When you're away on a trip, a restful night's sleep can mean the difference between tales of wonderful nights under the canvas or horror stories of how you'll never go camping again.
The ranges of sleeping bags which you'll find on offer from Mountain Warehouse are designed for use in different seasons. However the objective with all of them is the same - to keep you warm, dry and comfortable.
Finding the right sleeping bag can be a tricky business, but you'll never regret putting the time and effort into getting the right one, as it can be the difference between the best or worst night sleep of your life! Mountain Warehouse has compiled a mini-guide to our range of sleeping bags and how you can avoid a whole world of discomfort by making the right choice.
The most important thing to look out for when choosing a sleeping bag is its temperature rating. A sleeping bag for camping in your back garden is going to have different requirements than one for scaling Everest, and the temperature rating is the best way to acertain which situations you should be using it in. All temperature ratings will vary from person to person and can be affected by other factors, such as using inside a tent or out in the open and whether a ground mat or sleeping mat is used. The clothes you choose to sleep in will also have an effect on how comfortable an experience you have.
The ‘extreme' temperature rating is ‘the survival temperature'. Put simply, this is the very limit at which the bag will keep you alive without frostbite, or any other temperature related ailments, but it is not the lowest temperature you will be comfortable in. Our Everest Down Sleeping Bag is an example of a bag with a good extreme rating, as it has an extreme survival rating of -20, meaning it is a bag designed to keep you alive in tougher conditions where there may be a very real threat of hypothermia.
The ‘Comfort' temperature rating is the way to gauge the temperature you will feel warm and comfortable in when in a rolled up position. When the bag is used in any temperatures below the ‘comfort rating', the user will survive, but will undoubtedly feel the cold.
Also to be taken into account is the season ratings.
A 1 season sleeping bag could be used for the aforementioned camping in the garden.
Perfect for UK late spring to early autumn temperatures.
A good companion to UK early spring to late autumn weather conditions.
A 4 season bag is designed for more demanding winter trekking and climbing, although is still not suitable for very high altitudes or extreme conditions. The Summit 300/300xl, Microlite 700 or 950 are all good 2-3 season bags.
Top Quality Materials
A good quality sleeping bag will trap warm air within whilst also being breathable, allowing your body moisture to escape.
You will find two types of filling for sleeping bags:
Synthetic - A great value option made from loose fibres which are designed to offer performance in a range of conditions. The more expensive options will be suitable for colder weather and will pack smaller. Although not as durable as a down bag they are easier to clean and quicker to dry
Down - Spending more offers you a sleeping bag which will tackle wider ranges of temperature with ease. They are made with the down divided into compartments along the bag to retain its shape. A great investment, they last up to three times longer than a synthetic sleeping bag
Other factors to consider:
The outer fabric should be windproof, quick drying and water repellant
The lining fabric which is usually synthetic, as it is lightweight, breathable and holds dirt at bay. Cotton is used on sleeping bags which are for use in warmer temperatures
A hood and neck collar are a useful addition for comfort and warmth for your head
The packed size should be considered based on the way you will use the sleeping bag and how much you will have to carry it
Mother nature is a powerful army; choose your sleeping bag wisely and you'll emerge victorious.
NB: Please note that this guide assumes that the person in question is fully clothed, hydrated and well, as well as using a high quality sleeping mat. Temperatures should be used as a guide only and generally speaking, you should choose a sleeping bag that will provide more warmth than you may think is necessary.