. Rectangular sleeping bags allow plenty of room to stretch out. Some sleeping bags can be completely unzipped so that you can use it like a blanket. Semi Rectangular sleeping bags are the middleground that allow a compromise between roominess and warmth. The mummy sleeping bag has a snug fit which helps keep warmth in. Double bags are made for two people, so these are great for couples that want to get cozy. Kid-size sleeping bags are smaller and shorter, perfect to help your child stay warm and comfortable. 

Selecting the Right Fabric 

Sleeping bags come in a lot of different fabric choices. You can choose between extra durable, ultra-light, extra soft, water-repellent nylon and eco-friendly options. This allows you to pick a bag that is most suited towards your preferences and the purposes that you will be using it for. 

Extra Features and Accessories

There are lots of options and new technologies when it comes to sleeping bags. If you are left-handed, you can choose a bag that has a zipper on the right-hand side, where it will be easier for you to reach. You can also get sleeping bags that have guards to help prevent snagging. 

There are also plenty of accessories available to help customize your bag. You can get bags with pockets for headlamps, ventable foot boxes, loops for attaching liners, and cinchable hoods. 

You can also buy additional accessories to add on to your bag. A stuff sack helps you store your bag by taking up less space. You can also buy a sleeping bag liner that you can put inside your bag. This helps keep your bag clean, and adds extra warmth if you need it. If you are camping in hot weather, you can opt to sleep in just the liner to stay cool. 

Now that you have an understanding about temperature ratings, insulation, bag shape, and more, you are ready to decide what bag will fit your preferences and purposes the best. Now you can be confident that you will sleep soundly and be ready for your next adventure!