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Lightweight Sleeping Bags

Lightweight Sleeping Bags

OK let's talk about real adventures now! I always like to be prepared for the wife's rellies to turn up on the doorstep and I'm ready to climb out the bedroom window with my bivy sack and a few essentials when they do. A lightweight sleeping bag can be a man's best friend for the simple outdoor life when you have to make a sudden escape like this.

If you're backpacking, hiking, canoeing, climbing, or camping out in the mountains and wilderness, you will know how heavy gear can be. My advice – travel light my friend. If I'm on an unknown trail I often end up wandering around like a lost sheep and if you pack too much gear your back, legs and knees will soon start to complain. Every ounce can count dearly and extra weight can really slow you down. It can also make your trip pretty miserable when you're trying to haul everything across rough terrain or up a mountain.

When gear weight and pack size becomes an issue a lightweight sleeping bag really can make things more bearable. Your sleeping bag is often one of the largest and heaviest pieces of kit to carry so if you can reduce it's weight and size you'll make a massive improvement to your load.

Don't think that a sleeping bag advertised as being lightweight or ultralight means that it's a below par or an inferior sleeping bag - some of the best sleeping bags on the market are lightweight models. New designs and technology mean that a modern lightweight sleeping bag will offer more insulation than many winter bags would have done a few years ago. Panic merchants will tell you they're only good for summer hikes but if you choose a quality lightweight sleeping bag it'll serve you in a range of testing conditions.

Lightweight Sleeping Bags

If you want a good lightweight sleeping bag it doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice any of the features, insulation or comfort of a heavier one. Modern lightweight sleeping bags are usually loaded with all of the features of a regular bag such as hoods and face muffs.

Of course design is key and a lot of lightweight sleeping bags shed some weight by using three quarter length or two third length zippers. Most are made from modern lightweight fabrics for the shell, insulation, and lining. To balance my advice here every piece of kit has it's limits and if you're planning some mountain adventures in winter check out the ratings carefully and never take risks.

The dilemma most people face when choosing a lightweight sleeping bag is the down vs. synthetic bag debate. Down insulation is lighter than synthetic insulation but down is pretty useless when it gets wet so I have to say I generally choose synthetic. The best planned adventures can be ruined if you end up sleeping in a damp bag! That said I'd rather be out in the wilds in a damp sleeping bag than at home in my warm, dry bed with the mother-in-law next door in the spare room!

And now read everything about Winter Sleeping Bags

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