Best Sleeping Bags: Seal in the Warmth
Sleep more comfortably when camping outdoors with some of the best sleeping bags
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Sleeping bags offer much-needed comfort to dedicated campers who sleep outdoors. You get the best of both worlds since you can sleep in a cozy place and simultaneously experience nature. A high-quality sleeping bag also helps you get a good night’s rest before your next adventure. Here are a few sleeping bag options that will keep you warm when you’re sleeping outdoors.
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Benefits of Sleeping Bags
- Take it camping. If you're sleeping outdoors, taking a backpacking trip, or traveling somewhere where you need warm and portable bedding, a sleeping bag is the perfect solution.
- Portability. Most sleeping bags are lightweight and relatively easy to carry. It doesn't take much effort to roll them and pack them up for a trip or a child's sleepover.
- Warm and comfortable. High-quality sleeping bags are designed to keep you warm and protect you from the elements. Whether you use them indoors or out, they will make you feel snug and cozy.
Types of Sleeping Bags
If you plan on using a sleeping bag in warmer weather, choose a lightweight product meant for the summer. These types of sleeping bags are designed to withstand temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit and warmer. They have minimal insulation and are very compressible. They also have full-length zippers so you can easily open them for ventilation or turn them into a blanket. Summer sleeping bags do not have many extra features and are fairly basic.
Three-season sleeping bags are meant for 20 degrees Fahrenheit and above. They are ideal for spring and fall adventures and during the summer if you are high in the mountains when it gets cold at night. They have more features than summer sleeping bags to make you more comfortable in cooler weather, such as cinchable hoods, zipper draft tubes, and draft collars.
Winter sleeping bags are designed for temperatures that dip below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. They contain the same features as a three-season sleeping bag, but have extra insulation to keep you even warmer on chilly nights. The downside is that winter sleeping bags tend to be bulky, and they require compression sacks for storage.
This type of sleeping bag resembles a down comforter. You sleep in the bag and also use a sleeping pad, which may be connected to the sleeping bag with straps. Quilts are lightweight and very insulating in mild weather. They are very popular among camping enthusiasts.
A mummy sleeping bag is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of being rectangular like a traditional sleeping bag, it tucks you in like an Egyptian mummy. Campers prefer them when it's really cold and windy because they provide extra insulation for your head. The drawback of this type of bag is that it tends to be heavier and bulkier.
TETON Sports produces tents, sleeping bags, cots, hammocks, and backpacks. It is a privately-held company that got its start in 2005 and is headquartered in Cedar Hills, Utah. One of its top products is the TETON Sports Mammoth Queen-Size Double Sleeping Bag.
William Coffin Coleman founded the Coleman Company in 1905, and he sold gasoline pressure lamps. The company is now well known for its camping gear. The headquarters are in Chicago, and there are also facilities in Kansas and Texas. One top product is the Coleman Sun Ridge Sleeping Bag.
Kelty, based in Boulder, Colorado, has been making sleeping bags, tents, and other camping gear since 1952 but is most known for its backpacks. Founder Dick Kelty was an innovator who created packs with aluminum frames and waist belts. One top sleeping bag is the Kelty Tuck Mummy Sleeping Bag.
Sleeping Bags Pricing
- $20-$50: Many sleeping bags are very affordable. If you want a lightweight and compact sleeping bag, especially a summer sleeping bag, this is the price point.
- $50-$150: The more features you want in a sleeping bag, the more it will cost. Bags in this price range are designed for three-season and winter adventures, although you will find some high-quality summer sleeping bags here as well. More high-end products will include zipper draft tubes, cinchable hoods, and draft collars.
The most important feature to consider is the level of warmth a sleeping bag provides. This coincides with the season in which you'll be using it. You want a product that will keep you comfy in the fall or when the mercury drops, but if you are camping in the summer you don't want to sweat at night. Look for a comfort rating that describes the lowest temperature at which you can enjoy a good night's sleep.
Not all sleeping bags are designed to withstand a lot of moisture. If a sleeping bag gets wet or damp, the insulating capacity can decrease considerably. Look for a product with a water-resistant shell or one that features a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating. This is vital if you think you'll be using it in wet weather or if you will be sleeping in a tent that is susceptible to condensation.
Down and synthetics are some of the most common materials used in sleeping bags. Down is warm and packable, which is important if you want a lightweight sleeping bag. But not all down bags are the same; they have different fill power, i.e., 600 to 900, which affects their weight. Synthetic material such as polyester is cheaper, more durable, hypoallergenic, and provides more insulation when it's wet. There are also hybrid bags that contain both materials.
- Zippers: An anti-snag zipper is great because it can be frustrating if you have a zipper that frequently gets stuck when you try to open and close the sleeping bag. Also, check to see if the bag has a right or left zip. This is important if you plan on zipping two bags together. Just make sure both bags have the same zipper type and that they are compatible.
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- What you eat may have a direct impact on your comfort level in the sleeping bag. You want to eat something heavy but not too heavy that it will keep you up with indigestion. A light meal such as one cup of noodles will only give you energy for a few minutes, so you may feel cold throughout the night.
- Sleep under a high-quality, weather-resistant tent with thick flooring to protect the sleeping bag from damage. Also, be sure to keep the tent closed to preserve the heat within the structure.
- If you store a sleeping bag in the attic for a long time, it may be musty or filled with bugs. Air it out in the sun for a few hours to make it fresh. Machine wash it, and put it in a dryer if it’s dusty or filled with mold.
Q: How can I make my sleeping bag warmer?
A: Wash the sleeping bag to remove dirt particles and skin flakes that prevent the sleeping bag foam from puffing up with air. Also, add another removable layer of cotton or silk inside the sleeping bag to make it warmer. Do not forget to dress warmly in socks, mittens, and a beanie before getting in the bag.
Q: Will I damage the sleeping bag if I put a sleeping pad inside it?
A: If there's enough room in your sleeping bag, then there's nothing wrong with adding a sleeping pad for enhanced comfort and warmth. You can damage it if you try to force in a sleeping pad that's larger than the sleeping bag. In that case, consider putting the pad under the sleeping bag instead.
Q: Is it safe to sleep in a sleeping bag next to a campfire?
A: Most sleeping bags are flammable, and it's hard to save yourself from the flames of you are wrapped in the bag. It's safer to warm yourself up before you get in the bag, and be sure to put out the flame if your sleeping bag is out in the open.
Our top pick is the Browning Camping McKinley. It’s warm enough for a fall sleeping bag and leaves enough room for you to wiggle around.
Consider buying the Coleman Sun Ridge Sleeping Bag if you are looking for a cheaper option.