Sleeping Bags – How to Buy One With Confidence

There are such a large variety of sleeping bags on the market that the first-time buyer sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. Few products are as diverse as these. If the shopper is guided by common sense, walking into a store knowing what to look for can help make the purchase easier. What follows is a checklist of several factors to consider when buying a sleeping bag.

Weather conditions- Camping doesn’t have to be cold to have a bad night’s sleep. Different temperatures make different impressions on a sleeping bag, with bags kept outdoors in the summer having to cope with higher temperatures than those kept indoors. If the sleeping bag is going to be used outdoors in moderate weather, it is important to purchase a bag whose temperature rating is suitable for the conditions. If the sleeping bag is going to be used indoors, it is important to purchase a bag whose temperature rating is for indoors. These ratings are accurate only up to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fill- The fill has a large impact on the performance of the bag. The two main types are down and synthetic.

Down is a fine-grained soft feathers kept intimately in the Sleeping Bag. The tiny feathers are compressible and more expensive than synthetic fibers.

Synthetic is a fluffy synthetic fiber that is usually highly absorbent. It is popular with some manufacturers and with many consumers. The advantage of synthetic fibers is their abrasive nature; they scratch less easily. In addition, they are vacuolar, meaning that they require very little maintenance.

Down also vacuoles at higher temperatures, and has advantages over synthetic fibers in terms of stuffing and preservation.

Size- The dimensions of every sleeping bag are dictated by the person using it. A two-person sleeping bag for someone who will be sleeping solo will be much different than a bag designed for two people when the latter will have to be used in conjunction with a frame system.

filled with synthetic-filled fibers – which do not lose their insulating capacity as they get wet – and exterior shell.

Synthetic fill is less expensive than down and usually comes with a coating of polyurethane to waterproof it.

After you’ve considered the above you can move on to figuring out your budget and how you are going to use the bag.

Backpacking and Camping

Like most items the more expensive you look, the better you value it. No matter how gingerly you apply this philosophy to your hobbies, it is the basics that come first. Let’s see what you can get away with on the smaller scale.

Shovel- You will probably not be pulling out soft soil or leaf matter unless you are digging a small hole. Your shoveling activities will become a lot more detailed as you gain experience, so allow yourself to grow into a pro at this. A small shovel is usually best for digging holes and making tarps.

straightening up stakes, hooking lines, hauling food and water and unloaded.


allow about 6 adults to share a tent for sleeping in one, even in moderate weather. You will need even larger tents when it is windy. Sleeping on the ground can be a very uncomfortable experience.

are designed to have enough room for squatting, standing and crawling.

are comfortable if the inside is open and can be zipped up for superior ventilation

are lightweight and are easy to put away in a hurry, just pack it in the car or a backpack.

Canvas tents – see “2.5-Man Tents” on my website for a full explanation)

are spacious tents with a lot of neat extras. There are different lengths and sizes.

Extras- This might sound like a contradiction, but I loved having the extras. The extra room afforded me the ability to spread out a little and store my gear, mattresses, blankets and whatever else I wanted to bring along with me according to how much I would like to store it. If it is just a standard camping trip I do not usually need any things other than a small pad and a rainfly. I just throw my sleeping bag, mattress and blanket in the things I need to bring along and I am please.

Flashlights- You will not be able to take one out camping until you have enough light, but you will need a flashlight to see your way.

plastic lanterns





ski covers

rain gear


Be sure to bring along a first aid kit, which you can find many things online as well as a video on following though for those unexpected accidents. You will also need the usual toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo and soap with you in the event you need them.