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2-3 Season Sleeping Bags
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Popular brands in this section... 2-3 Season Sleeping Bags - Footnotes
Sleeping Bags - Key Features
Sleeping Bags - Key Considerations
- Shape - Most modern sleeping bags are mummy-shaped with cowl hood and are tapered towards the foot end, allowing the maximum amount of warmth to be trapped inside the bag.
- Ripstop fabric - specially reinforced material prevents tearing if snagged.
- Sleeping bag liner - a polycotton or silk liner is an excellent way of providing extra insulation when needed and keeping your sleeping bag clean and hygienic; the liner can also be used on its own when sleeping in more tropical conditions.
- Shoulder baffle - allows the bag to be closed around the neck and shoulders with a draw cord, trapping warm air.
- Zips - allow both ventilation and ease of access; many sleeping bags come with left and right zip options allowing two bags to be zipped together.
- Stuff sack - many sleeping bags come with a storage bag fitted with compression straps to enable you to reduce the bulk of the bag when not in use.
Your key considerations when choosing a sleeping bag are weight, warmth, bulk and cost, depending on your activity and environment.
Sleepings Bag Temperature Ratings
- Choose a sleeping bag with a comfort rating what will perform at - and ideally a bit below - the coldest temperature you expect to encounter.
- Mummy shape sleeping bags are better at trapping warmth arounf your body than rectangular bags but may feel more restrictive if you are a restless sleeper.
- Down bags provide the best warmth to weight ratio, are more durable and will compress down further, while synthetic bags are generally cheaper and provide insulation even when wet and are easier to maintain.
- Don't forget a sleeping mat or airbed to create a barrier between your sleeping bag and the ground to ensure maximum warmth.
Your choice of sleeping bag will depend not only on external factors but also your own physical characteristics and preferences, such as
How to look after your Sleeping Bag
- Metabolism - are you a "cold" sleeper who generally prefers lots of bedding or are you someone who kicks the covers off at home?
- Age - older people feel the cold more than young adults and children cannot regulate their body temperature as well as adults.
- Gender - men and women feel the cold differently, with ladies generally more susceptible to cold than males.
- Fitness and condition - seasoned mountaineers can generally sleep at a colder temperature than those who camp infrequently. Exhaustion also reduces your body's ability to maintain your ideal temperature. If you are dehydrated and hungry, your body will find it harder to maintain the correct temperature.
- Washing - when washing the sleeping bag, add a tennis ball to the drum of your machine to ensure the filling remains evenly dispersed during the cycle. Always check the care label before washing and follow instructions.
- Drying - the best method for drying your bag in on a washing line, using the hanging loops on the bag. Squeeze out excess water from the bag by hand but do not wring. A synthetic bag should take no more than 24 hours to dry completely.
- Storage - If you need to store your sleeping bag for any length of time, it is better to leave it uncompressed in a large carrier bag or bin liner to allow it to breathe and maintain its insulation properties.