What Are Sleeping Bag Ratings?
When you go shopping for sleeping bags, you will encounter sleeping bag ratings. If you do not have any experience with sleeping bags, the sleeping bag ratings may seem meaningless to you. However, the sleeping bag ratings will indicate various characteristics of the sleeping bag and place it in a certain category.
If you want to be as comfortable as possible and learn more about these ratings for sleeping bags, please read our information below.
The temperature rating will be the most important denominator when you select a sleeping bag. In order to select the sleeping bag with the right temperature rating, you will need to take into account the environment you will be sleeping in and the estimated temperature of that environment. For example, a sleeping bag used for sleeping in a tent during hot weather will be different from a sleeping bag you will take when you go climbing on a high altitude.
Temperature ratings and sleeping bag categories can vary according to the country you obtain your sleeping bag. For example, Europe will have different standards than Australia. For that reason, it is best to stick with Australian stores to get the sleeping bag that suits you best.
Comfort ratings are closely connected to the temperature ratings we mentioned earlier.
The comfort rating will tell you the temperature the sleeping bag in question is suitable for. For example, when you use a sleeping bag in a temperature that is below the comfort level, it is highly likely you will not be comfortable and get too cold.
Extreme ratings are only applicable for people who intend to go on a survival trip. The extreme rating basically refers to the maximum temperature the sleeping bag can be used in, and more importantly keep you alive.
Naturally, extreme ratings are more important than any other denominator where your sleeping bag is concerned. However, if you only intend to use your sleeping bag in the back garden, extreme rating will not have that much of an impact.
Storing Your Sleeping bag
Once you have acquired a good sleeping bag for your trip, you will need to store it properly to ensure its longevity. Never leave your sleeping bag in the stuff sack, since this can squash the fibres of your sleeping bag and cause your sleeping bag to get a lot thinner.
Instead of stuffing your sleeping bag into the stuff sack, it is a better idea to hang it up in your cupboard. You can also leave the sleeping bag on your camper bed or caravan, or store the sleeping bag in a pillowcase instead. A pillowcase will not squash the fibres of your sleeping bag, providing you do not place any objects on top of the pillowcase containing your sleeping bag.
Washing Your Sleeping bag
When you have used your sleeping bag a lot of times, you may feel the need to wash it. Unfortunately, washing sleeping bags can affect the warmth and the efficiency of the sleeping bag.
For that reason, it is recommended not to wash your sleeping bag too frequently.
Cleaning a synthetic sleeping bag should be done by hand or in the bathtub. However, if you feel you have no other choice, you can put them in the washing machine on a low spin cycle. Synthetic sleeping bags should never be put in the dryer though, as the heat from the dryer can have a negative impact on the synthetic fibres of your sleeping bag.
Down or feather sleeping bags are the hardest type to clean. These sleeping bags provide a tremendous amount of comfort and warmth, and should you wish to clean them, you will require special cleaning products to get it pristine.
That being said, the comfort and warmth of a down or feather sleeping bag is often worth the effort and the investment.
Benefits of a Synthetic Sleeping bag
The synthetic sleeping bag is a popular choice for people who like frequent hiking trips, but do not need a tremendous amount of protection against the weather elements. That being said, a good synthetic sleeping bag can have an excellent temperature rating and comfort rating.
One of the biggest benefits of the synthetic sleeping bag is its easy maintenance compared to other sleeping bag options. As we mentioned earlier, the sleeping bag can easily be put in the washing machine and does not require any special washing or cleaning products.
The price of the synthetic sleeping bag can be another reason why you choose this option for your trip. Synthetic sleeping bags tend to be more affordable than other sleeping bags, considering the nature of the material. Synthetic fibres are easy to come by, contrary to down and feathers which can be a little more difficult to obtain for manufacturers.
When you decide to get a synthetic sleeping bag, you will have a tremendous amount of choices as well. Given the popularity of the synthetic sleeping bag, customers can choose from a variety of sizes, designs and bag ratings. On top of that, you can enjoy a synthetic sleeping bag for a minimum of 15 years if looked after properly.
Benefits of a Feather Sleeping bag
The feather sleeping bag is considerably lighter than the synthetic sleeping bag; this could be advantageous for people who like to hike or walk a considerable distance before they put up their tent to sleep. Due to the nature of the material, feather sleeping bags are also easier to store.
Feather sleeping bags have the same lifespan as synthetic sleeping bags, although you may get an extra five years out of a feather sleeping bag if handled with care. Feather sleeping bags that have been used for a couple of years can also offer an unforeseen advantage, because you can move your filling to alter the temperature.
Feather sleeping bags are more expensive than synthetic sleeping bags and also require maintenance should you want them to last. Feather sleeping bags are also less suitable for people suffering from allergies. Even though the feathers do not impact the user right away, they may cause allergies after a certain period of use.
Still, feather sleeping bags are extremely comfortable and the ideal choice for the frequent hiker. If you have no allergies and love long walks through nature, a feather sleeping bag is going to be the perfect option for you.