You're gearing up for an outdoor adventure if you're reading this. And that means one thing - you need a suitable sleeping bag! But with so many different options on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for you. Not to worry - we've put together the ultimate guide to choosing the right sleeping bag for your next outdoor adventure. Keep reading to learn more!
Keep your sleeping bag light. The best way is to select a bag with a low denier shell fabric and high fill of down, which will help you save on weight while still being comfortable in cool conditions or warm ones! If 1-2 KGs sounds too heavy - think again because this type isn't only compressible but also affordable (especially if bought used).
The bag should fit your body. There are broadly two main types of bag shapes: Mummy and rectangular. Most good quality bags are the Mummy type because they will conform to the shape of your body and reduce the air gaps that can get cool the air around your body. Corners in sleeping bags allow warm air to escape from the proximity of your body to the extremities of the bag, where it cools down quickly. Make sure your shoulders fit comfortably inside the bag and that you can lie straight without your feet hitting against the foot end. You should also be able to snuggle down inside up to your nose easily. Ensure the bag has a hood with a drawstring as you lose heat from your head during the night. Higher-denier nylon for strength and abrasion resistance at the foot end of the bag will enable you to wear boots in bed for tactical reactions.
Choose a bag that suits the season. Do you know there is a sleeping bag for the jungle? You can be cool in the jungle at night when lying still or wet in a breeze. The ambient temperature and the feeling of cold are variable personal experiences. The filling in a bag is critical, especially in wet conditions. Down-filled bags are great in cold and dry climates, but if they get wet, they can be hell to dry out for use the following night. Down bags will not loft when wet, and you risk hypothermia if they remain wet against your skin. Down is the most compressible, but water is its worst enemy. Synthetic bags compress less; they can be heavier and not as warm but are more affordable and generally more durable, especially in tactical situations. An insulated flap over the zip will prevent the cold from creeping in; it's a mark of thoughtful design.
Consider what you sleep on. The surface upon which you sleep will compress the bag's underside against your body. If the surface is cold, it will draw the heat out of your body, causing a cold patch wherever your body touches the ground. So, a sealed cell mat is critical, or a good bed of leaf litter is excellent insulation from the ground; even newspaper is a good insulator.
Choose your pillow carefully. Have you ever woken up with a crick neck when camping? So, choose a compressible pillow that cradles your head comfortably. Many blow-up cushions don't provide side support and allow your head to roll at night. Single bladder Blow-up pillows get very cold because the air inside the pillow reaches the ambient temperature of the night air and freezes your head, nothing worse!
Consider where you sleep. Will you sleep in a tent, in a bivi bag or on the ground in the open? Some tactical situations demand a bed in the dirt, so your sleeping bag must be as tough as your sleeping environment. Sleeping with boots on will destroy a bag not designed for boots-on sleeping.
JustGoodKit sells a range of top-quality tactical sleeping systems, including the mat, bivi bags and sleeping bags. Check them out at the JustGoodKit online store.