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The Right Sleeping Bag

Updated on March 13, 2010

Which One to Buy

Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, The North Face, Sierra Designs, Wiggy’s—which one is the best sleeping bag? The best in many ways is like the best meal. It all depends on your taste and preferences. The type of use can be one of the largest factors in deciding on which one to purchase. I have used most all of them and they all have great characteristics. Consider a couple different ones.

Wiggy’s is a lesser known brand. They make some for extreme temperatures that are hard to find in other brands. They are very tough and durable and will probably outlast any other out there. They are filled with what they call Lamilite insulation which is great for wet conditions. If you are going on a kayaking expedition, in Prince William Sound, Alaska in the middle of winter, maybe it would be a good choice. However, after this being said they lack many features that are found in other brands. They have great temperature ratings, but side by side to another brand, they are not as warm. After using their 0 degree bag and then a negative five degree TNF bag, The North Face was much, much warmer than five degrees different. The Wiggy’s would be closer compared to a 10-20 degree. Also, they don’t have features like drawstrings, draft collars, compartments to put your jacket in and make a pillow, watch pockets, etc.

The North Face makes some good bags with some nice features. After owning one, and using the extra features that make it easier to use, the small things add up and I don’t think I would like to do without them again. The insulation is well proportioned and stays in place. They pack smaller, are lighter, more user friendly, and all around a better value. This same scenario goes for other brands, like Sierra Designs and Marmot. The technical features of all brands and bags out there are important to consider and in the end finding one that has the most for the right temperature range and the right type of insulation for the conditions is what matters most. If you are camping in wet areas where it is a good possibility that it may get wet, stick to the synthetics, otherwise, down is definitely the best. Even if you may feel that there is a possibility for wet conditions, down is still the way to go. It is so much warmer for the weight it is can’t be compared. It is more comfortable because of the breathability and therefore, you can use the sleeping bag for a wider temperature range.

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