How To Choose The Best Sleeping Bag For Your Camping Holidays
A sleeping bag may be needed for various occasions. From a family camping during the August holidays – in which case we recommend two convertible two-season bags, so that Mom and Dad can put them together and make a large sleeping bag for two people – to a two-week expedition to Mont Blanc – where it would be better to go equipped with a 4-season mummy-type sleeping bag, as light and compact as possible.
In this post we will teach you to differentiate all types of sleeping bags so that you know which one you need depending on the getaway and time of year.
Sleeping bags according to shape
The most common shapes of sleeping bags are mainly two: Rectangular (or Transformable) and Narrow (also known as Alpine or Mummy bag).
Narrow, alpine or mummy sacks tend to retain temperature better, as they are shaped more closely to the body and leave little room for heat to escape, and they too can be compacted in a smaller space. They usually incorporate an inner girdle collar at shoulder height, in addition to being able to close the hood around our face, thus maximizing heat retention.
Rectangular or transformable bags are quite versatile . This is the simplest option. They are no longer mummy-like but square and therefore release body heat around the shoulders. Its perimeter zip allows it to be disassembled to use it as a blanket or to connect it with another bag with the same characteristics and thus transform it into a large two-seater bag.
Sleeping bags according to filling
Another fundamental characteristic in a sleeping bag is the material and composition of the filling. Although there are many different types of filling, these are usually classified into two large groups: Down or synthetic fibers.
Fiber sleeping bags : They are bags Fiber bags are very light sleeping bags that require less care than down ones. Synthetic fiber can be wet and dried without damaging so much, although it does not preserve body temperature as well, but it is cheaper than down fillings and perfectly fulfills its function in summer camping, so they are used a lot as a bag of 2 seasons.
Down sleeping bags: Goose down is usually used for this. Down or feather bags are high quality sleeping bags that withstand very low temperatures. The down offers volume and good maintenance of body temperature, and although it requires more care than fiber sleeping bags with synthetic fillings, it is more expensive and the preferred choice of mountaineers. A great advantage of the pen is that it is much more compact and allows you to carry 4-station bags with a fairly small folded volume, which makes it easy to put it in the backpack. The great disadvantage is that if the feather gets wet it becomes caked, lumpy and loses its expansive and calorific properties.
Sleeping bags according to the season of the year
Depending on the shape, filling material and size of a sleeping bag, it will withstand more or less temperature and can be used in colder places, or in summer months. Therefore, sleeping bags can also be classified by seasons :
Two-season bags: o Super-light, ideal for Cycling, Trekking or Camping: They are bags designed for summer temperatures. As its name indicates, the main characteristic is its low weight and reduced volume for transport. They can be made of both fibers and feathers. We must be aware that such a thin jacket cannot protect us from the intense cold.
Three-season bags: Ideal for Trekking or Camping: For spring, summer and autumn. Light and resistant. Sleeping bags designed to be used in moderate temperatures, some models can meet the needs of use in sub-zero temperatures, although not very cold. The lighter models of bags will prevent us from going through heat at high temperatures, as well as the ability to open the side zipper ajar if the temperature is high. Fiberglass can be washed often.
Four-season bags: Ideal for Mountaineering and High mountains: They are sleeping bags that endure the 4 seasons of the year. They are usually used for temperatures below zero, reaching approximately between -5 C and -20 C of comfort temperature. Those with the highest thermal retention are those of “duvet”. Those made of high-quality synthetic fibers will take up more volume and weigh more.