How to choose a sleeping bag?
Many of us in recent years have become especially zealous fans of tourism. This is not surprising: breathe fresh air, enjoy the silence and relax from the bustling and noisy city. And it often happens that trips are not limited to one day, which means that the issue of spending the night somewhere in nature takes on serious significance. In order for your vacation to be truly excellent, you will need a quality sleeping bag.
What is it and what is it for?
The sleeping bag allows you to keep warm during sleep and provides excellent rest and recovery of energy during the night, that is, it is necessary to sleep there. In addition, its presence will allow you not to be afraid of the bites of various insects, which can significantly spoil the dream.
To choose the right sleeping bag you should first clearly understand what aspects are important for a particular tourist and in what conditions he is going to use this thing. It will be important at what time of the year a person goes on a trip, for how long, what weather will be waiting for him, whether it will be a hike on foot, on water or climbing a climbing type.
In general, the selection of a quality sleeping bag for a hike is a search for a compromise between weight, compactness when folded, cost, and also thermal insulation characteristics.
Types of designs
If we talk about the designs of the product in question, then it is divided into several types:
- a blanket;
- elephant leg;
- group bag.
A sleeping bag is a bag that has a rectangular shape. If you unzip that goes all over the product from top to bottom, you get a real blanket. It can be understaffed with a headrest hood. A number of models can be easily connected to each other. Typically, decisions of this type are chosen for camping and hiking, because in these cases, the mass of equipment is not so important.
Due to its design, this option is quite comfortable for sleeping. Yes, and large people will love these products most of all.
The cocoon variant has an anatomical type resembling a human body. It has a hood, as well as a large collar, which increases thermal insulation. Due to the specific cut, the weight of the sleeping bag will be less than that of the same blanket. And the maximum fit to the human body allows you to better retain heat.
This type of sleeping bag can also be clasped.. Moreover, models of different manufacturers can be used for this. But here you need to understand that the lightning of such solutions usually does not reach the end of the sleeping bag, which is why the resulting design will most likely have a forked tail.
To make it convenient to combine such models, manufacturers produce special rulers with zippers on the left or right side. So, if you plan to clasp them, it is better to buy the same model, but with zippers on different sides.
Third category - quilts. They are much more common in the United States, where there are really many adherents of such sleeping bags. The classic version of this solution is a bag in which there is no zipper and almost no back. It is usually used together with a rug, moreover, inflatable, and better - inflated independently. Together with him, he makes up a holistic design. The connection of these elements is achieved by elastic straps.
The essence of the idea is that when we lie on the rug, the material for the back is practically not used, which is why it is absent in the quilt. This greatly facilitates the mass of the bag and allows you to simplify the design by removing the zipper from there.
Therefore, quilt is often also significantly cheaper than a simple sleeping bag. The main disadvantages of such a product are:
- poor ventilation in difficult weather conditions;
- heat loss where traction is carried out with the mat;
- difficulty getting into and getting out of the sleeping bag.
Another sleeping bag option is called elephant foot. This is a shortened analogue. It is not too common, although earlier it was used by many mountain climbers. The main principle is weight saving due to the presence of a large number of camping equipment.
Such a solution is best suited for climbers for whom every gram is important: all participants in the trip, under similar weather conditions, wear a down jacket in the daytime, at night, without taking it off, put a sleeping bag on their feet. Thus, it is possible to reduce weight and save a little space in the backpack.
The last type of sleeping bags that I want to say about is multi-seat or group. Note that they are not serially made, but are usually sewn to order. They are very limitedly used by cavers for some particularly difficult trips in winter.
Such products make it possible to seriously save the weight of the equipment of the group, but with normal use it is extremely impractical.
There are five categories of sizes in which sleeping bags are sewn:
- double room.
Children's size is the most compact. Its parameters are 71 by 145 centimeters. Typically, such decisions are made from fabrics of bright colors.
The teenage version usually has parameters - 73 by 167 centimeters. In addition to adolescents, sleeping bags of this size can also be used by adults who are short.
Solutions that are standard, have dimensions of 84 by 190 centimeters. They are usually intended for people of average height.
If we talk about sleeping bags of large sizes, then these are solutions with parameters of 84 by 198 centimeters or 96 by 205 centimeters. Sleeping bags of this type will be convenient for tall or full people.
And if we talk about double options, then they are made of a pair of bags with the help of a zipper on the clasp, as mentioned above.
It should be said that the sleeping bag should be warm so that the person warms up when it is cold and does not get sick. It should weigh a little, take up little space in a bag and serve longer. All this will directly depend on what it is made of. This is a base material. There are 2 main options:
In the first case, various materials are used, and many manufacturers make just such bags. Most of them position their products as an excellent analogue of fluff. In the case of synthetics, it should be understood that thin fibers provide excellent thermal insulation, and thick ones provide volume recovery. A large number of hollow spaces in the fibers reduces the weight of sleeping bags and improves protection. Good elasticity allows you to maintain bulk. And if the fibers are also siliconized, then this provides moisture repulsion.
The main advantages of such solutions are:
- ease of use in high humidity;
- ease of repair and ease of maintenance;
- quite low cost.
The basis of the product may be fluff. And there is little material that can compare with it if we are talking about a good duffel bag, because it has excellent compression ratios when folded and thermal conductivity. The fluff of waterfowl today is considered a good filler for any bag, although it also has disadvantages. The goose down is considered the best, and after it - duck down.
In the case of down, important characteristics will be weight, temperature range of use and the volume that an ounce of down can occupy. The higher the last characteristic, the better the fluff.
In addition, fluff has excellent compressibility characteristics. When folded, such a bag takes up almost 2 times less space than the same option, but with a different insulation. But this material has 2 disadvantages:
- low resistance to water.
If we talk about the price, then a good, high-quality sleeping bag for down will cost more than one hundred dollars, and if it’s about moisture, when wet, the fluff gets stuck in sticky lumps, as a result of which its further use is no longer possible. But in recent times, fluff began to be subjected to special waterproof treatment, which significantly increased its characteristics. In addition, it is also protected with a bivouac bag.
Most of the products on the market are 100% made from synthetics. One of the best synthetic materials is called Pertex Quantum, and Taffeta, which is used for the inside of the product, is also good. It has excellent hypoallergenic properties, is hygroscopic, light and strong.
When they talk about seasonality in the issue of using a sleeping bag, they mean the seasons of the European climate: winter, summer and time between seasons. If the information to the model says that it is "three-season", then this means "spring, autumn, summer." But newcomers to such definitions get confused. Seasons in current times of climate change - a very conditional thing.
Even in the middle latitudes there are places where the temperature fluctuations are very large, which means that a winter sleeping bag will be definitely needed when it is not very cold. And if we talk about the mountains, then in general you can forget about the usual classification, because even at a low altitude the temperature can drop significantly below zero.
Therefore, seasonality is a rather relative characteristic.
To choose a quality model, you should pay attention to important factors.
- Type of travel. Perhaps a person needs a fishing solution, maybe to climb a mountain or just a hike. In all these cases, it will be better to use different models of sleeping bags: somewhere you will need the lightest, and somewhere - the most equipped.
- Climatic conditions. When exactly the journey will be carried out is an important point. It will not be superfluous to pay close attention to the difference between a comfortable temperature and its limit. It is better for fast-freezing people to rely on the first parameter when choosing. And people with experience and climbers can choose a sleeping bag, focusing only on the temperature limit.
- Growth. A number of manufacturers offer 2 types of sizes: for people with a height of up to 180 centimeters and up to 198 centimeters. It will be right to choose a solution with a small margin. If you buy a model for trips in the summer, then 15-20 centimeters should be added to the figure of human growth, and 30 centimeters in other seasons. When buying a sleeping bag, it will not be superfluous to try it on to be sure that it will be comfortable in it.
In addition, you should inspect your favorite product and pay attention to the presence of such elements:
- anatomical type hood;
- a pillow pocket;
- loops for drying and hanging;
- Nice, large and comfortable zipper.
Even in a quality bag, the filler should be well distributed, as well as there should be no seams that are quilted through.
Of course, everyone will have the best sleeping bags, but we will do a short review of several that different people attribute to the best solutions.
In almost all ratings in the top (in the first places) are sleeping bags from the manufacturer Alexika. As an example - a model Siberia Wide Plus. This option is soft, practical and comfortable. The inner material is somewhat like a plaid. According to user reviews - very roomy. Customers also note high-quality lightning, which does not bite and has a smooth ride. It is also easy to fold and wash. Has a weight of just under 3 kilograms.
Another great sleeping bag - Marmot CWM MemBrain Long. According to users, with this model you can go almost into outer space. And this is, given its characteristics:
- filler - quality goose down;
- have breathable waterproof material;
- there is a special design to prevent heat loss;
- equipped with a tight hood;
- there is a special dump for face protection;
- The zipper is protected from biting.
Users note that in this sleeping bag you can sleep comfortably even in 40-degree frost.
Another noteworthy model is Montana Regular. This sleeping bag is considered the warmest in the lineup of the manufacturer Rock Empire. It is equipped with a three-layer filler, which provides excellent heat conservation. There is a special anatomical hood, collar and insulated zipper, as well as additional pockets where you can put some trifle.
This sleeping bag belongs to the type of cocoons. The zipper is located on the right or left, which allows you to zip it with another sleeping bag. It can comfortably sleep at temperatures up to -40 degrees. It has a length of more than 2 meters. Its weight is a little over 2 and a half kilograms.
Another model - Yamal XL V2 from the manufacturer Nova Tour. It belongs to the category of cocoons, it is comfortably located at a temperature of -30 degrees. Highly retains heat in this model, a special filler called Hollow fiber, consisting of 2 layers. It is complemented by a high-quality zipper, a drawstring hood and a classy neck collar. This option will be an excellent solution for people with great growth. Such a bag can be combined with another model thanks to the zipper of the 2-lock type.
A compression bag is also included with this solution. The mass of this model is a little less than 2.5 kilograms.
KingCamp Treck 450L can be used year-round. In winter, you can use up to 20 degrees below zero. It has a 2-layer filler called WarmLoft, a double-sided zipper for connecting to another sleeping bag, as well as a collar and a hood.
See how to choose a sleeping bag in the next video.