Sunday, 29 January 2012

How to Buy the Right Sleeping Bag

If you’re heading off on a camping trip, one thing you’ll definitely need is a decent sleeping bag. There are so many to choose from, and the one you buy will depend on a number of different criteria.

Sleeping bags


The first consideration is often cost. Sleeping bags are available at a whole range of prices, but, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. A bargain sleeping bag may not guarantee you a warm and comfortable night under canvas. Unless you’re on a really tight budget, then go for one of the major outdoor brands. For example, Vango sleeping bags come in a variety of sizes, warmths and price bands.

When you’ll use it

Which sleeping bag you buy depends on what time of year you’ll be using it. If you’re going off camping in the winter, then you must get a multi-season bag that will offer you enough protection from the cold.

What kind of trip

Are you going on a backpacking trip or just down the road for a weekend break? If you are going on a backpacking trip, then all your gear needs to pack up small, so that you can fit it all in one bag. You may want to take other bulky items with you like climbing shoes, so make sure you don’t buy a sleeping bag that is going to take more than its fair share of your backpack! Depending on which countries you’re going to, you might want to get a sleeping bag that is designed specifically for travel – and comes with things like a mosquito net, and anti-mosquito and antibacterial finishes on the fabric.

If on the other hand, you’re going on a family camping trip, you and your partner might want to get a double sleeping bag to share. Most of the main outdoor pursuits retailers now stock these, as well as baby-sized sleeping bags, and junior bags for children that come in a range of sizes and warmths.

You may want to use your sleeping bag in a variety of settings, in which case it’s best to go for a three-season bag. That way, you can always unzip it if you get too hot, but you’ve got the warmth when you need it.

For the top shops to buy your new sleeping bag from, see the sleeping bags page at