Practical tips and information for choosing a sleeping bag. Material, heat output, size: We explain what characteristics you should look for in a sleeping bag.
The sleeping bag is one of the most important equipment parts during trekking, camping or in the mountains, which is given too little attention. Only those who sleep well can recover overnight and bring the required performance again the next day.
The task of the sleeping bag is relatively simple: keeping the heat loss of the body as low as possible while providing a comfortable sleeping climate without sweating. WARNING – old mistake: not the sleeping bag warms, but the body. The sleeping bag only insulates, thus absorbing the heat radiated by the body. On each trekking tour you spend about 30% of your time in your sleeping bag. Accordingly, it is important to find a sleeping bag that optimally suits you and your activities. You have two main options: down and synthetic fibers. Before we go into the filling, however, first a few general information:
WHAT IS THE TEMPERATURE?
FINDING THE RIGHT SLEEPING BAG – PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS?
1 Optimal heat / weight ratio
If your sleeping bag is used for backpacking, trekking or expeditions, it is very clear that an optimal heat weight ratio is one of the most important quality criteria. During the day, you only want to carry a small and light pack in the backpack. At night you need a particularly cozy warm sleeping bag, depending on your personal cold feeling.
2 Stable heat output
Even if you are traveling for many days or weeks under extreme conditions or in damp areas, the heat output of the sleeping bag must not subside.
3 Durable product
If you are looking for a product that meets the highest quality requirements, you have to grasp something deeper in the bag.
WHAT IS THE TEMPERATURE?
At first sight, temperature values are the most important selection criterion, but you should look rather as a rough guideline: On the one hand, not all manufacturers use the same standard, which makes the comparability more difficult; on the other hand, the temperature sensitivity is different for every human being. Women usually freeze earlier than men, body fat has an influence and also the situation plays a role: after a hard day’s day hunger and without food in the sleeping bag you shiver earlier than after a day of rest with warm supper. Last but not least, the subfloor contributes its part: thin mats and air mattresses insulate worse than thick insulation mats or skins.
The temperature indications on the sleeping bag only cover the insulation under certain conditions. This means that not everyone, and always at -6 ° C, feels comfortable when -6 ° C is indicated as comfort temperature! Unfortunately, it is not possible to specify exact temperature values for each person at any time, since individual and situation-related influences play a very important role.
In order to guarantee the comparability of the temperature specifications of sleeping bags, they are determined according to EN 13537 according to a uniform test procedure. A dollop unit heated to 34 ° C is placed in the sleeping bag in an air-conditioned room, whereupon it is determined which energy supply is required to keep the temperature of the 20 different body segments stable.
TEMPERATURE ON SLEEPING BAGS
- Comfort temperature T comfort
This value is calculated for a “standard woman” (25 years, 60 Kg, 1.60m), which is not yet freezing. When you buy your bags, you should orientate yourself to the comfort value T comfort.
- Limit temperature T limit
This value is calculated for a “standard man” (25 years, 70 Kg, 1.73m), which just does not freeze.
- Extreme temperature T extreme
This value is calculated for a “standard woman” (25 years, 60 Kg, 1.60 m) under severe cold load. There is already a risk of undercooling.
The maximum value (T maximum) would sweat in the sleeping bag and open the sleeping bag under normal conditions and use it as a blanket.
FACTORS FOR THE FEELING OF COLDNESS IN THE SLEEPING BAG
- Outside temperature, altitude, wind and humidity
- Sleeping Bags and Sleepwear (Isolation)
- Sex, physical (exhaustion, diet) and mental condition
- sleep patterns
Basically, the more air can be stored in the sleeping bag (large loft / bulk force) and the less the air in the sleeping bag can circulate.
FACTORS FOR HEAT LOSS DURING SLEEP
- Convection (= air exchange)
Heat removal by air circulation (open zipper, not used / used heat collar). Warm air from the sleeping bag mixes with cold ambient air. The body constantly needs new energy to reach a steady temperature in the sleeping bag. This applies analogously even if the sleeping bag is too large.
- Radiation (= radiation)
The body radiates heat. The better a sleeping bag reflects this heat and stores the less energy the body needs to reach a consistent temperature in the sleeping bag.
- Evaporation (Evaporation)
Each person releases about ½ to 1 liter of moisture overnight. If the moisture remains on the skin evaporation colds and the body tries to dry the skin by heat. The drier a sleeping bag keeps the skin, the more energy the body saves.
- Conduction (heat conduction)
The less a material has insulating properties, the faster heat can dissipate, for example by direct contact with the cold soil.
BODY SIZES AND APPROPRIATE SLEEPING BAG SIZES
The right size of the sleeping bag is also important : the optimum heat output is achieved by a sleeping bag when it is tight against the body. If it is too far or too long, unnecessary air spaces must be heated, which can be permanently cooled by convection or exchange during movements. That is why a too much sleeping bag is often cold. A too small sleeping bag is not functional, however, because the filling is compressed at the feet, shoulders, knees or buttocks and cold bridges are created.
- Body size human 200 cm, 185 cm, 167 cm
- Length sleeping bag 237 cm, 225 cm, 208 cm
- Wide sleeping bag above 85 cm, 80 cm, 80 cm
- Wide sleeping bag base 58 cm, 55 cm, 55 cm
Small persons should use short sleeping bags so that the foot does not have too much air. Alternatively, you should tie the foot part behind the feet (eg in children) or fill the foot part with sweaters or other clothing parts.
SLEEPING BAG CONSULTANTS
Depending on the purpose of the application, experience, constitution and feeling of warmth, one has to decide individually for a sleeping bag. Every person has a different feeling of warmth. That means temperature values (also according to EN 13537) are only to be understood as orientation values.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO LOOK FOR IN A SLEEPING BAG?
In general, the sleeping bag must keep you warm at night. Therefore the insulation must not slip. For this purpose, there are different constructions: For example the stitched seam, in which the outer fabric and inner lining are directly sewn. It is the cheapest and worst processing since a cold bridge is created at the seam. Much better work chamber designs , which keep vertical “partition” the filling in place. V-shaped chambers are a particularly noble and elaborate process . Here, the chamber walls are slightly oblique in order to optimally distribute the insulating material and hold it in place.
In addition to the construction, the shape also has a great influence on the sleeping bag properties. A sleeping bag warms better when it comes to the body. This, however, limits the freedom of movement and the comfort of sleep can suffer.
The mummy shape gives no place and is wonderful for trekking tours suitable. The mummy shape follows the body shape of the reclining person and minimizes the airspace to be heated in the sleeping bag: the closer the sleeping bag surrounds the body, the better it retains the heat. Healing the mummy shape requires less material and filling, which results in a smaller pack size and lower weight.
For people who need more room to move and sleep mainly in warmer temperatures above 0 ° C outside, the offers ceiling form to: a rectangular sleeping bag with or without a hood that can be completely opened by a long zipper, opened, and thus used as a blanket.
For people who are more concerned about sleep comfort than on weight and heat output, or where mummy sleeping bags are too tight, mixed forms such as egg-shaped sleeping bags are suitable. These have a narrow head / shoulder / foot area as with the mummy, but a very wide waist, which leaves freedom of movement for the arms and legs.
The length is as short as possible, as long as necessary. If you are 175 cm tall, a sleeping bag of 180 cm length is enough. You’re not on your own? Some manufacturers make it possible to connect two sleeping bags to the zip fasteners. For this, it is important that a sleeping bag has the zipper on the right and the other on the left.
However, this does not result in a great thermal advantage. Some sleeping bags have an anatomically formed foot section. Thus, no space is given away and volume as well as weight are reduced. Ladies’ models are also often more isolated in the foot area to prevent cold feet.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE SLEEPING BAG: IMPORTANT EQUIPMENT DETAILS
- Heat cap
Over the head, the human body loses about 30% of its heat. To make use of this waste heat for the night is the task of the hood.
- Heat collar
The heat collar prevents the warm air from escaping when the hood is open and moving.
- Zipper cover
The cover strip prevents the heated air from escaping from the sleeping bag and also that no cold wind passes through the zipper into the sleeping bag.
- 2-way zipper
The two-way zip fastener does not open independently.
On some models you can choose between left and right zippers.Two sleeping bags can be connected. Couples can then considerably expand the temperature range of their sleeping bags.
The top of the sleeping bag is usually filled thicker in the footbox.
Find the right sleeping bag for you in the large SportScheck range now
WHAT MATERIAL SHOULD MY SLEEPING BAG HAVE?
TINGLING COLD NIGHTS: COME WITH THE EXTRA WARM SLEEPING BAG!
If you put your sleeping bag at temperatures below 0 degrees, you’ll need a zipper closure. If it is absent, a cold bridge is produced here, which increases the heat output of the remaining sleeping bag. High-quality sleeping bags have high-quality branded zippers, For example, from YKK. An anti-slip bar prevents the sleeping bag in the zipper. Not necessarily, but very pleasant. Sleeping bags, which are used not only during warm summer nights, should have a warm collar under the hood. It is adjusted with a drawstring. For high-quality models, this is done with one hand. It helps to keep the body warm in the sleeping bag. The preformed hood should be as small as possible, so as not to give body warmth at this point.
GOOD TO KNOW:
WHAT MATERIAL SHOULD MY SLEEPING BAG HAVE?
Down or synthetic fiber – which sleeping bag material best suits your needs? Whether a down sleeping bag or a synthetic sleeping bag is right for you depends on your commitment and the budget. In the following sections, we will go into detail, but here to the overview the essential advantages and disadvantages.
DOWN SLEEPING BAG: PROS AND CONS
The greatest advantages of the down are its low weight, the efficient heat output and the small pack size.
For this, Daune works worse in wet conditions (down lumps in dampness and can not bind the insulating air volume
down costs more
KUNSTFASERSCHLAFSACK: PRO AND CONS
short, synthetic fiber sleeping bags are cheaper , more robust, and they are still warm when wet.
For this they are slightly heavier than down sleeping bags and not quite as small packable.
LEARN FROM GEESE: WELL PACKAGED IN DOWN SLEEPING BAGS
LEARN FROM GEESE: WELL PACKAGED IN DOWN SLEEPING BAGS
The down is a natural product. Sleeping bags with downs just keep chubby-warm! But in detail: down consists of extremely filigree branches in a three-dimensional structure. Thus, with a small amount of material, they can include a maximum amount of air heated by the body’s heat. This is the secret of the low weight of down sleeping bags. For this, down are very elastic. Once compressed, they quickly return to their original state. This feature ensures the small pack volume, which makes down sleeping bags very pleasant on backpack trips. The unit cuin is used for measuring the loosening force, also known as loft. Cuin is cubic inches per ounce. For measurement, an ounce (28g) of down is pressed for 24 hours. Thereafter, to which volume the downs expand. The result is given in inches3 . The higher this number, the greater the bucket force or the heat output. 600 cuin are already a pretty good value for sleeping bags. Expedition sleeping bags have partial values of up to 900 cuin.
However, down sleeping bags are also very sensitive to moisture. It is possible that the downs absorb a lot of moisture and clog up. They do not produce any loft = reduced insulation capacity (see description “Loft” below). Therefore it is necessary to dry a down sleeping bag as often as possible. In winter or in permanent frozen regions, problems with down sleeping bags often arise. The exhalations of the body are stored by the down and freeze there. Drying is hardly possible. After some time the clumping of the down comes and they lose their ability to isolate.
SLEEPING BAGS WITH DOWN BLENDS
Often there are numbers such as 70/30, 80/20 or 90/10 in the description of sleeping bags. These numbers indicate the percentage ratio of down to feathers in the fill and together they always give 100%. The higher the down part in the filling, the higher the down blend. The question why there is no 100% down filling is quickly answered: Down is a natural product. Even with fillings with a 96% down proportion, an extremely high effort is required to sort out all springs. A further sorting simply exceeds the current production methods.
WHEN DO I NEED A DOWN SLEEPING BAG?
Trailrunner, Ultraleichttrecker and all who spend the winter in high heights, do not pass by the down sleeping bag. For moderate stakes, Daune offers a very pleasant comfort, but no need.
HIGH-TECH AS A COLD WEAPON: SYNTHETIC FIBER SLEEPING BAGS
Heat output even in wet condition: This point is mainly used for multi-day trips in bad weather. If the down sleeping bag can not ventilate completely during the day, it becomes somewhat heavier due to the body moisture every night and warms at the same time somewhat worse. The moisture content of the artificial fiber can not be affected by the moisture.
Just as with down sleeping bags, the task of artificial fiber filling is to keep as much air as possible around the sleeper, which insulates it from the outside temperature. Different manufacturers have developed different materials and constructions that are closer to the insulation values of the down, but they have not yet reached them. For this purpose, the synthetic fibers are substantially more easy to clean. H. they can be washed more easily, which is an advantage especially for children ‘s sleeping bags.
WHEN DO I NEED AN ARTIFICIAL FIBER SLEEPING BAG?
In areas with high humidity and if bad weather is to be expected, you are advised with a synthetic fiber sleeping bag. The same is true when you use the sleeping bag in combination with a bivouac sack, as this results in a lot of condensation which often can not escape from the bivouac sack. Even on journeys, where you do not have to carry your luggage all the time and while you are traveling in temperate regions, an artificial-fiber sleeping bag is an excellent option.
THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU
SYNTHETIC SLEEPING BAGS
Kunstfaserschlafsäcke are mainly characterized by:
- Easy care
- Lower purchase price
- Insensitive to moisture
Synthetic fibers hardly absorb moisture, which means that the filling hardly loses loft and thus insulation capacity.
Are you looking for an all-round model with which everything can be done, do you also travel to more humid areas or are you traveling on a rainy day? You want to keep maintenance simple and the purchase price low? Then an artificial fiber sleeping bag is recommended.
SLEEPING BAGS PROPERLY MAINTAINED
No matter if you use a synthetic or down sleeping bag, you will have more pleasure with the right care. This is primarily due to a dry, loose and airy storage. Never place the sleeping bag in the pack or sleeping bag compartment of the backpack! This is only intended for transport. If, on the other hand, the filling is compressed over weeks and months, it loses its loft (loft) or its insulating effect. Down as well as on the journeys as quickly as possible from the packsack rausholen. Artificial fibers are less sensitive.
Much better in your sleeping bag if you put it loosely in a big bag. Also, head pillow covers work well as a storage bag. Even better is only a completely open storage. For example under the bed, on a wardrobe or also at the foot part hung up. After each use, you should vent the sleeping bag well and shake it (especially down sleeping bags). This way it can return the moisture absorbed at night and does not start too modern.
To put sleeping bags in the pack bag, they should not be folded or rolled. In this case, the filling would always be kinked at the same points and thus become ever thinner.
It is better if the sleeping bag is stuffed with the foot part starting in the packsack. The pressure on the down is distributed evenly.
To keep the zipper smooth, you can wipe it with wax (usually used to impregnate clothing) or with graphite (eg with a pencil).
You should wash it only when absolutely necessary to remove skin debris, body fat and salts. A laundry is unfortunately not necessarily conducive to the heat output. By using an inlet and airing after each use you can prevent the washing for a long time. But as soon as there is no way to pass the thorough cleaning, wash the sleeping bag itself and proceed as follows:
- Close the zipper and turn the inside of your sleeping bag outwards.
- Use only a mild wool detergent (artificial fiber sleeping bag with sensitive silicone) or down-washing (down), and wash the sleeping bag by hand in a bathtub or woolen bath at 30 ° C.
- In doing so, rinse thoroughly and never wring out!
- After washing wash the water only lightly and drain the sleeping bag flat. Make sure that the filling does not clump in a corner.
- When drying in the tumble dryer, set the lowest level or a maximum of 30 degrees, and only use the down sleeping bags to add several tennis balls to the drum. They distribute the filling slightly and counteract the formation of lumps.
- Important: The sleeping bag must be 100% dry before it can be reused. Down needs up to a week to dry thoroughly (in time before the tour wash!), With synthetic fiber is faster. During this time you should always shake the sleeping bag gently again and distribute the down at narrow, long chambers (eg zipper cover strip).
THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU
CABIN SLEEPING BAGS
Inletts improve the heat output of a sleeping bag by several degrees and also protect the inside from dirt. In addition, an Inlett is also ideal as a hut or youth hostel sleeping bag. Inletts protect the sleeping bag from dirt and improve the heat output.
Inletts protect the sleeping bag from dirt and improve the heat output. They are also useful because they avoid the frequent washing of the sleeping bag and avoid the wear of the sleeping bag. There are inlets of silk, cotton and fleece, with a silk inset due to its low weight being most useful for most businesses. Fleece-Inletts bring a lot of heat (up to 8 degrees Celsius) and can even replace the sleeping bag in summer.