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Two people in a Kamui sleeping bag.

Everything You’ll Ever Need To Know About Sleeping Bags

Before you head off to your camping trip, you need to create a checklist of all the items you’ll need so you can survive this journey. Right underneath tent should be your sleeping bag. This item will be one of the most important purchases that you’ll make prior to your trip.

This means you’ll have to find out specifics regarding sleeping bags so you can buy the one best suited to your sleeping needs.

Continue reading to get an in-depth understanding as to what sleeping bag you should be searching for.

Why Should You Bring A Sleeping Bag On A Camping Trip?

Camping trips normally last a couple of days. Where will you be sleeping during that time frame? Hopefully, your answer wasn't the cold, hard ground because you have a comfier option awaiting you.

That option would be a sleeping bag. During your trip, you'll need to be as relaxed and refreshed as possible. You don't want to make a mistake and take a wrong turn because you didn't sleep well enough the night before.

People standing in sleeping bags.

A sleeping bag is the camping gear that ensures you get your beauty rest.

Types Of Sleeping Bags

The amount of sleeping bags available are endless, so it's up to you to determine which qualities are essential to you. You should figure out what you most value about your sleep and work from there. You're bound to find a sleeping bag that can satiate all your sleeping requirements.

First, let’s take a look at varying sleeping bag shapes.

Sleeping Bag Shapes

Rectangular

A majority of sleeping bags come in a rectangular shape, which ensures optimal comfort and room. For those who are tall, you should make a note of the length of the sleeping bag, because you might require one that’s another shape.

Some rectangular sleeping bags come with compatible zippers, which you can take advantage of to create a double bed. Expert campers advise that you lay two identical rectangular sleeping bags together on top of a double size air mattress for utmost sleeping comfort.

Barrel-Shaped

If you’re looking for a more versatile sleeping bag, then you should consider a barrel-shaped one. This type of sleeping bag can be utilized for both backpacking as well as camping.

It has a tapered design that ensures increased warmth. In fact, rectangular shaped sleeping bags pale in comparison to this shape when it comes to keeping you warm. These bags are also roomy enough for you to enjoy a good night's rest.

If you're no a fan of the tight fit specific to a mummy bag, then you have found your best sleeping bag for your camping expedition.

How To Best Use A Sleeping Bag For Maximum Comfort?

As we've said above, you can combine numerous camping gear to create a superior bed for you to sleep on. For instance, you could combine the zippers of two separate rectangular sleeping bags to create one large surface for you to rest on.

If the sleeping bags themselves aren’t soft enough for you to comfortably sleep, then make sure to pack an air mattress. You can inflate an air mattress and lay your sleeping bags on top of it. This setup won’t feel any different from the mattress you have at home.

On The Ground Or In The Tent?

The way you set up your sleeping bag entirely depends on the weather. Most people prefer to go camping in the summertime, and if you’re one of those people than you have options as to where you can lay your sleeping bag.

It can get hot inside of a tent, which makes for a difficult place to sleep when it’s hot outside. You can opt out to lay your sleeping bag on the ground without a tent to protect you. Campers advise doing this in a designated camping area.

Safety always comes first, and the last thing you want is to have to put up with an attack from an animal late at night. However, if you know that you’re sleeping on camping grounds that have been certified by numerous other campers, then you have nothing to worry about.

Woman in a sleeping bag.

If you’re camping in the wintertime, then setting up your sleeping bag inside your tent would be a good idea. You should lay down a sleeping pad before you set your sleeping bag down since you don’t want any snow to seep in and wet your things.

Sleeping Bags Insulation And Temperature Limits

You need to ensure that the sleeping bag you decide on comes with the proper insulation and temperature limits.

List Of Sleeping Bag Types

  • Summer Season: 35° Fahrenheit and higher
  • 3-Season: 10° to 35° Fahrenheit
  • Winter: 10° Fahrenheit and lower

Best Sleeping Bags For Camping in Winter

A sleeping bag style you should take into consideration is the backpacking bags. These sleeping bags are mummy shaped, which means they provide a tight and extremely warm fit. Since you’re meant to carry this sleeping bag by attaching it to your backpack, it doesn’t weigh a ton.

It definitely beats having to carry around numerous blankets like you would be doing if you had the car sleeping bag.

Made Out Of Down

Many of the backpacking bags come filled with either duck or goose down. Down is the protective covering of a bird’s belly, and it is fluffy and light in texture. This is what insulates birds when the temperatures start to drop.

This means you'll be covered in the same material that birds rely on to keep themselves warm. Down is an exceedingly popular choice amongst avid backpackers because it has an outstanding warmth to weight ratio.

It is also one of the best compression sleeping bags on the market since the Down is known to be a compressible material.

Water Resistant

Keep in mind that you'll need to ensure that your down filled backpacking bag stays dry. When this bag soaks up water, it loses its insulating ability. Thankfully, some sleeping bag manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to produce a water-resistant down-filled sleeping bag.

Other sleeping bags typically come with a synthetic fill, which is difficult to compress. This is why you can't roll up certain sleeping bags to attach them to your backpack.

Temperature Rating

When you go shopping for a sleeping bag, you should look for a bag that has a temperature rating ten degrees lower than what you expect to be the coldest temperature you’ll have to deal with.

Adequate Insulation

Sleeping bags meant for the winter come with distinguishable features. For instance, you’ll find that winter bags come with draft tubes located behind its zippers as well as hoods to ensure as much heat stays within the bag.

If you're worried that the camping tent will become too hot, don't fret. You have the option to vent the bag if it ends up getting to warm for you to rest comfortably.

Final Thoughts

Shopping for a summer season sleeping bag will be an easier endeavor than trying to find the perfect one for the winter time. If you expect to engage in a lot of camping anytime soon, we would advise you purchase one for the summer and one for the winter.

Two people in a tent in a sleeping bag.

You can’t go wrong with being over prepared for a camping trip, so make sure you have all the necessary gear to travel comfortably.

For those who have more questions or comments about sleeping bags, you should leave them below. We will answer any questions that you may have.