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Sleeping Bags

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Sleeping bags are often the first thing you will see in every camping checklist, and with good reason. These camping essentials ensure you stay warm and comfortable when spending the night at campsites. They are durable, portable and can keep up with the most avid of campers. 

When selecting a sleeping bag, seven interrelated factors need to be considered.

WARMTH

Sleeping bags are rated. One rating is provided by the manufacturer and another is based on a standardized test. The Comfort rating is the lowest temperature at which the bag will keep the average woman or cold sleeper comfortable. The Lower-limit rating is the lowest temperature at which the bag will keep the average man or warm sleeper comfortable (women tend to sleep "colder" than men).

WEIGHT

Since you have to carry it, lighter is better. Generally, down is lighter than synthetic insulation for comparable warmth.

Also, a shorter size will be lighter, so get the shortest size that fits you. An additional benefit of a shorter bag is it will be warmer, because there is less space for your body to heat.

The shape of the bag affects weight. Mummy shapes are generally lighter than rectangular shapes, for a given warmth.

WOMEN'S SPECIFIC

Some bags are specifically designed for women. This may simply mean the bag is shorter or contoured differently than the man 's version, but it might also mean extra insulation in the upper body or foot area, as women tend to get colder in those areas.

WEATHER RESISTANCE

Weather resistance is affected by the sleeping bag insulation and its shell. Wet insulation provides less warmth. This is more pronounced for down than synthetics, though water-resistant downs reduce the difference. A weather resistant shell helps keep your insulation drier and, therefore warmer. However, a shell that is too impermeable to moisture might retain the moisture your body gives off during the night, wetting your insulation from the inside.

COMPRESSIBILITY

A more compressible bag takes up less space in your pack, and may allow you to carry a smaller and lighter, pack.

Down is usually more compressible than synthetic insulation bags. Down also has varying compressibility, measured by its Fill Power (FP), which is the cubic inches of volume filled by 1 ounce of down. Thus, 800 FP down is more compressible than 700 FP down. A side benefit of greater compressibility is a bag using higher FP down will be lighter, all other things being equal.

While a compression stuff sack can be used to reduce stuffed volume, it adds weight and cost over a non-compression stuff sack.

COST

All other things being equal, less expensive is better. In reality, reducing cost involves tradeoffs. For example, while synthetic-insulated bags are generally less expensive than down bags, they are likely heavier, less compressible, and less durable.

DURABILITY

Down generally lasts longer than synthetics, which tend to lose loft (and therefore warmth) with age and repeated stuffing.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

SLEEPING PADS

A sleeping bag alone will not keep you warm. Your bag 's insulation underneath you will compress and provide much less warmth, so you need something additional underneath you to provide insulation from the cold ground (or snow) - a sleeping pad.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR WINTER OR SNOW CAMPING

For winter camping, you might want to size up your bag, to leave room in the bottom of your bag for boots and other items you want to keep from freezing. Also, for winter camping, a weather resistant shell is more important, because in cold temperatures frost tends to form on the inside of your tent, and then fall onto your sleeping bag - especially when wind is shaking your tent.

Choose from our range of quality and affordable sleeping bags.

If you want learn more about our products, feel free to give us a call at 02 888 10 333 and our friendly team is happy to help with any questions you may have.

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