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Sleeping Bags 

Sleeping Bags: specifications, types


Expeditionary. The most "extreme" type of sleeping bags, designed primarily for use on long trips, including in the cold season and in high mountains. A prerequisite for expedition bags is a low extreme temperature (see below) — -20 °C and below; exceptions are found only among children's models. As for the design, bags of this type are often equipped with hoods, thermal collars, they can provide fastening (for more details, see "Characteristics").

Trekking. Sleeping bags designed primarily for use on hiking or cycling trips. Their key features are compactness and light weight, which make it easy to transport on your own. Because of this, trekking sleeping bags are much more expensive than camping ones with similar characteristics — lightweight and at the same time high-quality materials are not cheap. So for a permanent stay in one place, it hardly makes sense to pay attention to this category. Also note that sleeping bags for this purpose are designed mainly for use in the warm season — in spring / autumn and/or summer — and are made mainly in the form of cocoons, although there are exceptions to both rules.

Camping. A type of sleeping bag designed to provide comfort while constantly staying in one place in relatively uncomplicated conditions. Such a bag can be useful, for example, at a picnic with an overnight stay, a...multi-day summer festival, etc.; but for long-term wearing “on oneself”, camping models are poorly suited due to their relatively large dimensions and weight. The seasonality of sleeping bags for this purpose may be different, but it is worth noting that most of these products are made in the form of blanket bags (see "Type").


Cocoon bag. Cocoon bags have an uneven width: they are wider at the shoulders, and narrow towards the legs. This form is considered optimal for keeping warm due to the small (compared to a blanket bag) area of \u200b\u200bthe outer surface of the sleeping bag, as well as the fact that it is quite dense to lie in a cocoon. As a consequence, most camping and expedition sleeping bags are of this type (see "Intended Use"). The disadvantage of cocoons is somewhat less comfort than blanket bags.

Blanket bag. Bags of this type are rectangular in shape, with a uniform width along the entire length. They are somewhat less suitable for low temperatures than cocoons, however, they are more convenient and versatile: there is more free space in the bag itself, and the design usually allows you to unzip it completely and use it as a blanket or bedding.

Bag-overalls. Sleeping bag, made, in accordance with the name, in the form of overalls and having sleeves and legs. In such a product, you can not only sleep, but also move around the camp; some manufacturers are directly positioning duffel bags as a solution for those "who hate to get out of a warm sleeping bag in the morning." Such “clothing”, usually, is not an obstacle either during passive recreation like gatherings around a fire, or even during active activities like chopping firewood. The design usually provide...s cutouts for the hands, as well as removable "boots" that can be removed before putting on more serious shoes or used as "slippers" for walking a few metres. In terms of direction (see above), overalls are usually camping bags — more traditional designs are better suited for trekking and even more expeditionary use.


Universal. Sleeping bags designed for adult tourists of both sexes are the most convenient when choosing and, as a result, a common variety. However, note that the rules for choosing a sleeping bag for temperature for men and women are somewhat different; see "comfort limit" for details.

For women. Specialized sleeping bags designed for women. In general, with a similar body type and fitness level, women are more likely to get cold than men, and hypothermia can have more serious consequences for them. Thus, many manufacturers produce this type of bag. The differences between such products and universal sleeping bags can be different, depending on the specialization (see "By Direction"). So, expedition and tracking models, usually made in the form of cocoons (see "Type"), have a special shape and additional insulation based on the structure of the female body; and the temperature regimes in them can be indicated specifically for women, and when choosing, you do not need to take into account the amendments characteristic of universal sleeping bags (for more details, see "t comfort limit"). Camping models for this purpose, in turn, may differ from universal ones only in appearance.

For children. Sleeping bags designed for children differ from "adult" models primarily in smaller sizes. In addition, they can have a characteristic bright design, as well as le...ngth adjustment to adjust to the figure as the child grows. It is worth noting that in relatively warm weather — if the ambient temperature is much higher than the comfort temperature of the sleeping bag — a universal "adult" bag is quite suitable for a child. So from a practical point of view, it makes sense to specifically use a children's sleeping bag mainly at relatively low temperatures (about +12 °C or less). However, nothing prevents you from buying a model of this type for more favorable conditions.


The season for which the sleeping bag was originally intended. Note that many models are designed for more than one season — winter and spring / autumn or spring / autumn and summer ; there are even all-season products. However, anyway, when buying, it is worth clarifying not only this nuance, but also the specific temperature characteristics of the selected model (see below).

In general, the assignment of a sleeping bag to one or another seasonality largely depends on how the manufacturer positions this model. However, in each category there are some common features, here they are:

— Winter. Sleeping bags suitable for winter usually meet the following minimum requirements: at least the temperature of the comfort limit in them should be below zero, and if it is higher, then the extreme temperature should be low enough (-20 °C or less). Also, a sleeping bag is definitely considered winter if its comfort temperature is below -5 °C.

Spring/Autumn. Sleeping bags designed for the off-season should be comfortable enough both in warm weather and in case of sudden frosts. Therefore, the comfort temperature in them can be quite low — up to -5 °C inclusive. On the other hand, there are also combined "off-season-summer" models, where the extreme temperature is as much as +10 °C. So the specific characteristics of such a sleep...ing bag should be specified especially carefully.

— Summer. A summer sleeping bag should provide comfort at high temperatures, so many models from this category have a comfort t ° of the order of +15 °C, or even higher. At the same time, summer seasonality can also be indicated for models with lower comfort temperatures (even below zero). In such cases, the manufacturer proceeds from the fact that if it is hot in the sleeping bag, you can open up or undress (recall, the temperature regimes are indicated for a person in thermal underwear).


A bag designed for two people at once — for example, a married couple.

Most 2-person bags are camping (see 'By Destination') and other light duty items, and by design they are quilts (see 'Type'). However, among such products there is also more “serious” equipment — trekking and even expeditionary direction. Note that a sleeping bag for two can also be arranged by fastening two single bags (for this possibility, see "Equipment"); however, double models have their merits. Firstly, such a sleeping bag is more compact and easy to transport than two single ones with similar characteristics; secondly, the bag is immediately ready for use by two people, no need to fiddle with fastening; thirdly, the absence of unnecessary fasteners has a positive effect on reliability and comfort.


Since a sleeping bag is a travel outfit, its weight can be one of the key characteristics. Two points should be taken into account here: firstly, more insulation usually requires more material and increases weight, and secondly, warm models with low weight are much more expensive than heavier options with the same temperature characteristics.

Also, when choosing a sleeping bag, you should decide what exactly you are buying it for. If we are talking about picnics, festivals and other simple trips to nature without long walks, or if you plan to carry equipment by car, you can not pay much attention to weight, focus on other characteristics. If you plan to go on long hiking or cycling trips, you should choose a model with a minimum weight.

As for specific numbers, most modern sleeping bags are in the range of 1.1 – 1.5 kg or 1.6 – 2 kg, although there are quite a few ultra-light models — 1 kg or less. An indicator of 2.1 – 2.5 kg is already considered quite significant, and a weight of 2.6 – 3 kg or more is found mainly in two types of sleeping bags: separate expeditionary models with a high degree of insulation, as well as double products.

t comfort

The comfort temperature of this sleeping bag.

Some manufacturers use their own criteria for specifying this temperature, but EN13537 is considered the generally accepted standard. According to this standard, comfort t is the lowest ambient temperature at which a woman in thermal underwear can comfortably sleep in a sleeping bag all night (at least 8 hours) in a relaxed position without waking up from the cold. This definition is taken from the considerations that women are more likely to get cold during sleep than men. Of course, the actual comfort will depend on the characteristics of the body and the preparation of a particular person. However, most likely, at ambient temperatures at the level of comfort t and above, it will be comfortable (or even hot) in a sleeping bag for any user, regardless of gender. For details on temperature selection features, see "comfort limit t" below.

Specific values of t comfort in modern sleeping bags can often be -5 ..-9 °C, or even lower, however, there are also models for hot weather — + 10 ... 15 °C and even higher. At the same time, we note that seasonality and the possibility of winter use are not strictly related to this indicator: in particular, winter models can have a comfort t of +15 °С, or even +20 °С.

t comfort limit

The comfort limit temperature of this sleeping bag.

Some manufacturers use their own criteria for specifying this temperature, but EN13537 is considered the generally accepted standard. According to him, t of the comfort limit is the lowest ambient temperature at which a man in thermal underwear can comfortably sleep in a sleeping bag all night (at least 8 hours) in a heat-saving position (curling up) without waking up from the cold. Such criteria are used taking into account the fact that men are less likely to get cold during sleep than women, and the acceptable temperature for them is slightly lower. Of course, in each individual case, comfort will also depend on the characteristics of the body and the preparation of the tourist. However, in general, the general rule is: if the sleeping bag is used by a man, then the minimum temperature at the place of lodging should ideally be between comfort t and comfort limit t; for a woman, a few degrees must be added to the comfort limit t, and it is best to focus on comfort t (see above).

This indicator is quite closely related to seasonality. So, for winter use, t of the comfort limit should be less than -4 ... 0 °C ; in the warmest models, it can be very low, -15 °C and below. In purely summer and even spring/autumn models, there are values of +10 °C and even higher, however, if you are afraid of sudden cold sn...aps at night, it is advisable to choose sleeping bags with indicators of at least +6..10 °С, and preferably +1...5 °C(especially for the off-season).

t extreme

Extreme temperature of this sleeping bag.

Some manufacturers use their own criteria for specifying this temperature, but EN13537 is considered the generally accepted standard. According to him, the extreme temperature is the temperature at which a well-trained female tourist of a dense physique (height 160 cm, weight 60 kg) in thermal underwear can spend the night (at least 6 hours) in a sleeping bag in a heat-saving position (“kalachik”) without the risk of hypothermia. Such criteria are taken from the considerations that a person's resistance to cold depends on gender (women are colder than men), physique (thin people are more sensitive to cold) and training. It is worth noting here that if you are not used to hiking conditions, then the extreme temperature should be considered as the lowest temperature at which you can spend the night in a sleeping bag without risking your life. At the same time, there is no question of comfort, in addition, there is a high probability of hypothermia; so at such temperatures, not only high-quality thermal underwear, but also additional insulation may be required.

External material

— Polyester. Synthetic material with good strength indicators, resistant to temperature extremes, high humidity and ultraviolet radiation, as well as easy to clean. Thanks to all this, polyester is extremely popular in camping equipment. It costs a little more than another common material — nylon — but this is offset by some advantages: in particular, polyester does not stretch when wet.

— Nylon. Another synthetic material popular in modern sleeping bags. Most varieties of nylon are cheaper than polyester, but are less resistant to UV radiation and tend to stretch when wet. Nevertheless, this material is found even in high-end expeditionary equipment — in such models, the mentioned shortcomings are compensated for by various tricks (for example, special additives or an increased thickness of nylon fiber).

— Polycotton. A blended material that combines cotton and synthetic fibers, usually polyester. One of the advantages of polycotton is considered to be good air transmission, which allows the sleeping bag to “breathe”. On the other hand, such a fabric is somewhat less durable and reliable than pure polyester, and may cost more. Therefore, products with an outer surface made of polycotton are relatively rare.

— Polyurethane. In sleeping bags, polyurethane is usually used as an outer material in the form of a continuous film, often transparent. Such material is quite durable and at the same time elastic, it tolerates low temperatures and temperatur...e extremes well. However, the main advantage of polyurethane shells is water resistance, which makes this option perfect for professional winter expedition sleeping bags using down insulation (see below). But for less extreme situations, this material is less suitable, because. does not pass not only water, but also air — and in relatively warm weather, sleeping in a "non-breathing" sleeping bag can be very uncomfortable.

Inner material

Polyester. Synthetic material. The advantages of polyester are good water-repellent properties, strength and durability. On the other hand, it, like many synthetic materials, is not very pleasant to the touch and can cause some discomfort, especially in warm weather, when you can sleep in one underwear.

Flannel. Natural fabric of cotton or wool type. It is pleasant to the touch and quite versatile: it is well suited for both warm and even hot weather (due to naturalness), and for cold weather (it saves heat well). The disadvantages of flannel are the tendency to wear (the appearance of "pellets") with prolonged use, as well as high hygroscopicity — the fabric absorbs moisture well and dries for a long time.

Cotton. Cotton, like flannel, belongs to natural materials and is well suited for use in hot weather, however, the thermal insulation of such an “insider” is significantly lower. Among the other advantages of cotton, it is worth noting strength, resistance to water, temperature extremes and light (although it may turn yellow in the light); of the shortcomings is hygroscopicity (although less than that of flannel).

Polycotton. Combined material based on a combination of polyester and cotton in varying proportions. Designed to combine the advantages of both materials. Polycotton is strong, durable, has g...ood water repellency while being nicer to the touch than pure polyester and is better for use in hot weather.

Fleece. Synthetic material, widely used for the manufacture of warm clothing. It has the appropriate characteristics, in particular it is light, retains heat well, including in a wet state; passes the evaporated moisture ("breathes"), does not accumulate it and dries quickly. At the same time, fleece is somewhat less durable than the rest of the synthetics, and also catches fire easily, therefore it requires some caution in the presence of fires and other sources of fire nearby.

Nylon. A synthetic material similar in most properties to polyester (see above), but somewhat less durable and resistant to moisture (tends to stretch when wet). It is used mainly in inexpensive models of sleeping bags.


Synthetics. Insulation based on synthetic fibers, usually polyester. The main advantage of such a material is resistance to moisture: when wet, it not only does not lose strength, but even continues to retain most of the thermal insulation properties, and it is easy to dry such a sleeping bag — when hanging, most of the water drains from it in the first few minutes. In addition, synthetics do not cause allergies. On the other hand, in general, the thermal insulation of such sleeping bags is somewhat lower than that of downy ones, and during long-term storage in a compression bag, it is even more reduced due to the compaction of the fibers. Modern sleeping bags can use short and long synthetic fibers; The first option as a whole has better characteristics, the second one is much cheaper.

Fluff. Natural duck or goose down is used mainly in premium sleeping bags. With smaller dimensions and weight than synthetics, this material has significantly better thermal insulation. On the other hand, down is very sensitive to moisture, it loses its insulating properties when wet, and dries for quite a long time. Therefore, many down bags have a special water-repellent coating and/or are equipped with synthetic waterproof covers. The prices of such sleeping bags are significantly higher than those of synthetic ones. In general, down bags are considered suitable primarily for winter hiking and mountain climbing....It is also worth noting that people prone to allergies should use such material with caution.

— Combined. This category includes sleeping bags made from high quality synthetic materials designed to replace down (see above). Such materials are comparable to down in terms of the degree of insulation, lightness and compactness, while devoid of the main drawback — sensitivity to moisture: they do not absorb water and are much easier to dry. However, the price of such sleeping bags is appropriate.

Number of insulation layers

The number of individual layers of insulation provided in the sleeping bag. The multi-layer construction significantly improves the "warming" characteristics of the sleeping bag — firstly, due to additional layers of air between the layers of the filler, and secondly, by overlapping the seam of one layer with another layer. For summer sleeping bags (see "Seasonality"), 1-2 layers are considered sufficient, in autumn-spring they are usually 2-3, and in winter — at least 3 layers.

It is worth noting that the number of layers is usually indicated for a synthetic filler (see "Insulation"); down insulation does not fit in layers.


In addition to the standard design elements of a sleeping bag in the form of a hood(can also be removable), an inner pocket, bite protection, a thermal zipper roller, drying loops and the possibility of fastening, there may also be a removable lining, a light- accumulating loop, a pillow compartment, a thermal collar, clasp in legs, mosquito net, compression bag.

— Hood. A classic hood that covers the head of a person in a sleeping bag. Such a detail provides additional thermal insulation: firstly, due to the fact that it covers the neck, the back of the head and most of the head from the cold, and secondly, by reducing the space through which heat can escape from the sleeping bag.

— Detachable hood. A kind of hood (see above) with the ability to remove it at the request of the user. This makes the sleeping bag more versatile: in warm weather, you can remove the hood so that it does not interfere, and when it gets cold, you can fasten it back, providing maximum protection from the cold.

...Removable lining. Lining — inner insulation layer — having a removable design. This feature expands the possibilities for using a sleeping bag: in warm weather, you can unfasten the insulation so that it is not so hot in the bag, besides, the removed lining can also be used separately, as a bedspread.

— Mosquito net. Protective mesh covering the face of a person lying in a sleeping bag. Such a mesh traps mosquitoes and other annoying insects, at the same time, air passes through it freely.

— Clasp in the legs. Separate fastener located in the leg area. In warm weather, such a fastener can be unfastened without opening the whole bag — thus, the legs will not sweat in the sleeping bag, and the rest of the body will remain covered. The role of the fastener can be performed by both a zipper and a tie.

— Possibility of fastening. The ability to connect a sleeping bag with another bag (s), forming a sleeping place for several people (usually for two, but in some models more is possible). Such a function will be useful in case of a cold snap: it can be difficult to warm up alone in a sleeping bag, but several people in one bag additionally warm each other. When choosing, note that sleeping bags from different manufacturers (and even different models from the same manufacturer) may vary in design and size of zippers. So if you are going to use this feature, you should pay special attention to compatibility.

— Light-accumulating loop. A loop on a zipper pawl with an insert made of light-accumulating material. This material "charges" during daylight hours, and in the dark — glows itself. Thus, the fastener can be found even in complete darkness; this provides not only comfort, but also additional security in case you need to urgently get out of the sleeping bag.

— Inner pocket. Pocket located on the inside of the sleeping bag. It is convenient to store documents and other small but valuable things in such a compartment: it is not easy to steal them from the inner pocket, and the probability of losing the contents during sleep is reduced to almost zero.

— Pillow compartment. A special compartment in which you can put a pillow or its substitute (for example, a change of clothes bag) without fear of damaging or stretching the sleeping bag itself.

— Lightning bite protection. A device that reduces the likelihood of biting the fabric of the sleeping bag between the dog and the teeth of the zipper. Usually it has the form of a tape made of dense material, additionally covering the zipper from the inside. Note that bite protection is not only about convenience — in extreme situations (like a fire or an avalanche), the ability to quickly unzip a sleeping bag can be a matter of life and death. Therefore, this function is very common in modern sleeping bags, and for expeditionary models (see "In the direction") it is actually mandatory.

— Thermal collar. An additional collar that tightly covers the neck of a person in a sleeping bag. This provides additional sealing and maximally blocks the access of outside air to the body and legs. In addition, the collar helps the head and neck warm up faster.

— Thermal zipper roller. A system of zipper insulation, usually in the form of a heat-insulating roller or strip along the entire fastener. The zipper is one of the weakest points of the sleeping bag in terms of thermal insulation, and therefore, when choosing a sleeping bag for low temperatures (especially an expeditionary one, see "Intended use"), you should pay attention to the presence of a thermal roller that prevents heat loss.

— Loops for drying. Special loops that allow you to hang the sleeping bag to dry — on a rope or even on tree branches. Note that experienced tourists recommend “ventilating” the sleeping bag every morning, as moisture inevitably accumulates in it during the night; Well, anyway, in a suspended state, a wet sleeping bag dries out much faster than lying on the ground.

— Compression bag. Bag-case for storing and carrying a sleeping bag, equipped with compression straps. Such ties allow you to strongly compress the cover with the sleeping bag packed into it, “squeeze out” the air from the inside as much as possible and thus reduce the size of the package — this greatly simplifies transportation. However, we note that it is impossible to keep the sleeping bag compressed all the time; for long-term storage, the ties must be loosened.


A type of zipper used in a sleeping bag as the main fastener. It is worth noting that there are sleeping bags without fasteners.

Side. The most common type of zipper is on the side of the bag, on the right or left. Some products are even available in two versions — right-handed and left-handed. The side zipper is popular due to its low cost, convenience and functionality — in particular, it allows for fastening (see "Equipment"); in fact, for this just two versatile sleeping bags are needed.

Frontal. Zipper located in front — in front of the chest of a person lying in a sleeping bag. Some consider this option more convenient and familiar than the side fastener: you don’t need to toss and turn when unfastening / fastening the bag, and you can get out of it in a matter of seconds. In addition, the zipper is located similarly to a fastener on clothes, so that even when you are awake, there are no problems finding and unfastening it; and in a partially open bag, you can sit down without opening your shoulders and without releasing heat. On the other hand, products with a front zipper are more difficult to manufacture and more expensive than those with a side zipper, and, usually, they do not zip up.

Bilateral. Two zippers located on the sides of the sleeping bag, on the right and left. This design simplifies th...e opening and closing of the sleeping bag as a whole, and also allows you to easily open it for ventilation. In addition, in some cases, a two-way zipper also provides additional possibilities for fastening. The main disadvantage of this option is a slightly higher cost than that of single-sided fasteners. However, the low prevalence of the bilateral design is primarily due to the fact that it appeared relatively recently and is only gaining popularity.

— Missing (no zipper). The exception in the design of zippers or ties in a sleeping bag improves its thermal insulation properties and makes it warmer, since such sleeping bags are often equipped with an additional blanket — an insert. The absence of fasteners favorably affects the overall weight and dimensions when folded. At the same time, the reverse side is a specific access inside.

Bag dimensions

Sleeping bag dimensions unfolded. Although the size designation includes the traditional three numbers, in the case of sleeping bags there is a peculiarity: these numbers do not indicate the length, width and height (depth, thickness), but the length, width at the shoulders and width at the feet. For example, the designation 220x80x50 means 220 cm long, 80 cm wide at the shoulders and 50 cm wide at the legs (for more information about sleeping bags with a difference in width, see "Type").

It is believed that the optimal dimensions of the sleeping bag are as follows:

— Length — 15-20 cm more than a person's height (for sleeping bags with a hood) or his height to the shoulders (for sleeping bags without a hood).
— Width at the shoulders — such that the sleeping bag fits snugly and at the same time does not interfere with movement.
— The width in the legs (for cocoons, see "Type") — such that you can slightly bend your legs without stretching the fabric of the sleeping bag (otherwise, heat loss is possible, and it will wear out more).

Note that these requirements apply primarily to sleeping bags intended for use in cold weather. If you are buying a sleeping bag for summer trips, the width requirements are not so critical — the main thing is that you do not feel cramped and the length matches.

Of course, when folded, the sleeping bag takes up much less space — see "Dimensions (folded)".

Recommended height, up to

The height of the person for whom the sleeping bag is designed. For more information on choosing the correct size of a sleeping bag, see the paragraph "Length".

Dimensions (folded)

The dimensions of the sleeping bag when folded, when packed in a complete cover; if this cover is made in the form of a compression bag(see "Equipment"), then the dimensions are indicated with the compression straps tightened to the maximum.

Other things being equal, the smaller the size of the sleeping bag, the more convenient it is in storage and transportation. At the same time, more compact models are usually more expensive.
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