Are you ready to start looking for a new sleeping bag? We’ve all been there—taking an inventory of your gear of the next season, you go through the shed, garage, and attic, and pile everything in one place. Your tent is cozy, your cookware is in shape, and your boots still fit well, but your sleeping bag is worn out.
You might not know about all of the options that you’ve got in a sleeping bag purchase—it’s quite a piece of technology! It’s possible you’re familiar with some of the obvious points: that a sleeping bag can differ in weight, size, how comfortable they are and even their durability. And of course, you should buy a bag that is right for your trip and the environment you’ll be staying in.
Here’re a few other things to consider in your next sleeping bag purchase.
Sleeping bags come in a few different shapes with their own characteristics.
- Rectangle: The most popular shape, rectangular sleeping bags are roomy and widely available. They come in single and double sizes, where a double is large enough to sleep two.
- Cocoon/Mummy: A form fitting, lightweight style that achieves roughly the same temperatures as the rectangular type. This is one of the favorites of experienced campers because it’s easy to pack and carry and it’s comfortable in even intense conditions.
- Tapered: a roughly trapezoidal shape, these bags are wide at the shoulders and narrow at the bottom. Another style that experienced campers often go with.
Some sleeping bags are made from different and exceptional materials. Keep an eye out for these types:
- Flannel Lining: flannel lined sleeping bags are soft against your skin, but warm up on contact.
- Nylon: Nylon sleeping bags promise good ventilation and quick drying. If you’re in a wetter climate or conditions, or if it’s warm and you might sweat at night, then this is a good option.
- Poly-Cotton: A durable material that will stand up to extreme terrain and conditions.
Your sleeping bag may actually be filled with certain materials. It’s important to be aware of what’s inside so you know how to handle and clean the sleeping bag, or if it’s preferable for certain environments.
- Down: The same down that’s in so many pillows and blankets, this is a natural filling that can get comfortably warm.
- Hollow Fiber: Makes for a light sleeping bag that’s easily compressed and makes packing a breeze.
- Common Fills: Some other common fills include cotton, polyester, and synthetics which are often easier to care for than down.
There are two specific patterns to keep in mind when you’re looking for a sleeping bag. Quilted stitching is the pattern that separates out all of the small pockets of fill with thread between them. The second is tubing, where the fill is divided into big pockets instead of smaller squares. Both patterns are meant to keep the fill well distributed within the sleeping bag.
Are you ready to go grab yourself a new sleeping bag? Do you have a question about what you should buy for a special camping trip? Leave your questions in the comments below!