Choosing a sleeping bag isn’t as easy as you might think, but to help you on your way here’s a few things you might like to consider.
Size Really Does Matter!
Sleeping bags come in many shapes and sizes and choosing the right one is essential for your size and the way you like to sleep. There’s no point in purchasing a ‘cocoon’ or ‘mummy’ shaped bag if you need room to move and like to bend your legs at right angles when you sleep. In this case you’re more likely to get on with a rectangular sleeping bag shape instead. Also, there’s no point in purchasing a regular size bag if you’re over 6 foot tall and build like a truck. These days sleeping bags are made to suit most shapes; children, women, men and trucks included. They also come sized for 2 people and include a hood for further warmth.
Pay Attention To Seasonal Ratings
Most sleeping bags are rated depending on how they suit certain seasons. As there are so many on the market to suit different situations (from girlie sleepover parties to Antarctic expeditions) it’s really important you know what to look for. In the UK the ratings are:
- Season 1 – summer nights
- Season 2 – late spring, early autumn
- Season 3 – spring to autumn
- Season 4 – winter
- Season 5 – winter somewhere very cold
Think About The Fabric
When choosing a sleeping bag you don’t want to invest in something that makes a horrible noise every time you move around. This will only wake you or your companions every time you move in your sleep. Also, some water resistant materials feel sticky, cold or tacky on the skin. The other thing to consider is how well the material can be kept clean. If the insulation material makes it difficult to clean then you should consider investing in a good quality liner that can more easily be washed and dried.
The insulation in a sleeping bag is usually: eider down, goose down, duck down or man-made down. All have their pros and cons, although many believe eider down to be the best. However, man-made down is improving in quality and lightness and doesn’t mind getting wet, unlike pure down fillings. If you are a cold sleeper then you should definitely consider a well insulated sleeping bag with a hood, and maybe even one sized for 2 people so you can share body heat. After all, its you that warms the sleeping bag… not the other way around.