In the market for a new sleeping bag? Well, here is some food for thought when selecting a sleeping bag. What are you going to use your sleeping bag for camping or backpacking? This is important because weight becomes an issue if you are going to carry it on your back all day. What type of climates are you going to use your bag in? Humid climates can affect the effectiveness of your bag depending on the fill. What time of year are you going to be using your bag? If you plan to camp in just the summer or year round you will need to consider what temperature rating will be right for your camping excursions. To make it easy I will break it down->
Sleeping bags come in two fills: down and synthetic.
Down bags are filled with goose down (the soft light fluffy feathers).The benefit of a down bag is you get good loft, and great insulation. I’ll take a moment to discuss loft and how it’s related to insulation. Insulation is an idea of trapping area around your self as a buffer to cold conditions. The loft is the amount of stuff, in this case feathers, that traps the air. The more air that is trapped around something the bigger the buffer to the cold. Now back to down sleeping bags… Besides trapping a lot of air down is also very compressible and lightweight, two factors that make down bags perfect for backpackers. The down side of down (hehehe) is that if it gets wet it loses it’s insulating qualities, this also makes cleaning it a little bit more difficult.
Synthetic sleeping bags are your other option. Unlike down, they retain their insulative factors when wet and are easy to clean. Synthetic bags don’t have as high of a loft and don’t compress as well as down bags. Plus, depending on the temperature rating synthetic can be heavier. To break it down; if you are going to be in wet areas with high humidity get a synthetic bag, otherwise down is still a tried and true favorite of the outdoor community.
Once you have decided what kind of fill you are looking for, here are some other things to you should know about sleeping bags. Newer sleeping bags have their seams welded instead of sewn, thus making them warmer and more waterproof. Ratings for bags are what temperature they are insulated for, so a 15-degree bag is good down to 15 degrees. The shape of the bag is also something to consider. The mummy bag is the most efficient shape because it helps prevent loss of warm air.
Rectangle bags give you more legroom but the air isn’t trapped around your body so they are a great warm weather bag.
Well, there is the break down on sleeping bags, if you have further questions hit us up on Facebook or visit us in downtown Elko Nevada.