for your comfortable nights
There might be tricky to choose the right sleeping equipment, and in this guide we give you information and tips of different types of
sleeping bags & sleeping pads.
Which sleeping bag should I have?
When choosing your sleeping bag, you are faced with a few different choices. With this guide, we will help you to find the sleeping bag that suits you and your needs. The first thing that you need to think about is whether you want a Synthetic or Down filling in your sleeping bag.
+ filling is not as sensitive to moisture
+ usually has a lower price
+ Warms even when wet
– Takes up more space
– Weighs more (heat/weight)
– Harder to compress
+ Low weight (heat/weight)
+ Take up less space
+ Easier to compress
– usually has a higher price
– More sensitive to moisture
– Takes a long time to dry
Does the size matter?
In order for the sleeping bag to function optimally, it is important to choose one that fits your body measurements. A sleeping bag that is too big will lose its performance as you will use more of your body heat to heat the extra surface that you actually don’t need. There will also be extra weight to carry and a larger sleeping bag will take up more volume in your backpack.
When you look at sleeping bags, you are usually met by 3 different temperature gradations
- The first temperature is ”Comfort temperature Women” (Comfort)
- The second temperature is ”Comfort Temperature Men” (Lower Limit)
- The Third temperature is ”Extreme temperature” (Extreme)
We recommend that you only look at the first two as they are the most relevant. Extreme temperature is only an indication of what you will probably survive for a shorter period if you stay awake.
Different people are getting cold differently, so if you are aware that you freeze easily, choose a sleeping bag that has a comfort temperature that can handle a slightly colder temperature than what you intend to use it in.
More than one
If you are outside all year, it may be justified to have more than 1 sleeping bag to cover the need in the large temperature range that is over the year.
If you want a sleeping bag that can handle most of the months of the year, we would recommend choosing a model made for 3 seasons.
Which sleeping mat should I have?
The sleeping pad is just as an important part of your equipment as the choice of sleeping bag, it should both ensure that you get a good night’s sleep and keep the cold away from the ground. Sleeping mats are usually divided into 3 different categories. Self-inflating, inflatable and cellular plastic. Below you have some pros and cons for the different models.
Perhaps the most classic sleeping mat. It is easy to use and is mostly used in the summer or to have under your inflatable sleeping pad to protect it and provide a little more insulation against the ground cold.
+ Low price
+ Quick and easy to use
– Takes up a lot of space in the pack
– Not the most comfortable to sleep on
As the name suggests, it inflates itself by simply opening the valve. A quick and flexible way as you don’t have to pump or inflate your sleeping pad yourself.
+ Good insulating ability
+ inflates itself
+ Simple and flexible
– Risk of a puncture
– Takes up more space
Most of our sleeping mats can be found here as inflatable. You can choose a model without insulation that is best suited to the warmer months of the year, and if you need better insulation against ground cold there are models with insulation to help prevent from that. If the model you choose does not have a built-in pump, be sure to buy a pump bag to make inflation a little easier.
+ Low weight
+ Small packing volume
+ Models with and without insulation
+ High sleeping comfort
– Risk of puncture
– More expensive
There are many different sizes to choose from. It is important to choose a model that is at least as tall as you are so that your head or feet do not end up outside the sleeping pad. If you sleep a lot on your stomach or want a little extra space, a wider model might be good.
Insulated vs uninsulated
If you sleep outside during the warm months of the year and you prioritize low weight and small pack volume, we recommend choosing a model without extra insulation.
If you are going to use your sleeping pad when the temperatures are slightly colder, we recommend choosing a model with insulation instead.
While looking for sleeping mats, you will come across something called R-value. It is a standard for being able to compare how well a sleeping pad insulates against cold in the ground. The higher the value, the better the insulating ability.
The table below gives you a good indication of which R-Value you may need
1-2 Late Spring to early autumn
2-4 Early spring to late autumn
5+ All months of the year.
Take care of your equipment
If you take care of your tent, it will last season after season.
To maintain the sleeping bag’s insulating ability, it is good to wash it once in a while. Wash the sleeping bag at 30ºC with mild detergent in a washing program for synthetic materials. Then tumble dry on low heat with tennis balls, and feel free to take the sleeping bag out a couple of times and shake it to distribute the filling evenly. Make sure it is completely dry before putting it away for storage.
Make sure that after you have used your sleeping mat to inspect it so that it has no visible damage. Wipe it clean with lukewarm water and make sure it is completely dry before putting it away for storage.
- In order to keep warm during the night, it is important to invest in a good and insulating sleeping pad, as it is usually the cold in the ground that causes you to freeze while sleeping in your sleeping bag.
- Moisture from the exhaled air are able to collect inside your sleeping pad and if you are unlucky, mold can form. To counteract this, use a pump bag when you inflate your sleeping pad instead of blowing from your mouth.
- You can use a sleeping bag sheet in your sleeping bag. It makes the sleeping bag a little warmer and you don’t have to wash the entire sleeping bag as often.
- When you are out on a multi-day tour and you should try to ventilate your sleeping bag after a night’s sleep before packing it down, then you would remove some of the moisture that has accumulated during the night and the sleeping bag will be warmer and more comfortable to sleep in the next night.