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Gear Guide Sleeping Bag Buying Guide, OutdoorPlaces.Com



 OutdoorPlaces.Com Sleeping Bag Buying Gear Guide


 Picking The Right Sleeping Bag


Mummy BagMummy:

Mummy bags widen sharply at the shoulders than taper down the sides to your feet, hugging your body.  The primary advantage of the mummy bag is itís very design.  Be removing the unused space around your body, you have to keep a smaller area warm, and by fitting around your head (and a good bag will have a hood, more on this later) it is less likely to let in a blast of cold air if you roll over in your sleep.  Also because of its shape the bag uses less material and less fill that means it is lighter.  If you are of average build and donít thrash around in your sleep, a mummy style bag should be your first choice.  If you winter camp or plan extreme mountain excursions, the mummy bag should be your only choice.

Rectangle Sleeping BagRectangular:

Move over for John Wayne, the rectangular sleeping bag is what most of us used as kids when growing up and what the cowboys used in the Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960íies.  Basically squared off on each corner the bag when rolled out resembles a rectangle.  Because of their larger size they tend to be heavier then their mummy bag counterparts.  Because of the extra space they are not as efficient in keeping you warm.  Roll over in the middle of the night while sleeping and icy cold air can rush into the bag.  Further, you can move around at night and find yourself laying on a freezing cold part of the bag that hasnít had the benefit of your body warmth to keep that area comfortable.  Some folks who are of very large frames like the rectangular bag so they can stretch out.  Further, it is much easier to change your clothes inside a rectangular bag, where this can be a feat of acrobatics in a mummy style bag.  Also if youíre on a budget, bargains can be found looking at rectangular bags.

Semi Rectangular Sleeping BagHybrid:

Hybrid bags, also called tapers and semi-rectangular combine mummy bags with rectangular bags.  Resembling a rectangular bag, they may taper down slightly as they go toward the feet and will have a rounded end.  Like the mummy bag the removed space means lighter weight and less wasted area to keep warm at night.  Like a rectangular bag it offers more room for a person with a larger frame.  Usually weighing just a little more than a mummy bag, this style offers a good comprise between price, weight and warmth.

Overbags & Bivy Sacks

Overbags and Bivy Sacks are used with a sleeping bag.  Overbags are used when additional warmth is needed, like during extreme winter camping.  Overbags can also be used in extremely warm conditions as a light sleeping bag, when even the thinnest and lightest bag will roast you alive in hot humid conditions.  Overbags may also be used to supplement the waterproof abilities of a sleeping bag.  Bivy sacks are different.  Typically waterproof and made of a breathable material, a bivy sack is used when sleeping under the stars, in extreme wet conditions, or winter camping.  Both overbags and bivy sacks (you may hear these terms interchanged) increase the range of use of your bag, but cut down on how well the materials breathe.