Sleeping bags are arguably one of the top 5 most important items to take with you on any overnight expedition in the outdoors. So when you head to the store searching for a sleeping bag for the first time you may be surprised to find how many options you have. As with all gear guides I have or will be publishing I’ll apply my thoughts and knowledge to the topic and let you decide for yourself by getting informed. The goal of this article is that you find that the multiple options you are presented with to be less than overwhelming, and to select the right piece of equipment for the right application.
There are a handful of things to think about when selecting what bag is right for the job:
- Design Type (Rectangular, Mummy, Mate-able)
- Insulation (Synthetic, Down, Cotton/Wool)
- Temperature Rating
- Craftsmanship and Material (zipper, drawstring, fabric)
Design Type Considerations
Rectangular sleeping bags are probably the most recognizable design type to the unfamiliar shopper. It is most simply described as a filled/insulated blanket that can be folded in half and zipped on two sides to create a pocket for you to sleep in. Though they can be used in cold weather, the opening at the top of the pocket in most rectangular bags allows for a significant leak in the insulated warmth the bag provides and will allow cold air drafts to enter the bag. [Read more…]