A Guide to Selecting a Sleeping Bag
If you go camping or hiking, you’ll inevitably have to go to sleep at night. Even in the spring and summer, if the temperature at night stays above 64 ℉, you can manage with just blankets. But, when the temperature drops below that, you’ll have to take special measures to retain your body heat. There are sleeping bags that are good for spring and summer and other heavy-duty models that are good for even sub-zero temperatures!
We’ll go through some of the offerings in the Best Reviews Guide list of the best sleeping bags. They differ in size and shape, as well as in terms of their materials. There are also special additions to sleeping bags to allow them to retain heat better, such as insulation along the zipper, or a drawstring to close the sleeping bag tightly around your neck and face. And you’ll also have to consider the weight and portability of your sleeping bag especially if you plan to carry it around with you along with your tent.
How is a sleeping bag better than taking along a few blankets?
A sleeping bag offers several advantages over traditional blankets, especially in outdoor or camping scenarios:
Better insulation: Sleeping bags are specifically designed to provide insulation and retain body heat, helping to keep you warm in colder conditions. They are usually made with synthetic or down insulation that traps air and creates a barrier against the cold. Blankets, on the other hand, may not provide the same level of insulation as they are generally not designed for outdoor use or thermal efficiency.
Portability: Sleeping bags are highly portable and come with a compact carrying bag, making them easy to transport. They are designed to roll up or compress into a small size, making them convenient for backpacking, hiking, or any other outdoor activities. Blankets, while lightweight, are bulkier and more cumbersome to carry around.
Weather resistance: Sleeping bags often have outer shells made of water-resistant or waterproof materials, protecting you from moisture, dew, or light rain. This feature is particularly beneficial when camping in damp or unpredictable weather conditions. Blankets do not typically offer the same level of weather resistance.
Zippered enclosure: Sleeping bags usually feature a zippered enclosure that wraps around your body, providing a snug fit and preventing drafts from entering. This design helps to retain heat and keep you warm throughout the night. In contrast, blankets can easily slip off or become displaced during sleep, leaving you uncovered and potentially cold.
Types of Sleeping Bags
Firstly, we can distinguish between sleeping bags by their shape. There are primarily 4 shapes of sleeping bags:
Rectangular sleeping bags: These are the most basic and traditional type of sleeping bags. They offer ample space for movement and can be fully unzipped to be used as a blanket. However, they are less thermally efficient compared to other designs. These have perfectly square corners (as opposed to semi-rectangular sleeping bags). An example is the Villey Camping Sleeping Bag. You have the option of using it as a sleeping bag measuring 75” x 31.5” for a single person, or unzipping it to use it as a quilt or blanket for two people, measuring 75” x 63”.