Sleeping bag - choose by weight, filling, shape, size or heat retention

How To Choose A Sleeping Bag?

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An outdoor sleeping bag is available in many varieties and while choosing one for your outdoor trips, you need to keep a lot of factors in mind. Some bags have double insulated layers to protect you from the cold climate and keep you warm and protected. Others are only meant to protect from unwanted animals, while also being very light-in-weight. Different bags are meant for overnight train travels, mountaineering or hiking trips or plain outdoor camping fun.

How To Choose A Sleeping Bag?
How To Choose A Sleeping Bag?

Pay Attention To These Features While Selecting Your Outdoor Sleeping Bag


Some bags are available in standard sizes. These can contain a fully-grown up man easily. There are other smaller sizes available too for shorter men or women. Women bags are generally wider at the hip area and come with extra insulation.

Temperature Ratings

All sleeping bags have a gauge for temperature control. Go in for the comfort level option as it is ideal. Every person feels hot or cold differently and so, you should see the comfort guide to know your sleeping bag’s limitations.


An ideal bag will have less weight and good warmth. It should also be small in size and easily get folded to fit in your luggage. The heavier the weight, the tougher it gets for you to carry your bags around while hiking, biking or mountaineering.


Get bags that have two-way zipper closures, so that you can sometimes leave a small opening at the feet to let some air in. Look for sturdy zippers that easily zip open and close.

How To Choose A Sleeping Bag?
How To Choose A Sleeping Bag?


Get bags that are rectangular or have the typical ‘mummy shape.’ You get more space in a rectangular bag and it can easily be unzipped to make a duvet. A mummy-shaped bag fits snugly and is better to make you feel warm and secure.


Sleeping bags have two kinds of insulation, made with down or synthetic. The bags with down insulation offer better heat retention and warmth and are also very light-in-weight. The down is either collected from goose or ducks. These bags are better in trapping warm air but are also costlier. The bags made from synthetic insulation are tough to pack away into a small bundle. Although they do provide ample heat and also provide warmth on getting wet, they can also be bulky. These are cheaper and heavier in weight too.

Other Features

You can also buy a sleeping bag with external features like an added torch, mosquito-net or the function of transforming into a jacket. You should select your sleeping bag as per your requirements and budget.

All these factors should be kept in mind while selecting a sleeping bag. Some bags have a polyester covering on the outside and a down filling on the inside. These bags do not get dirty easily and yet are very light-in-weight. If you are an adventure freak and love to go for camping trips, you can have two or more kinds of sleeping bags with you and always carry the one most suitable for the terrain you are camping in.

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