Sleeping Bags: Selection Criteria

Todo that that mountain you like sooner or later it will end up sleeping in it, and therefore buying a sleeping bag. When it comes that moment assail us lots of the questions: what kind of bag do I need?, with a – 5 ° C it will be enough or I asaré like a chicken?, what are the differences between feathers and fiber?, what is that of “600 cuin”?, etc.

To address these and other questions will explain what are the criteria to consider when choosing a sleeping bag.

Use of the sleeping bag
As to choose any other material, the first thing to note is the use we are going to give you: Camping, Trekking, mid-mountain, high mountain… Here are the main types of bags:

Sleeping bag for Camping: are ideal for temperatures around 15 ° C, and for use in tent. And mostly the inner liner is flannel, which gives a pleasant feeling. They have a rectangular shape and do not have an adjustable hood in the header. They are generally bigger and heavier than 2 kg, since no matter who goes camping charge slightly more than weight. And the selection options of flannel sleeping bags are huge in Pimasleepingbags.

Sleeping bag for Trekking: this type of bag cover ranges of temperature between – 5 ° C and 10 ° C, it is important that they are size and reduced weight, since in Trekking the effort must optimize to the maximum. They are usually Mummy and having no corners will minimize heat loss. Also have adjustable hoods to protect from the cold.

Sleeping mountain: cover ranges of temperature below – 5 ° C, reaching some feather bags up to – 40 ° C. Like Trekking bags, these are Mummy type. The difference is that they have greater weight and volume than the previous ones, since they must cover temperature ranges more extreme. Bags of synthetic fiber for dry and wet environments, are recommended as feather-filled sacks are recommended only for dry environments (because the wet pen loses thermal insulation and in high mountain environment tends to be quite wet).

A determining factor to keep in mind during the election according to the use that we are going to give the sack is the weight and volume. We can not go to do trekking with a sack of 15 L and 2 Kg occupying half backpack.

The materials with which the bag is made are that will determine their ability to retain heat, therefore it is the most important aspect to consider when choosing a bag. They also will depend on the price.

1. filling materials
Its function is the storage of the heat given off by the body and keep it trapped. As for the filling, there are 2 types:

Pen: is a natural product of unquestionable performance. The advantages are that it is very light, is low-volume and has great ability to keep warm. As disadvantages has the price (are more expensive bags), that isothermal capacity is severely diminished and it takes much to dry in wet conditions. The quality of pen is expressed in the mixture of the amount of % % feather and down. A saco sleeping with 90/10 down is better than a 80/20. The filling quantity is a key factor to deterundermine the temperature which will support the SAC, this expresses itself in cuin (cubic inches) so there are 3 ranges of bags: around 400 cuin, around 500-600 and above 700.
Synthetic fiber: wet fiber offers great advantages over the pen, because it works just as well as in dry environments, also dries quickly and is much cheaper. The cons are the weight and the volume of transport. As with the feathers on these sacs must take into account the amount of filling; Remember that any fiber of less than 1Kg bag is a bag of summer and for use in tent or shelter, whatever they say vendors and/or catalogues.

If you want a sleeping bag for general use it is more recommended one of synthetic fibres, because it is both humid and dry climates. Although if you are looking for is a good bag, warm and sleep to taste above all else, it is best one feather.

2. materials of tissue
This aspect tends to be forgotten when choosing a bag, but it is one of the points that we must bear in mind. A very lightweight fabric will obviously be more light, but if it is too fine feathers crossing it, also will be a tissue much more delicate and less resistant (is true that it is your responsibility as a user the take good care of it, and if you do it properly, the fact that the fabric is fine should not assume a drawback). In addition a fine fabric tends to be not very resistant to moisture, although it allows faster drying and a better evacuation of our sweat.

The SAC measures is one of the points to take into account, not only for sleeping comfort, but because 30% of the isothermal bag capacity depends on it.
Free space remaining within the SAC will be air that will act as an insulator; This air will help keep the temperature inside the same bag which makes the air between the feathers or fibers of the filling.
It is important that the bag is not very wide or very narrow, but will lose a large part of their properties. If it is very wide we will not be able to heat the air of dead space and if it is too tight will not have air that we insulate from the outside. It should be a little bit of freedom movements within the SAC.

Other construction details
Zip: it is important that they can open in both directions (up and down) to be able to aerate feet when it is too hot at night. Zippers should not constitute a weak point in terms of the isolation of a sack, so must cover is con bands protective benefits more or less according to the claims of each SAC. Normally one brand bags used similar zippers, and it is possible to join them including.
Insulating collar: Sleeping bags designed for temperatures below – 5 ° C, an insulating collar is essential to prevent heat loss by convection, mostly from the back. It is important that it be closed by means of a string or some similar means.
Hood: If the bag is for summer no matter that the hood is large and wide, but if it is for low temperatures (below 0 ° c) must be adjusted and be preformed. Remember that a significant percentage of body heat is lost by the head.

How much money do you have?
If the money does not reach you to a sleeping bag that it meets all your requirements, decide which is the most important factor: cold, be comfortable, use little space, carry little weight.
Here are a few examples to understand the differences:
Bags for the same temperature 10 ° C:

  • Fiber sleeping bag (Vaude Kiowa ultralight 235): price €100, weight 1, 200 gr., volume 5L, temperature 10 ° C
  • Pen bag (Marmot Arete regular): price €179, weight 680 g, volume 3L, temperature 10 ° C

Bags with the same weight 1,300 g
Fiber sleeping bag (Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 15): €199, weight 1.300 gr, Volume 9 L, temperature 0 ° C

  • Pen SAC (Diamir Uli Bayo): € 295, weight 1.300 gr, volume 5L, temperature – 7 ° C

When you do an outdoor activity the quality of sleep will be a crucial element that will condition your performance, the energy that you have throughout the day and the mood that you perish it. Therefore the choice of sleeping bag should ponder it carefully and spare no expense, there are always people who regrets not having spent a little more or have not caught “that another bag” during a night on the mountain.
Before the purchase of a bag, not mend in expenses. The dream is sacred!

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