How to choose a sleeping bag

How to choose a sleeping bag

When choosing a sleeping bag, a stalker should know about three varieties of this tourist equipment. Sleeping bags are for:

  • Hiking ;
  • Camping ;
  • Extreme overnight stay.

After determining the purpose, it is advisable not to make a mistake in choosing a sleeping bag.

Types of sleeping bags by design

There are a few basic sleeping bag designs in total, and these are:

  • Blanket sleeping bag. In appearance it resembles an ordinary blanket, but with a long detachable zipper, with which you can connect several sleeping bags into one more capacious structure;
  • Sleeping bags - this classic design differs from the previous version by the presence of a special hood, which provides a more comfortable rest;
  • The cocoon sleeping bag is made in the form of a trapezoid that expands closer to the headboard. Like a sleeping blanket for spending the night in nature, it has a hood and a long longitudinal zipper. Cocoon sleeping bags take up less space in backpacks and are more comfortable for individual overnight stays.

Sleeping bag quality

Today, the requirements for comfort, deformation and wear resistance of sleeping bags are quite high. Full compliance with these characteristics can only be provided by tourist equipment from renowned manufacturers. The guarantee of the high quality of products from well-known manufacturers is the availability of technical warranty coupons and passports.

These documents clearly describe everything related to external and internal fabrics, and also indicate the temperature limits that are convenient for using tourist equipment. Sleeping bag temperature information may differ for men and women.

Sleeping bag temperature

Any hike or overnight trip outside requires a place to sleep. Most often, sleeping bags are chosen as such places. They are essential for a comfortable and warm sleep. But there is a huge number of sleeping bags before our eyes. It is important to make the right choice of model in order to enjoy outdoor recreation.

Types of sleeping bags

Sleeping bags are divided into types. They are initially classified by purpose. There are:

Travel sleeping bags

They are mainly produced for use in three seasons - spring, summer and autumn. Therefore, they are comfortable both at high and at rather low temperatures. They are also versatile and practical. They are made of synthetic or organic fabrics in the form of a "cocoon".

Camping sleeping bags

These are the lightest sleeping bags. They are designed to sleep in the warm season. Unlike tourist sleeping bags, they are very spacious, as they are of the "blanket" type. Unfortunately, when folded, they take up a lot of space, so carrying it by hand will be extremely inconvenient. Most of these sleeping bags have a zip-on option. This is the ability to combine two sleeping bags into one.

Extreme Sleeping Bags

These sleeping bags are chosen by lovers of mountain hiking. They are durable and warm to withstand the cold temperatures and high winds of the mountains. In addition, they are water-repellent.

Select by shape

Sleeping bags are mainly divided into 2 types, defined by their shape:

The blanket type is characterized by a large space inside. Suitable for any body type of a person. They are cheaper than cocoons and are more temperature controlled. Since in hot weather they can be unfastened and turned into one blanket or bedding at the bottom of the tent.

• they are only for warm seasons;

Nowadays, sleeping bags are produced by many companies. In the age of the tourist boom, such products have become in high demand. They began to be made both in small enterprises and in large concerns. Among the manufacturers of such equipment there are brands known all over the world.

Worldwide sleeping bag companies

Sleeping bags of world brands are very popular among tourists, climbers, explorers of many countries, they are used by the military in marches and hikes. In practice, they have proved their reliability more than once, they are able to warm at extremely low temperatures, they are distinguished by high strength and excellent thermal insulation properties.

Alexika Sport Group

The brand was created in 1995 in the American city of Portland. The company was organized by enthusiastic climbers who independently develop equipment for themselves. At first, she made only extreme models, then sleeping bags for camping and trekking tourism were added to the assortment.

The main thing for a brand is comfort, durability and a beautiful appearance of its products. Now the manufacturer makes sleeping bags for the European market, has production facilities in America and Southeast Asia. The headquarters of the company is located in the German city of Augsburg. In 2000, a representative office of the brand was opened in Russia.

Nova Tour Company

This is a Russian company that has existed since 1996. Its origins were three avid tourists who decided to release inexpensive but high-quality equipment for their compatriots. They practically had no money, but they had a solid experience of hiking. First, friends made backpacks, then tents went on sale. Sleeping bags were added a little later.

The company has developed successfully. In 2000, production technologies were improved, and she won a leading position in the Russian market. Today, Nova Tour products are actively sold in Europe and the CIS countries. All products of the company are thoroughly checked and tested in difficult conditions.


This is a Czech manufacturer that appeared in 1994 and today has become one of the most famous in Eastern Europe. Since 2004, the company has been supplying equipment to Russia and South America. She is engaged in the creation of tents, backpacks, equipment, sleeping bags for amateur and professional tourism, mountaineering, extreme recreation.

Everyone who bought a sleeping bag faced a choice problem. There are many indicators, different prices and it is not entirely clear what to believe, but now you can find out in detail how to choose a sleeping bag, what aspects to pay attention to and why exactly on them.

In almost any trip that involves at least one overnight stay without the usual hotels, shelters and guesthouses, the traveler will need a sleeping bag. This is one of the key pieces of equipment. It will come in handy not only when camping with tents, but also wherever you are not sure about a comfortable overnight stay - in a Nepalese loggia, a Carpathian hut, in a Moroccan mountain shelter, and even just when you are stuck at a transfer at the airport or at the railway station.

Knowing how to choose the right sleeping bag for your environment is very important. Why? It would seem, what is so difficult about a sleeping bag? But now there is a huge number of sleeping bags, very different in operating temperature of use, materials used, weight, design, price. If you go to any good travel store, you will see dozens of different options to choose from. Eyes run up. Which one to buy? Of course, you will ask a consultant for help. But what to ask? Will he have the opportunity to spend at least half an hour with you? It is better to come to the store as prepared as possible.

How to choose a sleeping bag

Let's first figure out what a modern sleeping bag is, what designs exist, what selection criteria are the most important.

Here are the main points, which are convenient to navigate, and which you will meet in the catalogs of sellers and manufacturers. Let's try to figure out what they mean.

Seasonality of sleeping bag usage

Typically refers to the seasons of the Central European climate suitable for the use of this model. Usually, they mean summer, winter and off-season. If the description says about a "three-season" option, it means "spring, summer, autumn." In my opinion, this is the most uninformative division for a beginner. Seasons are a conditional thing, everything is very blurry, there is a minimum of specifics. Even in the middle latitudes there are places with “non-standard” climates, large temperature fluctuations. And then there are the mountains! If you go to the mountains, then forget about the flat seasons. In summer, on Elbrus, in the area of ​​a classic overnight stay at 4100, it can easily be -10-15 degrees.

So seasonality is a very approximate characteristic.

Temperature Range Test EN

This is the most objective characteristic. Why? The fact is that most of the major manufacturers in the Old and New Worlds not so long ago (since 2005) began to test products according to the single standard EN 13537. What does this mean for the consumer? You can be sure that the comparison of the operating temperatures indicated on the product will be fairly objective. Previously, there were many tests, and it hardly made sense to compare all these numbers on sleeping bags from different manufacturers. Binding to this test also obliges the manufacturer to indicate some mandatory parameters on their products. These are weight without packing bag, internal dimensions and packing dimensions.

With regard to temperature, there should be 3 main numbers on the sleeping bag.

It is obvious that comfort and the best emotions from outdoor activities in cold weather can be experienced if you choose the right winter sleeping bag. Without this accessory, climbing a snow-capped peak or even a trip to a ski resort is not worth starting.

For hikers challenged by harsh conditions, there is an outstanding range of sleeping bags available. It is worth understanding the features of a particular product in order to "squeeze the maximum" out of the winter hike.

What to focus on when choosing a sleeping bag?

Everyone chooses a specific accessory "for themselves", focusing on the capacity of their own backpack, and most importantly - the duration and conditions of the trip. At the same time, any tourist, professional or just an extreme lover, will be faced with the choice of a sleeping bag on a natural basis or made of synthetic materials.

Connoisseurs of high quality, practicality and durability of the product tend to choose products based on eider down or goose down. Safe and warm, this material keeps you warm even in the harshest conditions. In addition, you can feel extreme as comfortably as possible, because down accessories will take up much less space for synthetic counterparts when folded. Connoisseurs of hitchhiking are probably familiar with the difficulties when drivers are not eager to bring a passenger with bulky luggage.

Modern synthetic filler is often not inferior to the natural base in terms of thermal insulation properties, significantly gaining in cost. The other side of the coin is the greater weight of the product and the poorer compression properties of the material. In other words, the folded bag will take up more space and be heavier.


  • Downy sleeping bags are indispensable for long hikes where every gram counts.
  • If outings for winter holidays are of a one-time nature, you can not overpay and purchase a product with synthetic filler.
  • Professional winter hiking sleeping bags are made exclusively with down filling.
  • Choose down if you are planning an outing in temperatures below 20˚С.

Does humidity matter?

High humidity is not a concern in extremely cold temperatures. However, with a temperature range of -10 ˚C to 0 ˚C, there is a high probability of dampness. All winter bags are made with high strength, light weight and fast drying in mind. In most garments, the outer shell material is a practical synthetic fabric. The inner lining can be made of lightweight flannel or cotton fabric. Models with a shell based on a fabric membrane will withstand the most severe tests.

Regular, heavy soaking damages the down filling, and a sleeping bag for winter can simply lose its properties. Synthetics are more practical in this regard. If you expect constant dampness and the possibility of the bag getting wet during the hike, you should choose models with synthetic filling. Severe cold and low humidity await you - only natural fluff!

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