Choosing the right sleeping bag for your needs is essential for comfort
and in some cases, survival. Before purchasing a sleeping bag, keep
in mind when and where you are most likely to use it. Will it be
used for mild nights in the backyard or for sub-zero temperatures on a
remote mountaintop? When you know what purpose your sleeping bag
will be used for, there are several important factors that will help you
compare among bags and choose the right one for your needs.
Baby 'sleep sacks' might be safer than blankets
(Reuters Health) - Infant sleeping bags, or sleep sacks, are at least as safe as other bedding in preventing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and might be safer, a new analysis concludes.
Reuters. Monday, 29 Oct 2018 15:24:21 -0400.
Most sleeping bags have temperature ratings that give a general idea of
how well they insulate. This is a useful point of comparison, but
the ratings do assume that you will use a ground pad. Temperature
ratings include winter, three-season, and summer bags. Colder-rated
sleeping bags are often good choices, because you can always unzip them
if the weather is warmer than expected. If you have a three-season
sleeping bag that you wish to use in cold weather, consider fitting an
overbag around your sleeping bag for greater warmth. A sleeping bag
liner can also add some warmth and protect your bag's interior surfaces
from wear and tear.
Loft and fill type are other important points of comparison. Loft
refers to the thickness of a sleeping bag; it is an important factor when
considering warmth. The fill used in sleeping bags has many
qualities to be considered, including weight, compactness, durability, and
warmth when wet. Common fill types include goose down, Hyperloft,
PrimaLoft, and Hyperloft Lite. Goose down, the sleeping bag fill
standard, is lightweight and an efficient insulator. It compresses
well and lofts quickly when shaken. It can, however, lose insulation
value if it gets wet, and it also dries slowly. Synthetic fills
don't lose insulating value if they get wet, and they dry quickly.
Sleeping bags with synthetic fill are usually cheaper than down-filled
bags, but they tend to be heavier and larger than down-filled bags.
Shape is also an important consideration when choosing a sleeping bag,
and there are several specific shapes to choose from. A mummy bag
narrows at the feet, flares at the shoulders, and tapers to a hood.
It is designed to reduce weight and maximize heat retention with its
close, narrow fit, but mummy bags can feel somewhat confining.
A barrel bag is a bit bulkier than a mummy bag. It is slightly
tapered and has an oval foot section. A rectangular bag is most
practical for warm weather. It is the roomiest type of sleeping bag,
and two rectangular bags can easily be zipped together to form a larger
bag. While a rectangular sleeping bag is the least expensive choice,
it may not be the most practical for a hiker, because it is bulky and does
not provide much insulation. Choose an extra-long sleeping bag if
you are over six feet tall. And, if you are a woman, you might want
a bag that is designed for women. These bags are shorter, with a
wider hip area and narrower shoulder size.
Sleeping Bag Suppliers
Features a broad selection of mild, moderate, and extreme weather
sleeping bags as well as sleeping pads and accessories. www.Coleman.com
Learn about mummy bags, barrel bags, and rectangular bags.
Browse sleeping bag products by temperature rating or shop by category. www.Slumberjack.com
Offers a broad selection of sleeping bags, liners, and accessories. www.Kelty.com
The North Face -
This outdoor gear and apparel maker offers down and synthetic fill bags
in three comfort ranges. www.TheNorthFace.com
Western Mountaineering -
Offers a series of lightweight, high quality down sleeping bags
that are designed and constructed for durability. www.WesternMountaineering.com
Features a series of mummy-style down and synthetic fiber sleeping bags. www.Marmot.com
Feathered Friends -
This Washington-based firm offers a series of efficiently designed
sleeping bags for backpackers and mountain climbers. www.FeatheredFriends.com
Mountain Hardwear -
Designs a range of quality sleeping bags featuring goose down and synthetic fills. www.MountainHardwear.com
Air Mattresses - often used under a sleeping bag to provide a cushioned sleep surface.
Tents - often used above sleeping bags to provide protection from the elements.
Down Comforters - sometimes used with a sleeping bag to provide extra warmth.