There are many good sleeping bags on the market. A good one can be a bit on the expensive side, but how much is a good night’s sleep worth? I am using the US military 4-Part Modular Sleep System, a bit on the heavy side, but I am not planning to carry it far. It covers form 50 thru -30 degrees. I have found it comfortable and it can be purchased reasonably.
Whatever type of bag you choose; here are some tips to help you:
Goose Down is more expensive, lighter, compresses easier, warmer by weight, more durable and long-lived. However, if it gets wet, it is useless. In extreme cold, your body releases moisture as you sleep, so a down bag can get wet from the inside even when it is protected from the outside elements.
Some of the newer insulations such as Lamilite or Polarguard 3D will keep you warm when wet.
Check the stitching; the tubes should overlap so that the stitching does not go all the way through the bag wall creating cold spots.
Make sure the bag has a sturdy zipper and a draft tube along the entire length of zipper.
Consider an outer Gore-Tex or other water repellant shell for your bag. However, be sure that the shell you purchase will breathe enough to allow body moisture to escape.
Make sure it will be warm enough for your area of operations.
Mummy bags are largely lightweight, the most efficient for warmth and takes less room in your pack.
Remember, you may have to carry it. Think about the weight. Whatever type of bag you choose the bottom line is take it out and use it and I mean more than once or twice. The bag that looks and sounds so good in the store may be very uncomfortable. Don’t forget a good pad to go underneath it.
Let’s hear from some of you on your experiences with sleeping bags, both good and bad.
I often see good quality sleeping bags in garage sales for pennies on the dollar.