I think I would be the first to admit I know nothing when it comes to camping. I tend to leave all that to Mark who spends hours researching and looking up different items. One of the things that confuse me are sleeping bags. It isn’t until you are in the market to buy one does it occur to you how many different types there are. Luckily Mark kind of knew which to get. We were also given Arthur’s (pretty amazing if I say so myself!) SnuggleSac sleeping bag to review (keep an eye out for it!). Here’s a guide to the basics of choosing a Sleeping bag.
Some (not all) sleeping bags are identified by seasons. Now me would think logically and just put spring/summer/winter/autumn but no. The companies use numbers to identify the seasons. So 1 season – ideal for the height of summer (July/August)
2 season – Ideal for spring/summer (May/August)
3 season – Ideal for Spring/Summer/Autumn (March/April to October)
4 season – All year round
And some companies even use 5 seasons! These are apparently more for your extreme weathers so if you were climbing Everest etc you would use one of these. I have told Mark that this sounds like my ideal sleeping bag.
Some sleeping bags also have a temperature rating too so it is worth checking for that. You wouldn’t want to be sleeping in a sleeping bag which would be suitable for colder weathers as you would overheat. But then if you are like me and can sleep wrapped up in a king in the height of summer you would want a bag your comfortable in.
GSM means Grams per Square Metre and refers to the thickness of the filling used. The larger the number the denser the sleeping bag (would be warmer)
I think it is fair to say that most sleeping bags (especially your cheaper varieties) would be made using synthetic filling. You can however buy sleeping bags which are filled using Down (The fine smaller feathers under the main feathers of ducks and geese.
Each filling has their own pluses for example
-Retains the heat well
-Lasts longer (if looked after)
– more compact
-Easier to clean (you can just bung in a washing machine)
-Remains quite warm even when wet.