Camping Sleeping Bags

mummy sleeping bag

mummy sleeping bag

For those of us who love the great outdoors, camping is a popular choice of holiday.

Whether you’re a novice or seasoned camper, one of your most important pieces of kit will be the humble sleeping bag.

Sleeping bags come in all shapes, sizes and levels of quality. You can buy top end sleeping bags for use in hard weather conditions but for some, a basic cosy sleeping bag for indoor or mild outdoor conditions will suffice.

If it’s warm outside, then something light in weight and compact is ideal, however, for trips to icy arctic type locations a high tech sleeping bag will keep you cocooned within making sure jack frost can’t bite your toes (frost bite is not a nice experience).

There are a variety of sleeping bags on the market and it’s always best to ask the advice of a salesman when choosing your sleeping bag, but first, you really need to consider a few basic points so you don’t end up buying something which is unsuitable for your needs.

Top Tips

Think about where and when you’ll be using your sleeping bag and ponder the following:

  • Shape and size – It’s worth considering your height and size, being stuck inside something which restricts your movement can be very uncomfortable. A mummy style bag may offer the most warmth, but if you’re using the sleeping bag inside or in warm conditions a semi rectangular bag will offer far more movement inside and will be less claustrophobic.
  • Packing away -You may need it to be small and compact with a pouch for travelling light, or will it be used in-doors where weight or packing away are not so important.
  • Temperature – Sleeping Bags are rated by season and degrees Celsius, it is always important to check with the supplier which will be most suitable for your need. As a rough guide: 1 will be for summers months (around 5 degrees Celsius), 2 will be for spring into summer (0 degrees Celsius), 3 will be for spring right through to autumn (around -5 degrees Celsius), 4 will be for winter (around -10 degrees Celsius) and 5 is rated for expeditions in colder climates (around -15 degrees Celsius).
  • Lining (Outer) – You need to consider if it will be used inside or outside, maybe in harsh weather conditions? Down sleeping bags are usually more expensive than synthetic sleeping bags and generally last longer, however, these would not be ideal for wet or damp conditions. For wet or damp conditions the ultralight shell fabrics are more suitable as they often possess a durable water-repellent coating.
  • Lining (Inner) and Insulation – You may require something that is light and breathable for really warm climates, or are you camping somewhere really cold where you will need to be cocooned inside? If you will be in dry but cold conditions then down sleeping bags are effective, they possess a high weight to warmth ratio (down insulation is measured by one ounce per cubic inch with 900 being the around the highest). For machine washable and damp resistant sleeping bags, those with synthetic insulation work best.
  • Hood – Consider the utility of your sleeping bag having a hood for really cold weather, or to keep insects out. Other related features may be draft collars and draft tubes behind the zip, combined, these all act as effective draft insulators.

You should also consider asking about sleeping bag accessories too, such as sleeping bag heaters for emergency situations, mats to help cushion the ground and insulate from cold beneath, travel pillows for comfort and sleeping bag liners for extra insulation in cold weather.

Ideally you need someone knowledgeable who can offer the correct advice while purchasing a sleeping bag, to discuss your needs with someone who knows what they’re talking about. A good place to start would be somewhere like Camping-Online based in Derby-shire.

Camping Online have many years of experience in supplying camping equipment in the UK and stock a wide selection of sleeping bags suitable for all occasions. If you want to make sure you’re spending your money wisely, then they’ll be happy to offer free advice: Camping Equipment

Article by Simon Lucas

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