Pro Strategies For Getting Sleeping Bags


By Michael Lanza

Acquiring a sleeping bag that is ideal for you may possibly be the most confusing gear-shopping for activity. Obtaining the ideal 1 is important to sleeping comfortably in the backcountry, and your bag could save your life in an emergency. But with the myriad options out there, how do you inform them apart, beyond temperature rating and value? I’ve slept in several, several bags as a gear tester for effectively more than two decades for Backpacker magazine and this weblog, in all seasons, in temperatures from incredibly mild to -30° F. (Mild is a lot more pleasant.) In this write-up, I’ll share what I’ve discovered about selecting out a sleeping bag that will be best for your physique and your adventures.

Basic Strategies For Getting a Sleeping Bag

•    Know your personal physique. Do you get cold very easily or are you a furnace? Girls have a tendency to get cold a lot more very easily, and this is a easy function of physics: Girls generally have a larger ratio of physique surface location to mass compared to males, so their bodies drop heat a lot more readily. These ladies are a lot more comfy in a bag created for ladies, which is shaped differently than a men’s bag and generally has added insulation in regions like the feet.
•    If you get cold very easily, get a bag rated 20 to 25 degrees colder than the coldest temperatures you strategy to sleep outdoors in.
•    People who do not get cold very easily will be a lot more comfy in a bag rated to inside 10 to 15 degrees of the coldest temperatures you strategy to sleep outdoors in—and possibly even a bag rated ideal about the coldest temp you will encounter, supplied you have added clothes to place on, just in case. (I’ve spent several nights about freezing completely warm adequate in a bag rated 32° F.) Getting also hot is no a lot more comfy than getting also cold, and obtaining a bag a lot warmer than required signifies you are carrying superfluous weight and bulk. (See my guidelines on lightening your pack weight. less-weight-a lot more-exciting/)

Got an all-time favored campsite? See “Tent Flap With a View: 25 Favored Backcountry Campsites.”


Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Significant Outdoors, which has created several top outdoors weblog lists. Click right here to sign up for my Totally free e-mail newsletter. Join The Significant Outdoors to get complete access to all of my blog’s stories. Click right here to find out how I can aid you strategy your subsequent trip. Please adhere to my adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.


See my "10 Pro Tips: Staying Warm in a Sleeping Bag."
Click this photo to study my “10 Pro Strategies: Staying Warm in a Sleeping Bag.”

Down Vs. Synthetic Bags

Down has traditionally been lighter, a lot more packable, and warmer than several synthetic insulations but as soon as wet, synthetics nevertheless kept you pretty warm, when down feathers grow to be all but useless at retaining heat. Now, the lines among down and synthetic have been blurred somewhat with the improvement of higher-high quality, lightweight and compact synthetic insulations like PrimaLoft, and water-resistant down, which retains its capacity to trap heat even when wet. 

Down is a lot more packable and incredibly sturdy, so it nevertheless holds an benefit as the insulation of selection if you do not count on to get that bag wet and water-resistant down enhances your bag’s overall performance in popular situations exactly where it may possibly get damp, such as when condensation builds up inside a tent. Nevertheless, even water-resistant down, as soon as saturated, loses a lot of its capacity to hold you warm, and drying out any bag is very challenging, if not not possible, in prolonged, wet climate. Synthetic insulation remains the very best selection for extended trips in wet environments.

Get the ideal tent for you. See my “Gear Critique: The five Finest Backpacking Tents”
and my “5 Strategies For Getting a Backpacking Tent.”

See my “10 Pro Strategies: Staying Warm in a Sleeping Bag” and all of my testimonials of sleeping bags and air mattresses and sleeping pads that I like at The Significant Outdoors.


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See also my connected stories:

five Strategies For Acquiring the Proper Backpack

five Strategies For Spending Significantly less on Backpacking and Hiking Gear

five Strategies For How to Obtain a Backpacking Tent

A Sensible Guide to Lightweight and Ultralight Backpacking

Ask Me: How Do We Start Lightening Up Our Backpacking Gear?


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