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3 Keys That You Have to Keep in Mind to Choose a Sleeping Bag
Last Updated on July 12, 2020
Here we summarize the main standards and recommendations for choosing an ideal sleeping bag for those trips to the mountain, considering the different factors that you must take into account, as well as include some tips that can make things easier for you.
Of course, there is no perfect sleeping bag, since the ideal option varies according to the characteristics of the person, as well as the climatic factors and the type of trip; although here we do a review of the essential factors to take into account to try to find the best formula.
1. The Temperature
One of the most important points of a sleeping bag is its ability to keep us warm (if it is cold) or cool (if it is hot) during the night, which is not only a matter of comfort but can even be an issue of survival.
There are different measurements, some types of sleeping bags may have one or another standard to define this, the main ones being the following:
European Standard 13537 (EN for its acronym in English)
This was a method designed to be able to independently measure the temperature level that allows conserving a sleeping bag model, particularly under specific conditions inside a thermal chamber, seeking to replicate the environmental conditions.
It is determined considering the lowest temperature that a woman can have to spend a night comfortably; being the average, the thermal sensation of a woman of 25 years, 60 kg of weight, and 1.6 m of height. That is, it protects well while being at about -2º C.
This indicator refers to the same terms of the “Comfort” type, although depending on the sensation of a man of the same age, 70 kg, and 1.73 m in height. In generic terms, it represents a resistance to pass the night well, even when it is around -8.1º C outside.
This type of sleeping bag liner is not recommended for an exit in normal conditions, because it could be too heavy for the occasion, although they are designed so that a woman of the same average conditions, does not suffer from hypothermia, even being about -26, 3º C.
There is also another type that is not always considered in some models, but that is equivalent to the highest temperature that an average man can pass without having sweat and heat, even having the hood, closures, and arms out of the bag.
It should be pointed out that these standards are only approximate recommendations, since sensations can vary a lot from one person to another, so it is best to gradually familiarize yourself with the type of protection that might be appropriate for you; Although of course, it will always be a problem easier to solve, to have some heat, than to go too cold.
This is another temperature indicator, which seeks to define a standard according to the time of year:
It refers to models that allow you to stay cool and sleep comfortably at temperatures of 0º C or more.
This system, designed to be efficient for most of the year, is designed to protect well between -12º to 0º C.
In this case, this is where there is greater protection, being efficient for temperatures of less than -12ºC.
Another important factor to consider is the material or materials that make up our sleeping bag, the main ones being the following:
Sleeping bags of duck and goose feathers are common, on average they are more expensive, although many prefer them because they are very light and capable of being reduced to small spaces.
They are also very comfortable particularly in dry and very cold conditions; however, they involve certain ethical disadvantages due to animal abuse, although this also efforts have been made to present more socially responsible alternatives.
This type of sleeping bag are normally polyester, and they stand out for being more economical, as well as hypoallergenic, and they can keep you isolated even if they get wet.
In the same way, they also dry faster and on average tend to have a longer duration; although they can vary greatly in comfort, depending on the quality of the materials and the manufacturing process.
3. Type and Size
Similarly, it is convenient to check other factors beforehand, such as the weight and dimensions of the product. Moreover, if you practice hiking, and you can spend several hours walking with a backpack and sleeping bag, it will be convenient to look for light alternatives that occupy as little space as possible when they are stored.
Although they also import their extended dimensions, since something too tight could be uncomfortable to sleep, even more, if you are someone who moves a lot at night, and instead something too loose could increase the cold and protect you in a scant way.
Most sleeping bags have that characteristic mummy-like shape; It is convenient to verify the measurements for the shoulders and hips, which are included in the description of most models.
There are also others with a rectangular shape, which are convenient for those who tend to stretch or move their feet a lot while they sleep. Keep in mind that this type of bag is not suitable for cold environments since the loss and maintenance of heat are much lower.
In the same way, there are some sleeping bags for couples, although there are also some models designed to be individual, and with the option of joining to form a larger one that protects 2 people, although in this case you must make sure you have the opposite parts compatible for optimal performance.
Taking into account the hood and the collar is also important, as it will be convenient to verify that they have sufficient dimension, according to the type of pillow that is most comfortable for you to sleep; although of course these details can also be corrected externally.
If you usually travel to warm places, we also recommend those models with the long closing, so you can open it enough for freshness.
Also, it may be convenient that your sleeping bag has some other advantages such as a bag to move it, laces to make different types of adjustment, pockets, pad, or the protection that some have behind the closure to prevent heat from escaping.
Likewise, we recommend you to check beforehand opinions about the model of your interest, in addition to previously informing you of the weather conditions for the days of adventure, and thus be sure always to choose the best option.
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