Just like any other camping equipment, you would need to do a thorough research before getting yourself a sleeping bag. Don’t just opt for a regular sleeping mat because you need to protect yourself from the temperature, insects, and possibly diseases that could easily be avoided with the right camping gear.
It is imperative that you choose sleeping bags with the right shape, appropriate insulation, and the proper fit. If all these factors are neglected, you will likely have a hard time sleeping during your camping, which is a very important part of any nature adventures.
Sleeping bags with a rectangular shape is the most common; it features two zips on both sides and can fully be unzipped to be turned into a blanket. However, compared to other shapes, rectangular sleeping bags are less effective at preserving heat. They are more suited for indoor use, summer camping, and caravanning.
The semi-rectangular sleeping bag is also known as barrel-shaped. They have a tapered design for more warmth and efficiency and is suitable for both camping and backpacking trips. The semi-rectangular or barrel-shaped sleeping bag has more room than the rectangular counterpart, perfect for those with a larger build and restless sleepers.
Mummy-shaped sleeping bags offer a narrow shoulder and hip space in order to maximize warmth and reduce weight. Mummy sleeping bags are suitable for backpackers and car-campers. Backpacking sleeping bags are quite different than camping sleeping bags because they are more lightweight and can be packed easily.
The double-wide sleeping bags are meant to fit two people at once. It can be combined with an air mattress or foam sleeping pad to get a more comfortable sleep. The usual double-wide sleeping bag can be zipped and separated to create two individual sleeping bags. Double-wide bags are available in rectangular, semi-rectangular, and mummy style.
There are three main types of insulation and each of them will cost differently due to their insulating power and materials.
- Synthetic Insulation – Made from polyester, this insulation is quick-drying, non-allergenic, durable, and less expensive.
- Goose-Down Insulation – Goose-down insulation is durable and compressible, meaning that they can be packed down into a backpack or duffle bag. Pricier than synthetic.
- Water-Resistant Down Insulation – Water-resistant insulation, yet loses its insulating power when wet.
Sleeping Bag Care Tips
- Sleep in clean clothes with no mud, dirt, or sweat. If you happen to be doing any sort of cooking, change your clothes before sleeping to avoid inviting any predators to your campsite.
- Use a liner to keep your sleeping bag pouch clean. These liners can also act as a barrier between your skin and the bag. Available in cotton, silk, wool, or polyester.
- Put a pad on the ground if you plan to sleep outdoors. Then, air out your sleeping bag daily by turning it inside-out and leave it under the sunlight for a while. Pay attention to how long you’re airing your bag for as too much UV light can degrade the fabric.