ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Buy a Sleeping Bag

Updated on March 28, 2017
jimmyglaughlin profile image

I love the outdoors and camping is one of my favorite things to do. I have been going camping for over 30 years, I know my gear.

Semi-rectangular | Source

First and foremost, as the name implies, we buy a sleeping bag to sleep in, but there are other factors to be considered before making a purchase. Not just for comfort, sleeping bags are designed with our safety in mind also. Before you buy, think about what you will be using it for whether it's car camping, winter camping, wilderness camping, tent camping or even hardcore on the side of a mountain camping. Consider the sleeping bag one of the most important purchases you will ever make for your camping lifestyle.

If money is no object, then perhaps you could buy multiple sleeping bags for all weather conditions. If money is an object, then a little research will go a long way.

Temperature Rating

Sleeping bags have temperature ratings that identifies the lowest temperature at which a bag is meant to keep an average sleeper warm. Keep in mind, that these ratings are based on the idea that you will be wearing long underwear to bed and not directly on the ground, but using a sleeping pad under the bag. To be even more comfortable, wearing an extra layer of clothing, good quality wool socks and perhaps a cap on your head would do nicely. Of course, everyone is different, some sleep cool, some sleep hot. The temperature ratings are not an exact science, but are meant to give you a good idea how they will work in certain weather conditions.

Generally sleeping bags come with these ratings:

  • Summer bag- +35 degrees and higher
  • 3-Season- +10 to 35 degrees
  • Winter- +10 degrees and lower

When picking a bag for purchase always leave an extra temperature cushion, go a little lower, better safe than sorry.

Mummy sleeping bag
Mummy sleeping bag | Source

Sleeping Bag Shapes

Sleeping bags are also divided by shape, these are the top 4 shapes:

  • Rectangular- Just as the name implies, a long rectangular shape, providing the same space for the feet and chest area.
  • Semi-rectangular- Moderately snug around the feet, opens up towards chest area.
  • Mummy- A favorite among campers, this shape provides a snug fit around the feet and widens up around the chest area.
  • Double Wide- This is designed with enough space for 2 people.

Types of Fill

Sleeping bags keep you warm because of the fill that they have inside that insulates you from the outside environment. It traps body heat inside the bag and prevents the exchange of warm and cold air. There are basically two types of fill, natural and synthetic. Within those two types we then have to decide on how much fill we want, loft, what type of synthetic and if we want waterproof or not.

  • Natural fill- Down is used in sleeping bags and is an excellent choice and is the most efficient type of insulation. The warmth to weight ratio is very high and can compress into a very small space making it great to carry while hiking. With proper care, a down fill sleeping bag will last a long time.The downside of down fill is that it is expensive and once it gets wet it loses its insulation value and takes a long time to dry out. You can buy it with a water repellent called DWR that helps it when wet to keep its insulation value.
  • Synthetic- There many types of synthetic fill and some are actually the same just named differently by sleeping bag makers. Synthetic fill is going to have a slightly higher warmth to weight ratio, but as technology advances the weight goes down. It is non-allergenic, keep their warmth value better when wet and are lower priced than down. Most sleeping bag makers claim their fill is best, but they are all good, you may want to compare pros and cons between the individual types of synthetic fill.


Sleeping bags also have a wide price range, anywhere from a big box sale price of $10 all the way up to $1120 or perhaps even higher. Of note, the higher price of the sleeping bag does not correlate with quality. If budget is a concern there are many bags under $100 that might fit your needs. As with most things we buy, brand names tend to be higher in price for what you get.

Once you have decided between natural or synthetic, price, shape and what temperature rating you require you can proceed with picking out a bag you want to buy. The only other thing you need to decide is what color you want and get a great night sleep.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)