Sleeping Bag Buying Guide

If you’re desperately seeking the one ideal sleeping bag that will meet all of your outdoor needs, forget it! There isn’t such a beast. However, there is a bag out there that will keep you snug and happy through most of your adventuring dreams, and that’s a three-season mummy with a temperature / comfort rating of around 10 to 20 degrees F...
Author:
Publish date:

An Adventure Network® + Total Fitness Network Buying Guide

If you’re desperately seeking the one ideal sleeping bag that will meet all of your outdoor needs, forget it! There isn’t such a beast. However, there is a bag out there that will keep you snug and happy through most of your adventuring dreams, and that’s a three-season mummy with a temperature / comfort rating of around 10 to 20 degrees F. A good three-season bag should see you through the odd frosty evening in late October, provide a snug cocoon during a late spring dusting of snow in April, and yet not overheat you during a warm night in July. If your inclination is more to winter camping, then opt for a bag rated to below zero degrees F. Winter mountaineering will require temperature ratings of minus 15 to minus 40 degrees F. If all you do is camp in the summer when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, you will do just as well with a bag rated to plus 35 or 40 degrees F.

An Adventure Network® Buying Truth

It is not uncommon for users judging a minimum comfort limit to differ by 20 degrees when testing an identical sleeping bag. I know of at least one case in which two users judged the same sleeping bag more than 30 degrees apart. Even without the variables of environmental factors such as clothing worn, food eaten, pads used, body size, fitness, and so on, the perception of “comfort” varies wildly. Use temperature ratings as a guide only. If you tend to sleep colder at night , piling on the blankets even in warm temperatures , then you will likely need to find a bag rated 10 to 20 degrees warmer than the most extreme temperatures you expect to encounter. If you sleep warm at night, you will most likely find the temperature ratings on a bag to be adequate. Be sure to add a very good sleeping pad to your purchase, and never, ever, sleep in the same clothing you spent the day in -- that is a sure-fire way to sleep cold.

To read the complete buyer's guide on Adventure Network, click here.

(c) Adventure Network: All rights reserved -- used on SNEWS by permission of Adventure Network.

Related

TheNorthFace_Sleepingbag.jpg

How to Sell: Sleeping Bags

New advancements in insulation, construction, temperature ratings and design have altered the landscape for sleeping bag options for your customers. Help them find the perfect bag in today’s market with this SNEWS Retail College chapter on sleeping bags. Sleeping bags have ...read more

RetailCollegeSleepingBags2012.jpg

How to Sell: Sleeping Bags

New advancements in insulation, construction, temperature ratings and design have altered the landscape for sleeping bag options for your customers. Help them find the perfect bag in today’s market with this SNEWS Retail College chapter on sleeping bags. Sleeping bags have ...read more

Polarguard_Sleepbag.jpg

Buying Guide: The science of warmth

An Adventure Network® + Total Fitness Network Buying Guide No doubt, most of us are at least familiar with the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. After trial and error, she finds a porridge that is neither too hot nor too cold, but just right. Ditto for the comfy bed. Yet, ...read more

How to Sell: Sleeping Bags

If there’s one thing all outdoor adventurers need it’s the right sleeping bag to keep them warm, comfortable and happy when tucked in. That’s where this chapter of the SNEWS® Retail College comes in. Filled with all the basics about sleeping bag construction and insulation ...read more

Mt_Hardwear_bag.jpg

Mountain Hardwear UltraLamina 15 sleeping bag

If there’s anything we covet more than a tasty meal in the backcountry, it’s a comfy, warm place to sleep. Mountain Hardwear succeeds in giving the ladies a good night’s sleep by offering bags such as the UltraLamina 15, which concentrates insulation in areas where women tend to ...read more

Mystery Shopper: Sleeping bag sale goes cold

This is another installment of our continuing and occasional series of stories about our mystery shopping experiences at outdoor stores around the country. Our intent in running these stories is and will always be as an educational tool. Even though we do mention the store name ...read more

TheNorthFace_Layering.jpg

Layering Systems Buying Guide

An Adventure Network® + Total Fitness Network Buying GuideThe key to ensuring you are properly prepared to layer effectively is to select an arsenal of garments that you can put on or take off as weather conditions dictate so that the body's core temperature remains essentially ...read more