How to Choose a Sleeping Bag for Camping

How to Choose a Sleeping Bag for Camping

Choosing the perfect sleeping bag is difficult. You need to consider your needs, as well those of a loved one who may share their tent with you on vacation or at home when they go camping! It's important that both people are comfortable and neither gets too hot during sleep time so use this guide for some helpful insight before making any purchases:

Comfort rating

The comfort rating of sleeping bags is based on the lowest temperature a person can be comfortable at while sleeping. For example, a sleeping bag rated at 20degF should be warm enough to keep an average person warm in an air temperature of about 20degF. However, this rating is not a guarantee that a sleeping bag will keep a person warm. There are other factors that affect comfort, such as your metabolism and what you're wearing, as well as the thickness of your sleeping pad.

Comfort ratings are also useful when considering what temperature you should sleep at. Sleeping at temperatures above the comfort rating may be too warm or too cold, and vice versa. Depending on your body type, you may find that you are more comfortable in a cooler environment.


The fabric used to make a sleeping bag is divided into two categories: the shell fabric and the lining fabric. Both of these fabrics have varying degrees of density and weight. The shell fabric is thicker to ensure the down or synthetic filling stays in place, while the lining fabric is generally lighter and thinner.

Sleeping bags are also available in different shapes. Some are rectangular, while others are oval or mummy shaped. Some of them come with draft collars and laced hoods to increase the amount of insulation they provide. Some bags even have stretchable material. Other features of sleeping bags include zippers and pockets near the top.


When you purchase a sleeping bag, you'll need to consider several factors. For example, you'll want to be sure the bag fits your shoulders properly. Many of today's lightweight bags have narrower shoulders, but that doesn't mean they don't fit those with bigger shoulders. You'll also want to consider the length of the bag. Standard sleeping bags are typically 72 inches long, but there are a number of models available with longer dimensions.

A sleeping bag's thermal properties are closely related to its materials, such as the fill and fabrics. For extreme use, higher-denier sleeping bags will provide better insulation. Loft is another factor that helps determine how warm a sleeping bag is. A good sleeping bag will have a good combination of loft and minimal weight.


The construction of a sleeping bag can greatly affect the insulation. The narrower the sleeping bag, the less the 'dead air' will be able to circulate. But if the bag is too narrow, the hips and knees will flatten the bag and cause cold spots.

The lining of a sleeping bag should also be insulated. Typically, synthetic insulation is used. It's essentially polyester mass. It looks like cotton candy, but branded synthetics are typically more durable and retain their loft longer. There are many different types of synthetic insulation, and some brands use proprietary brand names. The construction of a sleeping bag also greatly affects its thermal performance. The most basic synthetic bags are constructed with flat layers of insulation, while better-quality bags use diagonal layers. Some sleeping bags, like the Sea to Summit bag, have a unique construction that creates curves of insulation in the fabric.

To ensure the durability of your sleeping bag, avoid using harsh detergents or agitators. Using harsh detergents on down-filled sleeping bags can damage their waterproofing and reduce the insulation.


Sleeping bags are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, insulation types, and brands. Some are snug, while others are roomy and packable. Choosing the right size is important to prevent cold spots. You may also want to consider what accessories you'll need for extra comfort. Some bags have zippers, while others are made of synthetic materials.

Men's sleeping bags typically come in two sizes, a regular and long length. They are made to accommodate men up to six feet tall, but there are also short versions that fit people under five feet six inches. Women's sleeping bags also come in two sizes, long and regular, and have different measurements. They range from five feet four inches to five feet ten inches, depending on the brand.