- outdoor activities guide for hikers, campers, explorers


Planning Tools







Buy a sleeping bag

  • Determine the Purpose of the Sleeping Bag
    • If being used for family camping--consider comfort
    • If backcountry camping--consider weight and size
  • Determine the Shape
    • Rectangular type
      • Provides more space for movement
      • Can be zipped together to create a double sleeping bag
      • Can be fully opened and used as an extra blanket
    • Mummy type
      • Weighs less
      • Smaller size requires less energy to keep warm at night
      • Has a hood to pull tight around your head.
  • Determine the Size
    • Sizes vary--regular, youth, extra long, extra wide
  • Determine Temperature Rating
    • Depends on the conditions you plan to camp in
    • A bags temperature rating indicates the lowest temperature in which a person would be comfortable.
      • "Comfortable" is a very subjective term--everyone is different
      • Use of a ground pad is assumed, necessary and very important--this provides extra insulation and comfort. A foam and air core pad is the best.
      • Other factors should be considered--quality of ground pad and tent, personal level of energy etc.
    • Basic ratings:
      • Traditional sleeping bags are rated at 40 degrees F
      • Three season bags are rated at 20 degrees F
      • Cold weather bags are rated at 0 degrees F
      • Winter camping bags are rated from -15 degrees F to -30 degrees F
  • Determine Insulation
    • Down
      • Best natural insulator
      • Light and compressible
      • Must be kept dry or it losses its insulating abilities
    • Synthetic Fill
      • Cost less then down bags
      • Insulates even when wet
      • Dries quickly
  • Determine the Lining
    • Nylon Taffeta
    • Polyester Cotton
    • Fleece
  • Consider Quality of Other Features
    • Seams and stitching
    • Zippers
  • Consider a storage bag

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