How to Choose a Sleeping Bag for Camping

Whether as part of your holiday, or on a sports hiking, sometimes you have to camp out. But then, what sleeping bag choose? There are a few essential criteria:

The comfort of the sleeping bag temperature

This must be the first selection criterion of your sleeping bag. It is essential to get it right when selecting your duvet, otherwise you may spend some bad nights, and so you hurt during the day, especially if you play a sport that requires endurance.

There are three types of temperatures: comfort, limit and extreme. It’s the comfort temperature which must be a reference in your choice, and not the temperature limit of comfort, and still less the extreme temperature. To make sure can’t go wrong you, here are a few tips to know:

-Take into consideration the geographic area of your hikes, altitudes where you sleep, the conditions of bivouac (stars, tent, shelter), the season and of course the conditions weather (not only the temperature, but also the risk of bad weather).

-Be aware that even in temperate zones and summer, aloft delta temperature between the day and night can be very important.

-Themoisture and wind are also elements to be taken into account.

-The feel of the cold is different according to each person, but also according to the degree of training of each: If you’re cautious, take a sleeping bag with a comfort temperature a little lower than the temperatures that you face. Of course, you will have colder if you’re tired and you haven’t eaten.

Here are the three types of temperatures:

-The comfort temperature: up to this temperature, the camper, in a position relaxed on the back is “comfortable”, that is in thermal equilibrium and feels no cold (determined for a woman weighing 60 kg);

-The temperature limit of comfort: this is the temperature limits at which the camper, curled up on itself in the sleeping bag, is at the limit of the feeling of cold (determined for a man weighing 70 kg and under normal conditions of use).This position is adopted to minimize the surface of the body which loses heat;

-Extreme temperature: this is the temperature where the risk of hypothermia that can lead to death appears (determined for a woman weighing 60 kg, curled up and under normal conditions of use).

So choose a sleeping bag including the comfort temperature corresponds to that to which you will be experiencing, it’s essential.

The form of the sleeping bag

There are currently two forms of sleeping bags: the sarcophagus shape, andshape cover.

In the first case, these bags are of anatomical shape: they marry the silhouette of the camper and allowing him too ptimize the thermal protection. They are also lighter and less bulky than the cover bags.

In the second case, these bags are more comfortable because more wide at feet level. On the other hand, to lagging comparable, they offer less good thermal protection because they contain more air; and sleeping bags heat by the body temperature, which warms only a small amount of air. In addition, they have often not hood to protect the head. Finally, they are more cumbersome than the sarcophagi bags: their use is reserved for camping in mild conditions, which requires little travel.

The closing of the sleeping bag system

It is also essential to take into account, to avoid the loss of warm air generated by the body and the cold air infiltration from the top of the bag.

Please note that there are two types of closures for bags of type sarcophagus,:

-A closing at the level of the hood: most sarcophagi bags have a drawstring to hood, which allows to adjust the opening for the head, and avoids excessive loss of heat.

-A closing of “inner flange” type located at the shoulder level, in addition to the hood: this collar allows to isolate the body at chest level, and brings extra heat: heat is trapped and will keep the hood open, while retaining body heat.Generally, these flanges are on sleeping bags for comfort quite low temperatures (lower than 5 degrees). Some bags have no collar, but are equipped with an internal bead, which performs the same function.

Finally, here are a few tips to make the most of your nights outdoors (or in a cabin):

-You must allow good insulation under your sleeping bag, to protect you from the cold: a mattress or rug at a minimum is so necessary.

-When you are not using your down, keep your bag out of his cover of restraint to preserve his loft,

-If appropriate, wash your machine down, cold and with a moderate dose of detergent. Always follow the advice of maintenance that are given by the manufacturers, and this for each bag.


A synthetic sleeping bag is suitable for:

-A risk of exposure to moisture (very humid atmosphere, night under the stars);

-A cost-effective solution for a short hike or from Hut to hut, because, in this case, your backpack will be not too busy, and the weight of it will not be a problem.

A down-filled sleeping bag will be suitable for:

-long rides, or on a trip roaming because light weight and small footprint are important criteria;

-A more comfortable and if you sleep at the shelter (tent, shelter) or under the stars by time dry.

Beautiful night in a campsite/shelter at all!