There are several different things to think about when you are deciding on which type of warm sleeping bag to buy. Youve heard of synthetic sleeping bags, down sleeping bags, backpacking sleeping bags, but which sleeping bag is really the best. The better question would be: Which sleeping bag will keep me warm in the conditions Ill be in?
One of the first things you need to take into consideration when choosing a warm sleeping bag is your body size. The sleeping bag needs to be a little larger than your body, without too much space between your body and the sleeping bag. That space between the two is where the warm air is trapped, which keeps you warm. A mummy shaped sleeping bag is best for cold weather camping and a rectangular shaped sleeping bag is best for warmer weather camping.
Its also extremely important to know the average temperature and weather conditions for the area youll be backpacking or camping in. A warm sleeping bag thats rated 5 or 10 degrees warmer than the average temperature where youll be sleeping is best. If weight is a major consideration for your backpacking sleeping bag, use a lighter bag along with a sleeping pad to insulate the bottom of the bag. If its winter or theres wet weather, a backpacking sleeping bag that has a water resistant outer shell is important. This shell should still be breathable though, so you dont get wet from your own sweat. Sometimes a bivy bag is used over a sleeping bag to stay dry or to make an extra warm sleeping bag.
Another consideration in choosing a warm sleeping bag is whether to buy a synthetic sleeping bag or a down filled sleeping bag. A Synthetic sleeping bag can be heavier and less compressible. However, they can also be less expensive, are easy to clean and they still insulate quite well when theyre wet. Down sleeping bags on the other hand are lightweight, a very warm sleeping bag and breathable, but they are harder to clean, cost more money initially and arent very insulating when wet.
In a nutshell, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration when buying a warm sleeping bag. First, choose a sleeping bag that is the right size and shape for your body. Next, do your research and find out the average temperature and weather conditions for where youre going. Finally, decide if a synthetic sleeping bag or a down sleeping bag will best suit your needs. If youve done those things, then youre ready to buy your ideal warm sleeping bag.