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I've only ever owned one sleeping bag, but have used others when staying at friends houses or at school camping trips. The sleeping bag I own is from Eurohike, and was an exclusive sleeping bag bought from Millets, designed by which is not available any more. Sleeping bags from Millets tend to be a better price than from their competitors like Cotswolds, Jack Wolfskin and the North Face. The sleeping bag is an indoor/summer sleeping bag, which when fully unzipped becomes a double sized duvet. It is rectangle shape for versatile use, and rolls up into a cylindrical shape for easy storage. Unfortunately my sleeping bag didn't come with a case as I bought it discounted because they had lost the case. The sleeping bag is filled with polyester, which is why I say it is a summer or indoor sleeping bag, as it is not warm enough to be used in the colder months when camping. I wouldn't really recommend using it during the winter even as an indoor sleeping bag unless you use extra blankets with it or else it gets too cold in the night and you wake up in the morning shivering and miserable. I would also advise buying a sleeping mat, as the sleeping bag is not very thick and the surface you will be sleeping on will feel very hard and you wake up with back ache. As long as you do have a sleeping mat and you use it in the summer or indoors, it is very comfy and I've had no problems with it. The sleeping bag also turns inside out to reveal another pattern, and the zip is reversible so there is no problem with turning the sleeping bag inside out. Its definitely more of a casual sleeping bag, and using it in the winter is not something I would recommend. Its the only sleeping bag I've ever bought, but I've never needed to buy a winter one so I can't really say much about them. A good buy, can be used at sleepovers, camping and as a double blanket at picnics, the beach, etc.
sleeping bags are these pouches that you can open up to crawl inside in sleep in. i actually have 2 at the moment, and have owned around 5 or so. I currently own a ridiculously thick one (i think its designed to be slept in without a tent or something, its so thick!), and a really thin on (more like the average sleeping bag, thin, lightweight etc). they have a load of uses, although originally they are used for camping and sleeping in a tent. however, i use mine for when guests come round, they can sleep in the bed and i sleep in the bag. or they can be useful when moving houses, or even having a spare at work or in the car when you think you might eb caught out by things like snow! depending on its intended use, should dictate the bag you buy! if you want to sleep rough outside, get a nice, thick waterproof bag with face protector. something simple and small for when sleeping in car/office/home, get a thin one that can be cheap and not very collapsible. Going camping, get a thin one that will be more pricey (you ideally want better insulating material) that collapses to a very small size. i am not saying you have to follow these guidelines, i am just saying it is generally easier if you do. the design for most sleeping bags is the zip (and this is where when buying on your should pay careful attention). cheap rubbish bags will have a zip that catches or breaks easily (making the whole thing nothing more than a piece of cloth... i guess it would be quite easy to make your own with some know-how). This zip goes all the way around the bag, so when it is unzipped, it can be opened up. depending on design/cost, some have a different padding material on the inside as well! you simply lie flat, and zip yourself back up! or you can just squeeze yourself in from the "hole" in the top of the bag where you head goes. Another thing to look out for is the inclusive pillow bit. some have a special padded bit where you head goes which is a thicker, so you do not need a pillow. other will just have the head bit with the normal level of padding, and some don't have anything there. look for this when choosing your bag. Another thing to look for is colour (not just for fashion), but if you are taking them as an emergency (some people take them when doing skiing in remote places etc encase they get stuck), get a bright colour, like florescent green (although this never applies to me). Washing sleeping bags is actually quite easy, just stuff them in the washing machine! but note they are quite bulky, so might need a machine to themselves. Finally some bags have more padding on the bit that is towards the floor, others do not. Its up to you if you want the extra weight and bulk for more comfort. Personally i dont, but it might be a factor for you. so to summary, choose your bad dependent on: Use colour headrest/pillow padding thickness cost zip quality Sleeping bags are really useful, and i recommend that everyone has at least one, they are incredibly useful sometimes!
I don't like sleeping bags in general, they irritate me, they don't give be a lot of breathing room, and they are usually as flimsy as some 20gsm paper. Until I discovered for about £30 you can get some pretty decent, high tog bags that don't annoy you.i have used sleeping bags for a number of years, mainly because I have to when camping or something like that, not when there's a premier inn up the road and I deliberately try to stay there. The higher tog sleeping bags are alright, I like them but the thin ones I simply can't stand. I also don't like the ones that say large and then turn out to be a perfect fit for anyone shorter than Richard Hammond because what was the point? You can barely fit your legs in and then that's it, what a waste of money? I will give some positives for the use of sleeping bags though, the thick ones do provide some comfort when sleeping or sitting on rough ground. Jagged rocks or bumpy stones are pretty awful to sit on after about 10 minutes but even if your bag is thin you can double it up to use it as a sort of cushion. Sleeping bags are generally good value for money (when they're the right size) and if you can get one that suits your outdoor conditions then even better. For me personally I like the hardcore arctic conditions sleeping bag for when it gets a bit drizzly outside and that might just be me but I'd rather that and get a good nights sleep than get pneumonia the next morning. In my experience they have been much simpler to live with too. A sleeping bag has a zip, that's it and you can simply was it down if it gets muddy but a pop up bed or inflatable bed needs inflating/bedding, you need to spend ages cleaning it and getting it ready, so I suppose at least these are much easier to use and get set up. Very good if you're in a hurry when it's pouring it down at a music festival.
Ah sleeping bags, my age old enemy. Well, first of all I should start this by saying that sleep is not my friend, I have always had trouble sleeping since I was young. If I'm not in my own bed in my own room then I find it really difficult to sleep. I'm not to bad when I have got used to a new bed or new surroundings, but for those first few nights sleep often proves elusive. One area in life where this is a major problem is camping! I have been going camping since I was a toddler, and I must admit I do really like the idea of it. But when you spend your entire night awake and then feel rough as anything the next day, camping soon loses it appeal. So, I have found one of the keys to a decent nights sleep, by that I mean at least 2 hours, is having the right sleeping bag. I have tried a few different sleeping bags over the years. When I was a kid I had one of the old fashioned ones, pretty bog standard, nothing to fancy, just a zip and that about it. Then in more recent years I purchased a mummy sleeping bag with a low temperature rating, then I also tried a similar sleeping bag with a high temperature rating, which basically meant it would keep me warm in the coldest conditions. Now first of all let me say that the two mummy sleeping bags I tried were both disasters. I must have spent around ten nights in those two bags and I would be surprised if I managed a total of ten hours sleep! The problem I have with these bags is that I sleep on my front, so when I used a mummy sleeping bag I basically end up suffocating myself! I have tried everything to get comfy in there but nothing ever seemed to work. I would basically spend the entire night tossing and turning trying to get comfortable and then basically end up unzipping it half way down and freezing to death. Not a success story. That brings me back to the classic sleeping bag! I actually use my dads old one these days. My friend who I sometimes go camping with looks at me in disgust as he roles out his fancy sleeping back in it's compression sack with it's amazing features and slick design. I just plonk down my old grey sleeping bag from the 1980's! But the fact is these are far more comfy, you can actually move your legs a little inside them and as there is nothing wrapping around your head you can actually sleep. Yes if it is cold I do have to wear my hat and a fleece while I'm led there, but that is a small price to pay for being able to breathe! So overall I would have to say that although sleeping bags have come along way in recent years I still think there is something to be said of the old fashioned ones! They may not be able to keep you warm in temperatures of -20 degrees but at least they are comfortable and reliable. No doubt some of you reading this will have very different views on the whole sleeping bag issue, but in my opinion the classics are the best! Plus I tend to get more than one hours sleep per night when I use them.
Generally being an UNhappy camper, the most important thing for me is that the sleeping arrangements are comfortable. It has to be an airbed and if my sleeping bag isn't just right I know I'm not going to enjoy my 'break' (obviously it's camping so I use that word *very* loosely). The main thing to remember is that you're basically sleeping outdoors so you need warmth. Even in the summer it gets damned chilly at night when you're in a tent and therefore I always look for the thickest option when buying a sleeping bag, a £4.99 jobbie from Tesco isn't going to do it for me so I tend to look in more specialised places like Go Outdoors or Towsure. Obviously this is a very personal thing, Mark doesn't like being too warm at night so he'll happily choose a cheaper sleeping bag - and I hate to be cold, which caused some friction the one and only time we used a double bag! If you buy the right sort of sleeping bag you can zip them together anyway, unfortunately ours aren't compatible so we also take a duvet to throw over us if we're doing the naughties! The double ones are nice when you don't fancy being alone in your sleeping bag, but they're not as warm as individual bags - and you'll find yourself being tugged all over the place if your other half decides to start rolling around in his sleep! The sleeping bag I have at the moment is made by Gelert, it cost around £25 and is a mummy-style bag. I like this type of bag as it covers the whole of the head (excluding the face!) and therefore keeps more heat in. Remember, 30% of your stored heat is lost through the head - keep it covered and warm while taking part in the unnatural exercise of sleeping outside of a house. You can still buy the old style sleeping bag which doesn't cover your head, I don't think these are half as warm as the mummy bags though so can't tell you much about them. Apart from the fact that they are usually blue with an orange lining! Ultimately it's down to you as to which sleeping bag you choose. There are different factors to think about such as whether you're in a tent or a van, the time of year and also where you're going. I'm telling you what I, as a total outdoors-wimp, think about shopping for a sleeping bag. My one piece of advice would be to buy the best sleeping bag you can afford. If you're a seasoned camper you might be happy with the cheaper end of the sleeping bag scale, or then again you might have pushed the boat out and bought a top of the range bag already.
I've owned several sleeping bags over the years, and I personally think of them as being divided into two types - the 'serious' ones and the 'fun' ones. The 'serious' sleeping bags are generally extremely practical, and good for taking on hiking or camping trips. The downside is that they are usually only available in boring camouflage colours, murky browns and greens and greys. You get the odd one or two that are strange colour combinations as well, such as bright orange and navy blue. Then there are the 'fun' sleeping bags, that aren't for serious campers but have fun designs for kids, or brightly coloured designs for extra layers. We bought a sleeping bag from Ikea a few years ago which was lovely shades of blue and green with swirls on it. If you're buying a fun sleeping bag, then the most important things are likely to be the softness and thickness, particularly if they are for guests or pets. If you're buying a serious sleeping bag, then waterproofing, weight and how small it can fold up are likely to be the deciding factors. Even if you're getting a fun sleeping bag, try to buy one which comes with a bag if possible because storage can be a pain as they take up so much space. Most sleeping bags tend to be machine washable, but it's definitely something to check before you buy. Sleeping bags can be bought from a wide range of places - everywhere from Tesco to Amazon to specialist sports shops. If you're a serious camper, you're better off going into a physical shop so you can assess your sleeping bag properly to determine whether or not it's suitable. There are different weights and thicknesses of sleeping bags according to the season/situation in which you wish to use them. Prices also vary considerably; you can expect to pay anything from £10 for a basic bag to a massive £330 and up! Crazy. Sleeping bags can have standard rectangular ends, or curved towards the feet in what's known as a 'mummy shape'. This affects how the heart generated form your body travels around the bag, and a mummy shape is better if you want to preserve heat. Another way to preserve heat is by choosing a sleeping bag with a hood, because so much heat is lost from your head. When you buy a 'serious' sleeping bag, it will come with a temperature rating to give you an idea about what kinds of situations the bag is suitable for. The manufacturers test sleeping bags for temperature comfort, but also survival (the lower comfort temperature). Sleeping bags are one situation in which you want to be too hot rather than too cold! Your sleeping bag will either be filled with down or synthetic insulation material. Down is warm and comfortable, but more expensive and not fun when wet. Synthetic linings are the opposite, and are also easier to maintain. Overall, the sleeping bag you pick will depend completely on the situations you want to use it in. There are lots of things to consider before buying a sleeping bag, so try to think ahead about the various types of situations you might want to use it in, and don't just pick one because it's pretty!
A good sleeping bag is a really important purchase for any backpacker or camper - it can really make the difference between a good night´s sleep and a horrible long night of cold, which can really affect your next day. I´ve experienced both extremes - on my last long trip away, I didn´t take my bag, thinking I wouldn´t be needing it and was proven wrong when I discovered how cold it was where I was staying. In the end, I ended up sewing a quilt into a bag and taking that with me, but I could have saved myself time and money (and cold) by taking my bag. There are some things to think about when you buy a bag: How cold will it be where I´m going? If you´re just camping in England, in the summer, you won´t need anything too heavy-duty, but if you´re going mountain-climbing abroad, you need to have something that can cope with low temperatures. Bags with down lining can keep you warm, but are expensive, so do you need it? Check the product before you buy, or ask in a good camping shop - it should say what the minimum temperature is. How much space have I got? Some bags pack up really small, but it´s important to check if you can actually get them back into the packaging after you´ve used them. It´s a pain trying to repack a bag into a stupidly small carry-case after you´ve slept in it every night, so you need to get something that´s easy to get out and in. Also, ask yourself if the size is that important - you may pay more for a super-compact one, but is it what you actually need? How much do I want to pay? You can get very cheap bags and very expensive ones - make sure you know what you need before you go looking for one. There´s no point buying a cheap one that´s ineffective or spending a lot on something you don´t really need. Most outdoors shops have good, knowledgeable staff you can give you lots of good advice. A good sleeping bag is a brilliant thing to have, and choosing well can make all the difference. I would recommend doing your research before you buy, and asking other people what they use.
Sleeping bags, the second most essential bit of camping equipment? A good bag can make all the difference between waking up bright eyed or grumpy, at it’s extreme it can mean the difference between waking up and death due to hypothermia. Quite important then, I’m sure you’ll agree. As stated in other opinions, most of them come with a rating these days. Ratings for sleeping bags usually come in one of two forms, a season rating (1-5) or a temperature rating (usually +5C to –40C). These ratings can only be used as a guide to its performance, there are many variables in how warm you’ll be. Some of these factors include; are you using the bag inside a tent/shelter? have you just eaten or are you hungry, your metabolism. There is no standard test to rate sleeping bags either, all manufacturers have their own ideas about what constitutes a 5 season or –40C sleeping bag. If you go to bed hungry, you are more likely to feel the cold than someone who has just stocked up on carbohydrates as they will have fuel to burn through the night. If you are using your sleeping bag outside, without any tent etc to shelter you from the wind then, the rating will be less reliable. Another point to remember is what are ‘summer’ conditions? A UK summer (1season) bag will not keep you warm in summer in Alaska! A 4-season bag implies that it can be used at any time of the year, this is true, from the perspective of trying to avoid hypothermia but would you really want to sleep in a sleeping bag rated to –20 when the temperature is above freezing? I have tried this, it’s not pleasant –waking up absolutely soaked with sweat. A lot of people suggest that you go for the warmest bag you can. I dispute this, you should go for the bag which best suits the conditions you will mainly use it in. If your bag is rated to 0C or even –5C that should do the majority of people in this country. If it is w armer, undo the zip, if it is colder, wear more clothes. If you will be camping out at all times of the year, the only sensible option is two have more than one bag. I myself have two, a 4-season (-20C) bag for late autumn/winter and a 1-season (+5C) for late spring/summer so I can be covered in most cases, sometimes I wonder whether or not I should buy a mid-weight bag, but would that be obsessive!?
Ok, Sleeping Bags. Lets assume that the main criteria here is that you wanna be warm! Sleeping Bags come in ratings of seasons - 5 is the warmest (for use when ice climbing etc) going down to 1. If it hasn't got a rating walk away! They generally come in 2 shapes, those that are like a tube with a hood are warmer than the square "wind-tunnels"!. They use 2 types of filling - Hollow Fill or Down. These also have different ratings so check the spec! Down packs smaller but hollow fill remains warm when it's wet (as down just clumps together). Remember that sleeping bags do require replacement from time to time (& washing!!) & that one you used in the army 20 years ago just might not cut it anymore! At the end of the day you'll know - the obvious test is whether you get cold feet or not. As with all things you get what you pay for although again there are products where you just pay for the name!! Gelert is a good one for those on a tight budget! Remember if in doubt as to what seasons your gonna use it in - go warmer; you can always undo the zip!! Also all you couples, remember when buying in pairs you have to but bags with zips on opposite sides otherwise when they're zipped together one of you ends up with a hood over your face!!! P.s. for those of you interested I use a 4 season hollowfill Vango bag (along with a therma-rest) - I haven't been cold in it yet!
Gelerts Expedition 900 sleeping bag utilises Duponts ThermoLite Micro insulation to keep the bag light but warm. The bag is extremely light and fits into a small compression sack, which is supplied. The sack has webbing so that it can be compressed even further if required, although Im not too sure that long term compression would do the filling much good. For a light weightbag, it keeps me quite warm, the insulation seems to live up to its claims of "exceptional warmth to carry-weight ratio". My tent has not leaked yet, so I cant comment on the claims that it "maintains warmth when wet,dries quickly" but I assume that it does as Dupont is unlikely to make such claims lightly. The bag is comfortable to use, if a little slippy, meaning I slide around in it a bit, maybe I should have got a smaller bag! The zip is sheilded inside to keep you warm, and the hood has a drawstring you can pull to keep your head warm on cold nights. The bag is machine washable should the need arise, and ideal for cyclists who like to carry their equipment with them due to its size and wieght. Over all a good bag at a reasonable price.