Tips on Choosing Sleeping Bags

You have decided to go camping. You get start to look at all the things you need to buy and start to feel overwhelmed. This feeling is understandable and is expected. This article is going to dissect the sleeping bag and hopefully make your decision a lot easier when you start to look for one.  A sleeping bag is one of the most important items on your camping checklist.

Temperature Rating

The first choice you need to make is the temperature rating. Assuming the person sleeping in the bag is wearing long underwear, the rating on the bag is supposed to keep the wearer comfortable as long as the temperature does not go below the rated temp.

Other factors that contribute to the warmth of the wearer is the insulating pad the camper is sleeping on. The tent can add up to 10 degrees of warmth because it adds an extra layer of ‘warm’ air around you. The metabolism of your body affects how cold you get. Are you a warm sleeper or a cold sleeper? Does your sleeping bag have a hood? If it does then that can be tightened up to add extra warmth to your body. Most of your body heat escapes from your head.

Bag Type Temperature Rating (˚F)
Summer Bag +35° and higher
Three Season Bag +10° to +35°
Cold Weather -10° to +10°
Winter/Extreme -10° and lower


When it comes to insulation you mainly have two options. You can get a synthetic filled insulation or a goose down sleeping bag. The synthetic insulation has many positives over the goose down insulation. They include: non allergenic, less expensive, dries quickly, you still stay warm even if the insulation gets wet. The goose down insulation is more compressible and is a bit more durable then the synthetic but it offers a slightly higher price tag for this all natural product.

Shape and fit

There are three different types of sizes for sleeping bags. They include rectangle, semi-rectangle and mummy.

The rectangle bag provides the most room for the base camper or car camper. You can even zip two of these together if you get the right zippers and make a double sleeping bag. The semi-rectangle bag will provide more warmth than the rectangle bag but still has enough room for the larger person or the person that doesn’t like the tight feeling of the mummy bag. The mummy bag is extremely compressible and usually includes a hood for extra warmth.

The womens sleeping bag has extra features that a men sleeping bag does not have. They are specifically made for a woman’s body. Some of those features are: shorter and narrow at the shoulders, wider at the hips, and extra insulation in the foot area.

Sleeping bags also have many features including zipper compatibility, extra pockets, hoods, built in pillows, and even sleeping bag liners.

To get the most life out of your sleeping bag be sure and take it out of the stuff sack of unroll it when it is not in use. This will make sure the insulation stays fluffy so it retains its insulation value.

3 thoughts on “Tips on Choosing Sleeping Bags”

  1. I never know which type to go with whenever I buy a new one. Right now I have a synthetic as opposed to a down sleeping bag, but I would like to purchase a down one sometime this year, so this was quite helpful.

  2. buying the wrong type of sleeping bag can ruin your trip. So very useful guidelines you have here. its always useful to get to know experienced users views before buying things like outdoor gear.

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