Sleeping bags serve a variety of purposes. When you need to take a call about the kind of sleeping bag that is the best fit for you, you need to consider several factors. First of all, the purpose of the sleeping bag. Whether you require it for an adventure like trekking or camping, and in this category itself, you might have to consider different seasons. Among these, you may have to find bags based on the temperature range in the region and the size of the bag. Whether you are an adult or a child may also come into play—finally, the most important of all, the price. Quality and price may not always go hand in hand. It is essential to find the bag for the best budget that strikes the right balance between price and quality.
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Types Of Sleeping Bags
As mentioned earlier, sleeping bags come in a variety of shapes, sizes, texture, and even material to cater to different kinds of weather. Whether you are a boisterous child who seeks adventure or an adult who intends to take up trekking, there are various kinds of sleeping bags to cater to your needs.
Based On Shape
Every user has a different set of expectations from a sleeping bag. Some circumstances may demand ease of access and transport while some journeys may require more rugged and insulated bags. While these may be harder to transport, they are a lot more efficient in serving the primary need of a sleeping bag, which is ensuring enough warmth. However, the bigger the bag, the harder it is for it to be insulated. The following categories encompass the various kinds of sleeping bags based on shape.
Rectangular Sleeping Bag
As the name suggests, this bag is rectangular. The broader dimensions are suitable for people with more significant proportions. Some of them can even accommodate two people, thereby making them an excellent choice for couples. However, the larger dimensions result in wasted space, leading to comparatively lesser heat retention. Generally, for extremely colder climates, a more compact bag should be chosen.
Mummy Sleeping Bag
True to its name, the Mummy Sleeping Bag resembles the shape of a Mummy, with a wide top, which then narrows down at the feet. Since human feet are prone to maximum heat loss when compared to any other body part, the absence of a zipper near the feet allows for better insulation. As a consequence, the Mummy Sleeping Bag makes a great fit for outdoor activities.
Semi Rectangular Or Barrel Shaped Sleeping Bag
It falls somewhere between the mummy-shaped and the rectangular-shaped sleeping bags. It strikes the right balance between legroom and heat retention. The bag is tapered at one end, similar to the mummy-shaped sleeping bag but not narrow enough, to accommodate for more legroom. It provides enough warmth for a comfortable sleep.
Double-Wide Sleeping Bag
These are designed to accommodate couples and are an extension of the rectangular-shaped sleeping bags. Most double-wide sleeping bags have a partition that divides them into two single sleeping bags.
Body-Shaped Sleeping Bag
The body-shaped sleeping bag mostly looks like a coverall. It performs the dual role of both a sleeping bag and a full-body jacket. It is primarily designed for mobility. Finding the right size may be a problem unless the manufacturer accommodates for all possible dimensions.
Pod Shaped (Jumbo) Sleeping Bag
The pod-shaped sleeping bag is designed for people who twist and turn around a lot during their sleep. It provides enough wiggle room, thus ensuring a good night’s rest. However, the extra room might create problems with insulation. Hence, it is not the right choice for icy climates.
Gender And Age-Specific Shapes
From a biological perspective, women and children have slightly different requirements from a sleeping bag. A lower metabolic rate in women results in them producing lesser heat, thereby making them feel colder than men, on average.
Women’s Sleeping Bags
For the reasons mentioned above, women’s bags ought to have better insulation. Also, to better suit the female body structure, the bags are generally made wide at the hips and narrower at the shoulders.
Children’s Sleeping Bags
Ideally, sleeping bags for children should be light in size and easy to pack. Children generally prefer to sleep with as many pillows as possible. Look for bags that have pockets large enough to fit in an extra pillow or two to ensure that your child gets the best possible sleep.
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Based On Temperature Rating
It is essential to gather information about the temperatures of the destination as well as the kind of clothes you are going to wear to ensure that the sleeping bag does not become uncomfortable. Moreover, some people are more sensitive to cold than others. This also needs to be factored in. The temperature rating can be categorised as follows.
The comfort temperature is the temperature at which the average woman(cold sleeper) will feel comfortable and get a good night’s rest in a rolled-up position.
The limit temperature is the temperature at which the average adult male(warm sleeper) can afford a comfortable and good night’s rest in a rolled-up position. It is lower than the comfort temperature.
The extreme temperature is the lowest temperature which is barely sufficient to keep the occupant alive. It is lower than the limit temperature.
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Review- Best Sleeping Bags
The rectangular-shaped sleeping bag offered by Naturehike is a budget-friendly product priced at under 8000. It makes for an excellent purchase for medium to tall people as it can accommodate people as tall as 6’2’’. Its polyester finish makes it water-resistant. The slightly warmer temperature rating makes it useful mainly for trekking and camping in summer, spring, autumn and mild winters.
The Coleman Pathfinder is a mummy shaped sleeping bag targeting the sub 5000 price point. It is predominantly made out of polyester, which makes it water-resistant but not waterproof. With its ability to withstand temperatures as low as negative eighteen degrees and accommodate very tall people, it is one of the best bags for low temperatures and high-altitude trekking.
Another sleeping bag by Coleman, the rectangular-shaped Coleman Atlantic offers a zipper at the bottom for extra ventilation during warmer nights. People as tall as 5’11’’ will find this comfortable. With a temperature rating of 4 to 8 degrees Celsius, it supports moderately cold temperatures. It makes for a great companion in high altitudes with moderate temperatures.
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The rectangle-shaped Rocksport Outdoors Sleeping Bag is one of the best budget sleeping bags in the market. With a price point of under 1500 and its lightweight and water-repellant nature, it is a great buy. It can also accommodate people as tall as 6’2’’. However, it only supports temperatures above eight degrees and is, therefore, more suitable for low-altitude treks and camping on flatlands.
An offering by the Trajectory brand, the mummy-shaped Bonfire sleeping bag is made to ensure a good night’s rest after a tiring day of hiking or trekking. At a price point of under 1500 and temperature rating of above fifteen degrees, it is one of the best budget sleeping bags for camping. It also comes with built-in pockets for wallets and phones. It also supports people as tall as 6’4’’ and works well for all seasons except extreme winter.
The rectangular-shaped REDEEM Sleeping Bag is one of the best for outdoor camping. The price point is under 2000. The polyester material used ensures it is lightweight. It supports people as tall as 5’11’’. The product also comes with a one-year warranty.
The Lyrovo Sleeping Bag is another mummy-shaped sleeping bag priced at under 1500. With an extreme temperature rating of 0℃ to 5℃, this waterproof bag is an excellent purchase for camping, hiking and trekking. It also comes with an anti-snag zipper. It can also comfortably accommodate people well over six feet.
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Another offering by Kefi, the rectangular-shaped Sleepmate Army Sleeping bag weighs around 1.6 kgs. Its polyester material makes it water-resistant but not waterproof. With a temperature rating of ten degrees below zero, it is suitable for extremely cold temperatures. It supports adults as tall as 6’6’’. With a price tag under 2000, it is a decently priced and budget-friendly bag. The primary difference between it and the other Kefi product mentioned above is its use-case(extremely cold weather).
Trajectory Sleeping Bag provides 2 years warranty against manufacturing defects. This sleeping bag is made up of breathable fabric, is anti-allergic and hand stitched with perfection giving you the best experience of any sleeping bag available. At a price point of under 1500, it is an extremely budget-friendly bag.
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Last but not least is the mummy-shaped sleeping bag offered by RhinoKraft. At a slightly heavier weight of 1.8 kilograms and non-waterproof nature but with a budget-friendly price of under 2000, it makes an excellent trekking and camping companion at temperatures above zero degrees.
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Best Brands In India – Sleeping Bags
The Indian market offers a wide variety of sleeping bag brands to choose from. It is always a safer bet to purchase from a big brand than a relatively unknown brand. Another added advantage of a big brand is that you can rest assured that if your product is defective, it will be replaced. The following are the top-selling sleeping bag brands in India.
Wildcraft is a behemoth in manufacturing bags for a variety of purposes, including camping sleeping bags for adults. They offer sleeping bags for camping, trekking and backpacking. Their bags are generally geared towards temperate regions. The lowest limit temperature their bags caters to is 10°C. Most of their bags, however, cater to the 10-20 °C temperature range. By targeting the sub 3000 price point, they produce good budget-friendly sleeping bags.
Coleman is another brand that manufactures outdoor recreational products with a particular focus on camping gear. They’re one of the best sleeping bag companies in India. They produce sleeping bags for a wide variety of temperatures from as low as eighteen degrees below zero to bags suitable for temperate climates. With a lightweight and slightly heavier options, they serve both your camping and trekking needs. They have shapes ranging from the mummy sleeping bag to rectangular and barrel-shaped as well.
Quechua From Decathlon
Decathlon boasts of an exquisite line up of camping and trekking gear. The Quechua sleeping bag line up of sleeping bags is one such product. They cater to every price segment, producing sleeping bags at the sub thousand rupees price point to more premium bags upwards of ten thousand rupees. They cover a wide variety of shapes, including the rectangular, tapered rectangular and mummy-shaped sleeping bags. With lightweight products to boost their line-up, they are sure to fulfil your camping and trekking needs.
Hanumex is another company which produces good adult sleeping bags. Their sleeping bag line-up has only one product, that is especially suitable for temperate climates and not sub-zero conditions. The price point falls within the budget category.
Kefi Outdoors is a brand that produces a wide variety of products for outdoor activities. Their sleeping bags cater to both the extreme sub-zero temperatures and moderate climates. Their products are geared towards both outdoor camping and trekking. You can be sure to find a product that meets your specific requirements.
Mount Craft is another popular brand that produces gear for outdoor activities. With products from backpacks and sleeping bags to outdoor camping gear, they manufacture it all. They make sleeping bags with a wide variety of shapes and sizes and cater to both extreme and mild temperatures.
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Buying Guide – Sleeping Bags
There are several factors you have to consider while buying a sleeping bag. From the ease of transportation to the price and compactness, numerous factors have to be taken into account. The following are some of the most important factors.
Choosing a sleeping bag meant for temperate climates on a Himalaya expedition at sub-zero freezing temperatures does not make any sense whatsoever. Most manufacturers produce sleeping bags specific to a certain temperature range. Camping in a forest may require a very different bag from camping on Mt. Everest. Therefore, it is essential to choose the right sleeping bag after adequately researching the temperature range in the region one wishes to visit.
Whether you are a daring adventurer who loves the pitfalls that come with rain or an unlucky backpacker, it is better to be safe than sorry. It is always better to choose a water-resistant bag even if there is only a slight chance of precipitation in the area. Some bags which are made of wool are inherently water repellent and may suffice for regions with mild rainfall. Whereas for regions with more heavy rain, it makes more sense to purchase a sleeping bag with a proper waterproofing laminate.
Easy To Carry
Outdoor activities like backpacking and trekking need easily transportable bags. You do not need the extra headache of worrying about your sleeping bag. Pick a sleeping bag that has straps so that it can be easily attached to your backpack. For milder climates, pick lighter bags to reduce the overall load. It also makes sense to purchase a stuff bag if the manufacturer does not provide one as it makes the sleeping bag more comfortable to carry.
Ultimately, all roads lead to the price. You need to first figure out the upper bound of your budget. A cheaper sleeping bag will have a few trade-offs with some more important than others. Make sure you understand why the sleeping bag is less expensive than its competitors and take a decision whether you can afford the trade-off. For example, you cannot compromise on the material of the bag if you are visiting colder climates. On the other end of the spectrum, you can choose a slightly heavier bag if you are camping on flat land in exchange for a lower price.
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Sleeping Bags – Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re a first-time or long-time purchaser of sleeping bags, a lot of questions arise during the purchase of sleeping bags. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Do Sleeping Bags Qualify As A Personal Item Or Hand Luggage In Aeroplanes?
While different airlines may have different policies, as a general rule of thumb, it is advisable to pack the sleeping bag in a backpack or attach it to the top or bottom of the backpack.
Can Sleeping Bags Be Washed?
It depends on the manufacturer. Most likely, this information is available as a label on the sleeping bag. As a general rule, it is advisable to first shake the sleeping bag of any lingering dirt and let it dry out in the sun for a while. Front-loader washing machines are preferable when compared to the traditional top-loader as the top-loader can damage the insulation.
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How To Attach A Sleeping Bag To A Backpack?
There are several ways to accomplish this, depending on the design of the backpack you use. If your backpack has loops and the sleeping bag has straps, simply connect the two and tighten it until the sleeping bag is secure in place. If your backpack does not have loops or your sleeping bag does not have straps, you can purchase twine or some other wrapping material and wrap it around the sleeping bag and backpack.
Sleeping bags vs blankets for camping?
Sleeping bags are not the only option for camping. If you decide to camp in a relatively warmer region, sleeping bags might make you uncomfortable. Blankets seem a viable option. You can wear clothes suitable for the climate and use the blanket as a material to sleep on.
Can You Wear Sleeping Bags?
Yes. There are certain kinds of sleeping bags designed for mobility to be worn on top of your clothes. They come under the body-shaped sleeping bag category.
Is A Waterproof Sleeping Bag Necessary?
If you plan to visit a region with rainfall, a waterproof sleeping bag is necessary. Waterproof sleeping bags, in most cases, come with a waterproof laminate. They are also generally more expensive than their non-waterproof counterparts. In some cases, the material used for the bag is inherently a water repellent. Wool, for example, repels water and resists compression but it is slightly heavier. Cotton, on the other hand, loses its insulation capabilities when it becomes wet. For shorter journeys and drier regions, cotton sleeping bags are a better choice as they are relatively cheaper. For more humid areas, it is a must to go for a waterproof sleeping bag.
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How To Pack A Sleeping Bag?
Most sleeping bag manufacturers provide a stuff bag. This makes carrying it more comfortable. The easiest way to pack it is to roll it and place it inside the stuff bag. It is advisable to buy a stuff bag if the manufacturer does not provide one.
How To Select The Right Temperature Sleeping Bag?
It is better to choose a sleeping bag that is rated a bit lower than the lowest temperature you would encounter on your trip.
What Materials Are Sleeping Bags Made Up Of?
Nylon, Polyester and taffeta are the most commonly used materials in a sleeping bag. Other materials include Fleece which is more widely used for extremely cold temperatures.
Can You Get Sleeping Bags Without Hoods?
Yes, you can get sleeping bags without hoods.
How To Carry Sleeping Bags?
You can stuff the sleeping bag inside your backpack or in a stuff bag. The stuff bag can then be attached to your backpack at the top or bottom or even carried separately. It is generally advisable to strap it to your backpack instead of carrying it separately as it frees up your hands.
Why Are Sleeping Bags Important?
The primary use of a sleeping bag is to provide enough thermal insulation to its occupant. For extremely cold climates, the compact nature enhances the much-required warmth. For moderate temperatures, lighter materials can be used as cosiness is much more important than warmth.
Can You Get Sleeping Bags With Pillows?
Generally, sleeping bags only come with pillowcases and not pillows themselves as it makes them tougher to pack. The ideal pillow to carry on a trekking or camping trip is the inflatable pillow as it is effortless to pack and can be inflated as and when required.
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Several factors have to be considered while purchasing a sleeping bag. Hiking the Mt. Everest may require a very different sleeping bag from camping in Ooty. However, for most people, a sleeping bag which is priced decently and can satisfy many circumstances, albeit not completely, is more than enough. Keeping this view in mind, the Kefi Outdoor Sleeping Bag is one bag that would meet a majority of the constraints. With stellar reviews and being a lightweight, budget-friendly and waterproof sleeping bag, it satisfies most of what is expected from a sleeping bag.
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