FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) About Sleeping Bags
Whether you're embarking on a mountain expedition or camping with your family, you'll need a dependable sleeping bag to keep you toasty throughout the night. With many types, designs, and features to choose from, it may be hard to pinpoint the best sleeping bag for you. That's why we're here to help answer some of the most common questions you may have about sleeping bags.
What do I need to consider before buying a new sleeping bag?
Before buying a new sleeping bag, you'll need to consider what time of year you're sleeping outdoors and how you handle cold weather. Sleeping bags are made for specific temperature ranges and seasons to keep people warm in a variety of climates. A one season sleeping bag is great for summer and generally features a 4 degrees Celsius or higher temperature rating. Three season sleeping bags can be used from early spring to late autumn and keep you warm if you're camping in temperatures between -9 to 4 degrees Celsius. If you're planning on camping in the winter, you'll need a four season sleeping bag that has a -23 to -9 degrees Celsius temperature rating. Keep in mind that temperature ranges should only be used as a guideline as everyone manages body heat differently.
What types of sleeping bags can I choose from?
Rectangular sleeping bags
Rectangular sleeping bags are perfect for warm weather and are the most common type of sleeping bag. They offer ample space so you can move your legs, making them a great option if you tend to shift around in your sleep.
Mummy sleeping bags
Mummy sleeping bags are designed to keep you snug in colder weather. Boasting a narrow design that's tapered at the bottom, this lightweight bag keeps warm air close to your body and generally includes an insulated hood for added warmth.
What features should I look for in a new sleeping bag?
Shell and lining
Nylon and polyester are the most commonly used shell and lining fabrics for a variety of reasons. Soft and lightweight, these fabrics are extremely breathable and offer superior comfort. Ripstop consists of nylon or polyester as well but boasts a more durable construction as heavier threads are woven into the material. As a result, ripstop reinforces the shell and makes it more resistant to tears and moisture.
The 2 main types of insulation you can choose from are down and synthetic. Down typically comes from geese feathers. Lightweight and easy to compress, down offers exceptional insulation for the least amount of bulk. Synthetic fill is usually made from polyester fibres and provides ample insulation even if it gets wet. It's also machine washable and quick drying for easy maintenance and is the perfect solution for campers who are allergic to down.
Some sleeping bags feature a detachable lining so your sleeping bag is easier to maintain. Once the lining gets dirty, the lining can be removed and washed so you don't need to clean the entire sleeping bag.
If you're camping with your child, a kid's sized sleeping bag is much shorter in length and will keep them insulated far better than an adult model. Some sleeping bags are also designed for women and feature narrower shoulders, wider hips, and a shorter length.
Want more info? Check out some of our resources:
Plug-in Blog: Camping checklist for a family camping trip
Plug-in Blog: Top 10 wilderness products for back country camping
Plug-in Blog: Camping goes low tech