Your Ultimate Guide to Buying Sleeping Bags

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    When you’re out camping, sleeping under the stars is one of camping’s most desired pleasures. But without proper gear, a quiet evening will easily transform into an utterly horrible night.

    Sleep can make or break a day in the great outdoors, so we put together this guide to ensure you have the right sleeping bag.

    Before you buy the “best camping multi tool”, here are some factors you need to consider for buying sleeping bag.

    What Is The Temperature Out There?

    Temperature Ratings

    Summer, 3-season, and winter sleeping bags are the three main types of sleeping bags.

    Summer sleeping bags have a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit or greater; 3-season bags have a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In comparison, winter sleeping bags have a temperature of fewer than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Traditionally, the temperature rating refers to the lowest temperature at which the bag can hold the average individual warm. However, since manufacturer scores differ too much, getting a reliable read can be difficult—one manufacturer’s 250F can sound like another’s 150F. Look at the EN ranking for a more precise reference.

    EN Ratings

    The EN rating is a European norm that divides sleepers into four sections.

    • Upper Limit
    • Comfort
    • Lower Limit
    • Extreme

    It’s usually best to purchase an ultra-lightweight sleeping bag that’s marked for a temperature marginally colder than the one you’ll be camping at, depending on whether you run hot or cold.

    Additional Features to Look At

    Shape

    A mummy bag has a tapered shape that fits snugly across the body and tapers at the feet. Mummy bags are more compressible than rectangular bags and improve thermal strength.

    Rectangular bags don’t hold heat as well as round bags, but they do enable you to walk around a little more. They’re more suited to car camping and caravanning in the season.

    Zipper

    The left or right zipper is used on most sleeping bags. Summer bags usually have a full-length zipper for quick airflow in the summer, while winter bags typically do not.

    Before you buy it, test the zipper and make sure it doesn’t snag easily. Trying to get out to pee in the middle of the night only to be stopped by a stubborn zipper that won’t flow easily can be very irritating.

    Pocket

    A small zippered pocket on the inside or outside of a sleeping bag is common. It’s a good spot to have a headlamp or a pair of earplugs in case your tent mate decides to start sawing logs in the middle of the night.

    Women Specific

    Women’s sleeping bags are usually a few inches shorter than men’s. They’re a little looser around the waist, a little tighter around the elbows, providing additional padding around the upper body.

    Fill the Sack

    The stuff sack that comes with most sleeping bags allows you to compress your sleeping bag into a smaller pocket for easier transport. When you’re not camping, it’s safest to store it in the bigger storage sack to ensure that the insulation lasts as long as possible.