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Sleeping Bag-How to Choose One Based on Need

To enjoy a good night sleep whether in the woods or at home requires having the right sleeping bag. The ones required for indoors use are different from the ones that the outdoors demand. We are going to look at how to choose a sleeping bag based on the need/purpose and how shape and fill/material of the sleeping bag play are important features to consider. Here in Kenya, we may not have a variety of sleeping bag, but we have enough to meet every need at least.

How to Choose Indoor Sleeping Bags or Slumber Bags

Indoor sleeping bags are characterized by light insulation. They are not usually designed to be waterproof and are mostly made of natural fabrics rather than synthetic materials as opposed to outdoor ones.

Most of these sleeping bags have a simple rectangular shape to allow ample room to stretch out and roll over inside it.

They may take any color, but most sleeping bags for children are often brightly colored with printed designs especially images of popular media characters.

Indoor sleeping bags make sleeping on the floor comfortable and will save you big time during family visits, sleepovers, and any other African social gathering.

Here in Kenya, choose an indoor sleeping bag with a temperature rating of 15°-30°C.

How to Choose a Camping Sleeping Bag

A camping sleeping bag primary purpose is to provide warmth, thermal insulation through its synthetic insulation or natural fill (such as down, the superior choice). It should have a water-resistant/repellent cover with the ability to protect one against mild precipitation and wind chill. The bottom surface of the bag should have a comfortable water-resistant cushion but you can add a water-resistant sleeping pad to make it more comfortable.

Camping Sleeping bags should be well –insulated to shield against cold weather and light-weight to allow easy movement. They are usually expensive than indoor ones.

If you are camping in areas where temperatures are relatively friendly, choose a camping sleeping bag with a temperature rating of +15° to +30°. For areas with very low night temperatures such as Mount Kenya and Aberdare Ranges, choose one with a temperature rating of 15C° and lower. You don’t want to freeze out there.

Serious campers require sleeping bags that are comfortable with enough room to stretch out and roll over. And this brings us to the different shapes of a sleeping bag. Each shape serves its own purpose and serves a particular need.

Sleeping Bag by Shape

 We have four major Shapes; rectangular, Semi-rectangular, Mummy and Double Bag.

Rectangular shaped bag allow enough room for both legs and arms to stretch out. You can as well roll over inside the bag. They are usually fitted with a zipper on two or three sides.

Semi-rectangular shaped sleeping bags are barrel-shaped and try to bring a balance between roominess and warmth.

Mummy Bags have a snug fit (tapered from the head end to the foot end) and can only allow rolling over with the bag rather than rolling inside the bag. It has a reduced surface area and volume to improve its overall heat retention. Most mummy bags do not unzip all the way to the feet as this reduces its ability to retain heat, a purpose which it is designed for. It is designed for cold weather

Double bags: Camping Sleeping Bag for Couples

Double bags are usually made for two and there good for couples. They are bigger and usually rectangular. Two rectangular bags designed for zipping together are also used for this purpose-same model, same brand.

Sleeping Bags Sizes

Men’s Regular: 78 inches long for men up to 6’
Men’s Long: 84 inches for men up to 6’6”
Women’s Regular: 72 inches for women up to 5’6”
Women’s Long: 78 inches long for women up to 6’

Sleeping Bags Accessories

Stuff Sack-stores a sleeping bag in such a way it occupies less space

Storage Suck– for long time storage

Sleeping Bag Liner-helps to keep you bag inside clean and adds some extra warmth when needed. You can alternatively sleep in the liner if it is too hot.

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