Choosing a Sleeping Bag for Backpacking

By: camillebrion

Hiking, good quality sleep is essential to recover well and take full advantage of his trip. So to avoid spending your nights in a fetal position in permanent search of a few degrees, do not choose your sleeping bag lightly. Rémy Flörchinger, mountain guide at Allibert Trekking for 15 years, explains the constraints to be taken into account.

How to choose a sleeping bag?

Buy a sleeping bag is an investment, so it is wise to buy a sleeping bag that can be used in all circumstances: a bag announcing comfort temperatures between-5 ° C-10 ° C is generally a good choice. We can adapt to different situations, opening it if it’s warmer and completing it with accessories it is colder.

What are the useful accessories to increase comfort of her bag?

You can easily earn up to 7 ° C by opting for a “sleeping bag” fleece or technical fiber, depending on your destination or your resistance to cold.
A self-inflating mattress will also allow you to better insulate you from moisture and freshness of the ground, knowing that a ¾ size is usually enough because the head can rest on a bag and legs need less protection than the rest of the body.

If the cold, you can add an outer bag whose breathable and insulating membranes allow to gain a few degrees while repelling moisture without choking sensation. With one, the other or all of these accessories help you customize your sleeping space without excessive clutter and without multiplying purchases. Finally, the storage of the bag should be in the cover provided for this purpose, that is to say, not compressed.

Are the clothes useful to further increase thermal comfort?

Depending on conditions, they can actually be helpful, but be careful not to multiply the layers! A sleeping bag protects from the cold thanks to the volume of air trapped in the blanket. If you reduce the volume of air in the down occupying too much space with clothes, often takes longer to warm warmly dressed a little naked! Choose a cap or hood to protect the head and, really very cold, choose the balaclava to avoid frostbite nose could spoil the night and after your trip.

Down and synthetic fiber are they worth?

Down is the best known insulator, and so far no synthetic fiber only managed to compete. Light and warm, it is now effectively treated against moisture, compacts without deterioration, and bags that are filled have a longer lifespan… Left to invest as much focus on quality!

The Backpacking Sleeping Bag as she really surpasses the coverage form?

The backpacking sleeping bag is now essential for trekking and hiking: it is less bulky and especially more effective than blanket form, permanently reserved for camping.

How to choose the locking system?

Depending on the model, sleeping bags have outer or inner flaps or both closures. I advise the bags two devices optimize heat when cold while having the ability to modulate the comfort depending on conditions. The presence of these two flaps also avoids the use of the hood, some hikers feel uncomfortable, while maintaining body heat inside the bag.

What is the ideal size for a sleeping bag?

Neither too big nor too small! If it is too large, you will put more time to warm up, and the heat will tend to dissipate. Do not choose too tight either! If cold, you need a little space to slide various devices to preserve their batteries or a bottle of water to prevent freezing.

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