Sleeping Bag Ratings

Sleeping Bag Ratings

Sleeping Bag Ratings – When selecting the proper sleeping bag for your outdoor adventures, the most important thing to understand is the sleeping bag ratings system.

A general rule of thumb on sleeping bag ratings:

Bag Type Temperature Rating (°F)
Summer Season: 35° and higher
3-Season Bag: +10° to +35°
Cold Weather: -10° to +10°
Winter/Extreme: -10° and low

The sleeping bag ratings identifies the lowest temperature at which a bag will keep the average sleeper warm.  When you hear that the sleeping bag is rated at “20 degree,” it means that most users should remain comfortable if the air temperature drops no lower than 20°F.  These sleeping bag ratings assume that the sleeper is wearing a layer of long underwear and using a sleeping pad under the bag.  Select a bag with a sleeping bag ratings a bit lower than the lowest temperature you expect to encounter.  If you’re headed for near-freezing temperatures, then choose a 20°F bag instead of a 35°F bag.  If temperatures climb higher than expected, you can easily vent the bag to provide more circulation on warmer nights.  Down is still the lightest, warmest and most durable fill for sleeping bags.  Down insulated sleeping bags are more expensive, however, if they are kept in good condition, they can hold up longer then synthetic insulated bags.  Unfortunately, down loses its insulating power when wet and it dries slowly.  The newest synthetic fills are getting lighter and retain some warmth even when wet.  That means synthetics tend to be better for damp environments.   Don’t forget to line your sleeping bag stuff sack with a plastic bag.

So when selecting the most appropriate sleeping bag, first check out the camping site temperatures and then select the appropriate sleeping bag ratings.


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