Sleeping Bag Comfort – Know Your Comfort Ratings

The seasons come, the seasons go and so do the qualities you look for in sleeping bags. Spring is slightly warm, summer is light and airy, fall brings cool weather and with winter comes the cold. Knowing what comfort ratings to look for can make buying a bag easier and your camping experiences more rewarding.

Have you noticed the comfort level on the label or a tag on your sleeping bag? Do you know what it means? This is the lowest temperature at which the bag is intended to keep a normal camper warm. However, it also assumes that you are out of the weather and have a sleeping pad underneath your bag. Because this may not always be the case, it is wise to add 10 degrees to the rating to insure you get a good night’s sleep in warm weather and select a 10 degree lower temperature rating for cold weather. Also, women tend to require more warmth to be comfortable than men, so adjusting the rating is a must.

Here are some quick, basic guides when looking for a sleepingAKSOUL electric pump bag:

Summer, Indoors or Warm Weather: Look for a comfort rating of +40 degrees F to +60 degrees F

Most kids bags and some of the normal rectangular sleeping bags fall into this category. They are great for sleep overs and casual camping. They give you plenty of room to move around and most can be zipped together to make a full size sleeping bag. Also, some of the less expensive bags are made of cotton which is breathable and good for hot-weather camping but not recommended for cooler temperatures.

3 Season Bags – Good for Spring through Fall unless you are in the mountains at higher altitudes, then it would be best for Summer use: Look for a comfort rating of +15 Degrees F to +40 Degrees F
Both rectangular and mummy type sleeping bags fall into this comfort range. There are also semi-rectangular bags which give you more room from the shoulders through the hips but are tapered at the head and foot. This gives you more warmth as well as space. Look for good polyester synthetic outer covering and a fill which keeps you warm and dry. Continuous filament insulation is stronger and stays in place better to avoid cold spots, but has a more sturdy feel. Short-staple insulation is densely packed and feels softer but can move around. Down is more expensive, but warm, light weight and saves space. Great for cold, dry conditions.

Winter, Cold Weather: Look for a comfort rating of -10 degrees F to +15 degrees F

Mummy sleeping bags are usually best for cold weather. Their tapered design hugs your body so there is less space for your body to heat. Some campers might find this a little constricting but most of the time it is comfortable. The rounded top (or hood) with draw strings lets you pull it close around your face to prevent cold air from coming in. There are lightweight mummy bags that are available for liners that fit inside most other sleeping bags for additional warmth. This liner/sleeping bag is lightweight and can be used alone for good backpacking though. Plan to pay more for a good cold weather bag.

Extreme Weather: Look for a comfort rating of -10 degrees or lower

Mummy sleeping bags are a must for maximum warmth. These sleeping bags are designed to lock in body heat with contoured hoods and chest baffles. Since more of the extreme weather is encountered by men, there are big and tall bags made specifically to let the bag come snugly over your shoulders and keep out the cold. Look for draft tube blocks to prevent heat loss through the zippers. and as an added bonus, some bags even have fleece bottoms. Light weight mummy bags are available as liners designed to fit inside of your regular bag. Look for two layer, off set construction to prevent “cold spots”.

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