How To Choose A Sleeping Bag For Camping

3 minutes

Tips For Getting The Right Bag

If you are new to camping or a veteran camper, there is one piece of equipment that you must have. That is a sleeping bag. A comfortable sleeping bag will make or break your camping trip. So let’s take a little time and discuss what to look for if you are in the market for a sleeping bag.


Sleeping bags have ratings based on the minimum temperature you expect to encounter when you are camping. If it says 20+, that means it would keep the average camper comfortably warm down to 20 degrees.  Be sure to factor in the possibility of a sudden dip in temperature during the night. I remember waking up one morning on July 4th and finding my water frozen.

Many bags are designated as 3 season bags. These would be sufficient for most camping in the spring, summer and fall. If you are camping in a tent as opposed to an RV, you should go a little extra on the cold side.


The filling is very important in sleeping bags. There are two main types of filling:  synthetic and down. Each has its own special features. Once again, it’s important to know the general area where you are planning to camp. Here’s why.

• Synthetic materials are very light weight. They have improved greatly in recent years. They may not be quite as warm as down bags, but if they get wet, they retain more of their insulating ability.
• Down bags are also light weight and quite a bit warmer than synthetic bags. However, they lose their insulating ability if they get wet. If your favorite camping areas tend to be swampy or get a lot of rainfall, you’re probably better going with a synthetic bag.


There are two types of styles or shapes: the mummy bag and the rectangular bag.  Your choice will depend on your size and sleeping habits.

• The mummy bag will hug your body, leaving less air space to heat. These are good choices for children and small adults.
• Rectangular bags have more room in them for moving around. If you are a large adult, or tend to thrash around in your sleep, perhaps this shape would suit you best.


There are several accessories that you should consider when you purchase your sleeping bag.

• A sleeping pad is essential if you are sleeping in a tent. It will insulate you from the cold ground and smooth out the bumps and lumps under your sleeping bag. Sleeping pads can be made of foam or they can be inflatable. You can buy ones that are full body length or that just fit from shoulder to hip. If you are backpacking, the shorter ones are the way to go.
• Sleeping bag liners fit inside the sleeping bag and add warmth to the sleeping bag. They also help to keep your bag clean. They can easily be washed, which is a lot easier than washing the whole sleeping bag.
• A stuff sack is just that. It’s a small sack with a tie at the top that you stuff your sleeping bag into when you are traveling. It’s a handy way to keep your bag clean and easy to pack.

These simple guidelines should help you when you are shopping for a  Sleeping Bags. A well chosen sleeping bag will definitely enhance your camping experience.  Take the time to look around and find one that’s just right for you.

Related posts:

  1. How to Pick a Sleeping Bag for Children
  2. How To Keep Warm And Dry In The Winter
  3. How to Keep Warm on a Winter Hike
  4. Weight vs. Comfort
  5. Cold, Wet Feet?

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