How To Choose The Right Sleeping Bags For Different Activities

November 17, 2015

Nothing compares to the feeling of the slipping into a warm sleeping bag after spending a day in the woods or mountains. In fact, the outdoor smell, a tiring day in the woods/mountains, and fresh air combine to provide you with a sleeping experience that you are unlikely to get at home. However, there is one thing that can spoil the party for you and that is an ultra compact sleeping bag.

You are bound to suffer from an uncomfortable sleeping experience if you take an inappropriate sleeping bag to your camping trip or hiking venture. Therefore, it is important that you choose the rights sleeping bag for your activity. Let us look at the ways to choose the best sleeping bags for camping.

Keep the following things in mind when choosing sleeping bags for an activity:

Temperature Rating

The first step to choosing the appropriate sleeping bag for your activity is deciding on a required temperature rating. Generally categorized by summer, 3 seasons, and winter, sleeping bags are heterogeneous when it comes to temperature and thickness. Choosing a sleeping bag that has a slightly lower temperature rating than that of your destination is what is recommend. An example would be choosing a slightly warm sleeping bag when traveling to a place with near-freezing temperatures. In such places, you may want to consider sleeping bags with survival temperatures.


Shape is another key aspect of the sleeping bag that you need to consider. Trapping and holding a layer of air next to your body is how sleeping bags function. This layer of air is something your body heats. Once that happens, an additional layer between the air and the outside atmosphere is what the sleeping bags create. A small sleeping bag will heat up really quick, since there is not much air space in it. Similarly, large sleeping bags fail to keep you warm since there roomy nature allows air to flow through easily.

The shape of a sleeping bag may determine the purpose it is meant to serve. As they ensure maximum comfort, rectangular shaped bags are perfect for camping. Also, you can create a double bed by zipping two rectangular bags together. As they are quite roomy, barrel-shaped sleeping bags are well suited for backpacking and camping adventures. Also, as they allow less air space, they keep backpackers and campers warm. It is important that you choose a sleeping bag appropriate for your activity.


Geese feathers or manmade synthetic insulation are usually used to manufacture sleeping bags. Compared to a down sleeping bag, it is cheaper and easier to clean synthetic insulation. Also, it needs less fabric than the former. Synthetic insulation sleeping bags are most suitable for wet and damp conditions since they retain half of their insulating capacity when wet. On the other hand, down feathers are better suited to dry, cold conditions since they have the ability to trap heat and keep your warm. Also, they can easily absorb moisture.

If you want to make your hiking, camping or backpacking experience a memorable one then make sure you choose the appropriate sleeping bag! Keep the above-mentioned things in mind to choose the right sleeping bag for different activities.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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