In this article we will help you to choose the best sleeping bag for travelling, we have a lot of experience with sleeping bags, we have used them in the field and also were selling them, and we know how important this item can be.
One of the most difficult items to adjust for the trip but also the most important (one of the three most important accessories on the trip) is the sleeping bag.
Imagine a situation where you are going to sleep at minus 7 degrees Celsius, and sometimes even less, without being able to turn on heating (how many people do you know who were willing to go to sleep in the freezer ??).
On the other hand during the trip may be a long time on a sunny beach wearing only a bathing suit What will you do with the sleeping bag at this stage?
The problem is so difficult that many travelers choose to give up the sleeping bag in the belief that you can rent a sleeping bag during the trip and that there is no need to carry heavy and expensive item throughout the entire trip.
This opinion that it is possible in some parts of the world to rent a sleeping bag is not wrong, but just before you decide on this option ask yourself the following questions:
1) Will I feel good in a sleeping bag that someone slept in before? A sleeping bag is a personal item like shoes. Would you agree to rent shoes that have been wear by a large number of travelers?
2) Am I willing to take the risk with the rented sleeping bag? the ability of a sleeping bag to isolate lessen after several years of use, will you agree to go to sleep at minus 2 degrees or less, when you have no way of knowing the age of the sleeping bag and whether it will really work and keep your body warm?
3) Will there be a sleeping bag available in stock when I want to go trekking? Imagine a situation where you have reached your destination but actually, there is no sleeping bag available for rent, what will you do now?
4) Will you use the sleeping bag only during the trek? Many travelers have found themselves sleeping in frozen inns when all they have to keep warm are thin, moldy blankets.
If you find yourself confused by these questions, the solution for you may be to leave the country with a sleeping bag in your backpack, but as mentioned, the choice is not simple.
How can you choose from this large variety of sleeping bags the most suitable sleeping bag for you? To address this and ensure maximum comfort, consider the following:
Best Sleeping Bag For Travelling, How To Choose One?
3 Steps in selecting the correct sleeping bag
Step 1 – Proper planning.
At what stage do you choose a sleeping bag?
The sleeping bag is a large item, heavy and expensive compared to the other items that you pack for the trip, so it is best to choose the sleeping bag among the first items, even before the backpack (and sometimes even before the shoes).
The reason for this is that because of the relatively large size and weight of the sleeping bag, the sleeping bag has a direct effect on the size and carrying capacity of the backpack with which we will travel.
The smaller the sleeping bag you choose, the smaller the backpack you choose, and the smaller back system (which may also be cheaper).
For the same reason, you can understand the effect on the shoes that we will pick, as the weight on the back will be smaller, our need to brake shocks and support capacity of the shoes will change from shoes suitable for heavyweights to shoes adapted to medium weights.
What is the nature of the trip?
The nature of your trip greatly influences the sleeping bag you choose.
There are a few basic questions that you will need to answer before choosing a sleeping bag:
1) What is the range of temperatures in the destiny in which I will travel? No doubt this is a difficult question to answer because it may be influenced by many factors such as the heights to which I will go during the trip, where do I travel? – beaches can be found in Mexico and Alaska, but there is no doubt that Alaska is colder.
What season of the year am I going? Winter or summer.
If you have trouble deciding what temperature range to prepare for, check it out before, make a research.
2) What is the nature of the trip? Backpacker – means that the equipment is most of the time on the back and therefore has a high importance to low weight and small packaging.
Or Jeep Tour – meaning there is no problem of storage space and of course you do not carry the equipment.
Sleeping bag and its ability to adjust to different temperatures are strongly influenced by basic physiological factors such as:
1) Gender: Today there are sleeping bags that are specially adapted for women, which means that you should consider that a woman who sleeps in a sleeping bag suited to a man, most likely to suffer from cold during the night.
2) Self-awareness: Ask yourself Do I suffer from excessive cold or excess heat?
Step B – Choose three sleeping bags
If you choose to buy a sleeping bag online we can help you with 3 great products at a very convenient price and they are all being sold on Amazon.
Check them out here:
- 1.Abco Tech Sleeping Bag
- 2.Sleepingo Double Sleeping Bag for Backpacking, Camping, Or Hiking.
- 3.Coleman Adult Sleeping Bag
The variety of sleeping bags is particularly large and, as an intermediate stage, it is recommended to find up to three sleeping bags that meet your needs.
Here we will try to help you narrow down and select the sleeping bags that are suitable for you while addressing your personal needs and taking into account the following parameters:
- Comfort temperature of the sleeping bag – this is actually the minimum temperature at which an average person can sleep comfortably in the sleeping bag. But note that this temperature is determined when we sleep in a tent on a mattress and also dressed in thermal clothing.
This temperature is determined in various standards institutes in the world in two different ways: the American standard is the oldest standard and the European standard, which becomes the most common one, because of its ability to accuracy and higher reliability among the 2 institutes.
Note that the comfort temperature is only a measure of the temperature to which the sleeping bag will fit and not the truth engraved in stone.
- Weight and size – the two most interesting figures in choosing a sleeping bag.
As a rule, a smaller and lighter sleeping bag will usually be more expensive due to the use of insulation material and higher quality fabrics.
When we encounter a small, light and inexpensive sleeping bag, we recommend that you thoroughly examine the quality of the sleeping bag, although it does not require that such a sleeping bag be unreliable, it is advisable to ask how it reached a low price range.
- Insulation – There are two main families of insulating materials:
1) Synthetic: Advantages – cheaper, more durable under wet conditions, the disadvantages are – larger weight, less durable over the years, larger packing space.
2) Down sleeping bags: Advantages – very high temperature/weight ratio, high durability of the sleeping bag over the years, especially pleasant to sleep opposite disadvantages are – sensitive to moisture, expensive, displacement of the insulation and the creation of “cold spots.”
- Adapting to different climatic zones – One of the biggest challenges the backpacker poses to sleeping bags is to isolate perfectly in different climatic conditions.
For example, the backpacker traveling to South America will look for a sleeping bag that will fit a temperature range between 5 ° C and 7 ° C and will also be suitable for future use in his own country.
The solution to this problem lies in the additional advantage of the down sleeping bags on the synthetic ones.
While synthetic insulation is suitable for a limited temperature range, down sleeping bags insulation, due to its natural capabilities is capable of adjusting to a much larger range of degrees.
- Breathing capacity of the sleeping bag – When we sleep, our bodies release large amounts of water.
In order to ensure that the sleeping bag continues to be isolated from the cold, it is necessary to check whether the fabrics and insulation from which the sleeping bag is constructed actually allow the water to be removed from the sleeping bag.
- The lifetime of the sleeping bag – the isolation that is in the sleeping bag collapses over time and affects the isolation ability of the sleeping bag.
In order to cope with this problem, you can see that more models of sleeping bags arrive in a storage bag and are not crammed into a shrink bag, thus guaranteeing the longest possible life.
In order to ensure as long a life as possible for the sleeping bag, it is recommended not to compress the sleeping bag excessively during the trip and at home, it is recommended to keep the sleeping bag open and even hang in the closet.
- The ability to connect two sleeping bags – couples who travel together may prefer to buy two sleeping bags that can be connected and actually create a double sleeping bag.
Step 3 – Measuring the sleeping bag and selecting the most comfortable sleeping bag of the three.
Once you’ve selected a number of sleeping bags that meet your needs on the trip, you may want to measure your sleeping bags and choose from them the most comfortable sleeping bag.
Comfortability and adjusting the size of the sleeping bag to your body structure will have a great impact on the quality of your sleep on the ground, the more comfortable the sleeping bag the better you will sleep.
Storing and handling the sleeping bag
It is recommended that you consult with the store counselor regarding the guarantee of your sleeping bag.
In order to prolong the life of the sleeping bag as much as possible, it is recommended to store the sleeping bag when it is open (hanging in a closet or open in a storage bag) and keep it in a shady, dry place.
During the trip, there is no problem compressing the sleeping bag in the shrink bag, but it is recommended to remember that the less compacted the sleeping bag, the longer his life will be.
Washing instructions of the sleeping bag
As a general rule, it is recommended to clean a sleeping bag in order to restore the isolation ability.
For each sleeping bag, there are various laundry instructions attached with a note to the sleeping bag.
If there are no manufacturer’s instructions for washing, the priority is not to wash the sleeping bag but to ventilate it in a shaded place. If you choose to wash the sleeping bag, however, you should distinguish between a synthetic sleeping bag and a down sleeping bag.
A synthetic sleeping bag, it is recommended to wash by hand and not by machine, using special cleaning products for sleeping bags.
It is important to wash the water and remove the detergent.
Drying the sleeping bag will be done in a balanced state (it is important not to hang the sleeping bag) and in the shadow.
It is recommended that you turn your sleeping bag over and over again and remember that this process may take several days.
Down sleeping bag, such a sleeping bag can be more complicated, so it may be best to hand it over to a laundry which specializes in down products (check the laundry’s guarantee if there is damage to the sleeping bag).
If you choose to wash in your home, wash it in the most delicate way and in cold water, using detergents specially designed for down products.
Note that the heavy weight of the sleeping bag due to the water that has been absorbed in, can lead to the destruction of the bag and therefore move it gently with a full support of the sleeping bag and thus prevent the movement of the sleeping bag.
As initial drying, the sleeping bag should be placed in a shady place when it is fully open in a balanced manner with full support.
After about five days after most of the water has gone out of the sleeping area, the sleeping bag must be moved to a commercial size dryer machine to continue the drying process.
For a perfect result, it is recommended to add into the machine tennis balls which will help separate the clumps.
Improve the sleeping bag experience
When choosing an important product always remember that there is a fundamental difference between the reality in the store and the reality with which we will deal in the field.
In order to ensure a perfect sleep experience it is recommended to use the following accessories:
First of all, a field mattress is a comfortable sleeping mattress that separates us from the stones on the ground.
Even more important, this mattress will isolate us from the cold that comes from the ground on which we sleep and will allow the sleeping bag to match the comfort temperature to which he was intended, the types of mattresses can be found are:
- Foamed Polyurethane – made of a foamed material which captures air and thus creates a layer of insulation, between the foamed Polyurethane mattresses, can be found designs and special technologies that suit each type of mattress for different soil and cold conditions.
- Independent inflatable mattress
This mattress is constructed of an “open compartment” sponge located inside a sealed enclosure with a valve for regulating air pressure and quantity. It is one of the best choices for sleeping comfort and high isolation from the ground. On the other hand, its disadvantage lies in its large weight (relative to the foamed Polyurethane mattress), its price and risk of being punctured.
- Inflatable beds
Thick mattresses that are inflated with a pump. These single or double size mattresses are inflatable to the size of a comfortable home mattress. Many people even choose to use them as a home mattress for use when guests arrive. These mattresses are especially heavy and therefore not suitable for trekkings.
Waterproof shrink bag
The sleeping bag is one of the most important accessories which must work even when everything is spoiled. Imagine a situation in which the entire backpack and the equipment inside it will get wet during the trip.
How do you ensure that your sleeping bag stays dry? Precisely for this purpose, there are now waterproof shrink bags for sleeping bags.
Travelers bottle/heating bags
For cases where the temperature has dropped below the comfort temperature of the sleeping bag, it is recommended that you have heating bags or a travelers bottle that can be filled with hot water. Simply put the heating bag or water bottle into the sleeping bag, so that it will not touch your body (to prevent burns) and help the sleeping bag warm up.
Special cleaning products for sleeping bags
In order to maintain the longevity and isolation of the sleeping bag, it is recommended to clean the sleeping bag as needed.
For this purpose, it is advisable to use special detergents that have been specially formulated for this purpose.
Heating lining for a sleeping bag (LINER).
One of the most effective ways to increase the sleeping bag temperature range is to add a special heating lining. This lining can raise the comfort temperature range of the sleeping bag by about 5 ° C.
Using this lining, you can buy a smaller, lighter, cheaper sleeping bag that will be suitable for future use for your country as well.
I hope that we helped you to choose the best sleeping bag for travelling and to understand the different types.
If you have any comments, please leave them below.
A related article that you might find as useful: How thermal clothing works.