For hiking and camping, sleeping bags are a must-have. They are also good to have around the house to offer guests or for a child's sleepover. Keep in mind though that there is a substantial difference in quality among sleeping bags depending on what you plan to use them for.
Sleeping Bag Styles
* '''Budget''': Prices range from $100 to $400 for quality sleeping bags. Rectangular sleeping bags tend to be less expensive, often costing less than $100.
* '''Type of Camping: '''Car camping doesn't require as stringent a set of requirements when choosing a sleeping bag as does braving the elements. For backcountry hikers and those planning to do some more extreme camping, a bag with better features and materials will be crucial in attaining comfort and convenience.
* '''Weather Conditions:''' The difference between dry and wet climates will substantially change what type of sleeping bag you purchase.
shells are best for canoe camping and camping in damper climates because they won't absorb moisture.
is fine for general outdoor camping. These sleeping bags also tend to cost less.
. Once they get wet they take a long time to dry and then get very heavy.
* Look for a Lining
* The lining should be chosen according to personal comfort.
* For extra warmth go for fleece or nylon.
* For luxurious comfort, choose silk. Keep in mind that it is easier to rip.
* Cotton is inexpensive and comfortable but not the most durable and it is not water resistant. Thus, if you tend to sweat and overheat while sleeping, you will, in cold climates, become more cold than warm. Cotton is best in dry and warm conditions.
is the warmest, most expensive filler. However, if it gets wet or damp, it loses its ability to retain heat. Fine for car camping or tent camping in drier climates. Also fine for summer outdoor camping if it has a waterproof shell.
* Synthetic and man-made fillers come in a variety of materials. Some are cheap while others rival in cost and warmth.
is reliable and it dries quickly, but it is slightly heavier than other materials. Maybe not the best idea for long distance trekkers.
is much like hollofil.
* This a term used when referring to the fill.
* It is how much you can "fluff" the bag.
* The more loft a bag has the warmer it will be.
* Materials that add loft are Termolite.
* Temperature ratings are a decent measurement of how cold it can get before the bag will stop keeping you warm.
** The general rule of thumb is to take the rating and add 10 degrees to it.
** That's the minimum temperature at which it will keep you warm.
** However, it is not so accurate once you add in other factors.
* Are you going to sleep in underwear or full clothes?
* Will you be very tired when you go to sleep? Deep sleeps cause your body temperature to drop more.
* If you get sick, you will need more warmth.
Here are some top-selling sleeping bags:
* Big Agnes
* The Backside
* The North Face