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Camping Sleeping Bags – Don’t Leave Home Without Them
One of the most essential camping items, without a doubt, is the camping sleeping bag. The need for a reliable and comfortable sleeping bag when camping is a no brainer. If you want to have a comfortable rest outdoor, it'd be necessary for you to get the best sleeping bag possible. If you have no idea which sleeping bag to get, then you will surely find this website useful. Read on below to know more information on what makes a great sleeping bag.
Are you searching for the ultimate camping sleeping bag that will be the perfect fit and last forever? If you find it, then you are one of the lucky few. Most people find one that they are happy with, but they can also list a few complaints. It’s not your bed so it’s quite natural to find some discomfort with it. There are some features that you can add or consider to make it as comfortable as possible.
Best Camping Sleeping Bags
What makes a sleeping bag the best? The answer to this question will vary based on many different situations -what someone considers comfortable, where you camp, the "type" of camping, etc. For example, if you will be camping in warm climates, then you will want to make sure your sleeping bag has proper ventilation. If you think it might rain, you will need a bag with waterproof outer lining. Be sure to consider the bag's fillings, shape, size, temperature ratings, outer linings, and durability. Ideally, you want one that is warm, durable, economical, comfortable, and stores easily.
You can choose either down filling or a filling that is made from synthetic fibers. Some examples of synthetic fibers are PolarGuard, Hollofil, and Quallofil. Down has the best weight-to-warmth ratio, and is the most compact. They are not the hands-down winner because they lose points when wet. They become a soggy, heavy nightmare, where synthetic fibers are quick-drying and continue to insulate even when wet. A few other advantages for synthetic fibers are: they are a lot less expensive than the goose-down bags, and last longer.
Rectangular shaped sleeping bags provide maximum space and comfort, but because of all the extra air surrounding the body, they don’t retain heat as well as mummy-shaped or semi-rectangular bags. The mummy-shaped versions are superior for heat retention because of their snug fit but they are not suitable for those that move a lot during their sleep. The mummy-shaped bags are also lightweight. Semi-rectangular bags seem to be the perfect combination of the benefits or both the aforementioned bags.
Sleeping blankets come with temerature ratings - the range of temperatures that manufacturers expect you to sleep comfortably. Don't rely on these. The ratings are simply “best guesses.” I tend to get really hot at night, and my husband gets cold. I would never purchase the same sleeping bag, with the same temperature rating for both of us. I would get him a sleeping bag that had a rating 10-20 degrees lower than the temps I expect. In general, you should always make sure that you will be extra warm by purchasing a bag that has a slightly lower rating than you think you will need. If you get too hot, you can always unzip a little and let the air vent.
This is the outer fabric of the sleeping bag and they help to keep the filling in and provide protection from the elements. Most sleeping bags have nylon linings and may be coated with chemicals that make them waterproof. I prefer the waterproofed linings because I never know when this feature will come in handy.
Camping Sleeping Bags for Children
Shopping for sleeping bags for toddlers is not that much different that for adults. There are a few features that make it kid friendly like smaller size, glow-in-the dark zipper pulls, and interior pockets for small items. They are also extremely lightweight so the kids will be able to carry them – well not 3 or 4 year olds – maybe 6years old and older.
As we discussed earlier, down filling doesn’t hold up well when it gets wet so if you have a little one that is not fully potty trained, you should definitely get a sleeping bag with synthetic fibers. You may also want to invest in one that is washable. Tip: purchase a compression bag as they may not pack down well due to the synthetic fibers.
Tips for Selecting the Best Camping Sleeping Bag
- Purchase dark colored outer lining for winter camping – Dark colors absorbs more heat.
- Opt for extra space if you will be camping in cold temperatures – you can store temperature sensitive items in there like cameras, binoculars, medicines, etc.
- Use sleeping pads if you get cold easily- As you lay in your sleeping bag, you reduce the thickness of the filling beneath you which in turn reduces the amount of insulation it provides. Sleeping pads will prevent the cold ground from absorbing your body heat.
- Use a two-way zipper for more flexibility.
- Be sure that the shell fabric is durable and water repellent.
- Adjustable hood and draft tube are vital if you are camping in the severe cold. Draft tube covers the zipper and prevents cold air from getting in and an adjustable hood will make sure that your head is fully covered so you don’t lose heat.
Remember that all the time you are spending researching now will pay off as your sleeping bag is sure to last for several years.
A couple of demonstrations on how to choose, and use your new sleeping bag:
- Quick and to the point - this video covers selecting a sleeping bag, AND TENT!
- Okay, so this video is a little dry. It's informative, though - worthy of at least one view.
- Very good two part series - this is part 1.
- And we finish it up with part 2. Good viewing.