FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A SLEEPING BAG FOR CAMPING
Your choice of sleeping bag can determine the outcome of your camping trip. A good night’s sleep gives you more energy for different outdoor activities. On the other hand, if you spent the night tossing and turning, you’ll likely wake up grumpy and tired. If you want to avoid the latter, you have to choose the right sleeping bag. However, since there are so many options in the market so the process can be a bit overwhelming. To help you with the process, here are the main factors to consider when choosing a sleeping bag for camping.
A sleeping bag’s temperature rating will tell you the lowest possible temperature that the sleeping bag is able to keep you warm. For example, if a sleeping bag has a rating of 5 degrees Celsius, it can keep you warm and comfortable up to that temperature. However, do keep in mind a temperature rating is only a guide.
When choosing a sleeping bag for camping, consider the usual weather conditions that you’ll be camping in. As a rule of thumb, choose a temperature rating that’s about 10 degrees lower than the anticipated temperatures of your usual camping locations.
A rating of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius will be suitable for camping in the summer. Meanwhile, a rating of -5 to -10 degrees Celsius can keep you warm during Australian winters. A 0-degree temperature rating is a versatile choice but isn’t suitable for extreme winter conditions.
Most sleeping bags either have a synthetic or down filling. There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing one over the other, so your choice will depend on your needs and preferences.
A sleeping bag with synthetic insulation is cheaper but some can be a little heavier and bulkier. They dry quickly but will still be able to keep you warm even if the sleeping bag is wet. They are also hypoallergenic, durable and easier to clean. A sleeping bag with down insulation will be lighter, easier to compress and longer lasting. However, they are generally much more expensive. They also don’t keep you warm when wet, they are not hypoallergenic and harder to clean.
When choosing a sleeping bag for camping, synthetic is a good option if you’re on a budget. They are also ideal for casual campers and those who don’t camp in extreme conditions. On the other hand, a down sleeping bag is better if you’re a camping enthusiast. They are easier to carry if you camp in distant locations and have other camping gear to bring along. There are already weather-resistant down sleeping bags, so you won’t have to worry about it getting wet.
There are three common sleeping bag shapes: mummy, tapered rectangular and rectangular. A mummy-shaped sleeping bag has wide shoulders and becomes narrow towards the feet. It can feel restrictive if you’re the time that moves around while asleep. A tapered rectangular sleeping bag is similar in that it’s slimmer at the bottom, but there’s more wriggle room compared to the mummy-shaped sleeping bag. Meanwhile, a rectangular sleeping bag offers the most space out of all the shapes. However, since there’s more space, it’ll take more time to warm up the entire sleeping bag.
When choosing a sleeping bag for camping, it’s also important to find one that is suited to your body type. For example, there are women’s sleeping bags that are shorter, narrower at the shoulders and wider at the hips. It’s good to know the different shapes of sleeping bags to find one that is the right fit for your body.
Apart from the four main factors, there are also extra features to consider when choosing a sleeping bag for camping. This includes zippers and closures. Are they durable? Do they snag easily? You should also consider the shell, lining, neck muff and hood. You might want to choose a sleeping bag with extra features for added comfort or practicality. Online stores are very good at providing very detailed information, often more than traditional stores.
Choosing a sleeping bag can be an overwhelming process if you’re new to camping. There are so many options to choose from. However, as long as you keep in mind these important factors, you’ll be able to find a sleeping bag that will keep you warm and comfortable at night. This means you’ll sleep better and wake up invigorated for another day of camping.
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