All About Sleeping Bags

A sleeping bag is something that has been passed down from ages. From the time of the ancient Greeks to the cowboys of the Wild West a sleeping bag was an essential requirement. It is a piece of equipment that can be carried by a person who is travelling and needs to spend the night outside his home. Over the years the rough and ready beddings have been replaced by sophisticated sleeping bags that cater to a comfortable night’s sleep while on the road, on a trek or climbing a mountain. It is basically a piece of equipment that has a use when you are outdoors and away from home.

Modern sleeping bags have an elongated shape. They have an opening on one side for the user to enter. Their primary purpose is to provide the user a good night’s sleep and rest. It gives protection against the weather. The sleeping bag has a padding to give a cushioning effect. The best part is that it can be folded into a compact piece for ease of carriage.

Generally there are two types of sleeping bags. First we have the basic sleeping bag with a zipper on 3 sides. The user just unzips the bag and gets inside. Once inside the user zips up the bag.He is thus ensconced inside. Such a bag suffices for normal temperature conditions but if you are in snow or inclement weather area you will need a tent or bivouac.

Secondly we have what is termed a mummy bag which as the name suggests is shaped like a mummy. It differs from an ordinary bag in that it does not unzip all the way and opens just on one side.This opening suffices for the owner to squeeze himself inside. This design helps in better temperature control. Mummy bags for Women are also available and they take the contour of a woman’s body which is different from a man.

In the European Union all sleeping bags come under the purview of a standard referred to as EN 13537. This standard that lays down the minimum requirements for sleeping bags that are marketed in the EU. This standard is not mandatory but most manufacturers follow it. The standards lay down four temperature ranges. They are:
a) The bags are supposed to have an upper limit which conforms to the highest temperature the bag can withstand
b) A lower temperature limit correspondingly is the lowest temperature limit that a bag can sustain for its occupant.
c) In addition to this a bag must have a comfort rating as well. This refers to the ability of the bag to provide an adult a comfortable nights rest.
d) The last rating refers to an extreme rating. This rating refers to survival of a man or woman in extreme weather conditions. Its importance is less for normal users.

Sleeping bags use a variety of materials for insulation. Synthetic fill or down and cotton and wool are some of the materials used. Out of these the most common and oldest materials used is Cotton and wool. Wool is good but it will increase the weight of the bag. Cotton on the other hand has high water retention capability and is heavier than wool, but cost wise it is cheap.

Two other filling materials used which have come in later are Synthetic fill and Down. Synthetic fill does not readily absorb water. In addition it dries faster and the best part is that even if wet it will provide a degree of warmth. The importance of this cannot be underestimated as the bag is still usable even if it falls into a running stream or gets wet while a man is on the move. In contrast Down fill weighs less than synthetic and retains heat better, but is much more costly. But the disadvantage is that the bag must be kept absolutely dry. Bear in mind that a wet sleeping bag will not provide much insulation.In that case it could lead to hypothermia. With the advent of new technology more advanced sleeping bags are now being manufactured. These bags have water-resistant shells and wet and damp conditions have no effect on them. But they are costly and can create a hole in your pocket

All sleeping bags once purchased last a fairly long time. Hence while purchasing a sleeping bag you will need to select one carefully. Sleeping bags follow a wide distribution curve as far as pricing is concerned. Opt for one that fits your bill and requirement. michael kors bags sales

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *