Sleeping Bag Buying Guide

It’s important to have warm sleeping place in camping. It’s a reality that we can not be comfortable enough in camping as we are at home. However, if we can spend whole night as comfortable as possible, it will be a blessing in wild life. In addition to the previous article ‘About tent’, we are going to look into sleeping bag for helping us spend a day in the open air and other related goods.

It’s a standard rule to prepare it for winter, spring & autumn, summer adapting for corresponding temperature. However, if you have a tight pocketbook, you need to ‘choose & concentrate’ as per purpose of use when you buy sleeping bag. Generally, when you buy sleeping bag, you buy it for use of 3 seasons which can be used for spring & autumn and summer. 3 seasons mean spring, summer and autumn in here. As there are various goods of sleeping bag available as per workable temperature, you need to choose in consideration of your main camping time. Next point you need to consider is the shape of sleeping bag.

Sleeping bag is divided by Mummy type and Semi Rec type as per its shape. Mummy type has similar looks with mummy. In order to increase thermokeeping, it is divided from room to room, fill lagging materials and very effective especially in winter season.

Demerit is a slight inconvenience when you use it at first time due to its structure of which gradually becoming narrow toward the legs. This kind of structure is made for keeping the heat from human body in inside of sleeping bag. The more side of sleeping bag touching with skin, the more heat and that’s why people sleep in sleeping bag with wearing minimal cloth.

Legs is far from heart and easy susceptible to frostbite since it is insensitive to body temperature. In order to prevent it, the ideal form of sleeping bag which can cling the legs made and that’s most influential popular belief about the reason for creating ‘Mummy type’ sleeping bag. Mummy type sleeping bag reminds unpleasant mummy for external sleep when you put your body in this sleeping bag.

Semi Rec type is mainly used for camping and it is a rectangular one which has similar shape like bedclothes folded by half. It has a zipper at one side and can spread it completely. It can be used like bedclothes and mainly used especially in summer which is not cold season. It is convenient owing to its wide interior space, on the other hand, its thermokeeping is little lower than Mummy type one since it can hardly keep interior air properly.

Thermokeeping capability of sleeping bag is depends on the sort of lagging materials and filling Q’ty. Lagging materials called as feathers and corresponding temperature vary in infinite variety as per what sort of feather used. Goose Down among natural feathers is mostly used in these days. Feathers from chicken & duck down were used before, but goose down becoming the most desirable filling materials of sleeping bag in these days owing to its superior quality in terms of weight and restoring force.

Lagging materials of goose down used for sleeping bag are soft downy hair of chest & feather and downy hair & feather used at the rate of 80:20 or 90:10 as per quality of sleeping bag. Naturally, when it comes to highest grade goods, more than 95% of downy hair (down ball) can be used.

When natural feathers used, thermokeeping power is depends on filling Q’ty, that is fill power and not on the materials in itself. Fill power is figure of which indicate restoring force of sleeping bag billowing and for reference, sleeping bag of 100% down ball is not manufactured. It’s not that the reason of price but that feather should include for better restoring force. The standard of fill power of Europe & America is different and for example, 800+ FP of European standard is equivalent to about 860+ FP of American standard.

It’s a degree indicating for returning to original shape when you take the compressed sleeping bag out from keeping bag. The higher its figure is, the better effect of thermokeeping and usually, the goods of more than 700+ FP belong to high grade model.

Lagging materials of synthetic fiber is light and easy to keep. Furthermore, its price is lower than the goods of natural materials such as duck down & goose down. Especially, lagging materials of synthetic fiber has good wet endurance and performance degradation is hardly occurred, even after washing it for several times. Recently, its cold endurance temperature is also increased significantly and is good enough for using in 3 seasons.

3 points we need to know about cold endurance temperature are Comfort, Limit and Extreme. If we interpret it in order, it is ideal temperature, limit temperature and extreme temperature. Ideal temperature is as simple as that words and it is pleasant temperature for sleeping in sleeping bag without difficulty. Limit temperature is marginal temperature for that kind of sleeping. Extreme temperature has little different meaning. It is temperature for the user in sleeping bag can endure in worst situation and may damage on human body in case of sleeping. It’s temperature range which need good attention.

Even though you try to sleep in tent, not in biwak, you frequently awake by cold air of inside tent in cold season. It is practically hard to prevent draft of inside tent and you can increase thermokeeping power by preventing cold air coming into sleeping bag.

Generally, sleeping bag for 3 seasons and winter has shoulder screen which prevent outside cold air coming into sleeping bag for solving this kind of problem. It’s a sort of air shield for preventing outside air coming into neck down of sleeping bag so that it does not cause inconvenience to breathe. We can see ‘Full Collar’ written on some part of sleeping bag for winter and it is a wrap up type around neck like muffler. Temperature of foot is dropped more than temperature of other body and foot shield applied sleeping bag for covering up for foot is also available.

It’s not easy to choose proper sleeping bag for you as various goods are available in market, but generally, it’s best way to choose it in consideration of workable temperature & travel pattern. You need to choose workable temperature in consideration of temperature for the region you use sleeping bag. Average temperature of Korea in last year was 12C and in Jan. of last year was -3C. It means there is no need to sleep for one night under -20C in winter time in Korea excepts the high place of mountain area. Because wind & outside air once cut off from tent.

Last point you need to consider is weight & volume size. If the travel purpose is not loading & delivery of the goods for camping by using car, you can not overlook volume & weight in common with tent. As you should move with backpack on your shoulder, the weight increase of equipment is important factor which is directly connected to fatigability.

Sleeping bag is heavy equipment next to tent and you should check if it is possibly received in backpack and consider about your physical strength. As cold endurance temperature, weight, packing size (Size when sleeping bag compressed) usually indicated on the specifications of sleeping bag, you need to check the figure of it before purchasing. If packing size is bigger than backpack, you can not have it received in backpack and have to hang it in outside.

There are various size of goods as per body type, but usually average & regular size goods are commonly imported. Zipper attached on sleeping bag is produced for left-handed & right-handed in separate, but right-handed goods are mostly available in domestic market. As there exist a lot of different body type and various goods for men, women & children, you need to check carefully about your body type & interior space of sleeping bag before purchasing.

8 Replies to “Sleeping Bag Buying Guide”

  1. Sleeping bags have come a long way since I was little. I remember having to roll up this giant heavy duty bag that weighed about 10 pounds. The bags they have now – super efficient and heat saving – are great. I really love the one I have now that stuffs into a bag and weighs next to nothing.
    I was interested to know that the mummy bags are narrow at the bottom to maximize contact with the body, and create more heat. Thanks for a great article.

  2. It gets pretty cold at night where I live, so finding a sleeping bag that is going to keep me (and my daughter!) warm when we camp is a big deal. These are some very helpful suggestions, and I’ll have to add some of them to our wish list.

  3. This is a great, informative blog! And as a mother to boys, who as they get older want to actually go camping away from the house, this will help me shop for the upcoming summer vacation. And of course, to keep in mind buying also for when their dad takes them camping. Boys….:)

  4. My brother recommended I may like this blog. He was once entirely right.

    This post truly made my day. You can not believe just how a lot time I had
    spent for this info! Thanks!

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