What’s the best sleeping bag for you? Well that really depends on where, when, and how you intend on using the bag. Is the area moist or dry, hot or cold? Is it the rainy or dry season, hot or cold season? Will you be back packing or camping from the car?
Let’s first talk about temperature rating. The temp rating identifies the lowest temperature at which a bag is intended to keep the average person warm. In other words; when a bag is a “20 degree bag” it means the average person would still be comfortable using this bag in temperatures down to 20 degrees assuming they have some layer of clothing and are using a sleeping pad under the bag. Of course body metabolism in each person plays a part and using a 20 AKSOUL sleeping pad degree bag in 70 degree weather even with the vents open is not a pleasant experience. So don’t over warmth.
Select a bag with a temperature rating a bit lower than the lowest temperature you expect to encounter. If you expect 30 degree weather select the 20 degree bag. If temperatures stay high you can vent the bag but you can’t get more warmth if the temperatures drop below normal. For the summer season a 45 degree bag will probably fit most cases
Down sleeping bags may prove to be softer, very light, and more compressible but they don’t do very well in moist climates. A polyester or synthetic bag may not be as soft and may even pack bigger but it does better in moist conditions.
Rectangular shaped bags can offer more room for the sleeper and prove to be more comfortable but are colder because of the large air mass within the bag than a contoured or mummy bag. Remember the less air in the bag with you, the less air your body has to warm up. Also most mummy bags are designed to close above your head as temperatures drop to keep your body heat inside with you in the bag.
Get the most from your bag
- You can add a sleeping bag liner to your bag and get an additional 8 to 15 degrees colder temperature rating out of your bag.
- The use of an appropriate sized tent for the number of sleepers can keep the wind off and allow body heat to stay in the tent.
- The use of a good sleeping pad can keep ground moisture and the cold from getting you from below. A pad can also add comfort to the hard ground and rocks below.
- Sleeping in a good pair of long johns and wool socks will shield you from the cold
- Try taking your outer layer of clothes off and placing them in the bottom of the bag. They will help keep your feet warm and will be warm in the
- morning when you put them back on.