How to Choose Sleeping Bags for Camping

Camping trips have a lot of joys, but one thing that many people don’t want to deal with is the cold at night. To stay comfortable and warm during your camping trip, it is important to invest in a quality sleeping bag.

There are different types of sleeping bags available on the market, so you will need to know what type of bag best suits your needs before you buy. To help you choose the right sleeping bag for your next camping trip, read this article.

Types of Sleeping Bags

When it comes to choosing a sleeping bag, there are three main types that you will need to consider. The first is the summer bag, which can keep you warm down to 18° C. The second type is the 3-season sleeping bag, which can be used in temperatures as low as -7° C. The final type is the winter sleeping bag, which can be used in temperatures down to -17° C.

When it comes to choosing the right sleeping bag for you, deciding between a rectangular shape or mummy style will also need to factor into your decision. A rectangular-shaped sleeping bag has more room than a mummy-style bag. It is ideal for people who toss and turn at night or carry a lot of extra equipment.

A mummy sleeping bag, on the other hand, hugs your body to retain heat. This type of sleeping bag works well for most people at home because they are very comfortable. However, if you are someone who tosses and turns at night, you should stick with a rectangular-shaped bag.

Size and Fit

When buying your first sleeping bag, it is important that you not only select the right type but also the appropriate size for you as well. The EN13537 standard will help you choose the correct size by showing how warm each type of sleeping bag can keep you.

The EN13537 standard shows that the rectangular-shaped sleeping bag can keep you warm down to -7° C, while the mummy-style bags are rated down to -17° C. If you plan on camping in temperatures below -7 degrees Celsius, it is important that you purchase a sleeping bag with a rating of at least 3-season.

When choosing the right size of sleeping bag for you, it is important that your shoulders can fit inside the sleeping bag with ease. This means that you should choose a mummy-style sleeping bag if you have broad shoulders and hips, while a rectangular-shaped sleeping bag will suit someone who has narrow shoulders and hips.

The EN13537 standard is an easy way to help you choose the correct size. Once you know which type of sleeping bag will work best for your needs, it is important that you also decide on the appropriate size so that you can stay comfortable and warm.

Read Also: Best Camping Tents For Beginners in 2022

Choosing a Sleeping Bag Insulation Type

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Along with choosing the right side of the sleeping bag, you also need to consider what type of insulation your sleeping bag needs. Sleeping bags are insulated with either synthetic or down insulation.

Synthetic insulation is made from materials like polyester and nylon. This type of insulation is quite thin; however; it still provides warmth at night because it traps air inside of the sleeping bag.

Down insulation, on the other hand, is far warmer than synthetic insulation. This type of insulation is made from actual down and will last for many years to come. To make sure that you stay warm at night while camping, it is important to purchase a down-insulated sleeping bag.

Additional Sleeping Bag Features

Sleeping bag shells

The shell of a sleeping bag will either be made from nylon or Gore-Tex. Nylon shells are breathable, which means that they will work well to keep you cool during the summer months. However, if it rains while you are camping, the water may seep into your sleeping bag because nylon shells aren’t waterproof.

Sleeping bag hood

The interior part of a sleeping bag, where your headrests, is called the hood. The hood will either be insulated or made from down. A down-insulated hood can keep you warm at night because it creates a seal to trap the heat close to your body.

Draft collar

A draft collar is an additional layer of insulation that goes around your neck to keep you warm.

Storage and Care of Sleeping Bags

If you’re like most people, you’ll store your sleeping bag in a bag or sack when not in use. The best way to ensure that your sleeping bag is clean and ready for camping next year is to wash it properly with only down

Zipper features

A zipper should be located on the inside of your sleeping bag so that you can easily access it at night. The zippers for most sleeping bags are either YKK or coil, with YKK being more common.

Caring for Your Sleeping Bag:

It’s important to clean your sleeping bag every year so that it continues to function properly and stays clean and fresh. You can wash your sleeping bag using a front-loading machine and either down soap or liquid detergent. Make sure to dry the sleeping bag on low heat.

What are the most common mistakes people make with their sleeping bags?

Choosing a bag that is too small or narrow. You need to make sure that your shoulders fit inside your sleeping bag before you purchase it.

Purchasing a down-insulated sleeping bag for camping in freezing weather. Down can only stay warm if it isn’t exposed to extreme weather conditions. If you use a down-insulated sleeping bag in winter, the coldness from the outdoors will seep into your sleeping bag and make you feel cold all night long

Using a cotton sleeping bag liner. Sleeping bags are designed to trap your body heat inside of them while camping; therefore, adding an extra layer will only make the bag hotter.

Purchasing a three-season sleeping bag for winter camping. If you want to use your sleeping bag for more than just summer, you must purchase one that is rated for winter camping as well

Not cleaning your sleeping bag after use. Sleeping bags are designed to trap heat inside them while

Final Thought

For many people, sleeping bags provide the necessary warmth and comfort on camping trips. That is why it’s important to invest in a quality one that will keep you warm during the night. To help you choose just the right type of bag for your next trip, here are three main types to consider.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are sleeping bag liners necessary?

No, they are not. Sleeping bag liners work by protecting your sleeping bag from dirt and sweat, which can cause the insulation to clump up. However, some people feel that adding an extra layer of protection increases warmth during the night because it traps body heat.


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Mike Anderson
By Mike Anderson

Hi, I'm Mike Anderson and I love camping. In fact, I love it so much that I've decided to write about it. I hope to provide you with all the information you need to get started in camping yourself. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me and I'll do my best to help you out.



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