What makes the best sleeping bags?

What makes the best sleeping bags

Just as there a range of tents for different seasons and conditions there are a range of sleeping bags to consider for any outdoors adventures you set out on. After a hard day’s graft out on the trail we all deserve a good night’s sleep so make sure you get the best sleeping bag and don’t risk an uncomfortable night. My old man would think I’ve got soft if he read this advice but it’s true – how ever much we might think we’re a tough guy we all need a proper night’s sleep! I might put decent tucker and grog ahead of sleep sometimes but as a general rule your sleeping bag makes all the difference to a night under the stars.

There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to choosing the best sleeping bag and before you hit your kick or head out to the Never with the wrong kit consider the following -

  • Size: Make sure yours fits. If you’re a 7 foot bloke your going to be curled up like a roo in a net if you go for a standard size sleeping bag. Too large a bag and you'll be heating empty space.
  • Shape: The mummy style bags keep you warm but restrict movement and I feel like Houdini in a straight jacket in one. Classic rectangular bags let you move about more freely – the downside is they can let cold air in at the shoulders.
  • Comfort rating: This is the lowest temperature at which the bag will keep you warm. There’s a bit of science here too – for cold conditions you’ll need some insulation underneath you. If it’s warm you can take a layer of clothing off, but keeping warm on a cold night needs the right gear.
  • Insulation material:. Whether you choose natural or high-tech depends on allergies, weather conditions and how much weight you're happy to carry. There are new synthetic materials which can help both retaining heat and preventing sweating. You may have to spend a few more dollars but for all-round comfort these are great.
  • Weight. The classic dilemma for any outdoor adventure. We all want to travel light – especially if your trail involves hills or mountains. If you choose a heavier sleeping bag you may have to leave other items out of your pack. If you’re a real Bushman you might go for a light sleeping bag so you have room for a slab of XXXX and a few packs of snags! As my mate Tommo would say you have to think ‘How much can a Koala bear?’ when packing your backpack.

Some of the more common sleeping bags are not surprisingly named like tents based on their likely use so you will see summer sleeping bags, three-season sleeping bags and winter sleeping bags. Pretty obvious which is which! For general use, a three season sleeping bag is a good option and will keep you warm when the temperature drops but won’t overheat you in summer. If you’re into camping out in harsher weather look seriously at winter sleeping bags and the other gear you’ll need for these conditions. As always, never take risks or you’ll regret it.

And now read everything about How to choose your sleeping bag?

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